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

Haven’s interest in working with nonprofits stems from her passion for food advocacy in cities. Haven has a background in managing farmers’ markets in Philadelphia to bring local and organic produce to community members. In addition, she has worked as a researcher to develop podcasts focused on local foodways and US food history. Haven plans on bringing that same level of detail and commitment to her role at Elevate.

She has recently spent a year in Italy to obtain a Master in Food Culture and Marketing from the University of Gastronomic Sciences.

In her free time, Haven enjoys going on road trips, watching Wong Kar-wai films, and designing menu concepts for a future restaurant she plans on opening.

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 : 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

Meghan has a passion for education and sustainable development, and prior to joining the Elevate team, she worked with various nonprofit organizations across New England and abroad. Experienced in service-learning leadership and teaching, Meghan is excited to deepen her understanding of the nonprofit sector and develop her fundraising skills as a Project Coordinator.

Meghan holds a BA in International Relations and Spanish from Eckerd College. She is the recipient of the 2020 Global Service Award and the ASPEC Shepherd-Williams Award in International Relations and Global Affairs. Meghan is also a member of two honor societies, both Phi Beta Kappa and Pi Sigma Alpha.

Apart from work, Meghan enjoys taking in her natural surroundings. She is a fan of biking, yoga, and spontaneous road trips.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Kirsten has a background in project management and process improvement in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. She has a passion for working with others and supporting their ability to bring their aspirations to life. Kirsten has used this experience to assist small businesses with planning and marketing to begin their entrepreneurial journey.

Kirsten is also deeply passionate about youth advocacy. She has coordinated events focused on improving literacy & art education in her hometown. Kirsten is dedicated to creating pathways to success for those that need it most. She earned her Master of Public Administration from Capella University.

During Kirsten’s free time, she enjoys exploring, music, cooking, and anything else that feels joyful.

Pronouns: He/Him/His

Jacob is passionate about helping to build a more equitable and sustainable world. Before joining the Elevate team, he interned and worked for organizations like the Institute of International Education and the New Cities Foundations. Jacob interned at Resilient Cities Catalyst, working with the city of Minneapolis to develop equity-oriented economic recovery programs in collaboration with communities most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. He supported client relationships and conducted qualitative and quantitative independent research focused on case studies and trends in census tract data. 

He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Music from CUNY – Hunter College as a member of the Roosevelt Scholars Program. He graduated with honors as a Salutatorian of the 2020 class. 

When he is not working, you can find him traveling, writing fiction, playing piano, or reading.

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.

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