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. 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 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.”
DV-CPS Program Coordinator
Lyn describes herself as an American feminist, human rights activist, LGBTQ 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 abuse perpetrated by partners, parents, and caregivers.
Lyn holds a B.S. in Human Development, Family Studies, and Women’s Studies from the University of Maine. 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. Still, there is so much more to do.”
Lyn is Lela Blanch Sipprell Williams Hansen’s granddaughter, a powerful, loving woman, widowed with eight young children during the Great Depression and WWII as a formerly battered woman. She is the proud mother of two grown daughters and grandmother of five fabulous grandchildren. She is the wife of Lois Galgay Reckitt, a Member of the Maine House of Representatives.
Community Engagement Coordinator
Samaa joined the staff at the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence in January 2016. She was excited to return to domestic violence work. In the early 2000s, she spent several years doing direct shelter work in Columbus, Ohio.
Before joining the staff at MCEDV, Samaa was a faculty member at Bowdoin College. She was also an abortion rights organizer with the ACLU of Maine. She earned a Ph.D. in English, Gender, and 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 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 work among a group of people who have been collectively fighting domestic violence for decades.
When not working, Samaa spends time engaged in racial, gender, and social justice work locally. 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 and their cat, Stashiell Hammett, Resident Charmer, and the Most Attractive Feline in the World.
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 two cats, a whole lot of books, and yarn.
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.
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.
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 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, 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. Thus, dramatically increasing 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.
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.
She attended Marlboro College for a Bachelor’s Degree in Rural Sociology and Theater. In 2011, she 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. She has a firm commitment to deepening her connection to small-town life, rural communities, and culture. Kate is eager to bring her professional experience and a County perspective to the Housing Services Coordinator position:
“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 she is not crunching data or creating pivot tables and graphs to help tell the story of developing and sustaining safe housing for survivors and victims in Maine, she currently volunteers for the Center for the Advancement of Rural Living in Caribou with a focus on bringing quality art, music, and theater to Aroostook County.
Kate also volunteers for Northern Maine Pride. She is heartened by seeing just how far the County has come to meet the LGBTQ+ community’s needs. Otherwise, she enjoys hanging out at home reading or looking up recipes while the bread is rising.
She is fond of exploring the Wayback roads and rural communities of Aroostook County, either by car or on foot. When she’s not doing any of that, she travels around Maine, Quebec, and the Atlantic Provinces to officiate for the local roller derby teams. Additionally, she helps, anywhere not under the stage lights, with the Presque Isle Community Players.
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.”
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 member program, New Hope for Women.
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, Maine, with her scientist partner, Cory.
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.”
Emily Cain is a former Maine State Legislative leader who joined Emily’s List as Executive Director in 2017. She brings 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, over 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. She 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 legislature leader, 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, a 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.”
Beth Edmonds is a longtime women’s activist. She served on the NOW National Board and the Maine Choice Coalition in her early career. From 2000 – 2008, she served in the Maine Senate and was elected Senate President in 2004 and 2006.
She worked for the Town of Freeport as Children’s Librarian from 1990- 2005. She was the Library Director from 2005 until 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.