The PRIDE Council
The PRIDE Council is a select group of individuals who through their position and achievement will play an advisory, as well as participatory role in the future of Pride Philanthropy. The objective of this group is to help expand the scope and value of our consultancy.
Ken is the Executive Director of Self Regional Healthcare Foundation in Greenwood, SC. Ken holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Public Administration. His fundraising strengths include volunteer recruitment and motivation, fundraising in small development offices, and soliciting major gifts. Not long ago, Ken completed a $30 million capital campaign for a facility renovation and expansion at Frederick Memorial Hospital in Frederick, MD while serving as their Vice President and Chief Development Officer. Ken is a member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), a past member of the AHP Mid Atlantic Region Cabinet, a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and currently serves as a member of the AHP Board Governance and Leadership Committee. Ken was recently honored by the Frostburg State University Baseball Association at the FSU Alumni Association Jim Anderson Breakfast for his “outstanding profession/industry”.
James E. Connell FAHP, CSA
James E. Connell FAHP, CSA has an active 37 year involvement in fundraising and charitable estate planning. He currently assists charities throughout the U.S. and Canada grow their future endowment funds while helping donors increase their income and decrease their taxes. Mr. Connell holds BS and MEd. degrees, is a Fellow of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy and a Certified Senior Advisor. His careers include a college professor, fund raiser and consultant in estate and gift planning. He has held positions at Society for the Propagation of the Faith, Presbyterian-University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Robert Packer Hospital/Guthrie Clinic and Donald Guthrie Foundation for Medical Research, Medical College of Pennsylvania, and Duke Children’s Hospital. Mr. Connell is involved in several professional and civic activities. He has published over 55 articles, several book chapters, and is an experienced speaker. He has twice received the AHP Professional Papers Award, first in 1992 for his work on “Demographics and the Changing Landscape of Planned Giving,” and again in 1997 with Richard Green JD FAHP for their work on “American Healthcare Endowments”. In 1997, he was the 27th recipient of the prestigious AHP Harold J. (Si) Seymour International Honors Award, the profession’s highest honor. Mr. Connell served on the Editorial Board of Planned Gift Mentor published by Planned Giving Today.
Laurel is the Development Council Chair and a Trustee of the Board of Directors for Hospice of Frederick County in Frederick, Maryland. In 2016, Laurel retired as the Executive Director of the Hospice of Frederick County. She served Hospice of Frederick County for 34 years, and in 2001 developed the county’s first residential Hospice House almost entirely from charitable contributions. Laurel has also served as President of the Hospice & Palliative Care Network of Maryland, as well as on the program’s standards and nominating committees for that organization. Laurel has presented at numerous State and National programs, and co-developed the curriculum for a graduate course at Hood College on Hospice Principles and Administration. She is a member of the National Council of Hospice Professionals, the State Hospice Network and the National Hospice and Palliative Care organizations.
Roger Longenderfer, M.D.
Roger is the retired CEO of Pinnacle Health System in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He has a BA degree from Pennsylvania State University, graduated from Hahnemann Medical College with a Doctorate in Medicine in 1979, did his Family Practice residency at Geisinger Medical Center and completed an MBA from Oklahoma City University. After a successful private practice in Terre Hill, Pennsylvania, Dr. Longenderfer served as VP for Medical Affairs at Ephrata Community Hospital and Mercy Health System-Oklahoma. Subsequently, he held multiple leadership roles in operations, hospital-physician organization development, graduate medical education, quality performance improvement, and clinical and organizational consolidations. He led the development of the Pinnacle Health Foundation and has served on the Board of Directors for the Health System Association of Pennsylvania, VHA-PA and several community non-profit organizations. Since retirement, Roger has acted as consultant, educator and facilitator for various organizations.
Chris Rollins – Chief Development Officer for Samaritan Healthcare & Hospice, in Marlton, New Jersey – has a unique perspective and understanding of philanthropy, acquired over 30 years of fundraising experience, as a volunteer trustee, consultant, and senior development professional (including CDO roles in multi-hospital health systems). He holds an MBA, and earned his CFRE credential in 2000. Chris chairs the National Partnership for Hospice Innovation’s (NPHI) Philanthropy Forum, and serves on the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s (NHPCO) marketing and development steering committee; and is a trustee and governance chair of the Community Foundation of South Jersey. He is a founding member and past president of both the Georgia Association of Development Professionals and the South Jersey Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). His first book – TRUISMS of Fundraising
– continues to guide and inspire development professionals, and his second book – TRUISMS for Trustees
– will be available soon.
Santo Stephens is the President and Founder of Life’s Work LLC. Santo is a certified Life Coach and Professional Development Trainer. Santo also teaches life skills and leadership classes to corporations and young adults throughout the southeast.
Santo received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Temple University and has completed post-graduate studies in Education. Selected by the Kansas City Chiefs a free agent in 1992, Santo went on to play five years in the National Football League, joining the Cincinnati Bengals in 1994 and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 where he holds the distinction of making the first tackle in franchise history. During his years in the NFL, Santo recognized his passion and gift for speaking and connecting with people on a personal level. Santo demonstrated his leadership and commitment to the community by serving as youth speaker for both the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Athletes in Action.
The best strategic minds draw upon an exceptionally broad range of business and marketing expertise. Not coincidentally, this is exactly what Bill brings to The Johnson Group.
Throughout his career, Bill has successfully navigated the waters of corporate America with a leadership position at the world’s largest disability insurer. Later, he founded one of the first successful healthcare marketing agencies, which would ultimately grow to serve clients in 38 states.
Today, he is nationally respected in healthcare circles for his unique understanding of one of our nation’s most complicated and dynamic businesses. Plus, he routinely conducts market research and strategic planning in such varied categories as multi-unit retail, consumer packaged goods, electric utilities, waste water management, wireless phones, fast food…well, you get the picture.
Simply put, if it can be sold, Bill has helped sell it by ensuring that every campaign is built upon solid strategic ground.
J. Aaron West
Aaron has been a professional fundraiser serving nonprofit organizations for more than 15 years. During this time, he has raised major gifts and successfully completed campaigns with education, social service, arts, and cultural organizations. After an early career as an aide to a United State Senator, West transitioned into the development profession. During his career, he has led fundraising efforts for projects on national, state and local levels with organizations of various size and scope. West currently serves as Vice President, Foundation at Covenant Care, a continuous-care health system serving Florida and Alabama. He has worked with such nonprofit organizations as United Way, St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale Florida, The National Flight Academy, and the National Naval Aviation Museum Foundation where he served as Vice President. Aaron is former chair of the Florida Council for Resource Development and an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. He has provided practical advice on fundraising, board development, and image management to non-profits and candidates for political office. West has a BS from Florida State University, and received his MPA from the University of West Florida. He lives in Pensacola FL with his wife and two children.