OUR TEAM

Kristin Cooper, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Kristin Cooper

Kristin Cooper has over thirty years’ experience designing programs, both 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 and was a Full Professor in the College of Engineering. She also started North State Renewable Energy Group, a nonprofit partnership between CSU, Chico, government agencies, businesses, and activists in the Chico, California area which focuses on renewable energy projects on the CSU, Chico campus. 

 

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.

Kristin's Certifications

Certified Sustainable Development Practitioner
Association of Energy Engineers

Master Certificate in Concrete Fundamentals
Hanley Wood, World of Concrete

Green Building and Sustainable Design Certificate Program
UC Davis; Land Use and Natural Resources, and Business and Technology coordinated with Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

Sustainability Performance Metrics
Natural Logic, Short Course Certification on the selection and use sustainability performance metrics and incentives.

Special Certification in Environmental Justice (Train the Trainer), United States Environmental Protection Agency

Edward Ober, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Edward Ober

Edward Ober is a Southern California-based grant writer, director of operations, business consultant, entrepreneur, and development strategist with a diverse background in marketing, research, program development, law and political science. Ed has written and collaborated on local, state, federal and private foundation grant applications that earned clients over $100 million dollars.  In the nonprofit sector, Ed has written grants and developed programs in subjects including education, workforce development training, mobile telehealth, immigrant services, migrant farmworker services, housing and social services, criminal / traffic diversion, substance abuse treatment, supportive housing, youth services and development, community gardens and more. 

 

In the for-profit sector, and working with companies varying from small startups to major global corporations, Ed has written grants in sectors including sustainable energy and energy efficiency (including subsectors of solar PV and wind; hydrogen, sustainable transportation; microgrids and energy analytics), environment, biofuels, housing, water conservation, and innovation technologies, agriculture, education, job training and others resulting in over $50 million in grant awards over the last 5 years.

 

Ed has a wide array of interests: environment and sustainability, 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. Ed 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. 

 

Ed is a Senior Associate and Project Manager with GMA.

Danielle Sotelo, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Danielle Sotelo

Ms. Danielle Sotelo is a San Joaquin Valley native and brings over 12 years of experience in grant writing, grant administration and program management for public and private entities.  During her time as a grant writer, she has worked with clients across the U.S. to help to secure over $109M in grant funds.  She has worked with GMA since 2013, and during this time she has helped to secure over $61M in funds. She has drafted and submitted many successful grant applications for different sectors, but she most enjoys writing in the areas of housing and infrastructure development, mental health, motorized and non-motorized transportation, alternative energy and fuels development, and public safety. 

 

Ms. Sotelo prides herself in paying close attention to detail and has logged 1,000’s of hours in project management.  She is committed to securing federal, state, and local funding to spur environmentally and socially conscious community development both domestically and internationally. Ms. Sotelo holds a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Political Science and a certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University.

Brad Zerbe, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Brad Zerbe

Brad Zerbe has over thirty years of experience in grant writing, fundraising, lending, and business consulting. He is the former political director for the nation's largest PAC, and finance director for the chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee. He is a former registered federal, state, and state procurement lobbyist. He has worked for three of the nation's five largest financial institutions in securities and banking compliance. Brad is the former director of communications for the state of Arizona’s IT agency, and Arizona State University’s education technology think tank. He has graded grants in national competitions and served as Chairman and CEO of nonprofit organizations.

Brad has written successful federal, state, corporate nonprofit, charitable trust, community and private foundation grants for tribal governments, private and public companies, nonprofit organizations, and local governments in the fields of renewable energy, battery storage, broadband, transportation, housing, education technology, public safety, and animal rescue. He has done grant research and white papers on a number of topics including driverless vehicles, robotics, energy storage, wastewater nanotechnology, transactive energy, and the electric grid. In college, he competed in debate, finishing second in the nation, and won his school's highest scholarship for leadership.

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Susan Strachan

Susan Strachan has won multiple eight-figure grants. She has a master’s in environmental planning and resource management, was staff to the California Coastal Commission as a Coastal Planner, was a Senior Environmental Planner for an engineering firm, and served as Co-Project Director at CSU Chico’s Collège of Engineering Office of Environmental Programs. She was project manager at CSU Chico’s Geographical Information Center for six years, securing $25 million in funding for salmon habitat restoration on the Sacramento River, and lead a collaboration of two non-profits, a tribal government, a state agency, and the university to implement nine restoration projects in five years. She is a funding expert on water and wastewater infrastructure, managing $11 million in federal and state grants. She has won $20 million in housing grants, and $8.6 million in transportation grants and has expertise in broadband technology. She has over twenty-five years of experience as a grant writer.

Tom Carter, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Tom Carter

Tom Carter has been essential in securing multi-million dollar grants from the U.S. and Australian government organizations and is an expert in the fields of global climate change, sustainability, clean energy, air quality, clean energy technology, environmental justice, and other environment and energy issues. He has taught energy and environmental policy and related subjects at multiple universities.

 

Tom Carter has over 25 years of experience advocating his clients’ products and positions in the legislative, regulatory, policy, media, and market contexts. After earning a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina, Tom served as executive director and senior vice president in several trade associations and directed international, federal, and state government affairs for sustainable companies. He spent most of his career in Washington, DC, and is now based in Europe where he assists his clients around the world, including in the U.S.

Tom is the European Union (EU) Lead for Grant Management Associates.

Deborah Dowd, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Deborah Dowd

Deb Dowd often leads teams of GMA grant writers on very complicated technical grants. She has over three decades of experience in technical grant writing with an extensive background in federal and state grants in numerous areas. She recently led a GMA grant team on a winning $2 million U.S. Department of Energy grant for a utility-scale solar infrastructure project for a Native American tribe, and a $14 million grant win from the U.S. Department of Labor. She has won over $1 billion in grant awards.

Diana Dinerman, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Diana Dinerman

Diana Dinerman is a highly experienced grant writer, project manager, and communications professional offering over fifteen years’ experience in creative, corporate, and academic writing. A Washington, DC-native, she previously worked for the Patent and Trademark Office, Department of Defense, and the Department of Justice, serving teams from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). In the private sector, Ms. Dinerman was the Director of Project Management for a digital agency, where she supervised over five million in accounts, delivering scalable, web-based business solutions to corporations, lobbying and advocacy groups, and membership organizations.

As a non-profit consultant, Ms. Dinerman won private foundation and government grants to support arts education for underprivileged youth and public access to the performing arts. Diana has also won grants in transportation, economic development, energy, law enforcement, public safety, emergency preparedness, and parks & recreation. She has a BA, MA, and Ph.D. ABD, taught history and writing at the university level and was a research fellow at the University of Minnesota, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, and the University of Southern California.

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Emily Baldwin Wu

Emily has over two decades of experience serving the nonprofit sector as a professional grants consultant, executive director and board member, preceded by a ten-year banking and finance career as a Vice President-level Corporate Loan Officer. She serves clients throughout the United States representing technology, renewable energy, health and human services, justice, and other initiatives. Emily has won numerous grant awards from major foundations, corporations, and government funding sources. She assists GMA with grants, funding research and complicated government loan applications.

Emily’s commercial banking career included managing credit underwriting for several lending divisions, supervising several bank-wide portfolio review projects, authoring credit and underwriting policy for several lending divisions (Asset Based, Utilities, National Corporate, Health Care & Nonprofits, Franchise Finance, and Assisted Living), training primarily recent MBA graduates, and managing loan portfolios of up to $150 million. Her clients included major and middle market corporations, commercial and construction real estate projects, franchises, sports teams, nonprofits, hospitals, and high-tech start-ups.

Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Boston College, completed formal credit training at a major money center bank, and is a member of the Grants Professional Association.

Philip Sparks, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Philip Sparks

Philip Sparks has specialized in CDFI applications and application reviews for just over twenty years. He is also an expert in related funding opportunities and grants including New Market Tax Credits (NMTC), the new Opportunity Zones (OZ), the Capital Magnet Fund (CMF), Technical Assistance (TA), Financial Assistance (FA), and Bond Guarantee (BG) strategic development. 

Philip provides financial institution and developer analysis of organization management capacity, business strategy, capitalization strategy, and community impact strategy of commercial and affordable housing business plans and projects. He has additional expertise in reviewing Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and Health Infrastructure Investment Program (HIIP) applications. 

Previously, Philip served as a project manager and loan consultant for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing, and as a project manager for Oakland Community Housing, Inc. On the banking side he was a commercial loan officer for a small business bank and was a mortgage banker for one of the largest nationwide lenders for over eleven years. He is a licensed realtor.

Ashley Ramsey, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Ashley Ramsey

Ashley Ramsey has been writing grants since 2015. She has written hundreds of grants securing tens of millions of dollars for clients, primarily in California and Oklahoma. These grants cover a broad spectrum of issues including highway safety, active transportation, recreation, park development, hazard mitigation, habitat conservation and restoration, energy efficiency, alternative fuels, public transit, public safety, education, workforce development, mental health, technological advancement, and economic development. Ashley particularly enjoys working with clients to refine their projects to the most competitive scope and design and using statistics and maps to give strength to these applications.

 

Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with a focus in Environmental and Regional Policy and Planning and a concentration in Economics. Ashley has previous professional experience in hospital administration, human tissue distribution, and disability law case management. Ashley is based in Northeastern Oklahoma.

Cecily Harris, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Cecily Harris

Cecily Harris, MBA has over three decades of experience with government agencies, business and community organizations. Her MBA degree focused on strategic marketing and she has an undergraduate degree in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Arizona. 

 

Cecily has a strong background in grant and philanthropic funding for parks and open spaces which encompasses capital projects, programs/projects, land acquisitions, and planning. She has raised funds and increased awareness for nonprofits, cities, counties, state and federal agencies, and has deep connections in the greater San Francisco Bay Area with funding, community organizations, and elected officials. She serves on several nonprofit boards, local advisory committees, and a regional special district board and is also a Governor appointed Commissioner to the California Boating and Waterways Commission.

Elizabeth Christensen, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Elizabeth Christensen

Elizabeth has submitted more than 500 grants to Federal, Foundation and Corporate sponsors in the areas of education, community improvement and social services to transportation, recycling/GHG reduction, immigration, homeland security and the sciences. 

 

She holds a B.A. in English and a Masters in Public Administration.

Scott Nelson, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Scott Nelson

K. Scott Nelson has won over forty grants since 2017 and specializes in the areas of human services, community and economic development, and renewable energy. Scott has a BA in English from the University of Wisconsin and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. They also served as a Technical Writing Assistant Instructor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at UIUC, where their students’ proposals won first, second, and third place in the national AIAA Design Competition.

Stacy Calles, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Stacy Calles

Stacy Calles has over fifteen years of experience working on air quality and health improvement projects. She has managed over $50 million in emission reduction grant funds to date and has secured over $28 million in funding for various applicants throughout the nation. She is also a specialist in environmental grant management and air quality regulatory compliance for California industries, Stacy spearheaded the nation's first grant-funded ship and shore side cold ironing project in Oakland, California. She has done grant work in public health, safety, and human services. Stacy has also worked with individuals coping with mental and physical disabilities including unique healthcare farming programs that assist in the social rehabilitation of people with disabilities. 

PJ Shepard, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
PJ Shepard

PJ 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.

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Hayley Stone

Hayley Stone, M.P.A is a university professor and experienced grant writer and technical expert who has won millions of dollars in funding including the fields of economic development and broadband where her skills as a Senior GIS Analyst, and in Broadband Mapping and Gap Analysis are essential in meeting the technical requirements of the unprecedented tens of billions of dollars that have now become available for broadband. Hayley is an experienced project manager who has led teams and brings her experience in economic development including gap analysis on workforce, training, and industry needs which are often requirements of EDA grants and other job focused federal grants.

Wendy Strain, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Wendy Strain

Wendy Strain has written grants for more than eight years for educational institutions, municipalities, corporations, and commercial businesses in multiple states. She has ghostwritten over twenty books in the field of business and has taught English at the university level for many years. She has an MA in English with an emphasis in technical and business writing from Texas A&M and a BA in graphic design and is also a web developer. She founded a chain of five childcare centers, has written for four community newspapers, and worked at a university business incubator.

Patty Winter, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Patty Winter

Patty Winter has been a grant writer for more than 10 years, serving agencies ranging from health and human services to theater and horticulture. She has helped her clients gain funding from governments, corporations, and foundations by conveying key facts and messages succinctly, clearly, and engagingly.

 

After a successful career in marketing communications, she brought her writing skills to the nonprofit and public sectors. Her previous experience in technical fields (including computers and telecommunications) benefits her current clients by enabling her to converse proficiently with engineers and other technical experts.

Patty holds a B.A. in Communications (magna cum laude) from San Francisco State University and is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Grant Professionals Association.

Ron Perla, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Ron Perla

Ron 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 $2 billion.

GMA Specialized Advisors:

Gordon, Nameni, Ph.D., Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Gordon Nameni, Ph.D.

Gordon Nameni, Ph.D. has a Sc.B Materials Engineering degree and a Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Brown University. He earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois. He assists GMA in grants such as SBIR that help fund new technology and bring it to market. Gordon has helped win over $15 million in SBIR and federal contracts from the DOE, NIH, NSF and CDC.

 

He is the Managing Director of August Brown, a boutique technology focused management consulting firm.

Heather Rhoads-Weaver, Grant Writer, Grant Management Associates
Heather Rhoads-Weaver

Heather Rhoads-Weaver is an experienced grant writer, development consultant and energy market analyst. She has served as a Peer Reviewer for the U.S. Department of Energy’s bi-annual wind energy program and annual operating plans. She has also served as a Development Associate for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).


Heather has a BA in from Wesleyan University in their Science in Society Program, and an M.S. in environmental science from the University of Northern Iowa.

Evan Reis
Evan Reis

Evan Reis is a principal at Reis Consulting, and the executive director and co-founder of the US Resiliency Council. He has assisted GMA on FEMA disaster applications. He has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master's in structural engineering both from Stanford and began in the industry in 1988, working to promote the design of buildings resilient to natural perils such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

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Rachel Werner, MPA, PMP, GPC
Rachel Werner, MPA, PMP, GPC

Rachel began her career as a New York City public-school teacher which parlayed into a two-decade career of work in the public sector. She has served as a nonprofit fundraiser/grant writer, grants manager at an education management organization, and management consultant overseeing federal government contracts. Since the beginning of her career, her firm has helped to secure over $40 million in funding from government, foundation, and corporate sources, and has managed over $2 billion in grant funding. She studied at Vassar College and received a Master’s 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 2010) and is a Certified Grants Professional (since 2014). 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). She is actively involved in the Grant Professionals Association and Association of Fundraising Professionals, and regularly conducts in-person and online trainings, most notably at the Grant Professionals Association Annual Conference, the National Grants Management Association Annual Conference, CharityHowTo, Candid, Center for Nonprofit Advancement and Catalogue for Philanthropy.

 

She lives in Montgomery County, Maryland with her husband and two children.

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Mark Goldstein – GMA’s Broadband Infrastructure and Mapping Subject Matter Expert

Mark has a 29-year history of telecom and technology consulting projects for industry and government with a focus on broadband deployment and community engagement and utilization. He coordinated and led the multi-year broadband data collection and mapping efforts for Arizona and Utah under the ARRA funding and has been a leader in the broadband strategic planning efforts in Arizona, currently chairing the Arizona Telecommunications and Information Council (ATIC), the state’s leading broadband stakeholder group. He recently completed a USDA Community Connect broadband grant submittal, the State of Alaska’s NTIA Broadband Infrastructure Program grant submittal, and two NTIA Tribal Broadband Program grants with the GMA Broadband Grant Team.

 

Mark is a sought-after Subject Matter Expert (SME) in broadband, wireless, IoT/smart everything, autonomous vehicles/Mobility as a Service (MaaS), fintech, sustainability, market research, and economic development and has produced several dozen significant technology policy and strategy plans, surveys, policy positions, and other reports. He is involved with a number of policy, economic development, professional, and trade groups, and a frequent speaker and trainer. His background includes an 18-year career in electronic and computer engineering including managing engineering teams and projects for Medtronic Inc., a Fortune 500 biomedical device manufacturer, and performing computer industry R&D for MicroAge Computers.

Mary Jean White
Mary Jean White

Mary Jean White has over twenty-six years of experience in grants management, procurement, cost accounting, grant writing, strategic planning, compliance monitoring (recipient and sub-recipient), and grants and legislative process training for the public sector, non-profit, and commercial organizations, MJ is a recognized Subject Matter Expert in the Cost Principles, Uniform Administrative Requirements (2 CFR. 200/45 CFR Part 75), the HHS and NIH Grants Policy Statement, the HHS Grants Policy Administration Manual, and the Federal Acquisition Regulation (the FAR) as well as state/local procurement and compliance issues surrounding federal and state-funded programs. MJ has a Bachelor's Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Florida Atlantic University. She assists federal agencies, state, local, and nonprofit organizations, providing grants management consulting, active grants management, policy and procedure development, internal control review, and enterprise risk management services.