Board Of Directors & Staff

DER’S MISSION IS TO PROVIDE EXCEPTIONAL FUNDRAISING EDUCATION IN AN INFORMAL, INCLUSIVE, AND SUPPORTIVE ATMOSPHERE.
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Susan Todaro

President

Susan has worked in development and fundraising for more than two decades, currently serving as the Development Director at Star Academy, an independent school for children with learning differences. Before that she led development efforts at two Catholic parishes. Throughout her career she has worked in small one or two person development offices and is well versed in making the most of small budgets and wearing many hats, including fundraising, communications, and project management. She earned her Masters of Nonprofit Administration at USF and, in addition to her work with DER, currently volunteers with the American Red Cross and the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Marin.

 melissa perez

Melissa Perez

Vice President

Melissa is currently a Senior Consultant at Glavin Jacobson Inc. Melissa's career bridges the non-profit and corporate communities ranging from household names like AT&T, United Way and the San Francisco Opera, to small non-profit start-ups like We Teach Science and SPAAT. She has served in both staff and board roles. This gives her particular insight into corporate partnerships, volunteer engagement, and board leadership.

In addition to fundraising experience with annual fund, major gifts, and foundation and corporate grants, Melissa has particular expertise in complex corporate partnerships and management of the development office team. Throughout her career she has woven together volunteerism and philanthropy to create meaningful experiences for fellow employees, board members and funding partners.

Melissa graduated from The University of Texas with a BBA in Marketing.

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Sarah Jelley

Governance

For 20 years, Sarah has volunteered as a non-profit Board Member and worked for non-profits for the last 10 years. She’s passionate about how non-profits change and better the world. Sarah believes fundraising is about building relationships with donors. Currently Sarah is focusing her time on expanding her relationships with donors and choir members at the San Francisco Bach Choir. Sarah graduated with a B.A. in Art History from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY.

 Pat Gallagher

    Pat Gallagher

    Member at Large

    Pat Gallagher joined Buckelew Programs in December 2020 as Chief Philanthropy Officer. Pat is an established development professional with a demonstrated history of working in Human Services, Community Health, and Education sectors in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her experience includes capital campaigns, major and annual gifts, grant-making, planned giving, relationship building, and events management. Her experience includes oversight of communications and marketing, volunteer services, and advocacy efforts. Pat is excited to be part of Buckelew’s team and shares their passion to support our vital mission, values, and strategic vision.

    A native San Franciscan, Pat received her BA in English at Santa Clara University and Master in Nonprofit Management at University of San Francisco. When off duty, she enjoys cooking, long walks and follows, with great enjoyment, televised baking competitions.

     Maral Chalian

    Maral Chalian

    Membership Chair

    Maral Chalian is a recognized leader in the global non-profit sector. At the beginning of her career, Maral pioneered a program to deliver and distribute humanitarian cargo to emerging democracies.  Working closely with United States and global leaders, Maral developed duty-free customs procedures, policies for equitable distribution of supplies, and efficient logistics for delivery of aid.

    After serving for over 10 years on the Community Advisory Board of Los Angeles Public Television (KCET), Maral was asked to lead the development efforts in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Within 2 years, donations increased by 144% in the region. Maral also had record-breaking success as an on-air pledge drive host, hosting live and taped segments for the largest public television station in the country (at the time).

    Maral was part of the team that successfully launched the undergraduate program at the American University of Armenia (AUA), affiliated with the University of California. As the university’s first-ever Vice President of University Advancement, Maral built a team of dedicated professionals, overseeing all outward-facing divisions of the University (including U.S. Government Relations, Communications, Marketing, Career Center, university website, etc.). Maral’s teams were consistently recognized for their collaboration, focus, and enthusiasm.

    Maral has twice been invited to speak at the United Nations DPI/NGO Conference. Her professional awards include the Women in Business Award by the California State Legislature.

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    Catherine Johnson

    Secretary

    Catherine Johnson is the Chief Operating Officer of Caravan Studios, a division of TechSoup. With over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors, Ms. Johnson has managed numerous department-level operations, budgets, and strategic fundraising initiatives. Prior to her current role with Caravan Studios, she was a long-time member of TechSoup’s fundraising team, with roles ranging from grant writer to development director. She holds a BA in History from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MA in Public Administration from the University of Washington.

     Shateya Littleton dersf

    Shateya Littleton

    Administrative Associate

    Shateya Littleton is a highly motivated and detail-oriented Treasury Analyst Accountant with 5+ years of experience in managing cash flow, financial reporting, and conducting financial analysis. With a Bachelor's in Accounting expected in Fall 2023 from George Mason University and an Associates in Business Administration completed in Summer 2021 from Northern VA Community College. Shateya also has experience working in the administrative field and possesses a strong understanding of administrative tasks and their significance in maintaining smooth business operations. She has a proven track record of effectively prioritizing tasks, meeting deadlines, and ensuring the seamless flow of information within the organization.

     Melanie Hamburger dersf

    Melanie Hamburger

    Treasurer

    Grateful for a 30-year career as a development director, major gift officer, grantwriter, and capital campaign consultant, Melanie Hamburger has raised over $5M for racial, social, economic, health and environmental justice in the Bay Area and beyond. In addition, she is committed to creating access to careers in fundraising, and teaches regularly for community college and workforce development nonprofits. With a small, agile team at CommunityGrantwriters.us, Melanie specializes in providing affordable resources to build revenue for social justice nonprofits with 0-1 fundraising staff.

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    Gema Cantu

    Sponsorship Coordinator

    Born and raised in the Valencia district of San Francisco, Gema strives to provide arts education, access, and culture to her community. She is currently the Development Manager at Young Audiences of Northern California, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing creative experiences to youth and the Bay Area. As a Latinx woman of color working in the development field, Gema looks to re-image the traditional culture of the fundraising world and implement new fundraising approaches that integrate Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA). In addition, she believes in providing support to fundraisers of color and connecting them with professionals in the field to enhance their fundraising skills. She thrives best when working with a team and looks forward to joining the DER Board and advancing their mission!

     Shake Sulikyan dersf

    Shaké Sulikyan

    Programs Chair

    Shaké Sulikyan is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader who is dedicated to making the world a better place. She aligns talent and resources to drive larger-scale initiatives, build fruitful relationships, and reach record-breaking goals. Shaké has successfully raised millions of dollars for healthcare, universities including Harvard Medical School and Simmons University, and nonprofit organizations throughout the United States.

    As President and Executive Director of ValleyCare Charitable Foundation, she oversees fundraising strategies, community engagement and communications, and provides financial and legal management. She has also served as a nonprofit consultant. Shaké has a long-standing career in volunteer roles, leading workshops and training sessions nationwide, and serving on nonprofit boards. She lives in Livermore with her husband and young son.

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    Leeann Alameda

    Marketing Chair

    Leeann Alameda has 20 years of experience in directing and implementing best practices in marketing, communications, branding, and creative solutions in both the private and nonprofit sectors. As founder and principal consultant of Alameda Marketing Solutions, Leeann has led multifaceted marketing projects for social sector and professional service business clients. As a result, these organizations have clearer and more targeted messaging, greater cohesion in their outreach materials, and integrated plans that raise visibility to support growth and fundraising efforts. Before becoming an independent consultant, Leeann was the first Director of Communications at the nonprofit REDF and she was Head of Marketing Creative Services at Pixar Animation Studios.