Our Awesome Staff

Sarah E. Russell, Office Manager

Sarah has recently returned to the Somerset County area after a seven-year hiatus. She is originally from the Gettysburg area. She holds an associates degree in Graphic Design and Printing Technologies from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology. She also has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Central Pennsylvania College. After graduation she took an internship at the Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center. Upon completion of the internship she worked as a typist for Sargent’s Court Reporting in Johnstown. From there she returned to Gettysburg to work as a Review Technical Associate for SRA International, Inc. in Frederick, MD, an IT company. SRA is a subcontractor who does grant work for the government and educational systems. She then went on to work as a Travel and Entertainment Administrator with Voith Holding Inc. in York, PA a German engineering company.

Her knowledge of Microsoft Office, Graphic Design, grant compliance, and office dynamics will be a great asset to Aspire Grant & Development Partners. In her spare, time Sarah enjoys spending time with her new husband and traveling to new areas. She’s also been volunteering with the Shade Creek Watershed Association and Graef’s Lutheran Church. Please contact Sarah at 814-701-2768 for all scheduling purposes or email Sarah at [email protected].


Brooke L. Sheeler, M.S., Senior Grant Associate

Brooke joined the Aspire team in 2015 as an intern while pursuing her undergraduate degree at Slippery Rock University. After graduating with a B.S. in Communications – Public Relations, Brooke came back to Aspire full time and received her M.S. in Integrated Marketing & Communications from West Virginia University in 2018. She has now been promoted to Senior Grant Associate and has taken on a direct role with managing accounts. Some of her main accounts include: The Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, LCT Energy, Laurel Arts, Adventures in Training with a Purpose, and more. To date, her application awards have totaled over $3 million in state and private funding.

In her spare time, Brooke enjoys hanging out with her rescue dog Tito while having animal welfare at the top of her priority list. She is an avid Pittsburgh sports fan and will never turn down the chance to watch the Pirates, Penguins, and Steelers. To talk to Brooke about your next project, you can email her at [email protected] or call her direct line at 814-701-2684.


Ashley G. Beener, Grant Associate


In November of 2016, Ms. Ashley Beener joined the Aspire team after employment as a Field Representative for United States Congressman Bill Shuster. Ms. Beener develops competitive grant proposals at the private, state, and federal level. She has experience working with a range of non-profit projects involving environmentally friendly initiatives, fire departments, the Arts, and community centers. Ms. Beener has experience and success across the following funding sources: Pennsylvania Rural Arts Alliance, the Laurel Highlands Tourism Grants, the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, PA Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant, FEMA, Firehouse Subs, Gaming and Economic Development Funds, Multimodal projects, the Mellon Foundation, the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the U.S. Soccer Foundation. Recent awards include a $500,000 grant from the R.K. Mellon Foundation towards expansion of Twin Lakes Center for Drug & Alcohol’s rehabilitation and detox services. Ms. Beener also specializes in applications to the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program with 2017 round $1 million awards for two economic development projects in Allegheny and Fayette Counties. Ms. Beener received her undergraduate degree in History and Political Science from Waynesburg University and is currently furthering her education at Widener Commonwealth Law, expecting to receive her Juris Doctorate in 2021. To start your next project, feel free to contact her at [email protected].

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