About Our Team

Grant Identification | Writing | Submission | Management | SAM Registry | Federal Procurement | Business Plan Development

National Grants Management AssociationThe National Grants Management Association (NGMA) is recognized throughout the grants management industry as the membership association leader providing tools and resources for grants professionals to support and maintain high levels of grants management competency and to establish standards of excellence for grants managers.

 

Aspire Grant Writing Consultants are members of the NGMA, receiving the latest in education on grant compliance, submission and financial reporting. So, before you hire a firm to write your state or federal grants, ask yourself:

 

  1. Does the firm specialize in grant writing or something different?
  2. Are they members of the NGMA with graduate level education?
  3. Can the firm cite numerous awards that have been made to a mix of clients, and paid out, with no audit flags?
  4. Does your firm have economic impact software comparable to that used by the state/federal governments? We use IMPLAN Professional, and our studies have been cited by national media.
  5. Can you say that your contractual agreement supports an all-female team who loves to create energy and impact in the communities in which they work?

 

If not, Aspire to contract with a different type of firm (one that’s making headlines)!

Michele R. Beener

Founder and Lead Consultant
Michele R. Beener is the President of Aspire Grant & Development, LLC, a full service Federal, State and private grant
research/management company. Aspire is women-owned, based in Appalachia, and hires only women. To date, Aspire
has consulting contracts with 19 professional grant writers, each holding a graduate degree and a specialty area of
practice. All grant writing consultants are members of the National Grants Management Association, NGMA. The
National Grants Management Association, formerly the National Assistance Management Association, is a professional
association, based in Washington D.C., dedicated to the profession of grants management. The firm is proud to be actively
managing over $36 million in public/private grants awards at the present time (August, 2017).


Michele specializes in business plan writing and development for nonprofit firms and public/private partnerships. Aspire
offers clients over fifty-years of combined consulting experience in the field. While the firm is proud to serve a diverse
mix of clients, competitive funding proposals supporting hospital/health center construction or service line expansion are
a special area of interest. In the past few years, Michele has developed & closed strategic business development plans for
various Western Pennsylvania firms, including: The UMWA Career Centers, Inc., Gautier Steel Ltd; Corsa Coal Corp.
(North America), Seven Springs Mountain Resort and Highmark Health. Aspire uses IMPLAN modeling to develop a
compelling economic impact model for each proposal. Recently, Michele’s study on the Acosta Mine, the first new coal
mine to open under President Trump, received national media attention, while resulting in a $3 million economic
development grant.


Prior to launching Aspire, Michele served Somerset Hospital as the senior manager for government relations, marketing,
strategic planning and community/diabetic education. Beener earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
from Waynesburg University and a Master of Science in Business Ethics from Duquesne University. Since 1999, Beener
has served Allegany College of Maryland’s Department of Business and Economics as an adjunct lecturer, teaching
various undergraduate business courses. She is presently the Chair of the College’s Foundation Board of Directors
(Somerset Campus). She is also happy to serve the United States Health Resources and Services Administration as a
registered Federal Grant Reviewer.


Over the past ten years, Michele has served various nonprofit boards, including Past President of the Somerset County
Chamber of Commerce, Children’s Aid Home of Somerset County, and the Rotary Club of Somerset. In 2007, Beener
was honored by the YWCA of Greater Johnstown’s Tribute to Women Award Program as Educator of the Year. In 2014
she was honored by the Boy Scouts of America, Penn’s Woods Council, with their annual “Salute to Women” award. She
enjoys raising funds for the benefit of local community organizations and serves on both the Board of Directors and the
Somerset County Distribution Committee for the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies. Michele operates a 300-
acre beef farm in the Laurel Highlands of Pennsylvania, selling local grown products to Highlands Market, Seven Springs
Mountain Resort. She is also the Vice President of Miller Antique and Restoration, LLC, a national leader in the
preservation of steam railroad and farm equipment. Michele enjoys the arts and is also a member of the Board of Directors
for the Mountain Playhouse, a historic summer equity theatre program located in Jennerstown, Pennsylvania. In August of
2017, Michele was nominated for the Athena Award of Greater Pittsburgh, a prestigious nomination for women who
support other women and community projects.

Ms. Catherine “Katie” Quinn, MA, Notary Public

Catherine has lived and worked in Somerset County her entire life. After graduating from Frostburg State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Law and Society, Catherine worked as a paralegal for the law firm of Barbera, Clapper, Beener, Rullo & Melvin. While working at the law firm, Catherine attended online classes through California University of Pennsylvania and she obtained her Master of Arts Degree in Applied Criminology. From there, Catherine went on to pursue a job in social services and became a caseworker for Somerset County Children & Youth Services.

Throughout her academic and professional career, Catherine has become active in several organizations. These include the BACCHUS National Peer Education Network, Pi Sigma Alpha, and the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries. Contact Catherine for assistance with federal, state or private grants to fuels projects in the areas of youth advocacy, social and human service, and criminal justice. She is also available as a Notary Public. cquinn@aspiregrantdev.com

 

Brooke L. Sheeler, Grant Associate

Brooke Sheeler has returned to Aspire Grant & Development Partners as a grant associate after graduating from Slippery Rock University. Brooke graduated with a B.S. in Communications, Public Relations and a minor in business administration. She is currently studying at West Virginia University to earn a M.S. in Integrated Marketing & Communications. Throughout her academic career, Brooke became heavily involved in organizations at Slippery Rock University. She served as the Special Events Chair for Rock Productions, Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter. She did event planning and coordination for the organization throughout her time as the chair. Brooke also served as the Public Relations Chair for Up ‘til Dawn, an organization aimed at raising money and awareness for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Brooke assisted in helping the organization raise a total of $16,000 at the event in February 2016.

At Aspire Grant & Development Partners, Brooke works with clients and the Aspire team to develop competitive grant proposals on a federal, state and local level. Brooke is avid Pittsburgh sports fan and enjoys spending long weekends with her family in Savannah, Georgia.  To start your next project, email Brooke at bsheeler@aspiregrantdev.com.

Terri A, Glessner, Executive Assistant

Terri A. Glessner, Executive Assistant, has served as the “right-hand” to President Michele for over ten years. Since 2006, she’s helped to manage schedules, books, charitable gifts and donations, presentations and more for Aspire Grant & Development, LLC, Miller Antique and Restoration, and Chippewa Farms.

Terri lives near Seven Springs, where she and husband Kurt as raising two lovely daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys working at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, camping with her family, and keeping organization in the office! Contact Terri at tglessner@aspiregrantdev.com

Ashley G. Beener, Grant Associate

Following her interest in politics during her college career at Waynesburg University, Ashley had the honor of interning at Senator Pat Toomey’s Johnstown Constituent office and Governor Corbett’s Gubernatorial campaign for re-election. At Waynesburg, Ashley was also the President of the Young Republican’s Club, member of the Lamplighter’s Touring Choir, and a Stover Scholar. After graduating with a degree in History and Political Science a year early, Ashley started her career as a Field Representative with the Bill Shuster for Congress Campaign. In addition to being a Grant Associate, Ashley enjoys skiing, playing the guitar, and traveling, as she studied abroad in Northern Ireland for a semester. Currently, she is working to further her education by applying to Law School; Therefore, enhancing her abilities in grant writing.
Ms. Beener develops competitive grant proposals for Aspire Grant & Development Partners on a federal, state, and local level. She specifically has a passion for environmental, historical, and not-for-profit projects. To start your next project, feel free to contact Ashley at abeener@aspiregrantdev.com.

Catherine J. Markosky, Federal and State Aviation Grant Specialist

Catherine attended Syracuse University and holds over fifteen years experience with numerous primary, commercial service, reliever and general aviation airports providing program identification and management services including project formulation, development of ACIP’s through securing of federal and state grant assistance, grants administration, and project management. She wrote and managed more than $100M in AIP project grants and State Block Grants across the Tri-State area working with the FAA, NYDOT, NJ-DOT, and PA-BOA. Catherine’s experience was as a project liaison between consulting firms, airport clientele, funding agencies and local authorities and is very familiar with Airport Capital Improvement Program funding, assurances, and procedures. Following is an abbreviated list of the airports she had served:
New York: Binghamton Regional, Elmira-Corning, Ithaca Tompkins Regional, Lt.Warren Eaton, Oneonta, Potsdam, Dutchess County, Tri-Cities, Cortland County, Buffalo Airfield.
New Jersey: Ocean City Municipal, Millville Municipal, South Jersey Regional, Cape May, Somerset, Cross Keys, Vineland-Downstown.
Pennsylvania: Bradford County Airport, Wilkes-Barre Scranton International, Hazleton Municipal, Pennridge, Doylestown, St. Mary’s, New Castle.

Ms. Margo Weaver-Zur, RRT BS MS PCHA

Margo holds a Master’s Degree in Health Service Administration from the College of St. Francis and a Bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She has most recently worked at Brooke Grove Foundation as a Personal Care Home Administrator and initiated and opened a Secured Dementia Unit at this facility. Prior to this she has worked as a Director of a Partial Hospitalization Program and as the Program Director of a Family Based Mental Health Service. Margo is an active member of her community and has presented to various educational symposiums on Alzheimer’s disease and long-term care issues. Most recently, Zur was happy to provide education for Personal Care Home Administrators for the Department of Human Services requirement for continuing education needs.

Margo is very passionate about senior care and quality services for the elderly and has been an advocate for them for years. She is active in Pennsylvania Assisted Living Association and the Alzheimer’s Support Group.

Georgia M. Reash, Sustainability & Energy Consultant

Georgia is a 25-year seasoned grant writer and planning strategist that has assisted nearly 200 nonprofit, municipal and entrepreneurial organizations develop and pursue grants for operational, special project and research initiatives. Her experience includes funding request submissions to local foundation, corporations, county, state, federal and national foundation opportunities and competitions. Over the past 15 years, Georgia has focused the majority of her grantsmanship work in the sustainability, energy and humanitarian sectors. Her sustainability projects span local food systems development, agriculture micro-enterprise, energy efficiency, renewable energy, alternative energy vehicles, aggregated energy consumer programs, environmental clean-up, community and economic development, domestic and international.

One of Georgia’s hallmark experiences was Powering Our Communities (Cleveland, OH), a $16 million grant that stimulated the development of 333 sustainability, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects among 163 Northeast Ohio communities; the largest municipal-impact sustainability initiative in the nation. She has raised over $21 million in grant and philanthropy efforts and is working in investor financing for sustainability community and clean energy projects. Georgia’s approach to grant writing brings out the distinguishing strengths and potential of the applicant vision, while tending to the writing and processing details associated with grant submission.

Ms. Kelly Rea Stroup, Event Planning

Kelly is a graduate of Clarion University with a B.S. in Political Science and is especially proud of her past volunteer work for Congressman Glenn (GT) Thompson, Senator Pat Toomey, and former Governor Tom Corbett.

Stroup was elected to serve as a Clarion County Republican Committee Member in 2012. Wanting to make a bigger difference in her community, Stroup ran for Clarion County Commissioner in 2015. Kelly is a 2016 graduate of the Anne B. Anstine Excellence in Public Service Series program. After graduating from the Anstine Program, Stroup worked as an independent consultant for the Pennsylvania Republican Party. Professionally, Stroup has helped open two businesses. She served as manager at 6th & Main Market in Clarion where she coordinated and catered numerous business dinners with companies both local and out of town. The 6th & Main Market had bigger dreams of transforming into Clarion River Brewing Company. Stroup had worked closely with the owners while closing 6th & Main Market and opening Clarion River Brewing Company. She had served as both Front of House Manager and Events Coordinator for the Brewing Company. Welcome, Kelly, to the all-girl corporate family under Aspire Grant & Development, LLC.

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