Stacks Image 34

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
Eric Ellis Health / Volunteerism / Youth
Judith Meeks Business / Community Planning / Native American Issues


Writers / Researchers

Veronica Cruz Arts / Animal / Environment
Janeal Ford, MPA, CFRE Education / Human Services / Municipalities
Annette Ketner, CFRE Education / Environment / Health / Hospice
Michael Russell Business / Green / Technology
Sarah Schafer Community Development / Public Health / Youth
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.

Veronica Cruz
Veronica Cruz is a nonprofit development professional and grant writing specialist based out of San Diego, California. As a grant writer Veronica specializes in human services, environment & animals and arts & humanities. She has secured millions of dollars in support through private foundation, corporate and government funding opportunities during her tenure. Veronica is former Senior Development Officer of Lions Tigers & Bears – San Diego’s only accredited big cat and bear sanctuary – where she significantly increased all avenues of philanthropic support for the organization. Veronica is also a former grant writer for Feeding San Diego as well as other food banks across the United States. Education: B.A. Environmental Studies, B.A. International Affairs from Florida State University; Certificate in Fundraising from The Sanford Institute of Philanthropy at National University.

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.

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.

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.

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.


Subscribe to GrantWrtr

Powered by