Michele Berard, CEO & Principal Consultant for Ascent Advisors, LLC, is a seasoned Fund Development and Management Professional who has brought success to organizations of varying sizes, scopes and challenges. A regular presenter and lecturer, Michele enjoys sharing her body of knowledge with others. She has served as adjunct faculty member for Bryant University and Rhode Island College teaching courses in Philanthropy, Ethics, Nonprofit Management, Program Design, Board Development and Program Implementation.
Michele is an AFP Certified Master Trainer, a mentor for the RIC Alumni Mentoring Program, and a graduate of Leadership RI – Gamma II Class. Having served on numerous boards and committees, Michele’s vast service within the nonprofit sector make her a leading expert in board governance. She is skilled at guiding board members toward a meaningful, productive and satisfying volunteer experience.
Michele is devoted to the tenets of team work and philanthropy. She is an expert connector and revenue generator. Her competencies include: grant writing, database organization, major gift fundraising, capital campaign planning/implementation, management, planning and board development. Armed with a CFRE, an MBA and now a certificate in Navigating a Crisis – a comprehensive course developed by Bryant University to educate leaders in adapting and responding to changes such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Karen Weavill, Senior Consultant for Ascent Advisors, LLC, has been fundraising in Rhode Island for more than 25 years. She has worked for organizations of all sizes, ranging from 20 employees to 11,000, with those organizations ranging from healthcare to human services to tourism.
Karen is expertly versed in donor communications, grant writing and research, social media management, corporate and foundation relations, volunteer recruitment and training, face-to-face solicitation, special events, graphic design, strategic planning, and database management.
Karen earned her CFRE credential in 2003 and commits herself to the tenets of philanthropy, best practices and ethical standards. She enjoys challenges, helping others and learning new things.
Scott Miller has spent most of his professional career in the banking and investment industries supplemented by decades of nonprofit experience through volunteerism and philanthropy. Scott's consultancy focuses on foundation and prospect research, donor cultivation, case statement development, grant proposals and offers a keen eye for copy editing. His knowledge of finance and market performance add value for the organization as well as its donors. He is available to assist nonprofits with fund development operations as well as guidance in hiring an investment manager.
Scott has a B.A. in English from the University of Rhode Island. He is a member of St. John's Lodge #1 Providence of Free and Accepted Masons where he served as the Worshipful Master in 2020/2021. It is important to note that during his year in leadership, St. John's #1 Providence distributed the largest amount of philanthropic contributions in its history.