As we continue to inch closer to the 2020 Petrus Leadership Conference in Breckenridge, Colorado on June 7-10, and we get much closer to the January 31 cutoff for Early Bird Registration Rates, we wanted to share with you some of our guests on the podcast who will be at the conference presenting to participants. If you are a loyal listener of The Petrus Development Show, you will likely have heard many of these clips already, but even if you’re new to the show, you’ll be able to pick up pretty quickly how amazing our guests are and hopefully get excited about hearing more from them at the conference.
So who are some of our speakers?
We’ve selected a handful of short clips as a sampling of the speakers at the conference. Before each is a brief intro and some background on the speaker and what they’ll be talking about at the conference.
Our first clip comes from Jason Shanks, president of Our Sunday Visitor Institute. Jason and Andrew spoke on the podcast just a couple of weeks ago. They mostly spoke about the need for more innovation and experimentation in A) the Catholic Church and b) the fundraising world. One of the things that stood out from the conversation is how clearly Jason understands the role of the development officer and the development team in advancing the overall mission of a ministry. This clip talks about the importance of providing a seat at the strategic table for development leaders because they really do provide a strong feedback loop for ministry leaders. Jason will be at the conference talking about the need for more innovation in the Church and how we can all play an important role in that shift. Enjoy.
This next clip comes from Jacob Laskowski, founder and president of 86 Creative. One of the things that really impresses about Jacob and his approach to his work is that he doesn’t just look at design from the perspective of what has worked for the Catholic Church. Jacob studies every brand, no matter the industry, to determine what appeals to people in general and then integrates that into his design work with Catholic clients. That’s evident in this clip because he’s taking a lesson from the clothing and shoe giant, Nike about simplifying your message. Jacob will be presenting at the conference about building a style guide that really supports your entire brand image. Jacob is a master at taking all the great things about your program and packaging them in powerful and memorable ways. Enjoy.
This clip comes from Kate Sell, managing partner of Mission Advancement Partners. Kate’s career has been a series of identifying her strengths and matching them with the needs of ministries that she cares about. When she realized that she has a knack for helping organizations chart a strategic course, it became evident how necessary that is in the nonprofit and Catholic space. Strategic planning is something that a number of apostolates, campus ministries, dioceses and even parishes really struggle with. Kate does a wonderful job in this clip of explaining it so clearly. Kate will be presenting at the conference about strategic planning and how your organization can expand and grow by narrowing your focus on the “one overarching goal”. Enjoy.
Let’s take a quick break from our clips to talk about some of the other aspects of the Petrus Conference. If you’ve listened to the podcast, you know how much we all believe in building community. Many development officers will credit building relationships over years of attending conferences is a big reason why they remain in development for so long.
So how does that happen at the Petrus Conference? Well, just spending time with other great people for three or four days, will naturally lead to great connections. But how do we structure the schedule to nurture relationship-building?
Breakfasts and lunches throughout the conference are spent together and are excellent times to meet new people and break bread together. We also believe in kicking back at the end of the day with great dinners. Sunday night is a laid back reception where old friends reunite and new folks meet lifelong friends. Monday night is what we call our dine-arounds, which give attendees the chance to explore the local restaurants as a group and share a meal with folks you might not otherwise spend time with. With the DoubleTree hotel being so close to downtown Breckenridge, there are plenty of excellent options for dinner. Tuesday night is our big group dinner, which at this point in the conference, you know quite a few people and can really kick back and have a good time. Our group dinner in 2018 in San Antonio is still famous (or infamous) for the spectacular number of margaritas served in under two and a half hours. And if this all sounds great but you’re wondering where the real bonding happens, we’ll direct you to the hospitality suite. Every night of the conference, the hospitality suite is open late with plenty of late night snacks and beverages. We keep a loaded bar and many a strong bond was formed over drinks and late-night conversation..
In addition to being a place to meet and socialize with great people, the Petrus Conference also works hard to serve the spiritual needs of our attendees as well. Every morning starts off with morning prayer and a short reflection. Additionally, we always take time each day to attend daily Mass. In Breckenridge, St Mary’s Catholic Church is a just a few blocks from the hotel so the evening walk to Mass should be a nice way to stretch your legs and take in the mountain sights.
A final note about the conference "extras" is that we want everyone to also have the opportunity to get out and enjoy the mountains. For that reason, we are partnering with Jack Dingbaum from Creatio, a Catholic service and outdoor adventure ministry based in Denver CO, to take those who are interested on a guided hike to experience the mountains and landscape of Breckenridge. Jack is an experienced hiker and outdoorsman and this optional hike on Sunday at 130pm is a great chance to get out and really experience Breckenridge.
With that, below are our final two speaker clips.
This clip goes back to when Kerry Robinson, author, executive director and former director of development at the St. Thomas More Catholic Center at Yale University was just getting started as a fundraiser. While she and Fr. Bob Beloin eventually went on to raise $75M to build a new student center and endow an incredibly vibrant campus ministry program, Kerry’s start was quite dramatic and perilous. Kerry will be speaking at the conference about imagining abundance in our work (which is also the name of her book) and this clip is perfect for that. She was in a seemingly impossible position at Yale at the time and her visit with a colleague from the Hillel Center gave her a new perspective and set her up for tremendous success. Kerry is an amazing fundraiser and speaker and her opening keynote message will no doubt get the Petrus Leadership Conference off to an inspired start. Enjoy.
This final clip is one of the all-time most popular clips from the podcast. Linda Domeyer has been in Catholic fundraising for over 18 years and has served as a Petrus consultant since 2016. Linda is an amazing fundraiser and teacher, but like all of us, she had some tough lessons early on that helped form her professionally. At the conference, Linda will be discussing working with board members and volunteers and how to build those relationships in ways that truly advance the mission. The clip that you’re about to hear, however, is about a donor experience that left a permanent mark on Linda and taught her a very simple lesson, “you can’t be afraid to ask.”
So as you reflect and make preparations to attend the 2020 Petrus Leadership Conference, just remember that we all started somewhere. This is probably one of the best and most redeeming aspects of Petrus and about this conference in particular. Whether you have 20 years in development, or 20 days, coming to this conference will teach you new things and it will feed you in ways that you’ll be itching to hit the road and raise more money. Please consider joining us in Breckenridge (one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth) and spread the word to encourage others to attend as well. Early Bird rates are good through January 31.
So God bless and look forward to seeing you in June.
"In a conference, what I'm really looking for is the practical TOOLS on how to do your job well and the MOTIVATION to go out and be ready to get back to work. I've gotten both of those things from Petrus. I'm really excited to get back home and HUSTLE and really put my all into it."