Mark is most sought after as an expert proposal writer and project strategist. He is the creator of the Open Communication Fundraising Model, a system that enables all nonprofit agency stakeholders to effectively work together toward organizational and fundraising goals. Mark has consistently served nonprofits as a staff member, board member or consultant since 1991. He has raised more than $40 million for his clients and employers by obtaining grants for organizations of all types, sizes and locales, particularly for health, human service, community development and technology needs. Mark is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Western NC and the Grant Professionals Association. He has served as a founding board member for a public access television station and for Carolina Public Press. He regularly provides training sessions through a number of venues, including the Duke University Continuing Studies Nonprofit Management program, Alliance for Better Nonprofits, 4Good, and WNC Nonprofit Pathways.
Taryn Chase Jackson
Senior Proposal Writer
Taryn has twenty years of communications experience, including ten years with nonprofits working on grant writing and development. She spent five years developing grant proposals with university faculty at Radford University for sponsored programs and research. Her additional experience includes museum administration, educational technology, and the launch of a nonprofit to support independent journalism. With an MFA in creative nonfiction writing, Taryn teaches writing workshops and understands the persuasive power of true stories. Her volunteer service has included literacy, environmental, and social justice causes, as well as downtown revitalization and community gardening. She’s a member of the Asheville Choral Society, and has served as the marketing chair on their board.
Leslie’s professional experience includes work with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Leslie grew up in the Atlanta area and attended Bard College in NY, and later the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. She was the News Editor for The Animals’ Agenda Magazine and was a Co-Founder and Contributing Writer to E: The Environmental Magazine. Leslie has written hundreds of published articles on a wide variety of topics, most notably environmental and animal protection issues. She has worked in marketing, development and communications roles for several nonprofits and small businesses, including The Omega Institute, Capital Area Soccer League, Ceres Press, Sugar Hill Records and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. She worked at Duke University for over 12 years, including 8 years as a Program Coordinator in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. She has been an active volunteer for animal rescue groups, environmental causes and hunger prevention organizations, and is a longtime Meetup group organizer. Leslie lives in Burnsville, NC, and enjoys outdoor activities and spending time with her pets.
Alice grew up in suburban New Jersey, where she developed a bad case of wanderlust. After attending college in New Jersey and Massachusetts, she finished her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the University of New Mexico. Since that time, she has worked in a variety of jobs, from managing a quick print store to freelancing as a scenic artist. During her travels she has honed her administrative skills, and has now alighted in Asheville. She still pursues painting and writing in her spare time.
Valerie brings a variety of experiences to her primary role of writing proposals and researching potential grant opportunities for Communication Mark’s diverse clientele. She grew up in Hawaii, received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Chicago in Germanic Languages and Literature, and began her career in publishing with positions at Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Joint Commission. Valerie then moved into marketing communications and to the Carolinas, working for both forprofit and nonprofit organizations. Her nonprofit experience includes volunteer service as the Lake Wylie Lakekeeper, and as a board member of the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation and the Association of Fundraising Professionals Western North Carolina Chapter. Valerie currently volunteers with Mountain True/French Broad Riverkeeper.
Liz has successfully directed the development departments at a veteran’s organization, a Massachusetts community health center and a Connecticut public health department. These roles have honed her skills of writing and reviewing proposals with a team, working with major funders and providing fiscal management. She has also managed various public health programs in Connecticut for at-risk populations, such as pregnant women, HIV/AIDS clients, substance users and others, overseeing a diverse staff. She graduated from Clark University, Worcester, MA, with her B.A. in Psychology, and from New York Medical College with a Master of Public Health in Health Policy and Management. Liz is certified as a Grant Professional by the Grant Professionals Certification Institute, earned her certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Hartford and completed the Certification Program in Community Health Center Management at Suffolk University. In the past few years she has served as a board member on the Friends of Hamilton Lake Association in MA, and participated in various public health groups such as the Disparities Task Force, the Maternal/Child Health Committee and the Public Health and Medical Work Group. Liz moved south in 2015 and is looking forward to laying deeper roots in Western North Carolina.
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