2020 UTFI Board of Directors Award Recipients

The Board of Directors Award recognizes outstanding achievements by advancement staff in applying creative concepts to improving performance, advancing fundraising efforts and promoting a better understanding of the university-wide major gift fundraising activities. It is the most prestigious award a Foundation employee can receive. Congratulations to the 2020 recipients!

Evan Beech
Associate Director of Specialized Giving
UT Institute of Agriculture

Starting his time with UTFI as a development coordinator, Evan excelled in his understanding of advancement and the unique UTIA donor culture. He had a rapid rise to an assistant director level, and began to develop a talent for planned giving. In 2018, he joined UTIA’s planned giving division as an associate director. Evan has made more than 600 visits, submitted more than $32 million in proposals and secured $21 million in support of the university.

Evan is well-respected among his colleagues, and alumni and friends of the university. He enthusiastically shares UTIA’s vision with donors, creating excitement for their investment. In 2018, Evan received the Up and Coming Award from the National Agricultural Alumni and Development Association, and is a frequent speaker on planned giving topics. Evan was instrumental in the success of UTIA’s campaign kick-off in 2018, assisting in the execution of the event, as well as ensuring guests felt welcomed and venues were appropriately out-fitted at regional campaign events.

Laura Coffey
Assistant Director of Alumni and Donor Records

Laura oversees alumni and donor records, which processes 90 percent of all gifts to the University. Coming into this role, Laura implemented several infrastructure changes to build efficiency in workflow and build a positive team dynamic. Within her team, Laura created professional growth opportunities through a restructure that allowed daily operations to be completed accurately, promptly and efficiently. She leads with encouragement, which has enabled her team to be proactive and collaborative.

Laura works closely with alumni, donors, staff, development officers, deans and vice chancellors to ensure responsive and accurate communication and documentation of all records management and processing needs. She has introduced quality control methods, automated and electronic workflow processes, and developed error handling messages to prevent demographic and gift processing issues. Her inclusive leadership style and ability to think outside the box, has created continuous improvement to the UT Foundation.

Andrew Sheehy
Executive Director of Advancement
UT Knoxville

Andrew oversees development activities at the College of Arts and Sciences at UT, Knoxville. Under his leadership, the college has added $65 million towards their campaign goal, putting themselves $16 million over a goal that one point didn’t seem within reach. Individually, Andrew has a 96 percent close rate, and has already hit two of his three metrics for this fiscal year.

Applying his creativity and efficiency, Andrew uses his own home-built prospect geo mapping tool. This tool allows him to quickly and efficiently prepare for travel, without having to request a new report each time. He continues to find ways to be more productive as a fundraiser, and has raised an incredible $21.2 million towards a goal of $5 million. With the extra time created by his efficient work manner, Andrew serves as an informal mentor to several fundraisers on staff, and has transformed the College of Arts and Sciences team as their productivity as fundraisers has continued to increase since 2017.