Executive Staff

Cristin N. Slesh, President
Cristin has worked with the nonprofit community for over 20 years, as both a consultant to philanthropy and a professional in nonprofit organizations. Cristin joined FMS in 1999 as an Associate evaluating grant requests and matching them to client funding priorities. She became President in 2007, and now oversees office operations and manages client relations. Cristin is a member of the Philanthropy Ohio’s Northeast Ohio Advisory Committee and the Fund for Our Economic Future Funders Committee, and represents FMS and its clients at numerous other community-wide meetings and committees (Cuyahoga County Youth Funders, CMSD Arts Education Funders, etc.) Prior to joining FMS, she was the director of communications/public relations for the Orange Schools and the communications manager in the development office at the Center for Families and Children (now The Centers). She also spent several years in the development office of Thompson Hine. Cristin is a graduate of the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.

Janet E. Narten, Founder
As founder and owner of FMS, Janet has more than 20 years experience in philanthropy. She designed and implemented the grantmaking policies and programs of a number of independent and family foundations serving the Greater Cleveland area. She has an in-depth knowledge of our community’s nonprofit sector, a close working relationship with other area funders and considerable experience in helping philanthropic boards function effectively. Janet earned a degree in secondary education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

Sherri Clancy, Consultant
Sherri joined FMS in 2009. Prior to that, she spent 13 years serving in program and fund development positions with Cleveland nonprofits. She served as the Development Director of Goodrich-Gannett Neighborhood Center and as the Senior Manager of Development and Marketing for ParkWorks, now LandStudio. Sherri’s introduction to Cleveland’s philanthropic community came when working for The Cleveland Bicentennial Commission in 1996 which left her with a strong appreciation of the city’s history and generous philanthropic spirit. She is a graduate of Kent State University with a B.A. in Speech Communications. Sherri serves on the United Way Income Impact Committee and is a member of Philanthropy Ohio.

Karen Thompson-Shaheen, Consultant
Karen Thompson-Shaheen comes to FMS from NewBridge Cleveland Center for Arts & Technology, where she served as its Chief Programming and Operations Officer since May 2010. In this role, she oversaw the design and implementation of NewBridge’s after-school arts programming for high school students and vocational job training for adults. Prior to her work at NewBridge, Karen gained significant experience in resource development, strategic planning, curriculum development, program design, project management and program evaluation through work with multiple Cleveland non-profits and government agencies, including the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, the Workforce Investment Board, and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Karen also brings 15 years of experience in resource development focused on foundation and corporate philanthropy. Karen holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from John Carroll University and a Master’s Degree in Art History in Museum Studies from Case Western Reserve University.

Jeanine Gergel, Consultant
Jeanine has strong non-profit program, management and fund development experience having worked for 7 years at North Coast Health, a community health clinic providing primary and behavioral health care to low-income individuals and families on Greater Cleveland’s West Side, serving first as Development Director and then as Assistant Executive Director. Most recently, Jeanine has been the Director of Fund Development at the Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio. Prior to these posts, Jeanine worked for management consulting firms in Chicago and as the Director of Strategic Consulting Services for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. Jeanine received a BA from Miami University and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University. She was also a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Ladder to Leadership Fellow in 2010.

Administrative Staff

Valerie Schramm, Operations Assistant
Valerie joined FMS in 2002 and assists in processing grant requests and facilitating Internet content applications for our clients. Prior to joining FMS, Valerie worked as a paralegal at a Cleveland law firm for 12 years and in a law library for 2 years. She received her associate's degree in liberal arts with a paralegal studies option at North Shore Community College in Beverly, Massachusetts.

Kathy Bakhshi, Grants and Office Operations Manager
Kathleen Bakhshi joined FMS in 2019 and oversees grants administration and office systems and operations. Kathy has a strong background in database management and grant research, having most recently been the Development Coordinator and Database Administrator at Boys Hope Girls Hope. Prior experience includes work as a Research Associate for fundraising consultants Grants Plus, and work as a freelance writer and nonprofit researcher for many years. She received a B.A. in Anthropology from Cleveland State University.