Kiwanians are enlightened about MPS Grants
Catherine Minerich received grants and scholarships for all of her higher education. She feels fortunate. Others aren’t so fortunate.

That’s why she started MPS Grants (Minerich Project Solutions). She wants to help make the road easier for promising students and businesses.

She told members of the Kiwanis Club last week that writing grants can be a difficult process.

“My graduate work at Jacksonville State University helped me realize the importance of grants for community and economic development projects,” she said. “My doctoral work at Texas A&M helped me realize that grants can help people fulfill their research ideas and that that research may lead to helping others.”

Catherine said this also helped her hone her research and writing skills, which are essential assets to writing quality grants.

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“When I left Texas, I realized that writing grants is not just a talent that I have, it helps people fund their dreams,” she said. “Be it a research project to find new ways to garden in drought stricken conditions, which can eventually lead to new agricultural techniques to help feed the world’s poorest populations, or a small business grant to help an organization create new jobs-grants do more than just fund a project.”

She said that grants can make a difference in the lives of so many.

“The sustainability of the projects that are funded by grant writing are amazing,” she said. “When I truly believe in a cause, it helps me write a compelling narrative to convince organizations with money to hand that money over to people with dreams of making the world a better place. My work can truly help change the world.”

Catherine said there is nothing better than making that phone call to a client to tell him that he got the grant. She believes that receiving a grant is more than just a check in the mail, it means that someone truly believes in the mission, goals and objectives of someone or an organization’s dream.

She said the process of grant writing requires research and writing skills as well as the ability to understand not only a client’s dreams, but the political and economic climate at the time.

“There are so many factors that are involved in knowing where to look for grant monies . . . finding the ideal foundation or government grant . . . ensuring that an organization is eligible for the grant,” she said. “Philanthropy is a wonderful part of the American culture but it is an industry,” she said. “And like any other industry, it takes knowledge of how that industry works in order to be able to navigate through it, unlike loans, where a person or organization must show documentation to ensure that they are worthy of said loan and will pay it back. Grants require just as much, if not more, documentation for a person or organization to show worthiness, but they also require proving that they will ultimately do good with the money because they aren’t paying it back, they’re paying it forward.”

Catherine said that’s what she loves the most about what she does. She helps organizations that want to make a difference by granting money to something they believe in and connects them with people whose dream it is to complete that mission.

“I love being a part of so many different people making such a huge impact on the world,” she said. “I have a unique skill set from a variety of different educational and work pursuits that allow me to help so many people.”

Catherine is the operations assistant manager at Carmin Industries, the family business. She handles the planning and scheduling of operations at Carmin as well as focusing on the procedures and quality policies.

“We have AS910 rev C quality standards, which is the highest quality standards for manufacturing for the aerospace industry,” she said. “What that means is that everything we manufacture is top quality. But it has to be. We make parts for rides at Disney World, which means that our parts cannot fail. People’s children ride on those ride every day.”

Those same quality standards are critical for the work Carmin does with the Department of Defense. The company manufactures parts for kits that go on C130s, large airplanes for the military.

Catherine said she wrote a grant last year for Carmin Industries. Of 70,000 applications, the company was awarded one of 12 Mission Small Business Grants from Living Social and Chase Bank for $250,000. That grant, she said, has helped them expand operations and create new jobs.

She attended Converse College in Spartanburg, S. C., on a full scholarship for academics and music.

She has a master’s in public administration and political science from JSU and was awarded a graduate assistantship in the Department of Public Administration and Political Science. When she attended Texas A&M for her doctoral work, she was awarded the Presidential Diversity Fellowship which included full tuition, fees, books and a monthly stipend as well as a teaching assistantship which also covered research funding and included a monthly stipend as well.
© 2013