Bryant Group Seeks Vice Chancellor for Advancement for University of Washington Tacoma

July 18, 2023 – Dallas-based executive search and talent development firm Bryant Group has been selected to help recruit the next vice chancellor for advancement for the University of Washington Tacoma (UW Tacoma). Sarah Hempen, vice president, and Heather Wilensky, senior recruiter, are leading the assignment.

The University of Washington Tacoma’s next vice chancellor for advancement will be responsible for oversight and implementation of all advancement activities on the UW Tacoma campus including marketing and communications, major gifts, and advancement services, said the Bryant Group. This leader will report jointly to the chancellor of UW Tacoma, Sheila Edwards Lange, and the UW vice president for development, Tamara Josserand, and will be an integral member of the chancellor’s executive leadership team.

“I look forward to recruiting a visionary leader to build and guide our philanthropic efforts, working closely together to represent University of Washington Tacoma in the community,” said Dr. Sheila Edwards Lange, chancellor at University of Washington Tacoma. “We are looking for a strategic visionary who has the experience and skills to expand our philanthropic efforts and guide our advancement team in an integrated advancement model,” said Ali Modarres, search committee chair, assistant chancellor for community partnerships, and dean of urban studies.

The vice chancellor has three high-level direct reports, each managing a team of professionals: the assistant vice chancellor for marketing and communications, the associate vice chancellor for advancement, and the senior associate vice chancellor for advancement services.

“The successful candidate will be a ‘collaborator in chief’ working closely with internal and external constituents in the community, have a proven track record of effective team leadership, campaign planning, and major gift fundraising,” said the Bryant Group. “The vice chancellor will inspire a talented and accomplished team to successfully grow a comprehensive fundraising program. A passion for making an impact in a mission-driven organization, deeply committed to community, is a requirement for the next vice chancellor.”

Key Requirements

Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree; a master’s degree is preferred. At least 10 years of progressively responsible experience in institutional development/ advancement, with a strong emphasis on securing major gifts is also required. Equivalent advancement experience outside of higher education may substitute for educational institution experience.

Prospects should also have demonstrated success in identifying, personally cultivating, soliciting, and closing major gifts; demonstrated success in leading a strategic marketing and communications program; the ability to coordinate, enable, and build upon the work of a volunteer fundraising group composed largely of high level professionals from across the U.S. and across the business sectors; and an understanding of the importance of, and demonstrated success in, promoting diversity and inclusion among staff and volunteers.

Founded in 1990, the University of Washington Tacoma offers more than 60 undergraduate majors, minors, and study options; 15 graduate programs; and a variety of professional development courses and certificates. The university’s enrollment is 4,814, with 4,103 undergraduate students and 711 graduate students. 480 faculty and 320 staff support UW Tacoma’s active, urban campus

Proven Recruiters

Bryant Group specializes in advancement, fundraising, and leadership for universities, hospitals, and other non-profits. Its services include recruiting, talent development, and leadership coaching. The organization’s higher education clients include Stanford University, Harvard University, Michigan State University, Baylor University, the University of New Mexico, and others. Its healthcare clients include UCLA Center for the Health Sciences, the Mayo Clinic in both Minnesota and Arizona, Henry Ford Health Systems, Betty Ford Center, to name just a few. Its other non-profit clients include the American Heart Association, March of Dimes in both California and New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and more.

Related: Bryant Group Assists Kansas Leadership Center with CEO Search

Bryant Group is led by CEO Sally Bryant. She joined the search firm in 2007 and brings 30 years of experience in advancement management, consulting and recruiting, as well as achievements from the corporate sales arena and success in other entrepreneurial activities.

Bryant Group Recruits AVP of Outreach and Innovation for Western Michigan University
Following a national search, Dallas-based executive search and talent development firm Bryant Group has placed Michael Carlton as the first associate vice president of outreach and innovation for Western Michigan University (WMU). For more than 15 years, Mr. Carlton oversaw annual giving, alumni relations, special events, and donor relations for public universities and private non-profits. He most recently served as the director of annual giving and alumni engagement for the Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University. 

Christopher P. Bryant, co-founder and advisor of the Bryant Group, is a leader in the recruitment of advancement, development, and fundraising professionals. In 1988, he helped start what the firm describes as the country’s first executive search firm to specialize exclusively in philanthropy recruitment. Bryant Group is the successor firm, established in 2002. Now under the leadership of Ms. Bryant, the woman-owned firm focuses on advancing great leadership through executive search, leadership coaching and interim leadership services. Bryant Group has impacted more than 10,000 leaders and served more than 275 organizations.

Assignment Leaders

Ms. Hempen has over 20 years of fundraising and advancement leadership experience, serving most recently as assistant vice president of development at the University of South Florida. Having served both public and private universities, she has developed and led Annual Giving teams that consistently exceeded goals and created new revenue channels focused on building a pipeline for major gifts.

Ms. Wilensky joined Bryant Group in 2023 to support the team. She brings almost 20 years of alumni relations leadership experience to her role. Having served both public and private universities, she has successfully developed and led alumni engagement teams that consistently exceeded goals, evolved and established traditions and launched new programs to engage alumni and friends.

Related: Bryant Group Fills Top Marketing / Communications Post for University of Washington

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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