Advancing Nonprofit Capacity

Meet Our Virtuoso Team

Heather Stombaugh, MBA, CFRE, GPC

Heather StombaughPrincipal Consultant

How she spends her day: I help nonprofits raise money through small and large grants that create significant social returns for their communities. I write every day (grants, articles, presentation copy, etc.), but I spend most of my time coaching nonprofit leaders to tell their stories in ways that compel grant makers and major donors to invest their programs.

Life before JWS: I have been an outreach worker, educator, executive director, grant writer for one of the largest healthcare systems in the country, clinical researcher, freelance grant writer, and small business owner. I received my bachelor’s degree from Bowling Green State University in 2000 and my MBA from Walden University in 2014.

What gets her out of bed: I do the work I do because it makes my heart sing, and service is the core value in my family of farmers, teachers, nurses, entrepreneurs, civic leaders, and military service professionals. Getting to embrace a life of love, fun, and laughter with Andy, Kahlor, Josie, and our zoo gets me out of bed every morning.

Fun fact: I twirled baton for 22 years, from age 2 to 24. One of my twirling teams placed 5th in the nation. I can twirl/juggle fire battons and swords.

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Matthew Stombaugh

Matthew StombaughSenior Consultant

How he spends his day: I manage the grants side of the house for JWS including prospecting, goldmines, strategies, monthly assignments, proposal writing, research, client contacts, grant reporting, and just about anything else I can do to ensure the client receive the best products possible.

Life before JWS: Prior to coming to JWS, I worked as a case manager at Open Arms Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Services in Findlay, Ohio. I have served in the Army Reserves for the past 14 years and plan to serve until retirement. I am also an active member and volunteer for my local Kiwanis, American Red Cross, and I serve on my local Board of Education.

What gets him out of bed: Coffee definitely helps! Seriously, my purpose is to take care of my family and to make sure they get everything they need to be happy.

Fun fact: I enjoy gardening and have recently taken up woodworking.

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Ericka Kurtz, MBA

Ericka KurtzConsultant

How she spends her day: I spend my days helping nonprofits raise money and awareness through grant writing and special projects such as SROI infographics and other general communication publications.

Life before JWS: Before JWS, I worked in higher education communication and advancement for more than 12 years at small, liberal arts colleges and universities in Ohio.

What gets her out of bed: My children get me out of bed in the morning, but I enjoy grant writing because it allows me to use my writing in a way that is directly measurable for a nonprofit. I am lucky to have a career where I can help so many different types of people live better lives.

A nonprofit that really inspires me: The Mission Continues

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Lora Ollom

Lora OllomConsultant

How she spends her day: I spend most days writing targeted grant proposals and proofing anything that comes my way.

Life before JWS: A graduate of Bowling Green State University, I started my professional career in the marketing design department of a national distributor of maintenance and repair supplies working on the production of print materials. I moved to a major educational publisher and continued production work. Then I moved to the science editorial department where I stayed for eight years. I first did part-time work with JWS in 2011 and moved to full-time at the beginning of 2015.

What gets her out of bed: My family means the world to me and I am thankful for their health and happiness. I know others are not so fortunate. Through grant writing I am able to help nonprofits continue their honorable work that improves the lives of so many people.

Fun fact: I started dancing at the age of 3 and continued through college. I took lessons in tap, jazz, ballet, and point and danced the part of Clara in The Nutcracker.

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Zachary Stombaugh, MS

Zachary StombaughConsultant

How he spends his day: My work at JWS is on the technical side of things. I help to ensure JWS retains its competive technological edge as well as making sure our clients get the most out of their evaluation data collection. Internally, I provide strategic technology development and assist in information technology. For our clients, I help facilitate program evaluation, technical proprosal writing, assist in fundraising strategy, and operational data and impact analytics.

Life before JWS: I am a scientist-engineer by training. While attending school, I had the opportunity to work in the academic research offices at major public and private institutions, both as a student and as an administrator. I have consulted independently on the development of a regional online network for clinical trials management. I also serve as a volunteer for Baskets of Care and the Grants Professional Foundation, and participate annually in the Extra Life 24-hour gaming marathon to support children’s health.

What gets him out of bed: “We but mirror the world. All the tendencies present in the outer world are to be found in the world of our body. If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. This is the divine mystery supreme. A wonderful thing it is and the source of our happiness. We need not wait to see what others do.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Fun fact: I am a nerd’s nerd. I always enjoy learning of and about new things.

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Scott W. Herr, PhD

Scott HerrAssociate

How he spends his day: I coordinate the development of instruments for community needs assessments and other types of surveys, assist in the development of evaluation plans for grant applications and client federal applications.

Life before JWS: I received my doctorate in Health Education with a cognate in Research and Measurement from the University of Toledo. I have extensive experience in coordinating and managing Federal- and State-funded programs; including experience with the Clinical Trials Network division of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Title I school programs, and programs funded through Targeted Assistance for Needy Families. I am currently the Grants & Contracts Associate for Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), where I research funding opportunities and develop proposals that provide high-quality legal assistance in civil matters to help low-income individuals and groups in 32 counties in Western Ohio achieve self-reliance, equal justice and economic opportunity.

What gets him out of bed in the morning: Being someone who has an understanding and appreciation for measuring outcomes and impact, what I enjoy about the work that I do is knowing—in quantifiable terms—how my efforts make a difference in the world.

Fun fact: Distance running is my passion.

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Lisa Sihvonen-Binder, MS NMP

Lisa1-685x1024Senior Consultant

How she spends her day: Researching grant prospects, writing grant proposals, and drinking lots of coffee!

Life before JWS: I can't even imagine it!

What gets her out of bed: My 3 rambunctious dogs - breakfast is their favorite part of the day! And, coffee.

Fun fact: I speak Finnish

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Mike Toth

Mike TothGraphic Designer

How he spends his day: I help with visual communications for JWS by designing logos, infographics and other print materials for clients.

Life before JWS: I am a graduate of Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications Technology. I have worked in promotional products, screen printing, nonprofit visual media, and marketing roles post-graduation from BGSU.

What gets him out of bed: Every day is a new adventure. With my job, nothing is ever the same, meeting new people, new projects and challenges are an everyday welcomed occurrence. Along with my fiancée Melissa, and dog Bodhi (he usually wakes me up on the weekends literally).

Fun fact: I play drums, book, and market two local cover bands, Nine Lives and Not Fast Enuff. Both play local shows around town each week, weddings, The Hollywood Casino, and do some traveling as well.  I love music and playing live for people. I have played in Nine Lives for over 7 years and last year, my band NFE, opened for Skid Row in front of 2,000 people!

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Danny Blitch, MPA, GPC


How he spends his day: Most days I write sections of grant proposals, blog articles, and pages for my next book. I enjoy the writing, but reading, reviewing and recommending are also tools of my trade! When I am not writing, I can be found learning new concepts, researching ideas, and collecting information for reports.

Life before JWS: My grant experience includes a municipality, a county board of education, a regional development center, a state university’s development office, and as a grant development consultant. I received my bachelor’s degree from Armstrong Atlantic State University and my MPA from Georgia Southern University. I am original GPC™ receiving the credential in 2008.

What gets him out of bed: Much of what I do is in sense theoretical writing. Applying innovative concepts, implementing real-world change, and measuring our impact keeps me going. My favorite grant projects give me the opportunity to witness lives transformed by the power of grants.

Fun fact: I was one of the organizers and hosts of a live all day world-wide event on a social media platform called Blab. On March 16, 2016 we recorded nearly 8 solid hours of conversations with international grant professionals. My first live broadcast wasn’t as productive. In 1993, as a guest on my university’s student radio show, I froze and was unable to speak nearly my entire shift!

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Anna Kakos


How she spends her day: Currently, I spend my day with my toddler and look forward to working with JWS staff and clients.

Life before JWS: I worked at a food science association where I managed the annual campaigns, scholarship program and special donor events. I learned so much cool information about food chemistry, food safety, and sustainability. Most recently, I was a science writer at the University of Chicago where I specialized in proposal writing and donor research. I also worked closely with university faculty to set up donor tours at the hospital.

What gets her out of bed: The joyful sound of my toddler running down the hallway gets me out of bed. I am also passionate about writing and volunteering. I volunteer at our neighborhood farmer’s market on Saturday mornings where you will find me among the rutabagas and heirloom tomatoes.

Fun fact: I volunteered on a horse farm in New Mexico through the program World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). My favorite horse was an Appaloosa named Fire Wire.

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Julie Jardine


How she spends her day: Writing, writing, and more writing. Also interviewing people for feature stories, gathering research for articles, and editing, and re-editing my work.

Life before JWS: I worked for a marketing firm that specialized in education, for the American Red Cross, and for a small publishing firm.

What gets her out of bed: Two hungry dogs, coffee, and my promise to myself to make someone's day better through words or actions each day.

Fun fact: I incorporate my Ukrainian heritage in holidays, meals, and artwork whenever possible. With an immigrant father, and first generation American mother, the "old country" is still very much a part of our daily lives

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Jennifer Rathburn, MPA

Jennifer RathburnAssociate

How she spends her day: I spend my day writing grant proposals for nonprofits and assisting other writers in their work.

Life before JWS: I received my Masters in Public Administration from BGSU in 2006 with an emphasis in Nonprofit Administration. For the past 9 years, I managed the Help Me Grow program in Hancock County, which is a program through the Ohio Department of Health. I have also taught at the University of Findlay, as an adjunct faculty since 2009.

What gets her out of bed: My daughter and my dog! Besides that, it’s my love of working in social services to help those in need.

Fun fact: I was able to read music before I could read words. I started playing piano at the age of 5 and continued lessons through college. I also can play the organ and almost any other instrument you give me!

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Lisa Ovenden

Lisa OvendenAssociate

How she spends her day: Since I am mostly retired as of the end of March of 2016, I spend my days doing projects around my home in Maumee and our summer place on Lake Erie. I also work on a development program project for JWS, spend time with my husband of 39 years (but not too much!) and read, cook and watch TV, and do various volunteer board work, not necessarily in any order of prioritization!

Life before JWS: I was Development Director for Maumee Valley Habitat for Humanity for almost 4 years and prior to that I was a consultant, a VP of Business Development and Senior Systems Analyst for the recruitment arm of a global staffing company for 5 years and for 20 years, I did counseling, marketing, Business Development, Occupational health, fundraising and Physician Relations and recruiting for one of the largest regional health systems in the country.

What gets her out of bed: Not much, retirement has led to sleeping in a bit, so I get out of bed between 8 and 9 with the hopes of getting a large unsweetened iced tea from McDonald's! On a more serious note, my husband and the hopes of seeing or talking to my children and four grandchildren are what really gets me going in the morning!

Fun fact: I love to cook and am pretty good at it, especially Italian food... I've even won some "throw down" competitions....but, I am a horrible baker (most likely because I'm not much of a sweet eater which is kind of a problem because my husband has a sweet tooth!)

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Cynthia Blitch, BBA


How she spends her days: My days are usually busy with consulting or taking care of our two grandbabies. When I have free time, I like to spend it painting, sewing, or crocheting. My husband and I also enjoy fishing and camping.

Life before JWS: My husband and I have worked as a consulting team for more than ten years. We enjoy working with other grant consultancies, helping clients continue programs, as well as implement new programs and projects important to fulfilling the mission and goals of their organization.

What gets her out of bed: My family! My husband, children and grandchildren are always my priority. I work hard to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

Fun fact: One of my paintings from college is in The Ann Frank traveling exhibit.

Read more about Cynthia

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