2023-2024 SoCalCGP Officers

President
Michele A. Bignardi, CFRE, CSPG

(she/her/hers)
Senior Vice President
Netzel Grigsby Associates

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.

President-Elect
Cris Lutz, CSPG, CAP

(she/her/hers)
Assistant Vice President of Gift Planning
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens

Cris Lutz is the Assistant Vice President of Gift Planning at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, which she joined in 2005. Prior to The Huntington, she served as Director of Individual Giving at Big Brothers Big Sisters, among other roles. Cris has served on the board of directors of the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA) and the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners (LACGP). She earned her master's degree in psychology from California State University, Fullerton, and bachelor's degrees in art history and social science from the University of California, Irvine. Cris is a certified specialist in planned giving (CSPG) and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP).

Immediate Past President
Patience Boudreaux, CSPG, CFRE

(she/her/hers)
President
Rideout Foundation at Adventist Health and Rideout

Patience Boudreaux, MBA, CSPG, CFRE is President of the Rideout Foundation at Adventist Health and Rideout in Marysville, CA, which serves the residents of Sutter and Yuba Counties and the broader community. She leads their ambitious campaign to bring new technological advancements and renovations to the hospital, as well as provide for patient care and community health initiatives. She has a background in planned giving with a focus on gifts of complex assets and bequests, as well as major and annual giving. She earned her BA at Johns Hopkins University and graduate degree at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Southern California Council of Charitable Gift Planners in 2022 and has previously served the organization in the roles of President, Programming Chair, and Co-Chair of the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference. She currently serves on the board for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

Treasurer
Christopher Cole, CSPG

(he/him/his)
Executive Director, Planned Giving
National Public Radio

Chris joined NPR in January of 2018 as Executive Director, Planned Giving. Based in California, Chris’s role primarily is to increase planned and major gifts through working with NPR donors, individual giving officers and member stations. Prior to joining NPR, Chris was the Executive Director of Philanthropy at Casa Colina Hospital in Pomona. He brings nearly 20 years of planned and major gift experience including work with organizations such as Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, World Vision and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Chris resides in Glendora, CA along with his wife, Alicia, two children, and two golden retrievers.

Secretary & Mentorship Chair
Jim Jacobs

(he/him/his)
Retired Associate Director, Planned Giving
Claremont McKenna College

Jim recently retired from Claremont McKenna College, where he was responsible for identifying new alumni estate gifts, overseeing the legacy society and working on the College's 50th reunion, among other responsibilities. He is enjoying the opportunity to continue to serve on the Board while maintaining contact with the colleagues and friends he has made throughout the years serving LACGP as a volunteer. He now is an active volunteer with a number of organizations including the Angeles Volunteer Association, the Big Ten Club of Southern California, his church, the Northwestern and Wisconsin alumni clubs of Los Angeles, and the Los Angeles Sports and Entertainment Commission. In addition, he is an active cyclist and enjoys traveling with his wife, Jackie - a recent highlight was a two-week trip to England and Scotland.

Mentorship Co-Chair
Robert W. Woolley

(he/him/his)
Senior Director of Development
Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association

Robert W. Woolley serves as the Senior Director of Development for the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) where he connects donors with their passions for animal welfare, species conservation and education while stewarding GLAZA’s Selig Legacy Society.  During his 20 years as an advancement professional, Rob has also served as the lead fundraiser for the USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies, led the development of The Mirman School for Gifted Children’s professional development and communications programs, and strengthened annual giving and alumni association programs at Harvard-Westlake School and USC.  In addition to LACGP, Rob is currently the Development Committee Chair for the Tournament of Roses Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association where Rob has served annually as a volunteer member since the 1996 Rose Parade.

Legislative Chair
Cynthia Hizami, JD

(she/her/hers)
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.

National Liaison
Janice Burrill, JD, CAP

(she/her/hers)
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.

Marketing and Communications Chair
Ryan LaCanfora

Integrated Marketing Specialist – West Coast Region
Crescendo Interactive, Inc.

Ryan LaCanfora serves as the Integrated Marketing Specialist for the West Coast Region at Crescendo Interactive, where he leads comprehensive gift planning integrated marketing services tailored for all non-profit organizations. With an expert touch, he guides nonprofits in harnessing the power of integrated marketing and building dynamic planned giving initiatives. Ryan is an active speaker and educator, sharing his expertise in eMarketing, gift planning, and fostering donor relationships through engaging seminars. Bringing a wealth of experience from the business arena, Ryan has a background of 5 years in project management coupled with specialized expertise in accounting. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management & Administration from Grand Canyon University.

Inclusion Chair
Tony Truong

(he/him/his)
Asst. VP for Advancement
University of Redlands

Tony is a philanthropy executive with two decades of experience across higher education, healthcare, social services, and the arts. He currently serves as Asst. VP for Advancement at the University of Redlands, overseeing major gifts, planned giving, and prospect research. He previously served at St. Jude Medical Center (Fullerton, CA), UC Riverside, and the Contemporary Austin (formerly the Austin Museum of Art). He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a past president of Charitable Gift Planners – Inland Southern California council. Tony lives in Riverside with four dogs and an indeterminate and varying number of fish.

   

Membership Chair
Lizzie Knol, JD

(she/her/hers)
Senior Gift Planning Officer
Caltech

Lizzie joined the Caltech Office of Gift Planning in July 2022, returning to her native Los Angeles. She received her BA in History and Sport Sociology as well as her JD from Indiana University. After experience in the fields of nonprofit legal services and university advancement and alumni relations, Lizzie began her professional development career in Annual Giving. She then moved into major gifts as the Senior Associate Director of Development for the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Comprehensive Cancer Center. Lizzie is an active volunteer leader, with past board service for a women’s giving circle and her local chapter of the Indiana University Alumni Association, as well as committee service for the National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers and Junior Leagues of Indianapolis and Los Angeles.

Volunteer Chair
Francine Lis

(she/her/hers)
Development Director
American Jewish Committee

Francine is the Development Director at American Jewish Committee (AJC) LA. Prior to joining AJC in March 2020, she has held leadership positions in a variety of nonprofits including as Director of Planned Giving, Legacy and Endowments for Anti-Defamation League (ADL) LA; the Director of Annual Giving for USC Law; Associate Director of Development and Public Affairs at Hebrew Union College and Director of Member Services at Southern California Grantmakers. Francine received her Bachelor of Arts degree from UCLA and earned a certificate in Corporate Community Involvement from Boston College and participated in the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies at Cal State Long Beach.

Volunteer Co-Chair
Monica Vogel Krieger, MA, CSPG

(she/her/hers)
Senior Planned Giving Officer
Environmental Defense Fund

Monica Vogel Krieger is Senior Planned Giving Officer for Environmental Defense Fund, a global nonprofit organization tackling climate change — the greatest challenge of our time. Monica has worked in fundraising for over 20 years and her passion is planned giving. Monica holds a B.S. in Speech Therapy and Audiology from University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, a M.A. in Education from Mills College, she is Certified Specialist in Planned Giving, and is a past president of Estate Planning Council of San Gabriel Valley.

Sponsorship Co-Chair 
Heidi Simpson-Sandoval

(she/her/hers)

Heidi Simpson-Sandoval is a Senior Client Strategist for BNY Mellon Wealth Management. In this role, she works with individuals, families, endowments, foundations, retirement plans and family offices to develop comprehensive financial solutions to meet their goals and objectives. Services include investment consulting and management, asset allocation, manager selection, custody, performance reporting and analytics, and investment and spending policy design.

Heidi rejoined the firm in 2020 and has more than 26 years of experience in the financial services industry. Her previous experience includes serving as an SVP/Regional Director for Northern Trust.

Heidi earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses. She currently sits on the Responsible Investing Advisory Board. She previously served a 5-year term on the Board of Directors for Los Angeles Master Chorale. Heidi currently serves on the Board of Directors for Pasadena Literary Alliance. She is a member and volunteer for Los Altos Auxiliary, National Charity League and La Canada Junior Women’s Organization.

Conference Chair
Jill Rode, CFRE

(she/her/hers)
Director of Legacy Giving
Music Academy of the West

Jill Rode has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising and nonprofit management at organizations including Girl Scouts, Santa Barbara Symphony, Santa Barbara Zoo, American Red Cross, and the YMCA. She currently serves as the Director of Legacy Giving at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. Jill has held her CFRE since 2000 and has been recognized as AFP’s Fundraiser of the Year. She has served as President of the Junior League of Santa Barbara and President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties Chapter. She currently serves on the board of the Goleta Depot and volunteers for Flower Empower as well as the Planned Parenthood book sale.

Conference Co-Chair
Kimberly Jetton, MNM, CFRE

President and Founder
Pleiades Nonprofit Advisors

Kimberly is a national award-winning leader in fund development and gift planning. She is Founder and President of Pleiades Nonprofit Advisors, where she helps nonprofits with gift planning implementation, marketing, and strategies. She has served as the Executive Director of the Orange Catholic Foundation, Director of Planned Giving for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and as Director of Advancement in the Archdiocese of Denver.  Kimberly holds a CFRE certification, a Master's in Nonprofit Management from Regis University, and a BA in Political Science from the University of Arizona. Kimberly is a proud veteran of the Colorado Army National Guard.

Programming Chair
Tammy Sims Johnson, CAP ®

(she/her/hers)
Vice President, Philanthropic Services
Santa Barbara Foundation

Tammy is Vice President, Philanthropic Services at the Santa Barbara Foundation, providing overall leadership and management for the Foundation’s development, donor relations, and communications teams. Prior to joining SBF, she worked at the California Community Foundation as Director of Donor Relations and Senior Philanthropic Advisor responsible for stewarding relationships with individuals, families, and corporations to help them achieve their vision for meaningful giving. Tammy holds a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Southern California, and a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) designation from the American College of Financial Services. She also graduated from the USC Marshall School of Business with a Master of Science in Social Entrepreneurship.

Programming Co-Chair
Aaron Levinson

Vice President, Planned Giving
Los Angeles Jewish Health

Aaron Levinson currently serves as Vice President, Planned Giving for Los Angeles Jewish Health, formerly known as Los Angeles Jewish Home. Aaron is a past president of the Southern California Council of Charitable Gift Planners and also served as an instructor of planned giving at UCLA Extension. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from UC San Diego, his Master’s Degrees from Hebrew Union College and the University of Southern California, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Hebrew Union College in 2020. He is also a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving.

Member-at-Large
Barbara Gunning, CSPG

(she/her/hers)
Philanthropy Consultant

Barbara Gunning is an independent philanthropy consultant who previously held the position of Regional Director of Advancement, Southern California and Arizona for Jesuits West where she solicited six-and-seven figure annual gifts for the Jesuit province.  Additionally, Barbara co-led a $27 million capital campaign effort in Southern California 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.

Administrator
Deb Johnson


Administrator
LACGP

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.