Jacquelyn M. Bonavia, CFRE 
2019 President's Award Recipient 

AFP Chicago is proud to present the 2019 President’s Award to Jacquelyn M. Bonavia, CFRE. The President’s Award honors individuals who have demonstrated high ethical standards and outstanding leadership and service to AFP Chicago, and exemplify the philanthropic spirit of our great city.

Jackie is the Director of Advancement for the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. During her career, she has served as both an executive director and a director of development for various nonprofit organizations.

Jackie began her career as the executive director of a performing and visual arts center in North Carolina. Upon relocating to Illinois, she became the first executive director of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, a professional symphony in suburban Chicago, guiding its growth over a 16-year tenure. As a development director, Jackie has worked with several Chicago cultural and arts education organizations, most recently including the Pritzker Military Museum and Library and Music of the Baroque. During her career, Jackie says, “I have been committed to creating value for the communities that are home to these organizations and meaningful relationships between donors and the organizations they choose to support.”

Jackie served 11 years on the AFP Chicago board of directors, co-chaired the Fellows Program for two years, was a faculty member for this year’s AFP Fundamentals course, and is currently an AFP Mentor. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a B.A. in Journalism from the College of Letters and Sciences and an M.A. in Arts Administration from the School of Business.

The President's Award was presented to Jackie at the Annual Meeting held on Friday, December 6, 2019.

Judy Lindsey, CFRE
2018 President's Award Recipient 

AFP Chicago is proud to present the 2018 President’s Award to Judy T. Lindsey, CFRE. The President’s Award honors individuals who have demonstrated high ethical standards and outstanding leadership and service to AFP Chicago, and exemplify the philanthropic spirit of our great city.

Judy’s service and leadership to the chapter and the fundraising profession have been exemplary and have made her a respected figure in Chicagoland fundraising. Her foresight and commitment to AFP’s ideals have played a significant role in AFP Chicago’s continued success.

Judy Lindsey is the executive director for the Methodist Hospitals Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Methodist Hospitals’ healthcare system in Northwest Indiana. She is responsible for all aspects of the hospitals’ philanthropy efforts as well as its auxiliary and the volunteer services.

Prior to her appointment at Methodist, Judy spent her entire career in Chicago. She has remained an active member of the AFP-Chicago Chapter, a professional affiliation she has held since the beginning of her development career. During her membership, Judy has served the chapter in numerous capacities. As an AFP Chicago board member, Judy served as the co-chair of the Fellows Program and also senior vice president for the Ethics and Emerging Initiatives Committee. She was a faculty member for AFP-Chicago’s Fundamentals of Fundraising Course for five years and in her final year was the faculty chair. In 2017 Judy served as a panel moderator for the chapter’s Development Day Conference. During earlier years with AFP-Chicago, Judy was a presenter for the chapter’s Midwest Conference on Philanthropy, the predecessor to today’s Development Day, and also faculty for the First Course in Fundraising which pre-dated AFP-International’s Fundamentals of Fundraising Course that currently is offered annually by the Chicago Chapter.

Prior to joining the Methodist Hospitals Foundation, Judy spent 12 years at the University of Chicago as the director of development for that institution’s six libraries. Other professional positions held by Judy include senior consultant with The Alford Group where she served more than 30 clients, vice president of development and communications for Children’s Home & Aid Society of Illinois, vice president of philanthropy for Chicago Public Media/WBEZ, and assistant superintendent for the Illinois Center for Rehabilitation and Education (formerly the Illinois Children’s School and Rehabilitation Center).

In addition to her AFP-Chicago board service, Judy is a former board member of the Hyde Park School of Dance, the Chicago Lying-in Hospital, Chicago Area Metropolitan Advisory Board of Children’s Home and Aid Society, Chicago’s Blacks in Development and the former Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater. Currently, she is a member of Women in Philanthropy spearheaded in 2016 by the Legacy Foundation, Lake County Indiana’s community foundation. In 2017 Judy was invited to serve on the inaugural steering committee for the Legacy Foundation’s On the Table project, a Knight Foundation funded replication of the initiative of the same name created by the Chicago Community Trust. For the past two years, Judy has served on the development committee of The Boulevard in Chicago, the only medical respite facility in Illinois for homeless persons in need of post-hospitalization residential and support services.

Judy attended Bradley University where she graduated magna cum laude in speech and hearing sciences and was awarded the department’s Clara Mawhinney Fellowship. She earned a master’s degree in speech and language pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Judy, a native Chicagoan, currently resides in the Hyde Park-Kenwood community.

Michelle Sherbun, PCC, ELI-MP
2017 President's Award Recipient 

AFP Chicago is proud to present the 2017 President’s Award to Michelle Sherbun, PCC, ELI-MP. The President’s Award honors individuals who have demonstrated high ethical standards and outstanding leadership and service to AFP Chicago, and exemplify the philanthropic spirit of our great city. 

Michelle Sherbun’s service and leadership to the chapter and the fundraising profession have been extraordinary and inspiring. Her energy, ideas, and commitment to AFP’s ideals have elevated the value, stance, and reputation of the AFP Chicago Chapter.

Michelle is based in Chicagoland as the President of Merlin Solutions, LLC/ Leadership Design Alliance, LLC. In addition to her years as an independent consultant, she has held positions at John C. Pruehs & Associates, Riley Memorial Association, The National Gymnastics Foundation, and the YWCA of Greater Indianapolis. She is Past President of AFP Chicago, former Co-chair of the AFP Chicago Fellows Program, a member of the Association of Philanthropic Counsel and Chair of the 2018 Winter Forum, a member of Chicago Women in Philanthropy, the International Coach Federation, and the Community Memorial Foundation Capacity Building Initiative Advisory Board. In 2016, Michelle was the recipient of the AFP Chicago Benjamin Franklin Award.

Michelle’s skills, experience, sensitivity, dedication, warmth, and humor have made her the Chicago Chapter’s “go to” volunteer, constantly recruited to serve in the most pivotal roles. As Marilyn Foster Kirk, Executive Vice President of Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, LLC said, “she is a doer, accepting many tasks and responsibilities and fulfilling her commitments to the fullest.”

While she has served on many committees and in almost every leadership position, there is one area where her services have been invaluable – strategic planning. “For many years, the Chapter relied on Michelle to help identify and focus its efforts and resources on the need of the fundraising/philanthropic community, and the strengths and opportunities to meet those needs” said Alex Pope, CFRE, Vice President and Chief Development Officer of Rush-Copley Medical Center. Her experience as a consultant has consistently allowed her to bring AFP a highly valued technical knowledge; however her truly distinguishable strengths are her people skills and her ability to bring out the best in the individuals in any work group. Through challenging times, Michelle coached the Chapter through an intelligent and precise strategic program decision making process. As Doug Diefenbach, Principal of Diefenbach Communication Strategies said, “she is adept at creating an environment in which people want to serve and contribute – to listen a little harder, to understand a little better, to offer a little more. Michelle is a rare gateway leader.”

Diefenbach also said, "Michelle more than simply has left the AFP Chicago Chapter stronger through her service, she has also brought something intangible through her personality: there are many members and volunteers who have come in touch with her magnetism, dedication and class and consequently have seen AFP Chicago as the kind of organization where they wanted to be involved too. Her culture-strengthening impact is as invaluable as it is rare, and it continues to pay dividends as Michelle’s legacy."

AFP Chicago is grateful to Michelle Sherbun for her incredible dedication, service, and leadership and we are honored to present her with the 2017 President’s Award. Michelle will receive the President's Award during our December 1st Annual Meeting

Grant Gilbert, CFRE
2016 President's Award Recipient

Grant Gilbert embodies the values, professionalism, and spirit of service that AFP members aspire to achieve. He is a stellar leader for AFP Chicago and is dedicated to advancing the development profession.

Grant is based in Chicago as the Senior Director of the World Wildlife Fund’s Central Region.. He has held previous nonprofit fundraising positions with the Morton Arboretum, CARE, Urban Gateways, the Ravinia Festival Association and Lions Clubs International Foundation. 

Grant served on the Board of Directors of AFP Chicago for eight years. Six of those years, he served on the Executive Committee in the capacities of SVP of Education, SVP of Ethics and Emerging Initiatives, President-Elect, President, and Past President. Grant chaired the Committee of Directorship in 2014 and currently serves on that committee. He also chaired and served on numerous committees and task forces throughout his tenure, including serving on two AFP International Committees, Ethics and Strategic Planning.

Grant’s visionary leadership in the important area of ethical fundraising has had a major impact at a local and national level. He played a pivotal role in creating, with AFP Chicago former board member Ruth Hansen, the annual Ethics in Philanthropy Roundtable. This program became a model for AFP International Headquarters and has been replicated at Leadership Academy and at other Chapters throughout the country. He and Ruth also co-authored an article in the October 2013 issue of Advancing Philanthropy titled Developing Ethics Programming at the Chapter Level, raising the profile of ethics and the Chicago Chapter.

Apart from his work with AFP, Grant is past chairman of his village’s Natural Resource Commission. He holds a BA in history from Loyola University Chicago, an MS in international relations from the London School of Economics and is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE).  

Those who know Grant can attest that his personal leadership style is thoughtful, inclusive, and forward-thinking. He is dedicated to moving the Chapter toward greater and more meaningful service to AFP members and value to the philanthropic community. Always willing to tackle the tough jobs, Grant handles them with sensitivity, humor, and a commitment to advancing AFP’s mission.

Click here for a listing of our previous award recipients.