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Effective February 16, 2015, Aspire Grant & Development LLC and the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies will launch a strategic partnership.

Under the agreement, Michele R. Beener, President of Aspire Grant & Development LLC, will serve the Community Foundation as Director of the Somerset County Community Funds. The Aspire team offers strategic planning, business and economic development services, and preparation of state, federal and private grant proposals, with a combined 20 years of experience writing award-winning proposals.

“We are delighted to work with Michele and her team,” said Mike Kane, president. “The expertise that they will bring to the Foundation, and specifically to our Somerset County Community Funds, is a real resource for our donors. We view this as a way to build on the growth that the Foundation has enjoyed in Somerset County under the leadership of Carol Stern. Carol has been a tremendous asset for the Foundation and Somerset County, and I am glad to say she will continue her role, but on a more limited basis.”

“Having Michele and her team work with our donors in Somerset County will help to take the growth of the Foundation in Somerset County even further,” said Stern.

Beener is thrilled to begin this new partnership, stating, “Many of the regional projects we have had the ability to grow start with assistance from the generous donors who support the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies and the Somerset County Community Fund. I’ve had the pleasure to serve the CFA as a board member for some time, seeing incredible support for regional philanthropy and economic growth. This exciting partnership will create additional opportunities for our donor, charitable and business communities.”

Since 2000, Aspire consultants have been central in the acquisition of nearly $20 million in state and federal appropriations to support regional business growth. Beener serves the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration and many national not-for-profits as a grant reviewer.

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