Rebecca Sellers

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

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

As an experienced project coordinator, Claire brings a passion for increasing educational equity to the Elevate team and its clients. In her former role with Americorps, she managed a maker-focused education program and associated grants for an Oakland, California school.

She has also contributed her skills to various education nonprofits in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, most recently, serving as a teaching artist at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, where she designed and implemented a middle school-making course.

A Bay Area native, Claire holds a BA in Applied Mathematics from UC Berkeley, where she graduated with honors. Outside of work, Claire enjoys hanging by one of Pittsburgh’s many rivers, cooking meals with friends and taking her dog Rollo out on the town.

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.

Elena brings to Elevate a passion for nonprofits and nonprofit leadership as a catalyst for social change. Prior to joining Elevate, Elena worked for nonprofits in Denmark and the US, in the global health, environmental, civic engagement, and democracy sectors. Her development experience includes direct marketing, building fundraising capacity, major gifts, and grants at organizations such as Indivisible, League of Conservation Voters and League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, and Greenpeace.

Elena holds an MSc in Technological and Socio-Economic Planning from Roskilde University, Denmark, and a BA in History and Russian Studies from Bucknell University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Transformative Social Change.

When not wrapped up in the world of grants, Elena loves to read, spend time with the family dogs and cats, and stream British TV and movies while enjoying a cup of Yorkshire Gold tea. She also enjoys growing wildflowers and native plants, reformer Pilates, and interrupting her husband whenever he watches YouTube videos.

Pronouns: she/her

Janelle has a passion for social justice and fairness in the global community. Her commitment to this ideal manifested in her work as a paralegal in Hawaii working for fair credit reporting laws. After relocating to Fredericksburg, Virginia, Janelle joined the staff at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center where she sought to inspire justice through her support of art and story at the Museum. While at the museum, Janelle worked as the volunteer coordinator, development assistant, and, most recently, as the education coordinator where she developed programs that used art education to confront historic and current injustices in her community. In an effort to expand the program’s reach to marginalized communities, Janelle began writing grants to fund scholarships for low income students.

In 2015, Janelle took a leap of faith at an opportunity to reduce her carbon footprint and bought a vintage sailboat to live aboard while undertaking its restoration. She apprenticed with a marine engineering company and learned the basics of sailing, marine electrical and mechanical maintenance, solar and wind power technologies, woodworking and varnishing, and crewed several coastal and offshore deliveries. In the summertime, Janelle teaches sailing in down east Maine and is working toward her Mate’s license through the US Coast Guard. Janelle also writes and edits articles for maritime publications.

Janelle holds BAs in Philosophy and American Studies from the University of Mary Washington, formerly Mary Washington College. She graduated cum laude and was the honors graduate in the American Studies department where she focused her studies on the political and cultural causes of the Civil War and the War’s lingering legacy. For her academic contributions in the civil rights field and her stated career goals, Janelle was awarded the James Farmer scholarship and was elected president of the college’s Phi Alpha Theta chapter.

When not at work, Janelle can be found at Fred’s Theatre where she acts, sells tickets, cultivates donors, cleans floors, or performs one of the other multitudes of jobs needed to ensure the show goes on! If Janelle had one piece of advice to give the world, it would be to find your creative self and nurture it.

Pronouns: she/her

Since joining Elevate in 2017, Caroline has used her experience in nonprofit management and fundraising and her skills in grant writing, prospect research, and project management to support clients with various grant program needs and challenges. She specializes in advocacy and civic engagement organizations and has also worked with clients in the education, housing, and human services sectors. 

Caroline enjoys working with clients to strengthen their proposal and report language to better articulate their mission and impact and build a grant fundraising program that aligns with their organizational needs and capacities. She aims to help clients focus their prospect research and qualification strategy and presented at the Grants Professionals Association annual conference.

In her prior position as deputy director at NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, Caroline oversaw development efforts and strategic plan management during a period of significant growth for the organization. Previously, Caroline worked as an account executive at a consulting firm supporting major donor and grants fundraising for national progressive organizations.

Caroline earned her BA in Government with a minor in Sociology from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. She was a student leader in political and social justice activism and worked as a writer in the college’s Office of Communications and Development. A long-time Washington, DC resident, she is active in local politics and activism.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

As Elevate’s first Vice President of Client Services, Kelsey leads work to continuously improve all client services and develop systems and processes to support the career development of all 50+ client-facing staff. She is a member of Elevate’s 4-person executive team and leads the Client Services Management Team.

Kelsey first joined Elevate as a Grant Writer in August 2014, at a time when the company could still fit all staff around a single conference table. From that position, she grew along with Elevate, taking leadership roles on client teams and, eventually, as a member of the management team. In her current role, Kelsey strives to support staff members’ professional growth within the company, navigate the growth and evolution of the Client Services department, and build relationships with other consultants and nonprofit leaders working to strengthen the sector. “Getting Better at Everything, All the Time” remains her favorite Elevate value.

While Kelsey no longer serves Elevate clients directly, she continues to leverage her experience fundraising in the arts, education, and social services fields to support staff and consult with clients exploring changes to their contract to meet evolving needs and develop new tools to strengthen our services to clients.

Kelsey serves on the board of Jubilee JumpStart, an award-winning early childhood education center in Adams Morgan. She is a graduate of Grinnell College in Iowa.

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Mary brings a lifelong passion for service and youth development to Elevate. In her role, she is committed to making DC nonprofits better by leveraging the unique vantage points and perspectives that local nonprofits bring. Before joining Elevate in 2014, she spent seven years working with Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma. While working for the Girl Scouts, she facilitated programs for youth and volunteers, including mentoring for children and their incarcerated mothers, bully prevention, financial literacy, outdoor recreation skills, and youth leadership development.

Mary graduated from the University of Tulsa, earning her BA in Women’s and Gender Studies with a minor in English Literature. While at the University of Tulsa, her studies focused on the intersections of history, film, literature, and feminist theory, and enabled her to critically review power structures around gender, race, sexuality, and class throughout American history.

Outside of Elevate, Mary is a self-declared history nerd and enjoys watching her dog play at the dog park and reading fantasy/sci-fi novels.

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