About Us

YES! Communications was founded in 1999 to provide non-profit organizations and small businesses with affordable and individualized grant writing services and expert fund development consultation. Since then, we have helped organizations to effectively tell their story in order to raise operational and capital funds, as well as heighten their profile and credibility.

Our qualified staff has more than 30 years of combined experience in non-profit management and fund raising.

Meet the YES! Communications Team:

Kelly Kester-Smith

President & Lead Grant Writer

Working in the non-profit sector since 1989, Ms. Kester-Smith has a diverse non-profit background that includes serving as the Vice-President and Chief Administrative Officer of the Sisters of St. Joseph Ministerial Services, Inc., an "incubator" corporation that shepherded the start-up of small grassroots organization. In this position, Kelly oversaw the growth and development of eight start-ups, including their program development, board development, fund development and eventual self-incorporation. The work included agencies that served a variety of marginalized people, including homeless women, persons with HIV/AIDS, children of farm workers, foster youth, children with disabilities, and the families of incarcerated women, to name a few.

Ms. Kester-Smith founded YES! Communications (a subsidiary of YES! Ventures, Inc.) in 1999 to provide non-profits with an affordable alternative to hiring full-time development staff. She has written successful grants to nearly 100 foundations, corporations and government departments yielding millions of dollars for her clients. Her proudest grant moment was receiving one of just sixteen grants awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service out of 1,650 applicants.

Her commitment to the community has included serving on the boards of directors of South Central Los Angeles Ministry Project, Single Mothers Outreach and Alexandria House, as well as providing training in grant writing at the Santa Clarita Valley Resource Center.

Kelly is the proud mother of a son, Kalin, and a daughter, Karinne, both teen-agers, and wife of Keith, a Computer Analyst at CountryWide.

 

Maureen Spindt

Grant Writer

Maureen Spindt, who proudly joined YES! Communications in the summer of 2005, is a seasoned non-profit professional. Maureen's grant writing experience began over 10 years ago, when one of her proposals earned the distinction of being the largest grant ever awarded to a local chapter of Special Olympics in Southern California. It enabled a small, newly formed grass-roots program operating out of her "home kitchen-table office" to expand to a "real office", hire personnel, increase the organization's infrastructure, and provide sports training and competition programs for almost 500 athletes with intellectual disabilities. As the Area Director of Santa Clarita Special Olympics for eight years, Maureen is well aware of the demanding profession of non-profit executive leaders. She applies her excellent organizational skills, meticulous attention to detail, easy-going interpersonal capabilities, and keen ability to meet deadlines to ensure clients' utmost success.

Prior to becoming a non-profit Executive Director and grant writer, Maureen was a successful entrepreneur as the owner and sole proprietor of a parent participation preschool for over 20 years. She is currently working with her husband, Gary Spindt to found LETMESAIL, a nonprofit organization serving teenagers and adults with disabilities. She has won numerous awards for her tireless volunteer community service, which most recently includes the 2005 Zonta Carmen Sarro Award for "Improving the Status of Women Through Service."

Maureen has been happily married to Gary for over 35 years, and is the proud mother of three adult children, including an adopted daughter from Korea with special needs. She is also thrilled to be the Grandmother of Ethan.

 

Julie Snader

Business Manager

Ms. Snader holds a Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Education from Mount St. Mary's College. She worked as a Teacher and then as a successful Director of Children's World Learning Center for eleven years where she managed a staff of 28, developed and monitored the budget, participated in regional corporate leadership meetings and trainings, and interfaced with thousands of parents over the years. She was recognized for her excellent leadership and served as a Regional trainer training new directors and ensuring that schools were in compliance with all regulations and policies. Ms. Snader volunteered as a Validator for the National Association for Education of Young Child (NAEYC).

Julie oversees all bookkeeping, billing and financial management of YES! Ventures, Inc. She is the proud mother of two beautiful daughters, Brooke and Camille, is is married to her college sweetheart, Rich who is in upper level management for Providence Health Systems in Southern California.