Elise Eplan is the founder and principal of The Eplan Group, a consulting firm that specializes in advising philanthropic organizations and nonprofit organizations. The Eplan Group’s clients include family and private foundations who are seeking to develop and deepen their strategic visions.
Prior to her founding The Eplan Group, 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 $300 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. Over a period of 11 years, she oversaw over $100 million of discretionary grantmaking for the trustees and more than $15 million in Foundation grants for parks and green space in Atlanta. Prior to this, Elise was the director of The America Project, an urban anti-poverty initiative undertaken by The Carter Center in the 1990s. During this time, she explored promising initiatives that were undertaken in other cities and disseminated information about lessons learned by The Atlanta Project.
Elise was the founding president of Hands On Atlanta, a community service organization, which places over 30,000 volunteers annually. She now serves on its Advisory Board. Elise also serves as an Associate Director of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and is a trustee of Paideia School. Elise was president of the Atlanta chapter of The American Jewish Committee from 2003 to 2005 and has been an active board member with the organization, notably with its Black-Jewish Coalition.
Elise received her undergraduate degree in American Studies from Brandeis University and her Masters degree in Public and Private Management from Yale University. She is married and has two young adult children.
Staci Covin Brill is a philanthropic and development consultant with more than 15 years of experience working with numerous higher educational, cultural, social service and religious, and philanthropic organizations.
She began her career in a fundraising consulting firm where her portfolio included campaign feasibility studies, campaign organization, and management for several Atlanta-based organizations including the Truancy Intervention Project, Buckhead Christian Ministry, and the Georgia Shakespeare Festival. She was recruited to serve as the first Development Director for the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, then the American Jewish Committee’s Atlanta Chapter, and joined The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival as its Associate Director.
Over the following decade, Staci’s professional experience expanded to include leadership succession and retention, volunteer recruitment, next generation engagement, strategic partnerships, and event logistics. Her work as a consultant with family foundations grew as an organic extension of her fundraising career path.
A dynamic presenter and skilled facilitator, Staci enjoys working with multi-generational clients to identify and achieve their philanthropic goals. She is a certified speaker and consultant for 21/64, a nonprofit specializing in mutigenerational engagement in philanthropy and family enterprise.
Beyond her professional commitment to the philanthropic and nonprofit sector, Staci takes an active role in her family’s foundation and serves on several Boards including the Emerging Leadership Council at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA), as a participant in the Wexner Heritage Fellowship Program, and as the co-Chair of JFGA’s Camping Initiative. She has also served in leadership roles for The Children’s Museum of Atlanta, the Truancy Intervention Project, Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, JScreen and the MJCCA. Staci has been recognized as one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40, the Atlanta Jewish Times 40 Under 40, and was selected to participate in a leadership mission to Poland and Israel by the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta. Staci and her husband, Matt, are alumni of FISHER Flight, a national leadership and philanthropic enrichment program.
A native Atlantan, Staci earned her Bachelors degrees from Columbia University and the Jewish Theological Seminary. She and her husband reside in Sandy Springs with their two young children and red dogs.
Margaret brings nearly 20 years of experience in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors and a deep understanding of the operational and infrastructure needs of organizations.
As a consultant Margaret has worked on strategic planning and fund development issues for clients that include Emory University’s Urban Health Program, Quality Care for Children, Kennesaw State University and Team Type One. She has helped organizations expand their development capabilities, conduct fundraising feasibility studies and create fundraising plans, organize special events/convenings, and design and implement effective programming.
Prior to consulting, Margaret held leadership positions at Park Pride, serving as its Executive Director, and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation where she was the Vice President for Programs. Margaret spent ten years working for the Blank Foundation, and although involved in a variety of community issues including early childhood education and post-secondary readiness, she spent the majority of her time at the Foundation managing its environment portfolio. She helped to develop, execute and manage the Foundation’s Inspiring Spaces grantmaking strategy aimed at creating accessible, amenity rich, well-maintained parks and green spaces. Margaret also saw the intersection of the Foundation’s priorities and the Atlanta BeltLine and helped shape the parks component of the project by serving on the BeltLine Advisory Board.
Margaret started her career in Atlanta as a crisis counselor with the Fulton County Health Department in the Division of Mental Health. She worked for four years doing substance abuse prevention and education for a local community coalition, Mission New Hope, and worked for two years with United Way, expanding their community and corporate partnerships.
Margaret is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in psychology and has served on many professional boards and committees, including being selected as a Southeastern Council of Foundations Hull Fellow, being selected for Columbia University’s Emerging Leaders Program, and serving on the board of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth where she served as an officer and chaired its Inclusiveness Committee.
Jennie Medeiros coordinates the Georgia Education Funders Collaborative as well as research for a variety of The Eplan Group’s clients. She has worked in the non-profit sector for her entire career. She comes to the Eplan Group from The Georgia Center For Nonprofits. Prior to that, Jennie worked at United Way of Greater Atlanta as a grant manager. During her tenure at United Way, she was selected to participate in the Community Building Fellows program, which furthered her education and experience in the community impact model. Jennie was part the fast-paced United Way response to assisting evacuees in Atlanta after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast in 2005.
Jennie takes an active role in the community as well, currently serving on the Arts & Culture Committee and the Dance Committee at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta. Jennie actively volunteers at her children’s school in several different roles. Jennie is a two-time past chairwoman of the Family Reading Festival of the MJCCA, and past chair of the Arts & Culture Committee there as well.. She has also participated in the Outside Review Committee for the Atlanta Ryan White funds. This role allowed Jennie to combine her professional experience with a personal passion.
Jennie earned her Bachelors degree in Human Studies at Eckerd College, and then went on to complete a Masters Degree in Social Work at Georgia State University. She and her husband live in Sandy Springs with their 3 children.
Whitney Brown assists with research and coordination of schedules for The Eplan Group. She has worked in the non-profit sector for the past 12 years, with a background in marketing/communications and development. Prior to joining The Eplan Group team, she worked at Atlanta’s Huntley & Associates, Theatrical Outfit, and Agnes Scott College. She currently splits her time between The Eplan Group and Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIPL). Whitney has a passion for the arts and hiking.
She is a third year student at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, where she is pursuing her Master of Divinity degree. Whitney received her B.A. in Psychology and Music from Agnes Scott College. She is an Atlanta native and currently resides in Decatur, GA.