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Nonprofit University Faculty

Meet our core team of accomplished faculty members. 

GCN’s Nonprofit University has a core faculty team of experienced professionals in all fields of the nonprofit sector. From fundraising, accounting, grant writing, marketing, and more, our knowledgeable instructors are adept at providing high quality training experiences that will help you become more skilled in your organization. Meet a few of our faculty members below:


Rich St. Denis

Rich is a top-rated senior trainer and consultant based in Atlanta who specializes in leadership, performance management, coaching, teambuilding, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. He has more than 20 years of training experience and has trained and coached more than 20,000 professionals. Read more.

Yvonne Bryant Johnson

Yvonne is CEO of Bryant & Associates, LLC, an executive coaching, consulting and training company. The company focuses on building high performing teams and leaders in the work place. Ms. Johnson has over 25 years of corporate experience at AT&T where she coached, developed high performing teams and provided leadership to sales and customer service employees. Read more.

Gregg Pawlowski

Gregg's passion is to equip non-profit leaders to fully fund their mission. He's worked with organizations across the country to increase their fundraising capacity, helping to raise millions of dollars to increase mission impact.  Read more.

Maryum Lewis

Maryum is a strategic fundraising professional with over a decade of experience working with non-profit organizations throughout greater Atlanta. She is a sought after speaker and trainer, having presented at the National CASA Conference; Read more.

Glenda Hicks

Glenda is owner of the CPA practice, and has over 25 years of professional experience in business, including accounting and financial reporting, taxation, and human resource management. She has provided several years of training and consulting services to nonprofit organizations and their boards and board committees through the CPA practice. Read more.

Jack Beckford

Jack is considered the small organization specialist of GCN's consulting team, bringing both a wealth of experience and a passion for working for nonprofits with small budgets and limited or no staff.
Read more.

Phyllis Wallace

Phyllis is the Business Development Director for her own company Miss PDW Enterprises.  She is known for high energy class facilitation and has been a speaker for organizations such as, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), American Business Women Association, and Dex Digital Marketing. Read more.



Eileen Gray, SPHR

Eileen has over 25 years of business experience as an entrepreneur, sales executive, human resource leader, and trainer. She has worked with organizations of all sizes and industries helping them implement solutions that drive strategic organizational results by leveraging the talents and engagement of its human capital. Read more.

Chataun R. Denis  

Chataun is chief consultant and founder of Grant Source and author of “My Formula for Nonprofit Success, The 3 Ps: Passion, Planning, & Profits”. Chataun has more than 19 years of experience working in the nonprofit arena in various capacities including direct service, development, and administration. Read more.

Juan A. McGruder, Ph.D., CFRE  

Juan is the Director of Development for the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts at Georgia Institute of Technology—where the Institute recently completed a $1.5 billion Capital Campaign. He is former Associate Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Morehouse School of Medicine. From 2003 to 2008, Juan served as the Associate Director of Development in Georgia Tech's College of Computing and later as the first Director of Development for the School of Computer Science. Read more.

M. Catherine (Cathy) Ramos

Cathy has a passion for helping others as a teacher, community leader and volunteer. Most recently, at The Coca-Cola Company, Cathy managed a multi-million dollar portfolio of grants to educational institutions, women’s organizations, and philanthropic serving organizations, as well as multiple corporate sponsorship relationships. During her tenure she managed the company’s United Way campaigns, helping the company consistently exceed its $1M+ annual goals. Read more.

Susan Brandt

Sue is the Chief Development Officer at MedShare International, and was previously Executive Director of Major Gifts at the John P. Hussman Institute for Human Genomics and the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Her broad experiences in her 22-year career in institutional advancement have incorporated all aspects of fundraising from the annual fund to planned giving. Read more.

Elise Eplan

Elise is the principal in The Eplan Group, a firm that advises philanthropic organizations. Prior to her consulting work, Elise was Vice President for Special Initiatives at The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, which was created by the co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons. The Foundation has granted more than $250 million since it was launched in 1995. As one of the Foundation’s first two staff members, Elise led the trustees in developing the vision, direction and processes for the Foundation. Read more.

Lateefah R. Thomas

Lateefah R. Thomas is the principal of Beyond Expectations Consulting Group, a boutique firm dedicated to strengthening the management, programmatic and fiduciary processes and procedures for agencies and governments that receive grant funds. Read more.

Claire Hennessey

Claire Hennessey serves as Director of Development in Emory University’s Office of Foundation Relations. In this role, Claire is responsible for building, maintaining, and stewarding relationships between local and national foundations and Emory University’s diverse schools and units. Read more.