General Meetings

The Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners holds five General Meetings each year. Our General Meetings are similar to attending a one-day conference on gift planning. Attendees benefit from hearing three different presentations with the early morning presentation geared towards the attendees’ choice of either beginner or advanced level. Come learn the latest concepts and techniques to help your donors or clients make planned gifts that meet their financial and philanthropic goals.

Date Thursday, January 16, 2020
Time 8:00 am - 1:15 pm

Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City
555 Universal Hollywood Drive
Universal City, CA 91608

REMINDER: LACGP offers validated SELF parking only.  If you choose to use the hotel valet you will be charged the difference in price and will be asked to pay the valet directly.

Click here for directions

General Meeting Agenda

8:00 a.m.     Registration

8:30 a.m.     Advanced Case Study & Mini-Round Table
                  (Held Concurrently)

10:00 a.m.   Morning Session

11:15 a.m.   Coffee and Networking

11:45 a.m.   Lunch

12:15 p.m.   Afternoon Session

1:15 p.m.    Adjournment

Advanced Case Study

Presenters: Barbara Gunning and Michele Bignardi
Session Title: How Planned Gifts Can Contribute to a Capital Campaign
Session Description: When an organization undertakes a capital campaign, managing cash flow to pay for the new building is an important focus, so the default strategy is to seek and secure outrights gifts and pledges with gift fulfillment to be realized within a few years. This presentation will share case studies that demonstrate opportunities to incorporate planned giving vehicles – including testamentary gifts – into successful building campaigns.

Barbara Gunning
For over five years, Barbara has been the Regional Director of Advancement, Southern California and Arizona, for Jesuits West responsible for major gifts and planned gifts in her territory, which generates $3 million annually. Her first two years at Jesuits West was spent working on a capital campaign, which raised $27 million for renovations and expansion of the Jesuit Novitiate in Culver City and the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center and Regis Infirmary in Los Gatos. Formerly, Barbara worked as the Sr. Director of Advancement for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles, and she spent 6 ½ years working at Loyola High School as Director of Advancement, Major and Planned Giving. Barbara also was a Sr. Financial Advisor for 14 years at Merrill Lynch in Beverly Hills, UBS Financial Services in Century City, and Dean Witter in downtown LA. She also had a career in entertainment, producing TV and cable movies. Born in Philadelphia, PA, Barbara holds a B.A. degree from Marymount College in Tarrytown, New York (which merged in 2003 with Fordham University) and is a Certified Specialist in Planned Giving since 2007.

Michele Bignardi
Michele is a senior vice president who works with a variety of non-profit organizations to enhance their fundraising strategies and increase the impact of their work. 

Michele is passionate about the power of philanthropy to build better, stronger communities.

Michele has served as lead counsel on a number of successful feasibility studies and capital campaign projects including:

  •  Providence Holy Cross Medical Center - $7M capital campaign
  •  Los Angeles LGBT Center - feasibility study and $57M capital campaign
  •  Valley Beth Shalom - campaign assessment and $30M capital campaign
  •  Variety Boys & Girls Club - campaign assessment and $10M capital campaign

Michele earned a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) designation in 2009 and a CSPG (Certified Specialist in Planned Giving) in 2015. Michele trains and coaches both professional and volunteer fundraising. She has been an instructor with the UCLA Fundraising Extension program, and she is on the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals - Orange County Chapter and has co-chaired the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference. She received the 2019 Outstanding Leader Award from the Southern California Association of Healthcare Development.

Michele is a member of the Board of Managers of the San Pedro & Peninsula YMCA, a branch of the Los Angeles Metropolitan YMCA. She has served in every major leadership role included board chair, and has provided volunteer leadership to two successful capital campaigns. In 2018, Michele was inducted into the Golden Book of Distinguished Service in recognition for her 20+ years of volunteer service, which noted her commitment and emphasis on the role that the Annual Support Campaign provides to the volunteer leadership development process.

Michele holds a BA in Labor Studies from San Francisco State University.

Mini Round Table

The Mini Round Table provides an opportunity to brainstorm, network and learn together with LACGP mentors and peers who seek a deeper understanding of the field. Bring a question and together we will generate an array of helpful answers.

Moderator: Jay Harvill, Methodist Hospital
Session Description: Wisdom comes to us through our own personal experiences. But isn’t it great to learn from someone else’s experiences? Join us to learn and enjoy an informal conversation about the good, the bad and the “could be betters” we’ve all encountered.

Jay A. Harvill
Jay is the director of gift planning at Methodist Hospital Foundation and has been leading the organization's gift and estates program since 2005. He came to the non-profit world from a career in banking and has been enjoying his service in the charitable field for the past 20 years. Prior to his current role, Jay was director of gift planning at Braille Institute, where he served for seven years. Jay has been an active member with PPP-LA since 1996. Jay has served on the board, and later as president. Over the years, Jay continued to participate in his field through various committees in both the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference and National Philanthropy Day. Jay has also served on the boards of Arcadia Rotary Club, San Gabriel Valley Habitat for Humanity, and as a member of the Fiduciary Round Table and the San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council. He particularly enjoyed joining Habitat on a mission trip to Nepal to build homes for the underprivileged in Pokhara. When not working, Jay enjoys peak bagging in the California mountains and woodworking in his man cave with his son, but his greatest joy is his faith and family.

Morning Session

Presenters: Stephanie Buckley and Curt Portzel, J.D., M.T.S.
Session Title: 
All the Dirt on Real Estate Gifts to Nonprofits
Session Description: Real estate, especially in certain geographic areas like Southern California, can represent a significant portion of a donor's assets. If vetted properly, real estate can make up a significant portion of a charity's annual fundraising goals. In this session, learn from Curt Portzel and Stephanie Buckley about the ins and outs of real estate gifts. Discover how to go about assessing whether a gift of real estate is worth pursuing, best practices for performing due diligence, and working with the nonprofit's decision-makers. Also, which types of property gifts work well to meet donor's charitable goals.

Stephanie Buckley
Stephanie Buckley serves as Senior Vice President and Senior Regional Fiduciary Manager of Philanthropic Services within The Private Bank at Wells Fargo. Stephanie leads a team of experienced specialists that provides philanthropic advice to Wells Fargo clients throughout the Southwest and California Regions.  Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Ms. Buckley worked at Pepperdine University for over 10 years as an associate vice chancellor of the Center for Estate and Gift Planning.  Stephanie has worked in philanthropy for more than 18 years.

Ms. Buckley earned a BA degree in Economics with high honors from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a JD with a specialization in business law from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and an LLM in taxation with honors from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Ms. Buckley is a member of the State Bar of California, on the editorial board for Planned Giving Today, a former trustee for Heifer International Foundation and a past president for both the Los Angeles Council for Charitable Gift Planners and the Planned Giving Council of Ventura County. She serves on the faculty of the American Institute for Philanthropic.

Curt Portzel, J.D., M.T.S.
Curt is the Executive Director of the Center for Estate and Gift Planning at Pepperdine. Curt's responsibilities include structuring charitable gifts, managing and overseeing the planned giving office, working with advisors, and providing strategic advice and consultation to the Senior Vice President for Advancement on planned giving and fundraising policies.

Curt also serves as Vice President of Wave Services, Inc., a supporting organization of Pepperdine University that serves as the University's trust company, managing approximately $50,000,000 in trust assets. 

Prior to joining the Center for Estate and Gift Planning, Curt was in private law practice concentrating on complex commercial real estate transactions. He is an alumnus of Pepperdine University (BA, Political Science) and Emory University (JD, MTS), and is admitted to practice law in California and Georgia. Curt has presented at legal and planned giving venues, including the Pepperdine School of Law and the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference. He has published in multiple periodicals, including Planned Giving Today, Journal of Law and Religion, and Journal of Church and State. Curt is an adjunct professor of Political Science at Pepperdine's Seaver College. 

Afternoon Session

Presenter: Kimberley Valentine
Session Title: Planned Giving Donors CAN Give Now!
Session Description: Too often, our leadership looks at the Planned Giving donor or prospect as only able to provide support well into the future. Your assignment, should you choose to accept, is to understand and facilitate gifts to support your organization now, those made from assets (stock, real estate, IRA accounts, and others) and not just cash.  Turn your planned giving donor into both an annual fund supporter and the planned giving donor of your dreams.

Kimberley Valentine 
Kimberley joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association (LA Phil) in March 2015 as the Associate Director of Gift Planning and Principal Gifts. In January 2018, she was asked to add oversight of the Major Gifts Team to her responsibilities and as such became Director, Leadership Gifts. She oversees strategic planning for transformational gifts in support of the LA Phil: 100, Centennial Campaign in addition to cultivating significant legacy gifts.

Prior to joining the LA Phil, she served as Director of Gift Planning and Principal Gifts at Scripps College in Claremont, California for three years and the Director of Planned Giving at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California for ten- and one-half years. She is a graduate of UCLA with a BA in Psychology and Pepperdine University with a Masters in Business Administration. She has been a member of the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning of Greater Los Angeles and the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southern California since 2002. She began her career in support of planned gifts in 1998 at the Palm Springs Desert Museum.

Kimberley has worked in the non-profit fundraising sector since 1998. Her work has focused on the cultivation of gifts made through estate planning where she has developed a special skill set working with aging donors. Seeing a very specific need to support and counsel donors in their senior years, she has parlayed her experience into a new career providing services ranging from simple bill payment and life management to serving as a successor trustee, trust administrator and "quarterback" in all manner of family dynamics and situations. She received her Professional Fiduciary training in 2017/18, at UC Riverside, license in 2018 (#1071) and is an active member of Professional Fiduciary Assn of California. Her new venture: Valentine Trust Management, provides an opportunity to assist donors, clients and colleagues at non-profits across Southern California in trust administration, resolution of probate matters, successor trustee on behalf of client or charity.

Background: Kimberley grew up in Southern California and Arizona and currently resides in Altadena and has one adult son. She serves on the boards of the National Assn. of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP), the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners (LACGP), Camerata Pacifica (chamber music), and Mt. San Antonio Gardens (full-service retirement community) in Claremont, California. She is a member of the Professional Fiduciary Assn of California as well as local chapters of the Fiduciary community, ProVisors and the Los Angeles Estate Planning Council.


$75.00     Members with advance registration
$99.00     Nonmembers with advance registration
$105.00   Walk-in Registration

Continuing Education Credits

The Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners is approved as a continuing education provider of MCLE credit by the State Bar of California; CPE continuing education credits for CPAs; CSPG continuing education credits for Planned Giving; CFRE continuing education credits for Fund Raising Executives. An application for continuing education credits for CFP® is submitted when the course content is within the CFP® Board guidelines. 

Cancellation Policy

Please note: Cancellations will be accepted until 48 hours prior to the event. A $25 administrative fee will be imposed. Cancellations received after the 48 hour deadline are non-refundable.

Speaker/Sponsor Opportunities

Qualified presenters are asked to contact Michele Bignardi at [email protected] or Barbara Gunning at [email protected] to discuss their presentation material.

General Membership Meeting Sponsorship Opportunities:
The Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners has five membership meetings scheduled during the year (January, March, April, September & November). The cost of sponsorship is $1,500 and a sponsor receives the following benefits:

  1. Recognized as a meeting sponsor on banner prominently displayed at all five meetings for the year
  2. Recognized on podium sign at the sponsored meeting
  3. Recognized by name, logo and description of services in bulletin for sponsored meeting
  4. Recognition on LACGP web site page corresponding with sponsored meeting
  5. Opportunity to introduce both speakers at the sponsored meeting
  6. Opportunity to display materials at exhibit table at the sponsored meeting
  7. Free meeting registration for one sponsor representative at sponsored meeting

To discuss General Meeting sponsorship opportunities, please contact Linda Mazur at [email protected]