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NCFP Webinar - Diverse and Dispersed: Managing a Far-flung Family

Thursday, May 12, 2016
9:00am - 10:30am PDT
This program is a webinar.
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In our increasingly mobile society, family philanthropies once defined by their proximity now encounter a new obstacle: geography.

How does geography affect a philanthropy’s mission? How do you keep the family and the philanthropy together? And how do families take advantage of diverse perspectives on key issues within the family?

To learn more, join this National Center for Family Philanthropy webinar featuring the experiences and perspectives of three diverse and dispersed families.


Berit Ashla
Vice President, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Berit Ashla serves as Vice President at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.  Based in San Francisco, Berit leads RPA’s West Coast advisory work, manages client engagements and works with a range of individual, family and corporate donors. She brings a wealth of experience in grantmaking, foundation governance, education, social justice, arts and sustainability.  She is a frequent contributor to national and regional philanthropic conferences and events. Berit’s nonprofit career spans over two decades working with public, private and community foundations.  At Tides Foundation, she served as Program Officer and Senior Advisor, doing work focused on youth organizing, economic justice and Native American issues.  She also managed the Threshold Foundation. She was the Philanthropic Director of Foundation Source leading advisory services in the West and she served as Executive Director of the David Brower Center, an innovative arts and sustainability center producing museum quality exhibitions and public events with environmental leaders. Earlier in her career, she worked at the Marin Community Foundation, KQED Public Television and the United Nations Environment Program in Paris, France. Berit has a Bachelor of Arts from Amherst College and serves on the boards of Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Abundance Foundation, Nia Community Fund, and Mal Warwick/Donor Digital.  Berit also served on the boards of École Bilingue de Berkeley (the French American School of Berkeley) and the Schott Foundation for Public Education.  She is the mother of two teenage boys and is married to Aron Cramer, President and CEO of Business for Social Responsibility.

Kelly Davenport Nowlin
Trustee, Surdna Foundation and Committee Chair, Andrus Family Program

Kelly Davenport Nowlin, a fifth generation member of the Andrus family, was elected as a Surdna Foundation trustee in 2010. She chairs the committees of the Andrus Family Program (AFP) and Centennial Working Group. As chair of the AFP, Kelly is responsible for outreach to, and engagement of the more than 400 living descendants of Surdna founding patriarch, John E. Andrus. Her responsibilities as chair also include identifying opportunities to collaborate with like-minded family foundations. Kelly is guiding the development of activities marking Surdna’s 100th anniversary. Prior to her board service at Surdna, Kelly was a founding board member of the Andrus Family Fund (AFF), an independent grantmaker launched by Surdna in 2000 as a grantmaking fund for fifth generation family members. She helped develop the fund, including program areas, governance and bylaws, mission and strategic vision, and committees of the board. Kelly served as Vice Chair, then Co-Chair for four years of her seven year term. Kelly has 25 years of experience as a media and communications professional having held various marketing positions in the Boston area, including at CBS and Entercom Radio, Community Newspaper Company (a Fidelity company), and in the media buying space. She developed and launched NameCatcher, a mobile application that helps users remember people’s names, and Pollen-8, a web platform that connects product marketers with influential bloggers. Kelly is an acknowledged expert on social media and brand development, and is an experienced public relations professional and public speaker. She has worked extensively with non-profit organizations, building partnerships and campaigns to generate awareness and support for their causes. An honors graduate of Boston College, Kelly lives in Hopkinton, Massachusetts with her husband, Chuck, their two children Haley and Jack, and a number of well-loved pets. She enjoys golf, hiking, travel, yoga, photography, art, music and spending time with family and friends.

Lisa Parker
President, The Lawrence Welk Family Foundation

Lisa Parker brings 30 years of experience in philanthropy and nonprofit management to her work with philanthropic families. She is the president of her family’s foundation, the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation, and she previously served as Vice President of Philanthropic Services for Whittier Trust in San Francisco where she provides philanthropic advisement to high net-worth clients and management services for their foundations and donor-advised funds. Prior to joining Whittier Trust, Lisa was Founder and Principal of Family Circle Advisors working with philanthropic families to establish effective giving plans, facilitating family retreats and leading giving experiences for adults and children. For the past 18 years Lisa has been President and Executive Director of the Lawrence Welk Family Foundation, leading the Foundation’s initiatives to address poverty and seed the youth giving movement and creating youth philanthropy programs for the family’s 4th generation. Lisa is certified by 21/64 (a division of The Andrea & Charles Bronfman Philanthropies) as a multi-generational advisor to families. In addition, Lisa serves as advisor and board member to numerous organizations working to build and expand the philanthropic sector, including the USC Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy and the National Center for Family Philanthropy. In addition, she speaks nationally on raising charitable children, youth philanthropy, new models of giving and the evolution of family philanthropy “From Lawrence Welk to Lady Gaga.” Lisa graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with a degree in social psychology and went on to intern with the Family Philanthropy division of the Council on Foundations in Washington D.C.

Sharmila Rao Thakkar 
Co-chair, National Center for Family Philanthroyp Non-Family Peer Network
Sharmila Rao Thakkar, MPH, MPA has been working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector for nearly 20 years.  Currently, she staffs a small family foundation in Chicago, IL. As executive director she is responsible for providing expertise on and directing all operational, programmatic and administrative functions of the organization. She guides the board's funding decisions, engages the next generations in their leadership development, and provides strategic direction on grantmaking and other grantee outreach and community partnership initiatives.  Sharmila represents the foundation on several committees and at conferences/seminars, where she shares the foundation's experiences and lessons learned in its growth and development as a multi-generation family foundation. She co-chairs the National Center for Family Philanthropy's Non-Family Peer Network and participates as an advisor/mentor in Exponent Philanthropy's Next Gen Training Program and the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP) leadership and management workshop series.  Sharmila also serves on the boards of Allowance for Good, a youth philanthropic leadership development organization, the South Asian Philanthropy Project and the Women's Funding Network, and serves as her daughter’s troop leader and on the Advisory Council for the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana. She recently concluded her 6-year term on the board of the Chicago Foundation for Women, where she continues a role on the governance committee and previously also chaired the Asian American (now Women United) Giving Council and the board programs/grantmaking committee, helping to develop and refine policies and procedures related to the foundation’s community-led grantmaking process.  Sharmila holds a Master of Public Administration from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a Master of Public Health from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Brown University.

Register online through the National Center for Family Philanthropy.

To retrieve your organization's NCFP password, select "Forgot password" on the NCFP log in page.

For further assistance with registering, contact NCFP at (202) 293-3424.

Who May Attend:
Current SCG family foundation members

As a membership benefit, SCG family foundation members have complimentary access to NCFP webinars.

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