2024 Spring Conference Speakers, Facilitators and Panelists

Rachel Ballatori

Founder and CEO of Mill + Co

Rachel Ballatori is the Founder and CEO of Mill + Co., a female-led advertising collective specializing in brand strategy and creative storytelling. Mill + Co. is currently based out of Manchester, NH, has served over 40 global clients in nearly 5 years (and growing), has two full-time employees (and growing), with a team of 150 vetted freelancers (93% female) covering all types of advertising and creative services. Rachel attended Johns Hopkins University to achieve degrees in Psychology and Entrepreneurship & Management, while competing on the Division 1 Women's Lacrosse team as a 2-time captain. She is an active member of the New Hampshire Tech Alliance, currently serves as the head of marketing for the Board of Directors to the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail in Canandaigua, NY, and is a member of both the Development Committee and the Board of Directors to the SEE Science Center in Manchester, NH.

Christine Baron

Senior Biotechnologist at Lonza Biologics

Christina is a first-generation Haitian American and is senior biotechnologist at Lonza Biologics. Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts and now resides in New Hampshire for the past fourteen years. Alongside being a mom of two young children, Christina has dedicated over a decade to making health care experience equitable for all moms through advocacy work on black maternal health, holds leadership roles in community civic associations, and her volunteer efforts in Haiti giving aid to people in the Sud Est, an area of Haiti with limited access to a hospital or clinical resources. She is also known for bringing people together across differences, and leading organizational efforts around inclusion, diversity and belonging. Christina received her degree in Biology, and holds certifications in biotechnology, and other biotech advanced qualifications. Christina is a member of the Equity Leaders Fellowship, and a member of the NHBSR board. Outside of being a mom, her career, and leadership and volunteer commitments, Christina enjoys traveling, going to concerts, and live comedy shows.

Ruth E. Berggren, MD

Professor of Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine - Dartmouth, Infectious Disease and International Health provider

Dr Ruth Berggren, is an Infectious Disease and International Health provider as well as a Professor of Medicine at Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine. In this role, she teaches ethics and professionalism while nurturing empathy and humanitarian values. Previously Dr. Berggren worked at UT Health San Antonio in fall 2006, this was after an eventful stint at New Orleans’ Charity Hospital, where she stood by her mostly uninsured patients in the HIV ward during Hurricane Katrina until all were safely evacuated six days later. She reflected on the experience in articles published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Her determination to inspire humanism in medicine and effect change through her own experiences led to her being named director of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics in October 2007. The daughter of public health physicians, Dr. Berggren spent her childhood at Haiti’s Hôpital Albert Schweitzer, named for the Nobel Prize-winning physician and humanitarian known for his philosophy of reverence for life. During medical school, she was named an Albert Schweitzer Fellow and traveled to the West African nation of Gabon to work at the hospital established by Dr. Schweitzer. Her involvement in global health and ties to Haiti continue today. Following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Dr. Berggren was active in relief efforts along the Haitian-Dominican border. She lectured widely on these experiences and on disaster preparedness for the American College of Physicians, Centers for Disease Control, American Medical Association, Pan American Health Organization and medical schools nationwide.

Sarah Brock

Energy Circuit Rider Program Director, Clean Energy NH

As Clean Energy NH's Energy Circuit Rider Program Director, Sarah Brock works with a growing team of Energy Circuit Riders to help municipalities and small businesses across New Hampshire plan, finance, and implement clean energy and energy efficiency projects. Sarah previously led energy and climate programming Vital Communities in the Upper Valley, where she coordinated campaigns to help residents and employees take action to reduce energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Gina Burke

Corporate and Community Engagement, Red River

Gina Burke is a culture builder and currently holds the Corporate & Community Engagement role at Red River where she leads their CSR, DEI, and volunteer efforts. Gina is the Board Chair at The Community Kitchen, part of the Trauma Responsive Monadnock team, serves on the Workplace Resources Committee for the Monadnock DEIB Coalition, is a member of the Human Rights Committee for the City of Keene, and is a Board of Trustee at Cedarcrest Center for Children with Disabilities. Gina has her Master’s Degree in Community Engagement from Merrimack College and lives in Keene with her husband Adam of close to 20 years and their 3 children Olivia, Brielle, and Maddox. Gina believes that “community” is transformational and the answer to most of the world’s problems.

Cara Campbell

Brand Project Manager at W.S. Badger Company

Cara Campbell has been passionate about DEIB and community development since childhood. Cara served as the Diversity and Inclusion Director for her university’s student government and has worked as an adult and childhood ESL educator domestically and abroad. A former AmeriCorps member and alternative educator, Cara has spent significant time working and volunteering in Central America, South America, and Southeast Asia. Cara currently works as a project manager at W.S. Badger Company, where she also serves as the chair of the Social Justice Peer Group, an employee affinity group working to provide opportunities for social justice education and engagement.

Brett Cromwell

Communications and Marketing Strategist

Brett Cromwell is a dynamic and passionate leader with extensive experience in directing communications and marketing departments. His diverse background includes coaching and collaborating with senior leadership, launching successful marketing and patient education programs, and implementing engagement initiatives for both small and large companies, including Medtronic Transformative Solutions, which was named #1 Best Company to Work For in New Hampshire four years in a row. In his most recent role, Brett led the Communications function for a $1 billion market-leading organization with a global workforce of 700+ employees.

Robert Dewey, MD

Robert Dewey, MD, Vice Chair, New Hampshire Healthcare Professionals

Bob Dewey is a retired Interventional Cardiologist who practiced for 30 years at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH. While caring for complex cardiac patients, he witnessed how extreme heat and poor air quality would complicate these patients’ care. Bob has been a community volunteer and is past president and a long-standing board member of the NH affiliate of the American Heart Association. As an outdoor enthusiast, he has had a special interest in maintaining green space and protecting our local forests. Bob and his family have spent a great deal of time hiking in the white mountains, and he is eager to help preserve this legacy for his grandchildren.

Sophia Donforth

Executive Director, Vermont and New Hampshire Energy Education Program (VEEP/NHEEP)

Sophia Donforth is executive director of the Vermont and New Hampshire Energy Education Program (VEEP/NHEEP). She holds a degree in interdisciplinary studies from Cornell University and master's degree in teaching from the University of Vermont. She brings her dual passions for education and community organizing to VEEP/NHEEP's work helping students, teachers and communities across VT and NH understand energy's role in our climate and work to make positive change at the community level.

Lisa Drake

Assistant Director, Fleet Electrification, Merchants Fleet

Lisa Drake is the Assistant Director of Fleet Electrification at Merchants Fleet, driving electrification of vehicle fleets in organizations across the U.S. Lisa leads Merchants efforts in developing leading-edge tools and resources for successful fleet EV adoption. She brings 20 years of expertise in corporate sustainability from her work at Stonyfield Organic where she developed and implemented innovative and award-winning environmental and energy initiatives. Her prior experience in managing economic development programs for the State of New Jersey as well as her long-standing work in climate and clean energy advocacy makes her a passionate resource for NHBSR in leveraging the power of the voices of corporate leaders to positively impact public discourse and policy. She is a licensed, professional engineer, and has BS and MS degrees in Civil & Environmental Engineering from Tufts University. Lisa is the proud winner of the 2022 Cornerstone Innovator Award from New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility and also serves as a Trustee of The Derryfield School and as an Ambassador and Advisory Committee Member for the NH Food Bank.

Sam Evans-Brown

Executive Director of Clean Energy New Hampshire

Sam leads Clean Energy New Hampshire in its effort to create a cleaner, more affordable, and more resilient energy system in the Granite State. Sam grew up in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. Prior to joining Clean Energy New Hampshire in 2021 he was a podcast host and radio journalist for nearly ten years, during which he wrote stories about New England energy issues extensively and won several regional and national awards. He's an excellent bike mechanic, a Spanish speaker, and a father of two. Sam graduated with a B.A. from Bates College in Politics and Spanish in 2009.

Ryan Fecteau

Senior Officer of Policy and Planning at Avesta Housing

Ryan serves as Senior Officer of Policy and Planning at Avesta Housing. Prior to joining Avesta Housing, he served as an advisor to Governor Janet Mills in 2023 and Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives from 2020 to 2022. He also served as the Maine House Assistant Majority Leader and as Chair of the Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development during his terms in the Maine Legislature from 2014 to 2022.

Deborah Gerson, MD

New Hampshire Healthcare Professionals

Dr. Gerson is a pathologist practicing at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, NH. She received a B.S. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.D. from Tufts University School of Medicine. Dr. Gerson completed her pathology residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami, FL, and her fellowship in surgical pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. She practiced pathology for several years in Florida where she learned first-hand the health dangers caused by hurricanes and extreme heat. She has also taught pathology to medical students at the University of Otago, in Dunedin, New Zealand for two years. Dr. Gerson has seen the health effects of global warming in her New Hampshire practice with the increase in tick-borne diseases such as babesiosis and Lyme disease. Dr. Gerson lives in Bedford, New Hampshire with her husband, two daughters, and three dogs. She has a passion for promoting action on the climate crisis to protect her family, her community, and the global population from the health impacts of climate change. Dr. Gerson serves on the board of directors and co-chairs the Education Working Group for the NH Health Care Workers for Climate Action.

Julien Gervreau

Director, Sustainability Implementation & Climate Action Planning

ESG and sustainable strategy, innovation, and operations professional with 15+ years of experience working with executive leadership to develop and implement successful environmental stewardship and social impact strategies. Values and data-driven professional adept at integrating systems thinking, financial analysis and related frameworks that make the business case for long-term investment in climate mitigation and resilience. Featured speaker at corporate sustainability events including B Corp Champions, Net Impact, Sustainable Brands, SXSW Eco, Environmental Leader, Solar Power International, Global Climate Action Summit, Berkshire Hathaway Sustainability Summit, Sustainable Agriculture Summit, etc.

Nicole Heimarck

Executive Director, Reaching Higher

Nicole has extensive experience as a leader in educational policy and a track record of implementing large-scale education transformations through national, state and local collaborations. She also has practical experience in public education ranging from Pre-K through post-secondary learning. Her previous roles include Director of Government Relations with the NH School Boards Association, Bureau Administrator in Education Preparation for the NH Department of Education, and Director of Curriculum and Professional Development for SAU 39: Amherst, Mont Vernon and Souhegan school districts. In 2019, she joined Reaching Higher NH to serve as Director of the NH Alliance for College and Career Readiness. In 2020, she moved into the role of Executive Director for Reaching Higher. Nicole received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Education from Stonehill College in North Easton, MA, a Master of Arts in Education Leadership from the University of New Hampshire, Durham, and has her Certification as a Critical Friends Group Coach by the School Reform Initiative. She is a resident of Amherst.

Anne L. Kelly

Vice President of Government Relations and Leads, Ceres Policy Network

Anne L. Kelly is the vice president of government relations and leads Ceres Policy Network, Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP). BICEP is a coalition of 52 leading consumer-facing companies advocating for meaningful climate and energy policy at the federal and state levels. Anne is a registered lobbyist and is actively engaged on Capitol Hill on behalf of Ceres and BICEP member companies. Anne is an environmental lawyer with twenty-five years of combined experience in the private and public sectors. In the 1990s, she directed the Massachusetts-based Environmental Crimes Strike Force consisting of a multi-disciplinary team of legal and engineering professionals charged with bringing high-profile civil and criminal actions against environmental violators through the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General. Anne later worked as special assistant to EPA Region 1 Administrator John DeVillars. In this role, she worked on corporate leadership programs and developed an International Pollution Prevention Program which was piloted in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Anne is a member of the adjunct faculty of Boston College Law School where she has taught courses in environmental law and climate change. Anne has also taught environmental law at Tufts University, Suffolk University, and New England School of Law. She serves on the boards of the Environmental League of Massachusetts and Massachusetts Interfaith Power & Light (MIP&L), and is fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL). In addition to her law degree, Anne holds a Master's in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Aimee Kereage

Community Partnerships Coordinator at Manchester Proud

Aimee Kereage is the Community Partnerships Coordinator for Manchester Proud. The Community Partnerships Coordinator position was created by Manchester Proud’s Partnership Network Work Group in response to the need to build and align community partners and resources in support of Manchester’s public schools. Aimee Kereage has been actively involved in Manchester’s youth-facing organizations and public schools for nearly a decade, making her the ideal candidate for the position. She served as one of the Family Success Coordinators of the Manchester Community Schools Project from 2015-2018, and since that time has been the Director of Community Impact for Granite United Way.

Karen Koutsavlis

Owner and Chief motivating officer of NE360Fitness

Karen Koutsavlis is the owner and Chief motivating officer of NE360Fitness. She's a certified master health coach, precision nutrition level 2 nutrition coach, and ACSM certified personal trainer. She has over 20 years experience working in clinical exercise physiology, strength & conditioning, and corporate wellness. She lives in Auburn, NH with her husband and two kids. She loves to travel, spend time outdoors, and is a sourdough hobbyist with a starter she's maintained for over 2 years.

Debra LeClair

Psy.D. Psychologist & Executive Coach, Full Spectrum Wellness and re-Sourced

Debra LeClair Psy.D. Psychologist & Executive Coach, Full Spectrum Wellness. With a strong background in behavior change, leadership development, stress management and brain science, Dr. Debra LeClair utilizes a multidimensional approach in working with clients to move through obstacles in meeting career and personal aspirations. She also consults and trains in corporations, non-profit agencies and public schools to implement positive cultural change, improve interpersonal communication and enhance talent retention and management. Debra holds Masters degrees in both Clinical and Applied Psychology and earned her Doctorate in Applied Psychology from Rutgers University in 1998. She is a Certified Life Coach and Peoplemap Trainer™ as well as a trained executive coach. In 2010, Debra completed a practicum at The Center for Mindfulness at UMASS Medical School to become a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Instructor and has been able to adapt the program to onsite work settings.

Zack Lemear

Pivot Creative Partner, Brand Strategist and Passionate Tech Enthusiast

Zack Lemear is passionate with a mind for all things business, branding, marketing, and tech. He is currently a partner and senior strategist at Pivot Creative a full service branding and marketing agency in Manchester NH. Zack has led a diverse career over the last 24 years as a serial entrepreneur, IT project manager, computer technician, website developer, marketing and sales consultant, brand strategist, and graphic designer, resulting in a command of both creative and technical fields with the ability to communicate and translate between the two.

David Loehwing

Head of Sustainability & Stewardship, North America

David leads the sustainability team in North America and is responsible for overseeing Impax’s sustainability and ESG research and development of its methodologies, as well as engagement and stewardship across Impax portfolios. David leads on Impax’s internal sustainability frameworks including the construction and management of Impax’s Systematic ESG Rating and the Impax Gender Score. He is a member of the Impax Sustainability Centre, Sustainability Lens Committee, Sustainability Policy Committee and ESG & Sustainability Committee which govern integration of sustainability and stewardship in Impax’s investment process. David’s role at Impax also includes Co-Chair of the Environment Group and member of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Group. David has worked in sustainable investing since 1998. Before joining Impax in 2007, he worked in the field at Citizens Advisers and the Investor Responsibility Research Centre. David has been active within industry working groups and advisory committees related to sustainable investing. David graduated from Bowdoin College, Maine, with a BA in sociology.

Britt Lundgren

Senior Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs at Lactalis USA

Britt Lundgren is the Senior Director of Sustainability and Government Affairs at Lactalis USA, which includes the brands Stonyfield, Siggi’s, and Commonwealth. She has over fifteen years of experience working to advance agricultural sustainability through policy and supply chain initiatives in both the non-profit and business sectors. She holds a Master of Science in Agriculture, Food, and Environment from Tufts University. Britt serves on the boards of the Organic Trade Association, the Sustainable Food Lab, and the New Hampshire Conservation Law Foundation, and co-chairs the board for the Northeast Organic Family Farm Partnership. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband Will and daughter Ada, and is an avid fiddle player.

Teresa Dean Malcolm MD, FACOG, MBA, CPE, PCC (She/Her/Hers)

Vice President Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging, Dartmouth Health

Teresa Dean Malcolm, MD, FACOG, MBA, CPE, PCC is zealous in her belief a culturally competent and exceptional experience in clinical care, the human(e) experience, is achievable through meaningful and authentic relationships with others. Her journey in healthcare evolved from the care delivery at the bedside as a board-certified OB/GYN to leadership in the boardroom. Dr. Malcolm (Terri) is the System Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging for Dartmouth Health and is a current board member of the American Association of Physician Leadership.

James McKim

Organizational Ignition

James McKim is Founder and Managing Partner of Organizational Ignition, a Management Consulting practice. He is a sought-after organizational performance speaker, coach, change manager, and author of the best-selling book The Diversity Factor: Igniting Superior Organizational Performance. Over his 35+ year career, he has helped small and large organizations, for-profit and non-profit, spark efficiency and growth through the aligning of people, process, and technology. Mr. McKim is known internationally for his current focus on organizational and individual performance through diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). He is recognized by industry watchers such as Atd, Brandon Hall, Bersin Associates, Axelos, and PMI for his dedication to creating win-win situations between organizations and their employees. In addition to founding 2 companies, he has held senior leadership roles at or worked with organizations such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Fidelity, Dartmouth Hitchcock, and the Massachusetts Partnership for Diversity in Education in defining and executing strategic plans with an eye toward organizational performance. As the Chair of the Episcopal Church’s National Executive Council Committee Anti-Racism & Reconciliation, Mr. McKim was the principal writer of the church's guidelines on anti-racism and reconciliation. As President of the Manchester Branch of the NAACP, he works regularly with governments and businesses to eliminate discrimination. He is a frequent conference presenter, a guest on radio and television shows, serves as Chair of the Finance Committee of the NH PBS Board of Directors, and delights in being the vocalist for the jazz band The Episcocats.

Lucas Meyer

Principal, Catalyst Advocacy

Lucas S. Meyer brings a unique skill set and body of work that spans all facets of advocacy and electoral work. Having run several successful campaigns and advocacy coalitions in New Hampshire including Congressman Chris Pappas’s historic reelection in 2020 and the New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights/Fair Maps Coalition, Lucas delivers insightful strategic guidance critical to achieving success with your campaign or project. Before joining the firm, Lucas served as the Caucus Director for the New Hampshire Senate Democratic Caucus overseeing all aspects of the 2016 targeted Senate campaigns including strategy, message development, budgets, organizing and paid communications. Lucas has also previously served as a public affairs consultant for one of largest energy companies in North America, tech startups, and other national advocacy organizations. He also previously served as a campaign manager for Chris Pappas's Executive Council race in 2014 and before that served as the Deputy Communications Director for the NH Democratic Party. Lucas has been featured in the Boston Globe, MSNBC, WMUR, PBS, and dozens of other national, regional, and state media outlets.

Jim Monahan

Managing Partner, The Dupont Group

Jim Monahan has a strong and established public affairs practice that focuses on representing businesses, trade associations and non-profit organizations before state and federal governmental agencies. This work includes an emphasis on policy development, legislative advocacy and effective communications. Jim’s professional focus includes energy, transportation and environmental issues. In addition, he does work in the health care field, with an emphasis on Medicaid policy. Jim also oversees the Dupont Group’s public relations division, White Birch Communications Group. In recent years, Jim has been the public policy architect of a number of major legislative and regulatory initiatives including environmental and energy campaigns, as well as projects in the Medicaid and behavioral health arenas. Jim was elected as Merrimack County Treasurer in the Fall of 2008 and served one term. Currently, he serves on the Concord Zoning Board of Adjustment. Jim is well known for providing news media analysis on topics around politics and public policy. Formerly, Jim was a member of the Independent System Operator (ISO) New England Board Advisory Committee, and a contributing editor to the political website Primary Diner.

Aubrey Nelson

Energy Educator and Climate Action Project Advisor, VT and NH Energy Education program (VEEP/NHEEP)

Aubrey is a mom, outdoor enthusiast, and Energy Educator and Climate Action Project Advisor with the VT and NH Energy Education program (VEEP/NHEEP). She loves to explore and share the endless curiosities the world has to offer with those around her, so she was naturally drawn into teaching. She began with outdoor, experiential education programs, served for six years on the board of directors for NH Environmental Educators (NHEE), earned her MEd from Antioch in Educating for Sustainability, and spent 7 years teaching middle school science before joining VEEP/NHEEP in 2019. Her role at VEEP/NHEEP includes advising youth and teachers who are looking to take climate action.

Jodie Nezaka

Director of Economic Development for the City of Manchester

Jodie is the Director of Economic Development for the City of Manchester, NH, bringing over a decade of experience in municipal community development. In this position, she is responsible for advancing the City’s position as a regional employment and entertainment center, advocating for a more robust business climate while focusing on business retention and expansion, and creating a solid brand that fosters civic pride, builds consistency, and reflects community values. Jodie earned an MBA in Public Administration from Southern New Hampshire University and a BS in Environmental Planning with a Minor in Geographic Information Systems from Plymouth State University. She possesses numerous certifications, including a Creative Placemaking Certificate from the Institute of Art and Design at New England College and a Leadership and Management Certificate from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. She actively participates in the American Institute of Certified Planners. In addition to her daily work, Jodie has been an active member of the New Hampshire Planners Association executive committee; the Northern New England Chapter of APA; the PlanNH Board of Directors; the Manchester Young Leaders Council; The Greater Manchester Chamber Board of Directors; Manchester Connects, and other local organizations.

Richard Ober

President and CEO, NH Charitable Foundation

Dick Ober leads the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, the largest private provider of nonprofit grants and student aid in northern New England. The Foundation manages more than $1 billion in charitable funds donated by hundreds of families and individuals, and awards some 7,000 grants and scholarships exceeding $60 million annually. Dick has 30 years of experience in nonprofit management and civic affairs. Before coming to the Foundation, he held senior staff positions at the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests and the Monadnock Conservancy. He has served on numerous nonprofit boards and public commissions, including several Gubernatorial appointments. Dick currently serves as a board member of the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) and is founder and chair of the Community Foundation Opportunity Network (CFON). He is past chair of CF Leads. Dick has written and lectured widely on community philanthropy, civic life, and the connections between people and the places they live. His work has been published in books, book chapters, magazines, and journals. He has been recognized with awards from the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of New Hampshire, and Plymouth State University, and has repeatedly been named as one of the state’s most influential people by leading NH business publications. Dick lives with his wife and daughter in Dublin, New Hampshire.

Mike O’Brien

Communications and Policy Director for the New Hampshire Speaker of the House

As the Communications and Policy Director for the New Hampshire Speaker of the House, Michael has been a leading influence on the legislative agenda in New Hampshire and has extensive knowledge of the government process within the House and Senate. He has written policy documents and advised legislators on a wide range of issues, and has deep insight into how various policies will impact people in districts across the state. He also served as the primary liaison between the House of Representatives and the public, media, advocacy organizations, and lobbyists regarding legislation, a position that earned him a reputation as a highly-skilled communicator and relationship builder. From this position he developed good rapport with Republicans and Democrats, making him an effective and well-respected political advisor. Michael has also spent eight years as the Political and Field Director for America Votes New Hampshire, building a coalition of nonpartisan organizations and policymakers to pass proactive voting rights legislation. In this role, he has tracked and analyzed key legislation, created talking points and communications plans, led legislative and electoral discussions, built relationships with lawmakers, and represented America Votes at conferences, events and meetings. Through his political experience in Concord and in communities across the state, Michael has a deep understanding of the political landscape in New Hampshire. He pays attention to the details that matter to legislators and their constituents, and he uses this insight to help shape meaningful policy for Preti Strategies clients. Michael has a political science degree from Emmanuel College, and also completed the American Politics Program at American University.

Bradford Paige

President/CEO at Kennebunk Savings Ban

Brad Paige, joined Kennebunk Savings in 1998 and was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in 2009. He is a graduate of Kennebunk High School and St. Lawrence University and is an honors graduate of the New England School of Banking at Williams College. Brad has served on the boards of a number of non-profits over his career; he currently serves on the Futures Board of Northeast Passage, the board of SOS Recovery Community Organization, and the Maine Recovery Friendly Workplace Advisory Board. Brad believes deeply in the value of community and community banking, and is proud to be a part of a purpose-driven organization that is focused daily on its mantra that helping one another is always the right thing to do.

Zack Sheehan

Project Director of the NH School Funding Fairness Project

Zack Sheehan is the Project Director of the NH School Funding Fairness Project, and is responsible for guiding the design and implementation of their long-term vision, crafting policy strategies, overseeing the organization’s management and resource development, and leading its efforts to attain comprehensive, lasting, and equitable reform of New Hampshire’s school funding system. Before joining NHSFFP, Zack was a Legislative Assistant in the New Hampshire House and a Field Organizer with the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy.

Melissa Skarupa

Community Relations Manager, Dartmouth-Hitchcock

Melissa Skarupa is the Community Relations Manager for Dartmouth-Hitchcock and has over 15 years’ experience in Community Relations and Communications. She previously worked for Public Service of New Hampshire, Child and Family Services of New Hampshire, Centerstone Behavioral Healthcare in Nashville, TN and Capital Media Network in southern Florida. Melissa is a graduate of Lyndon State College in Vermont, where she was part of the Arthur B. Elliot honor society and earned her BA in Psychology. She also attained a Broadcast Journalism certificate from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Melissa’s work on a Methamphetamine Awareness and Prevention campaign for Centerstone Behavioral Health received a Bronze TELLE and Gold Addy Award. Melissa has volunteered time with many local non-profits and served as the VP of Communications for the Merrimack Chamber of Commerce, Auction and Marketing Chair for the Animal Rescue League of NH, and currently is part of the Nashua Department of Public Health and Community Service’s Access to Healthcare Work Group and is on the Board of Trustees for the YMCA of Greater Nashua. She has also run the Boston Marathon the past two years for Boston Children’s Hospital. Melissa’s favorite pass time is spending time with her husband Kevin, son Levi. She also enjoys running, gardening, cooking, and reading when time permits.

Devon Skerritt, Ed.D

Independent Design Researcher, Facilitator, and Strategist

Devon Skerritt, Ed.D., is an independent design researcher, facilitator, and strategist growing people’s capacity to navigate change and imagine possibilities by design. Devon works at the intersections of learning, inquiry, and civic engagement focused on communities’ participation in initiatives impacting them. His consultancy, Social Design Strategies, enables learning organizations, nonprofits, and civic institutions to understand people, context, and possibilities through creative problem solving, centered on equity and belonging. Over eight years of human-centered design practice, Devon drove design thinking through facilitation, coaching, and qualitative research across innovation teams at Southern New Hampshire University and organized Design and Innovation programs at Southern Methodist University through academic experiences and corporate partnerships. Devon has served as an adjunct lecturer teaching about Life Design and Liberatory design thinking, and brings more than 15 added years of experience in education administration roles serving students as an advisor and counselor at organizations from K12 to higher education. Devon received his Ed.D. from SMU and master’s degree (both in higher education) from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education, where was also a 2015 Social Impact Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. in history from Colgate University.

Lauren E. Szkodny, PhD

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Lauren E. Szkodny, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC)/Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Pennsylvania State University, completed her pre-doctoral internship at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University/ Feinberg School of Medicine, and was a psychology postdoctoral fellow in the Anxiety and Mood Disorders Services in the Department of Psychiatry at DHMC. She is a licensed psychologist specializing in the provision of evidence-based psychotherapies for adults presenting with anxiety, obsessive-compulsive, and trauma- and stressor-related disorders. Dr. Szkodny is dedicated to improving healthcare for populations vulnerable to experiences of trauma, with an emphasis on building outpatient and embedded trauma-focused programs and spearheading education initiatives to increase use of trauma-informed care (TIC) practices in medical settings. She has served as a collaborator on two Susan Richard Levy Health Care Delivery Incubator grants, one focused on Establishing and Evaluating a Program to Improve Access to Behavioral Healthcare in GI (PI: Jessica Salwen-Deremer, Ph.D.) and another on Improving Post-Incarceration Care (PI: Milan Satcher, M.D.). Dr. Szkodny also teaches and supervises psychology interns and postdoctoral fellows, psychiatry residents, and medical students in evidence-based assessment and psychotherapy practices. Moreover, Dr. Szkodny is committed to fostering an accepting, inclusive, and safe environment for patients and members of the Dartmouth Health workforce. She is the Department of Psychiatry Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) Champion, is a member of Dartmouth Health’s Affinity and Belonging Council, and is a co-leader and organizer of the EmBody+ Employee Resource Group, a health system-wide group challenging assumptions about what constitutes wellness, health, and acceptance as it relates to body size.

Tess Tacka

Senior Manager, Sustainability Reporting & ESG Disclosure, VF Corporation

Tess leads the ESG Reporting Team at VF Corporation (VFC), a global apparel, footwear and accessories company that counts The North Face®, Timberland®, Smartwool®, and Vans® among its portfolio of brands. In her role, Tess oversees the execution of both voluntary and regulated ESG disclosures for the global enterprise. Her team’s key responsibilities include publication of the VFC annual sustainability report, management of ESG investor ratings, oversight of ESG data governance, compliance with ESG-related disclosure mandates, and VFC’s double materiality assessment. Prior to joining VFC, Tess supported Fortune 500 companies on the development of their corporate social responsibility strategies on the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s advisory team and researched portfolio ESG risks and opportunities at Trillium Asset Management, a socially responsible investment firm. Tess received her master’s in corporate social responsibility and international business law from The Fetcher School at Tufts University.

Nick Taylor

Executive Director of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast

Nick Taylor is the Executive Director of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast. He has extensive advocacy, policy, and campaign experience in New Hampshire. Nick previously served as the Policy Director in the New Hampshire State Senate and consulted on state and federal advocacy campaigns. Nick currently serves on the Manchester Zoning Board of Adjustments and on the board of directors for Housing Action NH, the Cooperative Alliance for Seacoast Transportation, and The Forward Foundation.

Beth Tener


Beth Tener works with social change leaders in businesses, non-profits, and communities, helping them sense what is changing and find ways to take action aligned with their values. Her passion is to bring people together in ways that unlock and ignite personal, group, and community potential. As a strategy consultant and facilitator with New Directions Collaborative, based in Portsmouth, NH, she has worked with over 200 organizations and collaborative networks, working on issues such as climate change, racial justice, and local food systems. As a facilitator, she is skilled in designing interactive processes to access the diverse ideas of a group and generate alignment around the wise and strategic path forward. Beth worked with NHBSR to help curate and facilitate the NH Workplace Racial Equity Challenge, which explored how we shift from historical patterns of oppression to participation, belonging, and equity, where each person has opportunities to grow and flourish. She recently launched a new initiative called Kinship: a hub to amplify the power of community. Here, experienced community builders and social change leaders can connect and get peer support, mentoring, and learn together. The vision is to grow a healthy collaborative web across organizations and sectors in Seacoast NH, seeding new ideas and initiatives, and a culture of solidarity and mutual support that generates ripple effects. Through Kinship, Beth offers small groups, gatherings, workshops, and coaching. Beth was on the faculty in the MBA program at Marlboro College, and taught courses on systems thinking and leadership skills for complex problem solving. She has a B.A. in Political Science from Bates College and a M.S. in Environmental Technology from Imperial College in London. She also has a Permaculture Design Certificate (principles of ecological whole-systems design.)

Michael Turmelle

Initiative Leader, Education and Career Initiatives, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

Michael Turmelle is the initiative leader of education and career initiatives at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Michael’s position is a key part of the Foundation’s New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative to increase opportunities for New Hampshire’s children, from cradle to career. Michael leads the Foundation’s student aid team distributing more than $7 million in scholarships to 1,700 students across the state. Michael worked in public education in New Hampshire for 20 years — as a classroom teacher, principal, and assistant superintendent of schools. He has been a key leader in New Hampshire’s move to competency-based education, and has worked closely with students, staff and parents to prepare students for success in communities and careers.

Latonya Wallace

Director Community Relations, Community Loan Fund

Chances are good, you’ve met her. In her role as Director of Community Relations at the NH Community Loan Fund she is a powerhouse of positive outlook, mentorship, and grace behind a smile. She's a multi-tasker focused on finding solutions to business and community challenges. Coming from 20 years in banking –15 in leadership roles serving and empowering the underserved—Latonya is a true force for good. Serving on multiple boards and a 2020 graduate of Leadership Seacoast. She’s a 2021 recipient of the NH Women’s Foundation AmplifiHer award. 2023 winner of the BLM Seacoast Community Impact Leader and 2023 Outstanding Women in Business winner. She was one of the founders and serves as Vice Chair for the Business Alliance for People of Color (BAPOC). In addition, in 2019, Latonya founded Purseverance, a nonprofit where she has distributed over 900 purses with items to assist women in need. Plus: Latonya is most recently the winner of the Portsmouth Chamber 2023 Collaborator of the Year Award. A silent force: living through the eyes of compassion.

Liz Wester

603 Forward and The Forward Foundation, Co-founder

Liz Wester most recently served as the Advocacy Director for the National Redistricting Action Fund and its affiliates. She co-founded 603 Forward and The Forward Foundation, advocacy organizations focused on engaging and empowering young people in New Hampshire. She is deeply ingrained in New Hampshire politics where she served as the Director of Organize NH and as the New Hampshire State Director for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. She has spent the last ten years fighting for progressive causes with organizations that include New Hampshire’s chapter of America Votes, New Hampshire’s Committee to Elect House Democrats, and Hillary for America, where she was New Hampshire’s political director. She also spent years fighting for and defending marriage equality with Standing Up for New Hampshire Families and the Human Rights Campaign.

Joan Widmer

Treasurer, Executive Director, New Hampshire Healthcare Professionals

Ms. Widmer has a unique and varied professional background. Prior to becoming a nurse, she had a successful career in multiple corporate accounting and finance roles, including the roles of Chief Financial Officer, VP of Finance & Accounting and Corporate Controller. Ms. Widmer was responsible for the day-to-day financial and accounting management, including the preparation of financial statements, business plans, strategic plans and monitoring performance against these plans. In 2004, Ms. Widmer elected to pursue a second career in nursing. She holds a BA from University of California, San Diego and a MSBA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She completed her nursing training at Rivier University and received a MS in Nursing from the University of New Hampshire. Ms. Widmer practiced clinically at Catholic Medical Center for 12 years and has served as Adjunct Clinical Faculty for UNH. She served as the Executive Director of the New Hampshire Nurses Association for four years and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of this non-profit professional organization for NH nurses. Ms. Widmer is currently serving as the Treasure for the American Nurses Association and working as the Executive Director of NH Healthcare Workers for Climate Action.