Meet the Trainers

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AJ King Grant Writing Professional TrainerAJ King brings more than 20 years of experience in public health combined with 16 years of grant experience. AJ has developed grant proposals that have won awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of State, California Department of Public Health, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and numerous foundations. He has also facilitated numerous grant development processes, managed the implementation of grant-funded programs, and served as a reviewer of grant proposals. A strong advocate for collaborative approaches, AJ has facilitated processes for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Recently, he has overseen a national, federally-funded HIV-prevention capacity-building program for health departments and community-based organizations. An expert at translating research findings into practice, AJ has facilitated the implementation of biomedical interventions in HIV-prevention practice. As a trainer for more than a decade, AJ has developed curricula and engaged a variety of audiences ranging from public health officials to community level providers. AJ joined The Grantsmanship Center as a senior trainer in 2014.

AJ's educational credentials include: Master in Public Health, San Jose State University. AJ leads the Grantsmanship Training Program, Essential Grant Skills, and Competing for Federal Grants training programs.

Angela Richardson brings over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit leader with expertise in program development, fund development, strategic planning, and organizational coaching. Angela has held leadership positions at numerous community-based organizations across the U.S. and at Brown University. She has reviewed proposals for the U.S. Department of Education and for local arts commissions in Los Angeles and Rhode Island. Angela has served as a senior trainer for The Grantsmanship Center since 2011 and in this capacity she has trained other trainers, worked with nonprofit organizations, school districts, governments, faith-based organizations, and colleges and universities.

Angela's educational credentials include: Master's Degree from Columbia University and Bachelor’s Degree from Spelman College. Angela leads the Grantsmanship Training Program and Essential Grant Skills.

Christine Black Grant Writing Professional TrainerChristine K. Black, MLS has won grant awards in major federal and foundation competitions, has served as a proposal reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education, and has taught numerous grant proposal writing classes across the U.S. and internationally for universities and non-profit organizations.

Chris was Assistant Director for Research Development at the University of Michigan Medical School (2009-2014). In that role, she supported faculty in research proposal development, including training, writing, editing, reviewing, and developing web resources. She developed the nationally recognized and often emulated R01 Boot Camp, a mentoring academy for young faculty members who are writing their first, large, research grant proposals. In its initial year the course yielded a 65% success rate for R01 grants awards (national average was 15%), and over $35M in grants. Chris has also served as an interdisciplinary proposal writer and trainer for colleges throughout the University of Michigan, including many large, collaborative proposals.

Chris's educational credentials include: M.L.S., University of Michigan; B.A. English and Speech, secondary teacher’s certification. Chris leads the Research Proposal Workshop, Competing for Federal Grants, Grantsmanship Training Program, and Essential Grant Skills training programs.

Edna Brown Grant Writing Professional TrainerEdna Brown has more than 40 years of experience in nonprofit program development, proposal development and review, and nonprofit and public program management. Edna has acted as conference facilitator for statewide and national conferences. She has also provided training for the U.S. Department of Education and Los Angeles County Office of Education, Head Start Program She brings decades of experience in various facets of education, early childhood development, families with special needs children, and job training. Edna also has extensive expertise implementing and teaching program planning and evaluation . Edna has been a senior trainer for The Grantsmanship Center since 1987.

Edna's educational credentials include: M.A., University of California, Berkeley; A.B. University of Chicago. Edna leads the Grantsmanship Training Program, and Essential Grant Skills training programs.

Jerry Bertrand is a trainer, consultant, and coach, helping organizations and their people flourish—across the government, nonprofit, and higher education sectors. Jerry's background includes roles in state government and the nonprofit sector in which he has implemented and ensured accountability of social service programs.

As a trainer, Jerry has conducted on-site training for a wide variety of organizations, including 16 federal agencies, seven state governments, and many local governments and nonprofits. As a consultant and coach, Jerry has helped organizations identify barriers to success in their grant programs and helped create solutions to maximize positive impact.   

Jerry is a graduate of Howard Payne University, Texas A&M Bush School of Government and Public Service Emerging Leaders Program, and the Leadership Austin Emerge Program. 

Jerry leads the Grant Management Essentials training program.

Linda Boedeker Grant Writing Professional TrainerLinda J. Boedeker has worked with nonprofit organizations in the roles of executive director, trainer, development professional, and foundation officer. As executive director of the Southern Colorado AIDS Project, she managed the provision of services to persons affected by HIV and AIDS in 26 counties. As a foundation training officer and capacity building officer, she assisted nonprofits with fundraising, strategic planning, board development, and volunteer development. As an independent consultant, Linda has filled the role of chief executive officer during organization transitions for nonprofits in the arts, social service, and health. Linda's areas of expertise include grants, e-philanthropy, individual donors, and special events, as well as organizational management. We welcomed Linda to The Grantsmanship Center in 2012.

Linda's educational credentials include: B.A., Mathematics, University Texas; Teacher Certification in mathematics and German. Linda leads the Grantsmanship Training Program, and Essential Grant Skills training programs.

Robert Lewis has more than 25 years of professional experience working in philanthropy and the nonprofit human and social services sector in various capacities. He currently serves as a Community Benefits Program Manager at L.A. Care Health Plan, a role in which he manages the company’s grantmaking efforts geared toward improving health care access for vulnerable populations and addressing social determinants of health. Robert is also Principal Emeritus for NEX-Impact, a management consulting group that provides relevant and culturally competent capacity building, coaching, and technical assistance services to nonprofit organizations and helps social investors better engage and support nonprofits. Previously, Robert was the architect and director for the California Community Foundation’s (CCF) BLOOM Initiative, an initiative focused on re-directing Black male youth who have been involved with the L.A. County probation system toward improved employment and educational opportunities. Robert also managed CCF’s grantmaking focused on youth aged out of foster care, low-income older adults and adults with developmental disabilities.

Robert demonstrates his passion for under-resourced communities and populations through board service and other volunteer endeavors. He is currently President/Board Chair of the Black Cooperative Investment Fund (BCIF), former board member for Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, former board member of New Earth, serves on the Board of Advisors for Goodwill Southern California, a former program committee member for the African-American Board Leadership Institute (AABLI), a former KCET Community Advisory Board (CAB) member, and former member of Southern California Blacks in Philanthropy (SCBIP).

Robert's educational credentials include: M.S.W., Howard University; B.A. Sociology, Occidental College. Robert leads the Grantsmanship Training Program.

Rolfe Larson Grant Writing Professional TrainerRolfe Larson is the author of Venture Forth!, which is nationally recognized as the premier guide to business planning and social enterprise strategies for nonprofit organizations. It was endorsed by the late actor and philanthropist Paul Newman, founder of Newman’s Own, as “a clear, no-buts way to negotiate the minefields in the nonprofit world. It’s sincere, smart, and helpful.” Before becoming an independent consultant, Rolfe spent nearly 10 years as an executive in charge of new business development at Minnesota Public Radio. During that time he researched, launched, and personally managed numerous profitable earned income ventures with millions of dollars in revenues. For more than 12 years, Rolfe was also an adjunct professor of marketing at the Opus College of Business of the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis. Until recently, Rolfe served on the board of the Social Enterprise Alliance. He is former chair of the Minnesota Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and also served on its board for six years. Rolfe has been the social enterprise senior trainer for The Grantsmanship Center since 2003.

Rolfe's educational credentials include: M.B.A., Yale School of Management. Rolfe leads ;the Social Enterprise for Nonprofits training program.

Tara Dewan-CzarneckiTara Dewan-Czarnecki has worked in the non-profit and public sectors for 10 years supporting educational programming in the US and globally. As a grantmaker, she has administered grant awards, providing both program and financial oversight. As a grantseeker, Tara has won multi-million-dollar grant awards from various US federal government agencies, as well as from foreign governments and multinational entities.

In addition to grants management, Tara is an expert in the fields of international development, democracy and governance, and early childhood education. She holds a B.A. from Georgetown University in Arabic and an M.A. from the George Washington University in International Development Studies. Her Master’s thesis explored the "Perceptions of Overhead in International Development."