Sheila Watnick – Nonprofit & Volunteer Management

With over 25 years experience, Sheila Watnick is a nationally recognized award-winning special events manager. She has spent the last 20 years specializing in nonprofit organizations with an emphasis on the event experience, creative theme development, marketing/branding, volunteer management and major fundraising.

For the past 13 years, Sheila took a leadership role in the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s program consisting of 11 walks; 19,000 participants and close to 1000 volunteers and currently raising over $2.6 million annually. In recent years Sheila developed guidelines and training for committees and on-site volunteers. She also served on the national Walk’s advisory council. For 12 years she managed the Association’s Night at the Pops, a theme fundraiser with up to 500 guests, grossing over $200,000 annually. She won the public service project bid from the International Special Events Society, resulting in a donation of over $25,000 in goods and services for the 2004 Pops event.

For three years as special events manager at The Wang Center for the Performing Arts, Sheila marketed the venue, managing up to 150 events a year, and provided logistical support for the annual gala and donor cultivation events.

Sheila has also consulted for several nonprofit organizations including The Brain Tumor Society, Newton Schools Foundation, Framingham State College and The Publicity Club of Boston, among others.

Sheila is past president of the New England Chapter of the International Special Events Society (ISES) and past member of ISES’ International Board of Governors where she served as chapters committee co-chair and Northeast regional vice president. In 1994 ISES presented her with the International Volunteer of the Year Award. She is also the recipient of the first leadership award from the New England Meetings Industry Council and the Guiding Light award from the New England Chapter.

Event Solutions magazine named Sheila the 2005 Organization Planner of the Year, an award given to an individual non-profit, association, government or university planner who adeptly utilizes events to accomplish his or her organization’s goals with creativity and impact.


Bachelor of Arts, Art, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Graduate coursework, Boston University

Graduate coursework, Syracuse University

Awards and Recognition:

Art Directors Club of Boston, Past President

The Publicity Club of New England, Super Bell team member, Bell Ringer Award, 35th anniversary chair

Publications, ISES newsletter – The Site is as Special as the Event, Development Today: A Guide for Nonprofit Organizations; contributing editor on special events

Speaker, Volunteers: The Right Fit at 2005 international Eventworld conference in Hollywood, CA, Roundtable leaders on New England Society of Fundraising Executives – Invitations as a Marketing Tool and Critical Issues in Non-for-Profit Event Planning

Women in Development, Member

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