Lily Cabrera, MBA

Corporate and Foundation Relations

Professional Background

Lily is a professional coach and writer with two decades of nonprofit management experience (diversified experience in higher education, academic medicine, healthcare, and policy).

She is passionate about social justice and corporate social responsibility and how together our efforts through personal and professional development can transform our workplaces, our communities, and the world.

Lily is an experienced nonprofit professional with a track record of developing innovative strategies for donor engagement, including cultivating, closing, and stewarding gifts of $1 million+. She possesses a unique ability to realize synergies and create matches between organizations coupled with strong leadership skills in working with internal and external partners to develop and fund visionary proposals.

Lily possesses a strong background in all facets of development work including major gifts, campaign planning and execution, annual giving, planned giving, institutional giving, special events, prospect research and management, and operations.

She is a proud alumna of Dartmouth College and holds an MBA from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business. Lily completed professional coach training through Coaches Training Institute (CTI).

Davida Isaacson

Planned Giving

Professional Background

After a successful career in trust and estate banking, Davida became the Director of Planned Giving and Endowments for WNET, the New York public television station.

While at WNET, Davida produced training videos for distribution to the public broadcasting stations and began teaching planned giving at New York University (NYU).

Her teaching career spanned 20 years until retirement in 2018 and included joining the faculty at Columbia University in addition to her being assistant professor at NYU.

She has been a nationally recognized speaker on all aspects of planned giving. She served on the Board of the National Committee on Planned Giving and is now President Emeritus at the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York (PPGGNY) from which she received an award for achievement in the planned giving community.

In addition to continuing to present to development professionals, Davida is the Senior Philanthropic Advisor for The Seeing Eye, Inc. in Morristown, NJ.

Adrian Matthys

Annual Giving

Professional Background

Adrian Matthys is the Director of Annual Giving for the University of Texas at Austin and has been working in higher education development for 20 years.

In addition to his work at the University of Texas at Austin, Adrian has experience at both small private and large public institutions, as well as other nonprofit organizations outside of higher education.

Adrian’s skills include direct marketing, reunion giving, leadership annual giving, alumni relations, as well as many other best practices for building top-performing annual giving teams, tactics, and campaigns. Adrian has a passion for annual giving and a great appreciation for educating development teams about the importance of strong sustaining giving programs.

Leighton Wilson

Major Gifts

Professional Background

Leighton Wilson has over ten years of professional fundraising experience, focusing on major gift development. He is the Chief Development Officer for the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked for the College of Natural Sciences at The University of Texas at Austin, LSU Health Shreveport Foundation and Centenary College of Louisiana.

Leighton has a Master of Science in Philanthropy and Fundraising from the George Heyman, Jr. Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University, a Master of Arts in Communication from Baylor University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

Marian Stern

Foundations of Philanthropy

Professional Background

Marian Stern has over 35 years of experience in philanthropy and fundraising.

As the principal of Projects in Philanthropy, she has worked with a wide variety of organizations, providing management and fundraising services, with particular emphasis on fundraising planning, board development and training, strategic planning, meeting facilitation, and professional coaching. She also works with funders to define and implement charitable giving policies.

Marian has also been an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Heyman Center for Philanthropy and Fundraising at New York University, a faculty member in the Fundraising Management program at Columbia University and an Adjunct Professor in American Studies at Rutgers University.

Marian has a Master’s in Public Administration from the Robert Wagner School of Public Service at New York University, and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Rutgers University.