Who is on the Annual Giving team?

The Annual Giving team is made up of 10 team members. Meet them below!
Ashton Sallas – Annual Giving Officer
Chatise Smith – Development Officer
David Jones – Executive Director
Evan Tighe – Senior Director for Annual Giving – Special Constituencies
Laura Ashley Lester – Development Officer
Jill Bateman – Senior Director for Annual Giving – Engagement Center Operations & Strategies
Joey Lynn – Leadership Annual Gift Officer
Reese Jones – Annual Giving Officer (Engagement Center)
Ryan Clark – Annual Giving Officer
Wynell Harper – Administrative Associate II

Want to know some interesting tidbits about the team? They’ve shared some delightful insights about themselves just for you!


Wynell: “I lived in Hawaii for 3 years. I miss it so much I ordered pineapples from Hawaii, for quite a bit more than they cost on the mainland, but they’re oh so much sweeter!”
Ryan: “A fun fact about me is that I have a 3 year old Siberian Husky named Kirby after the one and only Coach Kirby Smart.”
Joey: “I was born on my parents’ wedding anniversary, September 13th, and I have since had four birthdays fall on Friday the 13th.”
Jill: “Kathy Bangle [co-worker and Senior Director of Development for Constituent Programs] set me up as a blind date with my husband.”
Chatise: “My fun fact is that I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.”
Evan: “I go through two boxes of cinnamon toast crunch on a weekly basis.”
Laura Ashley: “A fun fact about me is that I have had 6 different surgeries and am 2 organs short now.”
Ashton: “When I was 5, I led the Disney World parade through the theme park (the one at night, with crowds, fireworks, and a light show) and didn’t smile once.”
David: “I play piano in a church band and also have co-directed the Georgia 4-H performing arts group for a couple of decades now.”
Reese: “My interesting fact is that I have a titanium left elbow.”

What does the Annual Giving team do?

The Central Development Annual Giving team is responsible for cultivating loyalty and increasing donor participation from our constituent base. They do this by creating repeatable opportunities for support so that no matter where a donor’s interests lie, there is an avenue to that outcome. The team is responsible for putting together postal and email marketing efforts in collaboration with different schools and departments across campus, as well as soliciting on behalf of the university as a whole. They’re also in charge of the student call center, providing an omni-channel path to donor engagement. They reach out to alumni who work at matching gift companies, spearhead crowdfunding projects through the Georgia Funder page, manage portfolios of annual gift prospects, looks for ways to incorporate new fundraising methods and technologies, and many more things besides. With all these strategies in the works, the Annual Giving offices are always humming with activity!

Why is having an Annual Giving team important?

Annual giving is the life-blood of donor and alumni participation for the University of Georgia. The efforts of the Annual Giving team are often the genesis of our constituents’ generous support, providing multiple, renewable opportunities for people to give as much, as often, and to as many areas all over campus as they’d like. Working on so many different avenues allows the team to focus on providing the method of engagement that is the most meaningful to the donor. The ethos of giving established through the efforts of this team can often pave a path towards major and principal gift opportunities as well.

Interesting Statistics about Annual Giving

In the 2019 fiscal year, the Annual Giving team surpassed

$ 0

in revenue, for the second year!

UGA alumni participation for FY19 is at

0 %

that’s above the national average and in the 87th percentile for public institutions!

What does the Annual Giving team want GAIL users to know?

  • The Annual Giving team raises funds all across campus and to them it doesn’t matter where a donor chooses to give; whether it’s the Mary Frances Early Endowment or the College of Environment and Design Excellence Fund, the act of giving rather than the destination of the revenue is what matters.
  • Like many other university operations, annual giving is segmented by the yearly cycle and participation from year to year is an important metric, but annual doesn’t just mean once a year: the AG team provides opportunities for engagement from game season to graduation to the close of the fiscal year.
  • Annual giving isn’t just limited to the people at Central Development in Milledge Center! There are annual giving officers in schools and units throughout UGA committed to the same goals and offering the very best giving experience to our donors and alumni.

How can I get in touch?

Have a question for the Annual Giving team here at Central Development? Shoot them an email: