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Blueprint Schedule: August 9



8:00 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. ▪ Blueprint Breakfast Available

Location: Dempsey Hall, 3rd Floor, Anthony’s Forum, Room 302


8:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ▪ Preconference Option: NACRO Blueprint Day

Location: PACCAR Hall Auditorium, Room 192

Blueprint Day is handcrafted for new NACRO members, new corporate relations offices, and those new to higher education. This optional course focuses on the NACRO “blueprint” for holistic university corporate relations, and incorporates two of the best parts of any NACRO Conference: peer learning and networking with other NACRO members. The Blueprint registration fee is $250 and can be paid at the time of NACRO conference registration.


8:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. ▪ Welcome – NACRO Top 10

Blueprint Chair: Robin Shah, Assistant Director of Corporate Relations, University of Houston

NACRO Co-Presidents: Roger VanHoy, Director, Office of Corporate Relations for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Todd Cleland, Director, Industry Relations for University of Washington


9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. • The Evolution of Corporate Relations Offices 

The structure of corporate relations offices and their associated responsibilities differ greatly from one university to another. This presentation will utilize case studies to first describe current corporate relations models, and then discuss those specific variables that influence structure. 

Speaker: Cameron McCoy, Assistant Vice President, Office of Economic Engagement, Lehigh University


10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. • Networking Break - Refreshments in hallway outside PCAR 192


10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. • Corporate Outreach: Building Mutually Beneficial Partnerships  

Generating and maintaining new corporate partnerships, while coordinating corporate outreach efforts with many motivated players on campus, is a challenge. Corporate Relations Officers address the varied goals of their university and corporate partners, while connecting the dots to develop comprehensive strategies for engagement, support, and partnership. This session will focus on proven corporate outreach strategies and success stories.

Speakers: Cherrie Hughes, Assistant Director for Industrial Outreach, University of Florida and Cynthia Sweet, Associate Vice President, Corporate and Government Relations, West Virginia University


11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. • Lunch – Networking Dempsey Hall, Anthony’s Forum, Room 302

NACRO is built on the basis of networking. During the lunch, enjoy time to get to know your fellow Corporate Relations colleagues while partaking in stimulating conversation. 


1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. • Art of the Deal  

This session will guide you through the Art of the Deal. When do you push the ROI? When do you back off and take it slow? What do you do when the “deal” is getting diverted by a well-meaning but anxious faculty member who doesn’t have the strategic picture in mind? This HIGHLY interactive session will combine success stories, tales of woe, essential skill sets necessary for CROs to navigate curve balls, and maybe even a little role play, to demonstrate proven techniques to close the deal.

Speakers: Kathy Lynch, Director of Corporate Relations, Boston University and Anne O’Donnell, Senior Executive Director for Corporate Relations, UC San Diego


2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. • Networking Break


2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. ▪ Sharing the Love: Stewardship of Corporate Partners

Stewardship is the careful and responsible management of something that has been entrusted to you. In the context of corporate relations, it is imperative that in addition to prospecting for new partners, we also steward what we already have – we must show our institutional “love” for our existing corporate relationships. This session will review common areas of academic engagement and share examples and best practices for stewardship, which is a core activity in a successful corporate relations program.

Speaker: Cynthia Plummer, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations, The Ohio State University


3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. • Networking Break


3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. • From Blueprint to Reality: A University Panel Discussion

So how do you apply what you have learned today? This panel of newer NACRO members sat in your chairs within the last two years! Learn about their first conference experiences, the NACRO benefits they have gained personally and professionally, and their advice for first time attendees geared to maximize the value of their experience.

Speakers: Eric Swenson, Director of External Relations, MacMurray CollegeTheresa Menk, Senior Director of Corporate Relations, Washington University in St. LouisJoe Matope, Director of Corporate Relations, Kansas State University FoundationLuciana Xavier, Assistant Director, Jacobs School of Engineering at University of California, San Diego

Moderator: Debbie Meyer, Director, Corporate Relations, Washington University in St. Louis


4:45 p.m. • Closing Comments