Michael E. Hill is completing his second year as the 18th president of Chautauqua Institution, a lakeside community in Western New York that explores the best in human values. He is leading an expanded vision for the 146-year-old nonprofit organization through a focus on thought leadership, diversity, community engagement, year-round programming and civil dialogue. He served as CEO of Youth for Understanding USA, dramatically expanding and diversifying programs there. Prior to joining YFU, he served as senior vice president of external affairs for United Cerebral Palsy. In that role, he led international public education, fundraising, communications, marketing and branding efforts for one of the world’s largest health care charities. He also led national development, communications and volunteer efforts for Washington National Cathedral as executive director for external relations and held a similar role at The Washington Ballet. Hill holds a B.A. in journalism from St. Bonaventure and an M.A. in arts and cultural management from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.
Kate Heidinger is a Buffalo-based fundraising professional with 10 years of experience in strategic fund development, responsible for raising over $5.5 million across such organizations as the American Red Cross, Niagara Lutheran Health Foundation, Kevin Guest House and currently with Compeer. As the campaign & development officer at Kevin Guest House she oversaw the organization’s first ever capital campaign, development of strategic relationships, introduction of major gift and planned giving programs, and the formalization of foundation relations. Kate’s professional interests are centered on mission-focused fund development through building deep partnerships and raising the profile of fundraising as a profession through mentoring, education, and networking. She was recognized by her colleagues as the Association of Fundraising Professionals, WNY Chapter’s Rising Star Professional Fundraiser in 2017. Additionally, Kate serves as the vice president of external relations for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, WNY Chapter and volunteers with a variety of organizations including PreventionFocus and Alzheimer’s Association. Kate lives in Buffalo’s historic Old First Ward neighborhood with her husband, Nicholas, and son, Benjamin.
Beth Palumbo is an event and marketing professional with over 10 years of experience at the top entertainment company in the world, Walt Disney World. At Disney she spent her time creating world-class events for theme park guests, media and VIPs. In addition, she worked with companies such as Coca-Cola and Alamo Car Rental Company on their sponsorship and annual financial contribution to the Disney Company. She has managed event budgets from $5 thousand up to $40 million. In 2015/2016, Beth planned and executed the grand opening event of Shanghai Disneyland Resort in Shanghai, China. Upon completion of the grand opening event, Beth relocated to Olean, NY with her husband, Brian Palumbo, an Olean native, in the Fall of 2016. She currently is the director of marketing for St. Bonaventure University. She says her greatest accomplishment to date is being a mom to her and her husband’s son, Landon, who is 10 months old.
An expert on all things social media and content marketing, John Jiloty consistently creates results for brands across social media and digital platforms as vice president of social media & content for The Martin Group, a full-service integrated communications firm based in Buffalo with offices in Rochester and Albany. A Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications graduate and award-winning content creator/strategist, Jiloty’s wide variety of experience includes relationships with top national and international companies like Under Armour, ASICS, New Era Cap and Galbani Cheese, as well as a host of small businesses and young startups, across an array of different media and platforms. His background includes 14 years heading the editorial operation for Inside Lacrosse in Baltimore (print, online, video), and he’s created content for media companies that include ESPN, ESPN The Magazine, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Also spearheading The Martin Group’s Martin Sport division, he has presented on social media at University at Buffalo, Buffalo State, Geneseo, University of Rochester, Daemen College and Erie Community College.
Kelly Lent-Paul is an enrolled agent and certified financial planner at Fox Financial. She is also a national instructor for the National Association of Tax Professionals, an organization that provides continuing education to accountants, attorneys, and financial advisors. Kelly earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and MBA from St Bonaventure University. She has been with Fox Financial since 1994, enjoys speaking to groups about tax and financial planning topics, and lives in Allegany with her husband, Jim.