Consultants

Our team of experienced grant consultants is committed to your organization’s success. Each brings their unique prospective and field of specialty to the funding and grant development process. As part of our commitment to servant leadership we also teach the fundamentals of grant proposals to the interns on our staff.

Alexa Adamo-Valverde Alexa Adamo-Valverde is an experienced organizational strategist, fundraiser, marketer, and advocate for social justice. Since 1995, she has held positions as Head of Development, Director of Individual Giving and Grant Consultant.  In Atlanta, she served Future Foundation, Savannah College of Art and Design, Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta, Friends of Forman Christian College, Partnership Against Domestic Violence, and Synchronicity Theater. While in Los Angeles, she served Venice Arts: In Neighborhoods, Fulfillment Fund, and others. Alexa has a Master of Arts in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Women’s Studies from Georgia State University. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at GSU. She is married to a film and marketing expert. They have two beautiful young children, a dog Sally, and a not-so-feral cat, JoJo Mr. Catmix.
Sandra Cathy Sandra Cathy brings to PGC numerous years’ experience in both the nonprofit and for profit world, and comprehensive expertise in grant writing, fundraising, strategic Planning, marketing, capital campaigns, and government relations. Sandra graduated from the University of Alabama. She then completed a seven-year stint at the White House serving on the President’s Commission for White House Fellowships. Sandra returned to the Atlanta area to work with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. She is a loving wife and mother of two beautiful girls.
Christa Dardaganian joined Palmetto Grants in 2017 as an editor for the company’s grant proposals. With a background in fundraising in both the for-profit and non-profit arenas, Christa brings a unique perspective to Palmetto. She has worked for non-profit organizations such as the National Hemophilia Foundation and the Arthritis Foundation, and on the for-profit side, she spent 10 years working in professional medical education, designing and seeking funding for accredited medical education programs for health care professionals. Christa graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Irvine in Social Ecology, and earned her Master’s degree from Emerson College in Health Communication, a joint degree program with Tufts University School of Medicine.
Lisa Finley Lisa Finley has more than ten years’ experience in writing federal, state, corporate, and foundation grants in the areas of education, child services, human services, historical preservation, and women services. She is member of the Grant Professionals Association and received her grant writing certification from the American Grant Writers’ Association in 2014. Lisa graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Communications/Journalism. When she’s not grant writing, Lisa enjoys an active life with her husband and two dogs, reading, working on her young adult novels, and other creative pursuits.
gonzales-headshot Laura Gonzales joined PGC in 2014 as associate editor for the company’s grant proposals. She works as a contract academic editor in the greater Washington, DC, area and joined PGC with expertise in program evaluation, program development, survey design, and volunteer leader development. Her recent editing work for PGC has been featured in grants that have been awarded funds from three major grantors. Laura has a BA in Psychology from Cornell and an MA from Arizona State University. She previously worked as a research psychologist specializing in healthy adult and Parkinson’s populations, then became an academic consultant for the statistical and behavioral sciences. She is on the Board of three volunteer organizations and focuses her work on poverty reduction, environmental stewardship and education and alumni affairs.
Ms. Rebecca Jean-Baptiste has over 15 years of experience in the administration of higher education programs. She has secured funding and managed a variety of educational programs such as teacher recruitment, teacher preparation, k-12 school climate and partnerships, cross cultural education, STEM, underrepresented populations, disconnected youth, college access & success, community development and business partnerships, financial, digital and data literacy programs among others. Throughout her career, Ms. Jean-Baptiste has provided financial management oversight for several grants, from both federal and private sponsors totaling over $100 million.  Ms. Jean-Baptiste is a Doctoral Candidate in Public Administration at Valdosta State University specializing in Education Policy; and holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Policy Analysis and Evaluation from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.
Danielle May Danielle May is a seasoned nonprofit development professional with over 10 years of experience in securing and managing diverse sources of funding. She desires to leverage her craft as a storyteller through written word to connect resources and people to advance organizations’ impact and mission. Danielle has successfully raised funds for nonprofit organizations in the fields of higher education, early childhood education, health and human services, oncology, and maternal health. Danielle has professionally served in the development offices of Northwest Arkansas Community College, Freeman Health System, Helen R. Walton Children’s Enrichment Center, Samaritan Community Center, Hope Cancer Resources, Sprint’s 1Million Project, and Heartline Ministries in Haiti. Danielle graduated from Madison College in Wisconsin. She loves to spend time outdoors with her husband and their two children.
Jennifer McEwen comes to PGC with a long and successful record in Marketing and Public Relations. Jennifer is the Executive Director at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta. She previously held positions as Director of Marketing and PR and was then promoted to Managing Director. She led a financial turnaround for True Colors. Prior to joining True Colors, Jennifer served as the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for the Horizon Theatre Company and as the Media Relations and Operations Manager for the Ansley Park Playhouse. Jennifer has worked in marketing and development for Opera Carolina and in promotions for Basin Street Records, Inc., in New Orleans. Jennifer was a member of the Arts Leaders of Metro Atlanta Class of 2010. Jennifer is a member of the National Arts Strategies 2016-2017 Chief Executive Program. Jennifer was named to Georgia Trend Magazine’s 2016 40 Under 40. Jennifer holds a Master of Arts in Arts Administration from the University of New Orleans and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Jenn likes to spend her personal time enjoying the outdoors with her husband, Chris, and young daughter, Audrey, and their dog, Auggie.
Cynthia McGuinness Cynthia McGuinness has served as a non-profit professional for more than twenty years. She has achieved success in securing grants for a number of non-profit organizations in the Atlanta area from a wide range of private, corporate, and government funders, primarily in the areas of child welfare, refugee services, education, youth development, and the arts. Cynthia came to the non-profit field after her first career as a professional dancer. She also has expertise in event planning and volunteer coordination. When not writing grants, she is busy cheering on her husband and two children at gymnastics meets, orchestra concerts, martial arts events, and more, and occasionally finds time for a hike or a good book.
Katie Olliff Katie Olliff has more than ten years’ experience as a non-profit professional in several organizations in Atlanta focused on children and youth, seniors, faith-based communities, and public policy. She has written winning proposals for foundation, corporate, and government grants. She’s also had a successful track record in individual giving, special events management, database administration, program management. Her previous positions include Director of Grants and Donors Relations at Meals on Wheels and Development Director at Voices for Georgia’s Children. She has also worked with Refugee Family Services and The Fund for Theological Education. Katie is a graduate of Georgia Tech and also holds a Masters in Theology from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. She is a foster parent to four children and enjoys reading, cooking, and watching college basketball.
Kathleen C Varda is an innovative thinker with broad-based expertise in strategic planning, grant and fund development, and community relationship building with a proven ability to create successful outcomes in complex situations, which includes authoring over $65 million in grant and contract awards over the past 10 years.  Mrs. Varda has diverse expertise with a commitment to organizational success. Prior to forming her own company, AJR Consulting, LLC, Mrs. Varda has worked in leadership roles of public nonprofit community-based behavioral healthcare.  She has led organizations in the development, implementation and achievement of their strategic plan as well as worked closely with key leadership to transform the culture and transparency of the organizations.  She has also been instrumental in the settlement of outstanding financial commitments of over $8 million to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Mrs. Varda holds a Master’s of Social Work degree from Georgia State University where she has been invited back on several occasions to teach grant writing and social welfare policy to graduate level students.

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