Paula Shell is the President & CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Florida, serving the areas of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay Counties. In this role she ensures the mission, strategy, values and goals of the organization are achieved by the agency. This includes producing positive outcomes in the following areas: Leadership (agency and staff), vision, fundraising, marketing, client services, community awareness, volunteer relations, and coordinating relations with the Board of Directors.
Shell has worked in the area of Child Services for 32 years. She began her career at Lakeview Center, Inc. managing group homes for adolescent boys and girls and in 1997 she started at Big Brothers Big Sisters where for the past 22 years she has served as the President & CEO. Shell holds an AA degree from Pensacola State College and a BA degree from the University of West Florida in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology.
Shell is a graduate of the 2003 Leadership Pensacola Class, a member of IMPACT 100, and serves as the lead staff member to Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Florida’s legislative direction. She also served on initial Ministry Village Project Board of Directors at Olive Baptist Church, and on the Florida Chapter Board for the Arthritis Foundation.
Going on 6 years, Shell serves as a Big sister to Hope. She enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and has trained and completed seven marathons through the Joints In Motion program having personally raised over $30,000 for Arthritis research.
Annie Chavez is the Associate Director of Grant Management at Catholic Charities of Central Texas in Austin, Texas. During her 5 years with the agency, she has secured over $8.6 million in government contracts and foundation funding. Annie earned a Master of Public Service and Administration from Texas A&M University in 2011 and a bachelor’s degree from Texas Christian University in 2008.
Katharine King has been in Community and Economic Development at the City of Kalispell in rural Montana for nearly twelve years. She has been a leader in the community's Core and Rail Redevelopment Project spearheading USDOT TIGER grant application and implementation with construction of a new, industrial rail park completed in January 2019 and a railbanking, rail to trail construction project underway to be constructed fall of 2020. Katharine also worked with the state DOT writing a successful USDOT BUILD grant in 2018. Her work includes US EPA Brownfields program development including Assessment, Cleanup RLF and Area-Wide Planning grant projects. She oversees City TIF and small business RLF programs. Katharine was a founding member of the area's residential community land trust and with NSP 1 and 3 grant funding helped it become the state's largest. Prior to work at the City Katharine worked as Executive Director of two local non-profit organizations. She earned both an undergraduate degree at the University of Montana and a Master of Public Administration. Katharine became a CEcD in 2014 and currently serves as Board President of a local historical mansion museum and on an area youth hockey association board.
Anne Walker is a career writer and researcher who has written for business, academic, political, and non-profit entities. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science at Duke University and her Master’s Degree in International Affairs at George Washington University, in 2006 she joined the staff of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick in the Legislative Affairs Office. Following her departure from Massachusetts, she worked as an independent writer and researcher where she wrote policy and procedure manuals, curriculum documents, and public relations and marketing materials for non-profit and business organizations. As Chief Curriculum & Program Officer at Global Game Changers, Anne has written, received, and managed federal grants, managed in-house programs for the organization, written lessons, and trained hundreds of educators in the administration of the GGC curriculum. Anne currently lives in Louisville, KY, with her husband Justin and daughter Isabella.
As a Development Assistant for Good Grief, Holly Barbera researches and writes grants to help sustain and grow Good Grief’s mission. After retiring from a career as a regulatory compliance and appellate litigation attorney in 2017, Holly was inspired by friends of the Good Grief community and her own grief journey to become a volunteer facilitator. As a facilitator, she has been privileged to witness firsthand how Good Grief’s programming helps grieving children and their families experience healing and connection in a compassionate, caring environment. She is grateful to be part of this empathetic community, helping to continue and expand the reach of Good Grief’s life-changing mission of supporting grieving families in all of their environments.
Elyse Jennings is the Grants Coordinator at Health Brigade in Richmond, Virginia. Although her day to day is not very glamorous, the programs and people that she writes for, keeps her motivated and inspired. Elyse has held similar positions for other local RVA non-profits such as the American Red Cross, United Way, and the Richmond Symphony. She graduated from Longwood College with a B.S. in biology, and enjoys using some of those studies at Health Brigade. She is a native of Richmond and currently resides there with her husband and son.
Jamie Simek is a systems thinker specializing in non-profit resource development at small and mid-sized institutions. Her 20-year career in organization and constituent relations includes stops in university and alumni relations, student organization advising, veterans services, fundraising training, and grant writing. As the fundraising educator for Local History Services at the Indiana Historical Society, she was responsible for teaching fundraising, grant writing and evaluation methods to hundreds of local history organization leaders. In her current position at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, she manages the grant program as a member of the philanthropy and membership team. She holds a Master of Science in Education from Purdue University, where she also earned her bachelor's degree. She has presented at numerous national conferences and meetings, chaired the American Association for State and Local History’s (AASLH) StEPs Enhancement Fundraising Committee, authored the summer 2018 AASLH Technical Leaflet on fundraising basics for local history organizations and small museums, and provided fundraising training to the Field Service Alliance on behalf of the American Alliance of Museums. She has also presented fundraising workshops and training sessions for small museums and state historic organizations as an independent consultant.
Brooke Durham has been a board member of The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council since 2018. She serves on the Development Committee, and also works on The IWRC's wildlife rehabilitator disaster preparedness project.
Working in a large wildlife rehab organization exposed Brooke to a huge variety of wildlife species (reptile, mammal, and avian) that call Southern California home. The most interesting, and fateful, of these animals were a pair of naturalized nestling wild Amazon parrot chicks. They were the inspiration for the establishment of SoCal Parrot – “A non-profit that exists to bridge the gap of care and consideration that naturalized parrots fall into because they are neither native wildlife nor truly domestic.” In 2017 Hurricane Harvey delivered a near-miss to the habitat of the last 2,500 or so remaining Green-cheeked (aka Red-crowned) Amazon parrots that call the Lower Rio Grande home, reiterating that the naturalized flocks of parrots in Southern California may one day soon serve as the genetic reservoir for this species.
In early 2017 Brooke was awarded the first new wildlife rehabilitation permit in the San Diego area in 25 years. She and her team are working hard to establish SoCal Wildlife to continue bridging gaps in care and consideration the field of wildlife rehabilitation. She considers her personal mission to be fostering better communication and collaboration within the field for the health and wellness of both wildlife rehabilitators and the animals we serve.
Kristi Albertson is the grant writer and coordinator for Lake Health District in beautiful Lake County, Oregon, where cows outnumber people 10 to 1. She's a proud graduate of the University of Montana (go Griz!) who used her journalism degree to cover everything from avalanches to homelessness to Swedish reality TV for newspapers in northwest Montana and eastern Oregon before moving home to Lakeview. She loves mystery novels, hiking, crocheting, and writing.
Lisa R. Yalkut, GPC holds a successful record of securing millions in grant monies and increasing revenue streams for a variety of non-profit organizations in social services, education, healthcare, environmental conservation, and women’s causes. She received her Bachelor Degree in Political Science at the State University of New York at Albany, and a Graduate Certificate in Fundraising and Development for Non-Profit Organization from Marymount College.
Lisa has amassed a wealth of knowledge and expertise in development, finding a niche in grants in 1998 when she truly began to hone her grant writing skills. Prior to joining Memorial Healthcare System in 2013, Lisa was an independent grant consultant. In 2003 she founded her own consulting company to provide in-depth services as a grant professional including program development, grant writing, compliance reporting, and building grant-ready infrastructures for a variety of organizations. Over her 25-year career, she has matured into a seasoned grant professional securing well over $70 million in grant support for clients from government, corporate, local, and private sources.
Elizabeth Simpson is a graduate from Oklahoma State University with concentrations in English, Art History, Sociology, History, Marketing, Women's Studies, and Leadership Development. She moved to South Georgia in 2013 and has worked for Woodmen of the World, Walt Disney World Marketing, and as Executive Director of the Okefenokee Heritage Center, a non-profit art and history museum in rural Georgia. She is now the Development Coordinator at Step Up Savannah where her focus has been community outreach and engagement for impoverished families.
Deborah Steinkopf is an experienced nonprofit professional with 30 years working for social change. She has helped nonprofits increase organizational effectiveness and mission impact, in both salaried and consulting capacities. She has also served on nonprofit boards, government advisory committees, and coalitions. She has worked with nonprofit start-ups, nonprofits with strong brand identities, and nonprofits in transition. Deborah currently provides grant consulting services, in addition to fund development planning, budget strategy, and interim leadership, to nonprofits in the Portland Oregon area (www.steinkopfstrategies.com). The grant that received this honorable mention was presented to a local civic group on behalf of a nonprofit start-up that offers medical care for people living on the streets.
Rev. John Udo-Okon is the Senior Pastor at Word Of Life Christian Fellowship International, Inc. , Bronx, New York and the Executive Director, Word Of Life International, Inc., a community outreach and development corporation based in the South Bronx of New York City. Rev. Udo-Okon together with his wife, Rev. Felicia Udo-Okon has devotedly worked with his congregation to fight hunger and poverty in New York City. Thousands of New Yorkers are served monthly at their program. He is an Executive Fellow, Class of 2007-2008 of the Nonprofit Leadership Development Institute of the United Way of New York City. In 2008, he completed Executive Leadership Certificate program at Support Center For Nonprofit Management, New York, New York. In 2010, Rev. Udo-Okon also completed the Mentoring Supervision Training with Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City. His organization, Word Of Life International, Inc. has become a beacon of hope in the Bronx continually finding ways to provide meaningful services that sustain lives and support independent and productive living.