Albion College staff members to present at Slate Innovation Festival

May 25, 2023

Left to right: Ashlin Tabiadon, ’17, and Quinn Phillips

By Joe Creery

Quinn Phillips and Ashlin Tabiadon, ’17, are bringing Albion College to the world stage at the Slate Innovation Festival June 1.

Slate is a customer relationship management (CRM) system that provides a wealth of capabilities to multiple departments across the Albion College campus. It powers the Albion College Collaborative Alumni Network portal, allowing Britons to keep in touch and stay up to date with the latest Albion events and news.

Like the alumni network, Slate grows through the continuing collaboration of its users. Anyone can develop new Slate tools to be shared with one another, organically improving the capabilities of Slate and, in turn, the institutions that use it. Phillips and Tabiadon will be presenting new ways to process grant applications and gift documentation to a potential audience of thousands of other Slate users and institutions who may choose to implement these new tools for their own use.

The tools Phillips and Tabiadon have created bring new functionality to Slate that was previously unavailable for advancement purposes. Technolutions, the developer of Slate, relies on the user community to be innovative and develop these solutions; they cultivate this cooperation and provide technical support. In recognition of the groundbreaking work conducted by these two women, Technolutions chose Phillips and Tabiadon to speak in front of thousands of attendees and viewers at the Slate Innovation Festival.

Both women began at Albion College with no background in higher education or database administration. “You don’t have to have a degree in technology to be standing on the Slate stage. You can build something based on an idea,” said Phillips.

Currently serving as the associate director of advancement finance, data and technology for Institutional Advancement, Phillips comes from a career in banking, bringing with her a skillset that has been remarkably adaptable to the world of philanthropy. In fact, it was her work with loan applications that guided her advancement of gift documentation in Slate.

Tabiadon is the lead advancement finance specialist for Institutional Advancement, the same department she worked for during her time as a student. While she was a student, Institutional Advancement used a different CRM, but, in May of 2021, she would gain her first exposure to Slate when she returned to Albion College as a staff member. She began as a basic Slate user; however, she quickly expanded her knowledge of the software throughout the following year or two.

An Albion native, Tabiadon graduated from Albion High School in 2013 and later graduated from Albion College in 2017; she is deeply entrenched within the Albion community and understands the feeling of belonging shared by most Britons.

“Growing up in a small town that has a close-knit community is very similar to the community Slate has for advancement,” said Tabiadon. “Everyone knows each other.”

The duo conducted a series of practice presentations for colleagues, friends and family in preparation for the festival. Inspired by the strength of the Slate and Albion communities, they hope to return from the summit with new tools and knowledge as they continue to shape how philanthropy functions in a modern era.