Soukup Strategic Solutions, Inc. was founded in 2012 by the company’s president, Sheryl Soukup, to provide nonprofit organizations with expertise in fundraising and nonprofit management.
Sheryl Soukup, CFRE
Soukup’s professional experience spans a wide range of industries and disciplines, with work in nonprofits, small business and corporate environments, including academic and scientific research, manufacturing, market research, retail, restaurants, catering, child care, rental housing, equestrian facility, community centers, churches, hospital and health clinics, schools and universities. Soukup served as an executive director and chief executive officer for nonprofits in Southwest Florida for ten years (2002 to 2012) before founding Soukup Strategic Solutions. Soukup moved to Florida in 2002 from Boston, where she worked for Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Metro Early Intervention. Soukup holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts. Her background in science provides clients with expertise in data collection and analysis. When applied to nonprofit management, this expertise allows clients to develop strategic goals and effective strategies for measuring success.
Soukup has served in a variety of nonprofit leadership roles in Florida and Massachusetts, including service on boards and committees at the local and statewide level. Soukup is a graduate of Leadership Collier (2008) and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council Partners in Policymaking (2004). Soukup was a recipient of the Women of Achievement Award from the Collier County Chapter of the American Association of University Women (2010) and the Citizen of the Year Award from the Lee County Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (2005). In 2012 Soukup was recognized by Gulfshore Business in “The Influential’s: 29 of Southwest Florida’s Most Powerful Women.” In 2018 Soukup was recognized by the Florida Housing Coalition for “groundbreaking innovation in meeting the housing needs of individuals with disabilities and their families,” related to her work with Residential Options of Florida.
Dr. Louis Traina, Senior Consultant
Dr. Louis Traina serves as the Senior Consultant at Soukup Strategic Solutions. Lou has served in public and private nonprofit enterprises in Southwest Florida for more than 27 years and is well-known throughout the community as an expert in the field of major gifts.
Lou has led several major gift campaigns for Florida SouthWestern State College, Hodges University, and the Diocese of Venice. Among his many accomplishments, Lou secured the philanthropic naming of the Suncoast Credit Union Arena, Hodges University, three academic schools, and more.
His passion for fundraising serves as a vehicle for enhancing the presence of nonprofits and allowing organizations to achieve their missions. In addition to his fundraising expertise, he is an experienced administrator and effective community leader.
Lou holds a Doctorate in Education EdD from Columbia University. Specializing in Board and Foundation governance, advancement development, collaborative leadership, investment giving, and organizational leadership, Lou’s knowledge and experience allow him to provide Soukup Strategic Solutions clients with the support they need.
Debra Haley, Senior Consultant
Debra Haley retired in early 2020 as the Executive Director of New Horizons of Southwest Florida, a local nonprofit whose mission it is to empower at-risk youth to reach their full potential through tutoring, mentoring, and faith-building. The organization has doubled its student population under her leadership over the past seven years with 700 participants enrolled in its seven programs at twelve locations in Collier and Lee counties.
Since beginning her professional career, Debra has worked for and with small businesses, non-profits, government agencies, and served as Board member and Chairman for local, national, and international non-profits and professional societies.
She has a diverse educational background: M.S. in Management as a Sloan Fellow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MS in Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, and a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University.
She and her husband live in Estero, FL. They volunteer for their church and community and have led more than twenty mission trips across the U.S. and internationally serving those in need.
Teresa Stohs, Director of Grant Services
Teresa Stohs serves as the Director of Grant Services for Soukup Strategic Solutions. A seasoned professional, she has an extensive background in nonprofit executive management, fundraising, grant writing, marketing, strategic planning and board development. Teresa relocated to Florida in 2013 from Overland Park, Kansas. Locally she has served as executive director, major gifts officer and foundation relations specialist (grant writing and management).
Teresa has a MS in Communication and a BS in Secondary Education–Speech/Theatre. She is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Collier, and in 2019 completed a course in Proposal Writing and Grant Management from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Teresa is active in our community. She is the past co-3rd VP of Fundraising for the Naples Woman’s Club, which in 2019 won first place in fundraising from the Greater Federation of Women’s Clubs Florida. She is vice chair of the Leadership Collier Foundation Alumni Luncheon Series; and is a membership of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She is passionate about cars and served as the only woman docent at the Revs Institute from 2016-2018.
Tish Sheesley, Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications Manager
Tish Sheesley serves as the Fundraising and Event Planning Specialist for Soukup Strategic Solutions. With more than 30 years of experience in the non-profit sector, Tish’s primary passion has always been fundraising and special event management. Tish has developed, coordinated, and managed special event fundraisers from start to finish, including festivals, galas, luncheons, walk-a-thons, multi-day bike tours, bass fishing tournaments, sailing regattas, fine arts and craft shows, trade shows, annual luncheons, and more. Tish is highly accomplished at creating events that are both fiscally successful and fun for event-goers.
Tish has worked for several nonprofits in Florida in her career, wearing a variety of hats in addition to event management, including executive director, assistant director, missions director, etc. Her various roles help her hone her skills in event grant writing, leadership training, donor development, marketing and public relations. Her extensive experience in all aspects of the nonprofit sector make her a valuable asset to Soukup Strategic Solutions and our Clients.
Tish holds a B.A. from the University of Central Florida, with a major in Advertising/Public Relations and a Minor in Radio/TV. In her spare time, Tish enjoys volunteering for a number of nonprofits throughout Florida, as well as camping and reading.
Maria Breston, Marketing and Graphic Design Specialist
Maria Breston serves as a Marketing and Graphic Design Specialist at Soukup Strategic Solutions. Maria has a strong background in print and digital marketing with more than 20 years in the industry, in a variety of positions, providing leadership and counsel in marketing strategies and branding concepts.
Maria earned a B.S. in Business with a minor in eBusiness at the University of Phoenix. Maria specializes in email marketing and graphic design for both print and web. She utilizes her expertise in business strategy to enhance her marketing efforts at Soukup Strategic Solutions. Maria’s focus is connecting the company and its clients to their target audiences with images and messages that inspire action.
Maria moved to Florida in 2002 from Troy, Michigan. When she’s not in the office, she enjoys time with her husband Andrew, son Gregory, and dog Gracie. The family occupies much of their free time at Gregory’s soccer practices and games, where Maria serves as an active Team Mom.
JoAnn Lawrence, Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Specialist
JoAnn Lawrence serves as the Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications Specialist for Soukup Strategic Solutions. JoAnn has spent her entire professional career in the nonprofit sector in Southwest Florida, called to organizations that help those who find themselves in vulnerable circumstances. In her twenties, she founded a non-profit organization that still thrives today. The experience of establishing a non-profit organization required her to wear many hats and develop an expansive skill set. With 12 years of experience as an Executive Director, JoAnn possesses expertise in fundraising, marketing, and communications.
JoAnn holds a B.A. from New College of Florida, Florida’s honors college, with a major in English Literature. JoAnn was a ‘40 under 40’ Award Recipient in 2016 from Gulfshore Business Magazine, a prestigious local award which recognizes “young leaders who have made significant contributions to the region’s economic, charitable and civic well-being.”
In her spare time, JoAnn hosts a podcast on mindfulness with over 11,000 downloads each month. With listeners in 80 countries, she enjoys answering their questions and messages from around the world.
Laurel De Luca, Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Coordinator
Laurel De Luca serves as the Fundraising, Marketing, and Communications Coordinator for Soukup Strategic Solutions. She is a graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University with a major in Journalism and minors in Marketing and Interdisciplinary Studies.
Laurel brings to the team new ideas and a passion to enhance the awareness of nonprofits. She seeks to increase the online presence of nonprofits by producing engaging material that enforces the brand and mission of the organization. Laurel specializes in branding, social media, and public relations. On any given day you can find her working on our clients’ press releases, e-newsletters, social media posts, blog posts, updating website content, writing articles for print and online publications, and more. She is skilled at tracking down information and interviewing people for various communications pieces, bringing our clients’ stories to life.
Laurel is originally from Connecticut and moved to the sunny state of Florida 6 years ago. When she is not in the office, she enjoys working out, traveling, and reading her favorite magazines. Her favorite part about her job is the opportunity to share the mission of nonprofits and grow each client’s base of supporters.
Hannah Reynolds, Fundraising and Event Planning Coordinator
Hannah Reynolds serves as the Fundraising and Event Planning Coordinator for Soukup Strategic Solutions. As a graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University, she brings to the team cutting edge techniques and fresh perspectives. Hannah earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Pre-Law. Hannah is responsible for creating engaging events to expand the reach of clients with the local community through relationship building.
Hannah has worked with various nonprofit organizations on the East Coast to expand their impact through the use of digital marketing campaigns. Through the use of branding and business strategy, she is able to connect donors with nonprofits that will allow them to feel fulfilled through philanthropy.
Hannah moved to Florida in 2017 from upstate New York. When she is not in the office, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, working out, dancing, watching sports, volunteering, and playing soccer.
Natalya Ellis, Proposal Writer
Natalya Ellis serves as a Proposal Writer for Soukup Strategic Solutions. She has served in education and non-profit administration over the past 20 years. She brings her knowledge of grant writing, fundraising, and program administration to Soukup with great enthusiasm.
Natalya received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia and her master’s degree in Higher and Postsecondary Education Administration from Columbia University, where she also studied History and Education in pursuit of her Ph.D.
Since the beginning of her professional career, Natalya has worked with grant-funded academic opportunity programs for underserved students. She has served as the Associate Director of Diversity at Columbia University College of Physicians, where she oversaw multiple grant-funded programs, and as the Director of Grants and Programs at Associated Medical Schools of New York, where she oversaw grant-funded programs across the state of New York. Beyond her work with academic opportunity programs, Natalya has worked directly with students as an Academic Advisor, at number of institutions on the East Coast, and as a Student Advocate, with Harlem Children’s Zone. Most recently, she served as the Chief Operating Officer of a small mentoring foundation in Fort Myers.
Tim Hausler, Proposal Writer
Tim Hausler serves as a Proposal Writer for Soukup Strategic Solutions. A graduate of the University of Michigan, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a focus on writing and linguistics. Tim has more than 10 years of nonprofit experience and has previously served as a marketing and development copywriter and editor. He is passionate about international outreach and has traveled on numerous service trips to Haiti, Jamaica, and Slovakia.
Tim’s writing is characterized by a dynamic combination of strong technical elements, precision, and a natural voice. In his work as a Proposal Writer, he most enjoys the process of capturing the essence of clients’ stories and sharing them with funders in a meaningful way. As a member of the Grants Team, Tim is responsible for completing grant applications, conducting grant research, submitting reports, and coordinating with clients.
Although he is a Florida native, Tim grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and he only returned to Naples in 2014. Tim enjoys ballroom dancing and boxing as a means of staying active while avoiding the Florida humidity, though he sometimes ventures out into the sunlight for a run or a swim. He also has a completely healthy obsession with traditional Irish music and Korean food.
Riley Randolph, Grants Manager
Riley Randolph serves as the Grants Manager for Soukup Strategic Solutions. A graduate from Florida Gulf Coast University, Riley earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a Minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. Riley brings an extremely strong work ethic and fresh perspectives to the Soukup team. Riley is not only responsible for writing grants, but also does grant research, assures all grant deadlines are met, and coordinates all grant reports for Soukup’s clients. With varied skillsets, Riley also manages several donor databases for clients and recently spearheaded the company’s file migration, a multi-month, integrated technology project which has increased everyone’s efficiency.
Riley’s volunteer work with various nonprofit organizations has provided her with valuable insight into the needs of nonprofit organizations. During college, Riley served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee for both Florida Gulf Coast University and the ASUN Conference. While playing softball for the university, Riley achieved many of the highest honors within her sport. In 2016 she was named Pitcher and Freshman of the Year as well as First Team All-Conference in 2016, 2018, and 2019. Watch her here on WINK News https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lzP9h__tdE. Even though Riley has already graduated from FGCU, she was recently named to the All-Decade Team for the ASUN Conference.
Riley’s favorite moment at Soukup Strategic Solutions is when she and the Grants Team landed three (3) government grant awards in one day…talk about a cause for celebration! A prized member of Soukup’s Grants Team, Riley provides behind-the-scenes support to many of our clients. Soukup Strategic Solutions values Riley’s fresh ideas and intense work ethic.
Kaitlyn Soukup, Grants Coordinator
Kaitlyn Soukup serves as the Grants Coordinator for Soukup Strategic Solutions. A graduate from Emmanuel College, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education and History. Kaitlyn is responsible for researching, writing, and reporting on grants for our clients. She brings to the team polished writing skills, highly developed problem solving skills, a natural ease with technology, and fresh perspectives.
Kaitlyn has volunteered for various non-profits and has developed a love for serving those in need through volunteer work, as well as personal and professional development. In her spare time, Kaitlyn enjoys exercising, painting, and reading. Kaitlyn’s favorite part of her job is researching grant opportunities.