Maribeth Vander Weele
Reflections on 20 Years of Grants Oversight at the Vander Weele Group
As a high school student on the South Side of Chicago in the 1940s, my mother signed up for a science class. One day, the students received exciting news—her classroom would receive brand new microscopes. The teacher was thrilled and, as a future nurse, so was my mom. Along with everyone else, she waited eagerly for the shipment to arrive.
The class waited and waited and waited—but the microscopes never came. They were stolen, leaving the school out of money and depriving students of vital science education.
When I read about yet another organization being swindled out of important equipment or crucial grant money, I think of that story. Mostly, I think about how hurt and disappointed the teacher and students were.
In the world of grants oversight, we spend a lot of time talking about fraud: how it works, how to prevent it, and how to spot it. What sometimes is overlooked are the people most affected by the losses: the people who the equipment and grants were designed to serve.
Those people—often the most vulnerable members of our communities—are why I entered the business of grants oversight. At every level of government, dozens of programs aim at helping those who need it most, working to keep them housed, fed, educated, and safe. When those programs are defrauded or the money is ill-used and ineffective, we all lose out. As someone who believes in doing my part to make the world better, I’m committed to helping protect every dollar that’s been promised for that purpose.
Over the last 20 years, the Vander Weele Group has worked hard to ensure that we leave every program we serve better than when we arrived. We pride ourselves on our skill, hard work, and passion for what we do. Over time, we’ve grown and expanded the scope of our services, coming to focus on grants monitoring as a vehicle for meaningful change. By providing agencies and organizations with concrete data to gauge the successes, risks, and opportunities of their programs, we empower them to be the best version of themselves. By sharing training, tools, and our expert knowledge, we provide critical support to people as committed as we are to ensuring that every grant makes a difference.
Here’s to two decades and counting!
Maribeth Vander Weele President & CEO