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Tamora Walls Hughes is a graduate of Columbia College of Chicago where she received a bachelor's degree in graphic design and computer graphics. To date, she currently works as the Program Director in the Development / Grants department and the Englewood Small Business Accelerator Center  for the Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation (GECDC) . Prior to this position, she was the  Assistant Director of Grants and Contracts for City Colleges of Chicago supporting WYCC PBS Chicago (Channel 20) and WKKC 89.3 FM; and over five years with Kennedy-King College's Career Programs Department where she successfully wrote grants that received over one-million dollars in funding. She also has functioned for over 20 years as an independent consultant servicing both nonprofit and profit organizations who require support to build stronger capacity and funding for their companies.

Tamora's technical skills and services include business planning and organization assessments, proposal development and writing, graphic design, presentations, various topic-based trainings, basic IT support, and web development. Over the past 20 years, Tamora has developed strong collaborative partnerships with other grant writing professionals who collectively have over 45 + years of experienced. Tamora is a member of the Grants Professional Association (GPA) and is preparing for her Grant Professional Certification through Grant Professionals Certification Institute (GPCI)™

She started working as an independent consultant in 1998 attending and completing the SBA Entrepreneurship Courses where she received her certificates. In early 2003, she partnered with Business Services Group (BSG) where she began providing business solutions to profit, non-profit, and small business institutions. She took a series of business planning writing courses at Olive Harvey College in 2004. In February 2004, she worked as the Director of Computer Technology for a local church in Chicago, and was awarded grants to upgrade its facilities and enhance additional programs . During this term, she developed a program called "Who's the Boss Youth Entrepreneur Workshops. In 2007, she added "Who's the Boss" Seminars to her workshop roster.

Tamora offers Business Breakfast Workshops and Grantwriting Bootcamps. The workshops and bootcamps allow individuals to acquire information about business start-ups, assessment plans, grants, loans and franchise information.  She has taught courses entitled Grants 101 and Nonprofit Startup at the Chicago Urban League (ProjectNext), Building an Effective Board of Directors, Fundraising Strategies, Web Design 101 and Social Media to other organizations. She has participated as a Grant Reviewer for U.S. Department of Education, Department of Justice, Department of Health and Human Services and other local foundations. Tamora has written over $2.5 million awarded grants for various organizations.

Tamora has self-published three books entitled "Thy Kingdom Come: Living A Life of Dominion, Power and Authority", "Reflections of the Heart-Cliffhanger Series" and "Kwik Steps: Proposal Preparation and Grantwriting Formats: A Step-By-Step Guide". She is currently working on two books entitled "The Non-Profits Guide to Funding Opportunities" and "Greatest Love: Cliffhanger Series 2".

She has a compassionate heart for ministry and outreach accepting her calling as a clergy in 2000. Tamora is Vice President of Talitha Cumi Ministries (over 17 Yrs.) that offers outreach services to young girls and women (12-up). For the past 8 years, she has served as one of the ministry leaders for The Bridge Network International, Inc. that focuses on uniting ministries together to make a greater impact in the communities they serve.

Work experience

Jun 2015Present

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Director / Development  & Grants Program Director

Greater Englewood Community Development Corporation

Advise and mentor over 150 profit entrepreneurs and nonprofit organizations annually. Facilitate professional development workshops / trainings for business start-ups and existing businesses.

Support the Executive Director in development plans that detail how the organization solicits donors and identifies funding sources such as grants, in-kind donations, charitable events and marketing opportunities.

Operate as a community liaison to connect and build stronger relationships with neighborhood social service agencies, education institutions, local government agencies, local small businesses and corporate institutions.

Identify and develop grant proposals that best align with current and future programs. Manage prospect grants database and maintain quarterly / annual reporting for eight (8) government agencies and private foundations.

Work with staff to develop performance measurements across all programs, to ensure consistent, high-quality evaluation and goal setting for all employees. Research, develop and implement systems to evaluate skill, and professional development needs of all staff. 

Successfully written over $800,000 in grants within the last 2 years.

Oct 2002Present


Tamora Walls Consulting

Develop and write business plans and grant proposals for profit and non-profit organizations with a portfolio value of over $500,000.  Administer career coaching and strategic planning services. Provide consultant services for organizations strategic planning, technical development, implementation strategies, and computer training (for the trainer). Conduct business, grant writing, and career development workshop presentations.

Nov 2008Jun 2015

Assistant Director Grants and Contracts

City Colleges of Chicago

Operated as Assistant Director, Grants and Contracts at WYCC PBS Chicago acquisitioning funding in the amount of $350,000+ programing and production.

Previously, supported Career Program Department with research, development and grant proposals. Provided departmental strategic planning and technical support. Offered mini-workshops and best practice presentations. Awarded (2010) $2.4 million and $2.5 million grant for U.S. Department of Education PBI Grants, $10,000 from Field Foundation for Theatre awarded Afterschool Matters Summer Program three consecutive years (2008-2010), and I-Car Foundation in-kind donations valued over $10,000 for automotive.

Jun 2009Jun 2009

Peer Reviewer

U.S. Department of Justice

Participated as a peer reviewer for the U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs (OJP), competition FY 2009 Second Chance Act Mentoring Grants to Nonprofit Organizations. Provided grant review service evaluations for 15 applications. Participated in peer review discussions via telephone and internet.

Jun 2007Jun 2007

Peer Reviewer

U.S. Department of Education

Participated as a peer reviewer for U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools' Mentoring Program competition (CFDA 84.184B ). Provided grant review service evaluations for two rounds of applications. Participated in peer review discussions via telephone and internet.

Mar 2001Present

Vice President/Asst. Youth Coord./Mentor Coach

Talitha Cumi Ministries

Nonprofit 501c3 organization that support women and girls particularly within the inner city of Chicago. Duties include strategic planning, program development, implement and evaluation of all events and programs. Programs and events that range from self-development, life skills, literacy, career development and preventions. Provide guidance counseling and referrals to participants (when necessary). Operate as Mentor Coordinator for Sisters for Sisters Empowerment Programs and Career Coach for Youth Careers and Entrepreneurs.

Feb 2006Apr 2007

Executive Director Asst. - ABJ Center of the Arts

ABJ Community Services

Assistant to Youth Program Director for after school programs which supported inner city youth. Duties included schedule, training, counseling and tutoring. Designed and produced marketing materials for theatrical shows and program promotions. Wrote, created, and designed sponsorship campaign materials, and developed press releases. Organized and developed presentation materials for Executive Director. Provided planning support for ticketing prior and at live events. Performed as Floor Manager at live events and assisted Executive Director in various capacities. On-site provided basic computer training courses for youth computer lab. Desktop support services typically involving installation of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software. Assisted IT Administrator with desktop problem resolution analysis, installation of PCs, printers, scanners and other PC peripherals.


Feb 1988May 1991

Bachelors of Art

Columbia College of Chicago


May 2018Present

Certified Business Development Advisor

Illinois Department of Commerce Economic Opportunities

Illinois Entrepreneurship & Small Business Growth Association

Feb 2017Present

Certified Business Small Business Advisor


Visual toolbox and cloud-based platform to help client companies make decisions and take action with a 360° prospective.

Aug 2014Aug 2014

Certificate of Achievement

Grants Network: Knowledge Base Training: - Grants 101 - Programmatic Compliance - Goal Setting
May 2009May 2009

Certification of Completion

Institute for Strategic Funding Development
Strategic Grant Writing, Program Planning and Grant Research
Apr 2006Jun 2006

Small Business Training Series Certificate of Completion

Small Business Administration
SBA Certification Small Business Training
May 2005Jun 2005

Business Plan Writing Certificate of Completion

City Colleges of Chicago Olive Harvey College

Business Writing Training Series