Archive | Our Team

Rob Lipton, Project Manager

Rob Lipton, Project Manager

Rob Lipton is a Project Manager with California Consulting. Mr. Lipton  has extensive experience writing foundation, community and research grants at the local, state and federal level.  Over the course of his career,  he has obtained, on his own, or with others, over $30,000,000 in grant-related funding. Much of his work has been with underserved, diverse and vulnerable populations in CA, across the US, and internationally.  Rob has worked in non-profit settings, writing and obtaining funding for a variety of foundation, programmatic and research needs.  Most recently, he has worked as the grants program director for a hospital group where much of our work was community based.



Ellen Mata, Senior Associate

Ellen Mata is California Consulting’s Senior Associate.  Ellen has over 20 years of experience working with government agencies, non-profit organizations, for-profit businesses and consulting firms to create quality grants and proposals.

Ellen’s most recent experience includes working as a Grant Writer for the Fresno Regional Workforce Investment Board.  In that capacity, Ellen was responsible for grant research and preparation.  She wrote several State and Federal grants during her time there.  Ellen also served as Development Manager, Grants and Sponsorships, with the Fresno Metropolitan Museum of Art & Science.  In that role, Ellen was responsible for writing the Museum’s grants and grant reports, developing sponsorships, cultivating donor relationships, managing the Museum’s business membership program and administering the REVEAS ASK Science mini-grant program.

Ellen graduated from Kingsburg High School and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  She lives in Fresno with her husband, Daniel, and their children.

Jaimie Lewis, Project Manager

Jaimie Lewis serves California Consulting with a background in finance, budgeting, and grant writing. Prior to joining California Consulting, Jaimie served as a grant writer and financial analyst for Omnitrans, San Bernardino County’s transportation provider. Jaimie’s employment history includes work for the County of San Bernardino as a public health grant auditor, the State Board of Equalization as a sales and use tax auditor and a small business owner for several businesses she founded. Jaimie has extensive knowledge in post-award management and milestone reporting. Working with cities like the City of Rialto and numerous non-profits in the Southern California region, Jaimie has written and assisted in the grant management and monitoring efforts for many organizations.

A graduate of California State University, Northridge, Jaimie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in business administration and her Master’s Degree in public administration. She has written competitive grants and discretionary grants to aid in the awarding of over $48 million in federal, state and private funding.

A native of the Inland Empire, Jaimie currently resides in Rialto, California. Married to her high school sweetheart, Jaimie is wife and mom of five children, four girls and one baby boy born in 2018.

Susan Phipps Carr, Project Manager

Susan Phipps Carr, Project Manager

Susan Phipps Carr is a Southern California native with over 30 years of grant writing experience. She has written the Los Angeles City Housing Authority and Los Angeles County Parks and Recreation as well nonprofit organizations in California and Texas.

 Ms. Carr has secured over $165,000,000 in grant programs and comes to California consulting with extensive knowledge in Redevelopment Agencies, Housing Department, Community Development Departments, and State HCD Programs.

 Ms. Carr has a Master’s degree in Human Services and Human Development at Pepperdine, University.

Derek Rojas- Associate- Southern California

Derek Rojas is a Southern California Associate for California Consulting. Derek has been in the solid waste industry for over 27 years, the majority of that time spent with Valley Vista Services, serving in various capacities. He began as their sales and Marketing Manager, with his role evolving to focus on business development and public relations. Derek enjoys the process of promoting and growing a business through positive representation at various trade shows and government organizations.
He enjoys the responsibility of maintaining, improving, and creating new business relationships with school districts, city, county, state, and federal officials.
He has served on several chamber boards and philanthropic committees and currently volunteers his time with Meals on Wheels and local service clubs in the San Gabriel Valley.
Derek and his wife live in Corona and have one daughter who is away at college.

Sigfrido Rivera, Project Manager

Sigfrido Rivera, Project Manager
Sigfrido Rivera brings to California Consulting 30 years of experience in grant writing, grant program administration, urban planning, land acquisition, airport land use compatibility, and public outreach at the municipal level.
Previously, during his 30-year career with the City of Ontario, Sigfrido successfully secured and implemented $126 million in federal and local grants. Before retiring from the City, he negotiated and implemented an Acquisition, Disposition and Development Agreement to build and 16-acre business park (under construction) near Ontario International Airport. Sigfrido’s extensive experience in grant writing and implementation proved instrumental in securing the grant funding to complete the voluntary property buyout phase of the project and relocate the residents from the project site. He served on the City’s Development Advisory Board and on the Ontario International Airport Noise Advisory Committee for over 10 years.
Sigfrido holds a B.A. in Urban Studies from California State University, Northridge and a Master in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is fluent in Spanish (speak, read and write).


Julie St. Jean- Project Manager

Julie St. Jean is a Project Manager for California Consulting. She has worked in the housing and community development field for more than 20 years and has written HUD, CDFI and local funding applications for clients across the country.
In addition to writing grant applications, Julie also has served as a grant reviewer for CDFI FA, TA, NACA and NMTC programs; US Department of Health and Human Services; US Department of Labor; Econometrica; NeighborWorks America; Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Office of Community Services (OCS); and the Community Services Block Grant Program. She has also overseen the application design and scoring process for national housing counseling programs and conducted grantmaking with NeighborWorks America. As a reviewer and administrator for several programs, Julie is knowledgeable of scoring processes, program priorities and back-end analyses related to how funders determine grantee pools. She also helps clients measure impacts and determine strategic and growth goals to strengthen their applications.
Julie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Communication from The George Washington University, and a Master’s degree in Political Science with a concentration in Quantitative Methods from the University of California at Riverside. She has held Public Policy and Public Relations positions with the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust, Fannie Mae, NeighborWorks America and local elected officials.

Stephen Sanger, Associate- Bay Area

Stephen Sanger

Stephen Sanger has over 20 years of substantial public sector experience working as a consultant and public employee.  Mr. Sanger’s expertise lies in the areas of fiscal and economic impacts of development, economic development, community development, public finance, housing, and land use planning. His expertise is a result of having authored well over 50 complex analyses for various California cities, counties, school districts, and special districts.  His studies have provided the basis for federal and state grant applications for economic development, community development, and housing for municipalities and special districts across California.

Mr. Sanger also has a background in housing policy analysis, housing development, and community development. Mr. Sanger has conducted demographic and fiscal projections, as well as legislative and policy analyses for local governments and elected officials. In previous positions, Mr. Sanger has completed sales and use tax, property tax, and demographic projections, analyzed proposed legislation and existing codes and regulations relating to property tax, land use regulations, and development impact fees, analyzed bond issuances and budgets, and conducted nexus studies for school impact fees and school enrollment forecasting.

Mr. Sanger holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (M.P.A.) and a Bachelor’Degree in Social Sciences (B.S.) from San Jose State University. Mr. Sanger is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), California Redevelopment Association (CRA), California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED), Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), and the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA). Mr. Sanger is the past Chair of the City of Oakland Housing, Residential Rent, and Relocation Board (7 years), and Chair of the Alameda County Parks, Recreation, and Historic Commission (10 years), and served as an Intern to the United States Senator Dianne Feinstein.  Mr. Sanger resides in Oakland, CA with his wife and three young children.

Shannon K. Aronin, Project Manager

Shannon K. Aronin is an expert writer, speaker, and connector. She is passionate about finding the right words for the right place that will not only inspire your audience but compel them to act.

Shannon fell in love with grant writing in college and has two decades of fundraising and communications experience working both as an employee for nonprofit organizations and as an independent consultant. She has written hundreds of proposals and successfully raised millions of dollars in local, state, and privately funded grants. She has particular expertise in education, workforce development, and youth development.

Shannon received her bachelor’s degree in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University with a concentration in Nonprofit Organizations.

Dan Rodriguez, Director of Operations

Dan Rodriguez, Director of Operations 


Dan Rodriguez is California Consulting. Inc.’s Director of Operations. Prior to California Consulting, Dan held various positions as government relations with municipalities and agencies specializing in business development and investor relations consulting, a former Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed) Business Development and Investment Relations Consultant, and as CEO for the Boys and Girls Clubs for Brea-Placentia-Yorba Linda for 7 years. He also served as volunteer Board Chair for Pomona Valley Boys & Girls Club.

A former elected official for the City of Pomona and appointed Vice-Mayor where he co-chaired the Mayor’s Violence Prevention Task Force resulting in the formation of the Pomona Youth Commission and the Pomona’s Youth and Family Master Plan. Prior to being appointed Vice-Mayor, Dan was employed with the Pomona Unified School District as a High School Police Officer and Child Welfare & Attendance Manager and Superintendent Special Liaison for over 15 years.

Dan earned his Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership & Development, 2005, Biola  University, La Mirada, CA and is pursuing Biomass Broker License and Blockchain Certification.