About Our Founder
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 and run, based in Appalachia. 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