2019 Annual Meeting

Date:   Friday, December 6, 2019
Time: 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM
San Antonio Winery
Downtown Los Angeles
737 Lamar St.
Los Angeles, CA 90031

2019 SCAHD Outstanding Leader Finalists

SCAHD would like to congratulate this year’s finalists for the Outstanding Leadership Award.

    • Michele Bignardi, CFRE, CSPG, Netzel Grigsby Associates, Inc.
    • Claudia Looney, FAHP, CFRE, CCS
    • Brian W. Thorne – Good Samaritan Hospital
    • Veronica Vazquez – Good Samaritan Hospital

Our Inaugural Legacy Award Recipient

Claudia Looney, FAHP, CFRE
Senior Consultant, CCS

Claudia Looney brings more than 50 years of experience in non-profit development and management. Prior to her role as Senior Consultant at CCS, Claudia served as the Senior Vice President of Development at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. In addition to leading and managing all aspects of the fundraising activities, Claudia has overseen the capital campaign that raised more than $1.03 billion. This was the largest campaign at the time, for a free-standing children’s Hospital. Additional campaign experience includes a $125 million campaign to build the new Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, the $60 million campaign for the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), a $20 million CalArts earthquake renewal campaign, and the $20 million campaign to build the Woman’s Hospital at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center.

Claudia has had extensive fundraising and communications management experience at key organizations. In addition to leading all fundraising programs, activities and development operations for Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, she managed and oversaw all fundraising, as President of the Northwestern Memorial Foundation. While Vice President for Planning and Advancement for California Institute of the Arts, and as President of the Saddleback Memorial Foundation, Claudia was responsible for all aspects of fundraising, marketing, and communications.

Claudia began her career with the YWCA of North Orange County and was also Assistant Executive Director for the Golden Gate and Los Angeles Councils of Campfire, Inc., prior to her focus on healthcare, the arts, and higher education.

Claudia has been recognized for her years of fundraising experience. Claudia was recognized as the recipient of the 2012 CCS Award for Outstanding Fundraising Professional presented by AFP. She was named 1994 Fund Raiser of the Year for Orange County, 1996 Fund Raiser of the Year for Los Angeles County, and YWCA’s Woman of Distinction for Orange County in 2004. In her professional career, Claudia has served many organizations, including:

    • AFP International Foundation
    • Autry Museum of the American West
    • California Institute of the Arts
    • Children’s Hospital Los Angeles
    • Children’s Institute Inc.
    • City of Hope
    • Claremont Graduate University
    • Da Vinci Schools
    • The Discovery Eye Foundation
    • The Frostig School
    • Golden Gate Council, Campfire Inc.
    • Greater Los Angeles Girl Scouts
    • Homeboy Industries
    • The J. F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center
    • Los Angeles Council, Campfire Inc.
    • Memorial Medical Center Foundation
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Health Foundation
    • New Horizon School
    • Northwestern Memorial Hospital Foundation
    • Occidental College
    • Orthopaedic Hospital Foundation
    • Planned Parenthood, Los Angeles
    • Providence Foundation Los Angeles Region
    • Radian Health Centers
    • Saddleback Medical Center Foundation
    • Segerstrom Center for the Arts
    • South Coast Botanic Gardens
    • St. John’s Episcopal School
    • UC Irvine Health and Medical Center
    • YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles
    • YWCA of North Orange County

Claudia is past Chair of The Woodmark Group’s Board, which oversees the Children’s Circle of Care program for the top 25 children’s hospitals in North America. She is also past chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Foundation and was a member of its International Ethics Committee. She is currently serving on the Orange County AFP board. She is a Fellow, was a past board member and served as Chair-Elect of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP), and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Claudia has also published several articles for both AFP and AHP Magazines, including Partnering with the CEO, Maximizing Physician Fundraising, Donor Relations Redefined, Engaging Volunteers, and more.

Claudia received her BA from California State University in Fullerton and is an alumna of the Charter Class of Pitzer College. Her husband, Jim, is a fundraising consultant. They have one married son, Chris, who along with his wife Anisha, are also fundraisers.

Outstanding Leadership Award Recipient for 2019

Michele Bignardi, CFRE, CSPG
Netzel Grigsby Associates, Inc.

Michele’s non-profit career exemplifies leadership and excellent service in our industry.

Michele joined the staff of Netzel Grigsby Associates, Inc. having worked as a consultant to nonprofit organizations and institutions. Her experience includes working with senior management, volunteer boards, and special task forces. She has more than 25 years experience recruiting and training volunteer committees.

As a senior vice president with Netzel Grigsby Associates, Inc., Michele’s accomplishments include successful multi-million dollar capital campaigns, fundraising development studies, planning and implementing annual and major giving programs and membership development campaigns, planning, and volunteer/staff training.

Michele and her husband live in San Pedro where they both are involved in several volunteer and civic organizations. She is the former board chair of the local YMCA where she also provided volunteer leadership to two successful capital campaigns in San Pedro and Wilmington. She currently chairs the Y’s Financial Development Committee.

Michele serves as the president of the Southern California Association of Healthcare Development, is a board member of both the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Orange County Chapter and the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners and is their conference chair. In addition she has been an instructor with the UCLA Extension Program in fundraising since 2008.

Michele earned her Bachelor of Arts from San Francisco State University.