Journey L. Gunderson is the executive director of the Lucy Desi Museum and National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY. As executive director, she has led the effort to make Jamestown and the National Comedy Center the first year-round, national center dedicated to the art of comedy, leading a marketing and $50 million capital fundraising effort. With Gunderson’s leadership, the center has been able to bring the likes of Jerry Seinfeld, Nick Offerman, Lewis Black and many more to Jamestown for performances and lectures. Prior to her current tenure at the Lucy Desi Museum and National Comedy Center, she served as the editorial director of the Women’s Sports Foundation, directing editorial and online media for the organization. Gunderson is a graduate of Ithaca College.
Patrick McNally is vice president for institutional advancement at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. A graduate of Harvard Law School and a Canisius College, McNally formerly served as an associate in a boutique litigation firm in Buffalo and an associate counsel in the Voter Protection Department of the Democratic National Committee. He was also director of legal outreach and voter education for former President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign in Florida. Previously, McNally worked as a congressional staffer for Rep. Brian Higgins (NY-26); for an Argentine NGO; and as a White House intern on the Domestic Policy Council.
Shelley Jack is a marketing strategist and educator, specializing in branding and digital marketing strategy. In 2014 Jack created her consultancy, Shebe Marketing, to help address the common disconnect between marketing’s day-to-day activities and the organization’s larger goals. Her clients include a range of industries such as consumer products, universities and the automotive aftermarket.
Pamela Witter, MBA, is a nationally published author and higher education administrator. She serves as the vice president for development and community engagement for Trocaire College in Buffalo, NY. Witter is a 2017 graduate of SUNY Empire State College with a master’s degree in business administration and a 2001 graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Mass Communication. Witter is the recipient of the 2014 Citizen of the Year Award from the Allegany Pomona Grange, 2012 Alumna of the Year award from Leadership Cattaraugus, 2011 Buffalo Business First “40 Under Forty” honoree, and 2012 Outstanding Achiever Award from the Greater Allegany County Chamber of Commerce. She was named an Athena Young Professional Finalist by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership in 2016. Witter is the author of three books – a novel, Hope Rising; a children’s book, Chuck and Spark Explore the Park; and an industry book set for release in August 2017 from Charity Channel Press called Five Strategies to Increase Annual Fund Revenue. Witter maintains a blog on her web site www.BeASeedPlanter.com and frequently writes, speaks, and teaches classes and conference sessions on topics related to communications, fundraising, leadership, and life. She has offered keynote speeches or acted as session speaker at more than 40 conferences throughout the country. Her consulting and speaking business is titled Seed Planters.
Karen Niemic Buchheit is the executive director of the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation where her responsibilities include encouraging private giving to “grow good” in the community and building endowed funds to meet the community’s changing needs. Since joining the CRCF in 2010 she has expanded the Foundation’s role in the community to assist nonprofit organizations through not only grant-making, but also with capacity building services and programming, such as the annual Nonprofit Networking Day conference. Her career in nonprofit management, fundraising, marketing and strategic planning spans more than 30 years. She has lead several successful capital campaigns at both St. Bonaventure University and the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. As a volunteer and community leader, she serves or has served on a number of nonprofit boards and committees.
Tina Hastings has been executive director of the Cattaraugus County Arts Council since 2014. She graduated from Southern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology, and a Master of Public Administration. She has held a variety of positions in museums and archives and served as the director of the Cathy and Jesse Marion Art Gallery at SUNY Fredonia, where she also taught museums studies.
A graduate of Dickinson College, John Lasher held a number of positions during a 30-year career at Blair Corporation, retiring in 2006 as vice president of advertising. Post-retirement, Lasher served the Warren-Forest Higher Education Council as its school to work coordinator, providing career education for K-12 students in the Warren County School District. At the Community Foundation of Warren County, he served as a board member from 2010-2015, becoming executive director in May, 2015. Lasher has experience in a variety of nonprofit leadership roles, including serving on the executive board of the Chief Cornplanter Council; Boy Scouts of America; the Board of Directors of Warren Players, Inc; and the Occupational Advisory Council of the Warren County Career Center.