Marquette native Brad Canale has been appointed chief executive officer of the Northern Michigan University Foundation. He most recently served as executive director of advancement and senior adviser to the dean for the University of Michigan College of Engineering.
“I have enjoyed a lifelong connection with Northern through family and friends,” said Canale, whose late father, Gildo, was a longtime professor and athletic director. “The potential for Northern is significant. I look forward to beginning this new opportunity and contributing toward the long-term future of NMU.”
“We are very excited to have Brad join us here at NMU,” said NMU President Fritz Erickson. “He has a real understanding and passion for our university and our communities, which is immensely valuable in that fundraising is such a critical focus areas for Northern today. We have big fundraising goals and we believe Brad is the person who can lead us to accomplishing them.”
As executive director of advancement at Michigan Engineering, Canale led conceptual planning for a successful $300 million campaign and oversaw creation of a current initiative with a total strategic resource goal of $1 billion. His primary responsibilities included leading five senior management reports charged with achieving comprehensive development, alumni relations and corporate and government/foundations relations objectives.
When asked to cite a key career accomplishment, Canale said it is building an exceptional team.
“I work constantly at developing talent because this profession relies on building and maintaining relationships,” he said. “Our goal is also to promote a work environment that advances creativity and best practices.”
Canale graduated from U-M in 1981. He worked briefly in political fundraising before joining Michigan Engineering as director of development, later serving two years as campaign director before assuming the executive director role in 1993.
“We’re very happy to have someone with Brad’s wealth of experience, fundraising connections and proven track record to move the NMU Foundation forward,” said Mark Pynnonen, president of the NMU Foundation Board of Trustees.
Canale will assume his NMU duties in early September.