Meet the Writers
GPA Approved Trainer
Amy has worked with and for nonprofits for over 20 years as a practitioner, researcher and consultant. She oversees the creative direction at Finch Network as well as business development. Amy has worked with local, regional and national organizations including the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the Corporation for National and Community Service and United Way of Tompkins County. She specializes in program planning, fund development and qualitative research. Notable projects include a fellowship she completed for the Corporation for National Service where she conducted an evaluation of program sustainability of AmeriCorps*VISTA projects, coordinating an allocation process that invested $1.3 million dollars annually to health and human service nonprofits in Tompkins County and leading the qualitative research portion for two evaluations conducted for City Harvest.
Amy has a strong commitment to her own community and volunteers with her local Foster Care program, Plattsburgh Community Garden and in Plattsburgh City Schools.
Amy holds a B.A.in American Studies and a teaching certificate from the University of Rochester and a graduate degree in Community and Rural Development from Cornell University.
Diane H. Leonard, GPC, STSI
GPA Approved Trainer
Diane H. Leonard, GPC, STSI is a Grant Professional Certified (GPC) and Approved Trainer of the Grant Professionals Association. Diane has recently become a Certified Virtual Presenter through espeakers.
She is also a Scrum Trainer by Scrum Inc, Scrum Master by Scrum Inc, and Scrum Product Owner by Scrum Inc. credentialed by the Agile Education Program powered by Scrum Inc.™
Since 2006, Diane and her team have secured more than $80 million dollars in competitive grant awards for the clients of DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services. She is an active member of the Grant Professionals Association. She is a graduate of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with a Bachelor’s of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations.
When not working with her team on grant applications for clients, Diane can be found in the 1000 Islands, out for a run, or drinking a strong cup of coffee.
Julie Johnson, GPC
Julie is pleased to be part of the DH Leonard Consulting Team. She enjoys contributing to projects that connect people, organizations, businesses, and communities.
A compilation of skills from Julie’s employment, education, and life experience have funneled together into this perfect profession for her. She has been working with grants for twenty years and launched her grant consultancy in 2015.
She earned her Grant Professional Certification (GPC) from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute and she holds a BA in English-Writing. She’s a proud member of the Grants Professionals Association (GPA), the Minnesota North Star chapter of GPA, and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
In her community, she shares her knowledge about nonprofit organizations and grants. She has been a lead volunteer in publishing a book about the history of her town’s gorgeous public library and in initiating a community nonprofit fund for a food cooperative. For Julie, there is no better work than the good results of grant awards.
Jasmine Markanday, MBA
GPA Approved Trainer
Jasmine is a Certified Grants Management Specialist and an experienced grant professional who specializes in federal grant readiness, grant budget-writing, grant management, and training solutions.
She assists clients with grant compliance based on 2 CFR 200 and Federal Administrative Regulations. She has assisted many organizations with successful indirect cost rate negotiations resulting in additional estimated overhead revenue of $300,000 plus. She received her Bachelor’s in Business Administration with Accounting & Computer Information Systems for Emporia State University and her MBA with Healthcare Administration from MidAmerica Nazarene University.
She is a member of the Grants Professional Association and National Grants Management Association, along with also being a GPA approved trainer.
Ariella Nasuti J.D.
A Barnard College and University of Michigan Law School graduate, Ariella was privileged to be a senior executive at Columbia University, The New York Public Library, William Paterson University, and the Five College Consortium. She’s been responsible for the grant writing and stewardship of federal, state, corporate and private foundation grant funds totaling $50m. Her commercial real estate and leasing law practice included the structuring of bargain sales, CRTs, and planned giving instruments. Ariella owns Maine-based Ariella Nasuti Consulting, LLC and is a grant consultant for DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services, LLC.
Jane Nelson is an experienced Information Technology professional and Project Manager. Her life-long passion for wanting to make a difference inspired her to leverage her project management and technical proficiencies to start a career in the grants industry. As the sole proprietor of JCN Grant Services, she provides consulting services to non-profit organizations on programs in the areas of Education, Healthcare, and Human Services.
Jane earned a BS in Mathematics from Cheyney University and a MS in Computer Science from Clark Atlanta University. She received her Project Management certificate from George Washington University.
Jane attained her Certified Grant Writer® credential from the American Grant Writers’ Association. She is a member of American Grant Writers’ Association and Grant Professionals Association.
Maggie Perry, GPC
Maggie has been a grant professional for over 9 years, her primary experience is in government grants. Maggie is experienced in all aspects of proposal writing and post-award management. She is very passionate about the grant world and loves helping organizations fund their programs and support their mission. Maggie started working as a consultant in 2017 and received her GPC in 2019, this has helped her enter into the nonprofit world where she has had the privilege of working with clients all over the country and seeing impact in so many different communities.
Maggie received a Bachelor’s degree in History from Marywood University in 2007.
Bethany Planton, GPC
GPA Approved Trainer
Bethany Planton is the Founder and CEO of bmpconsulting, a consulting firm located in Louisville, Kentucky. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications Studies from Ball State University, Bethany got her start in the grant profession as an AmeriCorps VISTA member in 2011. Bethany has worked with many different organizations such as arts and culture, after school youth programming, historic preservation, healthcare, community centers, etc. to secure more than five million dollars in federal, state, and foundation funds. Bethany earned a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration from Western Kentucky University in 2015, the Grant Professionals Certification from the Grant Professionals Certification Institute in 2016, and the Social Media Strategist certification from the National Institute for Social Media in 2020. Bethany loves reading and talking about it in bmpconsulting’s nonprofit book nook, traveling (anywhere and everywhere), and cheering on The Ohio State Buckeyes.
Judy Riffle, Ed.D.
GPA Approved Trainer
Dr. Judy Riffle is a former teacher, university mentor, and administrator with degrees in special education, Deaf education, and educational leadership. She has served as a Grant Professionals Association Southern Arizona chapter Treasurer, on the GPA Grant News Publications Subcommittee, and as a Grant Professionals Foundation Board member and Chair of the Marketing Committee. She currently serves as board Vice-President for the Green Valley Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Besides work, she loves traveling and spending time with her grandson.
Judy owns Santa Cruz Grants & Consulting, LLC and is a grant consultant for DH Leonard Consulting & Grant Writing Services. She has raised over $18 Million for nonprofits and schools.
You may follow her on Twitter at @uscdrj1 or contact her on LinkedIn.
Megan Shane, SMSI
Megan Shane serves as the Marketing and Training Coordinator for our team at DH Leonard Consulting. Megan has a passion for marketing with a background in business such as; administrative assistant, accounts receivable, and business manager. Megan has worked with large corporations such as Howard Hanna and small privately owned businesses such as Classic Island Cruises. She also volunteers in her small town of Clayton with groups like Rotary and TIERS. She is the founder and President of her company Up River Marketing. In her free time she enjoys family time and adventuring with her three dogs.
Micki Vandeloo, GPC
Micki Vandeloo, GPC has over 15 years experience performing grant/incentive consulting services for clients in the manufacturing and technology communities, including trade associations, college and university technical/vocational programs, Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers, and for manufacturers and early stage technology companies. Her Industrial Engineering and MBA degrees, as well as over 25 years experience in manufacturing, provide a sound technical foundation for her grant writing services. She has personally obtained over $60 million in grant funding for her clients. Micki published the book, “THE For-Profit Grant Writing Guide”, in 2014, is the Past Chair of the Grant Professionals Foundation Board and Past President of the St. Louis Grant Professionals Association Chapter.
Dondra Ward, GPC
GPA Approved Trainer
Dondra Ward, founder of nonprofit consulting firm Sidnae Global Research, has a passion for supporting organizations that enact social change and strengthen neighborhoods. For the past 6 years, Dondra’s expertise in grant writing and prospecting, evaluation, and performance management has helped organizations- large and small- build sustainable programs that improve healthcare access, nutrition, transportation, human services, public health, and the environment.
Prior to working with nonprofits, Dondra served as a program and management analyst at the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Dept. of Health and Human Services where she focused on topics like Swine Flu, healthcare regionalization, recycling, environmental cleanup, and revitalization. Dondra has a Masters of Science degree in Biotechnology, a certificate in public health information systems, and is a Grant Professionals Association (GPA) Approved Trainer. Her memberships include Grant Professionals Association, Direct Marketing Association of Washington, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.