NCBF 2024 Annual Conference Chicago, IL


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The NCBF 2024 ANNUAL MEETING can be attended in-person, virtually or both. We’ll be featuring presentations from top professionals.

Collaborate 2024: Building Connections, Forging the Future will be held on July 25-27, in Chicago, Illinois, hosted by the Illinois Bar Foundation at their offices.  Programming will begin at 9:00 AM Friday morning and conclude on Saturday at 12:00 PM. Sleeping rooms are available at the Kimpton Hotel, located 2 minutes away by walking, from $249 per night.

Registration Information

  • In-Person Registration Cost – $279 (Early Bird); $329 after June 14
  • Friday Night Dinner Attendance – $90
  • Virtual Participation – $125 (Early Bird); $179 after June 14

The NCBF 2024 Conference will be held at the Illinois Bar Foundation. See below for maps and details.

Thursday, July 25th

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Meet & Greet at the Kimpton Hotel, Robie Room

Join us for food and drink at the Robie Room. Thank you to the Illinois Bar Foundation for sponsoring the Meet & Greet!

Friday Night Cocktails & Dinner – 6:30 PM

Roanoke Restaurant

Friday, July 26th – Illinois Bar Foundation

8:30 AM Breakfast Gathering

Continental Breakfast

9:00 AM Conference Welcome & First-Time Attendee Introductions

9:30 AM Unique Foundation and Grantee Programs


Erin Childs

Erin Childs, President and CEO of Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio

Erin Childs

Erin Childs will speak about the Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio and the transformative grants they have received from the OSBF.

Erin became Executive Director of Pro Bono Partnership of Ohio (PBPO) at its founding in 2014. As President & CEO, she advances PBPO’s mission, leads staff and programs, sets strategy, oversees operations, recruits volunteer attorneys, promotes outreach and education, and lectures on nonprofit law.

Previously, Erin was an attorney at Thompson Hine, LLP in Cincinnati and a volunteer Court Appointed Special Advocate for ProKids.

She has served on the boards of the Cincinnati Bar Association, Cincinnati Bar Foundation, Ohio Association of Nonprofit Organizations (OANO), and the Ohio State Bar Association’s Council of Delegates. Erin was part of Leadership Cincinnati Class 43 and was named one of Cincinnati’s Forty Under 40 by the Business Courier.

Heather Creed

Heather Creed

Heather Creed

Heather Creed will discuss the Law and Leadership Institute.

Ms. Creed joined LLI as the first Chief Operating Officer in April 2014 and became Executive Director in February 2015. She brings experience from Legal Outreach in NYC, law school administration in Texas, and teaching algebra in Miami.

The Law & Leadership Institute (LLI) is an Ohio non-profit that prepares high school students from underserved communities for legal careers. Started in 2008 by the Supreme Court of Ohio with 40 students, it expanded to six cities and now serves 175 students statewide. Supported by Ohio’s nine law schools, the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the Supreme Court of Ohio, federal courts, bar associations, and community partners, LLI offers academic and leadership training.

Randy Cubriel and Caitlin Johnston

Randy Cubriel

Randy Cubriel

Caitlin Johnston

Caitlin Johnston

Randy Cubriel and Caitlin Johnston will be sharing CANLAW’s story. CANLAW was envisioned by our speakers, Fellows of the Austin Bar Foundation, with the goal to provide invaluable pro bono estate planning legal services to the cancer community. CANLAW provides cancer patients the opportunity to have estate planning documents and advanced directives for health care prepared by attorneys and tailored to their needs.

10:30 AM Break

10:45 AM Tour of the Illinois JusticeCorps at the Daley Center

This continuation of our discussion on unique bar foundation programs will focus on Illinois JusticeCorps, an innovative collaboration between The Chicago Bar Foundation, the Illinois Bar Foundation and the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice, funded by AmeriCorps and the Serve Illinois Commission.

**Approx. 5 minute walk to Daley Center

12:00 PM Lunch & Awards Presentation

2024 NCBF Partnership for Success Award
2024 NCBF Excellence Award

2024 NCBF Partnership For Success Award

2024 NCBF Excellence Award

1:30 PM Planned Giving

Featured Speaker: Robert Shafis

In this session, you will get a brief overview on planned giving and get into the practical steps involved in creating a planned giving marketing plan, making the ask, and stewardship. You are encouraged to bring your foundation’s planned giving marketing plan and other planned giving materials if you have them for this interactive session.

Robert Shafis

Robert Shafis

Robert Shafis, Director of Planned Giving Services at Veritus Group, has over 30 years of experience as a successful fundraiser, speaker, and attorney, accounting for over $800 million in major and planned gifts.

Starting with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Foundation as Senior Vice President, he and his team raised over $100 million annually. He served as Director of Planned Gifts for the National Alzheimer’s Association and Alexian Brothers Health System Foundation, and participated in $200 million+ campaigns at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry and The Field Museum. Most recently, he was the Territorial Director of Planned Giving for The Salvation Army’s Central Territory.

At Veritus Group, Bob has analyzed over 1 million donor records, uncovering hundreds of millions in unidentified planned gifts and thousands of potential donors. He manages planned giving programs, develops campaigns, and evaluates programs.

Bob has taught at North Park University, is a member of the CAMOTOP Planned Giving Group, and served as Secretary and board member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. He frequently speaks on planned giving, estate planning, charitable tax issues, and fundraising.

3:00 PM Break

3:15 PM-4:15 PM Panel Discussion on Fundraising Events & Lightning Round

This interactive panel will focus on one of the most requested topics by NCBF members: fundraising events! Our panelists will discuss their successes, challenges, and the unique events that stand out at their bar foundation. Attendees are invited to ask questions and share your own triumphs and struggles.


Jessie Reeves

Jesse Reeves

Jesse Reeves

Jessie is the Director of Events & Administration at the Illinois Bar Foundation (IBF) and an NCBF Board member since 2023. She has been with the IBF since 2015 and is based in their Chicago office, where she oversees the annual Gala and all other fundraising events, administers the Lawyers Care program, and assists with board and donor relations, marketing and communications, and more. When she’s not working with the IBF or NCBF, Jessie loves volunteering with One Tail at a Time Animal Rescue, reading, trying new restaurants, and going on outdoor adventures with her husband of seven years and her small but mighty rescue pup, Dottie.

Caitlin Peterson

Caitlin Peterson

Caitlin Peterson

Caitlin is the Director of Board Relations and Development at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and Foundation. In her role, she provides essential administrative support to both the Association’s and Bar Foundation’s Boards of Directors. Her responsibilities include coordinating monthly Board meetings, managing nominations processes, facilitating orientations, and ensuring compliance with engagement requirements.

On the Development side, Caitlin leads the planning and execution of the organizations’ annual events, notably spearheading the Association’s Annual Meeting and Bar Foundation’s major fundraising events including the Halloween Run for Justice, Rock the Foundation and Public Servants Merit Awards. Additionally, she oversees the Bar Foundation’s Fellows program, gift campaigns, and internal grant making requests for the Bar’s captive Foundation. A lifelong Cleveland native, Caitlin is deeply involved in the local Slovenian community. She serves as Vice President for the Slovenian National Home in Cleveland and has been a dedicated volunteer for the Cleveland Kurentovanje festival and parade since 2015. Outside of work and community service, Caitlin along with her husband Danny enjoy golfing, attending concerts, and cherishing time spent with their two dogs.

Sharra Wagner

Sharra Wagner

Sharra Wagner

Sharra currently serves as the Executive Director of IREM Kansas City (Institute of Real Estate Management), where she manages day-to-day operations, monthly events, and administration for member property managers and industry partners. She also manages the business operations of abstract modernist artist, Joelle Somero. Previously, she served as the Director of KCMBF (Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Foundation), where she oversaw their Legal Connections programs, the annual Gala, 5K run, marketing, and all fundraising efforts. KCMBF was the host organization for NCBF’s Annual Meeting in 2022. A native of Minnesota, Sharra moved to Kansas City to complete her doctorate in music, where she subsequently met her lawyer husband, hence her interest in the law. In her spare time, Sharra enjoys working out, cooking, traveling, and performing as principal clarinetist of Northland Symphony Orchestra and newEar Chamber Ensemble.

6:30 PM Group Dinner at Roanoke (pre-registration required)

Saturday, July 27th – Illinois Bar Foundation

8:30 AM Breakfast Gathering

Breakfast Buffet

9:00 AM NCBF Annual Meeting

9:30 AM Maximizing Board Engagement

Featured Speaker: Elizabeth Derrico

If real estate is all about location, location, location, our foundations are all about engagement, engagement ,engagement. That engagement begins with our board as our primary ambassadors. In this session we will explore the fundamentals of board engagement in a post-COVID environment. We also will discuss how to maximize board member contributions. You will have an opportunity to share your successes. You’ll leave the session with a menu of opportunities.

Elizabeth Derrico

Elizabeth Derrico

Elizabeth Derrico has over 34 years in law-related organizations, and brings a practical, creative, and strategic approach to problem-solving. She focuses on collaborative solutions by asking extensive questions to tailor strategies to each organization.

Elizabeth has facilitated over 150 strategic conversations, designed training and leadership programs, led organizational assessments, and assisted 10 search committees. She has delivered over 150 presentations on governance and leadership.

Her career includes 14 years with the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) and nearly 20 years with the American Bar Association (ABA). She also served as associate executive director of NYSBA. For the past five years, she has been an independent consultant.

As a volunteer, Elizabeth has worked on board development and governance for arts organizations, participated in alumni activities, and supported food banks. She is a board member of The Red Orchid Theatre and has been involved with the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE), receiving the NABE Bolton Award in 2018.

Elizabeth holds a BA from Wheaton College (MA) and a MAPA in Public Affairs from the University at Albany.

11:00 AM Break

11:15 AM Roundtable Discussion on Building Connections

Get in the conversation with this roundtable session on topics including: engaging potential leaders from diverse backgrounds, leadership onboarding and setting expectations, and reengaging lapsed donors.

12:15 PM Boxed Lunch

Take your lunch to go or enjoy lunch with the NCBF crew before the river cruise!

2:30-4:00 PM Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise

Don’t miss your opportunity to see Chicago up close and personal with your fellow NCBF members for the famous Chicago Architecture Center River Cruise!

**Sold out

Meet at 112 E. Wacker Drive, the corner of Michigan Ave & Wacker Drive (the dock for Chicago’s First Lady). Follow the stairs marked by the black awning down to the river. Guests should arrive by 2 pm to board and be checked in.

We hope to see you in-person, virtually or both!

The NCBF 2024 Conference will be held at the Illinois Bar Foundation

20 S Clark St
8th Floor
Chicago, IL 60603


NEARBY HOTEL: The Kimpton Gray Hotel is hosting NCBF members while in Chicago from $249 per night. Please book online by clicking here.

Members can also call their toll-free number at 1-800-546-7866 and ask for the “National Conference of Bar Foundations” group rate. Members have until July 10, 2024 or until the block is full, to book their rooms.

*Please note. If you have any issues booking your room(s), please contact

Jessie Reeves

Phone: 312-920-4681



We are SO excited about this year’s NCBF Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL. We hope you enjoy the Windy City!


The Conference is just two blocks away from the Kimpton Gray at the Illinois Bar Foundation – 20 S Clark St, 8th Floor, Chicago, IL 60603 –

Thursday Welcome – 6:00 PM

Join us for food and drink at the Robie Room. Thank you to the Illinois Bar Foundation for sponsoring the Meet & Greet!

Friday Night Cocktails & Dinner – 6:30

Roanoke Restaurant



Top Chicago eats

Chicago bars, breweries, and beyond

Check off the culture musts

Green Mill in Uptown
Green Mill in Uptown

Experience Chicago’s music and nightlife

The Field Museum Maximo
Field Museum

Explore our must-see museums

  • Gaze up at a Titanosaur, the largest creature known to man, at the Field Museum. Don’t forget to say hi to SUE, the most complete and best-preserved T.rex ever discovered.
  • Explore the Art Institute of Chicago, Ferris Bueller-style to see one of the largest collections of Impressionist art outside the Louvre.
  • Stand in a tornado, inside a U-boat, or deep down in a coal mine at the interactive Museum of Science and Industry.
  • Watch rare and local aquatic creatures in stunning habitats at the Shedd Aquarium.
  • Marvel at the wonders of the universe at Adler Planetarium, the first planetarium in the Western Hemisphere.
  • See remnants of the Great Chicago Fire and hop on the first ‘L’ car at the Chicago History Museum.

See Chicago theatre

Be wowed by city sights

The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago
The Ledge at Skydeck Chicago

Top sights and attractions

  • Stand outside one of the world’s tallest buildings at The Ledge, an all-glass balcony at Willis Tower’s Skydeck Chicago.
  • TILT over the city at 360 CHICAGO observation deck at the former John Hancock Center.
  • Splash alongside larger-than-life Chicagoans at Millennium Park’s Crown Fountain.
  • Count the building fragments embedded in the Tribune Tower facade (there’s a little bit of the Taj Mahal, Parthenon, and Palace of Westminster).
  • Gaze up at Chicago’s famous Marina City towers (aka the corncobs), featured in everything from movies to album covers.
  • Get up close and personal with art masters — from Caldwell to Miró to Picasso — on a public art tour around the city.
  • Step back in time at the historic Pullman National Monument.
  • And, of course, take a selfie with Cloud Gate, aka “The Bean”.
  • Discover under-the-radar attractions and hidden gems in our diverse neighborhoods.

a large reflective sphere in Millennium Park

Waterfront adventures

Soak in the great outdoors

Friends bike on Chicago's Lakefront Trail
Chicago’s Lakefront Trail; photo by Abel Arciniega, @tequilagraphics

Urban adventures

City in a garden