As a new year begins, the Maine Philanthropy Center is thrilled to welcome two community leaders to our Board of Directors: Deborah Ellwood, CEO and President of the Maine Community Foundation and Courtney Yeager, President & CEO of United Way of Kennebec Valley. Both Deborah and Courtney bring with them years of experience serving their communities and will bring their expertise and leadership to support the work of the Maine Philanthropy Center. The Maine Philanthropy Center Board of Directors works to guide the organization through thought leadership and staff support to achieve its mission of advancing the effectiveness of philanthropy in Maine.
As we welcome Deborah and Courtney to the Board of Directors, we also wish to thank our outgoing board members for their service: Ruta Kadonoff, Vice President of Programs at the Maine Health Access Foundation, and Ainsley Wallace, President & CEO of the USM Foundation. Ruta and Ainsley have been instrumental in MPC’s achievements and development in the last years. We are honored to have had them on our Board of Directors.
For more information about all current members on MPC’s Board of Directors, visit our Board page.
Deborah Ellwood is the CEO and president of the Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF). She joined MaineCF in July of 2022. Previously, Ellwood led CFLeads, the country’s network of community foundations, working together to increase their effectiveness and impact. In her work there she transformed a small “coalition of the willing” into the go-to organization for community foundations seeking to strengthen their community leadership muscle, share field innovations and tackle the key issues of our time. With unmatched knowledge of the field, Ellwood also has a track record of improving outcomes at the local level as a board and staff leader at the Rochester Area Community Foundation in Rochester, New York. In addition, she has a background as a policy researcher and advocate at Children Now in California, the Center for the Study of the States in Albany, New York, and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she helped advance public policies that improve the lives of children. A Bowdoin College graduate with family in Maine, Ellwood has a strong connection to the state and a deep appreciation for the many different communities and voices that make up Maine. She is based in MaineCF’s Ellsworth office. Headquartered in Ellsworth, with additional personnel in Portland, Dover-Foxcroft, Mars Hill, Rockland and Rockport, MaineCF is Maine’s second-largest foundation with assets of $775 million. Last year the community foundation awarded $58 million in grants and scholarships.
Courtney Yeager is the President & CEO of United Way of Kennebec Valley, a nonprofit organization that unites all people and resources to improve lives in Kennebec County. She spearheads fundraising strategies and volunteer coordination for a $2m annual campaign, which has grown more than 30% in five years and supports more than 50 nonprofit programs. Under Courtney's leadership, the organization has nearly doubled its geographic service area and has launched Impact2032, a 10-year, cross-sector vision for Kennebec County. In the past, Courtney worked as the director of resource development and marketing at United Way and has filled similar roles at both Crisis & Counseling Centers and the Maine Department of Education. Courtney holds a bachelor's degree in English from Colby College and a master’s degree in policy, planning and nonprofit management from the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School. In addition to her new role on MPC's board, she serves as the board treasurer of Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, the board vice president of 211 Maine, and a board member of United Ways of Maine. In her spare time, Courtney enjoys cooking gluten-free recipes, listening to true-crime podcasts, hiking medium-sized mountains, traveling abroad, and—above all else—playing with her 10-month-old son.