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PJ Winegardner

PJ Winegardner has a background in project management, process improvement, operations, information technology (IT), training, human resources, compensation/benefits design, and administration. PJ joined UpRys in 2021 as the IT & Operations Project Manager.


Prior to joining UpRys, PJ worked for a management consulting firm, Clemans Nelson & Associates, for nearly eight years providing human resource and project management expertise to clients, primarily in the public sector. While serving this role she also supported internal company operations and managed the firm’s IT systems. Prior to her position with Clemans, Nelson & Associates PJ worked for over 10 years in the banking and ERISA industries, as well as in a large-scale law firm as a member of the professional staff and human resources team.


Areas of Expertise:

Project Management

Process Improvement




Human Resources

Compensation and Benefits

Dress for Success

Together We Rise: How 3 Organizations Came Together to Support Mckaila Wright

IMPACT Community Action’s mission is to reduce poverty by providing hope-inspiring help and real opportunities for self-sufficiency.

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.


UpRys’ employer of record service provides our nonprofit workforce programs and employers with onboarding, offboarding, and employment management in order to minimize risk exposure, provide workforce flexibility, and reduce administrative effort. The UpRys employer of record platform mitigates risks for employers, nonprofits and employees.


Mckaila Wright is a young woman whose early years were filled with challenging circumstances. She left high school to help with family obligations—filling her future with uncertainty and hopelessness.


As part of their youth empowerment services, IMPACT provides paid work experience opportunities to youth in Franklin County. UpRys helps IMPACT achieve their mission by providing critical back-office functions to support their youth program.

In early 2019, Mckaila reached out to IMPACT for help and was selected to be an intern at Dress for Success. UpRys Vice President, Workforce Solutions, Tracy Stearns, also serves as a Dress for Success volunteer.


Tracy and Mckaila met at IMPACT: “I was very impressed with Mckaila’s positive attitude, drive to succeed professionally and desire to enhance her life” said Stearns. “I knew immediately that with the right tools and support she would do great things with her life and I wanted to help.”


As an intern at Dress for Success, Mckaila has learned many key professional skills such as inventory management, project management and technical proficiencies. She credits IMPACT, Dress for Success, and UpRys with helping her gain a set of soft skills that will help her throughout her career and her life including:

  • Responsibility
  • Self-sufficiency
  • Time management
  • Budgeting
  • Perseverance
  • Professionalism

She has also learned the importance of a LinkedIn Profile and is working with her mentors at all three organizations to build one that showcases her new skills and accomplishments.

Before, I could not see a future. I used to live only for today. Now I know there is a tomorrow and I look forward with excitement and hope.

-Mckaila Wright

Mckaila Wright has big dreams and the future looks bright. She is currently attending Focus Learning Academy to complete her high school education and earn her diploma. After that, she plans to attend Columbus State Community College to pursue a career in Human Resources or Nursing. “I really like to help people and find solutions to problems,” said Wright. “I also want to give back by helping young people in my community. I hope that by sharing my story and letting them know help is available they will see a brighter future
is possible.”

When asked about her thoughts on the future, Wright’s answer was quick. “With all of these wonderful people supporting and encouraging me, I know I will succeed.” Stearns agrees “It is truly inspiring to see what can happen when individuals, nonprofit organizations and companies work together to help our community thrive.”

IMPACT Community Action

Exceptional Service is Key to a Successful Partnership

IMPACT Community Action’s mission is “to reduce poverty by providing hope-inspiring help and real opportunities for self-sufficiency.” Each year, IMPACT serves more than 20,000 families and individuals in Columbus and Franklin County who are at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

As part of their youth empowerment services, IMPACT provides paid work experience opportunities to youth in Franklin County. Over the years, the in-school (ages 14-18) and out-of-school (ages 16-24) programs have grown to a capacity of more than 200 individuals.


While the program has been very successful, an unfortunate side effect was that the added administrative burden shifted focus away from mission-oriented activities. As the program expanded, it became increasingly difficult for the fiscal department to efficiently administer payroll and effectively maintain records. Accurate records are particularly important for IMPACT since programs are funded by outside agencies who require extensive reporting and perform regular audits.


We provided support for all three phases of their youth program, including:


Preprogram Activity

  • Staff orientation and training
  • Worksite validation
  • Budget assistance
  • On-boarding program participants


Program Delivery

  • Collect/validate required paperwork
  • Youth work permit management
  • Payroll administration -Program compliance tracking/reporting


Post Program Activity

  • Reports for audit use
  • Unclaimed funds follow up/reports
  • Off-boarding program participants
  • Program debrief

I love that UpRys is multi-faceted. As the program grows, UpRys takes on more responsibility and assists us with program development and promotion. This allows us to remain focused on our mission and continue moving IMPACT forward. We definitely value the relationship with UpRys as well as the services they provide.

-Cassandra Fletcher, Program Manager

The IMPACT/UpRys partnership began 5 years ago. Over the years the partnership has evolved and become stronger.


“As our program has expanded, UpRys has always gone above and beyond to meet our needs” said Cassandra Fletcher, IMPACT Program Manager. In addition to the day-to-day activities, the partners meet monthly to provide status updates, evaluate processes and uncover any additional needs. Interaction with UpRys is not limited to these meetings, however. “We work very closely with Tracy Stearns, UpRys, Vice President Workforce Solutions and the rest of the UpRys team” said Fletcher. “We appreciate being able to contact Tracy if an issue comes up and know she will take care of it right away. She stays in constant communication with us and has exceeded our expectations.”

As part of the youth empowerment services, IMPACT provides work experience opportunities to foster youth in Franklin County. “A payroll situation arose with these individuals and UpRys implemented a unique solution to ensure foster youth were paid timely and securely” said Fletcher.

Per Franklin County Children’s Services, foster youth are not permitted to have their own bank account. Therefore, cash cards are the preferred method used to issue paychecks. However, it quickly became clear that providing them with an instant issue cash card with no name and mailing the permanent card was not going to work.

According to Fletcher, since foster youth move from placement to placement, there is no guarantee they will be at the same address when the permanent card arrives—making them easily intercepted or stolen. UpRys worked with the cash card provider to have the permanent cards mailed to UpRys allowing IMPACT to hand cards directly to each individual. “Without the creative thinking and hard work of the UpRys team, this would not have been possible,” said Fletcher.

Matthew Billingsley

Matthew is a creative director, designer, author, and speaker with over 20 years of UX Design and branding experience. In 2006 he co-founded Visceral where he currently serves as Creative Director. His work for mission-driven organizations has been recognized by Communication Arts, Step Magazine, HOW Magazine, GDUSA, This Good World, Nonprofit World, the San Diego Business Journal, and 614 Magazine.


Prior to Visceral, Matthew served as Vice President of interactive and online communications for seven years at Fleishman Hillard in Washington, D.C. There he worked on notable campaigns for Office of National Drug Control Policy, rebranding Dunkin Brands Inc., the National Air Traffic Controllers Association and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia.


Career Highlights:
At the 10-year mark of Visceral, Matthew co-wrote the book Repurpose: Be Good at What You Do and Do Something Good, which details Visceral’s first decade of building and sustaining a socially conscious B-Corporation.


Areas of Expertise:
Creative Direction
Branding and Identity
Website Information Architecture
Content Strategy


Community Involvement:
Board Member – Conscious Capitalism Columbus Chapter

Erin Gregory

With over 13-years-of-experience in the marketing, public relations and nonprofit fields, Erin is a driven copy and content writer, digital designer, strategic planner and public speaker. Throughout the course of her career, Erin has managed multiple teams, bringing sales and marketing success to nonprofits and for-profit organizations. She brings empathetic, devoted leadership to the team, drives growth through tactical thinking and a consummate work ethic.


Career Highlights:
As the marketing director of a prominent nonprofit association, Erin grew membership by 30% with effective pricing strategies and properly implemented marketing initiatives. Erin has organized and hosted a variety of prominent events including press tours, awards ceremonies, and fundraisers. During her time as a publicist, she landed national media exposure for the entertainment mecca Herschend Family Entertainment. As an experienced journalist, Erin has been published in a variety of publications including Indiana Yoga, Indianapolis Monthly, Terre Haute Living, Terre Haute Tribune Star and 417 Magazine.


Areas of Expertise:
Strategic planning
Content creation
Branding and copy writing
Website management utilizing WordPress
Marketing and digital design (utilizing InDesign)
Public relations
Social media
Program coordination
Event planning


Community Involvement:
Former YMCA Advisory Council Member

Randi Hickman

Randi is an experienced human resources professional with advanced experience overseeing the hiring and onboarding process of various career types for a multitude of organizations. She has successfully acted as a liaison between employees and senior management to improve relationships as well as design, implement, and conduct training and educational sessions.


Throughout her career Randi has effectively managed a staffing office including overseeing all sales and recruiting activities, establishing branch goals and objectives within clearly defined timeframes, assisting with the implementation of the company’s compensation and benefit offerings, lead recruiting efforts and built strategies to attract and recruit top-tier talent, and more.


Areas of Expertise:
Human Resources
Office Management

Nathan Lapp

Nate has a background in accounting, finance, auditing, payroll, and controllership. He joined UpRys in 2021 as the Finance and Payroll Admin and looks forward to expanding his role as the company grows. Nate oversees payroll, assists with human resources functions, and will consistently provides accurate financial accounts for UpRys management.


Career Highlights:
Prior to his work with UpRys, Nate has held various finance and controller roles for several different types of businesses and companies. He has worked for school districts, the state of Ohio, and JPMorgan Chase Bank with roles such as payroll administrator, auditor, and controller. His experience auditing school districts, townships, and counties within the state of Ohio provides him with valuable insight into the financial needs of organizations that UpRys serves.


Areas of Expertise:


Human Resources

Payroll Administration

Financial Reporting

Financial Planning

Process Improvement

Kristine Long

Kriss has an extensive background in operations management, workforce management, personnel administration, benefits administration, financial planning, and strategic planning. She has spent the last two years overseeing the teams at PSI as the Director of Administration and assisting with the overall structure and organization of the UpRys team. She has over 25 years of leadership and staff support experience in the Columbus, Ohio region.


Career Highlights:

Prior to her work for PSI and UpRys, Kriss held various leadership roles for area law firms including legal administrator and human resources director. She also spent five years at an information technology organization where she managed major accounts and oversaw the region operations. 


Areas of Expertise:

Workforce Management 

Human Resources

Salary and Benefits Administration

Training and Development

Operations Management

Strategic Planning

Financial Planning

Process Improvement

Leadership Account Management

Anthony McIntosh

Anthony McIntosh has more than 25-years-of-experience in business leadership and strategy. Prior to joining UpRys, Anthony founded SSE Advisors, a strategic business advisory and consulting firm, focused on helping organizations build sustainable success.

Anthony has worked for or within small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. His knowledge, experiences and core competencies cut across different industries, including nonprofits, as well as functions within an organization. Anthony’s consulting background and in-depth strategic planning experience and business acumen gives him a unique perspective on addressing and overcoming client issues. Anthony is driven by helping organizations remain relevant, evolve, and build sustainable success.

Career Highlights:
Prior to launching SSE Advisors, Anthony served as the Vice President of Sales for Thirty-One Gifts, Senior Director Go-To-Market Strategy & Sales Operations for Motorola, and Partner at Frank Lynn & Associates. Anthony has been instrumental in developing the structure and business model for the UpRys team.

Areas of Expertise:
Strategic Planning
Business Advising
Business Model Optimization
Business Development

Community Involvement:
Board Member, Vice President – Central Ohio African American Chamber of Commerce (COAACC)
Board Member – Columbus Metropolitan Club

Bill Reynolds

Bill Reynolds is a proven financial expert who has worked with organizations from nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies to boost cash flow and profitability. He is a results-driven leader who has spent more than 25 years guiding teams to financial success in consulting, service, distribution, manufacturing, consumer goods, pharmaceutical, and nonprofit industries.


During the past several years, Bill has focused on enhancing key business activities critical to the economic prosperity of medium-size ($5 million – $50 million) organizations. He is passionate about optimizing staff, processes, and management tools for financial, accounting and other back-office operations.


Career Highlights:
Bill spent the early part of his career with Fortune 500 corporations like Eli Lilly and Sara Lee. He then shifted his focus to privately held companies like Eagle Family Foods, Longaberger, Inno-Pak, Newton Oil, and PSI, as well as non-profits like Volunteers of America, Flying Horse Farms, and Boys & Girls Clubs.


Areas of Expertise:
Entrepreneurial Operating System (a.k.a. Traction) implementation and management
Cash/Financial planning, analysis, and reporting
Customer credit and collections
Treasury management
Risk management
Decision support analysis, including new business/acquisitions/divestitures
Payroll and employee benefits


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