Staff & Board
Francine Garland Stark
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, and as Executive Director of Hope and Justice Project in Aroostook County 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, and 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 and 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, three of 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 first joined MCEDV in May 2005, and currently serves as its Operations Director. Her primary role is financial and grant/contracts administration. Deb came to the work after devoting six years as the director of community outreach for an area agency on aging, where 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 the inherent worth of every person 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 – making a difference, even in some small way, in the lives of victims and their families.”
DV-CPS Program Coordinator
Lyn describes herself as an American feminist, human rights activist, LGBT rights activist, and domestic violence advocate. Her 29-year career in domestic violence advocacy has focused on support for adult and child survivors affected by the abuse perpetrated by their partners, parents, and caregivers. In her current role at MCEDV, Lyn coordinates the successful program that places specialized domestic violence advocates as liaisons in each of Maine’s eight Child Welfare Districts. The advocates act as a bridge between each District and their local domestic violence resource center. Lyn believes that child and adult survivors of abuse are strong, courageous people deserving respect, support and the understanding of their communities, institutions and families. She notes, “Often, well-meaning friends, providers and families struggle to support survivors, while they cannot see or understand the batterer’s pervasive abuse, power and capacity to gain and maintain control. Well-trained and committed advocates can and have changed the world where survivors live and still there is so much more to do.” Lyn holds a B.S. in both Human Development/Family Studies and Women’s Studies from the University of Maine. She is the grand-daughter of Lela Blanch Sipprell Williams Hansen, a powerful loving woman, widowed with eight young children during the Great Depression and WWII and a formerly battered woman. She is the proud mother of two grown daughters and five fabulous grand-children, and the wife of Lois Galgay Reckitt, Member of the Maine House of Representatives.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Samaa joined the staff at the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence in January of 2016. She was excited to return to domestic violence work, having spent several years (in the early 2000s) doing direct shelter work in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to joining the staff at MCEDV, Samaa was a faculty member at Bowdoin College and an abortion rights organizer with the ACLU-Maine. She earned her PhD in English and Gender & Women’s Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010. In her role at MCEDV, Samaa provides support and technical assistance for domestic violence advocates and others around issues of trafficking, high risk response strategies, and responding to non-fatal strangulation. She also engages in statewide work around inclusivity for LGBTQ+ survivors, New Mainers, and victims who use languages other than English. In 2017, she began coordinating a collaborative initiative around the intersections of economic abuse and domestic violence. Samaa values the collaboration and solidarity exhibited by each member of the MCEDV team. She is honored to be working among a group of people who have been collectively fighting domestic violence for decades. When she is not working, Samaa spends her time engaged in racial/gender/social justice work locally, in Portland. She also occasionally writes for an online radical body love journal called “The Body Is Not An Apology” (check them out!). Samaa lives in Portland with her lovely partner & her cat, Stashiell Hammett, Resident Charmer & Most Attractive Feline In The World.
Education & Communications Director
Regina grew up in northern Vermont and has a passion for helping address the needs of rural communities. She has worked at MCEDV since 2014. Her job includes collaborating with and providing training for employers, health care workers, educators, advocates and the general public, with a focus on changing the social conditions that allow abuse to go unchecked and perpetrators to remain invisible. She is a first-generation college graduate and holds a MA in English with a concentration in Women’s Studies from the University of Maine in Orono. She came to the domestic violence movement in 2007, when she began an internship at her local domestic violence resource center – an internship that 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 continually be learning and expanding my mind and heart.” She lives in the midcoast with her librarian husband, two cats, and a whole lot of books and yarn.
Administrative Services Associate
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, and has experience working at variety of 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 as always been important to me. MCEDV’s mission in particular is an issue area that resonates with me as I’ve known a number of 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 24 chickens, 4 ducks, 2 elderly labs, 1 cat, 2 guinea pigs, 3 children and a partner.
MCEDV Board of Directors
Daryl Fort is a leadership and organizational development consultant, as well as a gender violence prevention activist, speaker and educator. He has worked with community-based and non-profit organizations as well as 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 Corp, 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 and domestic violence, reproductive rights, children and youth, higher education, multicultural affairs, homelessness, civil rights and Tribal affairs, among other issue areas. 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 Lift360. 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 begins in the mirror….and extends to supporting and holding accountable those 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. In her role as a social entrepreneur, Marie utilizes her skills and experience to effectuate change by bringing attention and results to causes and issues affecting the world. 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. Prior to 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. As Director of Integration, she interfaced with business leaders around the world 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 resulted in a dramatic increase in 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, as well as clergy misconduct. He co-founded Maine’s Religious Coalition Against Discrimination and also the Maine Interfaith Council for Reproductive Choices. More recently, he’s 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 their allies who have bravely named sexual and domestic abuse as sinful and wrong — and 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 — and from there extends outward. This remarkable coalition provides urgently needed services, but 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 serving on the Lewiston School Committee and then 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 that all people should be able to live with dignity, hope, opportunity and without fear. The MCEDV helps further this vision.”
Emily Cain is a former Maine State Legislative leader who joined EMILY’s List as Executive Director in 2017, bringing a decade of experience as a state legislator and public policy leader, two cycles as one of the country’s top ranked Democratic congressional candidates, more than a decade of work in higher education and recent leadership as Chief Strategy Officer for HistoryIT, a private sector tech company. Emily was first elected to office at age 24, and made her mark in Maine politics by serving in both the House and Senate over five terms in the state legislature, leading the Appropriations Committee as Chair and serving as the youngest House Minority Leader in state history. In 2012, against all odds, Cain led House Democrats back into the majority by recruiting top candidates, electing more women, and winning tough seats in Maine’s challenging rural areas. As a leader in the legislature Emily Cain was known as a tough negotiator, deal closer, and champion for women, equality, domestic violence prevention, and economic development. In 2013, Emily was recognized by MCEDV for her work advancing landmark and bipartisan work passing domestic violence legislation. In 2014 and 2016 Emily ran for U.S. Congress in two of the most competitive house races in the country. Emily is a graduate of the University of Maine and Harvard University. She lives in Orono with her husband, Danny Williams, and their dog, Bartlet the pug. Of her work with MCEDV, Emily says, “I am committed to breaking the cycle of domestic violence in Maine. Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected in their relationships. It’s going to take all of us working together, and leadership from government, community, and business. This is on all of us and that is why I am so proud to be a part of the work of MCEDV.”
Margaret (Peg) Cruikshank retired from the University of Maine Orono in 2011 after fifteen years in the women’s studies department and continues as a faculty associate of the Center on Aging. Her text Learning to be Old: Gender, Culture and Aging, is now in its third edition. Cruikshank also edited an anthology of literature about aging, Fierce with Reality (2017). She has been awarded two senior Fulbright grants. She recently became an external member of the Women, Ageing, and Media Centre of the University of Gloucestershire, U.K.
Beth Edmonds is a longtime women’s activist who has served on the NOW National Board and the Maine Choice Coalition in her early career. From 2000 to 2008, she served in the Maine Senate and was elected Senate President in both 2004 and 2006. She worked for the Town of Freeport as Children’s Librarian from 1990- 2005 and as Library Director from 2005 to her retirement in 2016. Beth says, “I have been an activist working for women’s liberation my whole life and joining this board is another good step in that direction.” She lives in Freeport with her husband, Dan Nickerson.