Sharpe Group Speakers Bureau

Since 1963, Sharpe Group has been a leader in the field of gift planning. In addition to our popular seminar series, our experts speak to groups of all sizes and at national and local professional conferences such as the National Conference on Philanthropic Planning (NCPP), National Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) and the American Council on Gift Annuities (ACGA).

Sharpe Group speakers have decades of training experience and can help you implement current trends in gift planning, learn how to initiate and structure blended gifts, manage planned giving programs, create effective gift planning marketing and address the specific issues facing your charitable organization or institution through custom training and group presentations tailored to fit your particular needs. To request a Sharpe speaker, please click here.

Joe Chickey

Joe Chickey, MBA., CFP®

Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant

Joe Chickey brings more than 30 years of experience in the charitable arena, with a focus on gift planning. Based in Asheville, NC, Joe has spoken locally, regionally and nationally on planned giving to estate planning councils, AFP, CASE and local CGP groups. His engaging speaking style creates upbeat and helpful peer interactions, especially when speaking on ethical issues in fundraising.

Recent speaking engagements include the Chicago Council on Planned Giving, National Capital Gift Planning Council (DC) as well as on-site training for Purdue, University of Texas Systems and University of Oklahoma. Joe has also served as a board member of the National Association of the Charitable Gift Planners (CGP) and currently is a member of the Leadership Institute. He is particularly experienced in working with hospitals and other healthcare organizations and educational institutions, including higher education and private high schools.

Joe was the lead fundraiser for a $1.5 billion capital campaign at the University of Illinois and a $500 million capital campaign for a major hospital in Chicago. He has administered charitable remainder trusts, lead trusts, gift annuities, life estates and IRA gifts.

He has experience from the nonprofit side and for-profit side, as a gift planner for nonprofits and a bank trust officer. For 14 years, he worked with nonprofit endowments, family foundations and high net worth clients. His expertise includes estate and financial planning, asset management and charitable planning. As a vice president and trust officer for Regions Bank, he was a leader in the Endowments and Foundations Group and worked with more than 125 charities throughout the Southeastern United States. Prior to Regions, Joe was a vice president and business development officer for SunTrust Bank.

In the fundraising arena, he served as director of gift planning for the University of Illinois Foundation. He was also a major gift officer for Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and a planned giving officer for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Joe earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance from Rhodes College and a master’s degree in business administration from University of Illinois.

Popular speaking topics:

  • Current gift planning trends and strategies.
  • Money today and tomorrow.
  • Opportunities with noncash gifts.
  • Marketing dos and don’ts.

Contact Info:
Sharpe Group Senior Vice President and Senior Consultant
615.693.1708 |

Julie Schuldner

Julie Schuldner, MBA, CFRE®

Senior Consultant

Julie has always had a passion for the nonprofit community, involving herself in volunteering, teaching and community outreach for nonprofits throughout her career. Before joining Sharpe Group, she served as the executive director of the Fellowship Foundation, where she helped to build and sustain an industry-standard Life Plan Community (LPC)-based fundraising program as a senior leadership team member.

Other roles in nonprofit leadership included serving as vice president of development and communications for Alzheimer’s New Jersey and executive director of Family Promise of Sussex County. Working closely with donors taught her the importance of building strong relationships over time, and she was able to secure several large gifts. Most recently, Julie earned certification as a CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive).

Julie graduated from Seton Hall University with a history major and Temple University with an MBA in health administration. Before relocating to North Carolina from New Jersey, Julie served as a board member for Family Promise of Sussex County, member of the Nonprofit Advisory Board for Sobel Co. and as chair of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Not-for-Profit Roundtable.

Julie has particular experience working with national health research organizations and national environmental and scientific education organizations, as well as smaller nonprofits of many different types of missions.

Popular speaking topics:

  • Data appends and analytics.
  • Engagement strategies for donors and prospects.
  • Staff and board training on planned giving.
  • Ethics, storytelling and marketing.
  • Having the planned giving conversation.

Contact Info:
Sharpe Group Senior Consultant
901.455.8075 |

Kristin Croone

Kristin Croone, JD

Senior Consultant

Kristin is a Sharpe Group senior consultant and has previously served as a technical editor. Kristin has worked for both law and accounting firms in the areas of tax and estate planning and has served as director of planned giving and legal counsel for The Community Foundation of Greater Memphis. She brings valuable experience in donor stewardship as well as tax and estate planning law.

Kristin is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and the Case Western Reserve University School of Law. For her Sharpe clients, Kristin provides consulting expertise and strategic planning in the areas of major and planned giving, as well as assistance with estate gift administration.

She has particular experience working with community foundations, educational institutions including both higher education and private high schools, and national health-related and environmental organizations.

Popular speaking topics:

  • Tax matters.
  • Simple remainders.
  • Noncash gifts.
  • Life income gifts.
  • Staff training on major and planned gifts.
  • Board training on planned giving.
  • Gift planning programs for planned giving professional groups.

Contact Info:
Sharpe Group Senior Consultant
901.491.0911 |

Barlow Mann

Barlow T. Mann, JD

General Counsel

Barlow T. Mann, JD, has more than four decades of experience in charitable gift planning and serves as general counsel. Before joining Sharpe Group, 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 and coordinated resource development projects with the University of Tennessee Bowld Hospital.

Barlow has been a member of the American and Tennessee Bar Associations and has authored numerous articles 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, including the AHP Madison Institute, National Planned Giving Institute, Association of Fundraising Professionals, the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners, the American Council on Gift Annuities, the National Catholic Development Conference and others. He is a graduate of Tulane University and the University of Memphis School of Law.

Barlow is one of Sharpe Group’s most popular seminar speakers, and he contributes to the marketing and consulting divisions where his legal, technical and creative skills enable him to meet the specific needs of each client. He has worked with hundreds of charitable clients to enhance their efforts to attract planned gifts and has special expertise in estate planning, blended gift structuring and tax law.

Popular speaking topics:

  • All areas of taxes and giving.
  • A, B, Cs of Planned Giving.
  • Discovering America’s Most Generous Givers; Trends in Giving.
  • What You Really Need to Know About the Great Wealth Transfer.
  • Effective Fundraising in Uncertain Times.

Contact Info:
Sharpe Group General Counsel
800.342.2375 |