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Diana Cihak – President

Diana Cihak has found a way to combine the skills she has garnered from her entrepreneurial, political and government experience to successfully consult organizations in finding grant funding opportunities.

Diana takes a multi-disciplinary approach to finding sources of funding from state, federal and private funding organizations for her for-profit, not for profit and municipal clients. Researching appropriate funding sources, making connections with funders, authoring and packaging applications along with proper follow up are all key to the success of Upper Edge’s clients. Since 2010 Diana has helped her clients win awards that range from $5,000 to $4.5 Million.

Diana has been featured in the New York Times and the Buffalo News. She has appeared on Fox Business News, WGRZ, WBFO and the Canadian Network Television station CTS as well as in numerous local publications.

Diana serves on the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women and is the Founder of WEPac and the WomenElect program. She has also served as the State Vice Chair for the Women’s Equality Party and on the Board of the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College as well as WomenEvents Buffalo. She lives in Buffalo with her three children.

Kelly Sheldon – Account Executive

Kelly Sheldon is a grant writer with over a decade of experience and an enthusiasm for raising funds for mission-driven, nonprofit organizations. She has spent her career fundraising for a variety of nonprofits, including Buffalo Toronto Public Media, the Mark Morris Dance Group in Brooklyn, NY and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, NY. Born and raised in Western New York, she returned to the area in 2016 and is passionate about working to make Buffalo’s upward trajectory felt by all segments of the population.

Get the Upper Edge

There are many government incentives for businesses that bring a benefit to the entire community – but finding your way to them and through the process of applying can be time consuming and confusing.

Let us help you:

  • structure a strategy to find funding opportunities
  • build a case for your project
  • complete the applications
  • ensure that the decision makers know about the benefits of your project

Does your next project have a public benefit aspect?

Does it help with economic growth, environmental standards, public infrastructure or education? What about poverty elimination, public health or workforce development?

Whether you are a municipality, non-profit or even a for-profit business we have helped find the funds for your project.

State, federal and local incentives for all types of projects can help you build your vision into a vibrant organization that has far reaching benefits. Let us help you get the awards.

Since its founding in 2010 through the end of 2019, Upper Edge has submitted 123 grants on behalf of 24 clients. 65 of these grants were approved, 46 denied and 12 are currently pending, averaging a 59%+ approval rate, which is well above the industry average of 33%. The award amounts for our projects have ranged from $1.5 million to $5,000.