Golden Opportunities

2017 State Councils Annual Conference 4/29/20174/29/20174/29/20175/1/20175/1/20175/1/2017 Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown Seattle, WA

About the Conference

​Golden Opportunities

Advancing student scholarships, corporate connections, collaboration, and advocacy for independent colleges and universities

The centerpiece of CIC State Council programming, the State Councils Annual Conference provides state executives, fundraising officers, and communications staff with a forum for face-to-face networking and an opportunity to share best practices with colleagues. The program features leading speakers on fundraising, corporate and foundation relations, collaboration, and marketing to help state associations better serve their constituency of private colleges and universities.

The 2017 Annual Conference will explore the “Golden Opportunities” inherent in new initiatives by State Councils. The two-day program will take place April 30–May 2 at the Crowne Plaza, downtown, in Seattle, Washington.

Spouses and partners are welcome and will enjoy a special group outing. And new for this year, a post-conference tour ​will explore three regional wineries, complete with chauffeured transportation and on-site wine tastings.

About the State Councils

CIC’s State Councils are consortia of private colleges and universities with the mission of advancing and strengthening their member institutions. Through its State Councils program, CIC provides member services and organizational development opportunities for these consortia, as well as grants and professional support for their activities in four specific program areas:
  • Putting a college education within reach for deserving students of all income levels by raising private gifts and grants for scholarships;

  • Expanding student internship and career opportunities, as well as developing corporate grant and sponsorship support, by connecting the private college sector to America’s business community;

  • Enhancing curricular and co-curricular programs at member institutions by facilitating the development of multi-college approaches to key targets of opportunity and seeking grant funding for these collaborative initiatives; and

  • Increasing recognition and enrollment of member institutions through collective public relations and branding initiatives that help “make the case” for private colleges and universities.
These four program areas have been identified as top priorities by independent college presidents and endorsed by the CIC Board of Directors. CIC believes that by working collectively on these initiatives, the State Councils network can strengthen the independent college sector nationwide.





  • Steve Moore
    Steve Moore
    M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust
  • Frank Romeo
    Frank Romeo
    The UPS Foundation
  • Richard Ekman
    Richard Ekman
    Council of Independent Colleges
  • James Plourde
    James Plourde
    Collins Group, a division of Campbell & Company
  • William Zumeta
    William Zumeta
    University of Washington
  • Regina Hartley
    Regina Hartley
  • Jon McGee
    Jon McGee
    College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University
  • Julia Weede
    Julia Weede
  • Michael Collins
    Michael Collins







Orientation for New State Executives and StaffOrientation for New State Executives and Staff1Richard Ekman; Carol Schuler; Hope Williams<p>​All new state executives, staff, and first-time conference attendees are welcome. Vice President for State Council Programs <strong><em>Carol Schuler</em></strong>, CIC President <strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, and Presiding Officer <strong><em>Hope Williams</em></strong> will provide a briefing on the operations and member benefits of the State Councils network.</p>
State Councils Advisory Committee MeetingState Councils Advisory Committee Meeting2
Opening ReceptionOpening Reception3Spouses and Partners<p>​Welcome and Introductions<br>Greetings from the UPS Foundation<br>Scholarship Presentation<br></p>
Breakfast Roundtable DiscussionsBreakfast Roundtable Discussions4
Welcome and Keynote Address: "Transformational Ideas"Welcome and Keynote Address: "Transformational Ideas"5Steve Moore<p>​With more than $1 billion in assets, the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust receives hundreds of grant applications each year, most of them commendable and most from mission-driven organizations that fulfill important needs in education, arts and culture, and health and human services. Each application is an opportunity to make a difference. But what marks those organizations and projects that are truly transformational? What and who can help foundations and others achieve their own mission? What drives the Murdock Trust and other philanthropic organizations that seek to work with nonprofits that share a commitment to thinking bigger, to challenging problems and to making a true difference? What differentiates the best opportunities that funders choose to invest in, particularly as government cuts and human service needs increase? What are the challenges of the “cultural moment” that independent higher education must consider? Join Steve Moore, chief executive officer of the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, as he addresses these questions and the unique position of philanthropic organizations today, which are poised as never before to make a transformational difference in American life.</p><blockquote><p><strong><em>Steve Moore</em></strong>, Chief Executive Officer, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust<br></p></blockquote>
Tips on Grantsmanship—CIC’s Programs and BeyondTips on Grantsmanship—CIC’s Programs and Beyond7Richard Ekman; Frank Romeo<p>​How can State Councils develop winning grants? With greatly increased funding available through CIC grant programs and the increasing importance of foundations nationwide, developing effective grant proposals can yield significant results for advancing the work of State Councils. Join CIC President Richard Ekman and UPS Foundation Vice President Frank Romeo for this insightful, hands-on discussion of what grant reviewers look for when evaluating proposals. Learn how to craft that rare combination of a great idea and attention to detail, developed to win the attention and interest of organizations that can support your State Council. Ekman and Romeo will be joined by State Council members who will discuss their successful First Opportunity Program grant projects.</p><blockquote><p><strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong>, President, Council of Independent Colleges<br><strong><em>Frank Romeo</em></strong>, Vice President, The UPS Foundation<br></p></blockquote>
Strategic Shifts in Corporate RelationshipsStrategic Shifts in Corporate Relationships9James Plourde; Mark Dederer; Cat Martin; Ken Thompson<p>​The world of corporate philanthropy has moved away from “feel good” giving to giving that can model corporate strategies in community and workforce development. Independent colleges are sometimes at a competitive disadvantage with corporate funders because the level of impact that smaller institutions can demonstrate is often lower than that of large public universities, simply because their student populations are smaller. State Councils, however, are in a unique position to fill this gap. By providing scale for member institutions, State Councils can develop compelling programs that may readily fit corporate strategies for funding and workforce development. State Councils also can demonstrate the true benefit of collaboration among member institutions by seeking larger corporate gifts collectively than each college could obtain on its own. This panel discussion led by James Plourde, vice president of the Collins Group, provides an opportunity to hear experienced gift officers discuss their strategic philanthropic interests.</p><blockquote><p><strong><em>James Plourde</em></strong>, Vice President, Collins Group, a division of Campbell & Company<br><strong><em>Mark Dederer</em></strong>, Executive Director, Biller Family Foundation<br><strong><em>Cat Martin</em></strong>, Vice President, Relationship Manager Pacific Northwest & Utah, Global Philanthropy, JP Morgan Chase & Co.<br><strong><em>Ken Thompson</em></strong>, Consultant and Senior Fellow, Aspen Institute Forum on Community Solutions<br></p></blockquote>
Luncheon Roundtable DiscussionsLuncheon Roundtable Discussions10
Independent Colleges: A Cost-Effective Contributor for States That Seek To Increase Bachelor’s Degree Production without Breaking the BankIndependent Colleges: A Cost-Effective Contributor for States That Seek To Increase Bachelor’s Degree Production without Breaking the Bank21William Zumeta<p>​This session will explore the results from recent CIC-sponsored studies, based on federal IPEDS data, of the relative cost-effectiveness of CIC colleges compared with similar public institutions. University of Washington professor William Zumeta will discuss findings that CIC colleges graduate students at higher rates and in substantially shorter time—results that hold for both genders and all major ethnic subgroups. Independent colleges also retain students with initial interests in majoring in STEM and health fields to completion of such majors at substantially higher rates. States receive these benefits at about one-sixth the cost to taxpayers per degree of enrolling students in comparable public colleges. To illustrate the benefits and savings to states of shifting some students from public to private colleges, Zumeta and co-author Nick Huntington-Klein simulated the effects of a modest increase in state student aid grants (adding $1,000 per year to the grants) to students enrolled in independent institutions on degree production and on total state costs. Although there is variation across states in the results, in most states the proposed aid increase shifts a significant number of students from public to private colleges, increases bachelor’s degree production somewhat in subsequent years, and saves the state money, mainly from reduced appropriations to public colleges. In a few states facing substantial enrollment demand growth, the authors also find substantial state savings from avoiding expansion of capital facilities for public higher education.</p><blockquote><p><strong><em>William Zumeta</em></strong>, Professor of Public Policy and Higher Education, University of Washington<br></p></blockquote>
Why the Best Hire Might Not Have the Best RésuméWhy the Best Hire Might Not Have the Best Résumé12Regina Hartley<p>​In higher education, “changing lives” is fundamental to the work of campus professionals as well as to those State Council executives who seek financial support and corporate pathways for graduates. But what is the impact of that promise after college? Given the choice between a job candidate with a perfect résumé and one who has fought through difficulty, human resources executive Regina Hartley always gives the “Scrapper” a chance. As someone who grew up with adversity, Hartley knows that those who flourish in the darkest of spaces can be empowered with the grit to persist in an ever-changing workplace. “Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says. “Hire the Scrapper.”</p><p><strong><em>Regina Hartley</em></strong>, Human Resources Vice President, UPS Technology Division<br></p>
Depart for Columbia Tower ClubDepart for Columbia Tower Club13701 Fifth Avenue, 76th FloorSpouses and Partners<p>​Meet in Hotel Lobby.</p>
Reception and Annual Awards DinnerReception and Annual Awards Dinner22William T. Abare, Jr.; Richard Ekman; Ed Moore; Carol SchulerSpouses and Partners<p>​<em>Welcome</em>—<strong><em>Carol Schuler</em></strong><br><em>Foreman Award Presentation</em>—<strong><em>Richard Ekman</em></strong> and <strong><em>Ed Moore</em></strong>, Chief Executive Officer, Florida Independent College Fund<br><em>Foreman Award Winner Remarks</em>—<strong><em>William T. Abare, Jr.</em></strong>, President, Flagler College<br><br>The highlight of the Awards Dinner is the presentation of the State Councils’ highest honor: the Charles W.L. Foreman Award, which recognizes a college president or corporate trustee who has demonstrated an outstanding record of service that truly distinguishes the recipient from his or her peers in support of the mission and work of the State Councils.<br><br>First presented in 1994, the award recognizes Foreman’s leadership as president of The UPS Foundation and his role behind the gift from UPS that created the CIC/UPS Educational Endowment, a fund that has provided more than $50 million in support of State Council scholarship programs and collaborative projects.<br></p>
Updates from the State CouncilsUpdates from the State Councils20Mick Weltman<p>​Learn from your colleagues and share your ideas and experiences in rapid roundtable updates over lunch. Using a peer-to-peer professional development model led by Associated Colleges of Illinois Executive Director Mick Weltman, you will gain valuable insights to new (and tried-and-true) opportunities for consideration by your State Council. Be prepared to share your own case studies with the group.</p><blockquote><p>Moderator: <strong><em>Mick Weltman</em></strong>, President, Associated Colleges of Illinois</p></blockquote>
Educationomics: Navigating in the New Marketplace for Higher EducationEducationomics: Navigating in the New Marketplace for Higher Education17Jon McGee<p>​The challenges facing colleges and universities today are profound and complex. In his book, <em>Breakpoint</em>, and his program, “Educationomics,” Jon McGee argues that higher education is in the midst of an extraordinary moment of demographic, economic, and cultural transition that has significant implications for how colleges understand their mission, their market, and their management. Drawing from an extensive assessment of demographic and economic trends, McGee presents a broad and integrative picture of these changes while emphasizing the importance of decisive campus leadership. He describes the key forces that influence higher education and provides a framework from which trustees, presidents, administrators, faculty members, and policy makers can address pressing issues in the aftermath of the Great Recession.</p><blockquote><p><strong><em>Jon McGee</em></strong>, <span><span>Vice President for Planning and Public Affairs</span></span>, College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University<br></p></blockquote>
American Higher Education and the Public: Drivers of ReputationAmerican Higher Education and the Public: Drivers of Reputation18Julia Weede<p>​Anyone who spends time on campuses, and pays attention to what good colleges do well, witnesses perhaps one of the best things this nation has to offer: higher education. Yet each day, national headlines fuel worries about the nation’s colleges and universities. The public’s confidence in higher education is declining for perhaps the first time, with real people voicing real concerns about debt, unemployment, lack of access, and “return on investment” of a college degree. As a result, there is a significant and increasing disconnect in America—between those who spend their lives dedicated to higher education and those who pay for and “consume” it.  This session will review research that explores the gap in public opinion, which now extends to the very assumptions about what higher education is for. This study is meant to shed light on the disconnect and may provide a roadmap for campus leaders to bridge the gap and to build new paths toward conversation about the role of higher education in society.</p><blockquote><p> <strong><em>Julia Weede</em></strong>, <span> <span></span></span>Executive Vice President, Education Practice Leader, Edelman<br></p></blockquote>
First-Year Report: Dupont Circle Investments, LLCFirst-Year Report: Dupont Circle Investments, LLC19Michael Collins<p>​In response to a need expressed by State Councils members, CIC partnered with TIAA during spring 2016 to form a pooled investment fund designed to leverage the expertise of large fund management for the benefit of modest endowments that may have been invested in CDs or other financial products that are currently yielding very low returns. Michael Collins, TIAA senior director of endowment and foundation services, will share performance data of the fund, Dupont Circle Investments, LLC, from the past year, investment strategies, and operating practices of the six-member independent partnership. Collins will be joined for a Q&A session by State Council member-partners.</p><blockquote><p><strong><em>Michael Collins</em></strong>, <span><span>Senior Director of Endowment and Foundation Services</span></span>, TIAA<br></p></blockquote>
Breakfast Buffet and Q&A with the State Councils Advisory CommitteeBreakfast Buffet and Q&A with the State Councils Advisory Committee16

Spouses and Partners

View of Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum from front of glass house with two colorful glass floral plants
Spouses and Partners will explore the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum located at the base of the Space Needle in Seattle Center. This spectacular exhibition was built in 2012 and showcases some of the most exquisite sculptures and work produced by renowned studio blown-glass artist Dale Chihuly. The museum comprises three primary components: the Interior Exhibits, the Glasshouse, and the Garden. The Interior Exhibits feature eight galleries and three drawing walls which showcase Chihuly’s early Native American-inspired works, his translucent sea life anemone collections, and the colorful and imaginative shapes of his Mille Fiori project. The Glasshouse, a 40-foot tall glass and steel structure, is home to a 1,400-piece, 100-foot-long sculpture of red, yellow, and orange glass flowers suspended from the ceiling. The outdoor Garden is a backdrop for four monumental sculptures which include The Crystal and Icicle Towers and The Sun, an incredible centerpiece crafted from hundreds of individually-blown glass elements.

Following a docent led tour, spouses and partners will enjoy lunch at Collections Café, an extension of the Chihuly museum. Displayed on the ceilings and walls of the café are 28 collections of Dale Chihuly, some of which include vintage items such as accordions and radios. Over lunch, participants will have the opportunity to discuss common issues that they face as the spouses and partners of state executives.

Post-Conference Tour

Seattle Wine Tours logoLed by Seattle Wine Tours, this three-hour excursion is more than a tour––it is a tasting expedition. Participants will be whisked away 40 minutes to an hour outside downtown Seattle to explore three award-winning wineries in Washington State's wine country. The outing begins with the history of Seattle provided by a chauffeur-guide. While en route to the wineries, participants will enjoy spectacular views of Seattle and its surroundings. During the winery tours, participants will learn about the history of the wineries and the wines they produce, meet the wine makers, and sample wines drawn from the barrel.

Additional Cost per Person: $122.50 **

Fees include transportation to and from the Crowne Plaza hotel, applicable taxes, and gratuity. Please note that space is limited. In the event that the excursion is full, registrants will be placed on a wait list and contacted if space becomes available.

**The registration deadline for this tour is Tuesday, April 11, 2017.

Hotel and Travel


​Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown

1113 Sixth Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 464-1980

 Hotel Information

Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown looking up from ground floorThe State Councils Annual Conference will be held at the Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown, located in close proximity to restaurants, shops, museums, and other places of interest such as the Pike Place Market and the Fifth Avenue Center. The Columbia Tower Club, located within walking distance of the hotel, will be the venue for the Reception and Annual Awards Dinner. With the most breathtaking views of the dynamic cityscape of Seattle, Columbia Tower Club embraces and reflects the diversity and spirit of the city. Its sophisticated setting includes floor-to-ceiling picture windows in every room that provide a panoramic view of one of the most exciting and dazzling cities in the world, with views of Puget Sound by day and millions of city lights by night, sparkling 76 floors below.

Hotel Reservations Deadline for CIC Rate:
March 29, 2017

Room Rate:
$189 single/double per night

To book your hotel reservations online at the CIC group rate, use CIC's hotel reservation link.
Hotel reservations also may be booked by calling the hotel’s reservations department directly at (888) 233-9527. To receive the special room rate, please reference “CIC State Councils Annual Conference” when making your reservation. Please note that reservations made after the deadline will be accommodated on a space- and price-available basis only.

Check-in time is 4:00 p.m.
Check-out time is 12:00 p.m.

Dress Guidelines

Business casual wear is appropriate throughout the conference. Business attire is suggested only for the Reception and Awards Dinner on Monday, May 1, 2017.



Seattle–Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is approximately 20 to 30 minutes from the Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown hotel.


Amtrak’s King Street Station is approximately one mile from the Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown hotel.


The Crowne Plaza Seattle Downtown offers onsite overnight valet parking. The daily rate is about $50, including tax. All guests have unlimited in and out privileges with the valet service during their stay. The hotel is unable to accommodate oversized trucks or SUVs.