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, GPC 

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:

Yvette Upton brings over 20 years of experience in higher education and nonprofits to Upstream Consulting. Originally trained as a journalist, Yvette loves the opportunity to use her writing skills to support the incredible work of nonprofits. She is passionate about creating a more equitable world and recognizes the important role nonprofits play in addressing the gaps in our communities. Yvette holds a BA in Journalism and an MA in Women’s Studies from Georgia State University and an EdD in Higher Education Management from the University of Georgia. Originally from the Atlanta area, Yvette lives in Savannah with her spouse and daughter. You can often find them scootering or biking around town.


Yvette Upton, EdD

Elizabeth Varner is a dedicated, detail-oriented administrator. In addition to her work supporting nonprofits, she has over 17 years of experience in higher education, serving in positions at Georgia Southern University, Duke University, The Catholic University of America, Syracuse University, and a higher education executive search firm. Elizabeth 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.


Elizabeth Varner

Brianna Stock has been working in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years. She has experience with program management, grant writing, fundraising, and database administration. She’s passionate about youth development and children’s rights and serves as a CASA volunteer for her county. Outside of work, she loves reading, kayaking and paddle boarding, and listening to podcasts. Brianna resides in West Virginia with her fiancé and their two cats.


Brianna Stock

Breyana has over 9 years of experience as a public health practitioner. Her professional experience consists of program planning and implementation, evaluation, grant management, capacity building, strategy, and community development through a variety of settings such as nonprofits, universities, community groups, and government organizations. She is passionate and committed to work focused on equity, health policy, community development, social determinants of health, and population health.


Breyana Davis, MPH

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?