Project team

Project roleResponsibilities

Project sponsors
Marti Heil
Alex Henson
Bill Decatur

  • Provides executive project leadership and guidance
  • Represents the project to senior executive management
  • Monitors key project variables and metrics
  • Approves project budget

Project director
Lauren Shiver

Associate project director
Blake MacIver

  • Provides overall project direction, guidance and leadership
  • Primary vendor liaison
  • Communicates any recommended solutions to escalated risks, issues and scope changes to the project sponsors
  • Accountable for delivering the project according to the project baselines (cost, scope, schedule, etc.)
  • Supervises the execution of project plans (issues, risks changes, communications, etc.)

Senior leadership team
Marti Heil
Lauren Shiver
Samantha Marrs
Gordon McDougall
Chris Ritrievi

  • Reviews project design and deliverables and provides project guidance to project director

Project director leadership staff
Blake MacIver
Rob Downs
Jane Stringer

  • Supports the project director in performance of duties
  • Provides oversight beyond specific project tasks to identify and remove obstacles to project success

VCU project manager
Blake MacIver
Courtney Rowe

  • Accountable to the project director
  • Acts as the liaison with the teams, groups and/or individuals participating in the project as business analysts, trainer, internal  technical team, etc.
  • Collaborates on and updates the project plan in conjunction with the project director
  • Escalates issues to the project director
  • Develops, manages and maintains a work plan and launch schedule for each phase of the project
  • Coordinates project activities to ensure project progresses on schedule and within project parameters, tracking action items
  • Identifies factors that negatively impact the implementation
  • Identifies and communicates priority conflicts to project director
  • Identifies and communicates change order requests to project director for approval
  • Establishes testing and issue tracking mechanism

Blackbaud project manager
Donna Hodges

  • Accountable to the VCU project manager and project director
  • Acts as the primary contact for the vendor project team
  • Collaborates on and updates the project plan in conjunction with the VCU project manager
  • Escalates issues to the VCU project manager and project director
  • Develops, manages and maintains a work plan for vendor role in each phase of the project
  • Coordinates vendor project activities to ensure projects progresses on schedule and within project parameters; tracks action items
  • Manages vendor spending to budget, providing regular reporting and reconciliation of vendor invoices

Subject Matter Experts
Jane Stringer - GRM
Cintra Davis - Prospects
Rob Downs – Technology
Anne Hoffler – Stewardship
Jenn Papenfuse – Events
Melanie Seiler – Communications
Mike Andrews - Annual Giving
Ramin Mirshah – Alumni Relations
Samantha Marrs – Core Principles

  • Provides expertise and direction related to the business topics
  • Contributes content and verifies product/solution is complete
  • Incorporates and presents appropriate information and processes to Conversion Committee team members to ensure they meet the standards and needs of all constituents 

Business analysts & quality assurance
Blake MacIver
Courtney Rowe 

  • Analyzes and leads others in the analysis of business processes, procedures, operations, security, etc., to identify and document solutions that meet the needs of users, SMEs and technical developers 
  • Develops QA plan
  • Performs and leads others with the execution of QA activities such as walkthroughs, peer reviews, user testing, etc. 
  • Reports on compliance with the test plan
  • Identifies, collects, monitors and reports QA metrics

Technical development
Arthur Serbin
Steven Vondruska
Ben Lansing
Michael Clapp
John Parker
Matt Kane
Sam Giacco
Matt Yopp
Jon Schmiel

  • Responsible for the set-up and maintenance of the system database(s) and interfaces, JavaScript or other programming related to the overall system 
  • Ensures integrity of the system as it is developed and for future maintenance and
    serviceability.

Core training team
Lauren Shiver
Blake MacIver
Samantha Marrs
Courtney Rowe
Magnus Johnsson
Jane Stringer
Amy Lane
Khaleliah Williams
Bethanie Constant
Stanley Jones
Carrie Bickford
Clair Isenberg
Melanie Seiler
Rob Downs
Jenn Papenfuse
Arthur Serbin
Cintra Davis
Mike Andrews
Ramin Mirshah
Tamara Jones

  • Participates in initalseven-day training program.
  • Attends regularly scheduled meetings throughout the duration of the project
  • Assists in the formulation and configuration of the new CRM system to ensure it accommodates the needs of Development and Alumni Relations

Training specialist
Leslee Gensinger

  • Prepares training programs for different categories of CRM users using appropriate media
  • Delivers training and establish an ongoing training capabilities