32nd Annual National Philanthropy Day Luncheon - Featuring Keynote Speaker Jason Lee, JD Esq., interim pres. and CEO, AFP International


Luncheon will feature Keynote Speaker Jason Lee, Esq., interim president and CEO, AFP International 

The Greater Dallas Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) will host the 32nd  annual luncheon “It’s Our Tomorrow,”  celebrating Dallas’ National Philanthropy Day – bringing together area nonprofits, volunteers, funders, foundations, business and community members to honor many of this city’s finest who give selflessly in support of numerous worthy causes – on Friday, November 10, 2017, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Hyatt Regency Dallas, Landmark Ballroom.

The 32nd annual luncheon will feature Jason Lee, JD Esq., interim president and CEO, AFP International as the keynote speaker. Lee represents over 33,000 individuals and organizations that raise more than $115 billion in charitable contributions every year around the world for countless causes. He will speak about the impact of charity and philanthropy.

“With Americans giving nearly $400 billion to charity every year, and charities making up 10 percent of the workforce, the charitable sector is playing a bigger role than ever in our future,” said Jason Lee. “The future belongs to all of us as we come together under the banner of philanthropy to improve our communities, our country and our world.”

Lee previously served as general counsel for AFP, where he increased its public visibility and awareness by developing political initiatives regarding fundraising and philanthropic issues. He also chairs the Charitable Giving Coalition, a Washington, DC-based consortium of nonprofit leaders dedicated to raising awareness on Capitol Hill about the value of the charitable deduction and its impact in supporting essential community services. He has successfully coordinated AFP’s efforts to persuade Congress to pass several important giving incentives, including the IRA Rollover.

“National Philanthropy Day is a special day set aside each year to recognize the great work of those who are active in the philanthropic community and make an impact our world,” said Luncheon Chair Meagan Burton.  “We are not only honoring some extraordinary award recipients, but we are also featuring an inspirational keynote speaker, whose presentation will serve as a powerful reminder of how each of us can make a difference.”

South Texas Money Management (STMM), Greater Dallas AFP’s first chapter sponsor, is premier sponsor of the luncheon.

“Dallas citizens are passionate, driven, and generous volunteers and philanthropists, but that’s not enough,” said Jeanie Wyatt, CFA, STMM’s founder and CEO. “We depend on our nonprofits to meet so many of our city’s most basic needs. With over 1,000 nonprofits throughout Dallas, it’s vital that we have a professional organization, like AFP, helping nonprofit fundraising professionals raise more money and do it in effective and ethical ways.”

Luncheon Chair Meagan Burton announces the 2017 award recipients:

For over 46 years, Outstanding Philanthropists Dr. Henry Estess and Sandra Estess, nominated by Texas Health Resources Foundation, have played an integral role in supporting Texas Health hospitals. Focusing on health and education, the couple has shown exceptional generosity with their time, money, and leadership for the benefit of others.  Dr. Estess served on the hospital’s medical staff for almost 30 years, is a founding member of the Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation and founding president of the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Plano. From 2005-2008, he served on the executive committee of the Legacy of Care Campaign, raising over $89 million to advance patient care at Texas Health hospitals in Allen, Dallas, and Plano. This effort and the Estess’ significant contributions resulted in the 460,000 sq. foot Hamon Tower, the special care nursery, main chapel, and the expansion of emergency services as well as the neurology, heart, and vascular departments, all at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. The couple also established the first endowment fund to Texas Health. Additionally, Dr. Estess has been president of the Dallas Zoological Society Board of Directors and a member of the Texas Environmental Defense Fund, Planned Parenthood North Texas and the Dallas Arboretum. Sandra served on the Texas Health Resources Foundation Board and is a lifetime member of Presby Partners, dedicated to nursing education. Passionate about improving healthcare for all children and an active board member for over 15 years, she is the recipient of Children’s Medical Center’s Distinguished Service to Children Award and also co-chaired the Children’s Medical Center Dallas $150 million wePromise Campaign. She is a founding board member of the Ronald McDonald House Dallas as well as Educational First Steps (EFS), a nonprofit transforming daycare centers in at-risk neighborhoods into nationally accredited preschools. With the Estess’ support, there are almost 100 child care centers and 77 home-based early education providers, and the organization exceeded its recent capital campaign goal. Presently Sandra serves on the boards of The Hillcrest Foundation and Southwestern Medical Foundation. The Estess’ most recent investment is an endowment to support the Children’s Medical Center Cancer Research Institute at UT Southwestern, fueling some of the brightest researchers changing the future of pediatric medicine.

For more than 110 years, Outstanding Corporation Neiman Marcus, nominated by Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), has been giving back to the community.  Their philanthropic legacy began in 1907 through founder Herbert Marcus’ generosity to SMU and the Dallas Opera. Today Neiman Marcus Group is dedicated to serving worthwhile causes within communities where their stores and distribution and operational facilities are located (over 100 across the U.S.).  With a strategic focus on youth arts education through the HeART of Neiman Marcus program (now 70 percent of the company’s charitable giving), $6.7 million has been provided to nonprofits providing youth arts education, reaching 1.26 million students across the U.S. and over 350,000 in North Texas. Neiman Marcus also supports charitable projects nationwide, assists in disaster relief efforts, works closely with Herbert Marcus Elementary School in DISD and is a sponsor of North Texas Giving Day. Through their charitable funds managed by CFT, Neiman’s has granted over $15 million since 2008. Established in 2014, the Love to Give Campaign, featuring a special collection of gifts with 10 percent of sales supporting nonprofits with youth arts education programming, has resulted in $1 million in donations to date. Neiman’s also partnered with Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts for a student design contest to create the “charm” to adorn holiday gift wrap and provided the winner a cash donation and feature in their iconic Christmas Book. Associates of Neiman’s are encouraged to participate in the All Heart Associate Giving Campaign, which to date, has reached over $3.3 million. Neiman Marcus matches the associates’ gifts both during the campaign period and year round up to 3:1. Through the Associates Grant Competition, each associate is invited to submit an application on behalf of their favorite nonprofit. One recipient is selected, and a $5,000 gift is made in honor of the associate. Neiman Marcus has demonstrated a unique ability to engage and support its employees while making powerful investments in the communities it serves.

Outstanding Foundation The Hersh Foundation, nominated by Southwestern Medical Foundation and  Resource Center of Dallas, Inc., is committed to enriching and improving the quality of life for all people by supporting initiatives in three categories: education and leadership; mental health research and mental illness prevention; and North Texas cultural organizations. Julie and Ken Hersh began the foundation in 1997 as a way to secure long-term financial commitments to nonprofits in their community. The foundation provided the lead gift to support the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UTSW under the guidance of Dr. Madhukar Trivedi.  Dr. Trivedi aims to improve mental health care by providing tools for physicians and individuals to identify depression and bipolar disease in their earliest stages when they are most treatable, discover biomarkers to scientifically direct the optimum treatment and the creation of a special center for treatment resistant depression. The Hersh Foundation supports the Youth First program at the Resource Center which addresses the challenges lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth face with family members and peers and provides a safe and accepting environment.  In addition, the foundation helps Galaxy Counseling Center provide play therapy for children as young as 3.  Focusing on leadership and education, the Hersh Foundation supports the George W. Bush Institute’s Presidential Leadership Scholars Program creates an environment of bipartisanship in young leaders throughout the nation.  The foundation also supports the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL), which works with urban debate teams in 19 U.S. cities. Additionally, the Hersh Foundation is a strong supporter of area arts organizations including:  the 2017 Tony Award winning Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Black Dance Theater, Dallas Children’s Theater, TACA and as the presenting sponsor of Dallas Museum of Art’s program Arts and Letters Live. Julie Hersh will be honored with the TACA Silver Cup Award in March 2018.

Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser Lynn McBee, nominated by The Dallas Opera and Dallas Women’s Foundation, is widely known for committing time, talent and philanthropy to benefit worthy organizations throughout the community. Over the years, McBee has served a wide array of organizations contributing to the arts, culture, and overall civic profile of Dallas, including TACA, Dallas Historical Society, United Way of Metropolitan Dallas Tocqueville Society, Dallas Film Society, SMU Dedman College, The Bridge Homeless Shelter, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, After School All Stars, The Trinity Trust, and many more. She is currently chair-elect of the Dallas Opera Board, where her service has resulted in new leaders and prospects as well as Celebrate 60, a week-long celebration of The Dallas Opera’s 60th season, launched with the 2017 Spring Gala. A few examples of her fundraising leadership can be seen in the following: The Family Place Foundation (Chair) $20 MM; Letot Center Foundation Girl’s Residential Treatment Center (Co-Chair) $9 MM; Visiting Nurse Association (Chair) $1 MM; Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge Opening Weekend Celebration (Chair) $1 MM; TACA (Chair 2009-10) $1 MM each year; Cattle Baron’s Ball (Chair) $3 MM; Junior League Dallas Ball (Chair) $1 MM. From her passion for the arts to improving the lives of those most in need, McBee is a tireless advocate skilled at identifying those in her network whose interests align with the missions or organizations. She is CEO of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, educating over 4,600 underserved young women in eight schools across the state of Texas. She is involved on numerous boards and was named one of “Five Outstanding Young Dallasites” for 2007.  McBee is a recipient of the Texas Trailblazer Award; the “Rising Star” Award from The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dallas; the “Each Moment Matters” Award by the Presbyterian Foundation; the “Hero Award” by Leadership Dallas; the “Real Women, Real Girls” Award by Community Partners of Dallas; and the “Distinguished Woman Award” by Northwood University.

Outstanding Fundraising Executive Pagett Gosslee, CFRE, nominated by John Roppolo, has over 30 years of fundraising experience. Since 2009 she has served as director of development and alumni relations at the University of Texas at Dallas. She raised matching funds for the Meadows Foundation grant that established the Center for Children and Families (CCF) and continues to assist with grants and recruitment for the CCF Advisory Council. She and her husband Mike created an endowment at UT Dallas to support CCF to honor their parents, children, and grandchildren. She has secured annual gifts for fellowships, scholarships, a professorship, planned giving and student travel totaling more than $2.5 MM. Additionally, she secured $867,933 in eight months for the university’s School of Arts and Humanities. As regional development manager for Mercy Ships, she raised over $5 MM for capital projects and programs.  During that time she established the first DFW Development Council and raised more seven figure gifts than any other three-year period. While serving as vice president of Baylor Health Care System Foundation, she exceeded multi-million dollar fundraising goals each year. She also served as the first development director of Hope Cottage, creating its first annual campaigns and planning the organization’s 80th anniversary. A member of Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) since 1986, she was awarded her CFRE in 1993, chaired the Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon in 1991 and the DFW Philanthropy Conference in 1999, and served as president of the Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP in 2005. It was while she was a student at Baylor University that she first developed the desire to serve after spending a summer in Singapore with Baptist missionaries. On a personal level, she believes in giving back. While raising her own children, she was a foster parent for five years. She has served on many boards and been active with her church and the Junior League of Dallas. Her passion for raising funds has extended to her family, including son Stephen, who is one of the founders of Carry the Load.

Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Micah Pinson, 13, nominated by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, has conducted annual toy drives between Thanksgiving and Christmas over the past six years resulting in more than 25,000 toys for children at the hospital. An eighth grader at Corinth Classical Academy, Pinson was born with a left hand missing three and a half fingers. Grateful for the special care he received as a patient, Pinson, at age 7, wanted to do something to give back and discussed the idea with his family.  He learned that toys are strong medicine for children at the hospital and are not only needed for special occasions, but also as part of therapeutic care plans. His toys have also enabled the hospital to provide prizes for children attending hospital sponsored events like Bike Rodeo, Child Safety Day, and the KidSwing Golf Tournament. Because of his excellent communication skills, he has been successful in recruiting and motivating other students and area businesses to help. He has spoken to large employee groups at Bill Utter Ford in Denton and Transwestern Commercial Services in Dallas, inspiring them to commit to his cause.  In 2016, when Transwestern heard his story, the company agreed to help him meet his goal of 13,000 toys.  Additionally, he has tackled challenges head on including a need for storage, collection boxes, and transportation.  In 2012 he enlisted the help of students at Creekview High School to build and decorate more than 80 collection boxes. In 2016, he recruited Glazier Foods of Carrollton and their 18-wheeler to deliver 10,000 toys to the hospital. Pinson is always working to improve his processes, and his positive outlook, kindness, and service inspire others to do their best. Pinson chooses to view his hand difference as something that makes him unique, and he encourages others to also celebrate their differences.  In May, 2017, Pinson was honored as the Texas Middle Level state recipient of the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, recognizing one middle school and one high school student in each state for their community service work.  Micah also recently received the First Lady’s Rising Star Award from the Texas Governor and his wife.  Micah is expanding his commitment to community service, founding a non-profit with some fellow classmates and friends called “Helping Hands One Step at a Time.” This non-profit is dedicated to giving back to those in need across Texas and beyond.

This year, the AFP Greater Dallas Chapter is presenting a Special Recognition Award to Terry L. Simmons, posthumously. Simmons passed away this year at the age of 62. By the time Simmons was in his 20’s, he was already established as a national expert in gift and estate planning. His crowning professional achievement was preserving for charities all across America the gift annuity and other life income plans, through which billions of dollars have been contributed for public good. When these methods of giving were under threat by a massive class-action lawsuit in late 1994, he founded Charitable Accord and worked as lead lobbyist and strategist to protect the interests of charities and nonprofits. He drafted legislation to protect them and camped out in the halls of Congress until legislation was passed – unanimously in both Houses. This legislation included The Charitable Giving Protection Act of 1995 (which amended the Sherman Antitrust Act), The Philanthropy Protection Act of 1995, and The Charitable Donations Antitrust Act of 1997. In late 1997, The NonProfit Times named Simmons, “Nonprofit Executive of the Year” in recognition of his work.  Simmons worked tirelessly to graduate from Baylor undergraduate and Baylor Law School in a total of five years, and obtained an LLM from the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law in 1984.  Simmons’ experience working with individuals and charitable organizations associated with the Baptist Foundation of Texas led him to Thompson and Knight, LLP, where he became a senior partner with a practice focused on charitable gift planning, exempt organizations law, and estate planning matters.  He served on numerous boards of directors and advisory councils. He was a member of the Texas, Colorado, and New York state bars as well as the United States Supreme Court in 1996. He was regularly named one of The Best Lawyers in America, the Top 100 Attorneys in America by Worth Magazine, and Texas’ Super Lawyers. Simmons was an active member of Royal Lane Baptist Church and a member of Mensa.  His greatest pride and joy resided in his family – his wife Karen, their three children and their families.

"We are excited to present and pay tribute to these outstanding individuals and organizations that have positively impacted our community through their leadership, vision and generosity,” emphasized Burton, Dallas National Philanthropy Day Chair.  “Join us on November 10 for one of the most inspiring luncheons in Dallas!”

The Greater Dallas Chapter of AFP was among the first to begin celebrating National Philanthropy Day in 1981.  Today, over 500 attend the luncheon which includes AFP members and community leaders.  National Philanthropy Day celebrates the great contributions philanthropy, and those who work in the philanthropic process, make to our community. AFP Chapters involve more than 28,000 individuals in celebrating philanthropy each year. 

“STMM is pleased to sponsor the Greater Dallas AFP for the third consecutive year,” said Stan Shipley, President and CEO, STMM’s Family Offices.  “AFP upholds the highest ethical fundraising and, importantly, effective fundraising. We are pleased to support AFP chapters around Texas including Austin, Houston, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and the Greater Plains Chapter."

The luncheon will be emceed by longtime supporter Scott Murray. Murray Media, presenting sponsor of the luncheon, produces the luncheon videos featuring the accomplishments of each award recipient. 

Luncheon tickets are $85 ($95 after 11/1), $850 for a table of 10, and $1,250 for a premium table of 10.  For tickets and sponsorships, visit afpdallas.org or contact Madeleine Crouch at 972-233-9107, ext. 204, afpchapteroffice@afpdallas.org.

The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), an individual member association, advances philanthropy through advocacy, research, education, and certification programs.  AFP members and affiliates enable people and organizations to better serve diverse communities and society as a whole.  AFP represents 28,248 members in 172 chapters throughout the world.  Visit afpdallas.org, call 214-354-8742, or email afpchapteroffice@afpdallas.org.

It's on us. Share your news here.

Submit your stories and articles to citybizlist today.