Staff Profiles

Wm. Edward Laity, CFRE, President

As President of DVA Navion in the United States, Ed Laity is responsible for quality services that the firm provides for all of the non-profit organizations.  Since his consulting career began in 1988, Mr. Laity has planned and managed major capital campaigns, directed feasibility studies, helped strengthen annual giving programs and has been involved in all aspects of development operations.  Before consulting with many non-profit organizations, Mr. Laity served as the director of development at Boys Clubs of Metro Atlanta and as the community relations director for The Salvation Army in Louisville, Kentucky.  Mr. Laity is a past president of the Association for Fund-Raising Professionals’ Georgia chapter and has also served on the National Assembly, previously chairing its professional credentials committee.  He is an alumnus of Georgia State University and also serves as a Board member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta – DeKalb County.  In the past fifteen years, he has directed campaigns with goals totaling more than $500 million, including The Salvation Army’s Impact on the Future Campaign for the College for Officers Training in Atlanta, Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and the UMC - Holston Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. 

Renée H. Jensrud, Senior Consultant

Renée Jensrud brings a wealth of successful fund-raising and management experience to the clients she serves. She has been working in the nonprofit arena since 1991, both as a development officer for nonprofit organizations and as a consultant.  Prior to joining DVA Navion, Ms. Jensrud worked for various nonprofit organizations including the Rollins School of Public Health of Emory University, Senior Citizen Services of Metropolitan Atlanta, Inc. and SciTrek, Georgia’s Science and Technology Museum. Years of working “in the trenches” allows her to understand the challenges facing development staff and their volunteers. Her professional development experience includes campaign planning and feasibility studies; capital campaigns; annual giving campaigns; special events; marketing and communications; strategic planning; donor cultivation and relations; volunteer and staff management and training; prospect research; and grant writing.  Ms. Jensrud has been active in the Association of Fund-raising Professionals for many years and has served on the boards of Georgia, New Mexico and Virginia Chapters.  Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Ms. Jensrud worked in the retail and banking industries and owned her own company. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Vassar College and now resides in Chesapeake, Virginia.

R. Keith Jones, Senior Consultant

Keith Jones has more than twenty-five years of successful fund-raising management experience, both as a development officer for nonprofit organizations and as a consultant.  Prior to working with DVA Navion, Mr. Jones was president of his own consulting firm, Axis Marketing Group, Inc.  In that role, Mr. Jones developed highly successful direct mail programs for such organizations as The Salvation Army, The Carter Center and Boys and Girls Clubs.  His innovative expertise helped The Salvation Army produce dramatic net income gains from direct mail in Washington, D.C., Miami, Louisville, Nashville and other cities nationwide.  Under his guidance, The Carter Center in Atlanta also benefited from breakthrough net results in their direct mail program.  His professional development experience also includes conducting planning assessments and feasibility studies, and the successful direction of capital campaigns and planned giving appeals.  A native of Florida, Mr. Jones received his Bachelor of Science in marketing from the University of Georgia.

Amy D’Angelo, Campaign Manager

Ms. D’Angelo brings a diverse background to the firm. With more than five years of successful fundraising and development experience, Ms. D’Angelo has worked with organizations such as The Salvation Army (Clearwater, FL, Cartersville and Warner Robins, GA) and the Gwinnett Association for Retarded Citizens.  Her professional development experience includes feasibility studies; capital campaigns; strategic planning; volunteer and staff management and training; direct mail analysis and prospect research.  Prior to joining DVA Navion, Ms. D’Angelo worked with clients such as Phi Mu Fraternity, The Salvation Army (Miami and Waco), the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the American Foundation for the Blind.  Ms. D’Angelo has also held positions in both city government and nonprofits.  Ms. D’Angelo received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Florida.

Nancy Bent, Senior Communications Director

Nancy Bent has written fund-raising and marketing materials for more than 200 non-profit organizations, ranging from museums and universities to hospitals and social service agencies throughout the country.  Among the diverse materials she has developed are major capital campaign case statements and brochures, grant proposals, annual fund pieces, direct mail packages, annual reports and articles for national fund-raising publications.  As the director of communications, Ms. Bent has supervised other writers as well as coordinated projects with graphic designers and audiovisual producers.  In addition, she has led numerous discussions on developing fund-raising materials at AFP conferences.  Ms. Bent received her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan.

Gary Herndon, Senior Counsel

Gary Herndon has a broad background of Christian ministry including program, administration, leadership and fund-raising.  As a Salvation Army officer, he held positions of increasing responsibility in Omaha (five years), Indianapolis, Chicago and Atlanta.  In his final appointment with The Salvation Army, he served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Southern Territory (fifteen southeastern states). As the chief “fund-raiser” for the organization at various levels, Herndon was critical to securing major grants (both public and private), directing annual funding operations (direct mail, special events, volunteers and Board development) and supervising successful major and planned giving initiatives.  He is a founding member of the Association of Fund-Raising Professionals chapter in Indianapolis. Herndon received his BA from Asbury College and his Masters of Arts from the School of Social Services -University of Chicago.  A lifetime member of Rotary, Herndon is a proud grandfather and featured vocalist.

Gary Hoag, Senior Counsel

As a seasoned development officer and leader, Gary Hoag has spent a lifetime serving the faith-based community.  He earned a B.A. in business from Cedarville College, received a Masters of Divinity at Talbot School of Theology, and was ordained as a minister with the Evangelical Free Church at St. Jude’s Anglican Cathedral in Canada.  Hoag raised personal support for five years and spent 14 years encouraging people to support Christian higher education at BIOLA University, Colorado Christian University and Denver Seminary, where he served as Vice President of Advancement from 2002-2009 and coordinated the campaign to build a new seminary campus.  Hoag teaches a course called Stewardship and Resource Development as an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary, while also working on a Ph.D. in New Testament on The Rich and their Relationship with Riches in 1 Timothy at Trinity College in Bristol, England.

David G. Lalka, Ph.D., Senior Counsel

Dr. Lalka has spent the majority of his professional career in higher education.  He has served successfully as Vice-President for Advancement at Summit Christian College, Asbury College, and Trevecca Nazarene University.  David’s areas of expertise include development planning and assessment; campaign planning and direction; annual fund programs; major gift programs and executive search services.  With an undergraduate degree from Houghton College, Dr. Lalka holds advanced degrees from Western Illinois University, and the University of South Carolina.  During his career, he has raised more than $100 million in gift support for a wide variety of non-profit organizations and institutions across the country.

  

International Partners

Chris Downes, CEO Australasia and Senior Advisor 

Michael Downes, Senior Strategic Advisor

Over the past thirty five years, Michael has established himself as an international expert on fundraising. In New York in 1988, he was unanimously elected to be the founding Chair of the World Fundraising Council, representing over 30,000 fundraising professionals around the world. This international exposure has allowed him to work in most major markets throughout the world where organised fundraising exists. He is a Fellow of the Fundraising Institute of Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of the Advertising Institute of Australia with a Diploma of Marketing Studies from R.M.I.T. in Melbourne. With such a strong reputation, Michael is a much sought after speaker at major international fundraising conferences. He has given plenary sessions at NSFRE conferences in the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico, the Association of Healthcare Professionals in the U.S.A. and Canada, the ICFM conference in Birmingham, England, African Conferences, South East Asia workshops and on several occasions he was the featured speaker at the blockbuster Amsterdam International Fundraising Workshop and the Australian Fundraising Institute conferences. His book "Downes on Fundraising" sold out three print runs worldwide over ten years. It is now out of print and has become a collector's item in fundraising circles.

Denise Murray, Senior Writer

With over thirty years' experience writing direct mail fundraising appeals for the whole spectrum of Southern hemisphere clients, Denise's forte is writing emotive copy that tells life changing stories. She is also a master hand at creating sincere and moving 'thank you' letters, which she believes are the crucial first step in acquiring repeat gifts. Denise has been writing for a number of African, Australian adn European clients producing exceptional results in both renewal 'warm' and acquisition 'cold' campaigns.