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Wheelchair Athlete

WiGPA History
and Innovation

Chapter Beginnings

The WiGPA chapter was founded in 2015 by a group of grant professionals that were members of the national organization, The Grant Professionals Association. Elizabeth Schaff, Carrie Mahlik, Simone Fevola, and Joan Whitman believed that grant professionals were underrepresented in Wisconsin and lacked affordable professional development and networking opportunities. With the help of the Grant Professional Association, a chapter charter was developed. The chapter started with 12 members and was classified as a small chapter and grew to 63 members in 2022. 

Chapter leaders believed they needed to work collaboratively and leave egos out of decision-making. The desire to serve members and meet their needs continued through ongoing evaluations of events for future planning based on member suggestions. Yearly, face-to-face grant conferences with national leaders in the field and local networking education increased awareness of the chapter and its quality professional development. 

In 2020, chapter events changed to a virtual format due to the pandemic. Programming changed to provide virtual support to the membership through virtual lunch and evening gatherings, conferences, and a Resource page on the website for updated federal, state, and local grant resources. Membership grew and chapter leaders continued to serve members with heart and passion. 


The WiGPA builds and supports a community of grant professionals committed to serving the greater good by practicing the highest ethical and professional standards.


To grow a diverse membership by providing innovative leadership to provide affordable and quality professional development and networking statewide. 

Member Innovations

Awards and Innovations

Awarded GPA Chapter Innovation Grants-2016, 2017, 2018, 2019


Awarded Medium Chapter Recognition for Fastest Growing Membership and Largest Retention Rate- 2018







Build Chapter Diversity - New Chapter and National Memberships to Nominee and Nominated DEI Grant Profession-2021, 2022

Chapter Board of Directors and Leadership Team authorize 3% of the chapter budget allotted to grow a more diverse membership.

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