Sometimes a person's gender is unclear from a name _ names like "Corey" or "Blake," are both common women's and men's names. If that is the case, do some investigating to determine gender from searching on LinkedIn or a company website. But if it remains ambiguous, simply write out the person's full name, dropping the title. For example, "Dear Corey Meyer."
Nobody liked your project idea, so we are not going to give you any funding. The first version is a weaker statement, emphasizing facts not directly relevant to its point. The second version provides the information in a simple and direct manner. But you don’t need to be an expert on style to know that the first phrasing is diplomatic and respectful (even though it’s less concise) as compared with the second version, which is unnecessarily harsh and likely to provoke a negative reaction.