University Advancement Leadership

Our Mission

To develop relationships to secure and steward financial resources, which advance Western.


University Advancement Leadership


Stephanie BowersStephanie Bowers

Vice President of University Advancement 
President and CEO of WWU Foundation

Stephanie came to Western Washington University in January 2001. She serves as the Vice President for University Advancement and recently led the successful $62 million Western Stands for Washington campaign. She is President and CEO of the WWU Foundation. Stephanie works closely with key leaders and volunteers, engaging alumni, friends and supporters with Western in communities in Washington and throughout the US. 

Stephanie’s career in public higher education includes leadership roles in advancement at three campuses of the University of Maryland system. She most recently served as Executive Director of Development at Maryland’s Smith School of Business, and prior to that held the positions of Assistant Vice President for Alumni and Development and Interim Vice President at her alma mater, University of Maryland College (UMUC). She also served as Alumni Director for six years at the University of Baltimore. Stephanie received her bachelor’s in English from De Sales University, Center Valley, Pennsylvania and her MGA from UMUC, College Park, MD.


Deborah DeWeesDeborah DeWees

Assistant Vice President for Alumni, Annual Giving and Advancement Communications 
Executive Director of WWU Alumni Association

Deborah came to Western Washington University in 1998 and is currently the Assistant Vice President for Alumni, Annual Giving and Advancement Communications. She also serves as the Executive Director of the Western Alumni Association. Prior to this role, Deborah served WWU as Assistant Director for Planned Giving for University Advancement, Director of Development for the College of Business & Economics, College of Arts and Sciences, Fairhaven College, Wilson Library and key university programs.

Deborah’s career in public higher education includes advancement roles as Assistant Director of Development for University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, and Executive Vice President for Advancement and Executive Director of Resource Development for Edmonds Community College. She also served as the Public Relations manager with Vyzis Company, a Washington state commercial development and retail organization for three years.

Deborah has a bachelor’s in communications with a minor in business administration from Marywood College in Scranton, PA and also studied at the University of Maryland, College Park. She received her designation as a Certified Fundraising Professional in 1990 from the University of Indiana School of Fundraising.


Mark BrovakMark Brovak

Chief Operating Officer for University Advancement
Vice President and CFO of WWU Foundation

Mark joined the Division of Advancement team as Senior Director and Chief Operating Officer in January of 2012. Mark’s responsibilities include oversight of all treasury, accounting and financial reporting aspects of the division as well as all legal and real estate transactions. This is Mark’s first position in higher education. Prior to Western, Mark worked for ten years at the Ryzex Group where he served in various roles from Controller, to Vice President of Human Resources, to Director of Corporate Sales.

Mark began his career at Ernst and Young and earned his CPA license while performing audit and assurance work. Mark also spent five years working for a Bellingham-based development company, specializing in North and South American forest products development.

During this time, Mark lived in Venezuela and travelled extensively throughout Chile, Argentina and Peru.

Mark earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, WA.


Tim SzymanowskiTim Szymanowski

Associate Vice President for Development and Leadership Giving

Tim joined Western in August of 2015 as its associate vice president for develop and leadership giving. In this newly-created role, Tim oversees Western’s development officers as well as being a key member of WWU’s University Advancement leadership team.

Tim’s professional career has spanned 30 years and 25 countries, encompassing multiple arenas from business, sales and marketing to higher education fundraising. In 2007, after decades in the private sector, Tim joined the development team at Eastern Washington University and most recently served as executive director for development at the University of Hawaii Foundation. His marketing, sales and leadership experiences have proved highly transferable into securing private donor partnerships as well as leading campaign initiatives, while simultaneously coaching and supporting fundraisers in relationship management.


University Advancement Staff

View the Advancement Organizational Chart