About Norma Schafer
Since 2006, I have offered arts education travel workshops and study tours in Oaxaca, Mexico. This was before I retired from a 30-year university marketing, commuications, development and continuing education career. Yes, I raised $23 million and won national awards for degree, certificate and non-credit programs I developed. In 2012, I expanded Oaxaca Cultural Navigator programs to include Mexico City, Estado de Mexico and Chiapas. There is more to come. About 38% of our program participants return. Our satisfaction ratings on Trip Advisor are outstanding. I get my program ideas based on my curiosity and love for Mexico, and indigenous people everywhere. Sometimes, I get unsolicited proposals. Sometimes, I seek out particular experts in their fields. I also work with organizations to develop programs for alumni, donors and friends that can be a significant friend-raising and fundraising opportunity. You are welcome to contact me to explore what is possible.
- M.S., Administration, The University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business
- B.A., History, California State University at Northridge
Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC, Oaxaca, Mexico, Owner Entrepreneur, 2006-Present, Writer, photographer.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing (SON), Director of Advancement and Executive Director, School of Nursing Foundation, Inc., 2001-2011
- Raised over $23M; built endowment from $9M to $21M; initiated successful planned giving program
- Authored winning corporate/foundation funding proposals of up to $3M: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Hartford Foundation, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Hillman Foundation, Gertrude Skelly Charitable Trust
- Directed Foundation and Alumni Association boards; engaged active, generous leaders
- Developed marketing communications strategies to reach readers at various lifecycle stages, including print and social media
- Produced national and international events for friend- and fund-raising
- Created, produced, directed documentary film showcasing research/education/service mission to attract financial support and investment
Norma Singleton & Associates, Pittsboro, NC, Principal, 1998-2001 Educational services, marketing and communications consultant for various clients, including Duke University Medical Center, UNC Chapel Hill School of Public Health, Winston-Salem State University, Roanoke (Virginia) Higher Education Center, and ProcessWorks Training Collaborative.
American Social Health Association, Research Triangle Park, NC, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications, 1999-2001
- Directed publication, sales, marketing of health education information to U.S. and global markets
- Responsible for $1M revenue generating budget; managed 11-person staff
- Solicited and secured underwriting from pharmaceutical, medical device and managed care organizations
- Organized and managed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National STD Conference with over 600 attendees and paid exhibitors; served as liaison to CDC; served on national program committee
The George Washington University, Washington, DC, Director of Corporate and Community Relations, and Director of Marketing, 1990-1999
- Increased revenue from $6M to $12M and research funding from $50K to $11.5M
- Co-founder of the GW graduate teaching and research campus in the Northern Virginia technology corridor; managed media relations with Washington Post
- Created innovative corporate, business and community outreach conferences, seminars, programs and events; recruitment strategies and materials for master’s, doctoral and continuing education programs
- Established advisory board of industry leaders, including the Corporate Liaison Program
- Initiated federal and state legislative affairs program; developed advocacy agenda and strategies; organized visits to Capitol Hill and Richmond, Virginia with university officials
University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, Statewide Director of Marketing, Division of Continuing Education, 1989-1990
- Internal consultant to seven regional center directors, 12 professional development seminar program directors, administrators and faculty to assess, create and deliver academic programs
- Conducted market research to identify and recommend relevant degrees, program issues and topics; produced catalogs, brochures, print advertising for regional, state and national recruitment
- Managed nine staff in self-supporting division
Indiana University, South Bend, IN, Marketing Manager and Director of Noncredit Courses, Division of Continuing Education, 1982-1989
- Built self-supporting operation from $300,000 to $1.5M annual revenue
- Created and managed a portfolio of over 100 professional development, certificate, youth and adult enrichment seminars, conferences and courses annually
- Secured funders and sponsors; developed and negotiated co-sponsored programs for broader market reach
- Published catalogs, brochures; managed graphic designer, in-house database
And, in case you are wondering, I’ve also had a number of AKA’s — in sequence, and over a long and interesting life: Norma Beerstein, Norma Singleton, Norma Hawthorne and now, Norma Schafer. I foresee no more name changes.
I’ve been living in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico, full-time since 2012, and going back and forth between the USA and Oaxaca since 2005. I put full-time in quotes because I maintain North Carolina residency and travel back and forth to visit friends and family often.
You can read more about How I Came Here. It’s a blog post.