President & CEO
Sally joined BRYANT GROUP in 2007 and brings 30 years of experience in advancement management, consulting and recruiting, as well as achievements from the corporate sales arena and success in other entrepreneurial activities.
Christopher P. Bryant
Chris Bryant is the recognized leader in the recruitment of advancement, development and fundraising professionals. No one in the world has been specializing in this arena longer. In 1988, he co-founded the country’s first executive search firm to specialize exclusively in philanthropy recruitment.
John Toolan is a seasoned fundraising professional with experience in both public and private universities and has worked in development, alumni relations and consulting. John was an integral part of the Advancement team at Marymount California University when the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) awarded the university with the title of Most Improved Overall Fund Raising Program in District VII, topping 100+ other institutions in the district to earn this honor.
Brandy Shillings joined BRYANT GROUP in December 2021 as Recruiter. She spent nearly a decade serving in progressively higher roles associated with Louisiana State University (LSU), where she supported philanthropic efforts through recruitment and engagement. She earned a B.A. in Mass Communication and Master of Public Administration from LSU. She is passionate about helping individuals find jobs they love with organizations that are working to make our world a better place. As a first-generation college graduate, she is proud to serve as a mentor is LSU’s First Gen Mentor Career Program. Brandy is a Louisiana native and avid outdoorsman.
Consulting Vice President
Barbara brings close to 30 years of non-profit organizational experience in healthcare and higher education in Southern California in fundraising, communications, board governance and operational administration.
Her enthusiasm for guiding mission-driven organizations to succeed brought increased responsibilities and progressively higher leadership positions at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; Good Samaritan Hospital – Los Angeles; USC Marshall School of Business; Marymount California University; and Providence TrinityCare Hospice Foundation.
As a volunteer, Barbara’s service includes: Chair, Board of Pensions and Health Benefits, Cal-Pacific Conference - United Methodist Church; South West Community Center, and Habitat for Humanity. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing from the USC Marshall School of Business, and a Bachelor’s in English from UCLA.
Carol comes to BRYANT GROUP from The Bell Law Firm in Norman, Oklahoma where she managed the personal injury department. Her work for years as a legal assistant and database manager, along with her work ethic and professionalism, make her a great asset to the BRYANT GROUP team.
Her volunteer experience includes Metrocrest Services and Co-chairing the Toy Department at Christmas Connection in Oklahoma City.
Joe is the President and CEO at 2Evolve Coaching and Consulting and a member of the Og Mandino Leadership Institute. He serves as a collaborative partner to BRYANT GROUP for Leadership Coaching. Joe has worked with thousands of business owners, entrepreneurs and other professionals over the last 15 years—helping them get mentally and emotionally stronger through his mentoring. He has masterfully learned to utilize a system of fast-action tools that get people out of their ruts and onto greater success.
Joe has received several certifications for personal and leadership coaching, including from the Og Mandino Leadership Institute and Tony Robbins Leadership Academy.
Joseph Zanetta, J.D.
Consulting Vice President
Joe is a seasoned non-profit leader with more than 30 years of strategic fundraising and institutional advancement experience in education and medical institutions. He has served as CEO of Citrus Valley Health Foundation, a nonprofit integrated community health care system serving one million residents.
Prior to his service with Citrus Valley, he served as President of Providence Little Company of Mary Foundation. Joe has also served as a development executive at Cornell University, Whittier College, and the University of Southern California.
He enjoys volunteering in a variety of civic, professional, and community organizations, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors for the Log Cabin Republicans, Chair of the Board of Holy Family Services Adoption Agency, and Chair of the Pasadena Enterprise Center.
Joe is a well-known speaker and author on topics related to philanthropy and has been interviewed for articles in the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, American Benefactor, Dallas Morning News and others. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornell University and a JD from Cornell Law School.
Consulting Vice President
Kirk Jewell joined BRYANT GROUP as Consulting Vice President in October of 2020, after an accomplished career in both non-profit and the corporate arena. He retired as the president of the Oklahoma State University Foundation after serving the organization for 17 years. Prior to his work at the Foundation he had a 20-year career with The Oklahoma Publishing Company in Oklahoma City. While there, Kirk, who is also a Certified Public Accountant, served in senior financial and management positions.
At the OSU Foundation, Kirk served in a leadership role during several transformational University endeavors. The $1.2 billion Branding Success campaign exceeded the goal 15 months ahead of schedule. The grand opening of The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts also brought a national spotlight on the Arts at OSU. During Kirk’s 17 years at the Foundation, the staff grew from 55 to 155. The Foundation raised more than $2.6 billion for OSU with more than $1.6 billion for academics.
Kirk’s passion is organizational culture. He believes when the culture is healthy, the organization can reach extraordinary levels. The mantra he instituted at the Foundation was, “We perform like a team and care like a family.” The OSU Foundation was recognized three times as one of the best places to work, twice by the Nonprofit Times as one of the best nonprofits to work for in the U.S. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees and other donors created an endowment of more than $250,000 at OSU in his honor when he retired.
Over the years, Kirk has served on numerous boards, including Saxon Publishers, the Oklahoma City National Memorial Foundation, Leadership Oklahoma City, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Oklahoma City, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Kirk is also a past president of the OSU Alumni Association Board of Directors.
Kirk and his wife have philanthropically supported numerous efforts at OSU, including establishing an endowed scholarship for teachers; Pete’s Pet Posse, a pet therapy program at OSU; the arts; athletics; and student-crisis support funds.
Lee Williams Lopapa
Lee brings nearly 30 years of front-line fundraising and advancement leadership experience, serving most recently as the Vice Chancellor for Advancement for the Sarasota-Manatee campus of the University of South Florida. Having worked in both public and private universities, she has successfully closed transformational gifts, established college advisory boards, and led staff reorganizations, including recruiting some of the best professionals in the business. She also established and led a fundraising consultancy, Williams & Associates, serving a variety of institutions. In addition to working in advancement leadership at the University of South Florida (USF) at two different times in her career, she also helped lead institutions such as Georgia Institute of Technology, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where she also served as CEO of the Foundation. Prior to her current position at USF, she supported Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University as Interim Senior Vice President for Advancement. Williams-Lopapa believes in the power of philanthropy and has established endowments at a number of the universities mentioned above. She holds a B.S. in Secondary Education from Mississippi State University, an M.S. in Public Relations from the University of Southern Mississippi and also held the certified fundraising executive (CFRE) designation for more than a decade. Lee will be based in Florida.
Michael Duran, J.D.
Consulting Vice President
Michael Duran has committed his professional life to improving the lives of others, especially by expanding health care and educational opportunities by reaching out to underserved populations.
Michael J. Duran served 16 years as Vice President and Chief Development Officer for TMC HealthCare and the TMC Foundation. TMC HealthCare and its companion hospital is Tucson Arizona’s largest community hospital and only independent hospital system in the region. In that role, Michael led the philanthropic objectives of the TMC Foundation and served on the hospital system executive team.
Over the course of Michael’s tenure, the foundation engaged in several capital campaigns raising over $30 million to build and expand the hospital system’s capacity. In addition, millions were raised to support lifesaving equipment and enhance and expand programs and services that improved the quality of life for citizens of Tucson, Arizona and the surrounding area. The Foundation grew to $50 million in assets during Michael’s time at TMC.
Michael has served on numerous non-profit and corporate boards in the Tucson and Southern Arizona community. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Board of BBVA Compass Bank, Rialto Theater Foundation, Dependable Home Health and is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of Tucson Values Teachers. He is active with other committees currently serving on the Tucson Airport Authority Governance and Nominating Councils.
Michael has served as an adjunct faculty member of Pima Community College’s Community Campus, teaching business law, and a past lecturer of management and policy at the UA Eller College of Business and Public Administration.
Michael received his business and law degrees from the University of Arizona.
Senior Executive Recruiter
Sarah Hempen brings over 20 years of fundraising and advancement leadership experience, serving most recently as Assistant Vice President of Development at the University of South Florida. Having served both public and private universities, she has successfully developed and led Annual Giving teams that consistently exceeded goals and created new revenue channels focused on building a pipeline for major gifts. During her time at USF, she implemented an in-house crowdfunding platform, a young alumni program and leadership annual giving. Sarah spent 14 years at Washington University in St. Louis in progressively higher roles in the areas of DIII athletics development, managing a regional team, leading volunteer solicitation teams and with responsibility for a $21M annual fund. Sarah believes in philanthropy through relationships and highly values the continued relationships with donors and colleagues throughout her career. Sarah has led teams in achieving 12 CASE awards and presented at CASE District III. Prior to entering higher-education advancement, Sarah was responsible for public relations for two drivers and their corporate sponsors in NASCAR. Sarah has a B.A. in Journalism from Elon University. In her spare time, she enjoys being an amateur travel photographer and can be found enjoying the Florida sunshine with her husband, while spoiling their two dogs.
Tracy brings more than 30 years of experience in both public and private higher education. She began her career as a Professor of Communication and moved into senior administration when she was appointed Provost, Senior Vice President, liaison to the board of trustees and Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Her leadership resulted in the restructuring of Academic Affairs, leading a successful ten-year reaccreditation for the Higher Learning Commission, securing over $1.4M in gifts and commitments with an increase in overall gifts by five percent, the launch of new initiatives and strategic programs and managing the redesign of campus spaces. Her responsibilities included oversight of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, accreditation and federal compliance, grant oversight, institutional research and strategic planning initiatives and projects, as well as managing national searches for senior administration, staff, and faculty positions. Tracy holds a B.A. in Speech Education from East Central University, an M.A. in Communications from Wichita State University, and a Ph.D. in Communication from Regent University. Tracy's passion is empowering others through service. She is actively involved in her community as the Vice President of Habitat for Humanity, serving as a member and committee chair of PEO and other community service projects.
Wendy Wright comes to BRYANT GROUP after serving as the Executive Director at River Valley Pioneer Museum in Canadian, Texas. As the director, she managed the exhibit redesign project, created new educational programs for school children, and implemented a strong social media presence with posts and videos on the history of Canadian and Hemphill County. She also managed and grew memberships, donors, and had three grants funded for operational and educational purposes. Prior to the museum, Wendy served more than 15 years in the U.S. Army as a human resource officer. She served as the Deputy Secretary of the General Staff for both the U.S. Army Reserve Command (2013-2015) and I Corps (2011-2012). In 2008-2009, she commanded a military history detachment and traveled all over northern Iraq collecting oral history interviews and electronic data for the Center of Military History. She has a B.A. in History from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and a M.A. in Public History from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. Wendy enjoys volunteering with the Canadian Community Center, Canadian Arts Alliance, and Rachel’s Little House. She is a member of the American Legion and Rotary International.