Dillon Robertson

Dillon has several years of grant writing, communications, and fundraising experience for nonprofit organizations. He is passionate about participatory planning, conservation, international development, and community health initiatives. Before Elevate, Dillon worked as a Fundraising and Communications Coordinator for Colorado West Land Trust (CWLT), where he helped build a robust communications program to generate new conservation projects, strengthen ongoing financial support from donors, and allow for deeper engagement with the organization’s stakeholders. Prior to CWLT, Dillon was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Panama, where he raised funds and built a large eco-stove project to reduce the amount of smoke inhaled as women cooked each day. He still thinks about his time in Panama daily.

Dillon holds a master’s in regional planning from Cornell University, where he researched participatory planning and communications strategies for local governments. He also holds a bachelor’s in business administration from Lander University, where he was a member of the Alpha Chi and Beta Gamma Sigma honor societies.

In his spare time, Dillon enjoys reading, rock climbing, backpacking, trail running, and visiting old friends in far-flung places.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Laura has over 20 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. She is passionate about supporting individuals and organizations through periods of change. She spent her early career as a therapist, working first at a community mental health center and then at a shelter for women and children survivors of domestic violence. She went on to become the director of a preschool, where she put her training and experience to use in different ways. Laura is a longtime supporter of the arts, and spent the last several years working as a development coordinator at a multidisciplinary contemporary arts center. In this role, she performed background research for new projects and initiatives, managed the organization’s grants program, and refined the organization’s development strategy.

Laura holds an MA in Counseling Psychology from Arizona State University and a BS in Psychology from Guilford College. Her training in active listening, conflict resolution, and group dynamics has served her well in all of her professional roles.

Laura loves to travel: Costa Rica is next on her wish list. When she’s at home in Memphis, she can be found trying out new restaurants, seeing live music shows, and browsing through her favorite vintage stores in search of mid-century furniture and the wildest 1960s and 70s dresses she can find.

 

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Driven by empathy and authenticity, Jaclyn looks beyond the data to see the comprehensive story of the people behind it. She has spent the past 20 years as a documentarian and small business owner, cultivating relationships and developing long-term growth and sustainability strategies. Most recently, she developed the database, marketing, and fundraising strategies for the Liberty African American Legacy Memorial, a grassroots campaign to honor the Black members of the community who were buried in mostly unmarked graves. The memorial is designed to further educate the public about the segregation of historic cemeteries and promote the protection and preservation of Black cemeteries throughout the country.
Jaclyn is a member of The Outdoorist Oath, a nonprofit committed to individual action for planet, inclusion, and adventure in the outdoors. Climate change advocacy and inclusion efforts are an integral part of her daily life as she continues to volunteer her time and skills towards local organizations.
In her spare time, Jaclyn thrives when spending time outdoors with her husband, two teenagers, and a dog (who is more like a tame goat). As a cooking enthusiast, she enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and sharing meals with friends and family. Or you may find her cuddled up on the couch with a cup of tea and a stack of books (usually a mix of insightful memoirs, historical critiques, social or climate justice essays, and unbelievably cheesy young adult fantasy novels).

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Neal Montoya has a childlike curiosity that guides her and a background in facilitating multiple projects while building community. Before Elevate, she served an AmeriCorps VISTA term with Food Recovery Network (FRN). When she began working at FRN, Neal had limited knowledge about the food justice sphere, but her love for learning new things gave her the confidence to take the role. As a result, she learned about food insecurity and food recovery while building robust systems for the FRN Network and fostering relationships with students and alumni across the nation. 

Neal attended the University of Maryland, College Park, and received a BA in English Literature with a minor in History. During her undergraduate years, she interned at the Dickinson Electronic Archives, participated in two Alternative Break trips, and served as a production assistant on student films.  

When she’s not working, you can find Neal reading a book, playing video games, taking random photographs of her surroundings, or practicing songs and scales on her beloved bass guitar. 

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Donna has been passionate about advocating for others by putting pen to paper throughout her career. This led her to a career in Social Work, where she focused on writing to serve individual clients combating disease, injustice, and poverty. As a Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Program Officer at Americares, Donna wrote over a dozen mental health trainings for frontline COVID-19 healthcare workers and helped administer a grant program for Federally Qualified Health Centers and Free and Charitable Clinics.

Donna currently volunteers as a grant writer for a small NGO called “Together We Can Guatemala” and a rescue farm called K-Stone Rescue Ranch. She is also a member of the NYC branch of “Shut Up and Write!” and her local Rotary Club. Donna earned an MS in Social Work from Columbia University and a BS in Social Work from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She has published articles in Grief Digest and First Things.

When she is not writing for causes, Donna enjoys working on her memoir with a hot mocha, architecture walks in Manhattan with her Great Pyrenees (and a hot mocha), and writing in the café at the American Museum of Natural History. She also loves building custom shelves and furniture from used pallets, fueled by, of course, a hot mocha.

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Cheyenne has a strong passion for helping underserved and marginalized populations achieve a better quality of life. Before Elevate, she made her debut in the nonprofit world first as a volunteer at an affordable housing and services provider in Ventura County, CA. She gave hundreds of hours of her time to low-income students and their daily academic needs. When a staff position opened up, she jumped on the opportunity and became a direct youth services provider. Over the course of several years, she developed and refined many impactful programs for her students.

In 2015, she decided to jump on another opportunity at the organization, diving deep into the world of fundraising and grant writing. Tapped for her excellent writing and research skills, she soon became a Grant Manager and was eventually put in charge of the grant program for the entire organization. In this role, she penned hundreds of proposals that helped fund a variety of important causes, including food assistance, case management, after-school programs, housing, summer camps, financial literacy training, and more.

Cheyenne currently volunteers for the Organization for Transformative Works, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of fanworks. She graduated summa cum laude with the highest honors from California Lutheran University. She earned a BS in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies. She also holds a Certificate in Professional Fundraising from Boston University.

Once a California native, Cheyenne is now happily living in North Carolina. She is an expert cat wrangler, a beginning gardener, and a truly subpar violinist in her own time.

Pronouns : he / him / his

Theo is passionate about writing and facilitating the distribution of wealth to organizations working to uplift marginalized communities and create artistic beauty in the world. His work in the field of grant writing includes jobs with the Selma Bridge Crossing Jubilee, a Black civil rights history and civic engagement organization, and Stories Without Borders, a nonprofit that uses the power of personal narrative to effect positive social change in areas of immigration and mental health. Previous to his nonprofit development work, he was a Digital Crisis Counselor with The Trevor Project, where he provided compassionate support and resources to LGBTQ+ youth on their text-based crisis hotline. 

He is a curious person and lifelong learner who has studied grant writing through Prescott College and holds a self-designed BA in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus in Psychology from Naropa University. 

Outside of work, he enjoys many pursuits, including cooking, working out, reading vast numbers of books, and sharing quality time with his loved ones, including his beloved dog, Nomi.

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Raquel has always felt drawn to public service and charity and spent almost a decade at a free dental clinic, first as the Director of Institutional Advancement before being promoted to Executive Director. She has experience working with nonprofits in public health, education, and libraries. As a Supervising Director at Elevate, she ensures the staff’s alignment to company goals, priorities, and expectations for client services.

Raquel is a long-time volunteer with her local Tots for Tots campaign, donating her time as its social media presence coordinator. Raquel earned an MS in Library & Information Science at Drexel University and a BA in Political Science at East Stroudsburg University.

When unplugging from helping to save the world, Raquel enjoys trying local coffee brewers and shops, walking along the canal towpath with her boyfriend and rescued black lab with a cold brew coffee, and renovating her late 1800’s historic home.

Pronouns: she/her/ hers

Lisa has a passion for supporting nonprofits in advancing their mission through her expertise and experience in former roles ranging from development, strategy consulting, program management, and board service.

Lisa has worked for organizations operating in many issue areas to help them gain the resources and operational agility to build strong programs and services. She transitioned her focus to the nonprofit sphere out of a desire to use her skills and expertise from her former career in finance. Lisa was a securities analyst during her finance career, both on the sell-side and in institutional asset management. She was also a banker with several global financial institutions in New York City.

Lisa has served as a volunteer for several organizations, specifically programs that support people with disabilities and limited access to healthcare. She has served on multiple nonprofit boards and is currently a board member of ArtStream, the Brem Foundation, and SEEC.

She is also a project lead for Compass, heading a team of volunteer business professionals conducting pro bono strategic consulting projects for local nonprofits. Lisa holds an MBA with a concentration in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She received her BA from Duke University, where she majored in Economics and was an AB Duke Scholar.

Lisa believes coffee and dark chocolate are critical to getting the day off to a good start. Time with family and friends, walking, and keeping up with her book clubs fill the parts of her days she is not working or volunteering.

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Johnisha has a passion for working to strengthen the missions of nonprofits strategically. Most recently, as the Development Manager for The Nashville Food Project (TNFP), she successfully secured foundation, corporate, and government grants to support programming that alleviates food insecurity, builds community and creates a more just and sustainable food system. She also helped lead the organization on matters of Diversity, Inclusion, & Equity. Largely due to her efforts, TNPF launched a new standing committee composed of both Board and staff members to drive a comprehensive, organizational approach to DEI.

Previously, Johnisha managed a community-based culinary nutrition program active in 10 major cities that focused on the health of individuals of African descent. In addition to forging vital new community partnerships and conducting trainings for new community leaders, she wrote and piloted a new children’s version of a six-week culturally relevant curriculum. As a practicing attorney at a top 50 law firm in DC, she devoted hundreds of hours to pro bono legal work to a host of nonprofit causes. As a law student, she worked on behalf of criminal defense advocacy nonprofits seeking post-conviction relief for clients sentenced to death.

Johnisha is on the Board of Directors for Shattering Glass, a nonprofit organization devoted to combatting gender discrimination and fighting for gender equality and inclusion. She was a recipient of the Center for Nonprofit Management’s Sam Howard Empowerment Fund for emerging leaders of color in the nonprofit sector. She has published articles on Yes! Media. She holds a JD from New York University School of Law, a BA from Harvard College, and an AAS from Johnson & Wales University.

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