Announcing the 2023 NACRO Executive Education Series 

Building on a terrific inaugural executive education program in 2022, NACRO’s Professional Development Committee will offer a new and enhanced format for the 2023 Executive Education series designed for NACRO members and affiliates for those with 10+ years of experience in the corporate relations arena. 

The Format:

The 2023 format will include one in-person residency and four zoom sessions, each session focusing on these topics:

  • Leadership/Professional Development
  • Technical Skill
  • Industry Issues
  • Best Practices*

*The in-person residency for 2023 will be at the Annual Conference in Portland, OR, focusing on Best Practices as shared by each participant in the group. You will be asked to provide an elevator speech on your practice/program along with a deck with details to share with each participant for follow-up.

Session Dates & Times:

Session # 1 - Virtual Residency

February 6-7, 2023

Topic # 1: Leadership and Development

Monday, February 6 - 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. ET

Introductions, Program Orientation, Best Practice Framework

Tuesday, February 7 - 10:00 - 11:15 a.m. ET

Smart Skills for the Future - Prof. Loredana Padurean, Northeastern University

Enough with Soft and Hard. Let’s get Smart and Sharp instead!

What are the skills of the future? What “soft” skills should we work on and what “hard” skills should we invest in? But what if the skills of the future are not “soft and hard” but rather “smart and sharp”? This “back by popular demand” session features Professor Loredana Padurean, Associate Professor at D'Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. Her work on the skills of the future is the focus of her book “The Job is Easy, The People are Not! 10 Smart Skills to Become Better People”. As a fun and interactive Leadership and Professional Development module of NACRO’s Executive Education Program, we will discuss the realities of working with people and the smart skills necessary to become better people and leaders

Tuesday, February 7 - 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. ET

Leadership with Impact Dan Futrell, Pat Tillman Foundation  

Dan Futrell, Chief Executive Officer of the Pat Tillman Foundation will detail the development of the Tillman Scholars- military service members, veterans and spouses with a high potential for impact as demonstrated through a proven track record of leadership, the continued pursuit of education and the commitment of their resources to service beyond self. Every year, the Pat Tillman Foundation receives thousands of applications from remarkable military service members, veterans and spouses nationwide. The Foundation selects and invests in 60 individuals based on their demonstrated record of service, scholarship, humble leadership and potential for impact. Dan will use the Tillman Scholars as a model for building leadership on a local and global scale.

Bonus Session #1

Topic: Partnership Development

Wednesday, March 29 - Afternoon Session - 12:00-1:15 p.m. ET


  • David Lawrence, Vice President for Global Campus and Continuing Education at Michigan Tech

Session # 2 - Zoom

Topic # 2: Technical Skills

Thursday, April 27 - Afternoon Session - 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. ET

NSF Regional TIP Case Study – EMPOWER

Earlier in 2022, The NSF Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships, or TIP, announced the launch of a bold, new initiative called the Regional Innovation Engines, or NSF Engines, program.  This new program harnesses the Nation’s science and technology research, development enterprise, and regional-level resources. The goal is to generate robust partnerships rooted in scientific and technological innovation to positively impact the economy within a geographic region, address societal challenges, and advance national competitiveness.  
The Technical Skills Module of the NACRO Executive Education Program introduces Karen Lightman, Executive Director, Metro21 at Carnegie Mellon University. Karen will discuss the case study currently underway at Carnegie Mellon University to bring together partnerships across industry, academia, government, nonprofits, civil society, and communities of practice for the NSF Engines Program. The discussion will include the “how and why” the initiative is being proposed in Pittsburgh.

 Bonus Session #2

Topic: Best Practice Presentation Lunch & Learn with John Meck

Tuesday, May 23 - Afternoon Session - 12:00-1:15 p.m. ET


  • John MeckExecutive Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at William & Mary


Session # 3 - Zoom

Topic # 3: Industry Issues

Thursday, June 15 - Afternoon Session - 3:30 - 4:45 p.m. ET

Part 1 - Prospecting: Texas A&M Foundation's Discovery Team

The mission of the Texas A&M Foundation Discovery Team is to identify, qualify and cultivate a next generation of major gift prospects and donors. Steve and Alissa will share the program and operations to identify next generation prospects.


  • Steve Blomstedt, Assistant Vice President for Discovery Programs, Texas A&M Foundation
  • Alissa SimpsonDirector of Discovery Operations, Texas A&M Foundation
  • Annette ForstAssistant Vice President of Corporate Relations, Texas A&M Foundation

Part 2: Corporate Dashboard for Prospecting

This session will demonstrate a successful corporate dashboard implemented at the Mayo Clinic which provides prospect research and portfolio management. The dashboard was modeled after the same framework designed for “traditional” prospects. Think of it as algorithms for identification and qualification!


  • Martha McCleesSenior Corporate Relations Director, The Mayo Clinic
  • Tammy EickhoffStrategy Administrator, Corporate & Foundation Relations, The Mayo Clinic
  • Abhishek YadavSenior Business Intelligence Analyst, The Mayo Clinic

Session # 4 - In-Person Residency

NACRO Annual Conference
July 11-13, 2023
Portland, Oregon

Tuesday, July 11 - All day session

Topic # 4: Best Practices

This culminating session will focus on Best Practices as shared by each participant in the cohort. You will be asked to develop a PowerPoint deck to present and share with the 2023 cohort describing your best practice/program followed by group discussion allowing time for questions. Details of this session will be shared at Orientation, Midwinter residency.


Questions about the 2023 Executive Education Series?

Please email [email protected].