Our Board Members

Meghan Jones, CFRE, President

Director of Development
Wayside Schools

Meghan has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than 10 years serving as Grants Manager, Special Events Coordinator, Development Associate, and Database Administrator. As Director of Development at Wayside Schools, she is responsible for managing all aspects of the schools fundraising program. Meghan received a BA in International Studies from the University of Evansville, Indiana. In her free time, she enjoys partner dancing and spending time with her partner and their dachshund, Chivas.

Sharla Trimm, GPC, CGMS, Secretary

Manager, Grant Services

Sharla currently serves as the Manager of the Ellucian Grants Services team, which has assisted colleges and universities garner more than $80 million in grant funding. With more than 20 years of experience writing and managing grants, Sharla is well qualified to work with colleges and universities in increasing the effectiveness of their grants efforts. Sharla has experience with a variety of government grant programs at the federal, state, and local levels and in securing funds through private foundations. She serves as an external evaluator for federally funded grant projects and is an experienced trainer in the grants development and management field.

Sharla previously served as the Director of Grant Initiatives & Government Relations for Northeast Texas Community College. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Texas Tech University and a Master’s Degree in Higher Education-Administration from Texas A&M University—Commerce. Sharla’s professional credentials include the Certified Grants Management Specialist through the National Grants Management Association and the Grants Professional Certified credential through the Grants Professionals Certification Institute.

Chris Marcum, Past President

Founder/Managing Partner, Austin
The PaCRS Group

Chris is a charter member of the Austin-Central Texas Chapter of GPA and former president. For the past 15 years, Chris has been project manager and principal contact for resource development and grants management services for PaCRS. She was the development director for an Austin-based nonprofit primary health care clinic, and prior to that she worked as development director for the IC2 Institute of UT-Austin.

Chris holds an M.A. in Journalism from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in General Studies (business/journalism) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has attended special courses in resource development and grant writing, research, and management. Chris has participated as a member of the Planning and Assessment Committee of Austin's Community Advancement Network.

Tracee Henneke, Membership Chair

Annual Giving Manager
Mobile Loaves & Fishes

Tracee Henneke has experience working with nonprofits in a variety of roles through grant writing and management, development, volunteer coordination, program management, and event planning. She has been with The Seton Fund as Grants Coordinator since January 2015. Prior to moving to Austin, Tracee had the opportunity to live in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco working and collaborating with several nonprofit organizations. Tracee holds an MA from Southwestern Seminary and a BA in Psychology and Religion from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. When time permits, she enjoys volunteering with community development organizations and at First Baptist Austin, hosting parties, crafting, and traveling.

Cecilia Blanford, GPC, Member at Large

Senior Grants Coordinator
The Seton Fund

Cecilia Blanford served as the 2011 and 2012 President for the Austin-Central Texas Chapter of GPA. Her work as Senior Grants Coordinator for The Seton Fund and Seton Hays Foundation began in June 2011 with $2.2M in grants, 17 grants in the first 12 months. These foundations are fundraising arms of the Seton Healthcare Family. Cecilia previously worked 11 years as the Grants Director for Lutheran Social Services (LSS) with programs in two states, with more than $50 million raised in private, state, and federal grants for foster care, disaster response, and other programs. She also helped establish the agency’s accreditation and develop a charter school.

Cecilia has served as executive director for two nonprofits, has experience in managing grants for a state agency, and is a former board member with the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. A national presenter, she has also served on the planning committees for the local GPA chapter-sponsored Funders’ Forums and the national GPA Conference in 2010. She is a contributor to Charity Channel Grants and Foundation Review. Cecilia holds a bachelor’s of liberal studies and a master’s of arts in human services with concentrations in administration, counseling, and social/psychological services from St. Edward’s University. In 2008, she earned Grant Professional Certified (GPC) credentialing through the Grants Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI).

Dave Beauchamp, Vice President

Grant Writer
Goodwill Central Texas

Dave is currently the Grant Writer at Goodwill Central Texas and has worked in this capacity since April 2016. In this role, he is the primary driver behind foundation grant research, cultivation, and proposal writing for Goodwill’s charter school, technical academy, and workforce programs. Prior to his current role, Dave spent approximately three years as the Grant Manager at LifeWorks Austin. In that post, he successfully applied for and stewarded local, state, and federal grants and also completed grant reporting and amendments. Before joining LifeWorks, he worked as the Grant Manager at the Cenikor Foundation—a nonprofit headquartered in Houston. There he wrote and managed foundation, local, and state grants in addition to completing reports, budgets, and maintaining a grants calendar. Dave has nearly five years’ total experience as a full-time grant writer/manager and has been a member of GPA Austin since June 2016. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Bachelor’s Degree in English. In his free time Dave enjoys traveling and exercising and is an avid history buff.

Jessica Burleson, Treasurer

Executive Director, Partners in Parenting
Founder, Wordvine Consulting, LLC

Jessica received her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Louisville and has a decade of grant writing experience. She has served as Grants Manager for numerous organizations including the Sustainable Food Center in Austin, the City of Louisville Department of Community Services and Revitalization, and The Center for Women and Families in Louisville, KY. Currently, Jessica works as a freelance grant writer, assisting thoughtful nonprofits to achieve their missions, and as Executive Director of Partners in Parenting. In addition, Jessica manages www.BabyTasteBuds.com to help busy parents learn to make healthy baby and toddler foods.

Sara Rosenberg, Program Chair

Director of Institutional Giving
Breakthrough Austin

Sara has been a member of the Grant Professionals Association for the past two years and in the grants profession for six. In her role as Director of Institutional Giving at Breakthrough Austin, Sara manages the grants calendar, writes and submits proposals and reports, and maintains relationships with funders. She is active in the Austin Chapter of the GPA and values the wealth of knowledge and insights each member brings to the monthly meetings.

Kim Griffin, GPC, Webmaster

Associate Director, Foundation Relations
St. Edward's University

Kim earned her Grant Professional Credential (GPC) in 2015 and has been a member of the GPA Central Texas Chapter since June 2015. She is currently the Associate Director of Foundation Relations at St. Edward’s University. Previously, she was the Grants Manager at Austin Habitat for Humanity and a Resource Development Consultant for Ten Acre Organics, an urban aquaponics farm. Kim's grant writing career started as a college student when she began pursuing grants to support campus environmental projects.

Kim has a BA in Environmental Studies and Spanish from Southwestern University, and she is currently working toward her MBA at St. Edward’s University. Kim is a graduate of the Leadership Austin Emerge class of 2012, and she serves on the Grant Finance Committee of Impact Austin.

Vanessa Davila, Member at Large

Director of Strategic Initiatives, Research, and Grants
Helping Hand Home for Children

In her position at Helping Hand Home for Children, Vanessa manages foundation relations; metrics, research, and analysis; and strategic initiatives such as capital planning and accreditation. She has nine years of experience in grants management and an additional 14 years of work experience in communications and association and non-profit management. Prior to Helping Hand Home, Vanessa worked for Caritas of Austin, the State Bar of Texas, the Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and IBM. She holds an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA in Government from Harvard University.