Susan Carsen leads a group of associates serving clients in the western states region. With more than thirty years of fundraising and public relations experience, she provides counsel in all areas of advancement, serving clients in health care, culture and the arts, education and human services. Susan got her start in the field at Stanford University in the Office of Medical Development. She left Stanford to join the start-up staff of what is now the Tech Museum of Innovation, before going on to help open the San Francisco office of a national nonprofit management and fundraising consulting firm. Later, she became Vice President for Development and Public Relations for Peninsula Community Foundation. Susan returned to consulting in the nonprofit sector, first managing the San Francisco office of a regional firm, and eventually opening her own firm in 2005. In addition, Susan managed a support foundation for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCSF, and helped with the start up of a small family foundation. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Golden Gate Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and continues her involvement. Susan is a graduate of the University of California, Davis.


Senior associate Jan Berckefeldt has more than forty years’ experience in the non-profit field, with areas of expertise in financial, personnel and volunteer management, fundraising, and community and government relations. She has held top positions as Executive Director, Chief Financial Officer, and Director of Development. As Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest’s leading capital campaign consulting firm, Jan managed multi-million dollar campaigns for museums, hospitals, theatres, social service organizations, and educational institutions. She conducted feasibility studies, needs assessments, development audits, and created organizational positioning strategies. She was the firm’s principal trainer for board and volunteer development and fundraising skill building. Nearly half of Jan’s career has focused on service to public-private partnerships for museums, parks and wildlife conservation organizations. She recently headed and completed the $22 million campaign for the restoration of the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco. She is President Emeritus of the Board of the California Historical Society. Jan holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.


Over 17 years serving as President of Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV), Senior Associate Christine Benninger made substantial changes to turn around a troubled organization, ultimately bringing to fruition a vision that now serves as a model for animal welfare services across the country. During her tenure, she helped raise $25.5 million to build a new, state-of-the-art Animal Community Center in Milpitas. Prior to taking the helm at HSSV, Christine spent 15 years working for Hewlett Packard Corporation in functional management positions both domestically and in Europe. She is a graduate of the University of Redlands. Christine is a Certified Public Accountant and holds an MBA degree from Stanford University. Since leaving HSSV in 2010, Christine has been serving on several non-profit boards, is a sought-after speaker on non-profits and entrepreneurship and is a consultant to various non-profit boards.