Welcome Michele Berente as Associate Director, Cavanaugh Council and President’s Circle

It is my pleasure to welcome Michele Berente to University Relations. Michele will serve as Associate Director on the Cavanaugh Council and President’s Circle team. Michele’s first day is Tuesday, November 1.

We are excited about the impact Michele will have on our team. Michele’s experience in non-profit fundraising, events, and accounting along with her commitment to the mission of Our Lady’s University will help advance our team’s work and culture. Michele and her family moved to South Bend four years ago to join the Notre Dame family when her husband, Nick Berente, began his role as Professor of IT, Analytics, and Operations, in the Mendoza College of Business.

Please join me in welcoming Michele to the UR team!

Mary Jane Añón

Welcome to Gift Management, Steve Horstmann!

It is my pleasure to welcome Steve Horstmann to the Gift Management team as the Gift Management Program Coordinator. Today is Steve’s first day, and his primary role is gift preparation. He will also be assisting colleagues and donors with questions through the departmental phone line and email.

Steve earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Central Michigan University. Steve comes to us with experience in sports ticketing, business sales, mortgage lending, and real estate.

Please join me in welcoming Steve to UR!

Alyssa Strbjak
Program Director, Gift Management Communications


Pablo Martinez and Mary Fisher Join Regional Development


It is with great excitement and enthusiasm that I share two new hires within the Regional Development team, both reporting directly to me.

First, I would like to congratulate and welcome Pablo Martinez as the new Global Advancement Program Director. In this role, Pablo will lead our fundraising efforts with our international donor population. He will carry a portfolio of international leadership prospects, as well as build a comprehensive program to identify, cultivate and steward donors around our international needs and priorities. He will also work closely with Notre Dame International and the Keough School of Global Affairs.

Pablo has been a valued member of the Development team for 11 years, leading many initiatives and programs within Annual Giving. Starting in the Phone Center, and spanning Undergraduate alumni giving, matching gifts, reunion giving and Notre Dame Day, Pablo most recently served as a Leadership Annual Giving fundraiser prior to leading the Sorin Society and a team of fundraisers this past year and a half to record years in unrestricted production. Pablo is a 2011 Notre Dame graduate.

Next, I am thrilled to welcome back to my team Mary Fisher, who will serve as the Senior Director of Operations and Strategic Initiatives. In this role, Mary will work to improve operational efficiencies throughout Regional Development. She will manage a variety of internal and external communications, as well as ongoing and emerging strategic initiatives, while serving as an advisor and thought partner to me. Additionally, she will assume responsibility for all communications, events, and activities associated with the Hesburgh Women of Impact program after a thoughtful transition with Grace Prosniewski.

Prior to joining Development as my administrative assistant in August 2010, Mary had spent two years working in employer development within the University’s Career Center. She joined the team now known as Stewardship & Donor Relations in October 2011, and has served in numerous capacities during the past 11 years, including managing the University’s endowment reporting and acknowledgment processes, planning and executing a variety of stewardship and cultivation events, and serving as the interim leader of the team for the 18-month duration of the Notre Dame Trail. Most recently, Mary partnered with frontline fundraisers to develop and execute individualized stewardship plans for the University’s top benefactors, and collaborated further with RDs to create strategic engagement touchpoints for other key donors and prospects. Mary is a 2008 Notre Dame graduate, and subsequently earned her MNA from Mendoza in 2015.

Please join me in congratulating both Pablo and Mary on their new roles!

Sara Liebscher

11th Floor Grace – Conference Room Number Changes

Good Afternoon,

The room numbers on the 11th floor Grace Conference rooms have been updated in Google calendar. The room to the right as you exit the elevators previously listed as1101, will now show up as 1100. The conference room on 11 north which was previously numbered 1100 will show up as 1160.

If you have future/recurring meetings scheduled in either of these rooms, you don’t need to do anything, the room numbering was automatically updated in Google Calendar.

Signage has been added to 1100 and 1160 with the new numbering.

Thank you!

Welcome Ashley Moeller as a RA in Gift Planning

It is my pleasure to welcome Ashley Moeller to the Development Administration Team as a Regional Associate (RA) in Gift Planning. Ashley’s first day will be Monday, October 31.

Ashley brings a wealth of institutional knowledge from her time working with the Office of Information Technologies since 2019, in which she worked as an executive administrative coordinator. Prior to that, she was the learning and development coordinator for Bader Rutter in Wisconsin.

Ashley received her Bachelor of Arts from Wisconsin Lutheran College with a major in Communications. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys watching everything sports and Bravo, going to breweries and wine tastings, and spending time with her dog, Willa.

Please join me in welcoming Ashley!

Jen Koebel

Congratulations Kate Mueller – named next AAD for ND Research, The Graduate School and IDEA Center

Hi team,

I’m thrilled to share that Kate Mueller will be the new Academic Advancement Director for Notre Dame Research, The Graduate School, and the IDEA Center. I am grateful that Kate will be taking on these areas in times of great transition and opportunity.

In her role as AAD for the Law School, Kate developed a novel funding priority and strategy around Religious Liberty, and effectively partnered toward closing the Law School’s largest gift ever. She also helped drive over $80M of collaborative production over three record-setting years. This incredible success continued her 13 years of experience here at Notre Dame through a variety of roles, including as Managing Director of the Center for Social Science Research which collaborates on interdisciplinary research projects across all of Notre Dame’s Colleges and Schools. She will continue to serve as a Concurrent Professor of Law.

With her in-depth knowledge of the University, her experience in on-boarding new leaders, and her ongoing commitment to the mission of being a force for good in the world, she is the perfect fit for this role, especially as we bring in new leaders and develop new priorities in these three dynamic areas.

I am personally relieved to be handing these roles over to someone with great expertise. Kate will officially take on her new AAD responsibilities on Monday, November 21, but will be transitioning work over the next few weeks.

I will be posting the job description for AAD for the Law School in the coming weeks.

Thanks so much,


Welcome Thomas Speranza to Gift Planning

The Gift Planning Strategic Operations team is thrilled to welcome Thomas Speranza as a Development Associate. His first day with us will be Monday, October 31st.

Thomas will work with Carolyn Hardman in the administration of our Charitable Remainder Trust and Life Insurance Programs and assist the Operations team with realized estate gifts. Thomas received his degree in Accounting from Purdue University Northwest. In his free time, he is an active member of the South Bend Chamber Singers.

Please stop by the Office of Gift Planning to welcome Thomas to UR!

RaeLee Rea
Sr Director, Gift Planning Strategic Operations

Badin Guild Clemson Reception

Dear Colleagues,

On Friday, November 4, 2022, the Badin Guild will host our Clemson Reception from 4-6 PM at Downes Club in Corbett Hall. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Maria McKenna ’97, the Faculty Director of the Transformational Leaders Program and the AnBryce Scholars Initiatives, will be our special guest speaker for this event.

Please see the list of registered attendees for detail on benefactors who are registered for this event.

If you have questions regarding this event, please contact Laura Walker.

RD Position in NY Metro

Dear Colleagues,

We have posted a position for a Tier 3 or Tier 4  (depending on experience) Director, Regional Development on the New York Metro team. A sizable portion of this important portfolio will include a number of existing leadership donors who were assigned to Jesse Meyer prior to his departure in September. Applicants will be expected to have demonstrated success in their current roles and should be intent on cultivating long-term relationships with these generous members of the Notre Dame family. If you are interested in applying, we encourage you to have a conversation with your manager. The posting will close at midnight on Monday, October 31.

Thank you,
Sara Liebscher