Our Staff

aspen mountainRachelle A. Bouts - President
Sherri Birkeland, BSN - Senior Vice President
Barbara Cunningham, CFRE - Vice President
Michelle Butler - Executive Director 
Charles R. Hillary - Senior Vice President, Emeritus 

Rachelle A. Bouts

Rikki joined the staff of Hillary Lyons Associates in 1998 following ten years of professional development experience in the health care and social welfare arenas. She became President of the firm in 2006. Rikki received a BS in Health Systems Management and an MBA in Finance from Michigan State University where she also led a special study on health care mergers. Before joining Hillary Lyons Associates, Rikki worked extensively with the Development Council at Ingham Regional Medical Center in Lansing, Michigan, and served as Vice President of Development for the Capital Area United Way where her responsibilities included Major Gifts and Community Campaigns. Rikki is a member of the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) and is a frequent speaker at both regional and national philanthropy programs.

Sherri Birkeland, BSN
Senior Vice President

Sherri has worked in the health care field for over 30 years; with over 15 years working in healthcare philanthropy. Prior to joining Hillary Lyons Associates, she served as Vice President of Development and Planning for North Country Health Services (NCHS) in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her responsibilities included marketing, public relations, strategic planning, administration of the NCHS Foundation, and supervision of the volunteer program. During Sherri’s tenure, the NCHS Foundation completed its largest fund-raising project, raising over $5 million. Sherri has also held nursing management positions in home care and hospice services. She has a BSN from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. Sherri has served on the Bemidji Area United Way Board, the Minnesota Health Strategy & Communications Network Board, and the Minnesota Home Care Association Board. Sherri is a frequent speaker at regional, state, and national conferences.

Barbara Cunningham, CFRE
Vice President

Barbara joined Hillary Lyons Associates in 2008 with over 20 years as a fundraising professional.  She is a member of the Association of Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) having served as Midwest Regional Director, Regional Conference Co-Chair, Vice Chair of Membership and Communications, and as member of both the Strategic Planning Committee and the International Conference Committee which she chaired in 2004.  She served as Vice Chair of Regional Affairs on the AHP 2004-2005 Board of Directors and as Secretary/Treasurer for the AHP 2006-2007 Board of Directors.  She has presented at AHP International and Regional Conferences, as well as at OAHP and AFP conferences.  Barbara received her Bachelor of Science degree at Ohio State University School of Education in Columbus, Ohio and has her Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) accreditation.  She started her career in development at Licking Memorial Hospital in Newark, Ohio where she was Director of Volunteers and Development.  After 5 years, she moved to Northern Kentucky where she was Vice President of Development for St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Edgewood, Kentucky and retired from that position in 2008.

Michelle Butler
Executive Director

Michelle joined the staff of Hillary Lyons Associates in 1999 when the firm relocated from Colorado to Michigan. Prior to joining the staff at Hillary Lyons Associates, she worked at Michigan Capital Medical Center for twelve years serving as Volunteer Coordinator for the merged two-hospital system as well as Hospice Volunteer Coordinator for their Visiting Nurse Hospice program. She previously worked in Public Relations for Olympia Arenas in Detroit, Michigan, providing marketing and public relations support for Joe Louis Arena, Cobo Arena, and the Fox Theatre. Michelle is a graduate of Michigan State University.  

 Charles R. Hillary
Senior Vice President, Emeritus

Chuck joined Lyons Associates in 1995 following fifteen years as Vice President of Development for Ingham Medical Center and later as President of the merged Michigan Capital Healthcare Foundation in Lansing, Michigan.  Chuck was President and owner of Hillary Lyons Associates from 1998 to 2006 and continued to serve as Senior Vice President until his retirement in 2018.  Chuck was active nationally in the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, serving on the national board, teaching at the Institute for Healthcare Philanthropy and serving as President of the AHP Foundation and was a frequent speaker at both regional and national philanthropy programs.  Chuck continues to be active locally serving as Vice President of the Williamston Theatre Board, on the Board of Burcham Hills Retirement and Rehabilitation Community and the Burcham Hills Foundation, and former President of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra In 2007, Chuck was recognized for his leadership, commitment, vision, and support of the arts when he was awarded the prestigious Applause Award by the Arts Council of Greater Lansing.  In 2010, he was recognized as Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Capital Area of Michigan Chapter.  Chuck and his wife, Nadean, were awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Award from the Williamston Theatre in 2011.  Chuck received his Master’s degree from Western Michigan University. 

Hillary Lyons Associates offers educational opportunities throughout the year for both non-clients and exclusively for clients.

For a list of all of our educational opportunities, please see our events calendar!
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