After a year-long certification process, Betsy Peperak, director of strategic communications at RJL Solutions, is officially Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) certified through the Indiana Office of Community & Rural Affairs (OCRA).
“I’m definitely looking forward to being able to provide this service to clients,” states Peperak. “We work closely with rural communities in and around West Central Indiana, and there is such a need for this. RJL Solutions is proud to be able to provide this support to those communities and help them get their share of the available funding.”
Terre Haute is surrounded by non-entitlement communities, which are eligible to receive funds through these planning and construction grants for specific projects. OCRA’s CDBG program supports Wastewater Drinking Water, Stormwater Improvements, Public Facilities, Blight Clearance and Main Street Revitalization projects in rural communities.
Due to the complexity of the program, only those who have a current certification are able to write and administer these specific federally-funded grants. The certification process takes place over the course of a year, with four required sessions, some of which are three days long, culminating in a two-part project-like exam to receive the certification.
Peperak holds a Master of Arts in professional writing from Eastern Illinois University (EIU) and a Bachelor of Science degree in English teaching from Indiana State University. She was awarded a Presidential Graduate Assistantship while obtaining her graduate degree at EIU, where her master’s thesis focused on grant writing. In February 2018, she joined the first fully-online Master of Leadership Development cohort at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College and added a second master's degree to her list of accomplishments in February 2019.
As Director of Strategic Communications at RJL Solutions, Betsy is responsible for leading the development of strategic communications programs and elevating the profile of RJL Solutions and its clients. Her department provides services in grant writing, research and data analysis, web design, branding, social media marketing and more.