Summer Issue 2013

  Summer 2013

Patouillet Consulting, LLC (PCLLC) Celebrates Banner Year

and Announces Plans for FY’ 14

PCLLC Doubled the Number of Clients from 17 to 34 in One Year

Members of the Patouillet Consulting, LLC Advisory Board and staff met at the Georgia Tech Foundation on June 19, 2013 for the firm’s Annual Meeting

“We wish to thank our clients for their ongoing loyalty and support.  In an effort to meet the needs of our growing number of repeat and new clients, the firm will engage the services of more Advisory Board members in FY’14 as consultants on selected projects,” said Lee Patouillet, Ph.D., President of PCLLC. 

“Patouillet Consulting enjoys the involvement and support of a National Advisory Board comprised of industry leaders with more than 500 years of collective experience. This is one of the distinguishing characteristics of our firm. Very few organizations in the higher education and nonprofit consulting space have this level of expertise to call upon when addressing a given assignment,” says Mary Patouillet, PCLLC Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer (COO). To learn more about the company please visit

Mary Patouillet has been overseeing the day to day operation of the firm since July 1, 2013. Patouillet has an extensive background in communications, higher education consulting, and health care. She has worked with her husband Lee in the firm since its establishment 1983. Now as COO, Patouillet works very closely with PCLLC’s staff to manage the business, financial, technical, and creative aspects of the company in addition to working with clients to match their needs with the expertise of the firm’s consultants.

Dr. Lee Patouillet assumed the role of Associate Vice Chancellor of Alumni Affairs at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on July 1, 2013. “I look forward to serving my alma mater and supporting the institution in its journey to become a top 25 public research university by 2020. I am confident the firm will continue to provide real value to our clients by developing a very custom approach to each assignment” says Lee Patouillet.  “Mary and I will maintain oversight of all PCLLC consulting engagements, and I will be directly involved in select projects.”

Board Member Highlight: Paul Gangi

New-Media Consulting Services Available through PCLLC

Paul Gangi is an advisory board member for Patouillet Consulting LLC, and former President of the Internet Services Division at Harris Connect.

Gangi’s experience as a new-media pioneer includes an early-career focus on the optimization of email, chat boards and e-commerce on the original online Prodigy Services. During the more recent 15 years of his career, he led the strategic efforts of Harris Connect in migrating the print-directory business to the internet. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston College and a Master of Business Administration from Pace University.

Currently Gangi is helping Canterbury School with its capital campaign. Gangi, like a growing number of other board members, is available for higher education consulting through PCLLC. Contact Executive Vice President Mary Patouillet,, for more information. 

Board Member Highlight: Scott Atwell

Scott Atwell has served as President and CEO of the FSU Alumni Association since 2008, where he has grown the budget by $1 million and expanded recognition programs, board initiatives and communications platforms for the university’s more than 300,000 alumni.  A communicator by training, Atwell launched FSU’s flagship publication, VIRES magazine, as part of the association’s centennial celebration in 2009, and has since added a quarterly e-newsletter called Alumin@tion, featuring a video news recap and variable data based on the recipient’s academic discipline and zip code.  As part of a young alumni initiative, Atwell added a new awards program for graduates under the age of 30, while expanding and enhancing the association’s other recognition programs.  Atwell championed a more transparent process for board selection and voting, resulting in vibrant and influential volunteer leadership for the organization. Atwell holds a degree from the University of Miami and is enrolled in FSU’s graduate program in higher education.

Consulting Services

Patouillet Consulting, LLC helps college, university and nonprofit leaders generate additional support and increase constituent engagement.

The firm, established in 1983, serves as a strategic partner in assisting our clients in the following areas:

Patouillet Consulting, LLC enjoys the involvement and support of a national advisory board comprised of industry leaders. Additional information about the firm is available at

For further information, 

Workshops & Seminars

Higher Education
  • The Integration of Alumni and Development in Fundraising and Capital Campaigns
  • The Role of the Board Member in Resource Development
  • The Role of the Alumni Association as a Strategic Partner in Advancing the Institution
  • Key Metrics and Dashboards in Development and Alumni
  • Strategies for Diversifying your Revenue Stream in an Era of Funding Cuts
  • International Alumni Relations (new)
  • Keys to Establishing an Effective Social Media Strategy for your Institution (new)

Recent Comments from Patouillet Consulting, LLC Clients

Ms. Cathy Sweet, Vice President, Institutional Advancement, University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

“Looking for consultants who have experience with advancement operations in large, on-line institutions can be a challenge. Dr. Patouillet’s consulting model allowed him, through his impressive advisory board, to gain the insight, knowledge and expertise needed to assist us. Spending a great deal of time understanding the culture of the institution and its unique position in higher education, he and his colleague produced an impressive final report which I have already used extensively with staff and university leadership including the Board.”

Melinda Ashcraft, Chair, Chattahoochee Tech Foundation Board of Trustees

“I appreciate very much your conducting our planning session recently.  I thought it was fantastic and there were a lot of wonderful comments from our trustees at the reception. You did a great job relating to our situation and that made everything very focused and relatable to our new and seasoned trustees.”

Recent Assignments and Presentations

1. Institutional Advancement Review and Campaign Readiness Study

University of Maryland University College (UMUC)

Contact: Cathy Sweet, VP, Institutional


2. Strategic Planning

James Madison University Alumni Association

Contact: Ashley Privott, Executive Director, Alumni Association,

3. The Role of the Board in Fundraising (Workshop)

Chattahoochee Technical Foundation

Contact: Chris Knife, Executive Director, Foundation,

4.  The Role of the University of Central Florida Alumni Association as a Strategic Partner in Advancing the University and Enriching the Lives of Students and Alumni Worldwide (Webinar)

University of Central Florida

Contact: Tom Messina, Executive Director, Alumni Association,

5. Executive Coaching

Robert Morris University

Contact: Jay Carson, Sr. VP, Institutional Advancement,

Note: The list above is a representative sample of the kind of work the firm has recently completed. Two of Patouillet Consulting’s most requested services are advancement/association reviews and strategic planning. For further information, please contact Mary Patouillet, Executive Vice President at

The firm offers a one hour complimentary session to discuss your needs. 

A View from the Belly of the Beast: Lessons Learned from the Penn State Crisis

By Susan Stewart, PCLLC Senior Consultant

Arguably the greatest challenge faced by an academic institution, the Jerry Sandusky arrest has brought negative attention to Penn State University, and left colleges and universities everywhere wondering how they would handle a crisis of similar magnitude. Although the situation is far from over, there are positive lessons to be learned from the Penn State Alumni Association.

A gain in members, revenue and trust

At a time when it may be expected that the country’s largest dues-paying alumni association would lose members and revenue, the Penn State Alumni Association experienced growth.  

Membership increased 2.4 percent in comparison to the year prior to the crisis, dues revenue increased 2.7 percent, and the Sustaining Life Member Program increased 21.9 percent. In addition, recent member surveys reflect a relatively high level of trust for the organization, compared with the university’s governing board and administration.

In the beginning: Listening

“At first there was an onslaught of phone calls and emails from members,” said Roger Williams, D.Ed., Executive Director of the Penn State Alumni Association.

Williams, a three-time alumnus of the university, led the association’s efforts to answer more than 4,000 emails, calls, letters and social-media postings. A strategic hands-off approach to social media encouraged alumni to freely express their opinions.

Williams said that listening to members, including responding to letters and emails, was especially important when the Penn State Board of Trustees was not responding to communication from alumni.

“We needed to be a port of entry for alumni…we needed to hear their comments,” he said.

All alumni communication was immediately forwarded to the Board of Trustees and to Penn State Administration, but Williams said that it unfortunately took three weeks before an actual meeting occurred between University Relations and the Alumni Association. 

A letter to members

In the meanwhile, Williams did not wait to communicate directly with the alumni membership, and he wanted to be straightforward.

“Above all, I wanted to be sure we sustained and protected our own credibility…the trust of our alumni…and we wanted to tell it like it is,” Williams said.

No sugar coating

Considering that many alumni were, and still are, understandably angry and resentful of the negative publicly directed at their school, how did the Penn State Alumni Association accomplish such increases?

The answer to this question lies with the leadership and direction of the Penn State Alumni Association. From the start, the association insisted on honest, open and non-sugar-coated communication, as part of an extensive crisis-management plan. 

Read full article

Big Data is a Big Deal

By Jeff Roedel, Managing Partner, RoedelSuper

“Information by Schlüsselbein2007, on Flickr”

If you haven’t heard about Big Data by now, your marketing and IT pros probably have. For now, it’s still a playground for large companies with deep pockets, but it eventually will scale down to a more accessible version. It behooves us to become acquainted with it now. According to Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive officer, the world creates 5 exabytes of data every two days. That is roughly the same amount created between the dawn of civilization and 2003.

Big Data is an amorphous concept. It encompasses the combined effect of

  • the enormous amount of data being generated and stored around the planet,
  • the speed at which this is happening, and
  • the dispersion of this data across myriad systems and data structures. 

There’s so much information out there, it just seems self-evident that it could be useful – if it can be tamed.

Everyone in Advancement uses data of some kind, whether stored in an alumni or donor database or in your own contact software. And if you need more, you can buy it – everything from age to marital status to income to mail order prescription propensity, if you’re interested in such things. And now, Acxiom can sort a database into 50 segments based on online behavior.  Its new InfoBase-X Social product can provide social network information, such as sites used, number of “friends” and last reported activity.

Read full article

New Senior Consultant

Gretchen Dobson, Ed.D. 

Gretchen Dobson, Ed.D., recently joined Patouillet Consulting LLC., as a Senior Consultant. She is a global leader in the field of alumni relations. Her specialty services include strategic planning, campaign management, volunteer management and special event facilitation for clients. Dobson also provides professional coaching.

She is the author of “Being Global: Making the Case for International Alumni Relations” (CASE Books, 2011).  The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized her as one of the leading innovators in internationalization for her work at Tufts University. Dobson received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston College, and her Ed.D. in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

For more information about Dobson’s consulting services, contact Executive Vice President Mary Patouillet,

New Senior Consultant

Susan Stewart, M.A., APR

2015 pic

Susan Stewart recently joined the staff of Patouillet Consulting LLC, as a Senior Consultant. She provides a variety of communication services for the firm, including writing for the website and e-newsletter.  One of the current newsletter’s feature stories, “View from the Belly of the Beast: Lessons Learned from the Penn State Crisis,” was written by Stewart.

She brings more than 25 years of diverse communications experience to the firm, including management positions at a public relations agency, nonprofit organizations and corporate entities. Her higher-education experience includes the University of Florida (University Relations) and the University of Tennessee Research Foundation.

Stewart received a national CASE award and the Accredited in Public Relations (APR) designation. She has a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University and a master’s degree from The Ohio State University.