Entrepreneur Grows Grant-Writing Firm, Aims To Lift Region

By Ronald Fisher
The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Aspire Grant & Development Partners” has made an impact on non profits across Pennsylvania. In the three years she has been in business, owner Michele Beener has secured more than $36 million in grant money for her clients.

The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown, Pa.

Building a legacy is something that Seven Springs-area native Michele Beener works toward daily in her Somerset office.

Beener, a Rockwood Area High School graduate, spent many years working for Somerset Hospital as the senior manager for government relations, marketing, strategic planning and community/diabetic education.

While Beener was happy in her role at the hospital, she liked the idea of leading her own organization.

Three years ago Beener opened the doors of Aspire Grant & Development Partners, a full-service federal, state and private grant research, submission and management agency.

“One of the things I loved while at Somerset Hospital was my ability to get grants,” Beener said. “I had done that for a long time, and I was increasingly being approached in the community by folks who had projects that I knew I could find funds for.

“When you have a very stable job that you would like to retire from, but yet you have that entrepreneurial side, it becomes an internal struggle,” Beener said.

“I started to worry about how much money I could continue to bring to Somerset Hospital if I were just working on Somerset Hospital,” she said. “I knew at that time that there were enough things out there that I could go get and make them happen — so I just jumped out and started my business in like a day.

“I left the hospital, and in two weeks I never looked back,” she said.

Located at 118 W. Main St. in Somerset, Aspire Grant & Development Partners has made an impact not only on that community but across the region. In three years Beener has secured more than $36 million in grant money for her clients.

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