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
Jaime has worked in the nonprofit development sector for over a decade, specializing in grants consulting for most of her career. She’s passionate about helping organizations achieve their missions, developing systems that increase efficiencies and impact, and supporting colleagues to achieve shared goals. Jaime brings project management and strategic grant program planning expertise to Elevate and has worked with a wide variety of clients ranging from multi-state hospital systems to small social service agencies.
Jaime graduated from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) with a BA in Political Science and Environmental Conservation. While in college, she worked at the UNH Writing Center as a writing fellow and academic writing tutor, solidifying her love for the written word. She currently volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem, advocating for children who have experienced abuse and/or neglect.
While not working, Jaime enjoys trying to replicate recipes she discovered on TikTok, traveling with her family, and spending countless hours singing to her dogs (even though she can’t carry a tune).
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
Abigail (Abbie) Fine has more than a dozen years of experience in leadership and development roles at arts, culture, and education organizations. At Elevate, Abbie specializes in these issue areas, partnering with her clients to bring significant and breakthrough successes in institutional fundraising. Abbie also supports Elevate’s Senior Directors and serves on the New Client Partnerships team. She is passionate about working as part of the Client Services team to provide excellent strategic consulting services, and she excels at complex problem-solving and bringing authenticity to the work.
Prior to joining Elevate, Abbie served as Managing Director of NextStop Theatre Company. She was responsible for development, marketing, financial management, and administration, and proudly led the company through a significant growth period. Prior to that she was Director of Development for Fairfax Library Foundation, creating and expanding grant programs supporting early literacy, new Americans, scholarship programs, and other library initiatives.
Some semesters Abbie teaches Principles of Management as an Adjunct Professor at George Mason University. She earned her MBA from George Mason, where she was named “Outstanding MBA Student of the Year” by faculty and “Most Contributed to Learning” by her global residency classmates. Abbie received her BA from the University of South Carolina on a full academic scholarship, earning a double major in Theater and Economics. Abbie is an accomplished theater director, with over 20 professional credits, and a published author of fiction.
Outside of nonprofit management and creative pursuits, Abbie most enjoys spending time with her two young children, going flying with her husband in the single-engine plane he pilots, and reading novels.
At Elevate, Lauren specializes in writing grants for clients on a range of issues, primarily focusing on education and youth development, health care, and services for individuals experiencing homelessness. Her clients report that she has a knack for learning deeply about their programs and funding landscape to develop strategic grants that are highly competitive for funding. Lauren draws from her own experiences as a Grant Writer to support the career development of Elevate staff in her current role as Supervising Director.
Lauren has followed a passion for promoting access to health services in the United States and abroad throughout her career. While pursuing her Master of Social Work, she saw how access to high-quality physical and mental health care plays a vital role in enabling individuals to achieve their fullest potential.
Before joining Elevate, she worked as a Graduate Assistant for the Carter Center’s Mental Health Program, where she assisted with writing grants for their programs in Liberia and Haiti. She was also an intern with Georgia State Representative Shelly Hutchinson, where she conducted research and wrote policy briefs related to improving access to health services, immigrant rights, and criminal justice reform.
Lauren graduated from the University of Georgia with a Master of Social Work and a certificate in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. She also has a BS in Human and Organizational Development from Vanderbilt University.
In her free time, Lauren loves doing anything outdoors! In particular, she enjoys hiking and playing ultimate frisbee.
Oumou hails from Raleigh, North Carolina by way of Nice, France; Rabat, Morocco; Conakry, Guinea; and Dakar, Senegal. Prior to joining Elevate, Oumou served as the operations manager for a teeth whitening business where she was charged with client relations and marketing. Oumou spent the beginning of her post-collegiate career in Dakar, Senegal where she was a World History and Interpersonal Communications teacher at the Senegalese American Bilingual School. After her time as a teacher, Oumou worked on human rights policy and project management in Senegal. She worked for the Senegalese Committee for Human Rights and aided the recently-created government agency liaise between civil society and the government to improve both internal and external Senegalese human rights policy. Oumou has also worked with the NGO Femmes Africa Solidarité where she created communications materials and supported the management of projects aimed to empower women in peacebuilding processes in the Great Lakes Region to help eradicate Sexual Gender Based Violence.
Oumou holds a Political Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Amongst other university activities, Oumou served as a Teaching Assistant and Co-Chair to the 400 person Great Decisions course, which aimed to broaden student knowledge on pressing international issues.
Oumou loves movies and is currently building her spreadsheet of favorite movies, which at the time of this bio’s creation, contains 210 films. Any conversation with Oumou will likely include Beyoncé, who despite having never won a Grammy for Album of the Year, serves as an example of excellence through hard work and impactful and multifaceted artistry that will inform culture for generations to come.
Eric is a big believer in the power of the written word and sees grant writing as an example of how good writing can have an impact on the world. He manages Elevate’s Writing Capacity Project division and coordinates custom training and workshop opportunities. Eric enjoys working with advocacy organizations working on big picture solutions to problems like climate change, environmental injustice, lgbtq rights, US military spending, and civic engagement. In particular, he excels at building tools and systems to manage workflows, track relationships, and synthesize information.
Eric graduated from McDaniel College with a double degree in Spanish and Arabic & Middle Eastern Studies after spending time in Egypt, Morocco, and Spain. Prior to joining Elevate, Eric honed his grant writing skills at United Palestinian Appeal, where he worked to raise funds for a children’s craniofacial surgery center in the West Bank and a children’s mental health program in Gaza. Before that, he conducted research at the Middle East Institute and the Project on Middle East Democracy.
Eric can often be found playing board games or tinkering with his frozen margarita recipe. He hopes to one day compete on Survivor, but would settle for Big Brother if they called him.