Storme Gray

President & CEO

Storme Gray (she/they) is the President & CEO of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. A passionate change agent, servant leader, and advocate for justice, her professional career includes nearly 15 years of experience in the philanthropic sector, with a focus on youth development, racial equity, and inclusive philanthropic practice. And as a proud native of Camden, NJ, Storme credits her upbringing in Camden with providing her with the tenacity and authenticity that fuels her approach to the work. 

Storme’s career in philanthropy began at The Summit Foundation, where she supported efforts to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health and preserve and protect the Mesoamerican Reef Ecoregion. From there, she went to the Bainum Family Fund, where she oversaw a grantmaking portfolio of $1 million focused on educational, workforce, and youth development programming for at-risk, low-income youth within the DC metropolitan area. Storme has also worked with national philanthropic support organizations, such as the Council on Foundations, where she created leadership development programming for philanthropic professionals, with a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Prior to joining EPIP's staff as Director of Programs in 2017, Storme was a Program Officer at the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, where she developed the foundation’s Young Women’s Initiative, a city-wide effort to improve the educational, economic, and life outcomes for cis and trans young women and girls of color, with youth at the center of the decision-making process.

In her spare time, Storme serves as an appointee on the Fairfax County Advisory Social Services Board, a board member of Women of the Dream, a youth development organization for young women in Camden, NJ, and The Black Swan Academy, a Black Youth Civic engagement organization in Washington, DC. Storme is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, a graduate of American University, and fur-mommy to two sweet dogs - Indigo and Bodhi.

Landrum Beard

Director of Advancement

Landrum Beard (he/they) is the Director of Advancement, Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.  In this role he is responsible for donor stewardship, donor growth, donor retention, donor experience, and fund development.  Prior to joining the EPIP Mr. Beard was the Director of Philanthropy for the Greater Washington Urban League and Executive Director of the Communities of Giving Legacy Initiative, a fund of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. In those roles, Landrum was focused on improving life outcomes for Black and marginalized clients and increasing philanthropy of color in the region. Landrum has over 17 years of executive fundraising experience in nonprofit, higher education, and foundations. Mr. Beard is a Leadership Buffalo graduate, member of the Thursday Network (Urban League Young Professional) recipient of Buffalo Black Achiever, recipient of the National Foundation for Just Communities (NFJC) WNY Community Philanthropy Award and a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.  In addition, Landrum was selected as one of ten executives nationally for the Association for Black Foundation Executives (ABFE), Connection Fellow Leadership fellowship.  Beard attended the University at Buffalo (SUNY) for Political Science and Daemen College for Master of Science in Executive Leadership & Change.  

Mr. Beard engages cross-cultural populations and creates programming to strengthen bonds and build social capital within Black and marginalized communities. Landrum is an advocate for equity, equality, and generational wealth building in the Black community. In his spare time, you can find Landrum volunteering, traveling, and enjoying time with family. 

Elyse Gordon

Director of Programs

Elyse Gordon (she/her) is the Director of Programs at EPIP. As a facilitator and educator who creates events with equity and inclusion at their core, she believes in the power of purposeful gathering in order to transform our selves and our communities towards more just and creative outcomes. Elyse has been working in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors for 15 years, focusing on how power and identity inform the internal and external operations of philanthropic ventures. She holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Washington, where she studied the limits and possibilities of social justice philanthropy to transform our world. Prior to EPIP, Elyse worked at Philanthropy Northwest, where she built conferences, member events, and trainings that promoted racial equity and equitable resource distribution. Prior to that, she was an instructor at University of Washington-Bothell where she taught about the nonprofit sector and the power of maps. She holds a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

Elyse served as an organizer with Jewish Voice for Peace, Seattle for many years, is a longtime member of Social Justice Fund NW, and loves supporting the landscape of queer- and trans-led organizing in the NW. She has served on the young professionals board of Crosscut and was the co-founder of Eat for Equity, Seattle Chapter. An avid chef and amateur dancer, Elyse can often be found supporting local burlesque and drag performers, singing karaoke, reading non-stop, and listening to birdsong. Elyse lives in Seattle with her partner, Sunni and their dog, Tala.

Sai Bryant

Programs Associate

Sai Bryant (she/her) is the Programs Associate for Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. She is a community-oriented learner who believes that people are entitled to their livelihood and is committed to doing her part in dismantling the oppressive systems that prevent liberation. She earned her degree in Social Work with a minor in Child and Family Studies from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. There she had the opportunity to be a part of multiple incredible organizations. Most recently, she worked with the Highlander Research and Education Center in Jefferson City, TN, where she assisted a program called Seeds of Fire which brings together youth-led and youth-centered groups and individuals organizing for social justice across the Southern and Appalachian region.
In her free time, she takes on creative pursuits, such as creative writing, painting, and struggling to draw. She loves watching good movies and reading interesting books. She tries her best to stay connected to her friends and family, who are immensely important to her.

Michelle Cooper

Chief Financial Officer

Michelle Cooper (she/her) is the Chief Financial Officer for EPIP. Michelle is a forward-thinking and innovative finance and operational leader with a strong commitment to assisting non-profits with thinking strategically about financial capacity. Michelle brings over 20 years of experience in administrative, financial, and operations leadership and management, including almost 20 years in the nonprofit sector. 

For the past 18 years, Michelle has served in roles at a variety of non-profit organizations, including Cultural Institutions, Child Welfare, and Health & Human Services Agencies, where she was accountable for all operational and strategic activities related to managing the organization's financial resources. When she’s not working, Michelle enjoys traveling, cooking, baking, and spending time with family and friends.  

Laura Collier

Chapter Liaison

Laura Collier (she/her) is the Chapter Liaison for Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. Laura is a thoughtful, relationship-oriented leader with over six years of experience in the philanthropic sector. Laura formerly served as tri-chair for the EPIP Michigan Chapter and enjoyed creating spaces for emerging leaders to deepen their expertise in philanthropic practice and connect with peers. She now works closely with EPIP chapter leaders across the country to strengthen their work and provide robust professional development opportunities.

Laura’s work in the philanthropic sector has focused on racial equity and organizational development. In her previous role with the Council of Michigan Foundations, Laura implemented a philanthropy-focused mentoring program and managed a state-wide Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation Michigan grant.

Laura is a native Michigander and graduate of Michigan State University with a Bachelor’s in Arts and Humanities. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and is a member of the Boston Alumnae Chapter. When she’s not working to advance equity in philanthropy, she enjoys volunteering in her community, reading, and spending time with loved ones.

Contact Us

Please contact [email protected] for questions about joining our community or renewing your membership. To explore storytelling collaborations and speaking engagements or to share resources for EPIP to amplify through our communications channels, please email [email protected]. For questions about our programs or event registration, please contact [email protected]