Treasurer & Advocacy Chair
Michael J. Buckley, CFRE
A career fundraiser, Michael J. Buckley, CFRE is a non-profit consultant, coach and speaker whose work focuses on small and medium-sized nonprofit organizations. He has assisted non-profits across a broad spectrum of focus areas increase dollars, exposure and capacity to support the work of their organization. As the Founder and Managing Partner of The Killoe Group, Mike's extensive experience includes annual campaign audits and management, capital campaign leadership, feasibility studies, interim and ad-hoc program leadership, board governance, strategic planning and capacity building.
Mike is an effective and sought-after national level speaker and has been an invited presenter at an array of professional development opportunities including the National Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, the Northeast Annual Giving Conference, Mid-South Philanthropy Conference, among others.
He currently serves as a Member of the Board of Directors for the Association of Fundraising Professional’s Foundation, Past President and Treasurer of the AFP Hudson-Mohawk Chapter and President of the Board of Education for the Schools of the Albany Catholic Diocese. A native of Long Island, New York Mike now resides in Albany, New York with his wife Alison O’Brien Buckley.
Communications Chair & President-Elect
A Capital Region native and current Malta resident, Nicole Babie has been the Membership & Programs Director at the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation since 2015. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked in administrative roles at Turner Construction Company and The Exhibition Alliance.
She completed her Master of Arts in Museum Studies from Johns Hopkins University where she focused in museum education and exhibition design, with a particular interest in creating accessible programs and exhibits for the public. Nicole is also a graduate of Hartwick College with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art, focus in painting and photography, and Art History. During her free time she freelances with small businesses to manage their social media marketing and enjoys spending time with her husband and toddler. Nicole currently serves as the Communications Chair and President-Elect for the Association of Fundraising Professionals Hudson-Mohawk Chapter.
Capital Region Fundraising Day Chair
Julie Brennan currently serves as the Vice President of Development & Marketing at Berkshire Farm Center & Youth Services. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Work (Advanced Standing) from Siena College, as well as a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Organizational Management from the State University of New York in Albany. Additionally, Ms. Brennan has a Master’s Degree in Education from the College of Saint Rose. She has over 23 years of experience in the human service/child welfare field.
Ms. Brennan is a strong advocate for advanced education, social reform, and mentor programs. In her free time, she is an active member of her community and serves as a mentor to youth. She is a member of The BRIDGE Network which is a grassroots initiative launched by the Capital Region business professionals to promote and advance inclusion, diversity and equity in the workplace and greater community. She serves as a board member for the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). She is also known within the business district of the capital region and often provides free trainings and consultations for entrepreneurs interested in expanding their public relations and marketing efforts.
Ms. Brennan currently resides in the Albany area with her husband and two sons.
Lauren is the Assistant Director of the Re-Igniting Our Faith Foundation where, in coordination with the Executive Director, she manages the Re-Igniting Our Faith Campaign. Prior to this, she held development positions at the Alliance for Music Performance in Troy and Springbrook NY, Inc. From prospect research and crafting appeals to migrating databases, Lauren has worked on a bit of everything.
She is passionate about enhancing donor relations and increasing stewardship—as an extrovert, Lauren loves engaging with new people and learning their story! She earned her Masters in Business Administration in Strategic Management at Niagara University as well as a Bachelors in Music, focusing on Music Education at SUNY Fredonia. Lauren also completed the Emerging Nonprofit Leadership Accelerator through the Institute of Nonprofit Leadership and Community Development. An active member of the AFP Hudson-Mohawk Chapter since 2017, she is excited to bring her unique background to the Membership Chair position.
Originally from Western New York, Lauren now lives in the Albany area and has been enjoying everything that the Capital Region has to offer.
Jennifer L. Castellani, Ph.D.
Kyla Schmidt is the Founder and Executive Director of Mom Starts Here- a nonprofit organization serving mothers and parents in need in Upstate New York. Kyla is driven by a desire to see positive life change for under-resourced parents, by coming alongside them and providing much needed support as they pursue their goals. She believes that there is spectacular power in parenting, and that the parents of today's generation deserve healing and support as they raise the generation to come. In addition to her primary job functions, Kyla is a DIY enthusiast and teaches vocal lessons. She lives with her husband, two children, two giant dogs, and cat.
Emerging Leaders Chair
After gaining experience in nonprofit program development and implementation, Meghan obtained her Masters in Social Work from the University at Albany. Upon graduation, Meghan joined St. Paul’s Center as the agency’s Manager of Organizational Growth and Development. In this role, Meghan has continued to develop her passion for marketing, communications and fund development. As a young professional herself, Meghan is looking forward to chairing the young professionals group and is excited to continue to grow with AFP.
Alisa Brancatelli, LexisNexis
Alisa Brancatelli is a Senior Electronic Product Analyst with LexisNexis where she has worked since 1995.
Alisa earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from University at Albany with a major in English and double minor in Psychology and General Education studies. She continued her education at Sage Graduate College earning a Master of Science degree in School Counseling.
Raised in West Nyack, NY she now resides in Guilderland, NY with her husband and three children. She volunteers heavily in her children’s classrooms and at various school events. In addition, her family serves their community by volunteering at the local food pantry and Ronald McDonald house.