Heather Patel, GPC
Brief background statement including education, training, and career path:
I graduated from the University of Arizona in 1998. I live in Florence, Arizona with my husband and two boys. I began my career in the grant profession in 2002 while working for a Council of Government. In 2007, I started with the City of Apache Junction and serve as the Grants Administrator. I received my GPC in 2016 and have served as the Regional Representative for Region 2 since 2016. I also serve as the Arizona founding Chapter Treasurer and previously held the position of Marketing Chair.
Current professional position and description of grant-related duties:
I am the Grant Administrator for the City of Apache Junction. In this capacity, I write and administer grants primarily related to community development, public safety, and infrastructure. I manage the city’s Strong Sustainable Community Initiate, Community Development Block Grant, & housing rehabilitation programs. I am the ADA and Civil Rights, Homelessness and Public Art Coordinator. I manage staff for the Community Development Corporation and the Friends of Apache Junction.
A statement of your vision/direction for GPA and how you see us achieving this:
GPA has untapped potential in the west. There are several states with few members and no chapters. There is potential to advance the grant profession by engaging these areas and future GPA members through targeted marketing and promotion of GPA. With limited budgets, grant writing can be added responsibilities. Finding and engaging these seemingly part-time professionals can establish a strong membership base which will ensure the longevity and sustainability of GPA and advance the profession.
Given resource restraints, what suggestions would you make to move GPA forward?
I fully support the expansion of membership marketing and engagement. Every member is a marketing tool. By increasing the capacity of each member, GPA can reach more people. This does not mean more committees. It does mean maximizing resources, streamlining committees and focusing their missions. Volunteers are critical to the association’s success, however, overuse of some and underuse of other volunteers could hinder their potential for effectiveness.
Involvement in a national, fast-growing organization is extremely time-consuming. What is your availability and how much time can you devote to GPA (please be specific)?
Although I currently serve as the Regional Representative for Region 2 and as Treasurer for my local chapter, I am willing to resign these positions in order to serve on the national level. My current employer is supportive of my involvement in a professional association and the professional development it provides. I can provide up to 15 hours to serve the board each month.
Please disclose any relationship you have a with GPA Business Alliance partner, exhibitors at any GPA and GPA chapter conference and events, and GPA and chapter sponsors.