NPD Honorees and Speaker for 2016
posted Sunday, October 2, 2016 by Catherine Rogg
Our 2016 Speaker is Lola Audu Real Estate Broker l Speaker l Educator
Lola grew up in Nigeria, West Africa and came to the United States in the early 80's on a scholarship to Calvin College. While at Calvin, she assisted the college with outreach efforts to International Students through her job as the International Student Coordinator. Her window of perspective on a global world was expanded at an early age due to her education in a mission school system. Her high school class of 44 included students from 16 different countries.
Lola's ability to think 'outside the box' was nurtured by her parents who taught their children wise sayings and proverbs through the African art of story telling. She well-remembers a particularly effective means to get all her siblings to bed on time through retelling the story of Wee Willie Winkie who had a habit of eating children who were not in bed by 8:00 pm.
Lola graduated from the University of Wisconsin and moved back to the Grand Rapids area with her husband, Clement, where they have raised their family and have two adult sons. She owns Audu Real Estate and LA SPEAKING, a residential real estate company which also provides training and seminar workshops locally and nationally in the areas of cultural intelligence, fair housing and leadership principles. Lola is certified by the Cultural Intelligence Center in Holt, Michigan as a CQ Level Trainer and speaks to audiences about how cultural intelligence enhances competitive advantage.
Our 2016 Honorees include:
Diane Lobbestael will be presented with the Benjamin Franklin Award for an Outstanding Fundraising Professional. Lobbestael’s nonprofit and fundraising career spans more than two decades. Prior to her joining the Grand Rapids Symphony as Vice President of Development, she experienced successes at the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, Campfire and Grand Rapids Christian Schools—including an effort to secure $17M for DeVos Center for Arts and Worship. Diane has always followed her passion as a development professional. Music, particularly choral and orchestral music, are, and always have been, an important part of her life. As she often puts it, “I pinch myself that I have the opportunity to do this work on behalf of the Grand Rapids Symphony each and every day.”
Holland Home Foundation will receive The West Michigan Chapter Award for Excellence in Fundraising. Just as Holland Home leadership continuously works to be prepared for uncertain changes in living trends and needs of the aging population, Holland Home Foundation does the same. Under the leadership of Executive Director Scott Halquist, the foundation has increased staff to focus on three fundraising areas: annual, capital and planned giving. The expertise and passion of their professional development staff helps heighten donor recruitment and retention, maintain donor confidence, and enjoy proven financial results. The staff works closely to intimately understand donor needs, desires, and aspirations. The foundation practices relational fundraising to incorporate gratitude in every element of each donor relationship instead of transactional fundraising.
Mike and Sharon Seelye will be presented with the Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Award for their service and support of many organizations. Kalamazoo area organizations across the sector benefit from their volunteerism and leadership ranging from health and human services to art and culture nonprofits. Recently the couple chaired Kalamazoo Civic Theatre’s Art of Enriching Lives $5.1M advancement campaign. The role required many meetings and leading of other volunteers in addition to public speaking and countless calls on donors to ask for their support of the campaign. Nominated by Brett Carr, Development Director of Kalamazoo Civic Theatre, he remarks, “Kalamazoo is without a doubt a better community because of Mike and Sharon Seelye. They are truly outstanding volunteer fundraisers as well as excellent philanthropists, and are very worthy of the recognition by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.”
Karl and Patti Betz are the recipients of the Distinguished Philanthropist Award. Well engrained within the West Michigan community, this generous couple not only shares their treasure but also fully commits their time and talents to countless organizations. Through their leadership, and leadership giving, they have helped many respected organizations reach new heights of scientific innovation, artistic excellence, compassionate care and sustainable cultural enrichment. Due to their significant community engagement, they are improving our lives and the lives of generations to come. “The ballet has been fortunate to see firsthand the commitment Karl and Patti make to our community,” states Glenn Del Vecchio, Executive Director of Grand Rapids Ballet. “Through their exceptional generosity, Karl and Patti ensured that generations of children and families would have enjoyable and accessible performing arts experiences."
Howard Miller Corporation will be presented with the Outstanding Corporation Award in recognition for their exceptional commitment to the West Michigan community. In the last year alone, the company has supported an incredible forty-seven nonprofit organizations. Phil Miller, President of the Howard Miller Foundation, commented on their giving explaining, “We view giving back to these organizations as a privilege. We feel it is our corporate responsibility to our community and society as a whole and we are grateful to be able to do so.” Mike Goorhouse, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area, one of the organizations to nominate the company states, “In a community full of generous people and companies, Howard Miller stands out as one of the most committed philanthropic companies in the Holland/Zeeland area.”
St. Mary School in Westphalia will be receiving the Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award for their outstanding commitment to Wedgwood Christian Services as well as many other organizations in their surrounding area. For many, many years the school’s children have provided Christmas and food for the 100 plus kids that call Wedgwood Christian Services home. Armed with individual wish lists, the small school purchases gifts of $25 for each child residing on the Wedgwood campus. They also provide a number of gift cards for additional incidentals and host a cereal drive for the organization’s benefit. Alison Lisiak, Advancement Officer at Wedgwood Christian Services and their nominator, had this to say about the school, “…I am amazed by all they collect to bless our children. And what they will tell us is they are the ones who feel blessed to be able to do this for our children.”
Pat McLaughlin, Founder and President of The Timothy Group, will be presented with the President’s Award. Since his entry into the stewardship arena in 1981, Pat has personally served over 1,000 Christian organizations in the USA, Canada, UK and Middle East, specializing in major donor programs, board training, strategic planning, capital and annual campaigns, and marketing and image campaigns. In 2015, The Timothy Group served 108 clients around the globe and was responsible for helping to generate just over $2m in gift income. Pat has authored many fundraising articles for a variety of publications, and has sold or given away more than 19,000 copies of his three fundraising books. He loves sharing his wisdom, experience and sense of humor with non-profit organization leaders throughout the world.