About Our Work

Meet the Advocacy Committee

The members of MANP’s Advocacy Committee represent the diversity of the nonprofit sector.

Chair – Lisa Miller, MPH, serves part-time as the Senior Program Officer of The Bingham Program, a charitable endowment based at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. She currently manages a diverse array of projects addressing access to health care, healthy community coalition development, public health policy, mental health, school health, and health professions training. Lisa was also an elected Representative in the Maine House of Representatives for six years, serving a district of five small rural towns. She has been an officer on the Boards of HealthReach Network, the Maine Health Access Foundation, the Maine Public Health Association, and the Maine Center for Economic Policy. Lisa has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Michigan and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University.

Richard Brown has served 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.

Len Cole is an attorney with Cole Nonprofits Law, LLC, specializing in nonprofits and tax law. He provides legal counsel to nonprofits in a wide variety of matters with emphasis on corporate, fiduciary, and tax law applicable to nonprofit organizations. Prior to forming Cole Nonprofits Law, LLC, Len was the principal nonprofits-law attorney at Preti Flaherty LLP in Portland. Before that, he practiced tax law with Goodwin Procter LLP in Boston, where he focused on private equity funds, mergers and acquisitions, and real estate transactions. Len began practicing law as a tax associate with a national law firm in New York, and then advised nonprofit organizations extensively at firms in New York and Boston. Len is a frequent SkillBuilder presenter and serves as a director and Secretary of MANP, Chairman of the Board of The Iris Network, and member of the Advisory Board of Baxter Academy for Technology and Science.

Jayne Crosby Giles is currently serving as Interim Executive Director for Broadreach Family and Community Services. Prior to this, Jayne was the CEO of Mainestream Finance, the Community Development Finance Institution of Penquis Community Action Program, and 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.

Linda Nelson, now 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.

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.