Michelle Arruda Shareholder of Devine Millimet & Branch
Michelle Arruda is a shareholder of Devine Millimet and a member of the firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group, practicing primarily out of the firm’s Concord, New Hampshire office. She provides legal counsel to individuals, families, and business owners on a wide variety of trusts and estates matters, including estate planning, wealth transfer strategies, gift and estate taxes, fiduciary responsibility, and estate and trust administration. Michelle grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, attended the University of Pennsylvania where she received her bachelor’s degree, and after a two-year stint working for The Clorox Company in Oakland, California, returned to New England to earn her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Michelle currently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Board of the New Hampshire Association for the Blind and as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Capitol Center for the Arts. She is a past President of the New Hampshire Estate Planning Council (of which she still is a member) and a past Chair of the Hopkinton Public Library Foundation of New Hampshire. An on-again, off-again runner, Michelle enjoys hiking, traveling, cooking, and wine. With her older son now attending college, Michelle lives in Contoocook, New Hampshire with her younger son and their dog.
Bryn Burns Manager of Corporate Support & Community Relations of NH Public Television
Bryn Burns is the Manager of Corporate Support and Community Relations at New Hampshire Public Television. She has worked in the television, cable, and digital industry for over thirty years. Bryn has worked at affiliated TV stations across the country and at CNN as Research Director. She was Vice President of Research for Meredith Broadcasting (owner of Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle magazines) working with their 13 TV stations across the U.S. Bryn spent several years traveling the U.S. and Canada working with Frank N. Magid Research Associates offering solutions to her client’s marketing needs as a Strategic Manager. In her role with New Hampshire Public Television, she is responsible for corporate sponsorship and community relations. Bryn’s focus is on establishing long term relationships that both attract and retain corporate support. Bryn is an active member of the Community Church of Durham, United Church of Christ. She has served in various leadership roles in the Church including the Board of the Campus Ministry to UNH; the Cornucopia Food Pantry; Chair of the Home and World Mission Board, raising awareness on issues related to hunger and immigration. Bryn also served as Publicity and Development Chair on the Board of the Ronald McDonald House in Buffalo, NY as well as serving as President of American Women in Radio and Television, Western New York Chapter. She graduated magna cum laude from Niagara University with a BA in English/Communications. Bryn moved to Dover, New Hampshire in 2005 where she lives with her wife Pamela and their Scottish Terrier, Penny. Both Bryn and Pam are avid golfers.
Wendy Chase Vice President, Partner Solutions of Lincoln Financial Group
Wendy Chase is Vice President of Life Client Solutions for Lincoln
Financial Group. Life Client Solutions professionals support Equity, MoneyGuard and
Universal life policies. Wendy also has oversight of third party vendors’ service
delivery. She is responsible for teams located in Concord and Greensboro. Wendy chairs
the Shared Services/IT Development Council whose mission is to create and promote
tools to support career progress/development. Prior to Lincoln Financial, she was Vice
President of Life Customer Service with Jefferson Pilot Financial.
Before her promotion in 2002, Chase was Assistant Vice President of Life Customer
Service for Jefferson Pilot Financial. Her responsibilities included oversight of equity
products administration, site manager for financial services team and relationship
manager for third party administrator.
Wendy earned her BS and MBA from Franklin Pierce University in Concord, New
Hampshire. She is an advocate for industry learning and has earned the following
LOMA designations: FLMI, PCS, AIRC, FFSI, AIAF, ARC, and AIAA. As well, she
holds the CLU, ChFC and CRPC designations. She also holds Series 6 and 26
designations from Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Wendy is past chair of the Concord Key Cities team and chairs the Connecting to
Community subcommittee. She is also active with the Concord CMT team.
She is active on the board of the New Hampshire American Red Cross where she serves
on the Philanthropy Committee and chairs the Women’s Leadership giving efforts. She
has previously served on the United Way of Merrimack County Board and other
Wendy resides in Pembroke, NH with her husband, Dan and son, DJ.
Edward Cherian Development Director of Iberdrola Renewables, LLC
Ed Cherian is the New England Development Director for Iberdrola Renewables, which owns and operates more than 50 wind and solar farms in the US, including New Hampshire’s first wind farm in Lempster, NH. Mr. Cherian was the Project Manager and Construction Manager for the Lempster project, and was the Project Manager for the recently completed Groton Wind Farm. Prior to working on renewable energy projects, Ed worked on a variety of different projects and locales, including on the US Coast Guard Deepwater Program, hydroelectric dam licensing, as a land use planner for US Navy test ranges, as a legislative analyst for the New York State Legislature, and as a canvass manager for the US Public Interest Research Group. Ed holds a BA in Public Policy from Syracuse University, and an MPA (Planning) from Virginia Tech. For fun he enjoys downhill skiing, kayaking, camping, hiking, and coaching youth baseball and softball. Ed lives in Boscawen, NH with his two children, where he serves on the Boscawen Zoning Board, and on the board of the Merrimack Valley Youth Baseball & Softball Association.
Tara Chynoweth Environmental, Health & Safety Engineer of Hologic, Inc.
Tara Chynoweth is an Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Engineer with Hologic, Inc in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Hologic is a medical device manufacturer with a focus on Women’s Health. Tara joined Hologic in August 2007, and since then has held several positions, including managing EHS at four Northeast facilities and having global responsibility for the project to bring the company’s products in compliance with the Global Harmonized System. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Safety Environmental Protection from Massachusetts Maritime Academy in 2001. Prior to working with Hologic, Tara worked for Wheelaborator Technologies (a division of Waste Management) in Maryland, Florida and New Hampshire. Tara has served on the Conservation Commission of Manchester and currently on the Board of Girls Inc of New Hampshire. She is also an alumni of Leadership Greater Manchester class of 2014. Tara was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and currently holds three passports. She enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends and running in her free time. Tara resides in Manchester with her husband Gray Chynoweth and their son Graham.
Erika Cohen Associate Editor of Business NH Magazine
Erika Cohen is the associate editor of Business NH Magazine in Manchester. Business NH Magazine is a statewide businesstrade publication with 50,000 monthly readers.
As associate editor, Erika is responsible for developing, writing and editing stories, and working with freelancers and interns. She also oversees the Young Reporter’s Project, a program she started in 2013 that allows college students to write stories for the magazine as part of class assignments. The magazine runs one student story per month. Erika specializes in health care reporting and attended the 2012 Blue Cross Blue Shield Health Care Coverage Fellowship, a nine-day residency fellowship attended by 11 journalists nationwide.
Prior to joining Business NH Magazine in 2007, Erika worked as the statehouse reporter in Concord for the Eagle-Tribune, a reporter for the Keene Sentinel and as an online writer and editor for National Public Radio in Washington, D.C.
When not at work, Erika volunteers with her son at the Massabesic Audubon Center in Auburn exercising turtles. In her free time she likes to run, bike, hike and swim.
Erika received a BA from Bates College in Maine and a master’s degree in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Illinois.
Erika lives in Derry with her husband and two young children.
Cheryl Coletti of
Cheryl Coletti is an Operations and Organizational Development Executive. She strives to apply her business acumen to passionate purposes. As an evolutionary leader, she is committed to transformation and is committed to her own growth and evolution in service to the larger whole. Cheryl serves on the Board of Directors to the Concord NH Chamber of Commerce; is an active member of the NH Business and Industry Association; sits on the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission for Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Intervention and Treatment. Cheryl spends her free time attempting to improve her golf game, is an avid fitness advocate and is blessed to be a mother of two wonderful children.
Wendy Fielding Vice President, Financial Planning of Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Wendy Fielding, MBA has been Vice President of Financial Planning for Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) since 2009. Wendy’s responsibilities include providing business and analytical decision support to D-H Operations, overseeing the annual financial planning cycle for the organization, and developing long-term financial projections which align with D-H’s strategic vision. Prior to joining D-H, Wendy held positions as the Chief Financial Officer at Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor, Maine, and the Director of Financial Reporting & Analysis at Boston Medical Center. She holds a Masters of Business Administration in Healthcare Management from Boston University and a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance from Bentley University.
Wendy lives in Etna, New Hampshire with her husband Ed, teenage son Caffrey, and dog Tiki. She enjoys the outdoors, gardening (especially vegetables!), cross country skiing, and baking.
Daniel Fitzpatrick City Manager of City of Rochester
Dan Fitzpatrick holds a Bachelors of Arts from Marist College, an MBA from the School of Business from The University at Albany and an MPA from Rockefeller College University at Albany. He holds several professional certifications, including; ICMA-Credentialed Manager, Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional, ASQ-Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence, Certified Government Financial Manager and Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Dan is a graduate of Leadership New Jersey and Leadership Seacoast.
A career City Manager, Dan has served as City Auditor for the City of Troy, New York; Finance Director and City Manager of Poughkeepsie, New York; City Manager of Ogdensburg, New York; City Manager of Augusta, Maine; City Manager of Oak Park, Michigan; City Manager of Peekskill, New York; City Manager of Englewood, New Jersey and currently City Manager of Rochester, New Hampshire. Dan is an International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Credentialed Manager and a member of the ICMA Credentialing Advisory Board. An ICMA Legacy Leader and recipient of five ICMA Awards including the 1990 Award for Excellence in Honor of Mark E. Keene and the 2005 Award for Career Development in Memory of L. P. Cookingham. Dan is a recipient of the prestigious 2004 National Public Service Award (awarded for lifetime achievement by the National Academy of Public Administration and the American Society for Public Administration) and a member of the 2009 Board of Examiners of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award Program.
Andrea Gagne Division Director of Tri-County CAP
Andrea Gagne is a Division Director with Tri-County Community Action Program, Inc. (TCCAP), a non-profit dedicated to improving the lives and well-being of New Hampshire's people and communities. In this role, she leads the Energy, Homeless, Community Contact, Work Programs, Domestic Violence Shelter, and Restorative Justice Programs. Andrea’s work at TCCAP assists people with services to help them sustain basic needs, skills and advocacy to remain self-sufficient. Prior to her role at TCCAP, Andrea was the Executive Director of the Child Advocacy Center of Coos County, a non-profit agency dedicated to eliminating child abuse by protecting children, supporting healing, and promoting justice through education and cooperative partnerships in our communities. Andrea earned her MPA in Public Administration from Norwich University in 2011, a BS in Criminal Justice Administration from Granite State College in 2007, and a Paralegal Certificate from the College for Lifelong Learning in 2004. Andrea has worked in the private non-profit sector since 2010. Andrea is also an active Board and Finance Committee member for Coos County Family Health Services, located in Berlin, NH. Andrea is an avid animal lover, and enjoys spending as much time as possible on the rocky coast of Maine with her family. She is a lifelong resident of the North Country, and resides in Gorham with her son, niece, husband and array of animals.
Christopher Gamache Chief - Bureau of Trails of Dept. of Resources and Economic Development
Melinda Gehris Principal of Hess Gehris Solutions
Melinda S. Gehris provides professional dispute resolution services including mediation, facilitation, training and consulting at Hess Gehris Solutions in Bow, New Hampshire. She earned her B.S. from Albright College in 1985, her J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1991, and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the University of Massachusetts. Melinda is a mediator for the New Hampshire Probate and Superior Courts, the United States District Court and the Human Rights Commission, in addition to private practice. She has written and published several articles on dispute resolution topics. Melinda is an adjunct faculty member at the University ofNew Hampshire School of Law. She has served on the boards of both the Association for Conflict Resolution - New England Chapter and The New Hampshire Conflict Resolution Association and was appointed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court Committee on Dispute Resolution. Melinda is a member of the New Hampshire Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Committee as well as the Alternative Dispute Resolution and Family Law Sections. She recently completed two terms as a trustee for the Five Rivers Conservation Trust, including two years as the Board Chair.
Scott Harris Director of McLane Law Firm
Scott Harris is a director and shareholder of McLane, Graf, Raulerson and Middleton, Professional Association. His regional trial practice comprises a range of complex commercial matters such as shareholder disputes, trade secret and restrictive employment covenant litigation, tax matters at the local, state and federal levels, land use actions and the representation of parties in all manner of contract and corporate disputes. Harris also represents both plaintiffs and professionals in professional malpractice and licensure litigation, and both plaintiffs and defendants in significant personal injury cases.
Harris joined McLane in 1996 after trying cases for the United States Department of Justice, Tax Division for six years. While with the Department of Justice he won the Tax Division’s Outstanding Trial Attorney Award. Harris has been privileged to serve as the President of the New Hampshire Association for Justice, the state’s trial lawyers group. He has also served on the Board of Governors for the New Hampshire Bar Association and as President of the Webster-Batchelder Inn of Court. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics at Franklin and Marshall College, and his law degree at Vanderbilt University. He has been named to the list of New England Super Lawyers and New England’s Best Lawyers and recognized by Chambers USA as a leading commercial litigation lawyer. He lives in Manchester with his wife and two children.
Sarah Hartwick Founder and Marketing Director of SURFSET Fitness
Sarah Hartwick is the Founder & Director of Marketing for SURFSET Fitness Inc, a Manchester start up company with over 200 licensed fitness locations worldwide. Sarah and her husband Mike started SURFSET in 2011, and have grown the company from a $5000 investment to multi-million dollar revenues in under three years. Sarah & Mike were contestants on ABC’s Shark Tank, where they secured an investment from Mark Cuban to help expand SURFSET.
Sarah was born in Connecticut to two surgeons, who always considered New Hampshire their family’s ‘home away from home’ as they vacationed on Lake Winnipesaukee. Sarah moved to New Hampshire in 2006 and went on to attend the University of Virginia before transferring abroad to City University of London where she studied Journalism. Sarah has a passion for marketing, entrepreneurship, politics and living an active lifestyle in the beautiful state of New Hampshire.
Wayne Hartz Interim Dean - Professional & Graduate Schools of Keene State College
Wayne has been serving as the interim dean of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies at Keene State College for the past two years. During that time, Keene State has dedicated two model teaching facilities in areas that report to him – the Technology, Design, and Safety Center that is home to the Sustainable Product Design and Innovation program and the new nursing simulation laboratory.
Wayne began a 21-year career in health and safety after earning a BS in Environmental Health and Safety from East Tennessee State University and the MPS degree from Cornell University. He was hired by Cornell University’s Office of Environmental Health as an environmental hygienist and addressed health, safety, and environmental issues across campus.
Following a dream, he pursued employment with L.L. Bean Inc., in Freeport, Maine, and served as the company’s first employee health and safety professional. Wayne was responsible for managing the company’s corporate employee health and safety programs, and during his tenure, injuries were reduced by 50%, subsequently saving the company roughly $2M. He also partnered with Bean’s product research and testing team to evaluate vendor EHS. Wayne earned a “Beans Best” award for his dedication to exceptional service. He also qualified as a Maine guide, allowing him to lead outdoor experience trips for employees.
In 2004, pursuing his commitment to preparing future safety professionals, Wayne accepted an appointment as assistant professor in Keene State College’s bachelor’s program in safety studies, the college’s second largest program with roughly 100 graduates each year. He recently completed his PhD in Leadership and Change from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, Ohio, focusing his dissertation on developing 21st century EHS undergraduate competencies.
In his free time, Wayne enjoys photography and outdoor activities.
Jim Hinson Supervisor V of Dept. of Education – NH Vocational Rehabilitation
Jim Hinson is a Supervisor V at the NH Department of Education, Vocational Rehabilitation with the responsibility for establishing community partnerships with NH Business owners and other community leaders to assist in efforts to recruit, hire, retain, and promote the hiring of people with disabilities.
He is a member of the Concord Chamber of Commerce;Leadership Greater Concord, NH Rehabilitation Association; Association for People in Supported Employment; The American Legion and currently serves as the Chairman of the NH Employment Leadership Award Committee, Committee Member on the Governor’s Commission on Disability, Committee Member on the New Hampshire Commission on PTSD & TBI, and Committee Member on the Employment Support Professional Certification Council. He is a volunteer for the Capital Area Student Leadership Committee, the Business Grant Program and is routinely asked to be the guest speaker at events across NH.
Under his leadership, he has established strong community partnerships with state and local government agencies, non-fore profits, and the business community to successfully establish community employment programs for people with disabilities. He plays an important role in helping New Hampshire Vocational Rehabilitation achieve their job placement goals by learning NH business’s hiring needs and by identifying employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Jim retired from the U.S. Coast Guard in 2004 after 21 years of service, has two grown sons and lives in Concord, NH. When not working, Jim enjoys exploring NH, listening to Jazz, volunteering, antiquing, attending live shows, eating out and spending time with his family and friends.
Preston Hunter Vice President of Eckman Construction
Preston is Vice President of Eckman Construction where he focuses on promoting positive project outcomes for all Eckman clients while seeking new commercial and institutional construction opportunities through out New Hampshire and beyond. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University.
Preston is an active community leader. He has been recognized as the 2013 Young Professional of the Year by the Manchester Young Professionals Network and he is a member of the 2012 Union Leader 40 Under Forty class. Preston currently serves on Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce board of directors and he is a trustee at the Derryfield School. He is a native of Bedford, NH where he lives with his wife Kathryn and daughter Madison.
George Hunton Senior Portfolio Manager of NH Community Development Finance Authority
As a Senior Portfolio Manager at the CDFA, George is responsible for general administration, and the Housing and Public Facilities component of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program for the State of NH. CDGB allocates $8 to $10 million in HUD funds annually in the form of grants to NH municipalities for housing, infrastructure, social services, and economic development activities that primarily benefit low and moderate income individuals.He is alos a project administrator for the Community Development Investment Program (CDIP), which provides $5 million dollars annually in state business tax credit awards on a competitive basis to qualified non-profit organizations for innovative housing, community development and economic development projects or programs that show a high degree of community support, build partnerships, and leverage relationships. George has been with CDFA for 13 years and previously served in administrative capacities at the NH Office of State Planning for CDBG and the State Data Center, and the NH Governor's Office of Energy and Community Services with responsibility for residential energy efficiency, state energy code and fuel data collection programs. He currently serves on the Governing Board of the Housing Action NH, represents CDFA at the Council of State Community Development Agencies and the Housing and Community Development Planning Council. His greatest enjoyment is to help grant recipients navigate the sometimes complex maze of federal regulations to bring a project to its successful completion.
George is a graduate of Plymouth State College and has been active in volunteer leadership positions for local youth athletics and scouting. He lives in Loudon with his wife Linda where they currently enjoy financially supporting (not so much!) and encouraging three children through their college years.
Sarah Kelsea Associate State Director of AARP New Hampshire
Sarah Kelsea joined AARP New Hampshire in 2011 as the Associate State Director for Outreach with a wealth of community collaboration and outreach experience in nonprofit and government settings. As Associate State Director for Outreach, she is responsible for the development and implementation of strategies to effectively involve volunteers in all aspects of AARP’s work. She delivers programs and activities to empower Granite Staters with information and resources as they navigate the 50-plus years. She also builds and maintains coalitions to deliver on the mission of AARP: to create a society where all people can grow older with independence, dignity and purpose.
Prior to joining AARP, she worked for the Minnesota Department of Human Services, leading an initiative to engage community organizations in identifying and enrolling the uninsured in health care programs. She also served as Director of Community Relations and Development at New Hampshire Healthy Kids, planning community initiatives geared towards enrolling children in the Healthy Kids programs.
A native of New Hampshire, Sarah earned a Bachelor in Sociology and Master in Public Health from the University of New Hampshire. She, her husband and son live in Pembroke. In her free time you will find her at a Wildcat hockey game, caring for her flock of spunky backyard chickens, playing soccer with her son or testing a new recipe in the kitchen.
Scott Laughinghouse First SVP, Executive Director of Financial Services of Lake Sunapee Bank
Scott Laughinghouse, First Senior Vice President at Lake Sunapee Bank, currently serves the bank as Executive Director of Financial Services charged with growing revenues through the bank’s two wholly-owned subsidiaries, McCrillis & Eldredge Insurance Agency and Charter Trust Company. He also manages government relations for the bank both in Concord and in Washington. Scott’s office is located in the bank’s Newport headquarters, and his various responsibilities take him throughout the bank’s markets extending from Nashua in the south up through Concord and the Upper Valley to Brandon, Vermont in the north.
Prior to assuming his current position, Scott spent 24 years in banking as a commercial credit and lending professional. He served the bank as the Director of Commercial Lending during the bank’s acquisition of four other banks. Scott has been with Lake Sunapee Bank for over 15 years, in all.
Scott’s banking career began in 1989 in Providence, RI with a six-year tenure at Fleet National Bank. Banking is a second career for Scott; he spent six years coaching college football and baseball. He also played both sports as an undergraduate at Middlebury College in Vermont where he earned his B.A. degree in Economics in 1983.
Scott is the proud father of two Kearsarge Regional HS grads: a daughter in New York City (Dickinson ’14) and a son in Durham (UNH ’17). Scott serves his church and the West Central Behavioral Health boards as Treasurer. His passions include coaching youth sports, playing golf, and watching live baseball and live theater.
Amy McLaughlin Controller of Fluid Equipment Solutions of New England
Amy McLaughlin currently works with her husband as the controller in a business they started in 2012, Fluid Equipment Solutions of New England, LLC, a commercial HVAC equipment engineering sales company serving New England. Prior to working in their family business, Amy was in the pharmaceutical industry for 15 years in sales and account management.
Amy is actively involved in the community in Exeter NH, where she, her husband, and 2 school-age children reside. Her passions include community service, the nonprofit sector, and community vision. Some of her involvements include co-founder and past Board Chair of the Exeter Area Conservancy, and current Board Chair of Squamscott Community Commons, a position she was nominated for in 2011. Amy also serves on the Board of the Piscataqua Regional Advisory board for the New Hampshire Chartiable Foundation.
Amy graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 1997 with a B.A in Business Management and Health Management Policy.
Robin Milnes Executive Vice President of INEX
Robin brings more than 25 years of experience in real estate acquisitions, property management, sales, leasing, budgeting, fiscal oversight, and administration to the INEX team. She originally built and developed the property management arm for INEX, and was instrumental in developing long-standing relationships with tenants and vendors.
Previously, Robin served as a Vice President and Human Resources Manager for the New England branch of USI Insurance Services.
Milnes holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration from Southern NH University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Additionally, Robin serves on the Board of Directors for the Animal Rescue League of NH. having held the officer positions of Secretary, Chair and Vice Chair over the past 7 years, Robin has led the Board and organization through several years of transition and change. She has also chaired the Animal Rescue League's annual auction, its largest fundraising event, for several years and continues to serve on that committee today.
Tom O'Brien President of NH Lakes Association
Tom is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, from the Department of
Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, with continuing education and graduate work in
Management and Instructional Design. He has worked consistently throughout his career in the
natural resources profession, with a primary focus on water and watershed management. His
professional experience has been in both the public and private sectors of the Northeast, Midwest,and Northwestern U.S. Tom holds a deep belief in the interdependence of environmental quality and economic vitality – two halves of the same coin, as opposed to one being in conflict with the other. His career began at the bottom of the water column (the outflow) in Boston Harbor Islands State Park; progressed throughout that state’s Forest and Park system – from Cape Cod to the Berkshires; intermixed with a two-year professional venture in Johnson County, Kansas; eventually to the top of that same water column (the intake) at the Wachusett and Quabbin Reservoirs, which provide drinking water to Metropolitan Boston. Tom then served as a Watershed Team Leader in the Massachusetts Watershed Initiative and, upon leaving public service, as the Executive Director of the Watershed Agricultural Council in the New York City water supply watersheds; Executive Director of the Network of Oregon Watershed Councils; and since 2011, as President of the New Hampshire Lakes Association. Tom has also been a commissioned law enforcement officer, traditional timber framer, and small scale farmer. He has four children, all of whom he is extremely proud.
Christopher Parker Director of Planning & Community Development of City of Dover
Christopher Parker is the Director of Planning and Community Development for the City of Dover New Hampshire. Chris has been employed by the City of Dover in various capacities since 1997, and focuses largely on land use and transportation planning functions with the community development arena. Among the projects that Chris has worked on for the City of Dover he is most proud of the McConnell Center a project where a 100,000 square foot former high school was rehabilitated into a human service hub for the Dover community, the development of the State’s first Form Based Code for Dover’s downtown, and the development of a proactive customer service based planning and development process in Dover which encourages public participation and education. Mr. Parker lives in Dover, and was named the professional planner of the year for both the State of New Hampshire and Northern New England in 2011.
Lyndsee Paskalis Attorney of Stebbins, Lazos & Van Der Beken
Lyndsee Paskalis is an attorney with Stebbins, Lazos & Van Der Beken, P.A. in Manchester, NH. Her practice focuses on serving business clients with an emphasis in real estate and corporate matters, including acquisition and sale of real property, financing, commercial and retail leasing, condominium registration, title examinations, permitting, zoning and land use. She also provides general business law advice regarding corporate governance and related matters. Prior to joining SL&V in 2013, Lyndsee practiced for a number of years at a large New Hampshire law firm and has also worked on the NH Bar Association Domestic Violence Emergency (DOVE) Project. She is a Director of Special Olympics New Hampshire and currently serves as chair of the governance committee
Gina Powers Senior Government Relations Advisor of Rath, Young and Pignatelli
Gina is a Senior Government Relations Advisor with Rath, Young & Pignatelli in Concord, New Hampshire. Since joining the firm in 2006, Gina has successfully represented a number of clients before the Legislative and Executive Branches including those in the non-profit, healthcare, education, business, entertainment and financial industries. She specializes in monitoring legislative and regulatory activity, drafting and delivering testimony, working collaboratively with legislators, stakeholders and agency representatives and interacting with and advising clients on legislative and public affairs issues.
When not at the State House or in the office, Gina is a member of both the Gender Ambassadors Panel of the New Hampshire Women's Initiative and the Moore Center Services, Inc. board and a volunteer with Merrimack Home Health and Hospice. She recently graduated from the 2014 inaugural cohort of the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits Hoffman-Hass Fellowship and was also previously a member of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce's Government Affairs Committee.
A native of Rhode Island, Gina interned with the Rhode Island Senate Policy Office and graduated cum laude from St. Anselm College with a B.A. in History before falling in love with and eventually settling in New Hampshire. A self described “foodie” and “political junkie,” Gina enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends and reading in her free time.
Gina resides in Downtown Manchester with her husband E.J. and looks forward to continuing her life in New Hampshire for as long as possible.
Joseph Purington VP of Operations of PSNH
Purington is responsible for overseeing PSNH’s field and system operations,and for ensuring consistent approaches to engineering, construction, and maintenance of PSNH’s electric distribution and transmission system.
Most recently, Purington served as Director of Electric Distribution at Central Maine Power (CMP), a business unit of Iberdola USA, where he also managed the utility’s energy control center, led all transmission and distribution system operations, and served as incident commander for all large-scale power restoration efforts.
Previously, Purington served as Director of Operations for Iberdola USA, transitioning CMP, New York State Electric & Gas, and Rochester Gas & Electric system operations to a matrix organizational structure. He was responsible for ensuring that all energy control centers and substation operations met all federal, regional, and state compliance and regulatory requirements. In addition, Purington served as incident command leader for major power restoration efforts and was manager of large-scale emergency operations. As a regional manager for CMP, he was responsible for developing and implementing a new safety program for employees, and managed daily field operations.
Purington is trained and qualified in all aspects of system protection equipment testing, installation, and maintenance, including relays and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA). He is also trained and qualified in power system equipment maintenance, installation, and operation.
A Maine native, Purington earned an associate’s degree in applied science from Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute, and later studied at Husson College and the University of Michigan Business School. In addition to completing an International Leadership course in Madrid, Spain, Purington has completed various training courses and seminars in leadership, business, accounting, and finance.
Michele Roberge Administrator of Permitting & Environmental Health of Dept. of Environmental Services
Michele Roberge serves as the Administrator of the Permitting and Environmental Health Bureau for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, Air Resources Division. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire in 1991. Michele joined the Department of Environmental Services in September of 1991, and since that time, she has held several positions including,air pollution control engineer, education and outreach planner, and program manager. Michele is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Southern New Hampshire University and is expected to receive her MBA in 2016.In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, gardening, and outdoor recreation. In recent years, Michele has developed an interest in photography. She is also passionate about protecting New Hampshire’s natural resources and improving the overall quality of life for New Hampshire’s citizens. Michele lives in Concord with her two daughters.
Brian Roy Director - IT Business Consulting of RSA Corp
Brian P. Roy is a Director of IT Business Consulting at RSA Corporation, which is the security division of EMC Corporation. Brian has been employed at EMC Corporation for close to 15 years and has been at the RSA division for a little over two years. Brian is responsible to lead a team of IT consultants and project managers who support the business functions at the division in either enhancing their current technologies or implementing new technologies. In his current assignment Brian is assigned to a multi-year global program as a lead representing the RSA Division. Brian received both his Doctor of Arts degree and Master of Business degree from Franklin Pierce University. He is also a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Brian is also involved with Make-A-Wish of NH and he has been on their board of directors for the past four years, he currently serves as their treasurer. He and his wife have lived in Nashua for the past 12 years and Brian has been a resident of NH for over 20 years. Brian is passionate about ensuring that NH is able to compete and maintain standing when it comes to attracting top tier businesses and talent, as well as, supporting the non-profit sector. With the ultimate goal of supporting NH as one of the best places to live and thrive!
Sarah Sadowski Community Engagement Director of New Futures
Sarah Sadowski oversees the New Futures Advocacy Training, which identifies, engages, recruits, and trains individual citizens to advocate for public policies that prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug problems in New Hampshire. New Futures’ citizen advocates, (known as Leadership Partners) have diverse backgrounds but a shared commitment to prevent and reduce problems associated with alcohol and other drug problems.
Sarah has worked for almost ten years in community development and substance abuse prevention. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of New Hampshire and began working in the field as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bulgaria where she worked with marginalized youth. Sarah won a fellowship to study Social Change at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., where she received her master’s degree. She then began working for change in her native New Hampshire – first as a grassroots organizer in Pittsfield, N.H., and most recently as a Regional Network Coordinator for Greater Merrimack County. Sarah is a Certified Prevention Specialist and is committed to creating social change through the work of citizen advocates.
Donald Shepard Scout Executive/CEO of Boy Scouts - Daniel Webster Council
In this position, Don serves as the Scouting CEO for the state of New Hampshire. Daniel Webster Council serves more than 12,000 youth and supports 5,141 adult volunteers, has two summer Boy Scout resident camp facilities and a 1st to 5th grade Cub Scout Camp combined serving 4,500 youth. New Hampshire is divided into 9 districts serving youth in Cub Scouts from 1st to 5th grade, Boy Scouts from age 11 to 18 and Venturers coed youth ages 14 through 20.
Don began his Scouting career in 1990 and has served five local councils, the Northeast region and the National Council. Don’s career has included the following positions; District Service, Program Director, Development Director, Assistant Scout Executive, Scout Executive, Region Program Director, National Program Coordinator, National Team Leader for Youth Development and currently Scout Executive for the Daniel Webster Council.
Don is an Eagle Scout. He is married to Sara, and they have three lovely daughters.
Terry Steiner Program Manager of Eliot Health Systems
Terry Steiner is Program Manager of the Elliot Breast Health Center at Elliot River’s Edge, Manchester, NH and has over 25 years’ experience in leadership and management. She received her undergraduate degree in Healthcare Management from Granite State College, and her Global MBA from Southern NH University. She also has her certification in the American College of Medical Practice Executives. After almost 17 years at New Hampshire Oncology-Hematology PA in Hooksett NH she decided it was time for a change and accepted a position with the Elliot Hospital. Terry has been an integral part of the Elliot Breast Health Center for the past seven years and is excited to continue participating in its success. Her first accomplishment at the Elliot was to bring the Elliot Breast Health Center to full accreditation as the first Breast Center to be accredited by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers in New Hampshire.
In 2009 Terry initiated a program to support breast cancer survivors and their families by hosting an annual educational conference. The conference provides updates to survivors and their caregivers on the support networks available in the community and advances in medicine. It has become a highly anticipated and well-attended program.
Terry Steineris an active member of several organizations, and has been working with the New Hampshire Comprehensive Cancer Collaboration as a co-chair for the Treatment and Survivorship workgroup for the past several years contributing toward the goals of the NH Cancer Plan. Terry also served as president of the NH Medical Group Management Association, an organization that she has been deeply involved in for over 20 years. She is married, the proud grandmother “Mimi” to two lovely grandchildren, and lives in Concord NH.
Kurt Strandson Mortgage Broker of Residential Mortgage Services
Ruth Marie Swisher Human Resources Manager of BAE Systems
Ruth Marie Swisher is employed as a Human Resources Manager at BAE Systems, where she has been an active member of the human resources organization for over a decade. During her tenure, she has applied her progressive experience to identify solutions that meet the changing demands of the business. While she has spent the majority of time in New Hampshire, she has also worked in facilities in Massachusetts and relocated for a multi-year assignment in the Washington DC metropolitan area.
Her educational background includes a Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Keene State College. Ruth Marie was selected to participate in a corporate leadership program that required traveling to the United Kingdom and collaborating with colleagues from around the globe, as well as programs developed in conjunction with the University of New Hampshire.
Within the community she has participated in various fundraising initiatives and is a member of the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center Board of Directors. Prior to working at BAE Systems she worked for Easter Seals and The Institute of Professional Practice, identifying employment opportunities for people with physical and mental disabilities.
Ruth Marie resides in southern New Hampshire and enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and dog.
Laurie Tyler Director Housing Stabilization of Southwestern Community Services
Laurie has lived in New Hampshire most of her life. She has been Director of Housing Stabilization Services (formerly Homeless Services) for Southwestern Community Services, Inc. since December of 2000. Her passion and tenacity has allowed her to grow this program into one of the largest Homeless or Housing Stabilization programs in the state. When not at work, you can find Laurie riding 4-wheelers, Jeepin’, gardening, or spending time with her husband, three daughters and her 3-year old granddaughter. Laurie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and lives in West Swanzey, New Hampshire.
Douglas Verge Shareholder and Director of Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green PA
Doug Verge is a Shareholder and Director at Sheehan Phinney Bass + Green, with a focus on intellectual property and franchise law. Doug’s clients represent diverse business interests, and range from start-ups to companies with a global presence.
Doug’s trademark clients include a global manufacturer of motors and motion solutions, a regional dental administrator/insurer, the owner of numerous camps throughout the northeast, a manufacturer of vitamins, minerals and dietary supplements with a national presence, a hospital, a university, and an amusement park. His technology agreement clients include leading universities, major providers of non-profit services, hospitals, a major health information exchange, and software and product developers.
Doug graduated from Dartmouth College and received his J.D. from Boston College Law School. He is admitted to practice in both New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
In the community, Doug serves on the Board of Directors of the Merrimack Valley Venture Forum. Additionally, he has served on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Performing Arts Center, the United Methodist Foundation of New England, and St. Joseph Community Services.
Christopher Wellington Business Development Specialist of Dept. of Resources & Economic Development
Chris is a Business Development Specialist for the State of New Hampshire’s Division of Economic Development where he provides a wide range of business assistance services to companies throughout Cheshire, Sullivan, Rockingham and Strafford County. Chris also represents the State on multiple boards and commissions, including the New Hampshire Business Incubator Network, CDBG Advisory Committee, State Apprenticeship Advisory Council and the Commission on Housing Policy and Regulation. Prior to joining the State of NH, Chris worked for the City of Manchester’s Economic Development Office for 3½ years where he oversaw business recruitment, retention and marketing efforts for the City. Chris has also worked for the American Cancer Society and American Diabetes Association as a fundraiser and event planner. Chris received a Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology (2004) and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration (2011) from the University of New Hampshire.
Chris is a former Trustee for the Manchester Historic Association and currently serves on the Board of Directors forBig Brother Big Sisters of Greater Manchester, where he serves as Board President and the Manchester Young Professionals Network, where he chairs the business committee and oversees the Corner Office Connection program. Chris is a graduate of the 2011 Leadership Greater Manchester (LGM) program and serves of the LGM Steering Committee where he coordinates economic development day. This past year,Chris was recognized by the New Hampshire Union Leader as a ‘40 Under Forty’ award recipient and also was selected to participate in the inaugural class of the NH Center for Nonprofits Hoffman-Hass Fellowship.
Chris recently purchased a home in Manchester where he lives with his new dog, Mattingly
Elena Whittaker Director of Communications of UNH - Peter T. Paul College
Susan Woods Principal of Chartworth, LLC
Susan Woods is a Principal with Chartworth, LLC, a strategy consulting and mergers and acquisition advisory services company located in Portsmouth and Manchester. Chartworth works with New Hampshire entrepreneurs to maximize and realize the value of their business ventures. Prior to joining Chartworth, Susan spent a decade managing acquisitions for 3 publicly-held NH companies: White Mountains Insurance, PC Connection and Healthsource. Previously, she was also a venture capitalist for 10 years in Northern New England and Silicon Valley. She started her career at W.R. Grace in acquisitions.
Susan has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth College and a BA from Colby College. She has subsequently attended the Harvard Business School Executive Program – Making Corporate Boards More Effective.
Susan serves on the board of directors for Delta Dental Plan of NH, where she is a member of the Strategic Planning and Finance committees; Associated Grocers of New England, where she is a member of the Executive Committee; and the New Hampshire High Technology Council, where she is Secretary and Co-Chair of the Entrepreneur Forum. In addition she organizes the New Hampshire Championships Regatta, the largest head rowing race in October on the Merrimack River, where she rows with the Amoskeag Rowing Club.
Susan lives in Manchester with her husband, Peter Breu, a classmate from Colby College, a custom furniture maker and owner of Woodski, roller skis used for cross country ski training. Their two children both attended Middlebury College. In addition to cross country skiing and rowing, Susan enjoys hiking and gardening.