You deserve a dependable team that can help you secure more grant funding for your nonprofit.

Our Team

Before starting Upstream Consulting in 2017, I spent more than a decade working with a variety of health and social service organizations. Despite their differences, nearly all of these organizations had two similarities that probably sound familiar: 1) they were doing amazing work; and 2) they were so understaffed and overwhelmed that they couldn’t dedicate the time needed to win more grants. 

While I enjoyed the work I was doing for one organization, I knew I could use my skills to help lots of nonprofits. So I packaged up all my years of writing, program development, and evaluation into a business that allows me to help you win more grants for your organization.

When I’m not helping busy nonprofit leaders win more grants, you can find me hiking, kayaking, or relaxing on the beach.

founder & Principal consultant


Hi, I’m Melissa Reams, MPH, MCHES 

Professionally speaking, my greatest joy is teaching. I love helping others learn something useful and have a knack for making dry topics fun (yes, even grant writing!).

My attention to detail can be annoying to folks who are big thinkers. But that’s okay because that means I never miss a super-specific grant application requirement.

I’m ridiculously productive. I often get asked if I have a clone (I wish!), if I sleep (I do!), and if I’ll share productivity tips (I will!). 

Fun Facts:

Kristen West McGuire has over 20 years of consulting experience in grant writing and communications. She is a veteran of church-related nonprofits and knows what it’s like to be a one-person shop. As an executive director, she doubled operations and income after investing in strategic planning. She can help you do it, too! Kristen is the proud mama of eight amazing young adults, and lives in Bluffton, SC with her husband, a retired U.S. Marine.


Kristen West McGuire, M.Div., CFRE

Carrie Oliver is a Certified Health Education Specialist and Project Management Professional with over 9 years of experience in designing, managing, and evaluating public health programs and trainings. She supports drafting evaluation plans for grants and reads through dozens of grants to find the perfect ones for our weekly grant alerts. When she is not working on grants, you can find Carrie working on her DrPH coursework at Georgia State, catching up on her favorite TV shows, and maybe even taking a nap.



Carrie Oliver, MPH, CHES

Breyana Davis has 6 years of experience in health education and community engagement. She regularly writes articles to help nonprofits learn how to win more grants and consults on special projects, especially in the areas of nutrition education and community development - both of which she’s super passionate about. When she’s not teaching, writing, and doing amazing things in her own community in Raleigh, NC, you can find her traveling the world and trying new foods.



Breyana Davis, MPH, CHES

Elizabeth Varner is a dedicated, detail-oriented administrator with over 15 years of professional experience in higher education. She has served in positions at Georgia Southern University, Duke University, The Catholic University of America, and Syracuse University, and she is skilled at strengthening relationships with program partners and managing complex projects. She holds an M.A. in College Student Development from Appalachian State University and a B.A. in English from Sewanee. At Upstream Consulting, she enjoys assisting with the grant process to help things run smoothly and provides successful experiences for our clients. When not at work, she enjoys going on walks in the Savannah area, knitting, and volunteering in her community.

Administrative Support Specialist

Elizabeth Varner

We are firm believers that honesty is the best policy. If we aren’t able to help you or think you would benefit from a different approach, we’ll let you know.



We do what we say we’ll do, always.



We’re dedicated to supporting your work as you strengthen your organization and community.



When you work with us, you’ll get our best work, every time.



Our Values

Ready to let us help you win more grants?