A Heritage of Fundraising Education

Supporting fundraising professionals
for over 50 years

about us

DER’s mission is to provide exceptional fundraising education in an informal, inclusive, and supportive atmosphere. Our goal is to offer San Francisco Bay Area development professionals an informative and fun environment to learn and get to know their peers.

DER has a deep history in the field of fundraising and was originally founded by Hank Rosso, considered by many as the father of modern fundraising.

board of directors & staff

  • Christine Poremski Rodrigues
    Christine Poremski Rodrigues President, Marketing Chair

Christine is a consultant and owner of R&P Associates. With an MBA from UCLA and more than twenty-five years’ experience in management, fundraising and marketing, she works with nonprofit organizations to create strategic plans, prepare for leadership transitions, develop online training and more. She credits DER with helping her transition to the nonprofit sector in 2003.

  • Juliana Ver Steeg
    Juliana Ver Steeg Vice President

Julie is a senior consultant with Brakeley Briscoe. She helps nonprofits strengthen their major gift programs, succeed with capital campaigns and inspire boards and staff through development planning, campaign feasibility studies, board and executive coaching and counsel. Julie has more than 30 years experience as a nonprofit consultant, development director, executive director and board member and is a longtime member of DER.

  • Brooke Bruns
    Brooke Bruns CPA, Treasurer

Brooke is an audit senior manager at Armanino LLP; Brooke started with Armanino after graduating from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has thirteen years of auditing experience, particularly in the not-for-profit, financial services, and real estate development industries.  She particularly enjoys working with not-for-profit organizations and the people within who are passionate about their organization’s mission.

  • Margaret Cruz
    Margaret Cruz Secretary, Governance Chair, FAB Co-Facilitator

Meg focuses on major gifts fundraising as the Senior Development Officer for the San Francisco-based CPMC Foundation, which is part of Sutter Health, one of Northern California’s largest regional health systems. Previously, Meg worked in foundation relations at the USC Keck School of Medicine, and helped non-profit leaders and Boards strengthen their fundraising as a consultant at CCS Fundraising.

  • Ian McCuaig
    Ian McCuaig Past President

Ian McCuaig is Of Counsel to Graham-Pelton Consulting and is an Advisor to fundraising portal Abuntoo.  Ian attended his first DER meeting in March 1992 when DER Founder Hank Rosso was the speaker. He has also served as President of the AFP Golden Gate Chapter (1999) and has been honored by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Mayor and State Legislature.

  • Timothy Biggert
    Timothy Biggert

Tim is Director of Business Operations at Abuntoo, a technology platform that innovates in the individual giving space to promote abundance-sharing and expand the Gift Economy.  Tim previously completed a 25-year management consulting career at IBM, where he worked with clients to create business strategies and develop practical approaches to realizing those strategies via improved technology, standardized processes, and optimized use of personnel.

  • Stephanie Casenza
    Stephanie Casenza

Stephanie has devoted her life to advancing the mission of a broad range of organizations, both as a professional and a volunteer.  She has served in management roles for child welfare, social justice, higher education, healthcare and arts organizations throughout California.  She earned a BA in journalism from San Diego State University and a MS in Executive Leadership from the School of Business at University of San Diego.

  • Cynthia Tirado Housel
    Cynthia Tirado Housel Membership Chair

Cynthia is the Major Gifts Officer for Golden Gate University in San Francisco.  She has over twenty years of fundraising experience, including work on major gifts, capital campaigns, special events, annual funds, grant writing, and corporate partnerships. Previously, Cynthia worked at the California Academy of Sciences, Chinatown YMCA, A Better Chance based in New York, and KCET Public Television in Los Angeles.

  • Aaron Rashba
    Aaron Rashba Luncheon Program Co-Chair

Aaron is Development Director for Seacology, an international conservation organization working to protect the world’s islands. He has 12 years of experience in fundraising, primarily working with major donors and Boards of Directors. Prior to Seacology, he worked for the San Francisco Food Bank and the Northern California Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. He has been a DER Board member for two years.

  • Suzy Varadi
    Suzy Varadi GASP Program Co-Chair

Suzy has over a decade of corporate fundraising experience, primarily in museums and youth development organizations. She is currently the Associate Director, Corporate Engagement at the Exploratorium.  Previously she raised funds for the Fine Arts Museums, Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco, Meals on Wheel of San Francisco and others. This is her first term as a DER Board Member.

  • Janice Vela
    Janice Vela GASP Program Co-Chair

Janice is a fundraising coach who gives executive directors the support they need to close “the ask.” She started her career as a social worker, and began attending DER programs in the 1980s when she transitioned to fundraising. Janice has worked for the San Francisco Women’s Building, Schools of the Sacred Heart, USF School of Law, Canal Alliance, and now as a coach with Tiburcio Vasquez Health Center, Golden Gate Salmon Association and others.

  • Lauren Weston
    Lauren Weston

Lauren Weston is a development professional with a breadth of experience in leadership development, educational program design, financial management, board development, marketing and communications. She is a graduate of UC Davis with a bachelor’s in International Relations and New York University with a master’s in Fundraising. Lauren has performed in a variety of development roles with notable Bay Area nonprofit institutions, including Breakthrough Collaborative, the Hiller Aviation Museum, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the YMCA. She has also provided project management for Sacramento area political campaigns,including school bonds and county supervisor races. She is on the board of Mousesquad California and is an adviser for OneProsper.

  • Jenny Arcilla-Gonzalez
    Jenny Arcilla-Gonzalez DER Administrator

As DER’s Administrator, Jenny handles all DER event registration and membership activities. Before joining DER she provided education and program management services to youth development nonprofits that include the Chinatown Beacon Center and Community Educational Services in San Francisco. Jenny also serves as a substitute teacher in the South San Francisco and Jefferson Elementary Unified School Districts.