Our Chapter & Leadership

Our Chapter & Leadership

The Association of Fundraising Professionals, West Florida Chapter, founded in 1988, is based in Pensacola, offering members the opportunity to connect with colleagues, engage in creative thinking, network with new friends, and achieve great results in their work.  

AFP focuses on delivering innovative educational programs and events to help you reach your goals.
AFP West Florida Chapter is your link to professional networking luncheons, roundtable sessions, programs for advanced executives, mid-career professionals, and those new to the field.

We also offer opportunities for volunteering, sponsor special events like National Philanthropy Day, and more.  
View the past National Philanthropy Day winners.


Help make AFP West Florida work for you! Contact us to learn more and get involved.
If you're not a member, join today and be connected!


For more information, contact us at afpwestflorida@gmail.com.
Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), West Florida Chapter | Facebook




2021 Chapter Officers

President
Tori Bennett, Director of Development at University of West Florida

Tori Bennett is a Director of Development at the University of West Florida, where she is passionate about transforming student lives through higher education. Tori focuses on major gifts and all aspects of scholarship awarding and stewardship. She is a two-time alum of UWF, earning her degree in communications and a master’s degree in nonprofit leadership. Tori has served on the AFP Board for four years and is proud and excited to be board president in 2021. 

Tori currently serves on the Fellowship of Christian Student-Athletes Board, is a member of Impact 100, and is the Development Membership Chair for the Junior League of Pensacola.

President-Elect
Lauren Clark, Development Coordinator at Council on Aging

Lauren has served as the Development Coordinator at the Council on Aging of West Florida since 2018. She is responsible for charitable giving, various outreach efforts, donor relations, and the “other duties as assigned” that tend to fill a fundraiser’s day with interesting twists and turns. A proud Argonaut, Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of West Florida and is back on campus pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Strategic Communications and Leadership. Her graduate research focuses on fundraising ethics and storytelling tools that fundraisers utilize to uplift those they serve. Lauren also serves the community as an ambassador with the Greater Pensacola Chamber, President of the Healthcare Professionals Association of Northwest Florida, and Big Sister to a wonderful Little Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida. She is in her third year on the board, and she is thrilled for the opportunity to continue to support members.

Secretary
Meg Bolyard, Development Manager at Pace Center for Girls

Meg is a 2003 graduate of Florida State University, where she studied Theatre. She owned a local photography studio for a decade, and her work took her around the world photographing nuptials. In 2015, she left behind a world of elaborate weddings and traded in her camera for a fresh start in the nonprofit sector. Her passion for helping others led her to Pace Center for Girls, where she serves as the Development Manager.


Treasurer

Blaise Moehl, Development Manager at United Way of West Florida

Blaise Moehl is a Development Manager at United Way of West Florida, where he works to achieve fundraising and engagement goals through community and corporate partnerships. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from the University of West Florida and certifications in Community Engagement and Resource Development from NeighborWorks America. 

Before joining the United Way team, Blaise spent seven years working in communications and development at Pensacola Habitat for Humanity and is a proud AmeriCorps alumnus. Blaise currently serves on the Association of Fundraising Professionals, West Florida Chapter, and as a Community Ambassador for The Student Conservation Association. He has been recognized as an Independent News Rising Star and has received the Gold Level of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

National Philanthropy Day Chair
Elizabeth Gray, Stewardship Coordinator at the University of West Florida

Elizabeth Gray serves as the Stewardship Coordinator (donor relations) for the University of West Florida, under the Division of University Advancement. She is an alum of UWF, earning her undergraduate degree in communications, and is currently pursuing her graduate degree in the university's Strategic Communications and Leadership program. Active in the community, Elizabeth is also on the board for AFP, West Florida Chapter, serving as chair for National Philanthropy Day, and serves within the Junior League of Pensacola.

In her downtime, you can find Elizabeth relaxing with her dog Olivia and husband Nick or spending quality time with her family and friends. She also enjoys baking, watching reruns of The Office, and completing a challenging puzzle.

National Philanthropy Day Co-Chair 
Caitlin Newby, Special Events Manager at Children’s Home Society of Florida

Caitlin Newby has been with Children’s Home Society since October 2019 as a Special Events Manager. She is a graduate of the University of West Florida and is currently enrolled in a graduate program at UWF. This is her second year in AFP and her first time serving on the board.



Communications Chair

Becca McKeithen, Founder and Executive Director at FoodRaising Friends, Inc.

Becca McKeithen is a dedicated and compassionate community advocate. Her deepest passion is improving the lives of children. She has done this as an educator throughout the state of FL, most recently in Santa Rosa County. Through education, she found unmet needs in her students, and in 2016 she and Kellie Hardy founded FoodRaising Friends, Inc. Since that time, FRF has become a significant and important Non-Profit, 501 C3.

Beyond that, she is an unconventional wife and mother and the crazy aunt to her all her nephews. Through her personal and professional passions, she has become a proven leader in both community and educational settings and serves on the Board of Directors for The Arc Gateway, Community Board for Health, Nutrition, and Family with the University of Florida IFAS Santa Rosa County, the Emergency Food Distribution Task Force with Santa Rosa Emergency Management, and the Policy Council for Head Start of Santa Rosa County.

Membership Chair
Christie Parker, Senior Director of Development at Covenant Care

Christie Parker serves as the Senior Director of the Foundation at Covenant Care. She oversees Covenant Care’s fundraising activities in 80 counties throughout Florida and Alabama. Christie’s favorite part of her current position is making a difference in the lives of the patients and families Covenant Care serves and working with the wonderful donors that make the programs possible. Christie has been with the Covenant Care Foundation for over five years.

Before her role at Covenant Care, Christie worked for two local non-profits in Atlanta and South Carolina. Christie earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in family issues from Georgia State University. Christie serves as the Membership Chair for AFP of West Florida, as well as a committee member of the Development division of
the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)

Education Program Chair
Cathy Brown, Associate Director of Education at The Fund Raising School, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI 

Cathy (usually) travels the world teaching face-to-face and online professional development courses through The Fund Raising School at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. The pandemic moved her online full-time for 2020-2021.  Cathy has 20+ years’ experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, board service, and volunteering in a wide range of subsectors.  She also has career experience in classroom instruction ranging from elementary school through college.

Past President
Maegan Leonard, Development Specialist at Baptist Healthcare Foundation

Maegan Leonard serves as the Development Specialist for Baptist Health Care Foundation. She is responsible for contributing to the Foundation's overall financial growth and fundraising initiatives, focusing on developing and managing the Helping Hands annual team member giving campaign and its initiatives. She also serves as the Foundation marketing liaison and grant writer and oversees the Foundation's financial processes and fund management. 

Maegan previously was the Director of Membership for the Greater Pensacola Chamber and is a graduate of the University of West Florida with a journalism degree. She is an active volunteer for several community organizations and a Leadership Pensacola Alumni, Class of 2016

Board Member Emeritus
Laverne Baker, President of Laverne Baker and Associates

Board Member Emeritus
Patrice S. Whitten, CFRE, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs and Special Assistant to the President at Pensacola State College