Jayne Francis

Pronouns: she/her, they/them

Jayne is an enthusiastic visionary with a longstanding passion for social justice. She received a Bachelor of the Arts in Theatre Studies and a Women & Gender Studies Certificate with an Emphasis in African American Studies from Ohio University in 2011. At her core, Jayne is devoted to creating a more just, equitable world. From a place of awe and gratitude, she is always seizing the magical opportunities that come her way to contribute to the advancement of supportive, inclusive communities.

Prior to joining the Elevate team, Jayne served as Shop Manager, Shop Support, and Program Coordinator at Upcycle Parts Shop, a nonprofit creative reuse center in Cleveland. Driven by a love of people, art, and the environment, she channeled the intersecting creative potential of these interests into providing affordable arts programming to low-income families, hosting painting parties for developmentally disabled adults, and teaching social entrepreneurship programming to high school students. Through these edifying experiences, Jayne felt called to immerse herself more deeply in the nonprofit sector, desiring to devote her energy to uplifting even more amazing organizations doing so much good in the world – which led her to Elevate!

Before her term at Upcycle Parts Shop, Jayne worked as the Bakery Manager at The Root Café in Cleveland, Ohio. The Root Café is a vegetarian and vegan restaurant that serves organic, local food and is deeply invested in community building. A transplant to Cleveland, through her experiences at The Root Café, Jayne learned the immeasurable value of everyday people coming together to affect positive change.

In addition to baking scrumptious pastries, Jayne also taught yoga at The Source Yoga Studio on a voluntary basis. Committed to fostering relationships across differences in order to create a more loving world, Jayne is a firm believer in the power of inner peace to have a huge impact when nurturing community building. She feels it was a privilege to serve as a guide to others committed to their own healing, that intentional healing energy naturally radiating out into the world as a result.

In her free time, Jayne loves to make art, forest bathe in local parks, and study Human Design.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Evelyn comes to Elevate after attending university and working as a Research Assistant for multiple years. During her time as a Research Assistant, she also worked as a tour guide for the May 4th Visitor Center in Kent, OH. Her passion for nonprofits stems from her experiences in undergraduate and graduate school. She has various interests relating to her studies including nonviolent activism, volunteer tourism, and the nexus between peacebuilding, development, and humanitarianism in disaster-prone and conflict-affected areas.

Evelyn currently attends Georgetown University and is working towards an MPS in Emergency and Disaster Management. Before Georgetown University, Evelyn received a BA in Psychology and in Applied Conflict Management with a minor in Nonprofit Studies from Kent State University.

Outside of work and class, Evelyn attempts to read books not related to her studies, is often found with a cup of coffee nearby, and enjoys going for walks or staying in to watch a favorite TV show or movie.

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 : he / him / his

Frank comes to Elevate hoping to help solve complex problems in a data-driven and practical way. He was recently the Operations Team Leader at the Global Language Network where he maintained the rosters for classes in over 20 foreign languages.

Frank is currently pursuing his undergraduate degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Claremont McKenna College. He is currently involved in many organizations on campus but spends most of this time with the CMS swim team.

Outside of work, he enjoys spending time with his dogs, family, reading, and watching movies.

Pronouns : she / her / hers

Renee has diverse experience in the public and private sectors. She is passionate about advocating for individuals in need and whose voices are not heard. She worked for a large nonprofit umbrella organization in Chicago, where she wrote grant proposals and reports, provided grant management, and assisted in developing new community-wide programs. Renee previously worked as a city planner and licensed architect on commercial, higher education, healthcare, and religious projects.

Renee holds a Master of Architecture degree and a Master of Urban Planning and Policy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Tufts University.

Outside of work, Renee enjoys exploring the city and cheering on her beloved Boston sports teams.

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: he/him/his

Christian comes to Elevate with over a decade of experience serving nonprofits in education, housing, health and mental health, the arts, and social services. Prior to joining the team at Elevate, he served as the Executive Director of Care to Learn, a nonprofit providing funding to address students’ emergent health, hunger, and hygiene needs throughout Missouri. Growing up in a family that valued volunteerism and community engagement, he has seen countless examples of the difference that nonprofits make in their communities and is excited to help Elevate’s clients increase their impact. Before entering the nonprofit arena, Christian worked (briefly!) as an attorney and professor, teaching courses on animal law and criminal justice.

Christian earned his JD from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and a BA in Philosophy from Washington University in St. Louis.

When not serving Elevate’s clients, Christian enjoys spending time with his fiancé, Serena, and their daughter Keener, reading, gaming, playing guitar, or watching any horror movies he can find.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sam’s drive to work with nonprofits comes from the desire to build and support more loving communities of inclusion. Sam has a background in international development having spent time researching both microfinance and access to sanitation in Uganda. She worked as a Research Assistant for the Ford Development Program at the University of Notre Dame supporting grant writing for the program’s maternal health initiatives in Kenya. Sam also brings housing services and education experience to her role at Elevate and was a 2014 Teach For America corps member in Colorado. Prior to joining Elevate in 2021, she spent five years in various management roles at the Root Cafe in Cleveland, whose mission is to provide accessible, local, and organic food to its community members in addition to supporting community building through music, the arts, and conversation.

Sam received her BA in Political Science and Poverty Studies from the University of Notre Dame in 2013 where she also served as a Diversity Peer Educator through the school’s Psychology department. Sam has been a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2017 with a mission to teach accessible, body-positive yoga.

Sam spends the bulk of her free time outside with her husband and two babies. She loves learning about herbalism, gardening, and drinking sparkling water.

Edgar has a lifelong passion for community outreach and political activism. Before joining the Elevate team, Edgar spent a year working as a writer and political telefundraiser. He joined the Elevate team to work with nonprofit organizations trying to give back to their communities.

Edgar continues to volunteer in voter outreach and believes in taking an active role in upholding democracy. He received a Bachelor of Arts in English from Baylor University, where he also received the Charles G. Smith Award for Academic Excellence and Noble Character. Edgar intends to continue his education with Law School in the future.

Beyond supporting our grant writing teams, Edgar enjoys reading comic books, drinking iced coffee, and listening to a thought-provoking podcast.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sara is passionate about building healthy communities for people and our planet. Before joining Elevate, Sara worked on the 2020 election with Work for Progress as a Campaign Associate. She canvassed voters in Colorado and provided information about candidates for state and federal elections. She also recruited new staff to join the Work for Progress campaign. Prior to her work during the 2020 campaign cycle, Sara was an Administrative Assistant for Can-SOLVE CKD, a pan-Canadian patient-oriented kidney research network. She provided administrative support for the operations team, coordinated logistics for meetings and events, and assisted in developing an online learning module about patient-oriented research and kidney research in Canada.

Sara is a volunteer for Climate Crisis Policy, where she uses her cartography skills to map membership of the coalition. Sara earned her BA in Geography with a focus on Environment and Sustainability from the University of British Columbia.

In her free time, Sara loves to cook vegetarian meals, explore the outdoors, and read books about food and plants.

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