Maine Philanthropy Center Board of Directors
2019 - 2020
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.
Board 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.
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.
Heather Harris | Communications Consultant
Heather is a marketing and communications consultant who previously served as vice president for corporate communications at Kennebunk Savings Bank, where her responsibilities included managing the organization’s charitable giving program, community outreach, and employee volunteer program. She also managed the bank’s public relations efforts. Heather first joined Kennebunk Savings in 2005 as the community relations manager. A graduate of the University of Maine, Orono, with a journalism degree, she was previously the marketing and communications manager at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Harris currently is a member of Kennebunk’s Economic Development Committee, the York County Committee of the Maine Community Foundation and the MPC Corporate Funders Group. She lives in a recently emptied nest in Kennebunk.
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.
Membership & Res. Dev. Committee Chair
John Shoos | Executive Director of the Sam L. Cohen Foundation
Prior to joining the Foundation, John served as senior vice president of community impact and in other roles for the United Way of Greater Portland over a 26-year career. He is a board member for Konbit Sante, a Health Partnership in Haiti, and has served on the boards of Spring Harbor Hospital, the Institute for Civic Leadership, and the Maine Children’s Alliance. John and his wife Lisa raised two sons in Maine and now enjoy visiting them or traveling with them, wherever that may be!
Program Committee Chair
Megan Shore | Program Officer, Elmina B. Sewall Foundation
Megan has served in her current capacity for the past five years. In this role she oversees the Foundation's grant program and is engaged in setting the strategic direction and priorities for the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Megan worked in the nonprofit field for more than a decade, most recently serving as the land trust coordinator for Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Megan also has worked as a licensed veterinary technician in both veterinary hospitals and animal shelters. Megan's interests are diverse, but a love for animals and the outdoors remain constant. Megan grew up in the fishing community of Gloucester, MA and graduated from the College of Wooster. After four years in the cornfields of Ohio, she chose Maine as her home based on her desire to live on the East Coast, near both mountains and ocean. Megan spends as much time as possible outside with her two daughters. Paddling, hiking, cross country skiing, mountain biking, puppy training, and gardening keep the days busy and fun.
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.
Barbara Wheaton | Attorney, Pierce Atwood
Barbara concentrates her legal practice on estate planning, estate and trust administration, charitable giving, and related disciplines. Barbara's clients include high-net-worth individuals, business owners, family offices, charities and fiduciaries. She represents her clients' interests in probate proceedings involving trustee or executor duties, guardianships, trust administration and reformation, and contested estate administrations. Barbara also works extensively with nonprofit organizations, helping them obtain and retain their tax exempt status. She provides effective solutions to the tax and regulatory problems frequently confronting private foundations and public charities. Barbara speaks frequently to nonprofit boards about best governance practices and tax compliance; She has served on numerous board including most recently with the United Way of Greater Portland.
Ian Yaffe | Executive Director, Mano en Mano
Ian has been in his position since 2010. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 2009 with a degree in Latin American Studies and Education. At Bowdoin, he founded Food Forward, a student organization that recycles food and educates the community about fighting hunger and its causes. For his work with Food Forward and other community organizations, Ian was awarded Campus Compact’s National Student Humanitarian Award and Bowdoin’s senior award for leadership and character: the Captain Andrew Haldane Cup. He was also selected to speak at Bowdoin’s 2009 commencement ceremony. Outside of Mano en Mano, Ian is a Boatswain’s Mate 1st Class in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve and also serves on the Board of Directors of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI).
Maine Philanthropy Center Staff
President & CEO
Administrative and Research Manager
Sarah Skillin Woodard
Director of Advocacy