Core Grant Writing Consulting Team

Kristin Cooper Carter - Owner

Kristin Cooper Carter

Kristin Cooper Carter has over twenty-five years’ experience designing programs, as a grant writer and project manager. Kristin holds a master's degree in program evaluation and administration with a focus on organizational management from CSU, Chico. In 2009 she established Grant Management Associates, a federally recognized Women-Owned, State Certified Small Business in California that specializes in funding identification, grant development, technical writing courses, and strategic planning for corporations, nonprofits and municipalities. Kristin was a registered lobbyist for three years.  She was instrumental in obtaining a $100M line item in the DOE budget.  She is the past Founder and Director of California State University, Chico's Environmental Resource Program, she started North State Renewable Energy and was a Full Professor in the College of Engineering.  While in the College of Engineering she as was appointed founding Director of the Concrete Management Program. She has been an expert witness for the State of California’s Attorney General’s office regarding fiscal management issues.  She has served on many non-profit boards and on various committees as an expert in sustainable building design. Email:

Edward Ober

Edward OberEdward Ober is an El Dorado County, California based grant writer, business consultant and development strategist with a diverse background in marketing, business operations, research, law and political science. In the nonprofit sector during the past five years he has written local, state, federal and private foundation grant applications in numerous areas including education, green technology training, healthcare, immigrant services, migrant farmworker services, housing and social services, resulting in over $15 million dollars in grant awards. Ed has a wide array of interests: education, new technology and systems development, economic and community development, institutional transformation and accountability, increasing and enhancing democratic participation, civil rights and social justice, and improving access to affordable healthy food and healthcare services, among others. Mr. Ober was responsible for the creation of California SB-8, which became law in 2011-12, improving transparency and accountability within the California State University system. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach. Email:

Vito Palermo

Vito PalermoVito Palermo is an accomplished business executive with extensive experience in computing systems, networking & communications and the digital media industries. With 25 years of experience, Vito has 10 years as a C-level executive in leadership roles at public companies. He specializes in innovative technology startups, rapid growth mid-size companies and multi-billion dollar global organizations. He has analyzed and advised on complex corporate strategy, while driving operations and financial performance towards substantial increases in shareholder value. Vito is an expert in presenting effective communications to investors, the board of directors, business partners and employees, gaining valuable support towards short and long term goals. His executive leadership has resulted in the development of companies with annual revenues ranging from $600M to $2.2B, raising approximately $1B in private and public equity while creating over $12B in shareholder value. Vito has managed all phases of company life cycle from startup to multi $B global business. Vito has participated in and led the successful acquisition and integration of nearly a dozen private and public companies valued at over $3B. As a business advisor to Private Equity, Venture Investments and Commercial Debt funds he has evaluated and identified opportunities to improve Internet Services, Mobile Internet and Content Delivery businesses through new product introductions, improved business execution, operational efficiencies and plans for expanding into new distribution areas.

Danielle Sotelo

Canielle SoteloMs. Sotelo brings over 8 years of experience in grant writing, grant administration and program development for municipalities, educational institutions and non-profits in California and Oklahoma. She has drafted and submitted multiple successful grant applications particularly in the area of law enforcement, motorized and non-motorized transportation, urban greening, alternative fuels infrastructure and education. Ms. Sotelo holds a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Political Science and a certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University. She specializes in project management in the area of sustainable and diversified farming to enhance food security and to advance the small farmer. Ms. Sotelo has experience in aiding the growth of small businesses through website design and other creative means of business development. She is committed to securing federal, state and local funding to spur environmentally and socially conscious community development both domestically and internationally. Ms. Sotelo is based in Northeast Oklahoma.

Melissa Uppendahl

Grant Writer Melissa UppendahlMelissa Uppendahl holds a BS in Business Administration, Magna Cum Laude, from Saint Mary’s College of California and a Masters of Public Administration from California State University, Chico. Melissa has conducted significant research and evaluation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the Western Climate Initiative and cap-and-trade. She has worked with numerous California governmental agencies, private corporations and non-profits to identify federal and state funding opportunities associated with climate change and environmental initiatives. Additionally, Ms. Melissa Uppendahl has over five years recent experience working as a business paralegal, assisting business owners and governmental agencies with legal needs. Melissa has a strong commitment to social and environmental justice issues have served as a lead student organizer at Saint Mary's College Center for Social Action and as a student moderator for the This Way to Sustainability Conference V at CSU, Chico. Melissa is based in Portland, Oregon. Email:

Brad Zerbe

Brad ZerbeBrad Zerbe has been writing grants for over three decades including the fields of education technology, animal welfare and renewable energy and others. He served as the coordinator for the state of Arizona’s E-Rate education technology program; director of communications for the state’s information technology agency, and director of communications for Arizona State University’s education technology think tank at SkySong.

Brad has a background in securities, banking compliance and capital raising. He helped start a bond house at the age of twenty-eight that did $88 million in its first year of business. Brad is an experienced grant writer. He wrote four of ten winning Arizona school safety technology grants out of a pool of 153 applicants. He helped pass state legislation to fund $3 million in education technology grants. He helped write two of the six winning technology grants.

Brad was part of the original team of five individuals who wrote the two federal broadband grants that funded the state of Arizona’s five-year broadband mapping and planning initiative, totaling $6.3 million. He drafted the Digital Arizona Council’s 189-page broadband plan under this grant. Brad was one of two staffers who coordinated a committee of ten individuals to evaluate some 114 federal broadband applications impacting the state, on behalf of Arizona’s Governor. Arizona entities received $75 million in broadband grant awards under this initiative.

Ron Perla

Ron PerlaRon Perla is a business consultant, financier, real estate developer and author. He has assisted in the startup of over 30 companies ranging from real estate, finance, energy, electronics, entertainment, and hospitality.

Ron has been the managing member of Red Rock Investment Group an opportunity fund specializing in the acquisition, financing and development of undervalued real estate assets and sustainable energy opportunities in the Southwest United States. He was also the managing member of Red Rock Recycling, an advisory firm which lent expertise in the areas of development, site planning, and government relations for renewable energy projects.

Ron was the Chief Underwriter for Markour Funding and Investments, a private lender located in Scottsdale, Arizona and Chief Financial Officer for Scottsdale Canal Development, a development company which assembled, financed, master planned and entitled over 1.2 million square feet of LEEDS certified, mixed use projects in Arizona. Prior to that, Ron managed the commercial loan department for Global Wide Capital, a Mesa based Mortgage Company with over 150 employees. Ron has been involved in loans and development projects totaling over $1 billion.

Tom Carter

Tom CarterTom Carter is a government affairs expert based in Washington, DC. He was most recently Vice President of Government Affairs for Calera Corporation. While the company is based in California, he directed international, federal, and state government affairs out of Washington. Tom previously served as Senior Vice President for Government Affairs for the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association. His positions with the Portland Cement Association, the American Chemistry Council, and Washington think tanks and consulting firms give him fifteen years of legislative and regulatory advocacy experience and over two decades of expertise on energy and environmental issues. Tom earned both a Juris Doctor and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina.

Tempra Board

Tempra BoardTempra Board is a Chico, California-based consultant with more than 20 years of experience in grant writing and resource development for nonprofit organizations and municipalities. She worked closely with a collaborative team to develop the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness in Los Angeles County and co-wrote and designed the 10-Year Strategy to End Homelessness in Butte County. She is experienced in the submission of successful grant proposals to state and federal government entities including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (with a particular focus on Federally Qualified Health Center applications), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), the California Natural Resources Agency, the USDA, the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, among many others. Tempra has extensive experience in developing successful grant proposals to support environmental issues and land protection, transitional housing, mental and physical health services, criminal justice services such as re-entry programs, programs for youth at risk, and programs for people with disabilities. Tempra holds a Master’s degree in Communication Development from Colorado State University and a Bachelor’s degree in English from Humboldt State University.

Rebekah Casey

Rebekah CaseyMs. Casey brings over 10 years of professional experience in technical writing, grant writing, and in program and organizational management for non-profit, for-profit and government entities. She has prepared Federal, state and foundation grant applications for wide variety of sectors. Ms. Casey has substantial grant management experience, which includes the coordination of complex multi-million dollar, multi-year research and construction projects. In addition, she has served as a grant reviewer for the State of California and is current chair of the Butte County Federal Resource Advisory Committee. Rebekah holds a B.S. in Physics and is completing a master's in Environmental Policy and Planning. She was the 2009 recipient of CSU, Chico’s Rawlins Fellowship and in 2008, a Sustainability Fund Award. She has a broad background in environmental science, community development, and regulatory compliance. Her experience includes facilitating public involvement and government-to-government relations, establishing partnerships and working with clients to develop fundable programs. Email:

Lisa Tadlock

LIsa TadlockLisa Tadlock has been working in the human services field for the last 17 years and has over 10 years’ experience as a grant writer, research and program evaluator, program developer, grant reviewer, strategic planning, and event planning. She has worked in the public sector for county Social Services agencies, as well as for UC Davis, The Center for Human Services, and statewide trade associations that advocate, lobby, and implement programs and training for human service providers in the areas of housing, food and nutrition, asset building, workforce development, child welfare, CalWORKs and Community Action. She has played in integral part in strengthening rural non-profit agencies in the areas of resource development and regionalization of programs. In addition, she has been responsible for implementing T & TA programs throughout the State of California though curriculum development, meeting planning, and online training in the areas of Social Work, Leadership, Management, Supervisory, and soft skills training. Lisa earned a B.A. in Political Science from San Francisco State University. Her M.P.A. is from Golden Gate University. Email:

PJ Shepard

PJ ShepardPJ Shepard has over 20 years of experience in the medical device industry from the university laboratory setting to project management and product marketing. She has participated in writing grant applications for electric vehicle charging systems as well as geothermal, solar and airborne wind energy projects. On behalf of the Airborne Wind Energy Consortium she continues to share promotion efforts for this new renewable energy sector. She has worked in the public, private and nonprofit sectors focused on human and animal health and quality of life. Ms. Shepard holds a B.S. in Plant Science from UC Davis with Highest Honors, and an A.S. in Electronic Engineering Technology from Heald Engineering College, San Francisco. PJ is highly committed to energy innovation, improving health care related outcomes and the health of our planet pertaining to water, food and energy supplies. Email:

Mary Ellen Dello Stritto

Mary Ellen Dello StrittoMary Ellen Dello Stritto, Ph.D. received her doctoral degree in Social Psychology from Claremont Graduate University where she received extensive training in research design and statistical analysis. She has worked as an institutional researcher, a statistician, statistics consultant, and program evaluator. In addition to her quantitative research skills, she has experience with qualitative data collection and analysis. She has also spent the last 16 years as a professor of psychology. She is currently the director of the campus women’s center, Abby’s House, at Western Oregon University (WOU) where she is responsible for managing the resource and referral center and producing educational programs. Beginning in April 2013, she will be joining the Evaluation Research Group Office at the Teaching Research Institute at WOU as an Evaluation Specialist.

Sybille Guy

Sybille GuySybille Guy, Ph.D., received her Master’s in Organizational Psychology from California State University at Los Angeles and subsequently her PhD in Psychology with an emphasis on measurement, statistics, and methodology from UCLA. She has served as the leader of a county research department for a number of years, creating and implementing evaluation programs and outcomes research. She has spent over a decade as a market researcher, working for both large and small market research companies, with her last position as VP of Research & Analytics. In addition to her quantitative research background, she has experience with qualitative analysis and hybrid studies. Sybille is currently working in the Office of Academic Affairs at Washington State University Vancouver as Project Associate Faculty where she conducts special research projects and evaluations.

Additional team members include: James Coles, Jeff Schwein, Drumm McNaughton