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Senior Consulting Team

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Jacqueline (Jackie) Bowen, CFRE
Senior Consultant

Ms. Bowen has 19 years of fundraising, marketing and teaching experience in community colleges. During her 11 years at Chesapeake College, she organized the college's first development department and managed the first major gifts campaign. Before her fundraising career, she worked in publishing and marketing, was president of National Health publishing, and was publicity manager for the Johns Hopkins University Press. She has also taught literature and composition at various four-year and community colleges.

Rich Gross, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant

Dr. Gross served as President of Western Dakota Technical Institute (WDT) from April of 2003 until May 2008. WDT is one of four accredited 2-year technical colleges serving South Dakota. WDT provides services to residents in the western half of the State. Dr. Gross has initiated the college’s first-ever major gifts campaign resulting in numerous unique and exciting new partnerships for the college.


In addition, Dr. Gross is owner and President of RDR Associates, a higher education consulting firm that specializes in educational technology and leadership. RDR has worked with over 75 colleges and universities in over 20 states and Canada.

Previously, Dr. Gross served as Dean of Telecommunications at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Part of his responsibilities included developing a comprehensive seven-county interactive video and audio network providing educational programming to nearly 5,000 students per year. He also was part of the team that helped design and implement the Iowa Communications Network, a state-owned high capacity fiber network that interconnects over 700 locations with interactive video, voice and data networking.


Dr. Gross has also worked for the University of Missouri and Lincoln University in Missouri. Additionally, he has served as a board member and chair of the Instructional Telecommunications Council of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and as a founding member of the Community College Satellite Network Commission. He currently serves as a member of AACC’s Commission on Emerging Trends and Technology.

He currently serves as a member of the board of directors of the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs and the Fall River County Museum board.


He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri in Higher and Adult Education and Educational Telecommunications and is the author of several professional papers and co-author of one book. He also served as editor of “Signals” a newsletter of the League for Innovation in the Community College. He also served as chair of one committee and member of another committee of the Congressional Office of Science and Technology which helped to set initial policy for distance learning programs nationwide in the 1980’s.

Elaine Ironfield, Ed.D.
Senior Consultant

Dr. Ironfield has worked with numerous community colleges on projects related to long-range planning, organization and development capability, preparing grant proposals, marketing and public relations, and project evaluation. From 1981 through 1998, she served as the senior development officer at Holyoke Community College, Holyoke, Massachusetts. A long-time member of the Council for Resource Development (CRD), Dr. Ironfield has served on the board of directors for more than ten terms, and in 1997, received the CRD Lifetime Achievement Award.

Geoffrey (Geoff) Little
Senior Consultant

Mr. Little has more than 25 years of experience in telecommunications and related technology fields. He has been a leader in workforce development issues and initiatives in the western Massachusetts area. He serves as a trustee of the region’s Plan for Progress, as a member of the Workforce Committee of the Regional Technology Corporation, and has served as a board member and chairman of the Regional Education Business Alliance, a K-12 initiative. Mr. Little holds a BA degree from Colby College, Waterville, ME, and currently resides in Longmeadow, MA.

Elizabeth (Bess) S. Littlefield, CFRE
Senior Consultant

Ms. Littlefield is the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. She is responsible for all resource development activities and serves as the Executive Director of the J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College Educational Foundation. Ms. Littlefield has over 20 years of experience in institutional advancement at the community college and four-year university level. Additional experience includes strategic planning, board development, special fundraising campaigns, major gifts fundraising, grants, annual giving and legislative affairs.

Len O’Hara, Ed.D.
Senior Consultant

Dr. O’Hara served as the president of Paducah Community College for 11 years. In 1993, he used the Clements Group methodology to raise over $13 million. As a result, in 1994, PCC was named the #1 fundraising 2-year college in the nation. Dr. O’Hara has developed powerful national models, which are presently transforming the quality and character of higher education. Among them are: The 4th Paradigm, a powerful model which produces effective leaders and The Communiversity, which teaches 2-year colleges how to lead and sustain region-wide economic development.

Joseph Sabatella, Ed.D.
Senior Consultant

Dr. Sabatella has 34 years of experience working in public education, including 12 years as a teacher, 9 years as a building level administrator, and 13 years as a superintendent of schools. He also served as the educational consultant for the Juran Institute in the areas of strategic planning, quality improvement, quality control, and quality planning for K-12 education. Dr. Sabatella started the first educational foundation in New York state in 1983 and has been conducting grant writing seminars since 1987.

James E. (Jim) Selby, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant

Dr. Selby joined the Clements Group in 1997 after completing an 8-year presidency at North Central Missouri College in Trenton, where both college enrollment and campus size doubled following capital gifts campaigns that totaled over $5.5 million. He has been a consultant in community college marketing and enrollment management for over 25 years and has been involved in major fund drives for over 20 years. His CG service includes leading the very successful major gifts campaign efforts at Greenville Technical College, Parkland College, and ten others, all exceeding their campaign goals.

Michael R. Seppala
Senior Consultant

Michael is a development professional with 27 years of experience in all aspects of institutional advancement. He spent 5 years as the director of publications and 15 years as a senior manager and fundraiser at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. He also spent 7 years as a vice president of institutional advancement and foundation executive director at two large Massachusetts community colleges. He has experience in major gifts, annual fund development, alumni relations, advancement services and capital campaign staffing, planning and management. He has also worked closely with numerous foundation boards on campaign planning and implementation.

J. Roger Slater, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant

Dr. Slater has over 30 years of leadership and senior management experience in two-year colleges. He has served as president of West Georgia Technical College where he conducted successful major gifts campaigns and developed a strategic planning process which has been adopted by many colleges. Dr. Slater has experience with all aspects of college life and all levels of management, and brings to the Clements Group a wealth of knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Judy Smith, Ph.D.
Senior Consultant

Dr. Smith has been involved with adult education and program development for over 30 years. During her 26 years of service to Corning Community College, NY, her various responsibilities included building partnerships, developing new programs, extending college services to the community, growing constituencies, and garnering financial support. She’s participated in AACC’s Leadership Institute, the Harvard University Management of Lifelong Education program, and CASE’s Education Fund-Raising Institute at Dartmouth College. Dr. Smith holds a BS degree from SUNY at Potsdam, a MPS degree from Alfred University, and a doctorate degree from Cornell University.

Janet "Jan" Van Note, CFRE
Senior Consultant

Janet Van Note is a veteran fundraiser, campaign manager, educational consultant, and volunteer with over 25 years of experience in the profession. A native Iowan, she has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Buena Vista College and a master’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa. Along with certifications in administration and counseling, she has completed extensive study toward education, and certifications in management and fundraising.


Prior to joining the Clements Group, Ms. Van Note served as vice president of college advancement and executive director for the Hawkeye Community College Foundation in Waterloo, Iowa. Ms. Van Note guided the foundation efforts in grants, major gifts, annual giving, endowment development, gift planning, women’s philanthropic investment group, initiation of the Hawkeye Village apartments and the Hawkeye Community College Child Development Center, acted as legal and financial conduit for the Hawkeye Center for Business and Industry, and conducted special projects.


For the past seven years, Ms. Van Note has led numerous CG clients through successful campaigns, resulting in most of her clients joining CG’s acclaimed Million Dollar Club, who’s members have obtained at least one gift of at least $1 million during the course of their campaigns. She has also spearheaded models for core services of K-12 schools and planned giving.


Ms. Van Note has served on the United Way Board of Directors, the Downtown Rotary Club, Leadership Iowa Alumnus, Alumni Board of Buena Vista College, Quakerdale Campaign, Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee and Appeal Review Board, Mayor’s Committee for City of the Year Award, Resources Plus Board, League of Women Voters, Phi Theta Kappa, NSFRE Philanthropy Day, Dollars for Scholars, Consumer Credit Counseling, and state committee for PEO. Ms. Van Note has been actively involved with the national leadership of the Council of Resource Development (CRD) serving on the executive committee as vice president for policies and publications; director of ACCT/CRD foundation academy; vice president of the national conference; faculty for the NSFRE survey course; and as vice president of programs.


Awards include: Distinguished Service award from the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association; Iowa’s Federation of Women’s Clubs award for Iowa’s Future Problem Solving Bowl; and NCRD Director Recognition. She has received two presidents’ awards from Hawkeye Community College: Innovation Award for Global Education Day in 1997 and Ambassador of the Year in 1999. Ms. Van Note was also the recipient of CRD's Lifetime Service Award in 2000.



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