New Regional Council Seeks Capital Gains in DC
From left: Mike Fasano, April McClain-Delaney, and Steve Quamme.
In a recent conversation with a parent at her daughter’s elementary school, April McClain-Delaney (Communication 86) made a surprising discovery.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I didn’t know you went to Northwestern!’” recalls the co-chair for the NULC Washington, DC, Regional Council. “It’s been fun for me to discover how many Northwestern connections I have in my own network.”
Indeed, the past several months have been a learning experience for McClain-Delaney and fellow co-chairs Mike Fasano (Weinberg 70) and Steve Quamme (Weinberg 83, Law 86) as they have worked to get the NULC’s newest Regional Council off the ground. Their job is to tap into the full philanthropic potential of what Fasano calls “a critical city.”
All three have both a long history of service to the University and deep roots in the nation’s capital. They also represent the diverse range of professions pursued by the city’s growing base of Northwestern alumni:
- McClain-Delaney was a communications lawyer, founded an Internet start-up, and now works for the media watchdog Common Sense Media. She is a member of the National Advisory Council for the School of Communication.
- Fasano, a former White House Budget Examiner, is the chief executive officer of the underwriting firm Fasano Associates. He has volunteered for University campaigns and is a member of the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences Board of Visitors.
- Quamme is the co-founder and president of the emerging market investment firm Cartica Management, and serves on the board of Northwestern Law.
So what kind of potential do they see for the Washington, DC, Regional Council?
“Washington is booming, especially with so many recent graduates coming to work for the government or in industries that have popped up around Washington,” Quamme says. “I think there is great untapped potential. Truthfully, I was surprised when I saw the participation and giving levels that the area hadn’t been doing better.”
In Fiscal Year 2010, Northwestern raised more than $800,000 in leadership gifts from Washington, DC, markedly lagging behind areas with established Regional Councils, such as Chicago, New York, Florida, and San Francisco.
Last October, the new Regional Council had a kickoff meeting at the Metropolitan Club that drew about 30 guests. But that was only the start.
“Right now, we’re just trying to get the people that we have recruited to then in turn make calls to 10 or 15 other people to get them involved,” McClain-Delaney says. “It’s the spreading of the network.”
The council has also planned special events to build on the momentum, including an exclusive NULC pre-reception with President Morton Schapiro before the Celebrate Northwestern program on April 11 at the Kennedy Center.
“We need to provide an avenue for our local alumni,” Fasano says. “The more activities you can have that appeal to a wide swath of the demographic is key.”
Adds Quamme: “People like to hear good things about our University. That just increases everyone’s enthusiasm to get active again.”
If you are interested in joining the Washington, DC, Regional Council, please contact Lisa Pagniucci at 847-491-4184.