Natalie Okeson, Interim Executive Director
Natalie’s background with nonprofit organizations includes strategic planning, program evaluation and planning, community outreach, Corporate Social Responsibility, and development through grants, corporate donations, and major events.
In her last position, Natalie was instrumental in the strategic reconfiguration of a corporate foundation organizational structure, oversaw an in-depth needs assessment process and overhauled the organization’s key initiatives, as well as wrote or enhanced the foundation’s policies and grantmaking process. As a consultant for a philanthropy catalyst group, Natalie wrote grants in excess of $1.5 million dollars and worked with the author of a widely-publicized feasibility study.
Natalie began her career in the nonprofit sector after earning her MA from the University of Georgia’s Institute for Nonprofit Organizations at the School of Social Work, where she was named Outstanding Student. Previously, Natalie worked in higher education both with the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach and the Archway Partnership at the University of Georgia.
Natalie also has well-honed skills in government affairs, community outreach, and grassroots activism. Her background includes working as a legislative assistant at the Nevada State Legislature, and campaign staffer on a presidential and a United States Senate campaign. Natalie also holds both a BA from the University of Nevada, Reno and MA from Virginia Tech in Political Science.
Amber Collins, Program Director
Amber holds a Master of Public Administration, as well as a Bachelors of Science in International Business and Political Science from Auburn University. In addition to graduating with honors and distinction, she spent time studying international public service institutions while living abroad in Prague, Czech Republic.
During her graduate studies, she served as a graduate teaching assistant for the Auburn University Department of Political Science. Additionally, she spent time in South Africa completing public health research in a state run facility, initiating and coordinating a community needs assessment, and implementing policies that would allow the hospital to lead the Western Cape Province in meeting new national standards.
Following graduation, Amber served in higher education and worked with first generation college attenders and nontraditional students to facilitate their enrollment and success at the collegiate level. Most recently she has spent time as a Legislative Aide at the Hawaii State Legislature.