top of page

Our story

Nexus Research Group (NRG) is a strategic advisement firm that provides consulting services to corporations, foundations and government agencies designed to help them achieve impactful grantmaking that results in measurable social change. Our extensive evaluation background provides us unique insight into the lifecycle of social investment across a range of issues, which we leverage to help our clients make giving decisions that truly reflect their priorities and goals.


Our approach blends academic research, field experience and informed opinion to move our clients along a systematic process that ensures they are achieving the greatest possible social return on investment. The result is greater accountability, stronger philanthropic integrity and more sustainable social change over time.

Our team


Founder and CEO

Kelly launched Nexus Research Group in 2009 to support community-based organizations seeking to make a difference in the world. Since that time, NRG has grown into a full-service consulting firm specializing in program strategy and non-profit performance, working both with non-profits and the organizations that fund them. In addition to her strong management and leadership abilities, Kelly brings deep subject matter expertise in a range of areas including youth development, workforce development, community development and affordable housing, social and racial equity and economic inclusion.


In her civic life, Kelly has served on numerous local and national advisory boards. In 2014, she was recognized by the Partnership for Southern Equity for her outstanding commitment to regional equity with the Visionary Leadership Award and in 2016 she was named Atlanta 40 Under 40 by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.


Kelly Burton holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Clark Atlanta University and a Ph.D. from Emory University, both in political science.

Phoebe Goodson


Phoebe administers the day-to-day office management tasks to ensure a more efficient work environment for NRG. With more than 28 years of combined work experience in administrative support, software application support, bookkeeping support and training coordination, Phoebe brings a wealth of experience to NRG.


Prior to joining NRG, she spent 20 years with Atlanta Gas Light Company, where she held a variety of positions. Phoebe managed the computer training center for the company by providing support and training in software applications for all employees. She also supervised the creation of the Computer-Based Training logo for the launch of a company-wide, computer-based training environment, which moved the company from traditional classroom training. During her tenure with Atlanta Gas Light, Phoebe also provided support and training to administrative staff and new associates involved in office orientation.

Patryce curtis

Project Manager

Patryce Curtis serves as a Senior Associate managing the firm’s project-related work. She has over 15 years of experience in working with local, state and federal partners including non-profit organizations, public health research organizations and other firms. She has served in a consultative and management capacity to several organizations to assist in the development, implementation, evaluation and analysis of various programs. Her expertise is in the areas of HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy prevention, seat belt interventions, health equity, physical activity, health disparities, health communications, transportation, education research and minority health.


Patryce received her undergraduate degree in Biology from Tuskegee University and her graduate degree in Healthcare Policy and Administration from Mercer University.

Joye Sistrunk


Joye Smith Sistrunk is currently the Principal/Founder of Premier Group Services (PGSI), a Certified Public Accounting and Management Consulting firm. Always having a passion for problem solving and a desire to help others, Joye decided at a very early age that she wished to be Certified Public Accountant.


After graduating with an accounting degree from Loyola College in 1998, she went on to obtain her Master’s Degree in International Business from the University of Baltimore in 2005. Joye also served as a member of the United States Air Force Reserves. 


Building PGSI, from the ground up since 2005, it has expanded from one staff member to now more than 10 employees and consultants. The mission of PGSI is to offer both individuals and businesses personalized accounting and financial management services by “Accounting for your Success”


So, how does a small consulting firm do such large-scale work? We partner. We believe in the power of strategic partnership and have partnered with top-tier firms throughout our existence. NRG and our partners have the sort of deep experience and breadth of skills that provide us a solid competitive edge, and our history of working together synergistically ensures an efficient and seamless experience for our clients each and every time.

CHC specializes in collaborative community health approaches, providing high-quality support in the areas of program design, implementation, evaluation, and other activities associated with community-based health programming. CHC’s work is founded in the principles of community-based participatory research and facilitative leadership and it uses evidence-based strategies to guide every step of our process – from baseline community health needs assessments to community and partner engagement, from strategic planning to strategic action, and from program conception to program evaluation.


KPLLC is a strategic consultation and research evaluation firm that partners with philanthropic, government, and private and public institutions to develop, implement, and evaluate their social investments. KPLLC’s work is designed to clarify and maximize the impact of the various systems and interventions with people who seek to improve the lives of children, families, and communities. Dedicated to the use of data to inform policy and programming priorities, align grantmaking strategy, and support the documentation of impact and outcomes, KPLLC brings together consultants who have over 75 years of experience in evaluation and strategic decision-making. The approach is practical and participatory.


ILI is a not-for-profit organization with the mission to assist organizations and community development experts who span a range of professions and professional career stages the building of economically and socially healthier urban, suburban and rural communities. ILI supports servant leaders, across diverse professions, expertise and experiences, committed to the building of economically and socially healthier communities.


trepwise is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to use entrepreneurial thinking and approaches to grow and sustain for-profit and non-profit organizations by providing innovative and practical solutions. trepwise serves organizations at all stages of development: working with incubators that support entrepreneurs, with growth ventures in the process of scaling, and with established organizations that are looking to foster a culture of innovation.  The trepwise team brings a broad set of skills and experiences that can be applied to any industry, and can fulfill functions typically performed by a COO, CFO or CMO, as well as strategic facilitation and executive coaching. 


AIM Philanthropy is a joint impact initiative between trepwise and Nexus Research Group dedicated to making philanthropy more impactful by marrying organizational effectiveness and evaluative learning practices with grantmaking strategy to help foundations achieve the highest possible social return on investment. With solid experience across the corporate, government and third sectors, both nationally and internationally the firms bring a diverse perspective, based in acumen and industry knowledge, driven by an accomplished team. We work with clients to clarify their goals and develop strategies for impactful grantmaking.

Community Health Cooperative(CHC)

Kaleidoscope Pathways, LLC (KPLLC)

The Institute for Local Innovations, Inc. (ILI)


aiM Philanthropy

bottom of page