2022 Annual Building Blocks Planned Giving Conference – Speakers

2022 Annual Building Blocks Conference

Friday September 30, 2022

Kauffman Foundation Conference Center and Live Streaming (Virtual)

CFRE 6.75

CLE/ Missouri 4.0 includes 2.0 ethics and 1.0 elimination of bias

CLE/Kansas 4.0 includes 1.0 ethics

For more details about this event, please visit
Speakers’ Topics    | Schedule

Register Today

Keynote & Featured Speakers

Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP® – Professor of Charitable Financial Planning at Texas Tech University  Texas Tech University

Russell James, J.D., Ph.D., CFP® is a chaired professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University where he directs the on-campus and online graduate program in Charitable Financial Planning (planned giving). He graduated from the University of Missouri School of Law where he was a member of the Missouri Law Review and received the United Missouri Bank Award for Most Outstanding Work in Gift and Estate Taxation and Planning. He also holds a Ph.D. in consumer economics from the University of Missouri, where his dissertation was on charitable giving.

Prior to his career as an academic researcher, Dr. James worked as the Director of Planned Giving for Central Christian College in Moberly, Missouri for 6 years and later served as president of the college for more than 5 years.

Dr. James has published research in more than 75 peer-reviewed scientific journal and law review articles. He has been quoted on charitable and financial issues in a variety of news sources including The Economist, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC News, U.S. News & World Report, USA Today, the Associated Press, Bloomberg News and the Chronicle of Philanthropy and his financial neuroimaging research was profiled in The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money Magazine.

Dr. James has spoken over 400 times at regional, national, and international conferences on fundraising, financial planning, and estate planning.  He is a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners “Hall of Fame.”

Matt Syverson, CFP, CAP – Managing Partner & Senior Wealth Advisor,

Sound Stewardship, LLC

Matt Syverson is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy who educates families on how to be the best stewards possible. He has served as a Financial Advisor since 2000 and helps generous, grateful people navigate all things financial in order to achieve their purpose and calling. He is constantly connecting givers to the charities that they are most passionate about. Matt is the managing partner for Sound Stewardship, LLC and past board member of MACGP and New Horizon Ranch Equine Therapy. He understands the perspectives of the donor and charitable organizations alike and facilitates donations that make the most impact.


Alexander OftelieSenior Vice President of Decision Science,                                   

BWF Fundraising & Philanthropy

Alexander W. Oftelie is a Senior Vice President of Decision Science.  He oversees all analytics engagements, workshops and trainings, and product implementation.  His specific areas of expertise include predictive modeling, business impact analysis, survey design and sampling methodology, analytics training, and analytics implementation.

Prior to his work with BWF, Alex worked as a non-profit subject matter expert for IBM, and advanced analytics consultant for Gallup. He is a recognized leader, speaker, and trainer for CASE, AHP, and Apra and holds a Bachelor of Arts from St. Olaf College and a Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota.


Letarik AmareFounding Partner, Radiant Strategies

Letarik Amare is a philanthropic professional who believes the key to meaningful power-building is rooted in the deeply transformative power of love and its hand in building a radically generous and joyful community. Growing up in Denver, CO, immersed in a vibrant community established by Ethiopian immigrants, she witnessed first-hand how through collaborative intention, a “small” group can make a significant local and global impact.

She began her philanthropic career at the Donors of Color Network, the first-ever cross-racial, high-net-worth donor community. Currently, Letarik is the Founding Partner of Radiant Strategies and Co-Creator of the Freedom School for Philanthropy. Radiant is a consulting practice that works hand-in-hand with individuals, groups, and organizations to build a philanthropic practice, research, and skills centering equity, human flourishing, and joy.

Christy Wineland, JD, MPA, CNP Vice President of Program Funding, Newhouse

Christy Wineland is Vice President of Program Funding for Newhouse, providing resources for victims of domestic violence. Christy received her BS in Criminal Justice from University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her JD from the University of Missouri Kansas City, and her MPA from UMKC.



Early Bird  Registration Ends August 15

CFRE 6.75,  CLE/ Missouri 4.0 includes 2.0 ethics and 1.0 elimination of bias, Kansas 4.0 includes 1.0 ethics