We have a hands-on board.  They meet monthly on third Fridays from noon to 2:30 with the first hour dedicated to development work and the last hour and a half to other business.  All Board members are donors at a level they are able, committing to also give or bring in the equivalent of at least one SHERO ($240) annually.  Board members also participate in various fund raising events and other programs throughout the year. We currently have 11 Board members 2 of whom will be leaving in January.  We can have up to 12 Board members and so will be adding 2-3 in 2014.  One to two of those will be women from the Center. If interested in serving, please speak with the Executive Director for a nomination form.

Ann Auer

Deborah Bockus (Chair)

Debbie has lived in Auburn most of her life, graduating from Edward Little High School and later the University of Southern Maine.  Debbie has worked in the mental health field for the last seven years.  She is married to David, has two step-daughters and two dogs.She has been a volunteer Boy Scout/Webelos Leader, along with a member of the advisory board for the International Order of the Rainbow for girls and an advisor/activity leader for the IORG Pledge Group.  Debbie has also worked with Community Little Theater doing costuming.  She has also volunteered for the Kora Temple Shrine Circus. Debbie is a member of both Pine Cone Chapter and Golden Sheaf Chapter Order of the Eastern Star.  She is a three time Past Matron.  She is also a majority member of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls and is a Past Worthy Advisor of the local assembly.

Her interests include sewing, cooking, gardening, flying and sailing.  She has raced catamarans in Maine and New England.  Debbie has been a part of a hot air balloon team that has flown in Maine, the Greater Northeast and the three eastern providences of Canada.  She currently owns her own hot air balloon and is finishing up her pilots license. Joined 2012

Helen Belisle

Helen has lived in Lewiston/Auburn all her life and currently lives in Greene with her wonderful husband John.  Between them they have 7 children (6 now as John’s son passed away in November).  Despite that the heart ache, they have two adorable Grandchildren that they adore.

Helen has been in Banking since 1994, entering as a Teller, then working in Customer Service, and as a licensed Annuity Agent. Currently she works as a licensed Financial Consultant assistant at Northeast Retirement Solutions in Auburn ME.

Her loves are working in her vegetable and flower gardens, enjoying family and friends and playing with the grand kids.  Helen enjoys walking, running, hiking and biking – anything that has to do with the outdoors. Joined 2014.

Christine Doyle

Matt Dyer (Governance Cmt., Legal Counsel)

Matt is a lifelong resident of Maine.  Both sides of his family were involved in lobstering, commercial fishing and were merchant mariners.  He however couldn’t tie knots and I got sea sick so they sent him to law school.  He graduated from the University of Maine, School of Law in 1993 and accepted a position with a former Pine Tree Legal lawyer here in Lewiston in 1994.  Since 2000 Matt has worked as a staff attorney for Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Lewiston and for a brief time in Augusta.  Pine Tree Legal is a statewide legal services provider assisting low income individuals in civil legal matter.  He and his partner participate in basset hound rescue and have adopted and fostered many elderly and abused hound dogs over the years.  They currently live in Turner. Joined 2011

Gale Hart

Gale has lived in Androscoggin County most of her life, graduating from Lewiston High School and later the University of Maine.  She currently resides in Durham with her significant other and their new puppy, Max. Gale has been on the board of directors for the March of Dimes and believes that giving back to the community, in which you live, is vital.  She currently is a life coach and spends time with women who have personal challenges that prevent them from being the best they can be.

Gale has been employed as Director of Finance & Administration at the United Way of Androscoggin County for over 22 years. She enjoys traveling back roads with camera in hand, reading, spending time with her grandchildren that are out-of-state and learning new things.  Recently, she took herbal classes and has started an herbal garden at home. Joined 2013

Rebecca Herzig

Rebecca Herzig holds the College’s only full-time faculty appointment in Women and Gender Studies at Bates College.  She teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses on science, technology, and medicine, as well as Introduction to Women and Gender Studies and Methods and Modes of Inquiry (two of the required core courses for WGS majors).  Her most recent book is The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race from Jefferson to Genomics, co-edited with Professor Evelynn Hammonds, Dean of Harvard College.   Her current research concerns the history of body care in the United States. Joined 2013.

Sarah Strong

Sarah served on the bBard of the Androscoggin Land Trust for a three-year term from 2001-2004 and has been on the Board of the Associated Kyoto Program siince 1994. She served on that board’s executive committee for several terms.  The Associated Kyoto Program is a study abroad program in Japan run by a consortium of US colleges.

Sarah has been involved in higher education throughout her career, beginning with an assistant position in 1979 and moving into a full time position at Bates College in Japanese language and literature in 1988.  She retires in 2014 after twenty-five years of full-time teaching.  She has taught a course cross listed in Women and Gender Studies at Bates, “Modern Japanese Women Writers.”   Sarah has led several study abroad tours of Bates students to Japan (an experience that tapped, tested and replenished her organizing, listening, and coping skills).

Sarah has translated several books by the Japanese writer Miyazawa Kenji (some for the Japanese English language market) and recently published a book on Ainu oral traditions entitled, Ainu Spirits Singing (Hawai’I UP, 2011).  (The Ainu are an indigenous people of northern Japan.) Sarah has been a member of Trinity Episcopal Church since 2002. Joined 2014

Judy Vardamis

Judy grew up in Auburn, and moved to Bangor in 1971.  Having received her Associates Degree in Business Administration (at then Auburn ME School of Commerce–then Mid-State), she had a very interesting life working for several years at the Orono campus of the University of ME and taking courses to obtain her degree in Psychology, which is still her dream.

Fast forward 30 years in Bangor – she served as WVII-TV’s National Sales Mgr. for 14 years, Executive Director to Keep Bangor Beautiful and the Bangor Convention Bureau for 7 years, owned her own closed captioning business for the hearing impaired and a direct mail company, traveled in her motor-home 34,000 miles across the U.S. and Canada from 2002-2006; and landed back in Auburn in a new home and worked at MPBN as a Corporate Underwriting Sales person for six years (selling TV and radio).  In January of this year, she decided to reinvent herself.

The re-invention has included free-lancing with TOSS ME A PILLOW, FIRST LIGHT HOME CARE, and most recently ELECTRICITY MAINE here in Auburn!   All said, sales and marketing are her loves!  And most important are overseeing 24/7 care for her 89 year old Dad in his home, while trying to keep up with her partner-for-life, Dale, his two daughters and granddaughter, and Jack the Cock-a-poo pup! Joined 2013


Klara Tammany (Executive Director) 

Re-starting and running this small non-profit is an encore career for Klara.  She has an MEd in Religious Education and Post Master’s Certificate in Spirituality from Boston College. After teaching first grade for 6 years, she worked for 20 years as a religious educator in the Episcopal Church, first at St. Paul’s in Brunswick and later as the religious education consultant for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. Her book Living Water: Baptism as a Way of Life (Church Publishing, 2002), is a guided reflection on living your faith in your life.

In 2006 Klara decided to change course, return to Maine and start look for an encore career. After a winter stint answering phones at LL Bean, her first job was at Advocates for Children as a parent educator, where she learned a lot about the social service system! All the while she volunteered at what was then called “Wisdom’s Center.”  When the Daughters of Wisdom determined that they could no longer maintain the work they had founded 9 years previously, and closed the center in 2008, Klara gathered a group to raise funds to keep it going.  Five years later, it is her passion.

To further her non-profit leadership skills, in 2011 Klara participated in the Leadership Development Institute of the Maine Association of Non-Profits.  She is an active member of Trinity Church which is located in the same neighborhood and which serves as the fiscal sponsor of the Center.  She dabbles in photography and lives in Auburn with her dog Doodle the Poodle and Francesca the cat.

Sonia Turgeon (Staff Assistant) 

Sonia attended college at UMO, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree.  She was employed by L. L. Bean for approximately 10 years holding different positions, the last one being supervisor of Insurance Services/Product Liability.  She left L.L. Bean for a position in the Group Disability Reinsurance department at Unum, working there for approximately 15 years before leaving to care for mother who had MS.

Sonia’s interests include a 5 month old puppy named Hugo, gardening, watercolors, reading, and exercise (has previously trained as a fitness instructor).  She has volunteered for the Big Brother Big Sister program and the Multiple Sclerosis Society in Falmouth Maine.    Sonia grew up in Lewiston, and later lived in Auburn. She now resides in Gray with her husband Mark of 24 years and in addition to Hugo, shares life with two cats named Sali and LuLu. At the Center Sonia will focus on volunteer support and assist with program and office needs.





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