Our Team

Jim Croft, PhD, is the academic director for nonprofit finance in the Center for Nonprofit Management at Northwestern University, where he is also a faculty member in the School of Professional Studies. He teaches in the MBA program at the University of Nebraska, and acts as a management consultant for several nonprofits. Having served as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the Field Museum (1985–2014), he was also a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Nonprofit Advisory Committee. Jim is a past board member of Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago, and a current board member of the Illinois Institute of Independent Colleges and Universities and of Great Lakes Advisors, LLC. His PhD (University of Nebraska) focused on higher education leadership and nonprofit financial management. He also studied business administration and management at the University of Nebraska, Roosevelt University, and National Louis University.

Aakriti Agrawal, MBA, is cofounder of Girls Code Lincoln, a grassroots nonprofit dedicated to bridging the gender gap in technology by teaching computer programing to middle school girls. With firsthand experience leading and growing nonprofits, she has applied her expertise to numerous 501(c)(3) organizations. In addition to her nonprofit work, Aakriti is also a manager of data governance at American Express. She has won the Inspire Founders Award and the Lincoln Young Leader Award, has given a talk for TEDx, and has been nominated to the Forbes Under 30 List. Her areas of expertise are nonprofit foundership/social entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusion, volunteer recruitment and retention, data management, change management, process improvement, and fundraising.

Bela Barner, MBA, leads executive teams through high-stakes decisions. Much of his work has been in higher education, assisting universities in relocating campus facilities to more favorable markets; creating new branding, marketing, and enrollment strategies; developing new academic offerings; and prioritizing investment budgets. Bela has held a variety of consulting roles with professional services firms, and has developed quantitative methods to support collaborative decision making. His expertise includes capital budgeting and capital project portfolio optimization, business planning and modeling, market research and opportunity assessment, and financial literacy for non-financial executives. Bela also teaches financial decision-making methods in various higher education programs. He holds an MBA from the University of Chicago, and is a member of the Society of Decision Professionals.

Franz Cartwright, MSc, is founder and president of CATH Associates, Inc., provider of construction management and owner representation services. Prior to founding CATH, Franz engaged in structural design and construction across the US, as well as Guatemala, Hong Kong, Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia. With over 30 years of diversified and practical experience with numerous building systems, he has managed commercial, industrial, institutional, and residential projects of various sizes and levels of complexity, providing keen insight into the financial planning of complex projects. In conjunction with realistic scheduling of interacting factors, he emphasizes budgeting and cost control. With a B.Arch. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and MS in civil and structural engineering from Northwestern University, he has also studied international business at the University of Chicago.

Matthew Charlton, PhD, is an experienced nonprofit leader and fundraiser who teaches at Belmont University and works as a regional philanthropy officer for foundations for the American Red Cross. He has served as a major gift officer for a capital campaign, and has consulted on administrative issues, strategy and priority setting, and organizational storytelling. An ordained clergyperson in the United Methodist Church, he serves both in local churches and as an executive supporting higher education-related programs around the world, and leads the Oxford Institute Foundation, a global fund supporting the work of emerging scholars. Matt holds a PhD in theological studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, and master’s degrees in both divinity and arts in religion from Vanderbilt University. Currently completing a master’s degree in strategic communication and leadership at Belmont University, he is a research fellow at Stellenbosch University in South Africa, and was previously appointed as a research associate at Wesley House in Cambridge.

Ashley Ramchandani, MPP, assists organizations in reimagining their operations by coupling change leadership with comprehensive communication strategies. She also helps organizations understand their cultures, developing strategies to incorporate cultural change alongside implementation of strategic plans; operational effectiveness measures; performance improvement; financial management; and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) action plans. Her work in the nonprofit and educational sectors includes evaluating the governance structures, operations, financial management, and performance of 501(c)(3)s and cultural institutions. With expertise in strategic planning, organizational design, and business process redesign, she advises clients on management and governance, DEI initiatives, stakeholder engagement, and risk management. Ashley has a master in public policy studies from the University of Chicago and a BA in criminal behavior studies from Transylvania University.

Katy Scrogin, PhD, helps teams think through conflicts, complex decisions, and the cultural factors that influence them, understanding that frictions in planning and execution are often due to miscommunication. She also engages in prospect research, and works with teams to craft fundraising appeals and communications. In addition to university teaching, Katy served as the vice president for programming at the Chicago Sunday Evening Club. She holds a PhD in religion from Claremont Graduate University, a master of theological studies from Vanderbilt University, and a BA in German and Spanish from the University of Texas at Austin. A writer, editor, and translator, she holds an editing certificate from the University of Chicago.

Patti Tuomey, EdD, has over 25 years of management experience in nonprofit and philanthropic organizations, and is skilled in strategic planning, program management, financial planning, marketing, and fundraising. Prior to her current role as advisor to and past president and CEO of Josephinum Academy of the Sacred Heart in Chicago, she served as president and CEO of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. Patti has held leadership positions at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, and the Field Museum. She has also spent several years teaching management and marketing courses at both the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University. Patti received a BA in political science and education from Marquette University; she also holds an MA in arts administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an EdD in higher education administration and organizational change from Benedictine University.