Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT)

North Texas community leaders explore investment and impact opportunities in the areas of health equity, wellness, and public safety 

"We were so grateful to have Event Garde, and Aaron with facilitating our Community Conversations. We were able to have two very diverse groups come together and wrestle with big topics and develop a series of recommendations for CFT to consider as potential areas for future investment. All in a few short hours. And was done with mutual respect, where everyone had a voice and was able to be heard, plus they made new friends and connections! We would absolutely use this process and Event Garde again the future."

- Wende Burton, Chief Philanthropy Officer

Benefit Summary

  • Organized and evaluated the existing education portfolio using both an effort-impact decision-making model and event-specific evaluations.
  • On an ongoing basis, facilitates Education Committee design sessions, resulting in new in-person and virtual programs to meet stakeholder needs.
  • Partners with speakers to experiment with unique session formats and durations aligned with event objectives.
  • Post-event, drafts and disseminates event summaries with key metrics, sample photos, attendee testimonials, survey recaps, and staff reflections.


When USFN moved its headquarters from California to Texas in 2018, the newly hired President was charged with building a staff team from the ground up. When her first education director didn’t work out, USFN began its search for an experienced association education professional to navigate the existing programs scheduled in Dallas and Nashville. In the long-term, USFN was also eager to develop an intentional and comprehensive education strategy that would elevate the association’s reputational capital with members and their clients.


Event Garde was first contracted on a short-term/trial basis to support the staff and the Education Committee in planning and implementing the two identified events. But Event Garde’s role quickly grew into a more permanent, fractional staffing model. Ultimately, Event Garde worked closely with USFN’s President, Board, and staff to develop an organizational strategic plan and help oversee its implementation. Event Garde then took on oversight of the evaluation of existing education programs, the enhancement of existing education programs, the development of new education programs, the management of multiple content subcommittees, and the association’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.


Event Garde has filled this role since 2019 and has since added an additional contractor to the USFN team to help oversee event logistics. Together, these two Event Garde team members are contracted annually to manage the learning and operations of four annual in-person events, ranging from a traditional annual conference to a high-end hosted buyer program, and more than 20 virtual events. As a result of Event Garde’s work, USFN’s education portfolio is recognized throughout the default servicing industry by members and their clients as the highest quality learning and networking opportunities.