Our Team

 Christopher Semler, MBA, PMP

Christopher Semler, Managing Partner has degrees in Economics and Mathematics from Ithaca College and an MBA   from St. John Fisher College.  He is certified by the Project Management Institute as a Project Manager Professional.   Since creating Organizational Harmony, he has helped raise over $333 million in competitive funds for schools, and non-profits.   Chris has an award rate of 74%, and has created the  highest scoring application for several competitions to include the US Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation program and the Rural Postsecondary and Economic Development program, the US Health and Human Resources Telehealth Network Grant Program, the NYS Department of Education’s Mission Transition Program, the NYS DOH Community and School Health Program, and the NYS Department of Education Response to Intervention Program.  Chris wrote three  Race to the Top – District grants which all placed in the top 20 out of 392 applications and resulted in over $47 million in funding.
As an officer in the US Army, Chris served ten years active duty and 14 years in the National Guard and Army Reserve.  His tours included Company, Battery, and  Battalion command.  He also served in combat as General Petraeus’ project planner for the Iraqi Army and was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Action Badge. As the Chief of Force Generation was responsible for the successful development of the Multi-National Forces Project Plan which planned, integrated, and synchronized $5.7 Billion in resources to ensure the Iraqi Security Forces were prepared to secure their nation during the December 2005 elections and capable of independent operations in all   provinces by 2007. Chris also served at the Pentagon on Crisis Action Team 3.

Chris worked as a non-profit director and vice president for agencies supporting individuals with developmental disabilities.  In these roles, Chris developed many new employment opportunities, clinical programs, and homes for people with developmental disabilities. In one organization, he raised more than $13 million in   additional revenues and was key to increasing customer growth by 42%. In these roles, Chris managed up to six facilities and led as many as 200 people.

Lisa Semler

Lisa Semler, Administrative Partner, provides data management, funding form development, and administrative supports to Organizational Harmony.   Lisa has experience as a Human Resource Generalist and Data Analyst. Lisa also was a voice model for many telecommunication companies to include AT&T and other national directory  services. Lisa is fluent is ASL and Italian.

Lynne Paeno

Lynne Paeno

Lynne Paeno is a grant writer, evaluator, and researcher with deep knowledge of grant and RFP/proposal writing for state, local, and federal opportunities and extensive  experience in grant research, fund development, project  management, and program design. Her expertise spans a variety of verticals including education, law enforcement, defense, homeland security, IT, transit, and economic/community development.  Lynne has worked with more than 80 K-12 school districts creating proposals for a  variety of topics, including unique programs such as such as Illinois Department of  Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Public Sector Electric Efficiency.  Sample funded proposals include Elementary and Secondary School Counseling, NYS Teaching is the CORE, NYS Universal Pre-K, Supportive Integrated Services for Veterans, Basic Center, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers. She has excellent writing skills with an ability to quickly adapt and develop high-quality  content about client needs, products/services. One of her key assets is her ability to defuse the tensions of clients and end staffers working to tight deadlines.

Lynne’s experience includes:

  • 25 years’ experience as a grant writer
  • Leadership Training Certificate
  • Strong editing and writing skills, and ability to analyze and integrate disparate data/information into a cohesive narrative
  • 15 years of experience in developing fund development/strategic planning,    prospect research
  • Supercharge Your Search Training
  • Searching For and Finding RFPs Training
  • Author, ” The Professional Grant Writer,” 2007

 K. Dixon Zorovich


Dixon is an independent grant writer and project manager, providing writing, research, and management services to not- for-profit organizations.  She received her Master’s of Public Policy from the Bloustein School of Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where she specialized in  environmental policy.  Dixon worked at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development for seven years, where she was responsible for all aspects of program development and management, including research, data analysis, grant writing, and project administration.  As Senior Project Manager, she coordinated the center’s work on brownfields, producing one of the nation’s first in-depth analyses of the role of brownfields redevelopment in job creation.  In addition, Dixon was the co-author on the seminal Work Trends survey, a quarterly series that queries American workers on a wide range of workforce development issues, and a contributor to the Natural Assets Project, which examined the scope for reducing poverty through asset building in the form of environmental capital.  Following her tenure at the Heldrich Center, Dixon first served as the Director of the LaGuardia Workforce1 Center for the City of New York, and then worked for the National Audubon Society.  As the Center Director of Audubon Greenwich, Audubon’s oldest nature education center in the country, Dixon helped fulfill the Audubon mission of protecting birds, other wildlife, and their habitats by managing 650 acres of open space and delivering nature education programs to thousands of children and adults.  By connecting people to nature and encouraging a culture of conservation, Dixon, and her staff built the capacity of local residents to engage in community-based conservation and create healthy, sustainable bird-friendly communities.

Shane O’Neill White

Shane O’Neill White is a lifelong resident of the Finger   Lakes specializing in public health. She has contributed to Organizational Harmony projects as a freelancer since 2021. She completed her Master of Public Health in Public Health Practice at the University at Albany School of Public Health in 2014, following completion of a Bachelor of Science in Public Health with a second major in Chinese Studies from SUNY Albany.

Shane is well-versed in the challenges rural communities face, from the standpoint of the citizens and the organizations serving them. She enjoys projects which tackle barriers to health care and education in high-poverty areas, and projects with unique collaborations between groups with similar goals. Several projects she has contributed to for Organizational Harmony have addressed transportation-related barriers for patients and students, and interventions to overcome the digital divide for low-income and rural populations.

Shane has five years of local government experience with progressive responsibility in a rural health department, where she worked from 2015 to 2020 in quality assurance and then management in the role of Deputy Director. Her health  department experience included facilitating community health improvement planning, quality improvement projects, in-house policy development, and accreditation. She left the office to pursue remote-based work in 2020. Outside of   her work for Organizational Harmony, Shane enjoys a variety of writing projects from resume writing to independent journalism on missing and unidentified persons. In her spare time, she has begun studying Spanish with a goal of achieving proficiency by 2024.

Coumba Kane

Coumba is an independent grant consultant providing proposal development and management consulting services to non-profit organizations. With meticulous attention to detail and strong budgeting skills, she helps clients consistently meet key grant application requirements.

She is continually inspired by the passion, energy, and hope that her clients bring to the world, and she is motivated by serving those committed to making a difference.

Coumba is a seasoned Audit and Finance professional, who recently transitioned into the non-profit sector as an independent consultant. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is a Certified Internal Auditor.

Prior to being a grant professional, she worked at Ernst & Young (EY) for nearly ten years, managing audit and finance projects for Fortune 500 clients. Throughout her tenure, she engaged with over 30 clients and has significant experience leading audit assignments, coaching staff, and conducting quality assurance reviews.

More recently, she served as the Director for SOX & Internal Controls for Kaiser Permanente’s Health Plan Service Administration, where she led a team of finance consultants providing advisory services to senior leadership.

Her multicultural background enriches her work, fostering inclusivity and understanding of diverse communities. Having grown up in an underserved community, she is deeply committed to empowering populations facing systemic barriers and creating positive change in their lives. In her free time, Coumba volunteers for the Senegal Health Institute, contributing to projects that advance maternal health in the Sahel Region.

Dr. Dea Gasbarre

Dea Gasbarre, Ed.D. is an experienced grants analyst with a 30 year track record in funding procurement in the public school, municipal, higher education and non-profit sectors.  She has successfully developed competitive and formula grant packages meeting the high stakes fiscal responsibilities for public school and municipal operation. Dr. Gasbarre’s main focus is on state and federal pre-award application for diverse purposes including technology enhancements, community development, elementary and secondary school programs, educational enhancements for military-connected students, early childhood education expansion, high impact practices in higher education, and human services. She has additional experience in post-award regulatory reporting.  

Jessica Stack

Jessica Stack is a seasoned professional with a decade of experience in education, specializing in grant writing and community development. Armed with a Bachelor’s in Education and a Certification in Grant Writing, she champions social causes through innovative strategies, securing funding and empowering organizations. As lead coach at the Global Grant Writers Collective, Jessica mentors over 600 aspiring grant writers, sharing expertise and inspiring the next generation.
Jessica demonstrates unparalleled content expertise in grant writing and community development. With a remarkable track record, Jessica has secured over $5 million in grants within just two years, showcasing her exceptional skill in navigating the funding landscape. Her leadership has been instrumental in orchestrating numerous projects characterized by cross-sector partnerships between schools, for-impact small businesses, environmental grassroots groups, established nonprofits, fiscal sponsors, and community foundations, driving collective impact and advancing social causes effectively.

Timothy Heller

Tim has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in Elementary Education, Curriculum & Instruction, and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration. He is a retired educator with 7 years of experience in the classroom, in both an elementary and middle school structure. Tim was an elementary principal for over 20 years, and in his final three years in the district, he worked in the central office as a Title Grants Officer, Chief Safety Officer, District Data Coordinator, and Central Registrar. In this role, Tim wrote the Consolidated Application for his district for two years, oversaw the UPK Grant, and facilitated the Title IV Targeted Grant for the district. In these various roles, Tim worked in a variety of rural school communities. He understands firsthand the challenges that rural school communities face. Tim also understands and has worked through the financial constraints as well as the impact on personnel that unfunded mandates present for districts, and how dependent schools are on securing grant funding to help offset these impacts.

Tim has been involved in Early Childhood Education for over 15 years. He was able to expand his districts’ UPK program significantly during his tenure as elementary principal and help the earn his school’s UPK program an  “exemplary” rating from NYSED . After retirement, Tim works with Organizational Harmony to help school districts create, expand, or convert half-day programming to full-day programming. Tim has been an active member of the New York State PreK – Third Grade Administrators’ Association (NYSP3AA), a group of administrators from varied backgrounds and specialties. NYSP3AA provided guidance, support, and advocacy to other administrators across New York State who supervise early childhood programming. In this role, Tim held quarterly regional meetings of NYSP3AA in Syracuse, NY, and worked closely with the Office of Early Learning to help develop policy, provide training and mentoring to support any new initiatives from OEL, respond to districts’ concerns, and advocate for additional funding from NYSED and the legislature. Tim served on the Board of Directors for NYSP3AA for eight years, until the group was disbanded late last year.
Tim is an Adjunct Lecturer at the State University of New York at Cortland, where he serves as a college supervisor for student teachers in the Early Childhood/Childhood Education Programs. In this role, Tim interfaces with both prospective teachers as well as current teachers and administrators, thereby gathering and articulating strengths, and challenges amongst student teacher candidates as well as within the college’s education department to the appropriate personnel at the University.
Tim  has experience in the management sector of the food service industry. Tim has used this experience to help schools secure necessary food service equipment  through grant sources.
Tim is a member of the Chenango Bridge Fire Company in Binghamton, NY, and serves as their grant writer and fundraising coordinator. Tim has successfully secured grant funding from local and state government agencies, as well as from national foundations.