Three people to watch in June/July

Elizabeth Hinkle

Executive director of the Everglades Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals

After earning her master’s degree in Belgium, Elizabeth Hinkle returned to Naples and began work with a nonprofit. She had never considered fundraising as a profession, but she grew to love developing strong relationships with benefactors. Hinkle’s boss suggested she become involved with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, whose donor-centric focus and strong emphasis on promoting ethics in fundraising perfectly aligned with Hinkle’s philosophy of fundraising.

Now, as executive director of the Everglades Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, she promotes ethics in fundraising and facilitates continuing education to fundraisers. “I do not believe there is room in our profession for people without integrity,” Hinkle said. “I am glad that this organization seeks to impress upon its members the profound responsibility we take on when we agree to accept donations on behalf of our causes and promise to help people make an impact on our community.”

In addition to emphasizing integrity, AFP is dedicated to giving back to its members. Every year, funds raised in AFP’s National Philanthropy Day Celebration are reinvested in programs and providing scholarship opportunities to members. Last year, with generous help from Arthrex and the Naples Daily News, AFP awarded scholarships for newcomers to the fundraising profession to attend The Fundraising School, a week-long intensive educational course in fundraising taught by Indiana University and offered locally through The Center for Non-Profit Excellence.

AFP provides monthly programs such that teach skills of the profession, best practices, IRS regulations, and other important information to raise the level of knowledge and professionalism in the fundraising profession.


Christopher Squittieri

Collier County board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters and former Big Brother

As the oldest of five siblings and a U. S. Marine, Christopher Squittieri feels that he’s naturally a nurturer and defender of underdogs. Because of his protective and encouraging tendencies, he resonated with the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters to provide children facing adversity with strong, enduring, and professionally supported one-to-one relationships that improve their lives.

Squittieri first discovered BBBS when he was 24. He was considering reentering active service in the Marine Corps but was discouraged by the fact that he hadn’t yet finished his college degree and thus would be unable to begin an officer program. “I guess in a way I was instinctively looking to be a driving force behind good for our community and ultimately the country,” Squittieri said. “I forget which lobby I was sitting in when I glanced down at the BBBS brochure on becoming a big brother mentor, but instantly the light inside turned on. I knew this was what I was supposed to be doing.”

On June 23, BBBS will host Bowl For Kids’ Sake, a fun-filled bowling event celebrating teams of community members who have raised $125 each for BBBS.


David Eklund

Covenant House honoree

David Eklund will be honored for his efforts to provide homeless youth strong starts at good lives on June 11 at Covenant House’s A Night of Broadway Stars at Lincoln Center in New York City. Eklund is passionate about helping children receive the most opportunities possible to lead full, meaningful lives. Inspired by that passion, Eklund participated in Covenant House’s inaugural Sleep Out: Executive Edition in 2011. “I was just blown away.” Eklund said. Covenant House reaches out to homeless youth and provides them with food, medical care, hot showers, clean clothes and safe beds. They also teach homeless youth how to live independently, find jobs and pay bills.


Do you know someone who should be included in the people to watch? Send your nomination to Be sure to include contact information for the individual and why you think they should be featured.

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