Joanne Gagnon - President
Vice President - Commercial Banker, Bank of New Hampshire; Secretary and Treasurer of New Hampshire Home Builder's Associate Council; Secretary of New Hampshire Regional Development Corporation; Community Development Finance Authority Investment Committee Member; Committee Member for Concord Hospital "En Blanc" fundraiser; Graduate of Leadership Concord 'Class of 2010-2011"; Member Steering Committee for Leadership Concord; Member of the Chamber of Commerce; Vocalist for a Women's A Cappella Ensemble; Aksara; Vocalist for a Christian Musical Ensemble; Friends Program President; Friends Program Trustee since 2011; Resident of Manchester.
Kathleen Ames - Vice President
Graduate of Augustana College with a degree in history and political science; MBA, DePaul University. Also a CPA with a background in human resources. Past board experience has included serving as past chair of the Concord Regional VNA and numerous volunteer roles with the Junior Service League. Since 2007, Ames has also served as the Treasurer of the Concord Hospital Association.
Allen Desbiens - Treasurer
Graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Economics. Allen is currently acting in the position of Regulatory Affairs Manager for Eversource Energy and is directly involved as the primary liaison with the NH Public Utilities Commission on a wide range of issues. He has served on the Board of Directors of Granite State Credit Union for more than 10 years and serves on the Asset/Liability Risk, Budget, and Executive Compensation Committees. He is the past Co-President of the Concord Friends for the Performing Arts. He is a 2009 graduate of the Leadership Greater Concord Program, a Resident of Concord and a Friends Program Trustee since October 2014.
Celia is Vice President of Marketing at OrionX Consulting focused on the technology industry. Previously, she was a Director of Marketing at Oracle. She served as Chair of HEAR in New Hampshire, has been a Board member Child and Family Services as well as the Junior Service League , and is a 2017 gradúate of Leadership of Greater Concord. Celia has an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BA from UC Berkeley. She has lived in Concord with her family since 1996.
Marist College, M.P.A.; Boston University, B.S.; Chief Executive Officer, HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Concord; Former Chief Operating Officer, Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital; Former Executive Vice President, Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital; Recipient of HealthSouth Hospital of the Year in 2009; Volunteer for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer; Friends Program Trustee since 2012; Resident of Bow.
Susan is a Director and Shareholder of the law firm of Orr & Reno in Concord. Her prior positions include NH Public Utilities Commissioner and Senior Assistant Attorney General at the NH Department of Justice. Susan is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College and Suffolk University Law School. She has resided in Loudon for 30 years with her husband, Dan Geiger.
Lindsay is a lifelong resident of New Hampshire and has worked at Granite Ledges, an assisted living facility, since 2008. She is currently the Director of Community Relations and focuses on using her local connections, communication skills and team-building experience to benefit the residents. Lindsay graduated with an Associate Degree in Human Services from NH Technical Institute in 2008 and is currently pursuing a BS in Healthcare Management from Southern NH University. Lindsay is a graduate of 2012 Leadership Greater Concord and is involved with the Concord Regional VNA Passion for Caring Committee. Lindsay is no stranger to the Friends Program as she was a Senior Friend in our Youth Mentoring Program from 2008-2012.
Robyn is an attorney with The Stein Law Firm, PLLC, in Concord. Robyn’s areas of practice are family law, estate planning and administration, probate litigation, and Medicaid. She is a Martindale-Hubbell “Client Champion”. Robyn attended The Florida State University, graduating with a B.A. with Honors Magna Cum Laude and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She received her J.D. with Honors from The Florida State University College of Law in 1995 and, while attending law school, was the recipient of the Trial Advocacy Book Award. Admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, Robyn has been a resident of Concord since 2005 and resides with her husband, their twins, and three rescue pugs.
Jason is a Principal at Sheerr McCrystal Palson Architecture, Inc. dba SMP Architecture. He graduated from Philadelphia Universityin 1998 and has 17 years in working in architecture and construction management. He has served on the board of the Capital Region Habitat for Humanity since 2013 and is an active member of Christ Church PCA in Pembroke. Jason lives in Hopkinton with his wife and 4 daughters.
Laura is the Founder and President of Marketplace New England, Inc., an omnichannel retail operation that features locally made products from NH and New England, as well as Lead Consultant for Customer Service Solutions, a small business consulting group. She was formerly the Founder and President of Imagination Village, Inc., serving the community through educational toys and teaching supplies. Laura has a B.S. in Business Administration through NH College. Current community involvement includes: Board Member, past Treasurer and past Vice-President for the Zonta Club of Concord, the local chapter of an international NGO working to improve the status of women worldwide; member of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce, founding member of the Merchant's Round Table Network. In her spare time, she volunteers as a foster parent for rescue dogs and social justice causes, particularly advocacy for people with disabilities and to improve opportunities for New Americans. Laura has lived in the Concord area for 22 years and currently resides in Contoocook.
Commercial Realtor and business manager at Premiere Properties. Current member of NH Commercial Investment Board of Realtors; National Association of Realtors; Member of Concord Chamber of Commerce; past member of the Concord Business Group; founding member of Downtown Concord, Inc.; past president, vice president and member of Concord School District PTO’s; past president and board member of Concord High School booster clubs; past volunteer for Capital Region Food Program-Holiday Food Basket Project. Donna accepted a position on the Friends Program Board of Trustees in October 2013. Resident of Concord.
Chris was most recently the Director of Medical Staff Services at Catholic Medical Center. Prior to this position she was the Program Administrator for the NH-Dartmouth Family Practice Residency Program. She has a Masters Degree in Health Services Administration from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Planning Administration from Pennsylvania State University. She has served as President of the Shaker Road School Parent Teacher Group and the Junior Service League of Concord. She continues to volunteer for the Girlscouts as well as other committees. She has lived in Concord since 1996.
Originally from New York, Ilene received her Master’s degree in Audiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which is where she began her career as a Clinical Audiologist, developing the Audiology Department for Ear, Nose and Throat physicians. From 1981 to 2003, she was the sole Audiologist at Easter Seals in Manchester, NH, where she further developed the program for the hearing health needs of children and adults in the community. She segued into her private practice, Hearing Improvement Center, LLC, in 2003 which afforded her the opportunity to combine business skills with her experience in health care. Since selling her practice in 2013 and retiring, Ilene has been spending her time volunteering in our Youth Mentoring Program and in the 3rd grade at Bow Elementery School.
Ilene lives with her husband, Ken (and dog, Chevy) in the Canterbury home that they built in 1981.
Angela is Senior Vice President, Operations Officer at New Hampshire Mutual Bancorp. She possesses 25 years of experience in the organization. She joined Merrimack County Savings Bank in 1990 as a bookkeeper and assumed roles with increasing levels of responsibility. A graduate of Frankin Pierce University, Angela's past community service includes mentoring a youth in our mentoring program, as well as preparing meas at the Friendly Kitchen, managing the finances of Cub Scout Pack 86, and serving on the facilities committee of Riverbend Community Mental Health.
Kimberly Yarlott, Principal of Reeds Ferry Elementary School, Merrimack, NH. She was named the 2017 NH Principal of the Year and is recognized as a National Distinguished Principal. She began her teaching career in Concord NH. After receiving her Masters in Leadership in 2005, she moved into Administration and later went on to receive her Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAGS) from Plymouth State University. She is a former member of the Friends Program Board of Trustees, as well as on Independent Network Services (ISN) Advisory Board. Kimberly's professional interests include Global Education. She has most recently traveled to Finland, Bejing, and Milan to explore educational systems.