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Executive Search Services Team

Lisa Brown

Email Lisa about Career Center Services, including executive and development staff searches, and onboarding.

With more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit world, Lisa A. Brown has worked with organizations of all shapes and sizes in the areas of development, marketing and communications.  As a senior level administrator, Lisa has built development programs from the ground up, expanded organizational capacity, and shaped the public profile of nonprofits with a variety of missions and visions.  As a consultant and an advisor, she brings a diverse set of skills to the table, working side-by-side with staff and leadership to define the big picture, connect the dots, hone in on the details, and turn planning into action.  Lisa is deeply committed to nonprofits and the value they bring to local communities.  It’s why she’s stayed in the game and why she remains an enthusiastic partner in bringing people and organizations together to make great things happen.

Past affiliations:  Community Action, Tacoma Symphony, American Red Cross, Food Alliance, Oregon Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Ballet Omaha, Boston Shakespeare Company

Current or recent affiliations:  WVDO, OMSI, Metropolitan Family Service, Children’s Center, Beaverton Education Foundation, The Portland Kitchen, Constructing Hope

Sarah Z. Panetta

Email Sarah about Career Center Services, including executive and development staff searches, and onboarding.

Sarah Panetta is a non-profit executive with 20+ years’ experience and demonstrated success in exceeding fundraising goals through program leadership, donor cultivation and solicitation, and staff development. She has demonstrated an ability to partner with internal and external constituents to understand needs and program direction, create strategic alliances and drive to success. She is passionate about matching individuals with opportunities and being a catalyst for change.

Ms. Panetta served the OHSU Foundation as Vice President for Development for three years, during difficult times that included the sudden loss of a beloved foundation president. She served on the foundation’s strategic management team and led a 59-member Development team. OHSU Foundation reached its long-term goal of raising $100 million per year consistently three years ahead of schedule, raising $100.5 million in fiscal year 2010-11; $99.3 million in fiscal year 2011-12; and, $197 million in fiscal year 2012-13, including one gift of $100 million. During her tenure, Ms. Panetta restructured the Development team to create leadership opportunities and provide greater accountability across the staff, promoting and hiring a half-dozen senior directors.

Before joining OHSU Foundation, Ms. Panetta served as associate chair in the Department of Development at Mayo Clinic. During her nine years at Mayo, its fundraising program grew from raising an average of $140 million a year in 2001 to completing a 5-year, $1.25 billion campaign in 2009. The staff grew from 85 members in 2001 to 215 members in 2010. During that timeframe, Ms. Panetta created an organizational structure to support a fundraising program that was growing in sophistication and scope. This included interviewing dozens, hiring many, and on-boarding, training and mentoring several staff members.

Prior to joining Mayo, Ms. Panetta served in the External Relations Department at Harvard Business School for eleven years, working in the annual fund, stewardship, major and principal gifts, and serving as chief of staff for two years. She made the transition from individual contributor to manager, and went on to hire and lead other managers.

Ms. Panetta lives in Portland with her husband, two teenage daughters, two dogs and two cats.


Mary Louise VanNatta

Mary Louise VanNatta has served nonprofits and associations since 1986 as owner of VanNatta Public Relations and more recently its sister company Spire Management.  Her passion for the nonprofit world was a natural outcome of growing up as the daughter of one of the most established  lobbyists still working in the State of Oregon, Fred VanNatta, who has had a career as a governmental affairs and association director spanning over 50 years.

She distinguished herself early in her career by achieving her Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) in 1993. Since that time she engaged in continuing education and teaching and has been recertified by ASAE every three years, most recently in 2014.

As a professional fundraiser, Mary Louise has helped nonprofits raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for worthy causes. She is a highly sought after event planner, best known for her work on auctions and celebrity events for various groups like the Marion Polk Medical Foundation featuring Jean-Michel Cousteau, Sarah Ferguson Duchess of York, Marlee Matland and Henry Winkler, "Pursuit of Happyness" author Christopher Gardner, Former South African President F.W. DeKlerk and First Lady Barbara Bush. As a preferred contractor for the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce, she coordinated First Citizen's Banquet, Business of the Year Awards, Education Leadership Institute for High School Teachers and Leadership Salem, their yearlong leadership academy for emerging leaders.

As a popular social columnist, she writes the weekly "Out and About with Mary Louise VanNatta" for the Statesman Journal newspaper in the Capitol City of Salem, Oregon. Since 2009 she has been covering the comings and goings of those involved in nonprofit events. She also has been writing a monthly business column for the Salem Business Journal since 2006 and has expert author status on her E-zine (Internet magazine) site.  Recently, she and co-host Wendy Brokaw from CCTV (Capital Community Television) have launched a bimonthly television show called InSight. The show features nonprofit leaders and highlights the work they do in the community. The 30 minute show can be seen on Channel 23 in the Mid-Valley.



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