The Rev. Elizabeth (Libby) Berman
Libby joined ECF after serving in the Diocese of Massachusetts for more than fifteen years, most recently as Canon for Congregations. Together with her team, she supported congregations in clergy transition, offered resources needed for initiatives in congregational development, and studied and offered new models of ministry that advance church health and growth.
She also served as staff facilitator for the development of the latest diocesan Mission Strategy. Libby is especially passionate about helping congregations strengthen their visioning, planning and decision-making processes. In addition to consulting with ECF, Libby currently serves as the Interim priest at Church of the Good Shepherd in Watertown, MA.
Having grown up in South Dakota, Libby received her B.A. from Harvard College and an M.Ed. in administration and social policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her M.Div. is from the Episcopal Divinity School. Prior to entering the ordination process, Libby spent a decade at Harvard College as a Senior Admission and Financial Aid Officer and a director in residential life.
Jim is a fund raising professional with more than 35 years of experience serving religious, health care, secondary and higher education clients.
He has raised more than $125 million in support of capital campaigns, annual funds, planned gifts, major donor cultivation and special events. Jim is a member of St. Paul's, Fairfield, CT where he presently serves as senior warden. He is passionate about bringing his vast professional experience and love of the Episcopal Church together, to help raise funds to support missional goals. Jim’s wife, Lucy, and their four daughters are also very involved in church life and service.
Linda Buskirk is an ECF consultant based in Fort Wayne, Indiana. In addition to the many successful Episcopal Church capital campaigns she has led for ECF, she brings extensive experience from her own consulting practice specializing in strategic planning, fundraising and board governance for not-for-profit organizations.
Linda is also a contributing author for ECF’s Vital Practices/Vital Posts blog. Linda enjoys journeying with clients to help identify where they are being called to serve as a faith community and implementing a plan to ensure their capacity to achieve their goals. Linda is active in her home parish and diocese serving on committees responsible for clergy formation, endowment, stewardship and many other ministries. Linda holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University and is a graduate of the Congregational Development Institute of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Indiana.
Jerry joined ECF after retiring as VP for Advancement at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific where he oversaw the successful completion of a $21 million Capital Campaign and helped raise an additional $20 million in annual and planned gifts.
Since graduating from the Pacific School of Religion (MDiv), his career has included work with congregations of different denominations, social service agencies and theological seminaries. While ordained as an elder in the United Methodist Church, he was a parish pastor for 18 years and now specializes in Stewardship Development as well as Capital Campaign management. He holds a BA in Music from Arizona State University and attends Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Carlsbad, CA, where his wife is the vicar.
The Rev. Michael Chalk
Michael Chalk serves as a capital campaign consultant for ECF based in San Antonio, Texas, where he retired as rector of St. Mark’s.
During his 39 year ministry he led three successful capital campaigns, one that included a relocation of a program-size congregation (St. James’, Conroe, TX) and two campaigns at St. Mark’s, a resource size, downtown parish that involved renovating the entire campus and the worship space. Mike has conducted workshops on capital campaigns at the Diocese of Texas and the Consortium of Endowed Parishes Conference in 2015. He holds a BS from the University of North Texas and an M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary.
Charles W. Fisher
Charles Fisher is an ECF capital campaign consultant based in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. As a member and mission leader at Christ the King Episcopal Church he worked with ECF during a Strategic Visioning Process and was amazed at how the process shared much in common with his last 20 years of leadership in global strategic change programs at Procter & Gamble.
Charles’ last ten years in P&G FutureWorks involved creating new businesses and getting those projects funded from inside and outside the company. Charles is particularly energized when working on Discernment, articulating and communicating a Mission, and in helping teams develop their skills to achieve their objectives. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, and has broad experience in technology, Strategy, Leadership facilitation, and Consumer Research from P&G, and Public Interest Design, Asset Based Community Development, and Appreciative Inquiry from work with Core Change Cincinnati and Grameen Bank. Charles is excited to use his gifts and experience to help Episcopal organizations achieve their financial and strategic goals through a spirit-filled process.
Kim has been dedicated to the development of educational, historical, cultural, environmental, and health-related institutions for more than three decades.
Professionally astute in all aspects of program development, marketing, communications and fundraising, she has directed programs raising over $15 million dollars since 2000. Her expertise includes training of and collaboration with Boards, strategic planning, and donor stewardship. She has been recognized as an outstanding writer, communicator and public speaker with extensive editorial, publications and media experience. She has in-the-trenches experience with initiating or revitalizing annual and capital campaigns, many of which serve Episcopal schools and church agencies. She has created highly effective grants programs and managed numerous special events. Additionally, she has received awards for excellence in teaching and for her volunteer contributions to arts and community Boards. A native of Washington, D.C., she is a graduate of the National Cathedral School and Bryn Mawr College. She holds an MA from the University of South Dakota.
The Rev. Gerald (Jerry) Keucher
Jerry is the author of Remember the Future: Financial Leadership and Asset Management for Congregations (2006) and Back from the Dead: The Book of Congregational Growth (2012).
Prior to joining ECF, he was Chief of Finance and Operations for the Episcopal Diocese of New York. He has held similar positions in financial leadership, including Staten Island Botanical Garden and Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences. A gifted linguist he has taught Greek and Hebrew at Princeton Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School. Father Keucher is an ordained priest in the Episcopal Church and holds an S.T.M. from Yale Divinity School, and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
The Rev. Janet Lombardo
Janet has served as an Episcopal priest in the diocese of New Hampshire for 20 years. Currently she specializes in Congregational Development and interim ministries, helping congregations in transition better define their role in their communities, and to re-envision their mission and purpose. She has facilitated innovative partnerships between congregations, and believes that strong Lay Leadership, strategic thinking and sound financial practices are critical for the future of the church and for God’s mission in the world.
Janet has an MDiv and DMin in Congregational Development, and is a trained mediator through the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. She is actively involved in the re-imagining of Diocesan mission and vision in the Diocese of New Hampshire.
Jeannette McDonald serves as a consultant for ECF based in the seacoast of New Hampshire. Jeannette has a diverse career ranging from leadership roles in human service administration and for-profit organizations, to successfully managing her own consulting business for more than eight years. She felt a strong calling to bring her extensive knowledge of leadership and team development to faith based communities which is what brought her to ECF.
She earned a BS degree in Human Service Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. Her pursuit to fully comprehend how to strengthen teams led her to study with Society for Organizational Learning. She is an Authorized Partner of Wiley Learning Solutions with advanced certification in the delivery of Workplace Learning and The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team®. Jeannette is a life-long Episcopalian. Her involvement in the church began as a young child in choir to recent years becoming a Eucharistic Lay Minister at Christ Church, Exeter, NH and St. John’s Church, Naples. Florida. Jeannette is passionate about supporting Episcopal Church leaders as they search for opportunities to grow.
Joe Merlino serves as an ECF consultant based in Albuquerque, NM. Joe brings over 30 years of executive, business and organizational development to ECF, having worked in leadership, consulting and coaching roles throughout his career.
Joe is an advocate of lay leadership, building relational communities, and establishing cultures of advocacy that place the needs of parishioners and those of their community as their ultimate concern. Joe is a member of Saint Michael and All Angels where he has served on vestry and remains active in stewardship development, parishioner engagement and adult formation. Based on his own spiritual journey, Joe remains passionate about connecting the relevance of the Episcopal tradition with each parishioner’s search for meaning and purpose as a Christian disciple. He holds a BS in Systems Analysis and Design from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and an MA in Practical Theology from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA. Joe’s passions lie in pastoral ministry, play Christian leadership, reflective practice, and integrating spiritual practices in the workplace.
Leslie is Associate Program Director and Capital Campaign Consultant for ECF. She has worked with a diversity of congregations, enthusiastically guiding them through the communal process of a capital campaign.
Previously Leslie directed the Bishops’ Fund for Children in the Diocese of Connecticut where she was responsible for all fund raising, board development, donor relations, and writing of marketing and appeal materials. With her perspective as a clergy spouse, Leslie has in-depth knowledge of the day-to-day joys and challenges parishes face today, and she is passionate about helping congregations identify and embrace their missions for future ministry.
Maurice J. Seaton
Maurice, former Head of the Capital Campaign Program at ECF, serves as a Senior Consultant for ECF in the areas of leadership, annual stewardship, planned giving and capital campaigns.
Born in South Africa, Maurice is a lifelong Episcopalian/Anglican and a member of the Church of the Ascension in New York City and is active in the Episcopal Diocese of New York. At Ascension Maurice is currently a Warden, chairs the Planned Giving Committee and serves on select committees of the Vestry. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from New York University and is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
Prior to joining ECF, Nick was Assistant Director of Annual Giving at the University of Richmond, and in 2009 Nick formed The Sollog Group to help charitable organizations meet their annual giving and prospect research needs.
Based in Richmond, VA, Nick is involved in the local and church community both personally and professionally serving on the Vestry of Grace and Holy Trinity. He is a graduate of Lynchburg College and has received certificates from the University of Richmond’s Institute of Philanthropy in Grant Writing and Management, Fundraising and Development, and Nonprofit Marketing.
Sarah Townsend Leach
Sarah Townsend Leach joined ECF after serving as Director of Advancement and Communications for the Historical Society of Palm Beach County, FL. Throughout her ten years in the nonprofit sector, she has helped create and share sustainable strategies for leadership development, fund development and communications with a wide variety of organizations throughout the Southeast and Midwest. She brings to her work a friendly demeanor, a broad range of experience, and a deep understanding of the Episcopal Church.
Over her career, Sarah has held fundraising and consulting roles with Impact Strategies Group (Minneapolis, MN), Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana, Social Venture Partners Minnesota, and the Center for Nonprofit Management (Nashville, TN). Sarah is a native of Nashville, TN and life-long Episcopalian. She holds a BA in English Literature from Rhodes College in Memphis and a Masters of Public Administration from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She is also trained in the Art of Hosting methodology.