Staff & Board
Francine Garland Stark (she/her)
Francine began her career in the movement to end domestic violence in 1985 as a volunteer for Women Helping Battered Women in Burlington, VT. She served as the Administrative Coordinator and later Community Response and Training Coordinator for Spruce Run Association (now Partners for Peace) in Penobscot County from 1986-2009. She was the Executive Director of Hope and Justice Project in Aroostook County from 2009-2015.
As Executive Director of the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, she serves on the Governor’s Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Maine’s Homicide Review Panel, and the Justice Assistance Council. Originally from Chapman, Maine, she is a graduate of Bates College. She served in the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic.
She is the recipient of the Maryann Hartman Maine Woman of Achievement Award from the University of Maine Women in the Curriculum, Women’s Studies Program, and the JW Coombs Award for Public Service from the United Way of Eastern Maine. In her own words:
“My grandmothers, my father, my sisters, and I survived abuse and violence all at different times and at the hands of different men. I feel privileged every day to have a job in which I can be part of creating communities in which all people give and receive respect, honor, justice, and joy.”
Deb Chapman (she/her)
Deb first joined MCEDV in May 2005. She currently serves as its Operations Director. Her primary role is financial, grant, and contracts administration. Deb came to the work after devoting six years as the director of community outreach for an area agency on aging, where she gained her perspective on domestic abuse through the elder abuse lens.
Deb graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a B.A. in Journalism. In her spare time, she spends time with her wife, Carol, who she says is instrumental in keeping her grounded during the most challenging and rewarding of times:
“We have a menagerie of pet companions with Maggie, a dachshund-crested terrier mix, bringing boundless energy into our new home along with four cats and two parakeets. I enjoy coloring with the caveat it must be color-by-number since I don’t have the creative eye to choose a color scheme on my own.
I am committed to the MCEDV mission because I believe in every person’s inherent worth and their basic human right to life, freedom, and safety in a world where no one is subjected to any form of abuse. I hope my work at MCEDV emulates my beliefs by making a difference, even in some small way, in the lives of victims and their families.”
Regina Rooney (she/her)
Education & Communications Director
Regina grew up in northern Vermont. She has a passion for helping address the needs of rural communities. She is a first-generation college graduate holding an MA in English with a concentration in Women’s Studies from the University of Maine – Orono.
She has worked at MCEDV since 2013. Her job includes collaborating with and providing training to employers, healthcare workers, educators, advocates, and the general public, focusing on changing social conditions that allow abuse to go unchecked and perpetrators to remain invisible.
She came to the domestic violence movement in 2007 when she began an internship at her local domestic violence resource center. This internship turned into a volunteer gig, then a full-time job, and eventually a career. On working for MCEDV, she says:
“I am so grateful for the chance to work for an organization where my own values are embodied in what we do, every day, and where I get to be learning and expanding my mind and heart continually.”
She lives on the Midcoast with her librarian husband, their cat, a whole lot of books, and yarn.
Christina Foster (she/her)
Data Systems Specialist
Christina joined the team at MCEDV in April 2018. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nonprofit Management and Public Policy from the Muskie School. She has experience working at various nonprofit organizations, including a historical society, a university, and a foundation.
Most recently, Christina worked at the Maine Philanthropy Center, where she was responsible for managing data and producing research reports. Christina brings her skills to the table to make a difference. She says:
“Working with a dedicated group of people toward making our society a better place has always been important to me. MCEDV’s mission, in particular, is an issue that resonates with me. I’ve known several people who have been victims of domestic violence and needed help, even finding the right words to describe their abusive relationship.”
Christina lives on an island with her 24 chickens, four ducks, two elderly labs, cat, two guinea pigs, three children, and partner.
Karen Wyman (she/her)
Violence Prevention & Intervention Coordinator
Karen Wyman joined MCEDV in March 2019 as the Violence Prevention and Intervention Coordinator. In her role, she supports statewide prevention and intervention approaches that move individuals and communities toward greater safety and collective liberation. Karen has over 20 years of social change and service roles in Maine, New Mexico, and Ohio.
Since earning her Bachelor of Arts in English from Alfred University, her work has focused on promoting and creating justice for people at society’s margins, whatever the reason for their marginalization. That has taken the shape of anti-violence, gender-based justice, economic justice, and community education – sometimes all at the same time.
She has a keen ability to connect the experiences of individuals to systemic challenges. Her strategic, practical thinking helps bring us closer to solutions that move us toward systems and relationships based on respect and equity. About her work at MCEDV, Karen says:
“I’m excited about being part of preventing and intervening in specific incidents of domestic abuse. I’m even more excited about being part of changing the culture so that domestic abuse is unthinkable. I don’t know exactly what that will look or feel like, but I want to find out and believe it can happen.”
Karen was born and raised in Damariscotta. She now lives in Hallowell with her wife, where they eagerly await the return of the riverside rainbow Adirondack chairs each spring.
Andrea Mancuso (she/her)
Public Policy Director
Andrea Mancuso joined MCEDV in January 2019 as the Public Policy Director. She came to MCEDV after spending many years representing survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in civil court.
After earning her law degree at Georgetown University Law Center, Andrea began her advocacy journey as a staff attorney. Then, she became the Director of Legal Services and Public Policy at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center in Connecticut.
In 2014, Andrea moved back to Maine to join Pine Tree Legal Assistance as a staff attorney in Portland, where she represented survivors across several counties in Southern Maine in the District Courts. Andrea lives in Southern Maine with her husband, their daughters, and two cats.
Amy Gatchell (she/her)
Amy Gatchell has spent 10 years working in the education, non-profit, and human services sectors. She values the importance of strengthening families and communities through education and increased opportunities. Amy earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Farmington with an individualized major in Art, Business, and Disability Studies.
Amy has worked as a behavioral health professional, supporting children and families at home to build a life, coping skills, and structures that lead to more peaceful home environments. She has also provided safety programming (including Bully and Tease Prevention, Baby Think It Over, Safe Touch, and Seat Belt Safety), supported Civil Rights Teams, and provided tutoring and experiential enrichment programs for students of all ages.
She has worked in various educational settings, including UMF’s GEAR UP College Access Program. She helped create an atmosphere in local schools where students could expect to graduate college-ready, helping increase post-secondary and first generational college-going rates.
Amy joined the team at MCEDV in November 2018. She is excited to continue her nonprofit work serving Maine communities. She is proud to work for such an inclusive organization dedicated to making Maine a safer place for everyone.
Amy currently lives in the Lakes region. She enjoys swimming, kayaking, and hiking with her partner and their three dogs. She loves art and spends her free time painting, crafting, or playing the ukulele. She gardens in the summer and greatly appreciates fresh eggs from her chickens.
Kate Easter (they/she)
Housing Services Coordinator
Kate Easter came to MCEDV in 2019, bringing many years of experience working in the data integrity and compliance sector. Kate previously worked for the Maine College of Art in the Registrar’s Office and at the Loring Job Corps Center as the Data Integrity and Student Records Manager.
They attended Marlboro College for a Bachelor’s Degree in Rural Sociology and Theater. In 2011, they received a Master’s Degree in Business Management with a concentration in Knowledge Management from Minot State University in Minot, ND through the Job Corps Executive Management Program.
Kate lives in Aroostook County. They have a firm commitment to deepening their connection to small-town life, rural communities, and culture. Kate eagerly brings a County perspective to the Housing Services Coordinator position. About their work, Kate says:
“I am excited to be a member of the MCEDV staff and bring the critical perspective of the intersections of domestic violence, homelessness, and housing into even more conversations around the tables in Maine.”
When they are not crunching data to help tell the story of developing and sustaining safe housing for survivors in Maine, they serve on the steering committees for MaineTransNet, the Center for the Advancement of Rural Living, and Pride Aroostook. They also enjoy hanging out at home reading or looking up recipes while the bread is rising, exploring the Wayback roads and rural communities of Aroostook County by car or on foot, officiating for local roller derby teams, and helping – anywhere not under the stage lights – with the Presque Isle Community Players.
Paula Alves (she/her)
Paula Alves joined the team at MCEDV in March 2020 as the Finance Director. She lives in Sagadahoc County with her husband, their two sons, and their cat, Tillie. Paula spent the past nine years doing direct service advocacy work, development, and finance administration for Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine.
Before that, she spent five summers working with low-income, first-generation students on their higher education journey at the Bowdoin College Upward Bound program. She is a proud alumna. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Maine Educational Opportunity Association (MEEOA) Achiever Award.
Paula received a bachelor’s degree in Human Development from Colby College. She is currently enrolled at the Muskie School, where she is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, Planning, and Management with a Nonprofit Management concentration. She says:
“I am so excited to be joining MCEDV and continuing to work in the violence prevention field at the coalition level. Domestic and sexual violence are pervasive issues. It is an honor to be part of a team and a network of people working each day to create a cultural shift where they are no longer tolerated or accepted.”
Kelly O'Connor (she/her)
System Advocacy & Training Coordinator
Kelly joined MCEDV as the System Advocacy and Training Coordinator in July 2020. Originally from Northwest Arkansas, Kelly made her way to Maine in December 2016. She began her career to end domestic violence as an Advocate and Community Educator, then an Education and Outreach Director at MCEDV’s midcoast member program.
Kelly is a researcher and educator at heart. Before her work in the domestic violence field, she worked on a range of related and cross-cutting international human rights issues, including strengthening the local and national humanitarian response capacity, scaling humanitarian response operations, civilian protection in armed conflict, and improving girls’ access to education in conflict-affected areas, primarily, South Sudan. On working with MCEDV, she says:
“I believe that gender-based violence is one of the most pressing invisible public health crises the world is facing today. I am honored to work with an organization whose mission is to make this crisis visible by lifting and centering the experiences of survivors while unapologetically engaging in the critical work of systems advocacy that is required to create lasting change to a culture that has privileged some over others for far too long.”
Kelly holds a BA in International Relations and Middle East Studies from the University of Arkansas and a MA in International Human Rights with a Humanitarian Assistance concentration from the University of Denver. Her specialties include South Sudan, gender-based violence, and violence prevention.
When not working, Kelly is failing at-home DIY projects, playing soccer, drawing, and loving on her adorable, yet loud, Redbone Coonhound, Maple Onion. She lives in Camden with her scientist partner, Cory.
Whitney Adell (she/her)
Survivor Engagement & Access Coordinator
Whitney joined MCEDV in the summer of 2021. She is born and raised in Maine and has recently moved back to Portland with her dog Roxy. After focusing on political advocacy work for a year, she decided to come back to the anti-violence movement to focus not only on the rights of a person to their bodily autonomy, but to also help ensure that people can access those rights no matter their identities.
She comes from a background in sociology where she studied how people and systems interact with each other. This led her to the realization that not enough focus is put on how violence truly impacts a person and their community. After that, she spent three years working one-on-one with survivors of sexual violence in Southern Maine and is excited to get back to the anti-violence field at MCEDV. She has hope that we can end violence and tries to live by the mantra that “hope is a discipline,” which was said by an abolitionist named Mariame Kamba.
Of working at MCEDV, Whitney says: “Violence impacts all of us, but we have the tools and resources to build a better future. MCEDV believes in the autonomy and resiliency of survivors and supports the work of advocates who believe the same. I am honored to get to work for this organization that believes and works every day to prevent more violence from happening.”
Sarah Grant (she/her)
Grants & Development Director
Sarah Grant joined MCEDV in December 2021 as the Grants and Development Director. In her role, Sarah is responsible for ensuring that MCEDV has the resources necessary to carry out its mission and supporting the Domestic Violence Resource Centers to do the same.
Sarah has spent most of her career working on efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of Maine people and families. Prior to joining MCEDV, she was the Director of Communications for the Office of MaineCare Services at the Department of Health and Human Services, where she developed strategic statewide outreach efforts to build awareness of MaineCare, reduce stigma, and address barriers to accessing critical health care services. Before that, Sarah was the Director of Communications at the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA), where she worked closely with Maine’s network of sexual assault service providers to conduct community-based communication needs assessments, and to create a comprehensive statewide public awareness and outreach campaign.
Sarah believes that all people have the inherent right to safety and autonomy and that each day we have the opportunity to help promote societal belief systems and structures that support that right: “I am excited to return to the field of violence prevention and work alongside a wide network of committed, passionate, and skilled individuals who share the same vision of a Maine that is free from violence, where individuals and families can live in safety and thrive.”
Sarah holds a BA in English Literature from the University of Maine, Orono, and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Muskie School of Public Service. She is a 2020 graduate of the Daniel Hanley Center for Health Leadership (Class XIII). Sarah lives in Farmingdale with her family and can be found birdwatching, hiking, running, reading, and practicing amateur photography in her spare time.
Erika Simonson (she/her)
Child & Family Programs Coordinator
Erika Simonson joined MCEDV as the Child & Family Programs Coordinator in December 2021. Erika began her professional journey as a Trial Assistant in Cumberland County before finding her passion in advocacy work. In 2011 she joined MCEDV member program Through These Doors as a law enforcement liaison advocate and in 2016 became the Advocacy Outreach Program Coordinator.
Erika received her undergraduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, Political Science and Social Science from the University of Maine at Farmington in 2006 and a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School in 2015. She also has volunteered with non-profit organizations working for restorative justice for youth and the provision of safe spaces for supervised visitation of children and exchanges between parents.
On working at MCEDV, Erika says:
“To have a happy and healthy community, the people within that community need to be able to live enriched lives free from abuse and violence. To accomplish this, I believe we need to address the societal, cultural and historical perspectives and practices that have led to a definable set of oppressions preventing it. I have found a purposeful home in engaging in systems advocacy after a decade of direct support of individuals and families impacted by abuse.”
When at home in Southern Midcoast, Erika enjoys writing, planning the next house project, cheering on all the New England sports teams, spoiling her dog, two cats and fish, and spending time with her family, friends and husband Kyle.
Amanda Taisey (she/her)
Health Systems Engagement Coordinator
Amanda joined MCEDV as the Health Systems Engagement Coordinator in May of 2022. Prior to coming to MCEDV, Amanda worked for five years with MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence supporting Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s clinical and non-clinical staff to address client tobacco use and the integration of tobacco treatment screening and referrals into usual care in the residential, inpatient and outpatient settings.
Amanda has a long history of work in Maine’s public health field addressing substance use and recovery, promoting harm reduction strategies and advocating for those who are impacted by sexual and domestic violence with a focus on those impacted by the criminal legal system. Amanda started her career as a shelter advocate for Through These Doors in 2003 while finishing her bachelor’s degree in Criminology at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. After graduating and working for the State of Maine leading legislative and educational efforts to address substance use during pregnancy, Amanda came back to Through These Doors and spent four years as the Incarcerated Women’s Advocate supporting survivors of domestic abuse in both Maine Correctional Center in Windham and Cumberland County Jail in Portland.
When Amanda isn’t advocating for women, girls and survivors she can be found spending time at the beach and/or listening to a variety of music loudly in the car with her family which includes her three daughters, her mother, her partner Chris and his two sons, her sweet rescue pittie Chip and three cats, Charli, Twinkle & Shy (though the cats typically do not appreciate car rides and prefer to stay home).
On working for MCEDV, she says: “I am so grateful to be a part of the MCEDV team where I will be able to utilize my diverse work experience to meaningfully advocate for victim survivors to ensure their needs are being met and their safety is of the highest priority within healthcare systems in Maine.”
MCEDV Board of Directors
Daryl Fort is a leadership and organizational development consultant, gender violence prevention activist, speaker, and educator. He has worked with community-based and non-profit organizations and public and private sector institutions throughout North America, Eastern Asia, Europe, Iraq, and Australia.
Within the gender violence prevention movement, he has consulted with MVP Strategies, the National Consortium for Academics and Sport, Futures Without Violence, the U.S. Office on Violence Against Women, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the Center for Violence Prevention, and others in curriculum and program development, strategic planning and implementation as well as facilitation training.
As a subject matter expert in sexual assault prevention with the United States Marine Corps, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of the Navy, the U.S. Air Force, and the Australian Army, he has worked directly with thousands of military personnel around the world, including deployed troops in Iraq, Europe, and Asia.
Daryl has also worked with professional athletes, coaches, administrators, and league officials from the NFL, CFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, the NCAA, and the Australian Rules Football League, as well as thousands of collegiate athletes and coaches from the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, PAC 12, and dozens of other colleges and universities.
He spent 14 years as a political and public policy advisor to former U.S. Congressman and Governor of Maine, John Baldacci. As a Senior policy advisor to Governor Baldacci, Daryl coordinated Administration initiatives and policy development involving sexual assault, domestic violence, reproductive rights, children and youth, higher education, multicultural affairs, homelessness, civil rights, and Tribal Affairs, among other issues.
A former Trustee for Maine Boys to Men, the Maine Center for Sport and Coaching, and the Maine Center for Economic Policy, Daryl currently serves on the board of directors for the Maine Sports Hall of Fame, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and Lift 360.
A native of New Haven, Connecticut, and current resident of Portland, Maine, he holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Maine, where he was also a Tight End and Defensive End for the Black Bear Football Team. In Daryl’s words:
“I have the opportunity and responsibility to help make my community and communities beyond safer, healthier places to live, and love. That opportunity and challenge begin in the mirror and extend to supporting and holding accountable individuals and institutions that might help shape a healthier, safer world.”
Marie Sola is the founder of Daughters of Change, a Portland-based cause marketing firm. As a social entrepreneur, Marie utilizes her skills and experience to effectuate change by bringing attention and results to issues affecting the world. Before starting Daughters of Change, Marie worked internationally for the Young Presidents’ Organization, the premier Chief Executive Leadership organization in the world with over 20,000 members.
Marie is a veteran of the Portland and Maine media markets, in sales, business development, and management positions. She also produced and distributed television programs that received industry acclaim.
As Director of Integration, she interfaced with business leaders worldwide in a myriad of areas including, but not limited to, membership support, event and workshop planning, corporate communication, and creating the first, full-fledged new member integration program from the ground-up.
Marie first connected with MCEDV through the successful Take Action Maine media campaign, a collaborative awareness-raising initiative that has dramatically increased the number of calls to MCEDV’s statewide helpline.
Marvin Ellison, an educator, faith leader, and author, taught Christian ethics for 32 years at Bangor Theological Seminary until his retirement in 2013. In collaboration with community educators, he has helped to educate clergy and congregations about sexual and domestic abuse and clergy misconduct.
He co-founded Maine’s Religious Coalition Against Discrimination and the Maine Interfaith Council for Reproductive Choices. More recently, he organized a volunteer chaplaincy service for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s health center in Portland. Marvin says:
“As an educator for justice and faith leader, I recognize that MCEDV and the resource centers throughout Maine do life-saving work. I’m grateful for the courage, moral wisdom, and fierce tenacity of survivors and allies who have bravely named sexual and domestic abuse as sinful and wrong.
Then, have organized to promote safety, accountability, and societal transformation so that women, children, and marginalized men are empowered to live in dignity, hope, and well-being. Justice-making begins in our homes, families, and intimate spaces. From there, it extends outward.
This remarkable coalition provides urgently needed services. Even more, it’s also a movement for social and cultural change, dedicated to transforming the world to benefit the least powerful among us. Thanks be to God!”
Margaret “Peggy” Rotundo
Margaret Rotundo, known to most as Peggy, has been an elected official for 23 years. First, she served on the Lewiston School Committee. Then, she was in the Maine State Legislature for 16 years.
She is currently the Director of Policy and Strategic Initiatives at the Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships. Peggy serves on MCEDV’s Board because in her words:
“I believe all people should be able to live with dignity, hope, opportunity, and without fear. The MCEDV helps further this vision.”