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AFP Announces 2022 Class of Distinguished Fellows

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The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has announced its 2022 class of Distinguished Fellows: Patrick J. Feeley, MBA, CFRE; Krishan Mehta, Ph.D.; Carole Richard, CFRE; and Stephen Thomas, CFRE.

The Distinguished Fellows Program recognizes individuals who have made significant leadership contributions to the association, philanthropy and the fundraising profession, and who will continue to advance ethical and effective fundraising through their volunteer and advisory work. The designation represents the pinnacle of service to the profession and to the tenets of giving, volunteerism and philanthropy.

There are currently 20 AFP Distinguished Fellows, with four new Fellows being recognized in the new year. AFP will recognize these new Fellows at its 2022 International Fundraising Conference, May 2-4, in Las Vegas, Nev.

“Congratulations to all four of our Distinguished Fellows this year,” said Mike Geiger, MBA, CPA, president and CEO of AFP. “They define and represent the pinnacle of the fundraising profession: incredible fundraising prowess, dedication to ethics and community, and giving back to the profession in countless ways. All of us at AFP Global are so appreciative of everything they’ve done for AFP and the profession, and we can’t wait to recognize them at AFP ICON 2022 in Las Vegas later this year.”

Patrick J. Feeley, MBA, CFRE

Pat Feeley
Patrick J. Feeley, MBA, CFRE

Feeley’s fundraising career has included leading major fundraising programs and campaigns in local and national education, health care and social service organizations. Along with his achievements in fundraising, Feeley has exemplified effective and ethical fundraising throughout this career. 

Feeley has been a leader in the AFP fundraising community for many years and continues his service to this day, currently working as a member of the AFP Global Governance Committee and the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy Planned Giving and Nominating Committees. During his time as chair of AFP Global (2015 – 2016), the association launched its first Diversity and Inclusion Survey Report; held new events for emerging leaders and collegiate members; introduced new awards and recognitions, including the Outstanding Young Professionals Award, and expanded its reach across North America with the creation of AFP Canada.

“I am so deeply honored to be chosen for this year’s Distinguished Fellows Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals,” stated Feeley. “I’ve been in fundraising for more than 25 years and find it so humbling to be selected and recognized by my peers, particularly for a professional award from AFP!”

Click here for more information about Patrick J. Feeley, MBA, CFRE

Krishan Mehta, Ph.D.

Krishan Mehta
Krishan Mehta, Ph.D.

Dr. Mehta’s professional work has always spoken to his commitment to advancing human rights, providing access to education, and propelling innovation. Throughout his career, he has connected diverse philanthropists with a wide range of issues: ground-breaking research opportunities, gender studies, anti-racism, food security, mental health programs, a national center on cybersecurity, and a first-in-class program to support Black tech entrepreneurs. 

Committed to advancing inclusion, diversity, equity and access, Dr. Mehta also worked with leaders from the AFP Foundation for Philanthropy – Canada to secure a $300,000 government grant to curate 12 conferences bringing together diverse philanthropists, NGO leaders, fundraisers and volunteers to discuss the nuances of giving across cultures, communities and regional backgrounds. These events engaged over 3,000 participants and were the precursor to the AFP Fellowship in Inclusion and Philanthropy, a ground-breaking program which provided dedicated education, professional development and mentorship to mid-level and emerging nonprofit professionals from across Canada, representing a wide range of cultural backgrounds and interests.

“I am chuffed to receive this award,” said Dr. Mehta, “It’s not just a recognition for me but for all of us who are dedicated to seeing our sector thrive and succeed.”

Learn more about Dr. Krishan Mehta, Ph.D.

Carole Richard, CFRE

Carole Richard
Carole Richard, CFRE

Currently serving as the director of development for the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Richard has raised millions of dollars for nonprofits during her 30-year career in fundraising and has touched thousands of lives in the Great Central Valley of California through her philanthropic work in the education, health and arts sectors.

Richard is also a committed and active member of AFP and is passionate about working to advance philanthropy through advocacy, research and education in the Yosemite region. She is the founding member of the AFP California, Yosemite Chapter, and has served the chapter and the local philanthropic community in many capacities over the past 23 years. She is also very involved as a mentor to colleagues in the chapter. For her efforts, she was honored as the chapter’s Outstanding Fundraising Professional in 2005.

“AFP has always provided me excellent professional development throughout my career and resources that I have worked to share with others,” said Richard. “The network of professional colleagues I developed also led to lifelong friendships.  I am grateful that they nominated me and proud to be a part of this amazing organization.”

Learn more about Carole Richard, CFRE

Stephen Thomas, CFRE

Steve Thomas
Stephen Thomas, CFRE

Currently executive creative director & founder of Stephen Thomas Ltd, Thomas is regarded to as the individual most responsible for helping to develop, shape and promulgate best practices for direct mail fundraising in Canada. After studying direct mail techniques in college, he received his bachelor’s degree in the U.S. and returned to Canada, where he implemented the first-ever direct mail program for Oxfam Canada in 1974. Primarily through his innovations with direct mail, Oxfam grew to become one of Canada’s leading charities, and today direct mail is still the mainstay of many successful Canadian fundraising programs.

“I am honoured to be recognized in this way by my peers,” said Thomas. “I join a remarkable group of women and men who have received this honor, including my friends Mal Warwick and the late Simone Joyaux.”

Throughout his career, Thomas has continued to build and give back to the profession, working to connect fundraisers together and share knowledge, techniques, and ideas through consulting, teaching, and mentorship. He has served in many role for the AFP Canada community, including co-founder and chair of the AFP Canadian Fundraising Congress, and board member and president of the AFP Greater Toronto Chapter between 1996-2002.

Learn More about Stephen Thomas, CFRE

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