Senior Advisors

Bruce W. Boyd, Principal and Senior Managing Director, Arabella Advisors


Bruce Boyd joined Arabella Advisors in early 2007 as a principal and managing director after spending twenty years building and leading successful for-profit and not-for-profit ventures. Arabella Advisors provides strategic counsel to many of the country’s leading philanthropists and since joining Arabella Advisors, Bruce has led engagements with institutional foundations, families, and companies. Those engagements have included intergenerational strategic planning with families, development of philanthropy frameworks for major corporations, and investigation of funding opportunities and evaluation of philanthropic impact for large foundations.


Prior to joining Arabella Advisors, Bruce practiced law for seven years before he and a partner purchased a manufacturing company out of bankruptcy. Bruce returned the business to profitability and sold the company several years later to a Fortune 500 company.


Following the sale of the company, Bruce was named executive director of The Nature Conservancy in Illinois, a position he held from 1994 to 2007. The Nature Conservancy is the largest private conservation organization in the world and The Nature Conservancy in Illinois is among its most respected programs with a reputation for excellence and innovation. During his tenure at the Conservancy, Bruce and his team launched ground-breaking local, regional, and global conservation programs while increasing revenue more than fifteen times. One of the more notable programs Bruce played a central role in creating was the Great Rivers Partnership, a four-continent program to preserve some of the planets greatest freshwater systems. The Great Rivers Partnership was launched with a $12 million gift from the Caterpillar Company, the largest corporate gift ever received by The Nature Conservancy.


Bruce has also provided leadership as a foundation trustee and a board member of organizations working across the nonprofit spectrum. Bruce is a trustee of the Morrison Family Foundation, the David K. Hardin Generativity Trust, and his own family’s foundation. In addition, Bruce was the vice chairman of Chicago Wilderness, a unique coalition of conservation organizations. He served for twenty years on the board of governors of Opportunity International, a leading micro-enterprise development organization. The Merit School of Music, where Bruce served as board secretary, is a widely respected community music school which builds young peoples’ lives through music. Bruce has also served as the chairman of Running with Scissors, an award winning theatre company in Chicago.


Bruce graduated magna cum laude from Middlebury College, earned his law degree from the University of Chicago, and studied business at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.


Shelley Whelpton, Managing Director, Arabella Advisors


Shelley Whelpton is a managing director in Arabella’s Washington, DC office, where she leads the firm’s Mid-Atlantic practice. Shelley has over 20 years experience working across sectors to assess organizational assets, identify investment opportunities, develop key alliances, and chart strategic paths to meet ambitious objectives. Shelley’s work at Arabella focuses on leading teams of specialists to build customized plans for clients that integrate and maximize all aspects of their charitable assets, including grants, investments, relationships, and time.


From 2007 to 2013, Shelley was the vice president of business development and strategy at the Sheridan Group, a Washington, DC-based policy firm dedicated to public interest causes. In this role, Shelley developed the firm’s social entrepreneurship consulting practice, working with grant makers and other clients to identify creative strategies and build cross-sector collaborations for broad-scale social change. Shelley’s development work with the Sheridan Group spanned a wide range of issue areas, including new social financing mechanisms, open access, education, youth development, child welfare, and health.


Shelley is a seasoned nonprofit executive with national recognition in the field of international youth exchange. For 10 years, she managed AYUSA International, a nonprofit high-school exchange program serving 2,000 high-school students from 80 countries around the world. Shelley led the organization during a period of significant growth and program diversification, including a post-9/11 exchange initiative with the Middle East sponsored by the US Department of State.


Shelley’s volunteerism focuses on women’s political leadership and youth-related causes. She is a founding board member of Running Start, a nonprofit dedicated to providing political leadership training for girls and young women. She also sits on the advisory board of Playworks, an organization that is leading a national movement to safeguard recess, promoting safe, inclusive, and physically engaging playground activities. She has led fundraising campaigns at her sons’ schools and coaches their athletic teams.


Shelley graduated with honors from Williams College with a BA in political science, earning the Richard Krouse Political Science Award, and completed a master’s degree in education from Boston University.


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