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Meet the Team

Our team of certified grant-seeking and management experts have decades of experience and training, including the Grant Professionals Certification, GPA Approved Trainer, Certified Grants Management Specialist, Project Management Professional, SCRUM Master and Certified Public Accountants.

Leadership and Operations

Rachel Werner-RBW-Strategy

Rachel Werner MPA, PMP, GPC

Owner & CEO
Olney, MD

KJ-Lucas-Matos-RBW-Strategy

KJ Lucas Matos, MA

Chief Operating Officer
Philadelphia, PA

Katelyn-Banman-RBW-Strategy

Katelyn Banman, BA

Operations Specialist
Denver, CO

Rachel Werner-RBW-Strategy

Rachel Werner MPA, PMP, GPC

Owner & CEO
Olney, MD

KJ-Lucas-Matos-RBW-Strategy

KJ Lucas Matos

MA Chief Operating Officer
Philadelphia, PA

Katelyn-Banman-RBW-Strategy

Katelyn Banman

BA Operations Specialist
Denver, CO

Consultants

Paula-Asbury-RBW-Strategy

Paula Asbury, MA

Corryton,TN

Ara-Beal-RBW-Strategy

Ara Beal, MA

Dayton, OH

Ashly-Bloxon-RBW-Strategy

Ashly Bloxon, MA

San Diego, CA

Judy-Riffle-RBW-Strategy

Judy Riffle, EdD

San Antonio, TX

Amanda-Robins-RBW-Strategy

Amanda Robins, MPA

Bellingham, WA

Alex-Rudolph-RBW-Strategy

Alex Rudolph, MA

Prescott, AZ

James-Spencer-RBW-Strategy

James Spencer

Sacramento, CA

Erin-Yingst-RBW-Strategy

Erin Yingst, MBA

Mattawan, MI

Brian Perez, CGMS

Caguas, Puerto Rico

Kelli Minnerath, MFPC

Alexandria, MN

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Partnerships and Affiliations

Talk to an expert about your grant-seeking and management needs and goals.

Rachel Werner-RBW-Strategy

Rachel Werner, MPA, PMP, GPC

(she/her/hers)

Owner & CEO

Olney, MD

Rachel Werner is the Owner and CEO of RBW Strategy, a grants consulting firm located in the Washington, DC Metro area, and Principal at MyFedTrainer, a leading national compliance training consulting firm.

Rachel began her career as a New York City public school teacher, which parlayed into a two-decade work career in the public sector. She has served as a grant writer for a community-based hospital, a nonprofit fundraiser for a human services organization, a grants manager at an education management organization, and a management consultant overseeing federal government contracts.

At RBW Strategy, she leads a virtual team of consultants that provides the full lifecycle of grant support to nonprofit, public sector, and for-profit clients. Rachel and her team members have 130 years of professional grants and fundraising experience— and have, combined, raised over $240 million and managed over $2.5 billion in federal grant awards. She and her team at MyFedTrainer offer compliance training to groups and individuals to ensure they can manage the complexities of federal grant awards. They have trained thousands of people since their inception in 2010.

She graduated from Vassar College with a Bachelor’s in Arts and received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. She has also obtained a Certificate in Grants Management (2012), is a certified Project Management Professional (since 2014), and is a Certified Grants Professional (since 2010) and Grant Professionals Association Approved Trainer. She is actively involved with the Grant Professionals Association and National Grants Management Association and regularly conducts in-person and online training at national, state, and local conferences.

My favorite thing about this work: Learning about causes and missions that help communities all over the world and how little steps make a huge difference. It is a privilege to help organizations fulfill their missions while enhancing my perspective on critical issues and causes.

KJ-Lucas-Matos-RBW-Strategy

KJ Lucas Matos, MA

(she/her/hers)

Chief Operating Officer

Philadelphia, PA

KJ began her professional life as an academic researcher—successfully pursuing federal funds with fellow investigators in support of public health initiatives. Over the course of her career, she has engaged in government and private grant seeking, overseen funded programs, managed and directed grants and development departments, and served as principal/owner of a strategic fundraising consulting firm. KJ secured nearly $60 million across these efforts.

KJ has an MA in Sociology from Brown University and BA in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University. She is a former Columbia University Child and Family Policy Fellow and American Sociological Association – National Institute of Mental Health Fellow. Further, she has authored peer-reviewed articles and led conference presentations for a host of academic and professional communities.

In addition, KJ has served as freelance writer of over 150 articles on business, finance, and learning topics published via GlobalPost.com, USAToday.com, Chron.com, AZCentral.com, and SFGate.com—with a combined viewership of 80 million+ per month. She has held memberships in the Grant Professionals Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and Women in Development, among others.

KJ lives in the historic West Mount Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia—and has had the privilege of being a foster parent.

My favorite thing about this work: I have always been obsessed with creative ways of solving problems. It is both exciting and rewarding to demystify the fundraising process—and make elusive concepts simple. Doing so for organizations that are traversing critical stages of growth and/or serve the marginalized and underrepresented is especially fulfilling.

Katelyn-Banman-RBW-Strategy

Katelyn Banman, BA

(she/her/hers)

Operations Specialist

Denver, CO

Katelyn has always had a passion for business operations and project management. After graduating with a Business Management degree, she joined the corporate world and enjoyed over 15 years of working for different corporate entities, both large and small. During this time, she gained a wide range of project management and operational systems knowledge and skills to help optimize and execute a business’s strategy.

In 2019, Katelyn decided to more fully leverage her passion and knowledge of operations and project management, and commit her efforts to assisting smaller businesses who focus on making a big difference. She loves the large impacts that smaller businesses make on our community. After starting Virtual Management Resources, she continues to optimize business operations, and heads many projects for a seamless flow and execution.

Katelyn currently resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband and two young boys— enjoying every aspect that Colorado and the two seasons have to offer.

My favorite thing about this work: Being part of efforts that really make a huge difference for nonprofit organizations who, in turn, make large differences in their communities.

Paula-Asbury-RBW-Strategy

Paula Asbury, MA

(she/her/hers)

Corryton,TN

Paula has over 13 years in grant management and more than 20 years of experience in program management, strategic sourcing, and process improvement supporting K-12 charter schools in nutrition, academic and operational programs. She completed Masters level coursework at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and received a Bachelor of Arts from Lee University. She specializes in process improvement, grant management training, and post-award administrative services. Paula has served entities across multiple education sectors including non-profit and for-profit organizations. In addition, she has developed multiple policy and process resources for program management, multi-level and participant-centered trainings, and grant management. A great deal of Paula’s work in education supported historically disadvantaged populations, including low-income and drop-out prevention/recovery programs. During the pandemic response, Paula managed over 75 grants with a total value over $8 million. She also serves as a life coach to abuse survivors.

Paula lives in Tennessee with her husband and family. She enjoys cooking, writing, and spending time with her family. She is also a published author.

My favorite thing about this work: Making a positive difference in the lives of those I work with so that they are enabled to change the world around them in a beneficial way.

Ara-Beal-RBW-Strategy

Ara Beal, MA

(she/her/hers)

Dayton, OH

Ara G. Beal combines her decades of theater production experience, nonprofit management, and teaching background into supporting nonprofits in increasing their funding capacity, including through grant writing. In addition to working with individual nonprofits, Ara presents to groups such as Chambers of Commerce, SCORE chapters, and other nonprofit networking groups. She has served on grant review panels for the Ohio Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Culture Works of Dayton.  She previously served as the Executive Director at Talespinner Children’s Theatre and Managing Artistic Director of YS Kids Playhouse, and particularly enjoys helping small, new nonprofits complete their first grant application. To supplement her arts background, Ara has completed coursework and is in the process of completing the CPA exam to offer financial knowledge to her clients.

When not supporting nonprofits, she enjoys spending time in libraries, watching hockey, and making messes with her six grandchildren.

My favorite thing about this work: There is always more to earn.  Whether it’s getting to know a new sector, learning about an organization’s programming, or tackling a new type of application, it’s never the same day-to-day.

Ashly-Bloxon-RBW-Strategy

Ashly Bloxon, MA

(she/her/hers)

San Diego, CA

Ashly began her grant writing career in 2014 after pre- and post-award work while employed with Urban Resurrection Community Development Corporation in Columbus, Ohio. Ashly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside and Master’s in Peace and Justice Studies from the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. It was during her graduate studies that Ashly received extensive training in project management and grant writing. In the years since, Ashly has held a number of roles in the nonprofit arena. She has worked as a project manager, an independent contract grant writer, a Peace Corps volunteer in East Africa, a grant administrator, and an officer at an international grant making organization.

Throughout her grant writing career, Ashly has assisted numerous organizations in stewarding gifts from local, national, and international funders—notably, fostering relationships with several large private foundations to secure more than $5 million in gifts. Over her nearly eight-year career in the grants space, she has helped organizations acquire several million dollars in funding for their initiatives and administered more than $50 million in grant revenue to 250-plus organizations. Ashly’s grants support has included conceptualizing fundraising plans, conducting funding searches, writing well-crafted proposals, preparing reports, and leveraging philanthropic networks to help meet programmatic aims. She has experience serving new and established organizations across multiple sectors including education, public health, social services, arts and culture, community development, science and technology, animal welfare, humanitarian aid, global development, and environmental protection among others.

Ashly currently resides in San Diego, California. When she is not absorbed in a new book or TV show, she enjoys spending much of her time hiking in the local outdoors.

My favorite thing about this work: I am passionate about helping organizations to meet funding needs for their causes, whether it is a small grant for a new exciting project or more ambitious fundraising to scale up existing programs. Providing strategic support to organizations undertaking the grant seeking process and being able to help them secure critical funding for their programs has been so incredibly rewarding.

Lynn-Burks-RBW-Strategy

Lynn Burks, MBA, CAPM

(she/her/hers)

Garner, NC

Lynn has a passion for building the capacity of organizations that strengthen communities. She has a combined 20+ years of experience in program and grant management, grant writing, strategic planning, and marketing. Her contributions span both public and private sectors, including 10+ years of corporate experience. She has led the launch, implementation, and oversight of capacity building grants, from federal and state funders, to support over 300 non-profits and 90 small businesses. Her grant management experience expanded into academia, where she secured over $8M in grant awards, managed a $30M+ award portfolio, of private and public funding sources, and led significant improvements in internal controls and grant processes.

Lynn has earned an MBA from Capital University and a BS with honors, in Marketing and International Business from The Ohio State University. She also studied at the École Supérieure de Commerce in France. Lynn is certified in project management and is pursuing a certification in grants management.

Lynn currently resides in Garner, North Carolina but will always be an Ohio State Buckeye at heart. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, gardening, and serving in the community.

My favorite thing about this work: Helping to support and advance the work of organizations that benefit and strengthen our communities

Aislyn-Colgan-RBW-Strategy

Aislyn Colgan, BS

(she/her/hers)

Santa Cruz, CA

Aislyn Colgan has engaged in nonprofit management and development for close to 20 years. She has worked with organizations addressing youth development, education, performing arts, Indigenous issues, and underrepresented groups, health and wellness, domestic violence prevention, environmental protection, patient advocacy, and public health. Aislyn got her grant writing start in 2005 pursuing funds for Common Ground Health Clinic, a community-led health center in post-Katrina New Orleans. In 2015, she founded Project RISE (Resilience In Spite of Everything), an outdoor-based leadership development program for youth impacted by incarceration. She worked in collaboration with multiple stakeholders and community based organizations to make a positive collective impact in the lives of youth. Aislyn has since used her grant writing and strategic fundraising plans to support multiple organizations to increase revenues from 50% to over 250%. She leverages her breadth of skills in program design and management to provide tremendous value for nonprofits. This includes supporting strategic development, refining organizational vision and narrative, offering guidance to advance theory of change and logic models, improving program impact metrics, and managing the grant lifecycle. She has a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science from Antioch College and a Masters in Education from Goddard College.

Aislyn lives with her family in Santa Cruz, California, and enjoys soaking in the sunshine, ocean swimming, and hiking with friends and family in the Redwood forests.

My favorite thing about this work: I am passionate about creating access to clear funding alignments so organizations can focus on their meaningful programming. I love seeing resources flow to the places they are most needed.

Rebecca-Fox-Jascoviak-RBW-Strategy

Rebecca Fox Jascoviak, MBA, GPC

(she/her/hers)

Valparaiso, IN

Becky has worked in, started, led, and consulted for non-profits for more than 25 years. She has been on both the fundraising and marketing side of organizations working to support minority and underserved populations, the arts, human services, medical fields, international aid, community development, high finance, recreation, leadership, conflict resolution, education, and job training.

In her leadership roles, she has helped form and grow collaborations, develop grassroots organizations into flourishing community development drivers, and supported organizations through critical strategic development pathways. Becky regularly gives trainings on organizational and fundraising topics and is a regular speaker at conferences and events.

When it comes to nonprofit fundraising specifically, Becky has worked on fundraising strategy, major and rank and file donor appeals, annual giving and capital campaigns, corporate sponsorship solicitation, and event production. The grants she has researched, written, and managed have kick-started a network of trails in her community; supported extensive curriculum development in the arts, technology, and STEM; launched large multi-agency collaborations in school-to-work transition and in regional theatre; further improved outdoor amenity accessibility; and worked to improve air and water quality alongside growing recycling and energy efficiency.

Becky has a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University, an MBA from Valparaiso University. She earned the Grant Professional Certified (GPC) designation in 2020 and the Registered Scrum Master (RSM) designation in 2022. Becky is former Chair of the Grant Professionals Foundation, President of the Northwest Indiana Excellence in Theatre Foundation, and serves as a nonprofit consultant. She tweets at @NonProfitBecky about grants and other nonprofit related content.

Becky lives in Valparaiso, Indiana with her husband and beloved kitty. When not working on grants, she can usually be found at one of the many local theatres.

My favorite thing about this work: Helping organizations grow their impact, reach beyond their potential, and change lives and communities.

Jennie-Miller-RBW-Strategy

Jennie Miller, MA, GPC, CNP

(she/her/hers)

Phoenix, AZ

Jennie Miller has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years, supporting organizations in the arts, health care, education, human services, and youth development. Overall, she has raised nearly $15 million in grants from foundations, corporations, and government agencies. Her company, JAM Nonprofit Consulting LLC, helps nonprofits build their capacity through grant writing, program development, and strategic planning. Her clients have included Mission of Mercy Arizona, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona, Cancer Support Community of Arizona, and The First Tee of Phoenix. In addition, Jennie teaches grant writing at Arizona State University. She sits on the national board of the Grant Professionals Association, and has been Grant Professional Certified (GPC) since 2012. She has a BA in Communication from UC San Diego, and a MA in Performing Arts Administration from New York University.

Jennie lives Phoenix, Arizona with her rescue dog and never-ending list of DIY projects.

My favorite thing about this work: I learn something new every day! Research is inherent in grant writing, and over the years I’ve learned about such diverse topics as breast cancer, food insecurity, the human-animal bond, and the variety of approaches to help guide children into becoming productive adults.

Lora-Ollom-RBW-Strategy

Lora Ollom, BA

(she/her/hers)

Columbus, OH

Lora brings 21 years of experience in writing and editing with a strong background in document layout and design. She began writing, editing, and reviewing grants over eight years ago. Current and former clients are from areas that include education, environmental protection, healthcare, housing & shelter, youth development, and a variety of human services. She graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Scientific and Technical Communication. She is a member of the Grant Professionals Association.

Lora lives in Central Ohio with her husband and two children.

My favorite thing about this work: Being inspired by all the positive efforts I see in philanthropy. From those who work and volunteer for nonprofit organizations to the funders who choose to support those organizations in meeting in their missions.

Angela-Ratkowski-RBW-Strategy

Angela Ratkowski, MSW

(she/her/hers)

Omaha, NE

Angela Ratkowski began her nonprofit career as a Peace Corps volunteer in West Africa. She has worked in education, international development, public health, child welfare, and anti-trafficking services. She has also been privileged to work in refugee resettlement both in the United States and the United Kingdom. Angela has more than 15 years of experience with federal grants including managing federally funded programs and reviewing proposals. She has administered programs funded by the Centers for Disease Control, Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, U.S. Agency for International Development, National Institutes of Health, and the Department of State. Angela holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Maryland with a concentration in social action and community development. She enjoys helping organizations develop the systems they need to support their missions. Her work in program management has included developing policies and procedures, providing technical assistance and training, program reporting, monitoring subrecipients, and developing corrective action plans.

Angela currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and two children. She loves traveling, gardening, and photography.

My favorite thing about this work is meeting people who are passionate about helping their communities.

Judy-Riffle-RBW-Strategy

Judy Riffle, EdD

(she/her/hers)

San Antonio, TX

Dr. Judy Riffle is a former K-12 teacher, education specialist, University of Hawaii new teacher mentor, and school district office administrator with degrees in special education (University of Texas at San Antonio), Deaf education (University of the Incarnate Word), and educational leadership in higher education (University of Southern California). Her doctoral dissertation focused on prevention of college campus violence against women. Judy owns Santa Cruz Grants & Consulting, LLC, and has raised over $35.5 million through grants and fundraising. She has five years of grant management experience with a school district, a nonprofit, and a charter school, successfully handling $7,968,721 in federal/foundation grant and online fundraising monies. Since 2012, she has served as a frequent peer reviewer for federal grants and community foundation grants. She was a GPA Approved Trainer and was the 2009-2010 Santa Cruz Valley Unified School District #35 Office of Curriculum & Instruction Teacher of the Year. She has completed an 8-week course on Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) not once but twice. Some clients she has partnered with are Sunnyside Unified School District, Purple Mountain Institute, Pidola, and IQsonics, LLC.

Judy is a subject matter expert in a host of grant areas, including: Advocacy/Social Justice, Community Colleges, Healthcare, Higher Education, Human Services, K-12 Education/Special Education, Libraries, Public Safety, School Safety, Criminal Justice, Development & Physical Disabilities, Early Childhood Education, Economic Development, College & Career Readiness, Telemedicine, Mental Health, Hospitals, Military Veterans, Animal Welfare, Corporate Grants, Community Organizations/Development, Historic Preservation, Chamber of Commerce, Homelessness, Law Enforcement, Rural Education, Homelessness, STEM/STEAM, Youth Development, Hearing Impairments/Deafness, and Performing Arts/Dance. Her pre- and post-award training experience includes tips from a grant peer reviewer, grant readiness, the grant cycle, K-12 education grants, single audits, federal grants compliance (2 CFR), how to write a grant, collaboration with partners/teams, and mindfulness for grant professionals.

She lives and travels full-time in her RV, accompanied by her husband and two rescued cats. Her home base is San Antonio, Texas, where she frequently visits her daughter and two grandsons.

My favorite thing about this work: I love research, learning, and writing. Although math was never my favorite subject, I adore when strong budgets come together and help tell the story of what clients need to make the world a better place.

Amanda-Robins-RBW-Strategy

Amanda Robins, MPA

(she/her/hers)

Bellingham, WA

Amanda first gained experience working with federal grants as Program Manager for a Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) funded program in Washington State. Following that role, she moved on to be a grant reviewer for other organizations hoping to secure similar funding from FYSB, moving from a grant reviewer to a panel lead. In addition to robust experience in writing and reviewing federal grants, Amanda has also written many corporate and foundation grant proposals, with a focus on human services nonprofits. Amanda earned a Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management, including coursework in grant writing, program evaluation, non-profit finance, and governance, from University of Washington, Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. She loves to put her degree to work helping organizations understand how each of these pieces plays an important role in the grant lifecycle.

Amanda lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and their dog Maggie. She loves to get outside and go mountain biking, hiking, climbing, and skiing. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she is an Eagles fan and Phillies fan despite the heartbreak that might bring.

My favorite thing about this work: I love helping organizations bring in funding that helps them to make a bigger impact in their communities and build sustainable programs that will last for years to come.

Alex-Rudolph-RBW-Strategy

Alex Rudolph, MA

(she/her/hers)

Prescott, AZ

Alex received her Master’s in Museum Studies from Arizona State University in 2013. She parlayed her degree into a grants career after being asked to help develop grants for the Museum of Indigenous People in Prescott, AZ during a volunteer project. She was hired to write as a consultant after receiving her Advanced Certificates in Grant Development and Proposal Writing and Principles of Grant Development and Proposal Writing from ASU’s Nonprofit Management Institute in 2018.

During her work with the museum, Alex oversaw the creation and management of the grant program with the executive director. Through her museum and subcontracting work, Alex has secured six-figures in federal and non-federal funds. She has written grants, completed prospect research and managed grant projects for the Association of American Medical Colleges, Cornerstone Montgomery, the Tree House Child Advocacy Center, US Pharmacopeia, Lead 4 Life, Inc., the American Hotels and Lodging Association, the Granite Mountain Gourd Society, and Central Iowa Shelter & Services.

Alex is also a member of the Grants Professional Association and was a recipient of the 2020 Grants Professional Foundation Conference Scholarship. Building off her experience as a museum exhibit researcher and designer, Alex’s main areas of expertise are prospect research and grant readiness.  Her proficiency with grant search software and databases includes Grants.gov, Instrumentl, Foundation Directory Online, and Grants Station.

Federal agencies Alex has prepared proposals for include:

  • The National Endowment for the Arts
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities
  • The National Parks Services
  • The Department of Health and Human Services
  • The Department of Justice
  • The United States Department of Agriculture

 

My favorite thing about this work?: I became a museum studies major so that I could ‘learn new things’ for a living. Writing grants lets me do that as well, but the bonus is I can help organizations change their communities for the better.

Catherine-Sedergren-RBW-Strategy

Catherine Sedergren, MPH, CHES

(she/her/hers)

Lexington, SC

Catherine has always been passionate about using her knowledge and experience to help improve the lives of others with a focus on public health. Catherine has extensive pre- and post-award experience including grant administration and oversight of a multi-million-dollar tobacco use cessation contract, grant writing and management for NIH awards.

After graduating with her Master’s in Public Health, she joined the Tennessee Department of Health. In that role she was responsible for implementing several health education programs including tobacco cessation, mental health, chronic disease management, drug prevention, and domestic and sexual violence prevention. In 2018, Catherine became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and has leveraged her education, experience, and passion to continue to advance her career.

Catherine currently resides in Lexington, South Carolina with her husband and rambunctious Aussiedoodle.

My favorite thing about this work: Knowing that I can truly help organizations who are just as passionate as I am about improving the lives of others and their communities.

James-Spencer-RBW-Strategy

James Spencer,

(he/him/his)

Sacramento, CA

James has more than 11 years of experience in grant management, solicitation, and policy development supporting farm to school, nutrition education, marketing, conservation, and research projects. He specializes in grant application training, concept and proposal phase assistance, and post-award administrative services. James has served entities across multiple sectors including non-profit and for-profit organizations; local, state, and federal government entities, including tribal governments; and colleges and universities. In addition, he has developed solicitation and technical review processes, various recipient resource documents and trainings, and grant management procedures manuals. James also provides additional assistance to historically underrepresented organizations supporting beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. At any given time, James administers post-award support for 30 to 40 grants with a total value over $12 million.

James lives in California with his son and chocolate lab. He enjoys the great outdoors from surfing to skiing and most everything in between.

My favorite thing about this work: Providing recommendations and assistance to organizations, maximizing their impact, and seeing change within communities

Erin-Yingst-RBW-Strategy

Erin Yingst, MBA

(she/her/hers)

Mattawan, MI

Erin’s background includes a variety of local and regional government roles, specifically in the fields of education, public health, and emergency preparedness and response. She has 18 years of experience in federal grants lifecycle administration, primarily in post-award management, overseeing CDC bioterrorism and pandemic preparedness grants, and DHS/FEMA homeland security and emergency management program grants. Her company, Aurora Communications, LLC, provides professional consulting services including internal and external communications support, grant writing and administration, strategic planning, and crisis communications.

Erin provides grant research and strategy support for under-represented groups, finding and securing funding to build programming and expand outreach efforts. In addition, she has federal grant-writing expertise in fields such as health and medicine, juvenile justice, and housing/homelessness. She is also proficient in finding funding opportunities for more non-traditional nonprofits, like high finance. Finally, through training and coaching, she helps nonprofits identify and pursue relevant funding opportunities through a strategic lens to maximize effectiveness.

Erin holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations/journalism from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Central Michigan University. She also earned the designation of Professional Emergency Manager from the State of Michigan. She has served on numerous boards and coalitions including the United Way of Southwest Michigan, the Michigan School Public Relations Association, the 5th District Medical Response Coalition (Vice Chair), the 5th District Homeland Security Planning Board (Secretary), and the Michigan Emergency Management Association, where she currently serves as Treasurer.

A mother of two, Erin lives in Southwest Michigan and enjoys daily yoga, hikes with her German Shepard Sadie, and live music.

My favorite thing about this work: is painting a transformative visual story with words that display the passion and enthusiasm of the programs and events she helps support.

Terri Bennett, MS, CPEC

(she/her/hers)

Odenton, MD

Terri is a seasoned leader with experience, spanning over two and a half decades, in healthcare, government, and national non-profits. Her expertise is marked by a keen focus on building robust programs and grants management systems. Terri’s dedication to fostering federal grants management practices has not only led to the development of accountable infrastructures but also to the cultivation of sustainable teams, leading initiatives that encompass pre- and post-grant award implementation and the establishment of standard operating procedures.   

Terri is a member of the National Grants Management Association (NGMA) and the International Coach Federation (ICF) and, over the years, has served as host and presenter at various national conferences and as trainer and grant reviewer for federal entities.  She has secured over $80M in public and private funding.  In 2023, Terri created ‘The Leader’s Edge,’ a program designed to enhance professional development and accountability within non-profit organizations.

With a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, Hampton University, a Master of Science in Negotiations and Conflict Management, University of Baltimore, and certification as a professional development and executive coach, The Cognitive and Positive Psychology Institute (CAPP), Terri’s passion for unlocking potential and driving performance improvement is the cornerstone of her professional philosophy.

Originally from Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Terri currently resides in Odenton, MD.  In her free time, she enjoys travel, meditation, nature walks, farmer’s markets, and time with family.

My favorite thing about this work:  Changing the world by making a positive impact on individuals, organizations, and communities, across the nation.

Brian Perez, CGMS

(he/him)

Caguas, Puerto Rico

Brian Perez is an engineer and a Certified Grants Management Specialist (CGMS) with extensive experience working with various federal grants. After a storm struck Puerto Rico, he started working with grants because he felt driven to aid with reconstruction and to support the community. He has effectively overseen grants from major federal agencies including the Department of Transportation, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Department of the Treasury.

Brian is an expert in every component of the grant lifecycle, including pre-award, post-award, and closeouts. His experience with federal funds has improved his capacity for performance optimization, strategic planning, and has demonstrated success in developing and implementing strategic solutions that raise operational efficacy and compliance.

Brian is an active member of the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), staying updated with best practices and industry standards. Residing in Caguas, Puerto Rico, he spends his free time boating and riding his bicycle.

My favorite thing about this work: It’s all rewarding when we can see the results of our work, whether it’s increased compliance and efficiency or funds for significant initiatives. I also love learning new things every day, which keeps the work exciting and fresh.

Kelli Minnerath , MFPC

(she/her/hers)

Alexandria, MN

Kelli Minnerath has a decade of experience in program and grant management, grant writing, fundraising, and strategic planning in human service and education organizations. She started her career working as case manager for unhoused individuals and families and realized quickly her impact could be magnified by securing funds for the organization through grants and fundraising.

Holding a master’s in financial planning and counseling from the University of Alabama, Kelli possesses a deep understanding of financial strategies and grant procurement. Throughout her career, Kelli has successfully navigated the intricacies of both Foundation and Government Grants, securing over 8 million dollars for various programs and organizations. Her expertise lies in crafting compelling grant proposals tailored to the unique needs and objectives of her clients, ensuring maximum impact and success.

Based in Alexandria, MN, Kelli enjoys the lakeside life with her husband and son. In the summer months, you can find her soaking up the sun and enjoying water activities on the lake. When winter rolls around, Kelli prefers to stay cozy indoors, often immersed in a good book.

My Favorite thing about this work: Problem solving and working through the details allowing for a successful path forward.