About | History | Staff

Cynthia M. Adams

Cynthia Adams has been dedicated to helping nonprofits identify and secure the funding they need to do their good work for well over 40 years. Much of her early work centered on raising funds to help set-aside public lands in Alaska.

In the early 80’s she introduced the idea of building sustainable communities throughout the state, serving as the Executive Director of the Interior Alaska Economic Development Council. In 1990 she opened her first business, the Alaska Funding Exchange, which served as the testing ground for a larger, national business: GrantStation, which opened it's internet doors in the fall of 2001.

Cynthia built this business because she believes that grantseeking requires a thorough understanding of the funders and sound knowledge of the playing field. Her life's work has been to level that playing field, creating opportunities for all nonprofit organizations, regardless of size or geographic location, to secure grant support.

Ms. Adams lives part time in New York City, and part time in Baja, Mexico. But her heart and soul are still in Alaska, where she and her husband keep a small 5-acre parcel and dry cabin in the Taiga forest 12 miles north of Fairbanks.

Ms. Adams' experience includes:

  • Board of Directors, Mongabay (Jan 2017 - present)
  • Honorary Advisory Board, Northern Alaska Environmental Center, 2006 - present
  • Board member, e-Philanthropy Foundation, 2003 - 2006
  • Board member for the Alaska Wilderness League, 2000 - 2002
  • Trustee of the Alaska Conservation Foundation 1986 - 1998
  • Founder (1991) and President of the Alaska Funding Exchange
  • Board member for the State of Alaska, Department of Commerce and Economic Development, Small Business Revolving Loan Fund, 1989 - present
  • Executive Director, Interior Economic Development Council, 1988 - 1991
  • Director of Economic Development, Fairbanks North Star Borough, 1986 - 1991
  • Founder and CEO of GrantStation 1999 - present

Read More about Cynthia Adams

Sage Adams
Information and Learning Technology Specialist

Sage is our learning and information technology specialist, and also our lead programmer. He's currently working on a major re-design of the GrantStation website. He also helps out on the technology for the Licensing Program and other projects. Sage has over 10 years' experience programming websites and designing and building online and hybrid courses at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, the University of California, Berkeley, and as an independent consultant.

Jill Cochran
Marketing Administrative Specialist

Jill joined GrantStation in 2016 as an Administrative & Marketing Specialist. She holds a BA in English from Millersville University, with a concentration in print journalism and studio art; and a Certification in Social Marketing.

Jill has worked in libraries, and has over 15 years of experience in digital and print media advertising. She has turned her proofreader's eye for detail to focus on GrantStation’s marketing needs. Jill likes to spend time with her family, run and train for races, read everything, bake vegan desserts, and work on her flower garden.

Kerry Glauser
Research Specialist

Kerry works part-time for GrantStation while attending Oregon State University’s environmental science program. She also volunteers part-time with the USGS. Kerry has a decade of experience as a legal document transcriptionist and proofreader. She currently lives in the Oregon valley, where she enjoys the mild winters, close proximity to the ocean, and the abundant wildlife and bird-viewing opportunities.

Diana Holder
Research Specialist

Diana enjoys delving into the world of international grantmaking and helping to connect organizations with potential funding sources.

Diana's professional background includes experience working in the fields of philanthropy and English language teaching. She also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, where she worked to organize rural women's groups and promote civic participation. Diana holds an M.A. in English, with a specialization in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and baking desserts.

Julie Kaufman
Research Director

Julie Kaufman has ten years' experience in fundraising consulting, during which she specialized in funding research and funding strategy development for nonprofit organizations. As Research Director, Julie spends countless hours with her team of researchers poring through publications, delving deeply into online philanthropic resources, and talking directly with grantmakers to develop and maintain thousands of national and international funder profiles. Her exhaustive research process, discerning attention to detail, and expansive knowledge of grantmakers affords GrantStation Members with the most timely and comprehensive funder information. Julie holds an M.A. in Community Psychology from the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Contact Julie if you represent a grantmaker and would like to review your organization's existing profile in our database or would like to discuss our addition of your organization to the database.

Sara Kennedy
Director of Online Education

Sara has been with GrantStation since February of 2007 and brings with her the experience of executive director for a local nonprofit. She also worked with the Veterans Administration as a research assistant for over a decade.

Sara serves as GrantStation's Director of Online Education. She is responsible for bringing the best of grantwriting expertise to your office or home through a variety of GrantStation webinars. Sara also provides personalized tours of the GrantStation website, including a training platform to help you get the most from GrantStation's many online resources.

Don Kiely
Technology and Programming Consultant

Don was a Christmas gift to GrantStation in 2005, when he began doing the programming and database management required to support the content on GrantStation. He spends most of his time scrambling to figure out how to implement the creative ideas of the brains behind GrantStation to enhance the value to our members.

In his free time, Don writes for technology trade journals, speaks at industry conferences, and travels Alaska by dog sled, skis, whitewater canoe and kayak, and foot. He is president of The Second Chance League, a nonprofit sleddog rescue group in Fairbanks, and is on the board of two other nonprofits, Fairbanks Paddlers and the Alaska Skijor and Pulk Association.

Tracy Lease
Research Specialist

Tracy Lease is excited to join the grant station team to help fund seekers easily locate funding sources.  With an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks Tracy enjoys research, writing and fine-tuning writing.  She also has an extensive background in education, with 14 years of experience teaching intermediate and middle school grades in St. Michael, Nulato, and Fairbanks, Alaska.

Tracy has volunteered and worked for non-profit domestic violence shelters as a women and children’s advocate and a volunteer coordinator.  In college Tracy studied rural development in Senegal and she loves the idea of helping organizations fund great ideas that help communities and support environmental consciousness.

When Tracy isn’t working for GrantStation, she can be found enjoying her kids, practicing or teaching yoga, doing pilates, meditating, hiking, writing or traveling.

Carol McCartan
Accounts Information Specialist

Carol joined our staff at Grantstation in May of 2015. She manages much of our Membership information and accounts processes. Carol’s professional experience includes nonprofit work in both social services and educational settings. She has worked with organizations such as Goodwill/Easter Seals MN, FamilyWise Services,Dakota County Children’s Mental Health, and Richfield Public Schools. Carol is delighted to support our Members' work and shares our organization's passion for matchmaking between grantseekers and grantmakers.  In her free time, she participates in fundraising for The NF TEAM and Children’s Tumor Foundation and enjoys running in their racing events.

Ellen Mowrer

Ellen works with both clients and the GrantStation team in program adoption and management; marketing, promotions, and social media; business planning, analysis, and reporting, and The State of Grantseeking ™ Survey and Reports.

Ellen brings over 30 years of business, partner programs, nonprofit software, and high-end retail experience in companies such as, GiftWorks, Doneckers, and Market Metrics. After realizing that her heart and her career were at odds, Ellen left the business world of expensive things for the world of doing good through nonprofit support. Happily, nonprofit organizations can benefit from the application of business models, and the result enriches humanity instead of corporations.

Ellen is on the board of Music for Everyone, and is active in the fight against puppy mills, with three rescued dogs of her own.

Kevin Peters
Research Specialist

Kevin has been with GrantStation on and off for nearly a decade, sandwiching a stint overseas as an English teacher. Like many of the GrantStation long-timers, he got his start with the company in Fairbanks, AK, where he acquired his MFA in creative writing. After he tired of the cold, he headed to Southeast Asia for a couple years before ending up in Oregon, where he currently resides. He loves being halfway between the ocean and the mountains.

Kevin works on GrantStation's U.S. and state databases, and researches federal listings for the Insider.

David Preis
Director of Member Services

David started at GrantStation in the summer of 2012 and serves as Director of Operations, managing our finances, our customer services, our promotions, and various projects. When you call our 800 number, David will often be the one answering, as he loves to talk with our members and customers! David brings over twenty years of business process experience in organizations such as Thrivent Financial, Best Buy, North Country Grocery Cooperative, and Minneapolis Elections.

If you are interested in providing Memberships to your association through one of our Partner Programs or a bulk purchase of Memberships for your organizations, David can work with you to determine the best plan.

Adrian Rollett
Technical Architecture & Integrations Consultant

Adrian Rollett has worked in web development for over two decades and is an active contributor to the open-source community. He is also a frequent speaker at both local and international Drupal events. When he’s not staring at a monitor, he enjoys hiking, biking and spending time with his family.

Ashlyn Simmons
International Research Specialist

Ashlyn brings a range of experience and skills to GrantStation, including child development/early intervention, teaching and tutoring, customer service, research, writing, and editing. In addition to her work at GrantStation, she has completed a M.A. in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Her other interests include travel, reading, hiking, cooking, and eating.

Contact Ashlyn if you represent an international grantmaker and would like to review your profile in our database, or if you are interested in having your grant deadline featured in the GrantStation International Insider.

Jeremy Smith
Communications and Technology Director

Connecting a nonprofit with funding has become a real point of enjoyment for him as he updates and develops new looks and features for the website. His goal is to make the process of finding funding the easiest part of the grant process. Hearing about the organizations that have not only received funding but found the information through GrantStation - or via the Insider newsletters - is an excellent indicator of this success. Jeremy not only deals with GrantStation’s internal and external tech issues, but also manages the Insider and International Insider newsletters. Contact Jeremy if you are interested in sending a custom version of our funding newsletters to your organization.

Jeremy volunteers at a local radio station and hosts a weekly, tech-based radio program General Protection Fault.

Kari Toensing
Accounts Information Specialist

Kari assists with managing our Membership information and accounts processes. Kari’ experience includes including management of an international travel immunization clinic, accounts payable for investment services, and customer file management for insurance underwriting.  She served as an officer for the Richfield Public Schools Foundation for ten years and through this experience understands what an overwhelming experience it can be to navigate the grantseeking process. Kari holds a BA from St. Olaf College, with majors in Biology, Religion, and Nursing. In her free time, she enjoys managing, coaching, and playing ice hockey.

Juliet Vile
Administrative and Analytics Specialist

Juliet joined GrantStation in 2016 as the Administrative and Analytics Specialist. She comes to GrantStation with over 10 years of experience working for educational institutions and nonprofits with missions of supporting schools and educational programs. Juliet's experience is focused on survey development, data analysis, report production, and program evaluation, experience which she uses in her work on The State of Grantseeking Survey and Reports. Juliet also manages administrative and financial processes for GrantStation.

In her free time, Juliet plays with her children, practices yoga, teaches youth about social justice, and spends every possible moment outside.