Tag Archives | Team


Flint is a writer and development consultant for nonprofit organizations and the public-benefit sector. She teaches creative writing and critical theory as an adjunct instructor at several SoCal universities. As a longtime civil rights and social justice activist, Flint is deeply committed to working together with people who share the vision of nurturing a culture that values empathy, diversity, inclusion, community, interdependency, sustainability and shared leadership, and she serves on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco based nonprofit, Umbrellas for the Homeless. Flint works with many school districts and public schools throughout California.

Karen Simpson

karenKaren Simpson joins Californian Consulting as a Project Manager located in Southern California. She has served within municipal government for 27 years for the Cities of Los Angeles, and Pomona, California. Karen has garnered her grant-writing skills for Federal and State funding opportunities from multiple Community and Economic Development programs. She has extensive knowledge and training in grant program management, grant research, grant writing, and post-award program compliance. She is skilled in building collaborates between community based organizations, faith-based entities, educational, and social institutions, which resulted in Federal grant awards totaling $10.4 million in less than 7 years. She has written grants addressing: at-risk children and youth, K-12 education, job training, homeless assistance, economic development, housing improvement, and lead-hazard control.

Karen is an Independent Grant Consultant for non-profit organizations providing grant writing services, capacity building and funding strategies to help meet needs in underserved neighborhoods.

John Walkup

walkupTrained as a professional technical writer, John Walkup has authored a wide range of successful grant proposals, focusing most of his efforts on school-related projects. Over the last four years, John has helped California public agencies retrieve over $18 million in grant funding.

John has taught physics at the high school level and mathematics, multimedia arts, and English at university level. His expertise spans such topics as STEM learning, English Learners, curriculum development, classroom observation, professional development, standards alignment, and curricular rigor.

In 2007, he co-developed the concept of cognitive rigor and the Cognitive Rigor Matrix (also called the Hess Matrix), now used nationally to gauge the quality of curricular content. In 2008, he led the two largest studies of curricular rigor ever performed in this country.

John earned his Doctor of Philosophy studying theoretical physics at the University of Oklahoma.

Amy Christianson, Senior Education Project Manager

amyAmy joined California Consulting, LLC in December 2011 as a Senior Consultant responsible for education grants. Amy brings with her 15+ years of grant writing experience as a professional grant writer. She has served as the grant writer for the Butte County Office of Education and the Chico Unified School District among other public entities.

Specializing in federal, state, and private foundation education grants Amy has written 10 Healthy Start applications and had 8 funded for a total of $2.4 million in awards. She also wrote a Healthy Outreach grant for $300k that was funded and a grant to fund a Dental van for $300k that was funded. As well, Amy has written 15 BASNLP/ASES applications and 13 were funded for a total of $12 million in awards during her career. She has experience with Carol M. White PEP grants, Community College Connections grants, Early Childhood Grant for Pre-schools, and others. She has served as a Grant Reviewer for the California Department of Education for the 21st Century grant and during her career has written six 21st Century applications 4 of which were funded totaling $6 million.

Amy’s expertise in the education arena adds to California Consulting’s depth and competency in the education grant writing area.


David Marquez, Senior Project Manager

DavidDavid Marquez is a consultant focused on developing capacity building and community development related services on behalf of non-profit agencies, local government, and the private sector to serve the diverse communities of Los Angeles. He has extensive experience and familiarity in the area of community and economic development, social and health services and planning and land use issues. He has combined his knowledge of varied issues with his experience in policy development, coalition building, grant management, fund development and local government to develop both strategies for issue-oriented advocacy and program sustainability for his clients.

Prior to joining California Consultanting, he served as the Executive Director of several non-profit agencies where he focused on building collaborations and cross-institutional partnerships, both formal and informal, between schools, the private sector and community-based organization to increase the social and economic capital of families in Los Angeles County. Previously, he served as Chief Deputy of Legislation and Policy for former Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Hernandez, where he managed the legislative and planning staff. He began his career as a community organizer, nearly twenty years ago in East Los Angeles. He considers his experience and education as a community organizer as the foundation of his present work.

He was born in East Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of La Verne with a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies. He has spent nearly his entire professional career working in the City of Los Angeles. He currently resides in Northeast Los Angeles with his wife Judith and 14-year-old son, Roan. He is also proud of his community involvement in the City of Los Angeles as a Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles East Area Planning Commission, Member of the Founders Board for the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, and as a board member for the 24th St Theatre, Arts Community Land Activism (ACLA), the California Hospital Medical Center, California Hospital Medical Center-Hope Street Family Center Community Advisory Board and Communications Committee.

Danielle Sotelo

Ms. Sotelo is a San Joaquin Valley native and brings over 10 years of experience in grant writing, grant administration and program development for public and private entities.

Danielle is California Consulting’s Senior Project Manager and a San Joaquin Valley native with over 12 years of experience in grant writing, grant administration and program development for public and private entities.
She has worked with California Consulting since 2008, and during this time she has helped to secure over $18M in funding for California Consulting clients. She has drafted and submitted many successful grant applications for different sectors, but she most enjoys writing in the areas of public safety, motorized and non-motorized transportation, urban greening, alternative fuels infrastructure, and education.
Ms. Sotelo prides herself in paying close attention to detail and has logged 100’s of hours in project management. She is committed to securing federal, state and local funding to spur environmentally and socially conscious community development both domestically and internationally.
Ms. Sotelo holds a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Political Science and a certificate in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University.

Shasta Bell


shastaShasta Bell is California Consulting’s Director of Communications. She is responsible for developing communication strategies. These strategies include writing publications, web marketing and website management, creating and managing social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, media outreach and coordinating conferences. Shasta also manages executive office administration.

Formerly the Executive Assistant to the President of Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Arts (SAG-AFTRA), she has highly valued union knowledge as she participated in all aspects of union life, including quality analysis, member satisfaction, and merger assistance. Prior to SAG-AFTRA Shasta assisted the President/ CEO of GameWorks where she received hands on knowledge of the Family Entertainment Center business.


Dana Leusch

danaDana Leusch, California Consulting Senior Statewide Project Manager, joined our team in 2012. Dana has more than 15 years of experience in grant writing for non-profit organizations and freelance writing and reporting for newspapers and magazines. As development coordinator for an organization in the Rocky Mountains serving at-risk youth, her successful grant writing and fundraising led to the creation of a home for at-risk and homeless adolescent girls, which has since housed hundreds of teens in need.

Dana is responsible for client retention and business development activities for the Northern California Region

Dana has written 58 competitive federal, state and private foundation applications

Dana earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in women’s history from the University of Montana. She lives in Clovis with her husband and two children.

Greg Pettis


Greg Pettis is a Senior Associate for Southern California. Mr. Pettis serves Southern California with an emphasis on Riverside County, Imperial County, and the Coachella Valley.

Since 1994 Mr. Pettis has been an elected City Councilmember for the City of Cathedral City. He has been a member of the National League of Cities since 1999 and has served on the board from 2013 – 2015.

Mr. Pettis has been a member of the League of California Cities since 1999 and has served on the League of California Cities Board of Directors from 2010 – 2016. Mr. Pettis has been involved with the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) since 1999. He served as 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice-President. and  SCAG President. SCAG is the largest regional transportation organization in the nation.

Mr. Pettis is the current Chairman of the Transportation Committee for the Coachella Valley Association of Governments and has been on the Executive Committee since 2000. He served as a Governing Board Member for the Riverside County Transportation Commission since 1999 and served as Chairman in 2011. From 2009 to 2013 Pettis was a member of the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, (Metrolink, So. Cal’s Commuter rail service).

Mr. Pettis holds a B.A. from Azusa Pacific University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and is a 2005 graduate of the League of California Cities Mayors and Councilmembers Academy. In 2007, Pettis graduated from the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at the Kennedy School at Harvard and in 2012 he attended the Executive Education program in Public Policy at the Price School at USC.

Tristan Shamp

TristanTristan has been with California Consulting since 2009 serving both as a project manager and as the firm’s Statewide Grants Manager.  In this position, he oversees the statewide operations of the company’s grant writing program including grant writer support, grant writing quality control, and grant research among other items, in addition to some client retention activities and business development.

Tristan comes from an extensive background in academics and project management.  He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2005, and a Master of Arts degree in History at California State University Fresno in 2009.  Tristan has taught credited courses at CSU Fresno, been a supplemental instructor at Fresno City College, and coordinated various academic programs with local education agencies while working for a Fresno-based private tutoring firm.

Tristan has written over 270 competitive grant applications since 2009.  He completed the Grant Writing & Management Program through CSU Fresno in October 2010 and holds a professional certification in grant writing and program management.