Sharpe Consultants

Sharpe is led by a group of people who truly care about the nonprofits we work with and the missions you support. Sharpe’s lead consultants each have more than 25 years of experience in planning and implementing effective gift planning programs. They also bring perspective gained from years as active volunteers in their communities. Others on the Sharpe team are specialists in the fields that drive successful gift planning programs – attorneys, writers, editors, designers, print and digital marketing experts and management consultants.

Aviva Boedecker

Aviva Shiff Boedecker – Senior Consultant

Aviva Shiff Boedecker is a Sharpe Group Senior Consultant based in San Francisco. An attorney with more than 30 years of gift planning experience, Aviva has served for more than a decade each as a director of planned giving at the University of California, Berkeley and the Marin Community Foundation. She initiated San Francisco Ballet’s planned giving program after beginning her career in the private practice of law.

Aviva has served on the board of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners and is a past president of the Northern California Planned Giving Council and of the Marin County Estate Planning Council. She has been a member of Planned Giving Today’s Editorial Advisory Board, writes for many planned giving publications and is a frequent lecturer on planned giving and a resource on philanthropy for professional advisors and individual donors.

Aviva is a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters and has been involved with a variety of nonprofit and community organizations. She is an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a member of the California Bar.

Barlow T. Mann – Chief Operating Officer, EVP

Barlow T. Mann, J.D., has more than three decades of experience in charitable gift planning and serves as Chief Operating Officer of Sharpe Group. Before joining Sharpe, he was director of development at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where he was responsible for current, deferred and capital giving for the colleges of medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, nursing and allied health. He also has served as director of planned giving for the University of Memphis. He coordinated resource development projects with the Crippled Children’s Hospital Foundation and the University of Tennessee Bowld Hospital.

Barlow is a member of the American and Tennessee Bar Associations and has authored articles on planned giving for Planned Giving Today, Trusts & Estates Magazine, The Journal of Gift Planning and Fundraising Management, and his commentaries have been featured in The Chronicle of Philanthropy and The NonProfit Times. Barlow has been a frequent speaker for numerous local and national fundraising groups for more than 30 years, including the AHP Madison Institute, National Planned Giving Institutes, Association of Fundraising Professionals, CGP, ACGA, NCDC, AHA and others. He is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Memphis School of Law.

Jana Lawyer

Jana Lawyer – Consulting Associate

Jana Lawyer, SHARPE newkirk Consulting Associate, is a graduate of Mississippi State University with a degree in Business Administration in Marketing. Before joining Sharpe Group, she served on the National Direct Marketing Acquisition Team for ALSAC/St. Jude and was an advertising representative for The Reflector, Mississippi State’s newspaper.

Jana works with the Sharpe consulting team and partners with clients to help them develop and strengthen their gift planning fundraising strategies. She advises organizations and institutions of many sizes and missions on communications to educate their donors on planned giving.

She has volunteered her time and talent at many nonprofit organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, Operation Christmas Child and the Humane Society.

Joe Chickey

Joe Chickey – Managing Consultant, SVP

Joe Chickey, Managing Consultant for Sharpe Group, has worked for 30 years in the charitable arena for nonprofits and for-profits, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Rush Presbyterian Medical Center and as a gift planner for the University of Illinois. Prior to joining Sharpe, Joe oversaw the Charitable Services Group for Regions Middle Tennessee Division, serving philanthropic individuals, family foundations and public charities.

He has written and spoken on charitable giving for numerous groups on a local, regional and national level. Joe is a past president of the Middle TN Planned Giving Council. He recently served as a board member for the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (formerly PPP). Joe received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Rhodes College and his master’s in business administration from the University of Illinois.

John Jensen

John Jensen – Senior Consultant, SVP

John W. Jensen, CFP®, is a Sharpe Group Senior Consultant and Senior Vice President based in Washington D.C. He has worked with more than 100 nonprofits to improve their planned giving performance. He regularly conducts Planned Giving Program Audits and Assessments, in addition to a wide range of gift planning consulting services. John works with a broad range of groups, but has a particular specialty with national, membership and direct mail based charities. He also has special expertise in estate planning, gift structuring, real estate, estate administration, insurance and special needs situations.

Prior to joining Sharpe Group, John served as vice president for development at both The Nature Conservancy and National Wildlife Federation. He served as the executive director of The Nature Conservancy’s Maine Chapter and the development director of the Maine Audubon Society. He was the founding chairman of Earth Share, served on the Direct Marketing Association Nonprofit Council board and served 4 years in the Maine House of Representatives.

He is a frequent speaker at local and national fundraising conferences and has served on the board of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) as well as the National Capital Gift Planning Council. John has also served as a columnist for The NonProfit Times and Planned Giving Mentor. He earned his BS from the University of Southern Maine and his CFP from the College of Financial Planning.

Kathy Robbins

Kathy Robbins – Managing Consultant, SVP

Kathy Robbins is a Senior Vice President and Managing Consultant for Sharpe Group. For more than 20 years, she has assisted faith-based, health-related and educational organizations and institutions with their gift planning programs. She has extensive experience working with a number of Sharpe clients—many nationally known—guiding them in approaches and methodologies to analyze and project program gift potential and the anticipated realization timeline.

Kathy has partnered with hundreds of national and regional organizations and institutions, advising them in their marketing strategies to increase planned giving revenue. She also works closely with clients to analyze their databases and better utilize the data to create strategic communications plans.

Prior to joining the Sharpe team, Kathy worked in an attorney’s office and has dedicated some of her free time to help with local missions.

Laura Knitt

Laura Knitt – Senior Consultant

Laura Knitt, J.D., is a new SHARPE newkirk Senior Consultant. Previously, Laura worked with a large national nonprofit, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, where she served in progressive roles as Associate Director for Planned Giving, Director for Legal and Regulatory Compliance and Assistant General Counsel. She brings valuable experience in donor stewardship, planned giving and major gifts, endowments and donor advised funds, real estate and securities, regulatory compliance and nonprofit governance.

Laura is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin—Madison and the University of Wisconsin Law School and currently serves on the board, and as corporate secretary, of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving. She is able to assist planned giving, major gift and other staff members of SHARPE newkirk client organizations with issue identification and strategies, estate gift administration, writing and editorial work, staff training and program audits.

Lewis von Herrmann

Lewis von Herrmann – Senior Consultant

Senior Consultant Lewis von Herrmann is a Certified Financial Planner® and a Certified Fund Raising Executive® who is based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has more than 40 years of experience in charitable fundraising, primarily with faith-based organizations including Cru, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, American Bible Society and The Mission Society. He specializes in major and planned giving programs and has met privately with more than 2,000 individual families to discuss their planning needs.

Lewis directed a field team of more than 20 major and planned giving professionals at American Bible Society, has held key leadership positions in major and planned giving programs and has been a frequent speaker on estate and financial planning topics throughout the southeast. In addition, Lewis directed one of the largest gift annuity programs in the United States and helped complete a private letter ruling by the IRS on the flexible deferred gift annuity. He also led an effort to outsource the backroom processing of a large planned giving program, has published multiple articles on planned giving for quarterly newsletters and has spoken before hundreds of groups on estate and financial planning. He has an MBA from Auburn University and is a Distinguished Toastmaster.





Sara Latshaw

Sara Latshaw – SVP

Sara Latshaw has nearly 15 years’ experience in working with nonprofit and for-profit organizations. Sara teams with Sharpe consultants in pricing and the creative team in overseeing the timely delivery of custom communications content for Sharpe’s clients. She serves as the liaison between Sharpe clients and their production partners. In addition, she monitors client inquiries and responses.