2020-2021 LACGP Officers

Patience Boudreaux, CSPG

Planned Giving Officer
Loma Linda University Health

Patience Boudreaux is a Planned Giving Officer at Loma Linda University Health, a role which allows her to manage a portfolio of planned giving donors as well as support major gifts officers in their prospect management for planned gifts. Prior to Loma Linda, her career has been focused on higher education, particularly private liberal arts institutions. Patience earned her BA at Johns Hopkins University, her MBA from the Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University, and is a certified specialist in planned giving.

Michele A. Bignardi, CFRE, CSPG

Senior Vice President
Netzel Grigsby Associates, Inc.

Michele is a senior vice president with Netzel Grigsby Associates who works with a variety of nonprofit organizations to enhance their fundraising strategies and increase the impact of their work. Michele has served as lead counsel on a number of successful feasibility studies and capital campaign projects. Michele trains and coaches both professional and volunteer fundraisers. She has been an instructor with the UCLA Fundraising Extension program. In additional to her involvement with LACGP, she is on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Orange County Chapter, and the Southern California Association of Healthcare Development. Michele holds a BA from San Francisco State University.

Immediate Past President
Mary O'Hare

Philanthropy Advisor

Mary O’Hare serves as a philanthropy advisor to nonprofits, allied industries and high net worth donors providing strategic planning and plan implementation, one-to-one counseling and educational programs to promote effective fundraising and giving. She joined the planned giving community in 2004 as an outgrowth of her passion for nonprofits. Prior to that she enjoyed a career emphasizing strategic counseling and education in the government and private sectors, including as Senior Vice President, heading up the Business and Legal Affairs group that she formed for Sony Pictures Entertainment’s five-company Digital Studios Division. Mary received her A.B. in communications from Stanford University and her J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Debbie P. Bills, CSPG

Associate Vice President, Planned Giving
City of Hope

Debbie is the Associate Vice President of Planned Giving at City of Hope. She provides oversight for the operational aspects of a sophisticated Planned Giving program, including estate and trust administration, life income gifts, marketing, data management & reporting. With over 20 years of planned giving experience, Debbie has worked in various facets of Advancement at institutions including Harvey Mudd College, California Institute of Technology, The Webb Schools, and Claremont Graduate University.  Debbie earned her bachelor’s degree at Pomona College and is a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving.  She is a current board member, past president, and former conference chair for the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners.

Linda Mazur

Assistant Vice President, Gift Planning
Pomona College

Linda Mazur leads the Gift Planning Office of Pomona College, her alma mater. Before joining Pomona’s planned giving team in 2010, she worked as an estate-planning attorney in private practice, chairing the Probate, Trust, and Estate Planning Section of the Beverly Hills Bar Association in 1995. She is a graduate of UCLA Law School.

Program Chair
Barbara Gunning, CSPG

Regional Director of Advancement
Southern California and Arizona
Jesuits West Province of the Society of Jesus

Barbara works at Jesuits West as the Regional Director of Advancement, Southern California and Arizona. At Jesuits West, she championed a $27 million capital campaign for renovations and expansion of the Jesuit Novitiate and the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center and Regis Infirmary. Barbara has also served as the Sr. Director of Advancement for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles; Director of Advancement, Major and Planned Giving, at Loyola High School; and a Sr. Financial Advisor for at Merrill Lynch, UBS Financial Services, and Dean Witter. Barbara holds a bachelor’s degree from Marymount College (which merged in 2003 with Fordham University) and is a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving.

Program Co-Chair
Allyson Simpson

Director of Development
Catholic Education Foundation
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Allyson joined the Archdiocese of Los Angeles as the Director of Development for the Catholic Education Foundation (CEF) in February 2019. Prior to joining CEF, she served as Vice President of Development and Communications at Huntington Medical Research Institutes in Pasadena, Senior Director of Gift Planning at Caltech, Associate Director of Gift Planning at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and the Director of Planned Giving at Scripps College. Allyson received both her B.A. and J.D. degree from the University of Southern California. She is a member of the California State Bar Association and is a past president of the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners.

Sponsorship Chair
Kelsey Picken, CFRE

Senior Director, Planned Giving
City of Hope

Kelsey Picken currently serves as Senior Director of Planned Giving at City of Hope. Prior to joining City of Hope, Kelsey has focused her fundraising career in higher education and arts institutions in and around Los Angeles. In addition to planned giving, Kelsey has a variety of experience working in membership and annual giving, as well as in teaching at the undergraduate level. Kelsey graduated from Grinnell College with degrees in History and Psychology, received an M.A. from Western Illinois University in Museum Studies, and will graduate in 2021 with a Ph.D. in Cultural Studies from Claremont Graduate University. Kelsey is a Certified Fund Raising Executive.

Sponsorship Co-Chair
Dasha Thomas, CSPG

Director of Gift Planning
The Fuller Foundation

Dasha has two decades of experience spanning the financial services and non-profit sectors. As Director of Gift Planning at The Fuller Foundation, she oversees all aspects of legacy giving and marketing. Dasha also led comprehensive legacy programs for Southern California Public Radio and The Music Center. Dasha holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and Russian Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a certified planned giving specialist.

Education Chair
Cynthia Hizami

Director of Planned Giving, West Coast
Jewish National Fund

Cynthia Hizami is the Director of Planned Giving for the West Coast for Jewish National Fund, a non-profit which raises money in America for programs, projects and infrastructure in Israel.  Over the course of her career, she has practiced as an attorney in many areas, including: estate and tax planning, business litigation, and civil litigation.  Cynthia received her B.A. at Tulane University and her J.D. from Tulane Law School.

Education Co-Chair
Francine Lis

Development Director
American Jewish Committee

Francine is the Development Director at the American Jewish Committee. Prior to joining AJC in March 2020, she served as Director of Planned Giving, Legacy and Endowments for the Anti-Defamation League in the Pacific Southwest Region; the Director of Annual Giving for USC Law; and Director of Development for Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters. She is currently pursuing a certified specialist in planned giving certificate through the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies at Cal State Long Beach. Francine received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and earned a certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College. Francine is a native Los Angelino, has a son and daughter and an adorable Pomeranian.

Marketing & Communications Chair

Andy Ragone

Integrated Marketing – West Coast Region U.S.A
Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

Making connections and building trust best describes Andy’s passion as a writer, speaker, leader, husband, and father. Andy comes to us with an executive, pastoral and digital-marketing background in the nonprofit arena. Upon earning his M.Div. (Master of Divinity) from Phoenix Seminary, Andy ventured out to learn the ins and outs of pastoring. This required finding the right people for the right roles, creating pathways to greater involvement and volunteerism, and developing future leaders for future expansion. As one of the champions of Integrated Marketing for Crescendo Interactive, Andy partners with clients to identify best practices which can move their efforts forward.


Membership Chair
Debbie Loveland, CSPG

Associate Advancement Director, Gift Planning
Sierra Club 

A native of Los Angeles and graduate of UC Davis, Debbie was a private banker and commercial lender for approximately 25 years. After a trust attorney friend suggested she go into planned giving, she attended the Certificate in Fundraising Program at UCLA along with the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving. Previously a planned giving officer at Occidental College, she has been an Associate Advancement Director of Gift Planning at the Sierra Club for nine plus years. A lover of the outdoors, she will proudly tell you, “I help people leave a legacy for the environment.”

National Liaison & Legislative Chair
Janice Burrill, J.D., CAP

Philanthropic Consultant
JB Consulting

Janice has served on the boards of many nonprofits both nationally and locally, including the Board of Directors of the National Committee on Planned Giving (now CGP) where she chaired the Public Affairs Committee which oversaw the “Leave a Legacy” national initiative. She is also past president of LACGP and former Chair of the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference. She is also a member of the Gift Planning Councils of Loyola Marymount University, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and the Catholic Education Foundation. She is an active volunteer and speaker within the philanthropic sector and participated in the first-ever White House Conference on Philanthropy.

Volunteer & Mentor Chair
James A. Jacobs

Associate Director, Planned Giving
Claremont McKenna College

At Claremont McKenna College, Jim is responsible for identifying new alumni estate gifts, working with donors on life income gifts, managing special events for the legacy society, and serving as a liaison each year to the 50th reunion. Jim previously held positions at Princeton University, the University of Chicago, and Occidental College. He studied at Northwestern University as an undergraduate and earned his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin. In addition to being a past chair of WRPGC, Jim volunteers with the Big Ten Club of Southern California, the American Red Cross as a platelet donor (226 units and counting), La Verne Heights Presbyterian Church, and the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission.

Conference Chair
Kimberley Valentine

Vice President, Chief Advancement Officer
Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

Kimberley serves as Vice President, Chief Advancement Officer of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona. She currently holds the role of Conference Co-Chair for the 2021 Western Regional Planned Giving Conference, having also served as a Conference Co-Chair in 2020 and previously in 2014 and 2015. She is a past president of the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners and Board Member and Treasurer of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. Her previous work includes leadership positions with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, and Scripps College. She also serves on the boards of Mt. San Antonio Gardens Retirement Community and Camerata Pacifica.

Conference Co-Chair
Carí Jackson Lewis, J.D., LL.M. (tax), TEP

Founder and Principal
California Philanthropic Consulting

Carí is the Founder and Principal of California Philanthropic Consulting, a philanthropic consultancy whose mission is to simplify the process of giving to maximize impact in our communities.  Carí provides culturally competent guidance to individuals, families, private foundations, and for-profit businesses to define and refine their philanthropic goals and to facilitate income, estate, and capital gains tax minimization through a variety of charitable giving vehicles. Carí is passionate about using a racial justice lens to create connections and build relationships between BIPOC-led and -serving nonprofit organizations and donors/grantmakers in the private, public, and philanthropic sectors. Carí received her A.B. from Dartmouth College, her J.D. from Fordham Law School, and her LL.M. in Taxation (with distinction) from Loyola Law School.

Deb Johnson


Deb Johnson is a high-performance senior leader with over 20 years of experience managing non-profit organizations. She has the ability to drive change to improve organizational performance and management. Deb has a strong track record of success in motivating and developing volunteers while optimizing operational results. She is a self-directed professional that takes pride in the transformation of a vision into reality while building a sustainable foundation for continued success. When not in the office, you can find Deb traveling, dancing, kayaking or gardening.