Grant Writing and Administrative Experience
25 years of work experience in grants:
Since 2001, we have been writing grants and developing programs for local school districts, charters, colleges, medical institutions, universities, nonprofit organizations and municipalities. Our talented and knowledgeable staff brings more than 60 total years of grant writing and grant developing experience to ERI, which separates us from competitors and leads to our grant 79% success rate.
Our Experienced and Trusted Staff
Linda V. Alaniz
The founder of Educational Research Institute in 2001, Linda leads the company and is responsible for developing and implementing its high-level strategies, making major corporate decisions, managing the overall operations and resources and acting as the main point of communication between the board of directors and the corporate operations. She also works closely with school districts, charters, colleges, medical institutions, universities, nonprofit organizations and municipalities to help determine their needs and assists with locating and suggesting available grant opportunities that fall within their goals. Born and raised in Texas, Linda has years of experience in higher education. Prior to starting ERI, she worked as the Director of the High School Equivalency Program (HEP) at the University of Texas-Brownsville/Texas Southmost College. She earned a master’s degree from University of Brownsville and Texas Southmost College (UTB/TSC) and enjoys her work at ERI, specifically helping the most in need when it comes to academics, health, employment and the homeless. Linda, who enjoys reading and fishing in her free time, says her favorite book is “Wealth without Risk” by Steven Covey. She sees new opportunities and goals for ERI. “I would like to increase our help to small, rural schools who rarely apply for grants because they don’t have the specialized personnel to write and manage the grants.” She resides in Harlingen and is a single mother of two young men, Oscar Lorenzo and Alonzo Isaac Alaniz.
Vice President/Grant Consultant
Lorenzo is ERI’s vice president and leads the company and is responsible for developing and implementing its high-level strategies, making corporate decisions and managing the overall operations and resources of the company. He works closely with school districts, colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations to help them determine their needs and assists them with locating and suggesting available grant opportunities. Since he was a teenager, Lorenzo has been directly involved in researching and writing hundreds of grants and securing funds for school districts, universities, college and nonprofit organizations. Through his work with Educational Research Institute (ERI) he secured hundreds of millions of dollars in grant funding for organizations in need, Lorenzo found his niche and his talent to provide clients with trusted service, while helping them develop projects and secure the funding needed to make their ideas a reality. For Lorenzo, who believes “To whom much is given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48), his mother, Linda Alaniz created the pathway to grant writing by building her own successful business and now his goal is to keep building upon that foundation. Lorenzo is working toward finishing his bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and enjoys fishing, golfing and weight training in his limited free time.
Senior Grant Specialist
With grant writing experience going back to 2008, Maggie’s ability to connect with people has helped
her develop great relationships with her clients. She is responsible for identifying grant opportunities,
managing grant submission deadlines, performing grant writing and editing duties, providing program
oversight, budgeting and reporting. Maggie’s favorite part of working for ERI is her ability to meet and
work with people she normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to. She also loves to see the programs
that ERI is able to help agencies implement and the impact they have on individuals, families and the
communities. Her ability to stay organized and be deadline driven comes from her years of management in restaurants in her home state of Texas. She admits, while her previous career helped her with the skills to work at ERI, she never would have imagined becoming a grant writer. “I never knew what it was to be a grant writer. It was not anything that your counselor will tell you about or shows up as a career path, but since being introduced to this process, I can’t imagine doing anything else.” In her free time, Maggie enjoys reading books and watching movies that both touch her heart and make her laugh, such as “The Shack,” “Book Club” and “What Dreams May Come.” Maggie lives in Harlingen, is married and has two beautiful children who mean the everything to her.
Grant and Data Specialist
Joining ERI in 2016, Alonzo uses his technology and analytical skills to perform his responsibilities that
include collecting and reviewing data, writing and editing grant proposals, including budgets, submitting
foundation grants, and conducting conference calls with clients. He is highly driven and in the process of pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. He attributes
that drive to his family, who are all goal-driven individuals. “My father is a lawyer, my mother is an
entrepreneur and my brother is an entrepreneur. They all strive to work hard and assist those that are facing times of need.” That is his favorite aspect about working at ERI. He says he enjoys assisting students that are most in need as well as being able to work with such a variety of different individuals
on a daily basis. One if his favorite quotes is something he lives by and assists his work at ERI and in
grant writing, “If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan, but never the goal.” Alonzo is a native of Texas
and lives in Harlingen where enjoys basketball, golf and weight training in his free time.
After 25 years as a professional journalist, Lisa joined ERI in September 2019 and brought with her the writing and editing skills that are utilized daily in the organization. She is responsible for identifying grant opportunities, performing grant writing and editing and submitting various types of grants. Lisa earned a master’s degree in Communication at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley many years after receiving a bachelor’s degree with a print journalism major in her home state of Wisconsin. In her years of work prior to joining ERI, Lisa was the editor of three different newspapers in three different states, the most recent being the Valley Morning Star, a 7-day a week newspaper in Harlingen. Her ability to think critically, put ideas onto paper and meet deadlines comes from the years in that industry and now she is pleased to bring those talents and skills to ERI and “help local nonprofit organizations and school districts meet goals and dreams they wouldn’t be able to without the funding ERI obtains for them.” Lisa says she is proud of the work she does at ERI, but also is stimulated by it and admits she learns something new every day. In her free time, Lisa enjoys golfing, taking walks with her three rescue dogs, reading and relaxing in front of the television.
Risk and Compliance Consultant
Assisting the growth and development of people and business is an aspect that Pat both enjoys and has years of experience doing. Formerly with her 36-year career focused on helping individuals and families gain access to social, educational, nutritional and vocational programs as the Social Services Director for the Cameron County Public Health Department, she has been with ERI since late 2019 focused on developing internal company policies and aligning risk and performance indicators to business objectives. The Texas native attended the University of Texas – Pan American (Now UTRGV) and earned her license as a Social Work Associate. Some of her experiences include being part of the Incident Command Team responding to public health incidents and disasters for the Cameron County Public Health Department. When she’s not focused on compliance and personnel, Pat enjoys cooking out, watching movies and spending time with her family. Her husband Leo, son Jacob (a UTRGV student pursuing a degree in education) and nephew Ramsey (a UTRGV graduate in graphic design now residing in Colorado) are her favorites to spend time with, when she’s not involved in her hobby of making jewelry.