Cory’s mother Cindy (Huston) met her father, Neil Gallaway during their very first college class at LSSC in September 1971 – English 101 with Professor Stevens. They were married a month after graduating in 1975. Cindy’s sister, Susan, met her husband, Maurice Evans (All-American track athlete and Laker Hall of Famer) during her freshman year, and they married before her sophomore year and lived on campus in married housing. Cory’s grandparents (Cindy’s parents) Bruce and Marian Huston established an endowed scholarship at LSSU for students from Cory’s hometown of Lewiston, Michigan. Cory says “LSSU is important to our family and I’m proud of our longstanding connection.”
While a student at LSSU, Cory was a leader in one of the most active student organizations on campus at that time, Student Alumni Involved for Lake State (SAILS) and she worked as a campus tour guide. She also worked part-time in the Alumni and Foundation offices. That may have been the beginnings of her professional career in fund raising, as one of her roles was as a student manager for LSSU’s student telemarketing team. “I credit Lake State for helping me have a positive start to my career. My professors and staff members genuinely cared about my success and gave me ample opportunities to grow as a leader, giving me confidence to pursue any endeavor.”
Cory and her husband Kelsey are lifetime members of the LSSU Alumni Association and they are also donors to their alma mater. Cory and Kelsey enjoy hosting occasional alumni gatherings for Laker alumni in Colorado, where they now call home.
These attributes, along with Cory’s notable professional accomplishments, combine to make Cory a natural choice for the Paul Ripley Award for Young Alumni. The award was established in 1994 and is presented to graduates who have enjoyed exceptional personal and professional success early in their careers, and who are involved with LSSU and/or the LSSU Alumni Association.
Cory is currently an account leader and director of business development for Snavely Associates, a national communications firm that supports higher education, healthcare and cultural non-profit organizations. In her role at Snavely, Cory assists clients in thoughtfully integrating annual giving programs with the organization’s broader fundraising efforts and driving new client acquisition to the firm’s digital platform, Ovrture. Cory has had the opportunity to support annual giving teams at institutions such as Arizona State University, St. Peter’s University, Ferris State University, Franklin and Marshall College, Front Range Community College, and many others. She has expertise in direct marketing solicitation, strategic planning, data reporting and analysis, and digital communications. Cory earned her Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2009 and an MBA from the University of Denver in 2010.
Prior to joining Snavely, Cory was the director of annual giving for the University of Denver from 2010 to 2016, where she was responsible for direct mail, phone, and e-solicitation for faculty and staff, senior class giving, student philanthropy, and donor societies for leadership annual donors. Under Cory’s leadership the undergraduate donor count increased 41 percent and annual giving revenue increased 57 percent, with annual funds increasing every year under her leadership. Cory led the launch of a high-level unrestricted annual giving society in 2015, and developed and led One Day for DU, the University’s very first giving day.
From 2007 to 2010 Cory was the development manager for The Cable Center in Denver, a non profit organization associated with the Cable TV industry. In this role Cory was responsible for annual giving, planned giving, prospect visits, events and database administration.
From 2006 to 2007 Cory was the lead on-site sales associate for the Denver Art Museum, where she was responsible for museum membership development.
Cory’s first position after graduating from LSSU was as a development officer for Adrian College’s Office of Development. Here she directed the annual fund, assisted in planning and executing alumni gatherings, advised the Student Alumni Association and assisted with planning events such as homecoming and Founders Day.
Cory is highly involved in Association of Fundraising Professionals, Colorado chapter where she was a board member for seven years, serving as president of the chapter in 2013. She has volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Colorado, Frisco Elementary School and with the National Philanthropy Day committee in Colorado. She has conducted numerous workshops for the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Colorado Chapter and has presented Fundraising 101 lectures for the Colorado Business Association for the Arts and the Colorado Non-Profit Association annual conference. In 2008 Cory received the Up and Coming Professional Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Colorado Chapter.
Following her personal passions, in 2017 Cory completed training with DONA International to become a certified birth doula. She founded Peaceful Peak Doula to assist parents with their birth journey, providing continuous labor support to help her clients have the most positive birth experiences possible. As a birth doula, Cory is a peaceful and calming presence who advocates and empowers families to make the best decisions for their particular experiences. “My parents are entrepreneurs and I have always felt a strong pull to create my own business at some point. As a doula, I have the flexibility to choose the number of clients I work with to balance with my other responsibilities. It’s been a wonderful addition to my life.” Cory is also in the process of training to become a childbirth educator.
Cory is a multi-sport athlete, competing in numerous triathlons, including finishing Ironman Mt. Tremblant in 2012. She has completed multiple marathons and half marathons. She is also an avid outdoorswoman and enjoys yoga, skiing, backcountry hut trips, hiking, camping and kayaking. Her most favorite activities are adventures with her husband Kelsey and the couple’s two children, Laird (age 6) and Corbin (age 3).
Cory and her husband Kelsey are currently building their own home (completing 90% of the work on their own!) in Silverthorne, Colorado. They are keeping a blog for friends and family to keep track of the progress, feel free to visit www.lifeat9290.com.
The Paul Ripley Award for Young Alumni will be presented during the Alumni Awards Banquet during Great Lake State Weekend on Friday, October 11 at 5:00 pm. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are available on the GLSW website or in person at the Alumni office.