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Arizona-Founding Chapter



Event Date:        October 4, 2019


Event Time:        8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Event Location:  Desert Willow Conference Center, 4340 East Cotton Center Blvd., Phoenix, Arizona 85040




Hotel Accommodations:

For a full list of workshop descriptions and GPC competencies met, click here to download PDF.



8:00 – 8:30

Breakfast and Registration

8:30 – 9:30

Open Plenary
Competencies 1,3,5,6,7,8

Living Our Values: Empowering Philanthropy To Transform Arizona
Laurie Liles, president and CEO of Arizona Grantmakers Forum, will offer candid insights into how the state’s regional philanthropy-serving organization is working to advance and elevate Arizona philanthropy for maximum impact. Learn how three emerging trends in the field—advancing social equity, fostering collaboration and public policy engagement—are shaping today’s philanthropy best practices in Arizona and across the country. 

9:45 – 10:30

Breakout Sessions

Funders Panel
Competencies 1,3,7,8
Enjoy a panel discussion with representatives from the Ak-Chin Indian Community, Del E. Webb Foundation, and the Arizona Foundation for Women to learn about their funding programs, priorities, and processes. 

Advocacy Training: Yes You Can and Why You Should
Competencies 2,7
Kristen Merrifield, CAE, CNAP, Chief Executive Officer, Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits will share how nonprofits and industry professionals have a vital role to play in educating and collaborating to advocate for our causes, programs, and clients. Contrary to popular misconception, nonprofits, public charities and other stakeholders can engage in advocacy, public policy, and even lobbying, though not all of these require direct action in the halls of Congress or at the State Capitol. Learn what you can (and can’t) do, as well as easy tools to help you become a better advocate and share your story and impact in our communities.

10:45 – 11:30

Breakout Sessions

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Competencies 5,7,8
Jennie Miller, GPC with JAM Nonprofit Consulting LLC will delve into the feeling that “Everyone in this room knows that I’m a fraud!” and how Imposter Syndrome is the belief that you are inadequate and/or incompetent despite your experience and success. If you’ve ever had this feeling, you are not alone. An estimated 70% of people experience at least one occurrence of Imposter Syndrome in their life. Unfortunately, feelings of inadequacy can hold people back from their true potential – keeping them from asking for promotions, raises, or seeking out opportunities for success. The good news is that Imposter Syndrome is rarely felt by actual imposters. In this session, we will identify the different types of Imposter Syndrome and learn strategies to overcome it. Attendees, armed with this knowledge, will ultimately look past these feelings so they can achieve their dreams. 

An Introduction to Developing Surveys for Program Evaluation
Competencies 1,2,5,6,7,8
Shawn Donnelly is the Strategic Learning Officer at the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust will introduce effective survey development practices. Surveys are a popular tool for social-profit organizations because of their ability to capture program-related data from many individuals in a timely way. Participants in this session will walk away with guidance on how to develop better surveys that meet their organization’s program evaluation needs.

11:30 – 12:30

Lunch and Networking

12:30 – 1:30

Keynote Speaker
Competencies 5,7,8

Daring Conversations
Ever left a conversation with a client feeling like you really didn’t get the information you needed to do a good job?  Ever wonder why you either want to avoid some conversations, become aggressive in others, or feel all you can do is appease the person you are interacting with?
Pamela Brooks, a certified Dare to Lead ™ Facilitator, will present and help you DISCover how to have more meaningful and productive conversation.  Learn more about yourself and the emotions that drive your behaviors and conversations with others.  Learn how to bring out the best you to be more productive in your interactions with others and improve work outcomes.  You will be able to obtain a short assessment on yourself as pre-work for this event. 

1:45 – 2:30

Breakout Sessions

Rolling with the Punches: Effective Strategies for In-House and Contract Grant Writers to Maintain their Sanity
Competencies 3,6,7,8
Kim Joyce, GPC will share a humorous tough-talk session that will have you laughing and nodding in agreement from the experiences and observations of a veteran grant writing consultant. Learn effective strategies to roll with the punches when everything related to grants (and possibly co-workers or clients) are bombarding you with insane and unrealistic expectations.

Strengthen Your Proposal With a Crafted Logic Model
Competencies 1,2,5,8
Michael Lesiecki, PhD with Luka Partners LLC will discuss how a Logic Model is a key component that can make a proposal more competitive. Often a solicitation today will specify or suggest that you submit a Logic Model.  At the proposal stage a Logic Model paints a picture for the reviewer. It helps show the logical flow and linkages of inputs, activities and outcomes. In this session we will build a logic model and discover resources and templates that are easy to use in practice. Learn to:
∙      Identify the key components of a Logic Model 
∙      Distinguish activities and short term vs. long term outcomes
∙      Create Logic Models using available templates

2:45 – 3:30

Breakout Sessions

Collaboration – The New Normal
Competencies 1,2,4,5,7,8

Grant Management Solutions
Competencies 1,3,5,6,8
Long gone (with a few diehard exceptions!) are hardcopy proposal submissions. Technology is now central to grant professionals’ roles and responsibilities. Representatives from Award Alley and Foundant Technologies will discuss their products and how they can support grant professionals. Have recommendations on how these products can better serve both the grantseeker and grantmaker? This breakout session is for you.

3:30 – 4:30

Closing Session
Competencies 5,6,7,8

Assembling the Nuts & Bolts of Successful Grants Management
Stacey Brechler-Knaggs and Sharon Skinner, GPC will present the basic aspects and inner workings for federal, state and local grants management and administration. The benefits of a centralized grants structure and processes within a local government will be presented along with procedures, compliance tracking and monitoring, and useful forms for managing large to small grants. The objective is to gain from other agencies process and procedures and take away useful tips, tools and templates that will benefit in managing multiple grants.

4:30 – 5:00


Thank you for your interest in the Arizona founding Chapter of the Grant Professionals Association (GPA). We hope you will become a member of not only the international association but also our chapter. The Arizona founding Chapter is located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. We host our meetings and workshops throughout the valley. We also encourage smaller “get-togethers” closer to home. There might be one in your area.




GPA is a nonprofit membership group that builds and supports an international community of grant professionals committed to serving the greater public good by practicing the highest ethical and professional standards.


The Arizona Founding Chapter strives to implement these ideals throughout Arizona by providing opportunities for professional development, networking and mentoring for our members and the greater community.


The GPA follows a strict Code of Ethics in dealing with the grant profession. All grant professionals are held to these standards and agree to follow the Code of Ethics as members of the GPA.

Members, among others, are to:

  • Practice their profession with the highest sense of integrity, honesty, and truthfulness to maintain and broaden public confidence​
  • ​​​Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations in all aspects of grantsmanship​
  • Continually improve their professional knowledge and skills​
  • Promote positive relationships between grant professionals and their stakeholders​
  • Value the privacy, freedom, choice and interests of all those affected by their actions​
  • Ensure that funds are solicited according to program guidelines​
  • Adhere to acceptable means of compensation for services performed; pro bono work is encouraged​
  • Foster cultural diversity and pluralistic values and treat all people with dignity and respect​
  • Become leaders and role models in the field of grantsmanship​
  • Encourage colleagues to embrace and practice GPA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Practice.

Visit for the complete list of the GPA Code of Ethics.

The Grant Professionals Association (GPA) offers many benefits to its members. In order to become a member of the Arizona Chapter, you must first become a National member. Information on how to become a National and Chapter member can be found on the National website at


To join visit:


Benefits can be found at:




Our chapter is very active and we host monthly workshops and networking opportunities in addition to our annual meeting in December and our plan-a-palozza event in August to help us plan the programming schedule for the next year. Our chapter has also hosted several regional conferences. In addition to these great professional development opportunities, our chapter also provides scholarships, discounts and volunteering opportunities for its members. We hope you consider joining us today. Should you have questions for the Leadership Team or the membership chair, please email us at




There are several ways to stay in touch with the Arizona founding Chapter. You can receive up to date information on chapter news, information and offerings:


  • via email by sending us an email at and requesting to be placed on our email distribution list,​
  • by liking and following us on Facebook at Grant Professionals Association, Arizona Chapter,  ​
  • by following us on Twitter @GPAArizona, ​
  • by following us on LinkedIn, and​
  • on Grant Zone. As a chapter member you will be automatically added to our Grant Zone community


Please email us if you have any questions, need assistance or wish to speak with any of your Leadership Team at




2019 Leadership Team

Jennie Miller, GPC
JAM Non-Profit Consulting
jennie at

Vice President
Beth Noble
A New Leaf
bnoble at

Linda Snidecor
Save the Family Foundation of AZ
linda.snidecor at

Heather Patel, GPC
City of Apache Junction
hpatel at

Membership Chair
Barbara Roberts
Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation
brobertsgrantpro at

Program Chair
Angela Gordillo, GPC
Phoenix Children's Hospital Foundation
agordillo at


Members who are serving at the national level


Heather Patel – Region 2 Representative
Kristen Krey- Professional Growth and Development Committee Member
Barbara Roberts- Publications Committee (Chair)


Members who are serving at the chapter level


The Arizona Chapter offers opportunities for service. Our local committees need your help. Below is a list of committees and volunteer opportunities:


Programs – Please contact Angela Gordillo to provide ideas for future workshops

Angela Gordillo


Membership- Please contact Barbara Roberts for volunteer opportunities


Members who are GPCs


There are a total of 21 GPCs in Arizona.

  1. Carole Berwald, Phoenix, AZ​
  2. ​​​Lauren H. Daniels, Chandler, AZ​
  3. Nancy Ellis, Oro Valley, Arizona​
  4. Janeen Kymberlei Gaskins, Avondale, AZ​
  5. Patricia M. Gregan, El Mirage, AZ​
  6. Jennie Miller, Phoenix, AZ​
  7. Sharon A. Skinner, Mesa, AZ​
  8. Cheryl Weiner, Scottsdale, AZ​
  9. Elizabeth Wilkinson, Phoenix, AZ​
  10. Mara Gerst, Phoenix, AZ​
  11. Kim Joyce, Phoenix, AZ​
  12. Meredith Fisher, Phoenix, AZ​
  13. Denise Folke, Flagstaff, AZ​
  14. Debbie Edwards, Chandler, AZ​
  15. Sara Wagner, Flagstaff, AZ​
  16. Heather Patel, Apache Junction, AZ​
  17. Heather Mayes, Phoenix, AZ​
  18. Amanda Ripstra, Tempe, AZ​
  19. Colleen Bivona, Tempe, AZ​
  20. Angela Gordillo, Phoenix, AZ
  21. JulieAnna Carsen, Maricopa, AZ

For a complete list of GPCs nationwide visit


For information on how to become a GPC visit


Looking for a GPA member locally or nationally?

Visit; log in to the site in the upper right hand corner, click on “Online Directory” or log into GrantZone and click on “Directory”.




All of our events take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. unless otherwise noted. Events are subject to change. 


2019 Professional Development Calendar
·         January – Making the Rounds
·         February – Inclusive Thinking
·         March – Funder’s Panel
·         April – Networking event
·         May – Becoming a Consultant
·         June – Chapter Strategic Planning
·         July – Program Planning Session
·         August – Federal Grantmaker Panel
·         September – Keep Calm and Handle Difficult People
·         October – Chapter Conference
·         December – Annual meeting and luncheon
2018 Past Events
  • January – Networking Soiree @ The Duce​
  • ​​​February – Know the Score on Certification: Are you ready for the GPC?​
  • March – Meet the Funders III @ Desert Botanical Garden Webster Auditorium​
  • April – Research Metrics: Say What? How to Qualify Your Meeting​
  • May – Leading a Team to Successful Program Development​
  • June – Non-profit Budgets: How to Read Financial Statements
  • August – Program Planning Session
  • September – Meetingin Camp Verde
  • October – Grant Horror Stories
  • December – Annual meetign and luncheon
2017 Past Events
2016 Past Events
  • January – Networking opportunity​
  • ​​​February – Funders Panel​
  • March – Indirect Costs​
  • April – Picture This​
  • May – Grant Readiness​
  • July – Explore the Possibilities: Learn, Serve, Connect​
  • August – Federal Funders Panel​
  • September – Compression Planning​
  • October – Planning for 2017​
  • November – National Conference in Atlanta, Georgia​
  • December – Annual Meeting
2015 Past Events
  • January – Introduction to the GPCI Examination​
  • ​​​February – Active Budgeting for Compliance​
  • March – From “Leap” to “In Deep”: Consult the Consultants​
  • April – Logic Model Development for Tracking Performance​
  • May – Telling a Compelling Story (without writing fiction)​
  • September – Regional conference​
  • October – Plan-a-Palooza 2​
  • December – Arizona founding chapter annual meeting
2014 Past Events
  • January – Demystifying the Federal Grant process​
  • ​​​February – Collecting, Analyzing, and Presenting Data in Grant Proposals Utilizing Excel​
  • April – Measuring Impact – Change in Communities “Impact – Influence – Leverage” Increase Resources​
  • June – State Funding and Resources for Non-Profits, Community Providers and Governmental Units​
  • September – Annual Conference​
  • November – Planning Palooza​
  • December – Annual meeting and luncheon
GPCI Competencies are covered by each event. For a complete list of competencies tested for GPC certification visit