J. O'Connell & Associates

Our Team

Jean K. O’Connell President

Jean has been meeting the grant development needs of municipalities, school districts, and nonprofit organizations since 1986. In November of 1991, she assumed the position of sole proprietor of J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc., Grant Consultants. Jean has a varied professional background, which includes teaching, serving as an Executive Director of a senior center, and working as a grant-writer for another firm. Jean and a partner worked two years in a new grants consulting firm, which soon became J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc.

Jean is a graduate of Buffalo State College, and has a BS and MS in Education, as well as a New York State Teacher’s Certification. In addition to her credentials, she is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), Western New York Chapter. In June of 1997, she graduated as a fellow of the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL) at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Management. She enthusiastically embraces the development and implementation of all of the challenges presented in entrepreneurial leadership for the betterment of her business.

The success of J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc. has been recognized by the business community and Jean has received many awards, as well as serving on numerous Boards and Committees. Jean is a member of or received the following recognition:

  • 2005 Women Who Mean Business’ Award – Business First
  • 2002, 2003 ‘Woman of Influence’ – recognized by Business First
  • 2002, 2003 Top 50 Woman Owned Businesses in WNY – Business First
  • Who Runs WNY Business 2001 – Business First
  • 1999 Nomination/Working Woman Magazine – Entrepreneurial Excellence Award
  • Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL)/SUNY at Buffalo – Class of 1997
  • Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Alumni Association – Treasurer 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, & 2004
  • Buffalo Launch Club, Grand Island, NY, Member Long Range Planning Committee
  • 2011-2016 Clarence Hollow Business Association – President 2012-2016
  • American Planning Association, WNY Chapter
  • Association of Fundraising Professionals, WNY Chapter
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Clarence Chamber of Commerce
  • New York State Teachers Certification


Heather Milone  Vice President / Director of Operations

Heather Milone joined J. O’Connell & Associates, Inc. in 2012 as Office Manager and now holds the position of Vice President / Director of Operations.

Heather oversees the daily operation of the office and provides supervision for the firm’s staff, using her organizational skills and motivating qualities to keep the staff performing at the highest level possible.  Heather is responsible for project assignments, grant reviews, and on-going staff training and she works closely with Jean on hiring and building client relationships.  She acts as a client liaison and her goal is to continue to keep J. O’Connell & Associates a thriving business long into the future.

Prior to joining the firm, Heather worked as an Electrical Engineer for a consulting firm and as a substitute teacher for the Clarence Central School District.  Along with her husband Anthony, she has spent the last 20 years raising three children.  Her volunteer activities include serving on The Clarence Hollow Association Board as the Treasurer (2013-present). She is very excited about reviving the Hollow back to the way it was when she was a little girl. She dedicates a lot of volunteer hours to the cause and is instrumental in putting together HollowFest, the 4th of July festival held in the Hollow.

She previously served on the Clarence Girls’ Softball Board for 10 years (2003-2013) as the Treasurer and coached her daughters’ travel teams for 8 years. Passionate about softball, she helped secure a new score board for the Clarence High School Varsity Softball field that recognizes the team for their 2012 New York State Championship.  She is also proud of the fact that her oldest daughter was the short stop on the winning team.

Heather holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Temple University located in Philadelphia, PA.


Jean O’Connell and Heather Milone are supported by a team of talented and degreed professional grant writers, grant administrator, and researcher. Together our staff conducts client interviews to identify and define client goals and objectives; researches grant opportunities to match those goals, and then using strong writing, editing and analytical skills produces a high quality grant proposal that meets those goals.

Please scroll through our website where we further expand on our capabilities and services, highlighting a proven track record of Grants Awarded successes. Visit the Case Studies provided and see grant funding in action, and check the Latest News for details on how our municipal, non-profit organizations and school district clients have put our knowledge, expertise and talents to work for their organization.