Skip to content Skip to Live Chat


WGU Advancement Team

Annalisa Holcombe

As President, Annalisa is responsible for leading WGU Advancement’s purpose of building financial support to reinvigorate WGU’s promise of higher education for all by connecting individuals, corporations, and foundations to the university and its students. Holcombe brings more than 15 years of experience in higher education, fundraising, and community relations to WGU Advancement.

Prior to leading WGU Advancement, Holcombe served her alma mater, Westminster College in Salt Lake City, in a variety of roles. Most recently, she was Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer. In this role, she helped lead Westminster to its highest-grossing fundraising year in its history and was responsible for the creation of its community relations department.

Holcombe holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Westminster College and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah College of Law. She lives in Salt Lake City with her family and in her spare time enjoys mentoring and coaching teams and individuals in her community to build trust, achieve dreams, and cultivate joy.

Erica Adams
Regional Director, West

Erica is based in California and leads regional WGU Advancement efforts in the West.  She brings more than 20 years of non-profit experience leading advancement teams and major fundraising efforts and successfully raised millions of dollars for various non-profits. Most recently she served as Vice President of Mater Dei High School, the 

 Vice President of Mater Dei High School, the largest Catholic High School in the country for the past ten years.  She has successfully developed advancement and alumni programs in private education and the non-profit sector and is dedicated to advancing the organizational mission with sincerity and professional expertise. Erica loves spending time with her family and camping with her husband. She also loves watching her youngest son play football and is a proud military mom.

Jenn Cooper
Regional Director, Northeast

Jenn is based in Massachusetts and is responsible for working with WGU’s Northeast Regional Vice President to grow the base of support from alumni, foundations and corporations. Prior to WGU, Jenn had been a fundraiser for the sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst since 2012

 and worked as a major gift officer at Westminster College in Salt Lake City for several years. Prior to fundraising, Jenn worked in the financial aid departments for both Boston University and MIT, whose donor funded scholarship programs inspired her transition into philanthropy. 

Erin Essak Kopp
Director of Engagement

Erin is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive communication and outreach strategy for WGU Advancement while also providing team leadership for WGU Advancement’s annual giving, marketing, communications, and events. She has more than 18 

 years of experience in higher education and nonprofit management with expertise and success in alumni and stakeholder engagement, strategic planning as well as program development and analysis. Prior to joining WGU, Erin held engagement, programming, and leadership roles at The Ohio State University, the University of Oregon, and Ohio University. Erin holds an undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her family and enjoys watching and playing sports, reading, hiking, and kayaking.

Amy Fairchild
Executive Assistant to the President

Amy has been in higher education over 12 years and brings more than 30 years of experience as an office manager and executive assistant to WGU Advancement. The mission of equity and affordability for students in higher education was a

driving factor in why she chose to come to WGU. To be part of the Advancement Team where they raise money to help so many was a perfect fit for her own dedication to philanthropy.

Tim Franco
Prospect Research Analyst, Research and Data Strategy

Tim started his professional career in retail leadership before transitioning to the world of higher education. He spent over three years supporting the research needs of frontline fundraisers at the University of Arizona Alumni and 

Development Program. He thrives on being a force of positivity and always focuses on fostering strong and strategic partnerships wherever he is. He earned his BA in History from the University of Arizona. As a first generation college graduate, the mission of WGU to provide access to affordable education is particularly meaningful to him. Tim lives in Tucson, AZ. He enjoys taking trips to Disneyland, visiting breweries, watching movies, and playing trivia.

Heather Marsh
Regional Director, South

Heather has more than twenty years of experience serving the education and nonprofit sector and she is passionate about seeing people from all backgrounds reach their learning potential and realize the transformative power of education.  Most recently, Heather was the Senior Director of Development for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the 

Executive Director for the Texas Higher Education Foundation.  In these dual roles, she oversaw the coordinated efforts to raise awareness and financial support for the state’s higher education plan. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Dallas and a B.F.A. from Texas State University.  On weekends, Heather will be hiking with the family or driving her 1965 MGB around the backroads of Texas - always with a tool bag in the trunk!

Amanda Moline
Development Project Specialist

Amanda is based in Arizona and has spent over 10 years in education from teaching English abroad to most recently serving students in WGU’s School of Education by placing them for their field experiences. She is passionate about using data and reporting to streamline processes and proactively problem solve with the ultimate end goal of ensuring students 

have the resources they need to achieve their dreams. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree in Modern Languages from Northern Arizona University and enjoys traveling, gaming, and playing with her dog.

Alia Moore
Research Analyst

Alia began her career in archives and libraries before making the jump to the advancement field and prospect research team at the University of Arizona. This background instilled not only the importance of education, but the necessity of equitable access to resources, which translates 

 quite naturally from a library context to the mission of WGU. She received her master’s degree in Information Resources and Library Science from the University of Arizona and her bachelor’s degree in Art from Linfield University. Alia lives in her home town of Bend, OR. She has a lot of unusual hobbies including, cosplay, roller derby, and podcasting.

Anthony (Tony) Padgett
Regional Director, Midwest 

Tony is a native Chicagoan. His career has been in non-profit fundraising for most of his professional life spanning over 30 years. He has worked in the fields of higher education, human care services, and healthcare. 

Prior to coming to WGU, he was the Senior Director of Philanthropy for LuMind IDSC, a nonprofit Down syndrome research organization with a focus on preventing early onset of Alzheimer’s in people with Down syndrome. Tony holds an M.Sc. from New England College in Nonprofit Leadership, a B.A. from Augustana College in Public Administration, and is a Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) from CFRE International. Tony and his wife Lagenia have 3 children and 3 grandchildren. Having a grandchild with an intellectual disability can be a challenge but his family has the privilege to experience first-hand the joy and happiness his grandchild has brought to his family. They cannot imagine their world without him.

Pam Schneider 
Events, Philanthropy Cord Program 

Pam manages events and the Philanthropy Cord program for WGU Advancement. Pam brings more than 10+ years experience in medical and higher education .


Pam has served in a variety of roles at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, University of WI La Crosse, Gundersen Health System, and Indiana University School of Medicine. She also has experience working in college entertainment booking, as well as conference planning with the U.S. Army Medical Department. Pam received her master’s degree in Organizational Development and Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University and her bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University. She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and loves the Browns. She currently resides in Indianapolis with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.

Doug Sweeney
Regional Director, Central

Doug is based in Ohio and leads WGU Advancement’s efforts to secure philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and foundations across the Central Region. With more than 20 years of experience in raising funds for higher education and cultural and social service

non-profits, Doug is passionate about helping connect donors with meaningful opportunities to change lives and enhance communities. This is exemplified by WGU’s commitment to accessibility for ambitious students and innovation in higher education. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from The Ohio State University, a master’s in sport management from West Virginia University, and has served in development roles at UNC Charlotte, Ohio State, and Ohio Dominican University. Doug’s free time is often spent enjoying various sports and outdoor activities with family, especially when his twin high schoolers are on the field or fairway.

Megan Yuly
Data Specialist

Megan has about 4 years of experience in nonprofits providing direct service to customers as well as providing detailed reports on trends in the community. Megan has a passion for using data to solve problems and answer questions that will assist companies in providing better service to their

community. Megan has a bachelor's degree in Psychology from University of Washington and plans to pursue a master's degree in Data Analytics later this year. She also enjoys yoga, hiking, and crafting.

Brandon Zollner
Executive Director of Development

Brandon is based in middle Tennessee and is responsible for leading the development team which includes regions, corporate and foundation relations, and stewardship. He has over 17 years of experience in higher education fundraising and program development. Prior to WGU, Brandon

held fundraising and relationship development roles at Saint Louis University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Brandon holds an undergraduate degree and MBA from Saint Louis University, and is drawn toward WGU’s focus on quality, access, and affordability in education.