Our Team

The Grant Plant has a team of talented, dedicated professionals who provide a variety of grant writing and development expertise. Read below to learn a fun fact or two about our stellar team, and we can provide resumés on request.

Photos by Stacey Clark Photography unless otherwise noted.


Tara Gohr, President/CEO [x.700]


Question: Red or Green Chile?
Answer: Green (goes for curry too!)

Question: What is one unusual fact about yourself?
Answer: I’m incredibly superstitious! I was a theatre major in college (stage management). I don’t say the name of The Scottish Play in a theatre, I believe in ghosts and put out ghostlights, hold my breath by a cemetery, I don’t plan anything on Friday the 13th, never walk under ladders, don’t give the flowers before the show, and say break a leg to anyone performing instead of good luck. If I lose an eyelash, I blow it off my fingertip and make a wish, and if I look at the clock at 11:11, I say a prayer. And, I always spell theatre with the snooty RE instead of the ER.

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Erin Hielkema, M.S., Vice President [x. 701]


Question: Red or Green Chile?
Answer: Red!

Question: What is one item on your bucket list?
Answer: I’m planning to see all 50 states with my husband and kids. We have done 19 of them together so far! I absolutely love to plan vacations – all aspects of it, from the destination to the nitty gritty details. Our upcoming plans include seeing the Pacific Northwest and the California Redwoods, Washington DC, and Niagra Falls. And when we drive cross-country to see our family in the Midwest, we take anything but a straight shot so we can see more of the U.S. on our way.



Aly Sanchez, MBA, Director of Projects [x. 702]


Question: Red or Green Chile?
Answer: Yes. And smothered, please.

Question: What do you like most about your job?
Answer: I love that the learning curve doesn’t flatten out around here. We consistently write for new programs, new clients, and new funders. I remember feeling like my jobs in the nonprofit sector got a bit stale as I continued cranking out proposals for the same agency – but with TGP, things never get stale. I’m a curious person and having new issues, approaches, and needs to learn about sates my thirst for learning.

Photo Credit: Lisa Michelle Photography



Jenny Jackson, MBA, M.A., Senior Resource Development Officer [x. 706]


Question: Red or Green Chile? Answer: Green!

Question: What do you love to do when you aren’t writing an awarding winning proposal?
Answer: I like to hike in the mountains and run (this former Michigander still appreciates the New Mexico sunshine, even after living here almost a decade).

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Jeff Andersen, Resource Development Officer [x710]

Red or Green? 

What do you love to do when you aren’t writing an award-winning proposal? I love creating art, particularly theatre. Throughout the year you can find me working on some sort of artistic project around Albuquerque.

Melissa Headshot

Melissa Leonard, M.A., Resource Development Officer (X.704)


Question: Red or Green? Answer: Always green.

Question: What is one unusual fact about yourself?

Answer: I’ve studied two different dialects of Quechua, an indigenous language spoken primarily in Andean regions of South America. One of these dialects is spoken only in the Callejón de Huaylas, a stretch of about 93 miles situated between the Cordillera Blanca and the Cordillera Negra in the northern Andes of Peru. Although I don’t speak it very well without my notebook at the ready, having spent two months in the region studying a dialect so few people are exposed to was certainly an unusual and rewarding experience.

Photo Credit: Loren Bunjes


Wendy McCoy, M.S., Resource Development Officer [x. 703]


Question: Red or Green Chile?
Answer: I like green chile most of the time, but red is good every once in a while!

Question: What is one unusual fact about yourself?
Answer: In my past life, I worked as an environmental scientist, happily getting my hands dirty with projects that required the use of natural stream restoration techniques, soil mapping, benthic macro invertebrate (bug) identifications, and wetland delineations. On my first week of work, I rescued a dog from an active surface mine site (many homeless dogs wander the mine lands) who is still with me today. My co-workers never let me live that one down, but it caught on and in the end some of them adopted wonderful dogs as well! I learned a new appreciation of life and nature driving that old jeep through miles highly environmentally-impacted lands that still hold a unique beauty, a beauty that just simply cannot be described.

Photo Credit: Lisa Michelle Photography


Cecily Peterson, MBA, Resource Development Officer [X.707]


Red or Green? Green! (With the exception of posole which MUST have red)

Question: What is one unusual fact about yourself?
Answer: I have always been fascinated with Asia, and studied Mandarin Chinese in undergrad and graduate school. I had the wonderful adventure to study and teach English in Taiwan and Beijing in college, and worked internationally between San Francisco and China for a number of years. Children and a love for the non-profit sector was the impetus for redirecting my energies to local sustainability, but I continue to enjoy looking at issues from both a global and local perspective, and finding opportunities to use my (now very feeble) Mandarin skills whenever possible!


Myshel Prasad, M.A., Resource Development Officer [x.711]

Question: Red or Green?

Answer: Green (today!)


Question: What do you like most about your job?  

Answer: When you work in nonprofit fundraising you are entering a community of creative thinkers and problem solvers, experts and advocates, direct service providers and visionary philanthropists, all committed to responding to some of the most pressing needs, locally and throughout the world.  No matter what the news headlines are, no matter how difficult or intractable a given issue might seem, being a part of this community reminds me over and over again how much good will and good work we are capable of together.

Paula Azua-Stofleth, Business Manager [x. 705]


Question: Red or Green Chile?
Answer: Red.

Question: What do you like most about your job?
Answer: The wonderful people I work FOR and the wonderful people I work with.