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Council

THRIVE2027 COUNCIL MEMBERS 

The Thrive2027 Council includes executives, administrators, and public officials from throughout southern Maine who provide the overall guidance and oversight of efforts to ensure the success of Thrive2027. 

Xavier Botana, Co-Chair

Superintendent, Portland Public Schools

Michael Bourque, Co-Chair

President and CEO, MEMIC

Ahmed Abdirahman

Respiratory Therapist, Mercy Hospital

Micky Bondo

Co-Director, In Her Presence

Julie Chase

Dean of Business & Community Partnerships, Southern Maine Community College

Tony Cipollone

President & CEO, John T. Gorman Foundation

Anne Dalton

Chief Officer for Strategic Initiatives, Association of Junior Leagues International

Headshot of Jill Duson

Jill Duson

Retired Commissioner, Maine Human Rights Commission

Jim Elkins

Owner, Career Planning Services

Joe Everett

President and CEO, The Opportunity Alliance

Jim Gailey

County Manager, Cumberland County Maine

Chris Hall

General Counsel and Director of Regional Initiatives, Greater Portland Council of Governments

Katie Fullam Harris

Chief Government Affairs Officer, MaineHealth

Quincy Hentzel

CEO, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce

Felicia Knight

President, Knight Canney Group

Mary Jane Krebs

President & SVP Intensive Services, Spring Harbor Hospital and Maine Behavioral Healthcare

Leeann Leahy

CEO, The VIA Agency

Liz Rickett

Senior Vice President, Client Success, Unum

Jessica Roy

Vice President – Corporate Communications & Marketing at WEX.

Claude Rwaganje

Founder and Executive Director, ProsperityME

Kris Sahonchik

Director, USM Research & Cutler Institute

Michael Sauschuck

Public Safety Commissioner, State of Maine

Liz Cotter Schlax

President and CEO, United Way of Greater Portland

Steve Smith

President & CEO, L.L.Bean

Mike Tarpinian

Community Volunteer, Retired from The Opportunity Alliance

Charlie Therrien

President, Mercy Hospital, Northern Light Health

Lisa Toner

Community Volunteer, Retired from Maine Public

Gio Twigge

Chief Human Resources Officer, IDEXX

Michael Vail

President, Hannaford Supermarkets

Chris Wilson

President, Linden Creek Technology Partners

Xavier Botana, Co-Chair

Superintendent, Portland Public Schools

Xavier Botana has been Superintendent of the Portland Public Schools since July 1, 2016. The Portland Board of Public Education selected him after conducting a nationwide search that drew more than 40 applicants. In choosing Mr. Botana, the board cited his credentials and his work as an innovative school leader in such key areas as parent engagement, budget development and curriculum alignment. In his seven months leading the Portland Public Schools, Mr. Botana has spearheaded a successful update of the district’s Comprehensive Plan; worked with school and city officials, families and the community to draft a transformative proposal for critical renovations at four elementary schools; and aided in the process of developing a new family partnership policy for the district. Mr. Botana, 53, was born in Cuba during the Castro regime. His family’s experience immigrating to the United States from Cuba motivated his work in education. Growing up bilingual in Spanish, he began his educational career as an ESL teacher and worked his way up to leadership roles.

Prior to coming to Portland, Mr. Botana served as Associate Superintendent of the Michigan City Area Schools in Indiana for six years. He held a variety of educational positions before that time, including serving as Chief Academic Officer for the Portland, Oregon, public schools and working as an administrator and teacher in the Chicago area.

Mr. Botana holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration and has completed doctoral program coursework.

Mr. Botana frequently can be found interacting with Portland Public Schools students, staff and families, and he attends many school and community events. He sees being superintendent of Maine’s largest and most diverse school district as an opportunity to make a positive and meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of children. He has found Portland to be a very welcoming community where he can make a permanent home with his wife and son.

Michael Bourque, Co-Chair

President and CEO, MEMIC

Michael Bourque became The MEMIC Group’s second President and CEO in the company’s history in September 2017.

Mike previously served under founding president John Leonard for more than two decades, culminating that time as Senior Vice President for External Affairs and corporate secretary for The MEMIC Group. In that role, Mike led the company’s corporate marketing programs, including its advertising and public relations, outbound communications, as well as its government and community relations efforts.

He oversaw corporate marketing efforts that helped drive the growth of The MEMIC Group from a single state workers’ compensation carrier to a super-regional specialist with policyholders across the country. His efforts helped to position the company as a leader in workplace safety in the insurance industry.

Mike is a graduate of the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. He is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America and an accredited Workers’ Compensation Professional (WCP) as recognized by AMCOMP. He is also a graduate of the Maine Development Foundation’s Leadership Maine program. In 2004, he was named winner of the Edward L. Bernays Award, the top honor from the Maine Public Relations Council for career achievement in public relations. In 2016, he was awarded the Southern Maine Community Leadership Award by Day One. In 2018, he received the Rudy Vallee Award from the University of Maine Alumni Association for his community involvement. Also in 2018, he received the Business Leader Award from Crossroads, for his contributions toward ending the shame and stigma associated with addiction and behavioral health disorders. In 2018, he was awarded the Blood Service Award from the American Red Cross for blood drives held at MEMIC and within the community that have helped save more than 3,000 lives.

Before joining MEMIC, Mike was an editor for a trade association based in Washington, DC. Previously, he was an award-winning journalist, working for daily newspapers in Maine and Alaska.

Mike serves as a member of the board of directors of Maine Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC) as well as the boards of its subsidiary companies, MEMIC Indemnity Company and MEMIC Casualty Company.

Mike serves on numerous boards and committees. He is a member of the board of directors of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Cancer Foundation, and the United Way of Greater Portland. He was the chair of the 2016 United Way of Greater Portland’s Campaign Committee, which raised more than $8 million. He serves on the FocusMaine Steering Committee, the University of Maine’s Board of Visitors, and the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine (CMTM) Advisory Board. He is past chair of the board of directors of the CMTM, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Southern Maine Community College Foundation. Previously, he served as president of the Maine Public Relations Council, and Youth and Family Outreach, a social service agency that provides high quality, low cost childcare.

He is a former member of the Communications Committee of the American Association of State Compensation Insurance Funds (AASCIF) and on an industry planning committee for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

Ahmed Abdirahman

Respiratory Therapist, Mercy Hospital

Bio coming soon.

Micky Bondo

Co-Director, In Her Presence

Abusana “Micky” Bondo, mother of 5 children, was born in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, educated and trained in Belgium where she holds advanced degree in Biochemistry with research in sickle cell and also two associated degrees in Business administration and Education. Micky runs the non-profit In Her Presence, an organization she co-founded with Claudette Ndayininahaze, that is focused on empowering immigrant women. Ms. Bondo also serves on multiple Boards: The Opportunity Alliance, The National Board of Maine League of Women Voter, The Statewide Coordinating Council for Public Health and is involved with the United Way and Thrive2027. She is a Coalition Parent for Portland Empowered, a platform funded by Nellie Mae foundation, which bridges the Public School, parents and community to create a strong pathway for students success and encourage the Student centered learning program beyond the high school. And, as a member of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Speaker Bureau, she travels across the country, offering a variety of perspectives workshops from community advocates and parents to lend their voice and leadership in advocating to make learning more student-centered. In 2018, she was elected as the first Congolese-American for Public Office to serve at the School Board of Education Rep District 1 in Portland, Maine.

Julie Chase

Dean of Business & Community Partnerships, Southern Maine Community College

Julie Chase is the Dean of Business and Community Partnerships at Southern Maine Community College.  She has been with SMCC for almost thirteen years in roles supporting workforce and economic development.  Prior to joining SMCC, she was a small business owner and was among the first employees that helped establish York County Community College.  Julie serves on Boards for Coastal Counties Workforce Inc. and the Greater Portland Economic Development Corporation and is a member of the Education Committee for the Manufacturers Association of Maine. Other community leadership roles include being a member of the New Mainers Resource Advisory Board, The Greater Portland Workforce Initiative, and various other committees that help connect businesses and individuals to the higher education community and resources that can help them thrive.  A graduate of the Leadership Maine program through the Maine Development Foundation, she is passionate about linking resources to support the economic vitality of Maine.  Julie loves volunteering in her community as well as on service trips to Guatemala, most recently bringing a team of business people, SMCC students and staff to work in a remote village.

Tony Cipollone

President & CEO, John T. Gorman Foundation

Tony Cipollone is President and CEO of the John T. Gorman Foundation, a Portland-based private foundation dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged people in Maine. He joined the foundation in 2011 and since then has helped advance a range of new investment strategies aimed at improving results for children, youth and families. Prior to that, he was Vice President for Civic Sites and Initiatives at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he worked in senior leadership for over 20 years and helped develop and lead numerous initiatives related to education, community redevelopment and policy advocacy, including Casey’s national KIDS COUNT project. Tony received his doctorate in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Anne Dalton

Chief Officer for Strategic Initiatives, Association of Junior Leagues International

Anne Dalton is the Chief Officer for Strategic Initiatives with the Association  of Junior Leagues  International  Inc. (AJLI). The Junior League is an organization  committed  to promoting women's  community  and civic leadership  through  volunteer  service. There are 292 Junior  Leagues collectively  in the US, Canada,  Mexico and the United Kingdom, comprising 150,000  individual  members. Anne joined AJLI in 1983 and has been involved  in consultative  services, training  and senior management  ever since.

Currently,  Anne manages  the Strategic Transformation Rollout which  is a comprehensive  change  initiative focused  on redefining  Junior  League governance  and management  systems, community  program strategy, and the membership  model to strengthen  the ability of each League to advance the Junior  League  Mission.  In addition, Anne  provides strategic  consulting and training  in governance  and community impact,  manages  the affiliation process and is a member of the senior leadership  team.

Previously, Anne was Girls Club of New York's Executive  Director,  Henry Street Settlement's Director of Youth Employment  Services  and Senior Planner with the Vera Institute of Justice.

Anne holds a BA in English from Cornell University,  an MSW from Hunter College and is a graduate  of the Carver  Policy Governance Academy  and the Lift360 Leadership Intensive.  She is a sustaining  member of the Junior League of Portland,  Maine, a member  of the Board of the International  Policy Governance  Association  where  she serves as Secretary,  a member of the Board of the United Way of Greater Portland where she serves on the Community  Impact Steering  Committee and the Board Development Committee, and a member of the Board of the Portland  Public Library.

Jill Duson

Retired Commissioner, Maine Human Rights Commission

Bio coming soon.

Jim Elkins

Owner, Career Planning Services

As a long term United Way volunteer, Jim chairs the Public Policy Committee and serves on the Community Impact Steering Committee.  He also is on the Board of Directors for both the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce and Project G.R.A.C.E., a Scarborough-based social service agency. 
 
Since 1985, Jim has operated Career Planning Services, a private practice in career planning. He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in personnel counseling from Miami University and has completed advanced graduate work in counseling at  Pennsylvania State University. Jim specializes in career planning and previously held career planning, counseling, and administrative positions in higher education, government, and the public schools. He also was one of the original staff members of the New Horizons Academy, where he served as Coordinator of Career Planning and provided training on the Academy model to the Job Corps and Houston Works. 
 
Jim is a member of the American Counseling Association and the National Career Development Association; is a National Certified Career Counselor, Master Career Counselor, and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor; and has authored several nationally distributed career planning publications.  He lives in Scarborough with his wife Kathy, who is an Educational Consultant.

Joe Everett

President and CEO, The Opportunity Alliance

Joe currently serves as the President & CEO at The Opportunity Alliance (TOA) and has been at the organization since 1998. He has extensive experience in the field of health and human services as well as non-profit management. Joe has been working in the industry for nearly three decades and has held both clinical and administrative roles.

During his tenure at TOA, Joe provided effective leadership in the mergers of three legacy organizations, Ingraham, Youth Alternatives, and PROP (Peoples Regional Opportunity Program). He has a great deal of experience in the area of program development and has designed and implemented numerous behavioral health and social service initiatives. Joe has secured over $25M in revenue though State and Federal funding opportunities. Further, he was the principal driver in the development of critical statewide programs including 2-1-1 Maine and the Maine Crisis Line.

In addition to overseeing strategy development and implementation, he has led the implementation of the Results-Based Accountability™ framework at TOA, evaluating and improving agency impact and program performance. Joe holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Toronto.

Jim Gailey

County Manager, Cumberland County Maine

James H. Gailey is the County Manager of Cumberland County, Maine. He began his career working for the City of South Portland’s Parks and Recreation Department as a teenager in 1987, and went on to work for the city as a tax specialist, planner, community development director, Assistant Manager and was named City Manager in 2007. During his time in that position, Jim reorganized South Portland’s government into an efficient, flexible and modern municipal operation. He developed a Sustainability Office, moved the city into the digital age by going paperless in several departments and with the City Council, and worked collaboratively with the community to create a resource hub in the Redbank affordable housing neighborhood. Jim also worked to develop one of the state’s first public/private municipal broadband projects in 2015, and a public wireless mesh network around the city downtown and park in 2016.

In July of 2016, Jim accepted the Assistant Manager’s position for Cumberland County. A year later, Jim became the County Manager, overseeing 400+ employees and a 45M budget. In 2017, Jim took on the role of overseeing the Cross Insurance Arena, a 7,000-seat arena, as a new department with county government. On the belief that regionalization of government services is the most efficient way of to provide them, Jim today works with the twenty-eight communities within Cumberland County to explore ways of providing regional service delivery to the over 292,500 residents who reside within the county.

Jim earned a BA in Geography from the University of Maine at Farmington in 1994. He earned his MA in Planning and Policy Analysis from the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine in 2001, and is a Xi Class graduate of the Institute of Civic Leadership. He was named Manager of the Year in 2014 by the Maine Town, City and County Management Association and was a 2017 Paul Harris Fellow with the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International. He is the co-creator of the state’s first regional municipal employee Leadership Academy, and participates in a variety of regional boards and committees.

Chris Hall

General Counsel and Director of Regional Initiatives, Greater Portland Council of Governments

Chris Hall is the former CEO of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, where he served from 2007 to 2017.  From 1990 to 2007 Hall served as Senior VP and General Counsel for the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, representing the state’s business community before lawmakers on all major public policy issues.  Prior to 1990 Hall practiced law in Portland for several years after graduating from Boston University School of Law.  A Bowdoin graduate, Hall has lived in Buxton, Maine since 1986.

Katie Fullam Harris

Chief Government Affairs Officer, MaineHealth

Katie Fullam Harris serves as Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Accountable Care Strategy for MaineHealth, Maine’s largest health care system. She works with policymakers and employers to shape and respond to public policy and market changes; she leads the System’s efforts to develop new system initiatives that support MaineHealth’s accountable care goals; and she is presently helping to lead a system-wide effort to respond to the opioid epidemic. Prior to joining MaineHealth, Katie was the Director of Government Relations for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine.  She has also served as a program director for the Maine Development Foundation and as Assistant to the Commissioner for the Maine Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services.

Katie currently serves on the Boards of the Maine Community Foundation, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation, and the Edward Daveis Benevolent Trust. She also volunteers for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, the American Heart Association in Maine, and Rippleffect.

A native of Maine, Katie has an MS in Health Care Policy and Management from the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine and a BA from Columbia University.  She is an active runner and outdoor sports enthusiast, and she and her husband live in Cumberland with their 2 dogs.

 

Quincy Hentzel

CEO, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce

Bio Coming Soon

Felicia Knight

President, Knight Canney Group

Felicia Knight is President of The Knight Canney Group, a strategic public relations consultancy based in Portland, Maine, specializing in public and media relations, crisis communications, and government policy. The company serves local, regional, national, and international businesses ranging from tech start-ups to Fortune 500 companies; colleges and universities; national non-profits; and state and federal agencies. 

Felicia’s 20-year award-winning on-air broadcast journalism career was followed by a decade at the center of government in Washington, DC—as Communications Director for United States Senator Susan Collins and Collins for Senator re-election campaigns. 

Following her service with Senator Collins, Felicia moved to the Executive Branch as Communications Director for the National Endowment for the Arts under then-Chairman Dana Gioia. While there, she oversaw communications for award-winning, multi-million dollar national initiatives such as Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, The Big Read, Poetry Out Loud, and Shakespeare in American Communities. 

In 2009, Felicia returned to Maine full time where she launched the PR firm Knight Vision International. In 2014, she merged KVI with Crystal Canney’s Canney Communications to form The Knight Canney Group. 

Felicia has always considered volunteering a vital part of her life. She has served on many state and local boards and volunteered for countless non-profits.  Currently, Felicia serves as President of the Board of Directors for Portland Ovations. 

Felicia is married to Towle Tompkins, Executive Director of the American Heart Association in Maine. She and her husband live in Scarborough.

Mary Jane Krebs

President & SVP Intensive Services, Spring Harbor Hospital and Maine Behavioral Healthcare

Mary Jane Krebs, APRN, BC, FACHE, is the President of Spring Harbor Hospital and Senior Vice President of the Intensive Service Line at Maine Behavioral Healthcare. Spring Harbor, southern Maine’s only nonprofit, private psychiatric hospital providing child and adult inpatient services, is a division of Maine Behavioral Healthcare, part of the MaineHealth system. 

Today, Mary Jane is involved in strategic planning at Maine Behavioral Healthcare to fully integrate acute psychiatric services with community-based treatment options, including the provision of mental health services in over 40 primary care practices in the MaineHealth system. She is also leading the priority of safe patient flow and lowering lengths of stay for adult patients at Spring Harbor, as well as cultivating employee engagement across the Maine Behavioral Healthcare system to attract and retain the best professionals in the field. 

Previously, Mary Jane was the CEO of Community Counseling Center, now also part of Maine Behavioral Healthcare; Chief Clinical and Nursing Officer at Spring Harbor and Maine Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry; and Vice President of Clinical Services at Jackson Brook Institute.

Mary Jane completed her undergraduate nursing degree at the College of New Jersey and her graduate degree at New York University. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives, a steering committee member of the National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems, serves on the Southern Maine Area on Aging Board of Trustees, the Maine Hospital Association Board of Directors and chairs the MHA Mental Health Council.

Leeann Leahy

CEO, The VIA Agency

If you drink it, eat it, clean (or soften) with it, fly on it, invest with it, or watch it, it’s likely a brand Leeann has worked on. She grew up as a planner at big and small agencies in New York City before joining VIA. These days she continues to work with great and powerful brands, but now she also gets to live in an antique shipmaster’s house with her husband, their three lovely children and their pet schnerrier.

Liz Rickett

Senior Vice President, Client Success, Unum

Liz Rickett is senior vice president of Client Success for Unum, one of the world’s leading providers of workplace financial protection benefits.

The Client Success area is responsible for ensuring Unum’s clients have a best in class experience from onboarding through administration. The organization includes employees on three campuses (Chattanooga, TN, Baton Rouge, LA and Portland, ME).

Previously, she served as vice president of Field Operations where she led efforts to redesign the Field Offices which included creating new roles and organizations. Rickett joined Unum in 1988 and has held various positions supporting the Field organization.

Liz was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. While working at Unum, she also coached high school girls’ basketball for 9 years at Catherine McAuley HS. She and her husband Peter, live in Portland and have two sons, Matthew and Karl.

Jessica Roy

Vice President – Corporate Communications & Marketing at WEX.

Bio Coming Soon

Claude Rwaganje

Founder and Executive Director, ProsperityME

Bio Coming Soon

Kris Sahonchik

Director, USM Research & Cutler Institute

Kris is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of child welfare and organizational improvement. She has advised state, territorial, and tribal governments from Maine to American Samoa.

Kris brings a commitment to improving the lives of our most vulnerable citizens to the development and application of objective criteria in evaluating and implementing public policy. Examples of her broad portfolio of work includes developing policies and management systems in American Samoa; implementing a post-Katrina hurricane recovery and reform plan for the Louisiana Office of Community Services; and facilitating the creation of strategic plans for integrated children’s health, mental health, and human services in over a dozen states. Her approach to reform is focused on the design, implementation, and evaluation of evidence-informed policies and practices that are grounded in research, outcome-driven, and responsive to the needs of vulnerable children, families, and communities.

Kris has authored publications on strategic planning, public agency management, and child welfare and is often asked to speak about the issues to which she has dedicated much of her professional work: working with state and national government leaders and communities to develop long-term solutions for complex social issues. Kris brings this same commitment to her role as Director of the Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy; she has served as Principal Investigator on two multi-year projects funded by the Children’s Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Organizational Improvement and the Northeast and Caribbean Child Welfare Implementation Center.

Kris teaches graduate courses at the Muskie School of Public Service on various topics, including Public Health Policy for Children and Families; Managing Change in Child, Youth, and Family Policy and Programs; and Child and Family Policy and Law. Kris attended the London School of Economics and holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of the District of Columbia and a Bachelor of Arts degree (with honors) from New York University.

Michael Sauschuck

Public Safety Commissioner, State of Maine

Commissioner Michael J. Sauschuck came to the Department of Public Safety from the City of Portland, where he worked as the Assistant City Manager. He started his law enforcement career with the Portland Police Department in 1997 and was promoted through the ranks of that agency, ultimately becoming the Chief of Police for the department in July 2011. At the Portland Police Department, Commissioner Sauschuck was responsible for the executive command of 163 sworn officers and 60 civilian employees, and for administering a law enforcement agency with an annual budget of 16.6 million dollars. His philosophy was geared to creating partnerships with those he served in order to develop long-term solutions that help citizens thrive. He is a former United States Marine Corps Machine Gunner, and he has held specialties as a Field Training Officer, a Special Reaction Team Member, a Crisis Intervention Team Member, and a Weapons of Mass Destruction Team Member. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminology. Commissioner Sauschuck lives in Windham with his wife, Mary.

Liz Cotter Schlax

President and CEO, United Way of Greater Portland

Liz assumed leadership of United Way of Greater Portland in January 2015. As President & CEO, she guides United Way’s strategies that achieve community change in the areas of education, financial stability, and health to improve people’s lives.

Liz started her United Way career at United Way of Dane County (Madison, WI) in 1998 after working for four years in other nonprofit organizations including KaBOOM!, Up with People, and the Partnership for National Service/Points of Light Foundation. She served as Campaign Director in Dane County until December 2000, when she left to pursue graduate studies.

Upon completion of her master’s degree, Liz joined the management training program at Deere & Company, more commonly known as John Deere. During her six years with John Deere, Liz became a trained Examiner for the Iowa affiliate of Baldrige National Quality Program while she served in marketing and strategic planning roles in Moline, IL; Cary, NC; Zweibruecken, Germany; and Johnston, IA.

Liz returned to United Way in Des Moines, IA in January, 2009 and until December of 2014 led United Way of Central Iowa’s Advancement Division, which included corporate engagement, grants, individual engagement, and marketing staff.

Liz serves on the Board of Directors of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce.

Liz grew up in Waterville, Maine, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Liz and her husband, Michael, have two school-aged daughters.

Steve Smith

President & CEO, L.L.Bean

On January 4, 2016, Stephen Smith became the fourth President and CEO of L.L.Bean.

Steve began his career in 1992 at J. Walter Thompson in New York City. He moved to Maine in 1997 and rose to become the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Resort Sports Network. In 2002, he began his retail career at Hannaford Supermarket and this launched nine years at the Delhaize Group where he gained experience in merchandising, commercial planning, marketing and customer relationship management in the US and Belgium.

In 2011, Steve joined Walmart International as SVP and General Manager of Sam's Club and Chief Marketing Officer for Walmart China in Shenzhen, China. There he gained general management responsibility, integrating e-commerce into the core business and improving annual sales growth. A year later, Steve became Chief Customer Officer of ASDA (part of Walmart International), a $30+ billion food, fashion and general merchandise omnichannel business in the United Kingdom. In 2015, Steve became Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer for Yihaodian (part of Walmart Global Ecommerce), a pure e-commerce business located in Shanghai.

Steve is a graduate of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where he studied Art History and Physics. He grew up in Westchester County, New York and Amherst, Massachusetts. He spent summers on Canada Lake in the Adirondacks at a lake house that has been in his family for generations.

Steve is very active in outdoor sports and enjoys a wide variety of activities. He and his family are excited to be back in Maine where they have deep ties and where they can embrace their love of the outdoors and commitment to community.

Mike Tarpinian

Community Volunteer, Retired from The Opportunity Alliance

Michael J. Tarpinian formerly served as President and CEO of The Opportunity Alliance, CAP Agency (Community Action Program) for Cumberland County.  The Opportunity Alliance partners with communities and individuals to deliver a full spectrum of social services and mental health care.  An accomplished administrator, Mike has more than 40 years of experience working on behalf of children, youth, adults and families as a leader and advocate at The Opportunity Alliance and Maine’s Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation. 

During his tenure at The Opportunity Alliance, Mike has overseen two mergers, first between Ingraham and Youth Alternatives, Inc. in 2007 and then with PROP (People’s Regional Opportunity Program) in 2011.  He has dramatically expanded the Agency’s services and supports for Maine’s most vulnerable children, youth, and families. Today, The Opportunity Alliance is a nationally accredited CAP agency with more than 500 employees serving more than 20,000 individuals annually. 

In addition to his professional experience, Mike is the co-founder of the Maine Behavioral Health Collaborative, a seven-member organization focusing on policies and legislation related to child welfare and behavioral health.  Mike is a past Board member of the Child Welfare League of America, currently serves on the Board of Maine Equal Justice Programs and sits on the Portland ConnectEd Steering Committee.   

A graduate of LeMoyne College and Cheverus High School, Mike is known as a leader throughout the community.  A long-time Westbrook resident and a native of Portland, he and his wife Nancy have two married daughters and three grandchildren.  

Charlie Therrien

President, Mercy Hospital, Northern Light Health

Bio coming soon.

Lisa Toner

Community Volunteer, Retired from Maine Public

Lisa Toner, Esq., graduated from the business school at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee and received her law degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Lisa recently retired as Director of Human Resources for Maine Public Broadcasting Network. Prior to joining Maine Public, she was Vice President of Legal Affairs for Hannaford Bros.

Lisa presently serves on United Way of Greater Portland’s Board of Directors and previously served on the boards of the Cancer Community Center, Community Counseling Center, Community Dental, United Way of Greater Portland’s Campaign Cabinet and its Foundation Board of Trustees, and as a member of the Portland School Committee.

She and her husband, Nelson, reside in Portland. (And… she is the proud grandmother of two grandsons!)

Gio Twigge

Chief Human Resources Officer, IDEXX

Gio serves as IDEXX Laboratories’ Chief Human Resources Officer. In 2015, he received SHRM Maine State Council’s HR Leader of the Year award for his success in delivering innovative people practices, championing investments in a best in class global employee communications function and delivering a wellness strategy that resulted in the inclusion of an onsite fitness center and health clinic at IDEXX's new Synergy Center at its World Campus in Westbrook. Gio graduated from the University of Pretoria in South Africa with a degree in Personnel Management (B. Commerce with Honors), serves as an Advisor at My Place Teen Center in Westbrook, and as a Board Member of Junior Achievement of Maine.

Michael Vail

President, Hannaford Supermarkets

Mike Vail is currently the President of Hannaford Supermarkets. He has served at Hannaford’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize, for 29 years where he has held various leadership roles including Chief Supply Chain Officer (Delhaize America) and President and Chief Operating Officer of Sweetbay Supermarkets, a Florida-based grocer.

Most recently Mike’s community commitments in Maine include the United Way of Greater Portland Board of Directors (2018 Campaign Chair) and Good Shepherd Food Bank Advisory Board. Mike was previously involved with the Network of Executive Women in Tampa, Florida, and he served as a member and Board Chair of Feeding America Tampa Bay.

Mike earned a BA in Economics and Administrative Science from Colby College

Chris Wilson

President, Linden Creek Technology Partners

Bio Coming Soon