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AFP Honors 2023 Distinguished Fellows

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Distinguished Fellows 2023

Natalie Paskoski, Manager of Content, (434) 236 – 5583,

(Arlington, Virginia)  The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has announced its 2023 class of Distinguished Fellows: William F. Bartolini, PhD, ACFRE; Michael Blimes; Meredith Ray Feder, CFRE; Audrey P. Kintzi, ACFRE; Edith Tovar y Martínez. 

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 24 AFP Distinguished Fellows, with five new Fellows being recognized this year. AFP will recognize these new Fellows at its 2023 International Fundraising Conference, April 16-18, in New Orleans, LA. 

“Congratulations to all five 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 2023 in New Orleans later this year.”

William Bartolini, PhD, ACFRE

William BartoloniBill Bartolini, PhD, ACFRE, is a well-known mentor, coach, educator, and counselor within the fundraising community. Bartolini has recently retired as senior philanthropic advisor, principal giving at Ohio State University, after 40+ years in the profession. 

Over the course of his extensive career, Bartolini has served in various development and leadership roles at universities including Ohio State, George Washington, Northeastern, and Kent State, as well as a number of other nonprofit organizations.  

While at Ohio State, he was responsible for building the Wexner Medical Center and the Health Sciences College’s capacity to raise gifts of $5 million or more. Bartolini also played an essential role in George Washington University’s first $1B campaign, and prior to that, Kent State’s first $100M campaign.  

“I am deeply honored to join the distinguished list of AFP Fellows who have contributed so much to this profession and raised countless millions of dollars to lift people to a better life,” said Bartolini. “To be recognized for my contribution to this profession is a highlight of my 40+ years as a fundraiser and 30+ years in service to AFP. As is often said, “We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before.” That is certainly the case here as I would not have been successful nor enjoyed professional satisfaction without the wonderful mentors, colleagues, volunteers, and donors who I had the privilege to work with and learn from in this journey.”

Click here for more information about Bill Bartolini. 

Michael Blimes

Michael BlimesMichael Blimes serves as senior vice president of client development with Catapult Fundraising, Inc. in Henderson, NV and is an experienced nonprofit executive and consultant with experience in nonprofit leadership and securing philanthropic gifts. 

Blimes was nominated by the AFP Colorado Chapter, where he has spent half of his career to date, as a member and chapter leader. 

Over the course of his five-decade long career, he has worked on behalf of numerous causes including animal welfare, the arts, healthcare, higher education, human and social services, museums, and international affairs.  

His specialties cover a wide range of fundraising verticals including annual/major gifts, capital campaigns, planned giving, prospect identification, community relations, marketing, and executive management. 

In addition to his work with nonprofit organizations, he also founded his own consulting company, The MIDAS Consulting Group, and served as a senior consultant at the Minneapolis, MN regional office of the New York City-based national consulting firm, C.W. Shaver and Company. 

“Being selected as an AFP Distinguished Fellow is an incredibly humbling and unexpected recognition by my professional peers of my lifelong desire to make a positive difference in the world around me,” said Blimes, “I value the role I have played in various executive positions and as a consultant. My career in fundraising has allowed me to be a catalyst of change for the better with organizations, but also grow as an individual gaining so much knowledge about such a wide range of subjects and the needs of so many organizations in our communities, states, the nation, and the world.”

Learn more about Michael Blimes. 

Meredith Ray Feder, CFRE

Meredith Ray FederFeder is a leader in nonprofit management with more than 20 years of providing leadership in strategic advancement, operations, marketing and communications with the Northwest Florida Ballet, Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation, and Gulliver Schools, where she was responsible for overseeing a $60 million budget at one of the largest private schools in South Florida.  

AIn her current role as deputy director for the Museum of Discovery and Science (MODS), Feder is responsible for earned revenue and philanthropic support, overseeing multiple departments including audience engagement, grants, membership, and guest experience. Through her leadership she is responsible for generating more than $4 million annually for operations, while concurrently overseeing an $11 million capital campaign for exhibit enhancement and building infrastructure improvements.

Outside of her professional accomplishments, Feder is an active leader within AFP, helping to earn the Broward Chapter the Ten Star designation for accomplishments towards the association’s strategic plan. She was also recently recognized by her chapter as their Outstanding Fundraising Professional of the Year and is currently serving as the immediate past president for the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Greater Florida Caucus. 

“My selection as a 2023 AFP Distinguished Fellow is a meaningful acknowledgement of my professional accomplishments and the significant contributions that I have made to the philanthropic profession over the past 25 years. I am proud and honored to be selected and recognized with this award by my AFP peers,” said Feder “As a fundraiser, I play a crucial role in achieving my museum’s mission and communicating its case for support, compelling donors to invest in new programs and resources that expand my museum’s reach and impact upon the community. As a fundraising professional, I value my role as catalyst, advocate and steward of my museum.”

Learn more about Meredith Ray Feder, CFRE

Audrey Kintzi, ACFRE

Audrey KintziAudrey Kintzi, ACFRE has been working in the development field for over 35 years. She is currently serving as the executive director of the M.A. in philanthropy and development program at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. 

Here she has engaged benefactors in the mission of the university, successfully raising $74 million as part of the university’s Discover, Inspire, Lead Campaign, the largest campaign in the school’s history. 

Previous positions include roles at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Courage Center, the Girl Scout Council of St. Croix Valley, and the American Red Cross of the St. Paul Area. 

Outside of her professional accomplishments, Kintzi currently serves as a member of the AFP Research Council, the AFP Ethics Committee, and the ACFRE Credentialing Board. She is an AFP Certified Master Trainer and holds a Certificate of Philanthropic Psychology (with Distinction) from the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy. 

“I am so deeply humbled to have been named a Distinguished Fellow by the Association of Fundraising Professionals this year,” said Kintzi. I am honored to be joining my incredible colleagues who were also named Distinguished Fellows this year, as well as those selected previously. For me, this recognition is the culmination of a lifetime of service to the profession and a deep commitment to professional education and building the body of knowledge."

Learn more about Audrey Kintzi, ACFRE

Edith Tovar y Martinez

Edith Tovar y MartinezEdith Tovar y Martinez is a facilitator and trainer in Procura A.C, the Mexican branch of the Indiana School for Philanthropy. 

She has completed a number of specialized courses on resource mobilization and institutional development, in addition to degrees in industrial relations and senior business management. 

Edith has dedicated her career to providing institutional development and ethical fundraising training in countries around the globe including Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, COLUMBIA, Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, the Philippines, the Netherlands, the United States, and the United Kingdom. 

She is also an active member of AFP, serving as a member of the AFP global ethics committee for ten years, and the vice-president of the AFP Mexico Centro Sur Chapter for three years. 

“It is a big honor to be distinguished with this nomination, especially because I am the first Mexican woman to be nominated,” said Edith. 

Learn more about Edith Tovar y Martinez

* * *

Since 1960, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has been the standard-bearer for professionalism in fundraising. The association works to advance effective and ethical philanthropy by providing advocacy, research, education, mentoring, collaboration and technology opportunities for the world’s largest network of professional fundraisers. AFP’s more than 27,000 members in over 190 professional chapters raise over $100 billion annually for a wide variety of charitable organizations and causes across the globe. For more information, go to

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