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
Rebecca comes from the heart of the country (Wichita, KS) with over a decade of nonprofit experience. She brings her background of event sponsorship, grant-writing, and donor relationship management to Elevate along with program development and outreach. Most recently she was the Arkansas River Project Coordinator for the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, where she executed a grant-funded project to increase recreation and awareness of the Arkansas River National Water Trail. She also was the Marketing Specialist for Angel Flight South Central, which kept her busy with social media, fundraising support, and community outreach.
Rebecca is passionate about volunteering for nearby organizations including the Kansas Humane Society, ICT Food Rescue, and the local chapter of Free Mom Hugs. She earned a Master of Education in Educational Psychology from Wichita State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Conservation Biology from Kansas State University.
Exploring new hobbies is Rebecca’s biggest pastime as she is constantly learning and trying new things. A lot of this happens in the kitchen whether cooking dinner for her husband and kids or baking desserts. She loves being outdoors, gardening, playing with her dogs, and traveling.
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
Greg believes that entanglement across sectors – arts, politics, healthcare, science, technology, among others – is a core to building healthy, self-sustaining communities. Greg has worked as a consultant to numerous arts, heritage, and cultural institutions; helping them deepen community ties, better define their purpose, and surface and organize around mutual self-interests. He previously served as an analyst at AMS Planning & Research and was the 19-20 Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage. Along with those roles, he has been fundraising for universities and arts organizations since 2014.
In the field, Greg also works as a director for theater, opera, film, and games. His artistic practice closely resembles Elevate’s — working with an array of collectives or organizations to help advance their mission and goals through (only instead of through grantmaking, it’s through artistically excellent storytelling — which tends to attract the grants!) He serves as the Producing Director for the Helen Hayes-winning 4615 Theatre Company. Greg holds a BFA from the University of Michigan.
Raised between wintery Michigan and sunny Shanghai, Greg can shovel a driveway with ease and was sipping on Boba before it was cool. You can catch him at the premiere of a new show, cooking big group dinners, or sobbing somewhere over the lack of a sophomore SZA album.
Pronouns : she / her / hers
Amy comes to Elevate with diverse experience in education and the private sector. In these roles, Amy has worked on collaborative teams to achieve various types of goals including, reaching financial milestones and exceeding learning objectives. Amy is passionate about advocating for those with unheard voices, including individuals with disabilities and those negatively affected by the criminal justice system.
Amy holds a master’s degree in Grant Writing, Management, and Evaluation from Concordia University Chicago. Additionally, she has a master’s degree in Education from the University of South Alabama and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Troy University. Amy volunteers with animal rescue shelters to secure funding to reduce pet overpopulation and euthanasia rates.
During Amy’s off hours, you can find her tending to her cat sanctuary, currently numbered at 21 furry felines. She also enjoys exploring bookstores with her daughter and diving into comic
book movies with her partner.
Kate brings a natural inquisitiveness to Elevate and is passionate about learning new things about grant-makers and grant-seekers to develop successful narrative proposals. Before joining Elevate, Kate worked as Lead Grant Writer with Brockport Research Institute, where she managed grant portfolios for nonprofit clients and developed narratives to state and federal agencies for higher education institutions. Her nonprofit grant work focuses on human services and special population support. Before that, she worked as a professional writer in B2B and B2C markets, developing product descriptions and catalogs, print and web marketing collateral, and external communications. Kate also spent over ten years serving as a college professor instructing introductory and advanced composition, integrated humanities, world literature, African/ African American Studies, and Women’s Studies.
Kate earned a Ph.D. in English from Michigan State University in 2013, where her work focused on contemporary literature, postcolonial theory, and women’s studies. She holds an MA and BA in English from the University at Buffalo. Kate also volunteers with a nonprofit organization in Buffalo, NY, supporting grant writing and management activities.
Kate is a lifelong Trekkie and enjoys cooking (and eating), reading, and hanging out with her cat, Pepe.
Carrie comes to Elevate after five years of living abroad in the Republic of Ireland. Before her time in Ireland, she trained as an actor in the Meisner and Method disciplines in New York City, working primarily in theater, commercials, and print. During this time, Carrie also worked at some of New York City’s finest dining and event establishments, giving her an excellent foundation in customer service. She is passionate about equality, social justice, and the soft power of arts and culture and is excited to be a part of an organization whose clientele reflects these passions.
Upon moving to Ireland in 2016, Carrie earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from American College Dublin. She then worked as a Community Lead for a start-up organization and was a Client Services Professional in the corporate sector.
She eventually aligned her work experiences with her personal values and enrolled in the Master of Arts program at the University College Dublin to earn a degree in Cultural Policy and Arts Management, where she graduated with honors. Her research focused on arts funding in the EU and arts engagement with migrants, asylums seekers, and underserved populations during this time.
She has volunteered with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center, and while in Dublin, she participated in multiple fundraising campaigns for Woman’s Aid and the Mater Hospital.
When she is not working, you can find her traveling, attending gigs, trying to master new recipes, and spending time with friends and family.
Sarah came to Elevate with a drive to continue her career in public service and a passion for supporting programs and organizations that improve the quality of life for people around the country. Sarah has worked in local government in North Carolina with the Town of Boone and the Isothermal Planning and Development Commission, a regional Council of Governments. During her time in local government, Sarah worked closely with municipalities to encourage economic development, cultural resource management, and regional advocacy. Sarah has written grant applications for a variety of state and federal agencies including the Appalachian Regional Commission, FEMA, and HUD to name a few.
Sarah has her Master of Public Administration and BSBA in Marketing from Appalachian State University. A true “Boonie” at heart, Sarah can usually be found enjoying the outdoors via a kayak or hiking trail. Go, Mountaineers!
Sarah also enjoys spoiling her dachshund, Stella, and baking in her spare time. Her favorite baked good to share with friends and family is her nana’s famous pound cake.