KO Consulting has equipped their team with the best and brightest minds in the Mahoning Valley. Each consultant has a diverse and equitable background that enables KO to have the ability to help any client that is interested in our services.


A Team Of Professionals


Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Kristen is a life-long Struthers resident who utilizes her background and experience to lead community and economic development projects across the Mahoning Valley. She founded KO Consulting in 2012 while working full-time as the Grants Coordinator for the Mahoning County Sanitary Engineering Department. In Fall 2020, Kristen left her job with the county to pursue serving her community full-time through KO Consulting.

Kristen is responsible for bringing millions of dollars to our community through her work at the county and through KO Consulting. She is actively developing multiple organizations aimed at bringing economic development and growth back to the Youngstown area.

In addition to KO Consulting, Kristen serves as Executive Director of Green Industrial Manufacturing, Inc (GIME), and is a Partner of Blue Phoenix Strategies. Kristen also serves as President of the Board for the YWCA, a board member of Youngstown Prosperity, and is a member of the Struthers Rotary Community Corps, among many other community serving roles.


Flavio Aiken


Flavio is a Pittsburgh native that graduated from The Ohio State University in 2004. He is a Consultant at KO that works with government clients to obtain State and Federal grant funding to reach their economic and community development goals. Flavio’s previous experience includes 7 years as a Compliance Team Lead at a Litigation Law firm and non-profit grant writing.

Cara Annandono

Associate Consultant

Cara is an Associate Consultant and Environmental Specialist at KO and a Warren, Ohio native. She received her Bachelor of Science in Environment, Economy, Development and Sustainability (EEDS) – with a specialization in Community Development – from The Ohio State University. EEDS is an interdisciplinary course of study, centered on the assessment and implementation of sustainability practices in our environment, economy and society. 

Prior to joining KO, Cara worked at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District. She helped manage community outreach programs that supported conservation efforts in the county. In addition to her work at Franklin Soil and Water, Cara managed the Hilltop Sustainability program. The program aimed to improve recycling rates in Hilltop, a Columbus community, utilizing grant money from Keep Columbus Beautiful. In her EEDS studies, Cara developed decarbonization recommendations for Bexley, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, and generated a Sustainability Report for The Ohio State University’s parking organization, CampusParc. Cara is excited to bring her environmental expertise and experiences to the KO team. 



Kelsey is a consultant in the nonprofit services department. She provides a variety of services to our nonprofit clients to help them reach their organizational and fundraising goals.  

Kelsey has over a decade of experience working with nonprofit agencies across Northeast Ohio and Appalachia. Recently she was instrumental in growing a grassroots Latinx organization into a 501c3 nonprofit with a $2 million community center. She is also involved in the arts, serving as associate concertmaster and member of the board of directors for the Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra. Kelsey draws upon her wealth of experience in nonprofit administration, fundraising and community organizing to assist clients.


Associate Consultant

Dylan is one of our associate consultants in the nonprofit services department. He assists our senior consultants in helping nonprofit clients in reaching their goals. 

As a recent graduate of Youngstown State University (YSU), Dylan uses the skills he learned throughout his undergraduate career to support our clients. When he is not working, Dylan coaches a youth soccer team, volunteers throughout the community, and spends time with his family and friends. 



Pat Lowry joined KO Consulting in January 2023 and is working in the areas of consulting, grant writing and public relations. A life-long Mahoning Valley resident, Pat is a graduate of Youngstown State University in the fields of history and education and earned a master’s degree in School Counseling.

Pat has worked in education for 27 years as a teacher, school counselor and administrator, and 18-years of federal service with Congressman Tim Ryan, working in the areas of press and communications.

Pat has been active in the community, serving on the Board of Directors at Ursuline Ministries, and serving as President of the Board of Trustees of Jubilee Gardens, Inc., which owns and operates two community gardens in Youngstown. He is a former board member of the Mahoning Valley Community School.

Pat is passionate about the roles that non-profits, education and good government can play in providing economic and social equity to the Mahoning Valley community and seeks to provide them the resources they need to succeed. 


Associate Consultant

Gina is an Associate Consultant with KO Consulting. Within this role, Gina is managing the social media for KO, as well as, writing and familiarizing herself with the grant world. Gina is a recent graduate from Youngstown State University. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a double minor in English and Criminal Justice Studies. 

Before joining KO Consulting, Gina previously interned for Congressman Tim Ryan’s office from March 2022 to October 2022. Along with her internship, Gina was the District Organizing Director for Vince Peterson’s Campaign. Her political experience has allowed her to fit in nicely with the KO team. When Gina is not working, she focuses on spending time with her friends and family, and loves to read in her spare time. 

Proven Success

The Numbers Don’t Lie

In 2023, the team at KO Consulting secured over $6 million dollars in funding for our clients.


Percentage of Funds Received (of total grants applied for)


Pending Grants (of Total Grants Applied for)

Get In Touch

460 E Federal St.
Youngstown, OH 44503
[email protected]