By Kevin Leahy • February 24, 2020

    The AAAC Welcomes New Cohort

    It's an exciting day for the AAAC, as today, we formally announce the second cohort to the council. This second cohort is a diverse group of 11 individuals spread across nonprofit organizations, health care institutions, higher educational institutions, and service providers.

    Each member of the AAAC is committed to bringing about the next evolution in a positive and sustainable way through the power of transformative artificial intelligence (AI) technology.

    The AAAC 2020

    To learn more about our new cohort and upcoming AAAC priorities, please see our full press release below:

    Artificial Intelligence in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC) Announces New Cohort

    Leading Voice of Artificial Intelligence in Philanthropy Welcomes New Experts & Practitioners to Council

    The AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC), a first-of-its-kind organization committed to open discussion and evaluation about where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can and should have an impact on advancement, today announced its second cohort, adding eleven new members to the Council.

    As the leading organization addressing AI in the philanthropic sector and one of the longest-tenured AI councils across all business sectors, the AAAC’s growth is unique. This new cohort builds on incredible momentum that the AAAC generated in 2019, which included prominent press articles and issuing the advancement industry's first benchmark study on the adoption rate, uses, and opinions of AI in the industry; The 2019 State of AI in Advancement Report. With new members of the AAAC, the group will expand its research efforts, inform best practices and use cases, and guide nonprofit organizations as they use AI to transform efficiencies in advancement efforts.

    The AAAC’s new cohort includes Colleen Zakrewsky, Senior Vice President of Business Development and External Relations for FINCA International, where she focuses on alleviating poverty through sustainable solutions that help people build assets, create jobs, and raise standards of living.

    “At FINCA International, we have the privilege of empowering millions of low-income people across five continents with the tools they need to step out of poverty and build their own equity. This doesn't happen without funding. I’ve seen how artificial intelligence changes what’s possible in fundraising, and I’m proud to join my esteemed colleagues on the AAAC as we find ways to bring this transformative technology to all non-profit organizations,” said Zakrewsky.

    The AAAC’s new members are:

    • Chris Biehn, former Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Ithaca College
    • Eric Gentry, Executive Director, NKU Foundation and Vice President of University Advancement at Northern Kentucky University
    • Phil Komarny, Vice President of Innovation at Salesforce
    • Sylvia Galen, Assistant Vice President of Advancement Analytics at The George Washington University
    • Jennifer Norris, Chief Development Officer at Appalachian Mountain Club
    • Lil O’Rourke, President at the University of Rhode Island Foundation and Alumni Engagement
    • Dr. Jason Penry, Assistant Vice President for Special Projects at Texas A&M
    • Tracy Rolston, Associate Vice Chancellor for Advancement Services at Pepperdine
    • Steve Sokany, Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the Kent State University Foundation
    • Deb Taft, CEO at Lindauer
    • Colleen Zakrewsky, Senior Vice President, Business Development and External Relations at FINCA International

    “Artificial Intelligence is transforming behaviors, processes, and outcomes across all industries. We’re so proud that our Council continues to lead the sector of social good in evaluating the fair, ethical, and efficient applications of artificial intelligence in Advancement,” said Adam Martel, AAAC member and CEO of Gravyty. “I’m excited to welcome this new cohort of uniquely qualified and diverse Advancement professionals to the AAAC as we continue our work to change the world.”

    In the coming months, the AAAC will reveal the 2020 State of AI in Advancement report and host its annual in-person meeting in New Orleans. To participate in this year’s research, please follow this link.

    To keep updated on the AAAC's progress, please follow the council's page: www.gravyty.com/aaac.

    About the AAAC
    In October 2018, members of the advancement industry came together to form the AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC). With the belief that artificial intelligence (AI) technology was beginning to revolutionize the way fundraising works, these leaders recognized the need to help shape AI's role in the industry. Entirely volunteer-driven by the passion of its members, the AAAC commits to open discussion on where AI technology can and should have an impact in advancement, and to solving critical challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption.

    The AAAC exists to serve our community and help promote the evaluation, use, learnings, and outcomes from applying AI in advancement.

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