Trek Advancement, LLC is a full-service consulting firm focused on helping our clients unlock the power of transformational philanthropy. We advocated a donor-centered approach that allows our nonprofit clients to practice philanthropy rather than fundraising, and to create opportunities to partner with donors to create win-win opportunities.
KELLY WESLEY TAYLOR, J.D.
Kelly has a proven track record helping organizations deepen and sustain relationships to facilitate philanthropy. Her professional experience includes annual fund and planned giving fund development for Harvard University. She is experienced in dealing with tax aspects of charitable giving and has served as a philanthropic planning advisor to many individuals and organizations.
Brooks has more than 17 years experience leading the advancement efforts of non-profit organizations and educational institutions. Brooks has directed the fundraising programs of the National Tourism Foundation, Lexington Catholic High School and the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry. Most recently Brooks led the effort to establish a regional development program at the University of Louisville. Brooks has served on a number of volunteer boards including Family Counseling Service, the Public Relations Society of America - Thoroughbred Chapter, the American Dental Association Foundation and the American Dental Education Association.
Brooks earned both a B.A. in History and a Masters in Public Administration from Eastern Kentucky University. Having dedicated his professional life to philanthropic causes Brooks strongly believes he is a steward of philanthropy. With this role Brooks embraces the important responsibility of helping people accomplish meaningful things with the money they choose to donate. Brooks has derived great professional fulfillment helping many donors align their passions with the proper philanthropic outlet.
Beth's career path has been one filled with diversity. The commonality has been her passion for engaging in work that is meaningful and transformational. She joins Trek from national advertising agency Cornett, based in Lexington, KY, where she worked in account management and strategic planning for Keeneland Association, Hallway Feeds and The Jockey Club, among other clients.
Prior to moving to Lexington, Beth lived in Nashville and led annual fund giving, even planning and special projects for The Land Trust for Tennessee. While there, she is most proud of her work on the Fiery Gizzard conservation project, spear-heading the online giving component of a campaign to save her favorite hiking trail. In one week's time online gifts raised over $100,000 to help the campaign reach its final goal and protect more than 5,000 acres on the Cumberland Plateau.
Beth received her B.A. from Sewanee: The University of the South and has served as a volunteer fundraiser and event planner for a number of organizations in Lexington and Nashville.
Jessica believes in the power of educational institutions, non-profits, and community-based leadership to shape our world in extraordinary ways. Her professional experience in higher education has led to positions that build bridges between campus and community such as Director of Community Outreach, Dean of Students and Development Director. At present, she serves as the Vice President for Advancement for Union College. In addition, she has served as a consultant and facilitator in leadership development to community organizations, churches, schools, and businesses to create strategic plans, mission statements, board by-laws, and strengths/needs assessments.
Jessica earned her B.S. from Union College and a Masters of Arts from Appalachian State University in Geography and Community Development. Additionally she serves as an Executive Board Member to Develop New Albany, a downtown revitalization organization and a member of the Horseshoe Foundation Grants Committee.
Paul has served higher education for nearly forty years. Prior to joining Trek Advancement, he was president of the Appalachian College Association, a consortium of 36 private colleges and universities in central Appalachia. Prior to the ACA, Paul served as president of the West Virginia Independent Colleges & Universities. He spent nearly 15 years as vice president for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. He also served as alumni director and lacrosse coach at Bethany College, director of individual and corporate giving at Drake University, and held development positions at the West Virginia University Foundation and at The Pennsylvania State University.
Paul graduated magna cum laude from Bethany College with a B.A. in History, an M.A. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota, and an Ed.D. from Drake University. He has been active with a number of nonprofit organizations throughout his career, serving in leadership positions and as an active volunteer.
BILL LARAMEE, Ed.D.
Trek Advancement Of Counsel
Bill brings forty years of higher education leadership and fundraising experience to the Trek team. He served in the position of Vice President for Alumni and College Relations at Berea College in Berea, KY. During his tenure he provided critical leadership for one of the most unique and successful institutional advancement programs in higher education. In addition to successfully raising $4 million in annual gift support, he directed a five-year comprehensive campaign to raise $150 million. Prior to his time at Berea, he served as dean of students and then dean of institutional advancement at Lyndon State College, Vermont. Bill has taught in the areas of philanthropy, business management and marketing, education, and general studies and has published a number of professional articles in the area of philanthropy, student affairs, work-learning, leadership, and spiritual and moral development.
Bill currently serves as a trustee for Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, a board member for Sustainable Harvest International, and as a board member for Lyndon State College Foundation in Vermont. He consults and coaches in the areas of development, higher education leadership, and strategic planning.
Bill holds an undergraduate degree in business administration from Western New England University, a masters and doctorate from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a master in liberal studies from Dartmouth College. He and his wife, Monica, have four grown children and seven grandchildren. They presently divide their year between residing in Berea, Kentucky and northern Vermont. They both enjoy the outdoors, public service, and travel.
Trek Advancement Of Counsel
Bowling Green, Kentucky
Rick comes to us after a diverse and successful career. He retired from Western Kentucky University in 2016 after 19 years in the University’s Division of Development and Alumni Relations. The majority of those years were spent as the director of corporate and foundation relations, chief of staff for the vice president, and as a major gift officer for several colleges. He was also a part of the leadership team with the WKU Foundation Board of Trustees and the division’s stewardship and campaign communication efforts. He concluded his career there as the assistant vice president for alumni relations and executive director of the WKU Alumni Association.
Prior to joining WKU, Rick spent 10 years with chambers of commerce in Bowling Green and Hopkinsville as the executive vice president and president/CEO, respectively. In college, he worked in radio, which led to a successful career in broadcasting sales and management.
Rick is most proud of the work he did as part of the team at WKU that raised more than $300 million in two major campaigns. He believes that collaboration is the key to securing major gifts and getting things done.
He graduated from WKU with a BA degree in Government and Sociology and has been involved as a volunteer with CASE KY, CASE District III, as well as numerous state and local organizations.
CHERYL K. ESTES, M.S.
Cheryl brings to Trek a passion for both education and personal health as well as focused attention to operational efficiency. She earned a B.S. in biology and M.S. in kinesiology and health promotion, both from the University of Kentucky.
Cheryl has previously worked with the Kentucky Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, a non-profit dedicated to the preservation of Kentucky's natural resources. Here she honed her attention and dedication to the details while managing key budgetary, fundraising and stewardship functions for the organization.