Maine Philanthropy Center

Building Connections for Maine Grantmakers

Our Board and Staff

Maine Philanthropy Center Board of Directors | 2020 - 2021


Erin Cinelli | Executive Director, Emanuel & Pauline A. Lerner Foundation
After graduating from Middlebury College in 1999, Erin served as executive director of the Spannocchia Foundation until 2012, supporting an agriculture education center and organic farm in Tuscany, and splitting her time between Italy and Maine. She joined the Lerner Foundation in 2013, first as program director and more recently as executive director.  She is currently leading her organization through a year-long revision of the foundation’s giving priorities and grantmaking process and participates in the Refugee and Immigrant Funders Collaborative. Erin earned a Masters of Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School at University of Southern Maine in 2005, and she is a 2014 graduate of the Exponent Philanthropy Next Gen Fellows program. She is married to Ben Slayton, with whom she co-owns Farmers’ Gate Market in Wales and the Farm Stand in South Portland - purveyors of local, pasture-raised meats from a network of farms in central and southern Maine. They have 2 young children.

Vice Chair

Phil Walsh | Executive Director, Maine Initiatives
Phil joined Maine Initiatives in February 2015 with a track record of success supporting community philanthropy that engages diverse stakeholders; identifies and mobilizes the community’s human, financial, and social assets; and leverages those assets for social change. He came to Maine with his family in 2011, after working for fifteen years in community organizing and grassroots philanthropy in Latin America, as a program officer with the Inter‐American Foundation, director of the Mexico Program at The Synergos Institute, and leader of Mercy Corps’ civil society strengthening program in Central America. Phil is a graduate of James Madison University and earned a masters degree from Georgetown University. He lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife, three daughters, a brood of chickens, and a hive of bees. He is also an active supporter of Maine Adaptive and the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England.


Kristen Miale | President, Good Shepherd Food Bank
Kristen leads the Good Shepherd Food Bank, Maine’s largest hunger relief organization. Before taking on her current role, Kristen was the founder and program director of Cooking Matters for Maine, a local chapter of Share Our Strength’s nationally recognized cooking and nutrition education program for low-income families. Prior to her work with food security, she worked for over a decade in the private equity and business consulting fields. After volunteering for hunger relief organizations, she decided to make her passion for ending hunger her occupation. She received her undergraduate degree from Boston College and her Masters in Business Administration from Boston University where she studied both entrepreneurship and non-profit management. She lives in Kennebunk with her husband, two sons, and beloved cat.


Finance Committee Chair
Kati Denham | Tax Manager, BerryDunn
Kati is a Manager in BerryDunn’s Tax Consulting and Compliance Services Group, focusing primarily on closely-held and family owned businesses in the real estate, hospitality and construction industries. She is a member of the firm’s State and Local Tax group, providing services and advice on a myriad of multi-state issues. Kati graduated Magna Cum Laude from Saint Anselm College with a Bachelor of Arts in Business with an accounting focus and her Master’s Degree in taxation from Bentley University. Kati lives in North Yarmouth with her husband Matthew and their two boys, Aidan and Jacob. Outside of work, she enjoys baking, reading and spending time with family.

Gabriela Alcalde | Executive Director, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
Gabriela is a public health leader with 20+ years of experience and commitment to equity and social justice. Gabriela joined the team of the Sewall Foundation as Executive Director in the summer of 2019 and in this capacity leads the integration of environmental, human and animal health and welfare as the foundation works to center equity and community voices in all of their work and strategies. Prior to joining the Sewall Foundation, Gabriela served as the first Managing Director for Equity and Health at Richmond Memorial Health Foundation (RMHF) and as Vice-President for Policy and Program at the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. Gabriela has worked in the philanthropic, academic, government, nonprofit and grassroots sectors throughout her career and served in various volunteer capacities to promote equity. She earned a DrPH in health administration at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MPH in maternal and child health at Boston University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Louisville. A native of Lima, Peru, she currently lives in Maine with her husband, children and pets.

Joleen Bedard | Executive Director, United Way of Androscoggin County, Lewiston
Joleen has more than 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, where her chief professional responsibilities have included financial management, personnel, marketing and development, community investment and grant and program management. She has served as the executive director at the American Red Cross in Lewiston/Auburn and worked at the American Red Cross Mid-Coast Chapter in Brunswick. She is a graduate of the Maine Development Foundation Leadership Maine Omicron Class and serves as an ex-officio board member of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce. Jolene received her Master’s Degree from Southern New Hampshire University and undergraduate degree from St. Joseph’s College.  She is a Mainer and resides in Turner with her husband Glenn and sons, Brian and Billy. In her spare time, Jolene enjoys reading, running, cooking and spending time on their pontoon boat at her camp on Worthley Pond in Peru, Maine.

Charlene Cates | VP of Marketing and Community Impact, Machias Savings Bank
At Maine’s second largest mutual savings bank, Charlene is responsible for charitable giving, employee volunteering, and community outreach in addition to marketing and public relations. Prior to joining the bank, Charlene had an 18-year career both working for and consulting with nonprofits. She is passionate about promoting people, prosperity and a sense of place among Maine's communities, particularly those rural areas with limited opportunities yet filled with talented individuals. Charlene received her B.A. from Cedarville University and her M.B.A from Bryant University where she specialized in non-profit marketing.  She also holds a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Indiana School of Philanthropy. Charlene enjoys all the blessings of life in the coastal village of Cutler with her lobster fishing husband and two children, ages 12 and 14.

Melissa Dudley | Manager of Corporate Philanthropy and Community Engagement, WEX, Inc.
Melissa oversees global efforts to create and administer a comprehensive program in support of WEX’s philanthropic and CSR goals. Prior to her time at WEX, Melissa worked for the University of Southern Maine for 12 years, directing alumni, communications, and community engagement functions for the University. Melissa is a current member of the Development Committee for the Center for Grieving Children, has served on the board of PROPEL (a young professionals organization in Portland), and previously chaired volunteer efforts for CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education). She resides in Gorham with her husband, Chad, and daughter, Annaliese.

Martin Grohman | Trustee, Betterment Fund
Marty is serving his second term in the Maine House of Representatives and is a member of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee. His legislative focus is on supporting business and entrepreneurship, expanding access to health care, and improving infrastructure. He is also a trustee of The Betterment Fund, which makes grants in conservation, health care, and community support around the state with a particular focus on Western Maine. Marty is an entrepreneur and founded CorrectDeck, a composite decking manufacturing company that grew to $30 million in sales in 6 years, and has worked in manufacturing his entire career. He grew up in Carthage, Maine, where his family still runs a small farm, keeping Jersey cows. He and his wife Amy and their two children live in Biddeford.

Jen Hutchins | Executive Director, Maine Association of Nonprofits
Jennifer Hutchins has been the Executive Director of the Maine Association of Nonprofits since July 2016 where she leads a member network of 975 charitable nonprofits and 165 private partners. Prior to joining MANP, Jennifer was Executive Director of Creative Portland, where she led the City of Portland’s efforts to strengthen the creative economy. She is a co-author on the seminal 2004 report published by the University of Southern Maine Muskie School of Public Service on Maine’s Creative Economy conducted for Governor Jon Baldacci. She was the Director of Communications and External Affairs at the USM Muskie School for nine years and Marketing Director at Portland Stage Company from 1995-2000. Her career got its start at organizations in Washington D.C. and abroad. She holds a master’s in public policy and management from the USM Muskie School and lives in Portland with her husband and two daughters.

Morgan Hynd | Director, The Bingham Program
Morgan recently started serving as the director of The Bingham Program, after being at the Maine Health Access Foundation since 2008. At MeHAF, Morgan oversaw a diverse portfolio of programs, including work to advance health reform and to improve oral health in Maine. She also worked to pilot a new multi-phase capacity-building program for Maine’s health advocacy organizations. Morgan continues to work closely with other philanthropic partners in the state to help weave health care access with related issues, such as equity and inclusion, and leadership development. She is a member of the newly formed Maine Philanthropic Network Advocacy Committee and has served on MPC’s Philanthropy Partners Planning Committee. Morgan is a graduate of St. Lawrence University and the University of Denver Publishing Institute, and is a member of the HLD VI class of the Daniel Hanley Center's Health Leadership Development program.

Ruta Kadonoff | Senior Program Officer, Maine Health Access Foundation
Ruta joined MeHAF in December 2016. She oversees the Thriving in Place program and MeHAF’s collaboration in funding the Tri-State Learning Collaborative and Aging. She also staffs the foundation’s Grants Committee. Ruta came to her current position with over 20 years of experience in fostering and advocating for quality improvement and person-centered approaches in long-term services and supports for older people. She has held leadership roles in a diverse set of national organizations focusing on policy, research and practice change. She currently serves on the board of Hospice Volunteers of Waldo County. Ruta, her husband and their cats re-located from the Washington D.C. suburbs to Belfast, Maine in 2016, realizing a long-standing dream. She spends as much of her spare time outdoors as possible, and particularly enjoys walking and hiking, sailing, kayaking and photography.

Philanthropy Partners Conference Co-Chair
Susan Onion | Director and Trustee, The Onion Foundation
Susan has 20+ years of experience as an educator, having taught in grades 1-5, worked as a school and public librarian, and tutored adult learners in Maine and California. In 2014, Susan and her husband Fritz created the Onion Foundation as a grantmaking organization to encourage conservation and stewardship of the natural environment and to promote music and the arts in the state of Maine. An avid cross-country skier, reader, and hiker, Susan lives in Wayne with her husband Fritz and two college-aged kids. In addition to serving on the MPC board, Susan is a trustee for Maine Public.

Governance Committee Chair
Gioia Perugini | Associate Director of Philanthropic and Family Office Services, Hemenway & Barnes, LLP
Hemenway & Barnes, LLP, is a Boston-based legal and fiduciary firm. Gioia works with individuals, families, advisors, charitable trusts and foundations to provide a range of philanthropic advisory and client services. She oversees grantmaking for Jane’s Trust, a charitable trust that makes significant grants in Maine and other northern New England States in the arts, education, environment and health and welfare. Gioia is a frequent speaker, writer, panelist and blogger on issues relevant to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. She serves on the Boards of the Brookline Community Foundation, Positive Tracks (a public charity that helps youth get active and give back to their communities), and the steering committee of the Maine Environmental Funders Network. When not working in philanthropy and volunteering, Gioia can be found on the sidelines of her children’s soccer and baseball games.

Steven Rowe | President & CEO, Maine Community Foundation
Prior to joining the Maine Community Foundation, Steve served as president of the Endowment for Health, a private health foundation in New Hampshire.  Prior to that, he practiced law at Verrill Dana LLP, served as a state legislative leader and state attorney general, and worked at UNUM and Fairchild Semiconductor. Following graduation from West Point, Steve served as an Army officer for several years. He met his late wife Amanda in the Army. They raised four children in Maine. Steve lives in Portland.

Brendan Shauffler | Network Facilitator, Oxford County Wellness Collaborative
Brendan Schauffler is the Network Facilitator for the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative, a multi-sector group focused on community health improvement. In this role he helps to support collaboration among numerous partners, connecting them to data, resources, and each other, and aiding in strategic alignment. Brendan has a professional background in project management, collective impact initiatives, and public health. He has a Master's in Policy, Planning and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service and is a member of the Maine Network Partners (a group of facilitative leaders from across the state). He lives in Norway with his wife and two children, and spends his spare time hiking, playing and reading with his kids, DJing, and watching nature documentaries.

Lisa Sockabasin | Director of Programs and External Affairs, Wabanaki Public Health
Lisa has health policy and planning expertise and experience in tribal, state, and federal governments, non-profits, and the philanthropic sector. Lisa is a public health and health systems consultant for Public Health Research Institute (PHRI), the Penobscot Indian Nation, and the Maine Tribal Public Health District. Lisa previously worked in the philanthropic sector and served as the Director of the Office of Health Equity, Maine Department of Health and Human Services for 10 years from 2005-2016. In this capacity Lisa developed the then, newly legislatively created Office of Health Equity. Prior to being named the Director, Lisa worked as an Epidemiologist in the Infectious Disease Program for the State of Maine. Earlier in her career, Lisa worked as a nurse epidemiologist with the North American Indian Center of Boston, Inc., focusing on health disparities and inequities, facing the Native American community in Massachusetts. Lisa continues her work as the Program Coordinator for the Four Directions Summer Research Program at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the University of Maine with a B.S. in Nursing and a B.S. in Biology and the University of Southern Maine with a M.S. in Health Policy and Management and a graduate certificate in non-profit management and strategic planning. Lisa is a Passamaquoddy tribal member, one of four federally recognized Indian Tribes in Maine. She enjoys all four seasons living on a lake in Maine with her family.

Ainsley Wallace | President, USM Foundation, University of Southern Maine
Ainsley’s first exposure to Maine’s philanthropic sector came shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, when she led a youth-to-youth social change grantmaking and civic action organization called YOUTHINK. Ainsley subsequently served as foundation relations officer at The Jackson Laboratory, associate director at consulting firm CCS, and director of major gifts & planned giving at United Way of Greater Portland, where among other initiatives, she launched the Brick & Beam Society, a young professionals’ philanthropic society. Ainsley joined the USM Foundation as vice president in 2016 and became president in 2018. She is conversant in Swahili and American Sign Language and is hiking her way through New England's 4,000+ foot mountains.

Julia Sleeper Whiting | Co-Foundation & Executive Director, Tree Street Youth
Julia Sleeper-Whiting is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Tree Street Youth Center. Born and raised in Bangor area, she initially moved to Lewiston as an undergraduate at Bates College. During her time as a student, she began connecting to the Downtown Lewiston community youth through service learning opportunities afforded to her as a Psychology and Education major. Over the past 15 years, Julia has continued to build on the relationships formed as an undergrad, seeking to provide valuable programming to at-risk youth in Lewiston-Auburn. After completing her Masters in Leadership and Organizational Studies at USM-LAC, she began the present-day Tree Street Youth Center.

Ian Yaffe | Director, Office of Population Health Equity, Maine DHHS
Ian was hired in 2021 to re-launch the Office of Population Health Equity (OPHE) at Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). OPHE promotes health equity by illuminating and addressing root causes of health disparities as well as implementing community-led solutions. Prior to this role, from 2010-2021, Ian served as Executive Director of Mano en Mano, a non-profit organization that works with immigrant and farmworker communities in rural Maine to advocate for change and ensure access to essential services, education, and housing. Ian holds a Bachelor's Degree in Latin American Studies and Education from Bowdoin College, and a Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of Washington. He is also a Chief Boatswain's Mate in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and serves on the boards of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI) and Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF).

Maine Philanthropy Center Staff

Jeannette Andre
President & CEO

Sarah Lentz
Senior Manager of Membership and Programs

Robert Burnett
Senior Manager, Information Systems and Research

Emilie Jensen
Administrative Support Associate