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.

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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 $65 an hour. Have an HR question? Come to a clinic. Want someone to take a look at your bylaws? Come to a clinic. Want to improve your bowling average? Practice...We can't do everything! But we can help with a lot. Take a look below.

To register for a clinic:

Nonprofit Management Clinics

Bylaws Clinic (2-hour minimum) Register online!
Bylaws are important in directing the board and the organization. Due to recent changes in the 990 legislation, many nonprofits’ bylaws are not in compliance with best practices. During this clinic, we will review your bylaws, give you suggestions for improvements, and guide you on how to discuss these with your board. 

Employee Handbook Clinic (2-hour minimum) Register online!
Is your employee handbook up to date, and are all the vital elements included? Does its wording comply with wage and hour laws? Is it truly the employee information source that you would like it to be? We can help! We will do a complete review of your handbook and point out the sections that are missing or require revisions. 

HR Clinic - Register online!
Do your HR policies need to be updated? Is expansion requiring more staff and more new job descriptions? Are you facing layoffs, or do you have a pregnant staffer and no maternity policy? We can help you with these and other issues including:

  • Creating better performance appraisals
  • Improving employee relations
  • Restructuring benefits and compensation

The session is for any staff person with HR oversight. Bring your materials including employee handbook, performance appraisal form and anything else HR-related to your appointment.

Marketing Clinic - Register online!
We’ll review your current marketing strategy and materials, and give you advice about where you should focus your energy to align with your mission, customers and needs. 

Nonprofit Start-up Clinic (2-hour minimum) - Register online!
Thinking of starting a nonprofit? We’ll give you one-on-one guidance with the next steps – whether it is more research, looking into fiscal sponsorship, or reviewing an exemption application. We’ll guide you through different options and the decision-making process. 

Finance Clinics

Finance Clinic - Register online!
Are your financial policies ready for an update? Do you have questions about particular nonprofit accounting standards or practices? Are you or your board looking for new ways to present your financial reports? Have a few questions about your annual tax filings or whether you should get an audit even if it isn’t yet required? A Finance Clinic can assist you with these questions and any other time-bound project or inquiry related to your organization’s numbers. 

Looking for a clinic in something that's not listed? We might be able to customize a clinic just for you! Email Carrie Tancraitor at tancraitor@rmu.edu to inquire. 

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

Conference Presenters

We love what we do, and we want to tell the world about it! That's why Bayer Center staff have shared their expertise through keynote addresses and workshop presentations with regional and national organizations across the country.

Want an unusual and thought-provoking perspective for your next event? Whether large or small, give us a call.

Instructor Biographies

Lynette Asson, principal of New Place Collaborations, is an events and marketing maven who creates innovation solutions for businesses and nonprofits. She produces events ranging from intimate receptions to large convention center shows. Lynette worked as national production manager for the International Beauty Show. Her expertise includes adult learning, artist relations, and trade show management for international corporations Goldwell/KMS, Wella, and Redken. This Johannes factotum has enjoyed working with Pittsburgh-area nonprofits and corporations including Crisis Center North, Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and varied projects for BCNM and its clients.

Joel Burstein the owner of Keep It Simple Training and Development, is a savvy entrepreneur with 19 years of business development experience. In 2016 Joel partnered with Sandler Training to provide a selling method shrouded in simplicity. Joel earned his bachelor’s degree in less than 4 years from The University of Miami. He then went on to achieve several professional certifications from NYU, along with completing a prestigious, invite-only program, at Wharton University of Pennsylvania. Joel’s Keep It Simple approach to business development has earned him three “40 under 40,” most recently The New Pittsburgh Courier’s “Fab 40.”

Matt Cohan works as an IT Manager for Highmark Health, an integrated delivery network comprised of six major organizations, supported by 40 thousand employees. He believes that the key to a successful people leader is to have a cohesive partnership with staff members. Matt has worked in healthcare IT since earning his Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from Edinboro University in 2007. He recently earned his M.B.A. from Duquesne University in 2019. Matt enjoys hitting the gym, golfing, and visiting his family in New Jersey in his spare time.

Dee Delaney served as the first Executive Director of FISA Foundation from 1996 until her retirement in 2010. During her tenure with FISA, grants totaling over $17 million were distributed in support of women, girls, and people with disabilities. She is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana and Leadership Pittsburgh. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her advocacy work, including the United Cerebral Palsy Lifetime Achievement Award, University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine Appreciation Award, and Achieva Excellence in Professional Service Award and was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania by Governor Rendell in 2010.

Kevin Erdner, stands at the nexus of his two greatest passions and fascinations: Leadership and Innovation. With over 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 later returned to obtain a Master’s of Organizational Leadership (summa cum laude).

Victoria Frank holds a PhD in social welfare and a master’s in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She was a fellow in the U.S. Department of Education’s Pre-Doctoral Training Program in Education Sciences. She is a lecturer at the University of Wisconsin Madison, teaching courses in social policy and poverty. She is an independent evaluation consultant who has contracted with Barbara Goldberg & Associates for 15 years, using both qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate social and educational programs. She is a proud AmeriCorps alumna.

Brett Fulesday is a Senior Manager within the Valuation and Litigation Support Services Practice of the Pittsburgh office of Cohen & Company. He has more than 18 years of experience in providing business valuation and litigation-support services (primarily in the areas of collaborative divorce and forensic accounting) for individuals as well as public and privately held, early-stage 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.

Lizz Helmsen Managing Director at Carter, combines 20 years of fundraising experience with a background in the arts, education, and community service. She is known as a creative and energetic professional with a proven ability to build relationships with, and create connections among, multiple constituencies. Lizz has directed comprehensive fundraising programs and provides expertise in the areas of campaign counsel, major gifts, development planning, governance, annual giving and grant making.

Jared Henigin, CFP®, AIF® joined Wealth Management Partners in November of 2018. Prior to joining WMP, Jared was a financial advisor at Northwestern Mutual. Jared is a registered representative and Investment Advisor Representative with Commonwealth Financial Services® (Member FINRA/SIPC). In addition, Jared holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designation and maintains the Series 6, 7, 63, and 65 securities registrations. He works with WMP in a dual role as Director of Investment Services and as a Wealth Manager. He also works with nonprofit organizations providing fiduciary consulting as well as asset management. Jared lives in Greentree with his wife, Cady. He is a board member for the local chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and enjoys playing sports and guitar in his spare time. Wealth Management Partners, LLC Foster Plaza 11, 790 Holiday Drive Pittsburgh, PA 15220, 412-539-0015

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.

Yvonne Hudson is a versatile marketing/PR expert and writer who has created mission-driven solutions for nonprofits and businesses. She directed higher education communications for Carnegie Mellon, Chatham, New York Law, Yeshiva University, and University of Pittsburgh Theatre Arts. Her work has included projects for the BCNM and its clients, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, and Crisis Center North. A journalism and psychology alumna of Point Park University, Yvonne earned an M.A. in arts management and developed her solo show Mrs Shakespeare at Pitt. A principal of New Place Collaborations, she is a board member of Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks. Yvonne now serves as development manager for Quantum Theatre.

Sharon Jefferson has nearly 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, broadly centered on strengthening organizations and creating community level impact across the housing, workforce & youth development, and education 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.

Beth Kanter is an author, virtual facilitator and trainer and is an internationally recognized thought leader in digital transformation and wellbeing in the workplace with over 35 years of providing capacity building for nonprofits and foundations. She was named one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company and one of the Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation,” Beth is the co-author of the award-winning Network Nonprofit books and The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Strategies for Impact without Burnout (http://bit.ly/happyhealthynpbook). Her clients include Packard Foundation Resilience Initiative, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Save the Children, Counterpart International, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others.

Emma Kieran brings more than 16 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.

Ron Kratofil has over 40 years of nonprofit experience from both the Executive Director and Board perspective. His dual Master’s Degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling and an MBA give him a unique skill set to help organizations effectively master the double bottom line of mission fulfillment and financial stability. Additionally his volunteer work in the last 20 years has centered around serving many and diverse community boards with an emphasis on developing measurable mission metrics and helping clarify the complimentary yet different roles of board and staff.

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 https://www.cindyleonardconsulting.com.

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.

Dino Mintas is the VP of Data Science & Software Design at VISIMO LLC, a local software and analytics consulting firm. He has over 15 years of experience in the fields of data science and business intelligence and has worked for a diverse array of organizations in both the public and private sectors. He holds a B.S. from the University of Pittsburgh and a JD from Fordham University School of Law. Dino has a lifelong passion for working with and learning from data. He oversees VISIMO’s internal R&D projects and helps business and nonprofits answer their most challenging questions by developing state-of-the-art AI/ML solutions. He lives in western Pittsburgh.

Michele O’Leary is a CPA with over 20 years of experience in public accounting. She is an Assurance Managing Director with BDO USA, LLP where she specializes in working with nonprofit organizations. Her practice includes providing audit, accounting, and consulting services to organizations in the Pittsburgh region. Michele serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh and Contemporary Craft and is a member of the Board of Management for Deer Valley YMCA Family Camp. Michele holds a B.S. in accounting from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

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.

Ellen Rossi serves as President of the EQT Foundation, the philanthropic division of EQT Corporation, a natural gas company headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA. Prior to joining EQT in November 2009, Ellen served as the Vice President of Communication Services at the Allegheny Conference on Community Development. Ellen began her career as an Events Coordinator at the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership where she helped with the planning of several events including Light Up Night. A lifelong Pittsburgher, Ellen is a graduate of Duquesne University and currently serves on the board of Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania.

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.

Maureen Ryan, Founder and CEO of Write Connections, LLC is a service-oriented business and education professional with 30 years experience in grant development, writing and administration. Maureen held many positions in the nonprofit sector including Manager of Education Initiatives, Workforce Education and Development at Catalyst Connection and the Pittsburgh Technology Council and Coordinator of Recruitment, Natural Sciences and Engineering Technology Department at Point Park University. Maureen earned her bachelor’s degree in Humanities from the University of Pittsburgh and her MBA from Point Park University, and holds memberships with the American Grantwriter’s Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western PA Chapter, and The Foundation Center, Washington, D.C. (Platinum).

Rekha Shukla has more than 30 years of development and management experience gained in public and nonprofit organizations in Asia, New York and Pittsburgh. She holds a Master of International Affairs Degree from Columbia University and is a proud alum of University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is a consultant concentrating in evaluation, project development, and strategic planning and has worked with Barbara Goldberg & Associates, LLC for over 10 years.

James Southworth is a principal of Dickie, McCamey & Chilcote, P.C. He concentrates his practice in the areas of employment and labor law and employment immigration, as well as alternate dispute resolution and mediation. Prior to becoming an attorney, he was a human resource manager, giving him an understanding of the issues companies face when dealing with employees, which enables him to provide advice that not only passes legal muster but is also grounded in the realities of the workplace. James has complied with and been accepted as a mediator for the Western District of Pennsylvania ADR program.

Mike Stancil is Marketing Director at the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health (PBGH). He has over 13 years’ experience in marketing strategy with over 6 years in nonprofit marketing. Mike’s digital strategy efforts helped Highmark Health win two gold Effie Awards in 2017 and his strategy and agility during 2020 resulted in the PBGH being recognized with a Membership Leadership Award by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. He has his Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Slippery Rock University and a Master’s degree in Digital Publishing from George Washington University.

Tom Sullivan is a Leadership & Organizational Development Consultant with ProGrowth Associates, LLC, Pittsburgh, PA. He has many years of service in key human resource positions creating solutions for executive learning, talent assessment and succession planning. Tom works closely with senior management teams as a trusted advisor, serving in a variety of corporate, health care and nonprofit industries. He is an accredited facilitator for multiple leadership and team development models, and has conducted seminars throughout North America and in Europe. Tom has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Long Island University, NY and a bachelor’s in Social Work from Kean University, NJ.

Dave Tinker, CFRE, FAFP is Vice President of Advancement at ACHIEVA and an adjunct professor of informatics at Muskingum University’s Master of Information Strategy, Systems and Technology (MISST) program. A certified Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Master Trainer, he was honored by AFP International as one of the first six Distinguished Fellows. Dave received an M.P.A. with a concentration in nonprofit management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University. He received a B.A. in chemistry and English and an MISST from Muskingum University. He is also a graduate of Leadership Works – Indianapolis, Class III.

Lee Ann Wainwright is the Director for Strategic Partnerships and the Center for Corporate Social Responsibility at Waynesburg University and a Master Trainer in Equilibria’s E-Colors in Education program. Prior to joining Waynesburg, Lee Ann was a Corporate Affairs Advisor for Chevron, managing the company’s STEM Education & Workforce Development investments and their CSR work across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. She was recognized by the Pittsburgh Business Times with a Women in Natural Gas Leadership award and in the 2018 40 under 40 class. Lee Ann received her degree in advertising and public relations from Marietta College and her master’s degree in public relations from Kent State University.

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.

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.

Laural Ziemba is Director of Public Affairs at Range Resources where she represents the company through its working relationships with the communities in which Range operates. Laural earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Duquesne University, and an MBA from Waynesburg University. She is a board member for the Southwest Corner Work Force Development Board, the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Washington Health System Foundation, the finance council for the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Washington County’s 2000 Turkeys Food Drive Campaign. Laural was the recipient of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Young Athena Award and the Pittsburgh Business Times Women in Energy Leadership Award.

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