About Our Work
Meet the Advocacy Committee
The members of MANP’s Advocacy Committee represent the diversity of the nonprofit sector.
Chair – Jayne Crosby Giles is an independent consultant. She previously served as Development Director for Broadreach Family and Community Services and CEO of Mainestream Finance, the Community Development Finance Institution of Penquis Community Action Program. She was former Vice President of Commercial Banking at Machias Savings Bank, as well as a Vice President & Market Manager at Camden National Bank, and a Senior Vice President at Key Bank. Jayne also served for four years as a State Representative for House District #43 and served on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committees.
Richard Brown recently retired as the Chief Executive Officer of the Charlotte White Center, a comprehensive social service agency serving adults and children facing life challenges such as intellectual disabilities, mental illness, acquired brain injuries, physical handicaps, and elder age-related issues, since it opened in Dover-Foxcroft in 1979. He holds a Master’s Degree in the Education of the Severely Handicapped from the University of Maine, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor, Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Registered Maine Whitewater Guide, and has been affiliated with Mayo Regional Hospital for over thirty-five years as an EMT-Paramedic. Dick has five grown children and five grandchildren.
Michael Mitchell, Michael Mitchell, LCSW, has been the President and CEO of Crisis & Counseling Centers (C&C) since 2014, where he had previously been the Clinical Director since 2003. Michael also practiced as an outpatient clinician since 1986, until assuming responsibility as Chief Executive Officer in December of 2014. Michael has nearly thirty years of clinical and management experience in the behavioral health field. Many organizations recognize Mitchell as a trailblazer in the behavioral health field, and he has served as a trainer and presenter at conferences in Maine and across the U.S. Hailing from Calais, Maine, Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University and went on to achieve a Master of Social Work degree from the same institution in 1986. He and his wife live with their two Labs in Vassalboro, playing jazz and fly fishing as often as possible.
Linda Nelson, Assistant Director for the Maine Arts Commission, was the founding Executive Director of Opera House Arts (OHA) at the 1912 Stonington Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to her seventeen years of nonprofit management and theater production, Linda has more than thirty years of experience in the media industry as reporter, writer, editor, and new media pioneer and designer; and in the new media sector as a Chief Information Officer and CEO. Her business experience as both a CEO and nonprofit consultant includes: strategic planning; facilities management; budgeting; organizational and fund development; and operational start-ups. She is currently working on a book, Incite Art/Create Community, focused on the intersection between community development and arts and culture, based on her experiences creating Opera House Arts in Stonington.
Brenda Peluso joined Dietel Partners as their Operations Director in the fall of 2014 after a twenty-year career with MANP, where she honed her skills in operations, public policy, nonprofit management, and compliance. Prior to joining MANP, Brenda taught high school math and science. Brenda is a native of South Portland, Maine, and after high school, she traveled and attended several universities, earning a Bachelor of Science from the University of Southern Maine. She now lives in the house in which she was raised with her pug, Ozzy, keeping rooms open for her two college-going children. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, and running.
Cathy Ramsdell, CPA, CGMA, is the Executive Director of Friends of Casco Bay where she uses her expertise in business, public accounting, behavior, and ecology. Prior to joining Friends of Casco Bay in 2003, Cathy advised executive directors, business owners, and family foundations on financial, professional, and organizational development. Cathy’s degree in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic took her from the Bering Strait in Alaska studying seabird populations, to protecting nesting loggerhead sea turtles on the barrier islands of Georgia, to cataloging populations of whales in the Gulf of Maine.
Jeff Romano has been the Public Policy Coordinator with Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) since 2004. His work at MCHT includes advocating in support of beneficial land conservation policies in Augusta and Washington D.C. Over the past dozen years, Jeff has also worked on a variety of political campaigns in Maine and New Hampshire, most recently helping to pass the 2010 Land for Maine’s Future Bond initiative. In addition to his work at MCHT, he is an outdoor writer and correspondent to the Boston Globe. Jeff has written two hiking guidebooks: 100 Classic Hikes in New England (2010) and Best Loop Hikes: From New Hampshire’s White Mountains to the Maine Coast (2006).
Betsy Sawyer-Manter, LMSW, is the Executive Director of Seniors Plus, the Area Agency on Aging for Western Maine. SeniorsPlus administers Older Americans Act programming for Western Maine, along with EIM Care Coordination for older adults and adults with disabilities across the state. Prior to joining SeniorsPlus in May 2009, she worked for PROP, the Community Action Agency for Cumberland County. During her 20 years at PROP as a senior manager, Betsy was responsible for the oversight of all programming and was also responsible for the development of 5 affordable housing projects. Betsy holds a BA in Social Work from USM and a MSW from UConn.