From left to right: Vannessa Reaves, Roni Ido, Shawn Farrell
Jim Lewis, the new vice president for university advancement, is building an advancement team aimed to significantly increase Texas Wesleyan's philanthropic support and constituent engagement. Three new staff members, all of whom worked on his staff at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), have joined Wesleyan this month in key staff positions.
Farrell joins Texas Wesleyan as Senior Director of Sponsored Programs and Foundation Relations. He came from UTA where he served as director of foundation relations, and has a rich background in both private philanthropy and public administration, including a stint as the city manager of Jefferson, Texas and work at Americans for the Arts in Washington, D. C., University of the Sciences and Drexel University in Philadelphia. He is also a former VISTA volunteer.
He has a master's in governmental administration from University of Pennsylvania and a B. A. from the University of Texas.
"Shawn brings an unusual blend of experiences which allow us to bring grant development aimed at both government entities and private foundations under one office," Lewis said. "He has a special talent for working with faculty to develop strategic, focused cases for academic programs."
Reaves will serve as senior director of advancement services. She has more than 20 years of experience in higher education advancement. Prior to joining Texas Wesleyan, she worked at UTA and the Mississippi State University Foundation, mostly in the research and prospect management area. She is an alumna of Mississippi State University.
"Vanessa's leadership of advancement services will strengthen the work of our entire fundraising team, by systematizing and significantly increasing the pool of major gift prospects," Lewis said. "She brings an extraordinary depth of experience in the area of prospect pipeline development, a role she played in a major campaign during her time with Mississippi State."
Ido is the new director of research and prospect management. Prior to joining Texas Wesleyan, she worked at UTA as a senior development researcher. Before joining UTA, Ido owned her own consulting firm that specialized in prospect research. As a consultant, Ido worked with leading nonprofit organizations in the DFW area. She has her B.A. in sociology and education (magna cum laude) from Bar-Ilan University, Israel.
"Prospect research is an art form which Roni has honed over a distinguished career with several North Texas philanthropic organizations," Lewis said. "Our major gift development efforts will be greatly enhanced by her contributions."