St. Mary-of-the-Woods College President David G. Behrs has announced the appointment of Serafina I. Spatola as vice president for development. Spatola brings 20 years of progressive leadership experience and accomplishments from her work in both the private and nonprofit business sectors. She currently resides in Cincinnati and will begin her service at SMWC on June 8.
“I am honored and delighted to be part of St. Mary-of-the-Woods College as the newly appointed vice president for Development,” Spatola said. “I was told prior to interviewing with St. Mary-of-the-Woods College that it was a special place – a caring community. I must admit that I have been drawn into the genuine and gracious spirit that lives on this campus. The Woods is a community that cares.”
In her new position, Spatola will provide leadership and management for the College’s development and alumnae/i relations efforts, and work with the board of trustees’ development committee in providing direction, information and support. She will also oversee a portfolio of leadership gift prospects and coordinate the involvement of the president in fundraising activities.
Some of the programs and services she will supervise include the annual Woods Fund drive, community and donor relations, special events, major and planned gifts, alumnae/i affairs, the SMARTS recruitment program and development volunteers.
“Serafina has a unique blend of experiences, leadership, vision, creativity and motivation,” Behrs said. “Her skills as a strategic thinker, entrepreneur, creative visionary and effective manager of people, programs and resources will make her strong asset to St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.”
Most recently, Spatola spent four years at Antioch University New England in Keene, N.H. From 2004 to 2007, she served as strategic management, advancement and business consultant, and from 2007 to 2008, she was vice president for institutional advancement. In that role, she provided leadership for Antioch’s comprehensive and integrated institutional advancement program with specific responsibility as a key strategist for the university. She was also responsible for the overall leadership and management of the university’s alumni development and communication strategies.
From 2002 to 2004, Spatola spent two years as the vice president/chief development officer for the Public Library of Hamilton County in Cincinnati, where she was responsible for creation and implementation of a comprehensive advancement/development program and division that promoted and funded the library’s strategic initiatives.
From 1998 to 2002, she was with Salmon P. Chase College of Law in Highland Heights, Ky., where she served as the director of development and executive director of alumni relations, coordinating and executing systems to raise awareness and funding for the law school.
Her responsibilities included securing general income and endowment funds from individuals, board members, foundations, industry and other private sources.
The majority of her higher education experience came during her time at Xavier University in Cincinnati. She spent 12 years at the institution, from 1986 to 1998, beginning as the director of admissions and student services for the MBA program. She then when on to work with the development office on their Science Center Campaign, assisting the vice president of university relations and advancement in cultivating and raising funds for the $40 million capital campaign.
While at Xavier, she also served the institution as the director of the Business Mobilized for Xavier Campaign. In this role, she planned, conducted and executed a $1,250,000 annual fundraising campaign directed to solicit financial support from the Greater Cincinnati business community.
In her final two years at Xavier, she served as the regional director of development/major gifts, providing leadership for fundraising and articulating resource needs, including the identification, cultivation and solicitation of major gifts from prospective contributors. In this role, she identified, cultivated and solicited $100,000-and-above gifts for the $100 million capital campaign.
Before coming to Xavier, she held various positions, including owner of Westside Datsun/Williams Subaru in Cincinnati, district campaign manager for Bailey Deardouff and Associates, city planner for the City of Cincinnati Planning Commission & Advanced Planning Division, and market representative/client consultant for the Service Bureau Company, Division of Control Data Corporation, Division of IBM.
Spatola holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science from the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, a master of arts degree in public administration and urban planning from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master of business administration degree in finance from Xavier University.
“Our mission will be to plan and implement communications and advancement programs to increase awareness, understanding and support for the College’s mission of teaching, research and service,” Spatola said. “I believe that we can accomplish our goals and missions only by communicating and partnering with the College’s inside and outside constituents, including parents, students, faculty and staff, alumni, friends, the business community and foundations.
“I know that with your continued commitment and support that we are up to the task of continuing our heritage of excellence,” she continued. “I look forward to being part of this wonderful community and institution.”