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Our Team

As collaborative members, we were drawn together because of our interest in serving community organizations. As individuals, however, we each have our own special areas of expertise. Click on the name to view a brief summary of each member of our team.

 Senior Associate

Penny Goforth Primary Trainer / Public Speaker

 Lead Associates

Kathy Abbott  Faith Based / Green Solutions / Social Justice
Veronica Baker Arts and Culture / Family / Youth
Dana Goodrow, MSW, MPH Education / Public Health / Social Work


Writers / Researchers

Manlio Correa  Bilingual / Business / International
Eric Ellis Health / Volunteerism / Youth
Janeal Ford, MPA, CFRE Education / Human Services / Municipalities
Annette Ketner, CFRE Education / Environment / Health / Hospice
Taylor McDonald Business and Community Development
Judith Meeks Business / Community Planning / Native American Issues
Farrah Morrisey Education / Health / Tri-Lingual
Bill Pitts Education / Restorative Justice
Michael Russell Business / Green / Technology
Sarah Schafer Community Development / Public Health / Youth
JoAnn Swanson Arts & Culture / Program / Organization Development
Frank Wagner Dependency / Faith Based


Mentoring Program Consultants

Jerry Sherk, MA Business / Adult and Youth Mentoring

Accounting Consultant

Dave Yoshida, EA, MPA Business and Nonprofit Consultant

 Federal Grant Specialists

Dana Goodrow, MSW, MPH Health, Social Services, Education

Business Consultants

Michael Russell Engineering / Green Solutions / Technology
Dave Yoshida, EA, MPA Business and Nonprofit Consultant


Kathy Abbott
Kathy has a strong legal background through her many years of working in the county court system. She specializes in civic and community development as well as youth and art/culture programs. She advises nonprofits in forming strategic alliances and making accountability a priority so they thrive in the future. Kathy was Grants Coordinator for the San Diego County Superior Court System and worked at building the court's volunteer program.

Veronica Baker
Veronica Baker has been a professional fundraiser and grant writer for 30 years.She served as Associate Director for Kids Korps USA Development Director for Mainly Mozart, Cygnet Theater, North County Humane Society, North Coast Repertory Theater, and as Director of Marketing and development for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of San Diego. Veronica has also served on a variety of nonprofit boards, including the Jonathan Tarr Foundation, the Tariq Khamisa Foundation, and Microloans for Mothers.

Manlio Correa, MA
Manlio is an international business consultant, served as director of a nonprofit international program and microenterprise program that focused on education, vocational training, culture, community and economic development, grassroots clubs and community organizing. He holds a BA in International Business and MA in Latin American Studies, from San Diego State University. He specializes in small business development, project and economic development, marketing, and market research. Manlio is bicultural and trilingual (English/Spanish/Portuguese) with more than 15 years experience in industries that include but not limited biotech, nonprofit, volunteer, vocational training, school-community partnerships, informal education, youth and family programs, bilingual education initiatives, health and education. Manlio is a passionate entrepreneur, speaker, independent researcher and presenter, who has helped establish, develop small companies and promoted economic development in both countries. He is a fervent supporter/activist involved in many initiatives to promote human rights, culture, arts and literature, political rights, education, health, social justice, alternative sources, and projects for economic development, for all people, especially minorities.

Eric Ellis
Eric is a native of San Diego, CA and enjoys helping and working with people. He has  worked for the American Red Cross and NGTL (National Genome Testing Lab) of San Diego. He is involved in both school and community related activities in Southern California. He has volunteered at the Food Bank and as a football and baseball coach at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Jr. High School and Twin Hills Little League. He currently serves on the boards of the Webster Community Council and the Career College of San Diego.

Janeal Ford, MPA, CFRE
Janeal has been fundraising for nonprofits for more than 15 years. Over the years, she has secured more than $50 million in government, foundation, corporate and individual sources. She specializes in health and human services organizations, education, and municipalities. She graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelors of Science in Sociology, and  a Masters of Public Administration. She currently serves on the Board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, San Diego Chapter, San Diego County Citizen's Scholarship Foundation, and is a member of Women Give San Diego.

Penny Goforth, Senior Associate
With over 30 years of expertise in working with nonprofit organizations, Penny works with the widest range of programs. She coordinates the business aspects of the collaborative by meeting with clients, schmoozing, and scheduling team assignments. She is sought out as a nonprofit consultant and speaker, and sits on the advisory boards of several local organizations. She is the primary teacher of our free series of workshops and has trained thousands of nonprofit professionals over the past 15 years.

Dana Goodrow, MSW, MPH
Dana has written federal, state, and local foundation grants, and served as consultant to organizations around the state of California on projects ranging from strategic planning to evaluation, and all the steps in between. Dana has provided consulting on behalf of the Center For Applied Research Solutions' Mentoring Technical Assistance Project, the Community Prevention Institute, and CalPartners. She is chair of the Mentoring Coalition of San Diego County and was President of the Board for the California Alliance Concerned with School Age Parenting and Pregnancy Prevention. She was also a trained consultant for the former "It's Up To Me" media campaign funded by the California Office of Family Planning.

Annette Kettner, CFRE
Annette has been a fundraiser for 35 years, serving nonprofits in the Midwest and Midwest and West Coast. Experienced in collaborative partnerships and project management, she specializes in grantwriting for health care, hospice, environment, education, theatre, and science. Experience includes six years at a major Midwestern health center, six years at a major public university, and twelve years at a private West Coast university. She holds a University of Michigan BS/BA degree in literature and science.

Taylor McDonald
Taylor is a grass roots community organizer and business development adviser in and around City Heights. As a business owner himself and with his background in Social Workhe has the passion and experience to help others grow and take the risks to earn the rewards of success.  He views SUCCESS as not just all financial, but has to have a component of giving back to both your community and your neighbors.  He enjoys helping people and finding collaborations to work together toward common goals.

Judith Meeks
Judith has a diverse back ground which includes serving as a public official advocating for business people while on the San Diego Downtown Community Planning Advisory Board  for the redevelopment project of the San Diego City Council. Her responsibilities included reviewing urban planners designs and contracts, community planing, redevelopment, safety, open-space, housing, homeless issues, green technology, and transportation. She also has a varied background in working in fields that deal with health and wellness, domestic violence, youth mentorship, relative foster care (IHSS) as well as local Native American Gaming Industry.

Farrah Morrisey
Farrah has raised over $1 million in grants through foundations, corporations, and government agencies. She has more than 15 years of relevant experience working for the County of San Diego Public Health Department, California State University, Los Angeles, various nonprofit organizations that worked to promote education, health, and community development for low-income persons. She has worked in cities all over California, including Oakland, Los Angeles, and San Diego. Farrah has a Masteŕs Degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California and a Bacheloŕs Degree in Political Economy from UC Berkeley. She was born in India and brought up in the United States, and is tri-lingual in Spanish, Hindi, and English. Farrah also has experience conducting research on human rights and migration issues in Argentina and the Dominican Republic. 

Bill Pitts
Bill Pitts is a retired educator and grant writer with individual schools and districts throughout California.  He has excellent skills and trains others in program development and implementation, grant writing, and management. He specializes in working with and developing programs that focus on mentoring, peer mediation, bullying prevention, career development among others. He has developed specific methods to assist those with special needs.  He is proud to continue to work with programs he helped start and see them grow over years. He would like to help more nonprofit programs evolve from start up to successful and sustaining.

Michael Russell
Given the complex web of renewable energy financing opportunities available are often overwhelming for property owners . With the variety of grants, rebates, refunds, loans, leases, tax-incentives, and subsidies available to businesses theses days, there is a need for experienced energy consultants to maximize the financial opportunities of going "green".  Michael is the Director of Sustainable Future (, an independent, third-party energy consulting & building inspection service located in San Diego, CA. Formerly a Field Energy Consultant representing SolarCity, Michael Russell can help property owners eliminate their utility bills with energy upgrades and a new renewable energy systems.  Michael has successfully written municipal energy grants garnering more than $1 million for business and technology.

Sarah Schafer
Sarah completed two years with the Peace Corps working at the grassroots level in the Mayan communities of Southern Belize under the Rural Family Health Project (RFHP). She focused on improving health education, child literacy, youth programs and community development. She wrote and organized grants for boys' and girls 'camps in Belize as part of youth development. The RFHP was dependent on partnerships and cooperation with key stakeholders in the community and dealt with many culturally sensitive issues. She assisted with program evaluation as well as increasing awareness of the project by creating social media accounts and publishing meaningful stories and statistics. In the past she has worked with the American Lung Association of California to implement grants that dealt with smoking policies in the area. She has also worked with other organizations such as Healthy for life, Orange County Department of Health, Orange County Safe from the Start, and Mika (A Community Development Program dealing with poverty). She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach in Community Health Education and specializes in program development and evaluation.

JoAnn Swanson
JoAnn has over 25 years experience in small business operations with a strong focus on program development. Her diverse background provides expertise in systems organization, writing training manuals and creating useable solutions. JoAnn has served as board member for several local organizations including San Diego Mountain Rescue Team and administrator of the Guest Artist Program for East County Art Association. Through her experience with San Diego Hospice and Palliative Care, she has an understanding of effective services for home health care.

Jerry Sherk
As Director of Mentor Management Systems (, Jerry develops manuals and trainings for youth mentoring, as well as for business-based mentoring programs. He heads up the Mentoring Coalition of San Diego County, a collaborative of over 100 local youth programs. And --he's a heck of a nice guy! 

Frank Wagner
Frank has been involved in communications - journalism, marketing, and grantwriting - for most of his working life. He received his BA in Journalism from San Diego State University, where he supplemented his GI Bill by working as a newspaper reporter and advertising copywriter. Frank has been involved in a number of community organizations as a volunteer and board member.

Dave Yoshida, EA, MPA
Dave brings 10 years of valuable nonprofit experience to the team. In 2006, Dave established his own diversified business solutions firm, Fortunate Fields, Inc., and provides consulting, payroll, and bookkeeping services to nonprofits and small businesses. Dave is an enrolled agent and, as such, is licensed to represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters.


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