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William (Bill) Miller

Chief Executive Officer

Bill is passionate about working with nonprofit organizations. He has assisted regional, national, and international organizations with major gift initiatives, annual giving programs, planning and feasibility studies, development audits and philanthropic capability assessments, endowment programs, board training and development, corporate and foundation relations, prospect research, and campaign management. During his career, he has been involved with fund development projects that have raised more than $1 billion.

Bill has received a number of awards for his contributions to philanthropy and fundraising including the coveted Robert J. Smythe Award for Outstanding Professional Fundraiser. He regularly presents at industry conferences, authors articles for leading nonprofit and professional publications, and serves as a guest speaker on radio segments as well as podcasts. Bill has taught at Duquesne University and started an internship program with Carnegie-Mellon University students interested in philanthropic resource development.

Bill also has many years of experience working as a nonprofit management and fundraising consultant with CCS, which is one of the largest and most respected international fundraising firms in the country. During his time with CCS, he served as the Executive Director for the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh’s $125 million capital and endowment campaign, which has received more than $233 million in philanthropic commitments and was, at the time, the most successful Catholic fundraising initiative on record. As a consultant, Bill also managed an international campaign for a nonprofit organization based in Paris, France. This particular campaign, which was conducted in both the United States and Europe, solicited gifts in various currencies and involved the management and training of volunteers on two continents.

Bill lives with his daughter in Rahway, NJ.

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Clarinda Joseph-Cumberbatch

Chief Operating Officer

Clarinda Joseph-Cumberbatch leads the company’s operations, with responsibility for business functions, human resource management and fiscal oversight. She also oversees the company’s ongoing restructuring and expansion efforts.

In her previous role with the Community Charter School of Paterson, she served as Chief Operating Officer with direct responsibility for the company’s increasing development and expansion efforts to support a strong foundation in educating the young scholars of Paterson, NJ.

Clarinda has focused her career around public service utilizing her skillsets in the areas of finance and operations to serve in both primary and higher education sectors.

Clarinda holds both a master’s degree and bachelor’s degrees in business administration from Centenary University.

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James M. Gurland, J.D.

Chief Development Officer

James Gurland currently serves as Chief Development Officer at the Kean University Foundation where his primary focus is oversight of the development and execution of fundraising strategies in alignment with an overarching strategic plan. This includes the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of major gifts for the University, as well as managing and leading all aspects of planned giving. Amongst James’ achievements is his intricate role in securing the largest gift in Kean University history.

James previously held the positions of National Director at the Jerusalem Foundation, Inc., and Executive Director of the New Jersey Region at the American Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science.

James holds a Juris Doctor degree from Seton Hall University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the world of development, James practiced law as a litigator in New Jersey specializing primarily in employment law.

James recently concluded a 3-year term as President of the Board of Governors of Daughters of Israel, a nursing facility which offers comprehensive services including long-term care, sub-acute rehabilitation, hospice/palliative care, and living with assistance.

In his spare time, James is a proud father to his son and enjoys travelling as often as possible.

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Anne Stern

Senior Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

Anne is devoted to helping nonprofit organizations realize their dreams. Being a product of a public university system drew her to Kean University Foundation, where she is re-establishing a corporate and foundation relations function.

Prior to coming aboard, Anne raised and stewarded $31,000,000 as development officer at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions – American Red Cross, The Art Institute of Chicago (two years), Boys & Girls Clubs of America (24 years), Phoenix House (three years), and WNET/Thirteen. She taught fundraising at Columbia College Chicago, New York University, Pace University, and Purchase University. She also served as Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s first fundraising consultant to its affiliate as well as a founding member of Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Diversity Council where she drafted its first nationwide strategic plan.

Anne holds a B.A. with Honors from Harpur College of Binghamton University where she majored in music. She earned her M.B.A. at that institution’s Graduate School of Business, with concentrations in organizational development, marketing, and arts management.

A resident of Chatham, New Jersey, Anne is a life member of the National Council of Jewish Women. As a Craft Yarn Council of America certified instructor, she also teaches crochet.

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Alissa DiScala

Director of Annual Giving

Alissa found her love for philanthropy as a freshman in college. While attending Saint Peter’s University she was hired as a phoneathon student. With her early success as a phoneathon student, she continued to work in the field of educational fund development for twelve years. For most of her career she has developed and implemented annual giving programs. For the past eight years Alissa has worked at Kean where she closed major gifts, planned gifts, relaunched the phone program, managed direct mail appeals, campus community campaigns, and in April 2019 launched the University’s first Day of Giving.

Prior to joining the Kean University Foundation, Alissa held positions at Mount Saint Mary Academy and Saint Peter’s University. After graduating from Saint Peter’s, she joined the Advancement team as the Annual Giving Officer. After some time at her alma mater, Alissa decided she wanted to make a change and go into alumni relations, where she managed the alumnae relations office for Mount Saint Mary Academy.

At the Association of Fundraising Professionals 2018 Excellence in Fundraising awards luncheon, Alissa received the award for Outstanding Young Professional Fundraiser.

Alissa earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from Saint Peter’s University.

Alissa lives in her hometown of North Plainfield with her husband, Mike and their two children, Dominic and Ella.

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Ofelia Gomes

Director of Data Management & Analytics

Ofelia has been in the nonprofit space for nearly 20 years. Ofelia started working with the Kean University Foundation as a student worker after volunteering with the brick campaign for the class of 2001.

Ofelia is responsible for leading the data management functions and coordinating activities related to the planning, execution, collection, and cleaning of donor and prospect data. In her roles, she oversees activities leading to the final delivery of clean data for the purposes of reports, publications, and Foundation fundraising financials (actual and budget). Ofelia also has a leadership role in defining processes and procedures for maintaining donor and financial prospect information. She coordinates, develops, and maintains all Information systems and technological applications to meet the current as well as the ongoing needs of the Kean University Foundation.

Ofelia’s earned her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Information Systems and also holds a master’s degree in Graphic Communication. She lives with her children in Newark, NJ.

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Celia Israel

Executive Administrator to the CEO & Manager of Board Relations

Celia brings a combination of passion and professionalism to her dual roles at the Kean University Foundation. Having accumulated more than a decade’s-worth of experience supporting executives at a C-Suite level, Celia relies upon a wealth of organizational and time-management skills, as well as expertise in the realm of project coordination and attention to detail, to ensure she fulfills her responsibilities as Executive Administrator to the CEO.

In her role as Manager of Board Relations, Celia calls upon her ability to juggle multiple high-priority assignments while remaining an available, knowledgeable resource to all members of the Kean University Foundation Board of Directors, ensuring all remain well-versed and confident in their respective roles.

Prior to joining the Kean University Foundation, Celia spent more than eight years in the world of community banking where she provided support and project assistance to the various departments which reside beneath the Risk Management umbrella, such as Compliance and Cybersecurity. While there, her responsibilities were varied, much as they are now, and she took great pride in developing her talents – from the succinct manner in which she addresses correspondence, to the consummate presentation of board materials; from building a positive rapport with coworkers and clients, alike, to gaining advanced knowledge in the realm of computer software and technology.

Celia holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Advertising Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology, a State University of New York, and enjoys flexing her design and editorial skills for both business and personal purposes. She lives in South Amboy, New Jersey, with her husband, daughter, and crazy dog, Binsky.

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Edward W. Ahart II

Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations

Edward Ahart currently serves as the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at the Kean University Foundation with responsibility of securing philanthropic resources through foundational grants and bridging relationships between industry and academia.

In his previous role, Edward worked in the Development and Alumni Relations office at the University of Delaware. In addition to various major giving driven responsibilities, he worked to play a key role in building corporate relationships that helped establish a new masters of science program in the Life Sciences. Prior to his time at the University of Delaware, Edward held fundraising positions in various New Jersey non-profit organizations including Junior Achievement, the American Cancer Society and The Arc. He has also served on the Board of Trustees for the Old Greenwich Cemetery in Stewartsville, NJ since 2016.

Edward holds a masters degree in public administration & non-profit management from Fairleigh Dickinson University as well as a bachelors degree in sociology & cultural anthropology from Stockton University and studied classical archaeology and architecture in Athens, Greece.

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Tara McGowan

Manager of Special Events & Interim Associate Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations

Tara joined the Kean University Foundation in 2022 as the Manager of Special Events. Before starting with the Foundation, Tara worked in corporate events for four years. In this role, she had the opportunity to travel to manage conferences, coordinate exciting events, from teambuilding activities to historically accurate dinner parties, and even manage virtual conferences. Tara often had to toggle back-and-forth onto different client projects, granting her the comprehensive experience in special events, meeting management and sponsorship management.

While Tara’s interest in events began at a young age, she developed her knowledge by obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies from Stockton University. During her time at Stockton University, Tara was a student worker for the Campus Center’s Office of Event Services. It was in this setting that Tara grew interested in working in events within a university environment.

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Molly McGarry

Director of Annual Giving

Molly currently holds the position of Director of Annual Giving. She manages a critical role for the Foundation by seeking funds to increase unrestricted support. Molly is responsible for the planning, execution and management of the comprehensive annual giving program which includes cultivating, soliciting and stewarding the Kean University community.

Most recently, Molly served as Interim Director of Advancement and Director of Annual Giving for The Elisabeth Morrow School (EMS). Prior to being at EMS, Molly held a principal tenured position at the Holy Name Medical Center Foundation as Manager of Development where she consistently achieved results across all individual giving programs, including Grateful Patient, Employee and the Founders Circle Giving Society.

Molly is a high performing, results-driven, fundraising generalist with experience in annual giving, capital campaigns, grant writing, and special events, as well as volunteer and board partnerships and committees. Molly received a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from York College of Pennsylvania and currently lives in Union City with her boyfriend, Brian, and their dog, Fiona.

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Eileen M. Cotter

Philanthropy Officer

A passionate believer in the power of education to change lives, Eileen has built her career in educational fundraising and management. She has assisted many individuals in making impactful contributions that open a world of opportunity for students while advancing the mission of the organizations she is privileged to serve. She is especially inspired by those whose generosity has expanded the reach and continue to build the world-class education available at Kean University.

Eileen began her career at the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, serving private elementary and high schools in New York’s most impoverished neighborhoods. She has served at Saint Peters University, Middlesex County College and the Associate Alumnae of Douglass College. While coordinating campaigns that consistently exceeded expectations, she developed expertise in working with individuals, organizations, corporations, and foundations to increase the reward and deepen the impact of their philanthropy.

A graduate of Fairfield University, Eileen is a member of the National Association of Fundraising Professionals and the New Jersey Council of Charitable Gift Planners. She lives in Fanwood, NJ with her husband and son.