2023 Winning Grant Proposal Judges

2023 Winning Grant Proposal Judges

Cynthia M. Adams - CEO & Founder, GrantStation

Cynthia Adams

Cynthia Adams has been dedicated to helping nonprofit organizations identify and secure the funding they need to do their good work for well over 45 years. Cynthia founded GrantStation because she believes that grantseeking requires a thorough understanding of the funders and sound knowledge of the philanthropic 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.

Gayle Carpentier - Chief Business Development Officer, TechSoup

Gayle Carpentier

Gayle Samuelson Carpentier is the Chief Business Development Officer at TechSoup. Upon joining the TechSoup Global in 2001 as the program’s founding Business Development lead, Ms. Carpentier developed the strategic structure of its product donation service. The service allows nonprofits to find a large array of donated technology in one place, while still reflecting each donating company’s unique philanthropic goals.

In her expanded role, Ms. Carpentier works with all sections of TechSoup to grow and maintain the unique focus of direct services and benefits to the nonprofit and civil society sector. Whether scoping business criteria for new international partners, negotiating multi-national donation programs, developing business strategies and structures for new initiatives or speaking out on the essential need for corporations to support nonprofit efforts, she continues to expand and stretch the market understanding and interpretation of the role technology plays in the overall health of the sector.

John Carpentier - Customer Success Manager, Box.org

John Carpentier

John Carpentier's (he/him/his) first job was as a community liaison at San Francisco Suicide Prevention. There he developed a steadfast passion for mental health advocacy. This work led him to study Clinical Psychology at NYU, where he would go on to teach and work in the field. Returning to San Francisco, a proud 3rd generation native, John was drawn to champion the rights and bring light to the suffering of the city's unhoused citizens. His volunteer work at places like St. Anthony's and the SF-Marin Food Bank deepened his empathy for those in need throughout the city and led him to accept the role of GLIDE's Corporate Engagement Lead in 2018. In this role, John worked alongside GLIDE's Development team to build a robust and evergreen corporate donor program. He now works as a Customer Success Manager at Box, where he is also the regional lead for Box.org. He sat on the Board of Directors of the Harm Reduction Therapy Center, and consults on social impact strategy. In his free time, John can be found wandering old bookstores, watching movies of questionable quality from the early 2000's, asking strangers if he can pet their dogs, and in search of the city's next great taqueria.

Deirdre Chadwick - President, BMI Foundation

Deidre Chadwick

Deirdre serves as President of the BMI Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to encouraging the creation, performance and study of music through awards, scholarships, internships, grants and commissions.

Deirdre is also the Executive Director of BMI Classical, New York. Before joining BMI in 2010, she was a classical oboist, performing extensively in the U.S. and Canada with such ensembles as the Montreal Symphony, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Richmond and Harrisburg Symphonies, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Canadian Opera Company, and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, where she served as principal oboe for seven years. She is also a founding member of Trio Encantar and has performed widely as a chamber musician. A dedicated teacher, Deirdre served on the faculties of Dickinson College and Susquehanna University, as well as maintaining private teaching studios in oboe and recorder. She has also held numerous administrative positions in academic institutions and private industry. She holds two performance degrees and the Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music.

Mike Chamberlain - CEO, Grant Professionals Association

Mike Chamberlain

Mike Chamberlain, MBA, CAE is the Chief Executive Officer of the Grant Professionals Association. He is responsible for the strategic operation of the association and works with the GPA Board of Directors and staff to ensure GPA is recognized as The Authority in the grants profession.

He is a member of the American Society of Association Executives, Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Kansas City Society of Association Executives. He serves on several nonprofit organization boards in the Kansas City area. Mike is a Certified Association Executive with over 25 years of experience in association management in a variety of roles. Mike and his wife live in Lee’s Summit, Missouri with their adorable dog Rifkin.

Amy Holmes - Director, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

Amy Holmes

Amy leads the New York Advisory team, and directs strategic planning and program development for families, donor collaboratives and private foundations. She helps donors define their philanthropic goals and implement giving programs to achieve them. She manages philanthropy focused on music, literature and the arts, arts education, green spaces, and criminal justice system reform, and has overseen large-scale disaster response and community resilience initiatives. Amy joined Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors in 2004, and has researched and led giving programs in youth development, education, and the Afghan Women Leaders Connect collaborative fund.

Amy previously served as Development Associate for the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, a settlement house in Yorkville and East Harlem in New York. She serves as Chair of the board of the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, and as Secretary of the board of Harlem United, an agency providing medical, social, and supportive services for adults with HIV/AIDS.

Amy received a Master of Public Administration degree from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary in English Literature. She lives in Queens with her young sons, and has gotten pretty good at cleaning smashed banana off Lego blocks.

Sijo Smith - Northern Latitudes Partnership Communications Coordinator, Alaska Conservation Foundation

Sijo Smith

Sijo joined the Alaska Conservation Foundation team in January 2021. Sijo is the communications coordinator for the Northern Latitudes Partnerships, a group of three regional partnerships across Alaska and Western Canada. Raised in Alaska on Dena’ina lands, she is thrilled to be working with a broad range of individuals and organizations working together to sustain the landscapes where she spent her childhood. Sijo left Alaska for college, where she received a B.S. in Earth Systems from Stanford University. Her foundational passion for her work stems from a deep appreciation for the peoples, lands, and waters of the state, and is excited to be working with a wonderful group of people to create stories sharing these values. Outside of work, Sijo enjoys backpacking with her partner, diving in the Pacific Ocean, and curling up with a good book, a cup of tea, and her two cats.