Bayer Center - Classes & Events

At the Bayer Center, our approach to education is to stay on top of what's happening in the sector, plan for what's going to happen, listen to you, and offer the ever-adapting menu of classes you see here on our website.

Our approach to thought leadership is to leverage our role as a Robert Morris University center and listen to you through conversations and community gatherings to bring together the best thinking on how our sector can most effectively enhance our community.

Look for our Fall 2023 catalog in September!

Register Online




One-on-One Clinics

Bayer Center clinics are your chance to schedule an hour of individualized, expert advice on topics of interest to your organization for only $75 an hour.

To register for a clinic:

Custom Training and Facilitation

Just because you can’t find it on our website doesn’t mean we don't do it. We can create a custom training or facilitation for you on the subject and at the location of your choice.

Here are some areas that might interest you:

  • Fundraising
  • Finance
  • Supervision and leadership
  • Board development
  • Staff management
  • Succession planning

Our successful custom trainings have run the gamut from a three-year long management development curriculum for more than 100 leaders in a large nonprofit to facilitating a one-day retreat on effective Board meetings and governance practices for a small domestic violence agency.

For more information, please contact us.

Additional Information

Instructor Biographies

Mary Kate Bartley is an Executive Service Corps (ESC) volunteer and Director, Human Resources at WVU Medicine Uniontown Hospital. A lifelong Pittsburgher, she has a background in human resources, talent acquisition, performance management, and workforce/community development. She has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree in Public Management and Policy from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, and is a SHRM Certified Professional. Mary Kate is a board member at Dress for Success Pittsburgh and The Blessing Board.

Don Block is an ESC volunteer with the Bayer Center, and retired Executive Director of Literacy Pittsburgh where he worked since 1984. He has extensive experience in working with boards and fundraising, including capital campaigns. At Literacy Pittsburgh, private giving increased significantly in the past few years, thanks to the close partnership between staff and board. Under his leadership, Literacy Pittsburgh received the Wishart Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management and he was honored as the Outstanding Administrator of Adult Education in the nation. Don holds a master’s degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and has served in the Peace Corps.

Stacy Bodow, is the Outreach and Engagement Manager for Global Links, a medical relief and development organization dedicated to supporting health improvement initiatives in resource- poor communities and promoting environmental stewardship in the U.S. healthcare system. Stacy’s main responsibilities include education and outreach for the organization, as well as special projects to engage volunteers. Prior to joining the Global Links team, Stacy spent 15 years with Visions Service Adventures leading month-long international service learning programs for groups of teenagers where she still works facilitating intensive training workshops. Stacy holds her M.Ed. from University of Pittsburgh in social and comparative analysis education.

Wendy Burtner is a nonprofit leader, trusted advisor and consultant. She has more than 25 years’ experience leading organizations through transitions and building strong foundations for growth. Wendy has a wide range of experience across the nonprofit sector including time as a member of the start-up team at GuideStar and leadership roles in health and human services, corporate philanthropy, and arts administration. She is the CEO of Wendy Burtner Consulting and the founder of Nonprofit SideKick, an online community for nonprofit leaders to learn, grow and connect.

Annette Calgaro, Senior Director, Endowments and Foundations, oversees the administrative and investment services provided to BNY Mellon Wealth Management’s nonprofit clients. Annette specializes in the administrative, reporting, fiduciary, and compliance needs of a client base that includes endowments; private, family, and community foundations; and planned giving clients. She earned a degree in economics from Chatham College and a juris doctor from the Duquesne University School of Law. Annette is the treasurer of the Chatham University Board of Trustees, serving on the audit, investment and advancement committees. She also served as co-chair of the University’s successful $100 million capital campaign.

Matt Cohan works as a Senior Manager in Systems Engineering at Omnicell, a leader in medication and supply dispensing automation. Matt has worked in IT since earning his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Edinboro University in 2007. Matt enjoys hitting the gym, golfing, going to the movies, and visiting his family in Eastern Pennsylvania in his spare time.

Kevin Erdner stands at the nexus of his two greatest passions and fascinations: Leadership and Innovation. With 20+ years of product and team development experience, Kevin currently finds his purpose operating within the healthcare industry, traveling the world to build leading innovations that make a positive difference in patients’ lives. Kevin has studied and performed improvisational comedy throughout Pittsburgh, and has applied improvisational comedy techniques in various programs including those designed to build confidence in upcoming high school students. Kevin received his B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in information technology from Duquesne University, where he returned to obtain a Master’s of Organizational Leadership (summa cum laude).

Jeremy V. Farrell, Esq. is a trial lawyer who helps employers with the many legal issues they encounter in the workplace. In addition to representing them in court and before administrative agencies, he assists them with the day-to-day legalities of managing a workplace, including complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Medical Leave Act; reviewing pay practices; preventing and investigating discrimination and harassment claims; drafting non-compete, non-solicitation, and confidentiality agreements; revising employee handbooks and workplace policies; handling claims for unemployment compensation; and offering guidance on personnel matters, such as terminations and other disciplinary issues.

William Ferguson joined HB Retirement in 2014 after a career with Merrill Lynch, PNC Bank, and D.B. Root & Company. He works with nonprofits to offer a well-protected, well designed, and outcome-focused retirement plan. As an individual advisor, Will works with employees to set and reach financial goals, creating a plan that addresses the stages and concerns of a financial household. He holds his series 6, 7, 63, and 66 registrations with LPL financial, and is licensed in Pennsylvania for life, accident, and health insurance. Will maintains the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation.

Brett Fulesday has more than 18 years of experience in providing business valuation and litigation-support services for individuals as well as public and privately held, earlystage and mature companies. Driven by the desires to help and to continue to learn, Brett pours his energy and effort into the areas – for-profit and nonprofit alike – of arts, education, entrepreneurship and emerging technology.

Phyllis G. Hartman, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, is founder and President of PGHR Consulting, Inc. with 30+ years’ experience in HR. She is a member of the SHRM Expert Panel and a member of the Government Advocacy Team. She has an M.S. in human resource management from La Roche University and is a certified Senior Professional in HR. Phyllis has written numerous articles and three books, “A Manager’s Guide to Developing Competencies in HR Staff,” “Looking to Hire an HR Leader?” and “Never Get Lost Again: Navigating Your HR Career.” She is a past Board of Trustee member for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund.

Jon Hoffmann is the principal of Hoffmann Consulting, serving both nonprofit and for-profit clients with a focus on strategic planning, program design and evaluation, and operations management. Prior to launching his own consulting business, his career has spanned executive leadership roles in social services, communications strategy for an advocacy organization, and housing development with a focus on affordability. A Pittsburgh native, Jon holds a master’s degree in social work and bachelor of science in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.

Sharon Jefferson has over 20 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector, broadly centered on strengthening organizations and creating community level impact across the housing, workforce & youth development, education and arts fields. More recently, she earned a certificate in Community Mediation, expanding her skillset to serve parties seeking facilitated discussion and dispute resolution. A Pitt alum, Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Studies & Spanish, a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration, a certificate in Nonprofit Management and served as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fellow and serves on her school district’s Equity and Inclusion Committee.

Emma Kieran brings almost 20 years of fundraising experience to Pilot Peak Consulting. She has worked with over 50 nonprofits in her career as a coach, teacher, and change agent. Previously, Emma was the Vice President for Fundraising and Development at Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI) and a consultant with Changing Our World (CW). Emma holds an M.A. from Columbia University in organizational psychology, an M.P.A. from American University in nonprofit management and a B.A. from Connecticut College. Emma is a dedicated volunteer for The Ellis School for Girls, her alma mater, and for Girls on the Run.

Cindy Leonard has devoted over 20 years working in and with nonprofit organizations, and has served on numerous boards and committees, in various volunteer capacities, and as a consultant, a trainer, an executive director, a program manager, and an IT director. Cindy holds a Bachelor of Science in computer Science, a Master of Business Administration, and a Master of Education in Instructional Design, all from Seton Hill University. Learn more at

Mark Lynch, Carter, has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising, communications, marketing and branding, and organizational development for nonprofit organizations, including fundraising consulting through Ketchum, Inc., and A.L. Brourman Associates, Inc. Mark is a registered fundraising consultant in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He is active in the community, currently serving on the Community Advisory Board of the Allegheny Regional Asset District, and has served on many other committees and boards for nonprofit organizations including Support Inc. and the Sewickley YMCA. He is a graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh, Class XIII.

Chris Mielo is the Communications Manager at Achieva, where he develops content to share the important work Achieva does in the community for families and people with disabilities, and manages their three brands across 12 social media channels. He has developed videos for the North Side Steelers Youth Athletic Association, The Pittsburgh Steelwheelers, DON Services, Pennsylvania’s Technical Training Assistance Network (PaTTAN), PA’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and done player photos for The Miracle League through Pittsburgh Pirates Charities. He has a B.A. in media arts from Robert Morris University’s TV/Video Production program.

Paul Novelli is the Social Media Coordinator at Robert Morris University. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in the spring of 2018 with Bachelor’s degrees in Rhetoric & Communication and Film & Media Studies. Prior to joining RMU, Paul managed and created a variety of social media accounts for TWO MEN AND A TRUCK – Pittsburgh, the Black Sheep and La Roche University’s athletic department. His creative skills include photography, videography, editing, social media management, writing and knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite.

Dr. Jo Ellen Parker is a former college president and museum executive with extensive fundraising experience. As President and CEO of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, she oversaw the successful campaign to expand the Carnegie Science Center. And as a long-time educator, she loves sharing information to help nonprofit leaders and their organizations thrive. Melanie Rutan works with a wide variety of nonprofit clients at Bookminders, where she serves as an accountant and trainer. She received her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from West Virginia State College in 1988 (Summa Cum Laude). Melanie was an Examiner-In-Charge with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for 11 years before joining Bookminders in 2001.

Jack Ryan is a retirement plan advisor who assists nonprofits to develop and design best in class retirement plans for their employees. Jack also monitors for legislative and regulatory changes that impact the retirement industry to ensure our clients are fully compliant with these new laws. Jack holds a finance degree from Duquesne University, along with an M.B.A. and law degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Additionally, he holds his series 7 and 66 registrations with LPL financial, and is licensed in Pennsylvania for life, accident, and health insurance. He also maintains the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designation.

Maureen A. Ryan is the principal of Write Connections, LLC, with 30 years combined experience in grant development, writing and administration working with nonprofit agencies, community and faith-based groups and for-profit companies. Maureen has raised more than $100 million in federal, state and city/county government and corporate and private foundation grants for nonprofits around the country. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of Pittsburgh and her Master’s in Business Administration from Point Park University, and currently holds memberships with the American Grant Writers’ Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Western PA Chapter, The Grant Professionals Association, and The Foundation Center, Washington, D.C. (Platinum).

Maria Satira is an award-winning communications professional and author with experience in journalism, public relations, and nonprofit marketing. She spent nearly 10 years as a local news anchor, later moving into nonprofit communications for an economic development organization. She founded Maria Satira Media, LLC and wrote the book, “An Introduction to Media Relations for Nonprofit Organizations,” to help nonprofits achieve their media relations and communications goals. Originally from Pittsburgh, she holds a bachelor’s degree with majors in media arts and communication from Robert Morris University.

Patrick Schmitt is a leading innovator in the field of fundraising and social impact. From 2009- 2010, Patrick ran email fundraising for President Obama, where his team invented many existing best practices in digital fundraising. He served as Head of Innovation at, helping to grow that organization to 200 million members in just four years. Patrick is the co- founder of FreeWill, a social venture which has helped organizations raise more than $1.5B in new planned gifts and qualified charitable distributions. Patrick and his co-founder Jenny were recently named two of the Top 50 Philanthropists in the World by Town & Country. Patrick received his B.S. from Georgetown University and M.B.A. from Stanford University.

Doug Smith is the Director of Development at Light of Life Rescue Mission, providing hope and healing to men, women, and families experiencing homelessness, poverty, and addiction. He also founded L3 Leadership, which connects and develops leaders through podcasts, coaching, mastermind groups, and the L3 One Day Leadership Conference. His L3 Leadership podcast has featured Mike Tomlin, Dr. Henry Cloud, Tony Horton, Liz Wiseman, and many others as guests. Doug earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Robert Morris University. He is an entrepreneur, speaker, coach, and sought-after leadership advisor. He finds his greatest joy at home with his wife, Laura, and their four children.

Chris Thyberg understands the challenge of leading effectively in complexity and how vital it is for leaders to have a partner in their professional and personal growth. After 30+ years in leadership at Carnegie Mellon, Penn State and a global nonprofit, Chris now offers executive coaching to emerging and experienced leaders in all sectors. Since 1987, Chris and his family have lived in East Liberty, shared in its gains and losses, and take hope from rising community leaders. To serve the common good fuels his passion to support purpose-minded leaders who empower and sustain resilient organizations committed to our shared flourishing. You can find Chris at

Maria Zeglen Townsend, Ph.D. is adjunct faculty for the University of Pittsburgh and president of Townsend Associates LLC, offering evaluation training and consultation. Maria uses both quantitative and qualitative methods to evaluate local, state and national programs, conduct needs and strengths assessments, and identify and measure social indicators. Dr. Townsend has taught graduate level courses in evaluation, quantitative and qualitative research methods, and policy analysis for University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, the School of Education, and the School of Social Work. Dr. Townsend received her Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Michigan State University with a specialization in infancy studies.

Trina Walker is the Lead Consultant for TLW Strategy, a consulting firm designed to help nonprofits create efficiencies in their plans, people, and processes so they can have a greater impact. Trina has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership, strategy, and marketing experience in healthcare, advertising, consulting, education, religious, and cultural organizations. She has helped organizations with strategic planning, organizational change, staff development, fundraising, marketing, and communications. Prior to launching her own consulting company, Trina served as Director of Communications and Creative Services at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and Director of Marketing and Outreach at the University of Pittsburgh’s College of General Studies.

Michaela Kizershot White is a Gift Officer at The Pittsburgh Symphony, where she works with individuals in accomplishing their philanthropic goals as related to the symphony’s mission. Michaela has held roles in the arts and education sector. She studied violin performance and music education at Northwestern University and later received her Masters of Arts Management from Carnegie Mellon University. A thread throughout her career is building opportunities to deepen one’s connection to what they care about most. Michaela values the use of data-driven strategy and she can often be found running in Pittsburgh’s neighborhoods as she trains for marathons.

Dr. Erroline Williams, Ed.D., PCC, is a certified leadership coach and consultant with a passion for individuals in the nonprofit space. She serves on faculty and provides coaching with the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, and as an executive coach at Tepper School of Business (CMU) for The Advanced Leadership Institute. She provided consulting for PACE’s Executive Coaching Program and created a robust coaching program for the Pittsburgh Promise. She is former Vice President of the International Coach Federation (Pittsburgh Chapter), a board member of Gwen’s Girls, Inc., and Dissertation Committee Member for Point Park University’s Doctoral Program in Leadership Administration. She holds a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Pittsburgh.

Drew Zerick is an assurance services manager with Sisterson & Co. LLP and has over 15 years of professional experience. Her professional career has involved providing accounting and auditing services to a variety of clients, with a focus on nonprofit organizations, as well as spending several years working as a Controller for a healthcare company. Drew rejoined Sisterson in 2013 where she also serves on the Firm’s Recruiting Committee and as an instructor for their in-house continuing professional education program. Drew also has experience serving on a nonprofit board and presenting financial statements to nonprofit boards.

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