Board of Directors
Jennifer Alford-Teaster is an Applied Research and Geospatial Project Manager at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. Jennifer combines her expertise in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) with her public health degree to manage projects that examine geographic access to health services with a particular focus on cancer control in the United States.
Sandy Belknap is a Communications and Marketing professional with a track record for strategizing, developing, and implementing employee, customer, and partner engagement opportunities for Fortune 100, start-up and non-profit organizations. She has held senior leadership roles for Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems, Inc. She was a member of the City of Nashua Planning Board and has been a neighborhood advocate since 1998 for the cleanup and redevelopment efforts at the Mohawk Tannery Superfund site, working with the City of Nashua, State of NH and Environmental Protection Agency. Sandy graduated from Rivier University with a BA in Public Relations/Business and resides in Nashua.
Mary Jo Brown (Chair) is the Founder and President of Brown & Company Design, a nationally recognized strategic design firm, and big brown books, a publishing company. An active volunteer, Mary Jo has also served on several New Hampshire not-for-profit boards and is engaged in many community activities.
Lindsey Carmichael is the author of the book Greening Your Family, a shopper’s guide for minimizing consumers’ exposure to harmful chemicals found in food, cleaning, and personal care products. In an effort to make the information in her book available to a broader audience, she developed an iPhone app by the same name. Her passion for protecting the health of women and children has also led to her volunteer work towards chemical policy reform.
Martha Cottrill (Treasurer) is a cum laude graduate of Johns Hopkins University with over 25 years of investment experience. She earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 1992. Martha balances work with a busy family, reading and language study, skiing and indoor soccer, and volunteer work for New London Hospital and First Baptist Church. Martha began her career with a Morgan Stanley training program in New York City. Recognizing that she was not a New Yorker at heart, she moved to New Hampshire.
Hope Damon has a passion for helping people through her career as a dietitian-nutritionist, owner of The Nutrition Counseling Center in New London, where she helps people take care of themselves, from managing diabetes, to recovering from eating disorders, to general healthy eating. Hope has been involved with WFNH for about 5 years, on both the grant-making committee and the board. She lives with her husband George Chait in Croydon, where they cook yummy food, garden, bicycle, cross-country ski, and read. Hope’s activist daughters Sasha and Nadia live together in Manhattan!
Gemma M. Dreher (Executive Committee) is the General Counsel at Velcro Group Corporation in Boston, MA. She has been practicing law for over twenty years. Before this, Gemma most recently served as Senior Counsel in the ES Sector at BAE Systems in Nashua. Prior to taking her first in-house position as Vice President and General Counsel of Pragmatech Software in Amherst, Gemma was in private practice, including having founded and managed her own law firm, with a focus in business law, technology licensing and intellectual property management.
Martha Fuller Clark (Vice Chair) is Vice-Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party and a member of Democratic National Committee, serving on the Resolutions Committee. Martha participates on many different boards and commissions in her community. She presently serves as President of the Board of Strawbery Banke, as an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and is a past President of Scenic America. Martha earned a master’s degree in art history from Boston University, and a bachelor’s degree from Mills College. She was born and raised in York, Maine. Since 1973, she and her husband, Dr. Geoffrey Clark, have lived in Portsmouth where they raised their three children, Caleb, Nathaniel and Anna.
Sally Gayer is the Associate Director of Development of Alliance Theatre Co, in Atlanta, GA, a job that includes strategizing and implementing plans for major gifts and special projects, writing grants, and mentoring interns. She is also the Education Director at Young Audiences of Atlanta, directing a sequential arts program for the Decatur Schools (“Arts Partners”), where she designed and implemented an arts-integrated learning program for early learners in the Atlanta Public Schools, and developed thematic curriculum for teachers and artists. She has also taught fourth and fifth graders.
Mary Ellen Hettinger, APR, was the last chair of the New Hampshire Commission on the Status of Women and shepherded it through the transition to NHWI. As a reporter, she won two New Hampshire Press Association awards; she also earned awards for writing and editing books and websites. Hettinger is communications manager for Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains, chairs the Messiah Sing in Mont Vernon, and is on the board of the Yankee Chapter of PRSA.
Ellen Koenig (Secretary) is a senior consultant for Full Circle Consulting. Her background includes managing high profile statewide projects, designing effective learning approaches for boards and nonprofits, working with grantees and donors and building key relationships. Ms. Koenig has been involved with the nonprofit sector for over 30 years, including directing a $5 million nonprofit organization, designing and building philanthropy programs for the state’s largest foundation, building sustaining networks of donors, advisors and board members, and creating programs for nonprofits and board members to find the resources and tools they need.
Beth Kolehmainen lives in Grantham, New Hampshire, and is very enthusiastic about supporting and making a commitment to women and girls in this state. When she’s not working hard to make NH a better place for women and girls, she spends her time cooking, knitting, reading, and playing with her grandchildren.
Susan Martore-Baker is President of Cambridge Trust Company of NH and concurrently is a Senior Vice President of Cambridge Trust Company. She directs business development and leads the wealth management effort in NH. She has served as an officer or board member of numerous non-profit and charitable organizations including Symphony NH, the American Lung Association, NH Leadership Board, the New Hampshire and Connecticut Valley Estate Planning Councils, and NH Charitable Foundation in Manchester.
Sarah Mattson (Vice Secretary) is the public policy director at New Hampshire Legal Assistance (NHLA). She joined NHLA as a Skadden Fellow in 2006 after spending a year as a law clerk at the U.S. District Court in Concord. In 2010, she received the New Hampshire Bar Foundation’s Robert E. Kirby Award. A New Hampshire native, Sarah earned her undergraduate and law degrees at Harvard. She lives in Contoocook with her family.
Alida Milham is a former Republican member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, representing the Belknap 5 District from 1998-2002 and from 2004-2012. Millham’s professional experience includes being a candidate for New Hampshire State Senate, District 4 in 2002. She was also a consultant for Home Healthcare, executive director of Home Healthcare Agency, and assistant head nurse at Babies Hospital, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. Millham earned her B.S. in nursing from Columbia University and her M.S. in nursing administration from Boston University.
Debora Pignatelli lives in Nashua. She currently is elected to the New Hampshire Governor’s Executive Council. She is a former member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the New Hampshire State Senate. She served as the first Executive Director of the Nashua Girl’s Club, now Girl’s, Inc. She has been an art teacher and a rehabilitation counselor. She is married to Michael, and is mother to Adam and his wife, Jessica, and Benjamin, and bubbe to Ethan Forrest and Miles Forrest.
Robin Pollard (Immediate Past Chair) has called the Sunapee area home since 1976. Following graduation from the University of New Hampshire, she joined her husband as co-owner of Northcape Design, Inc., designing and building homes in the communities surrounding Lake Sunapee. She began her association with the Women’s Fund by serving for several years on the Grants Review Committee and is currently a member of the Board of Directors.
Karen Prior spent nearly 25 years in the world of academic publishing, the last 11 years at The MIT Press in Cambridge. While publishing was a rewarding career, the activities that hold the most meaning for her – and define who she is – are her community organizing efforts. Her strength is being able to bring diverse groups together to work toward a common goal. Karen is presently the Community Development Director for Southern District YMCA. Karen served on multiple boards, including New Heights, Girls at Work, Inc., The Exeter Center for Creative Arts and was a member of the Grantmaking Committee for the Women’s Fund of NH. Karen is a graduate of Leadership NH and is the Fiscal Agent for Governor Hassan.
Alison Pyott (Vice Treasurer) is a Wealth Manager and a Certified Financial Planner at Veris Wealth Partners. She manages client portfolios and designs comprehensive strategies to meet a wide range of clients’ financial goals. Alison leads the firm’s Sustainability Committee and participates in the development and coordination of company-wide systems. Prior to Veris, Alison was the Director of Client and Shareholder Services for Citizens Advisors, a socially responsible mutual fund company. She also worked in client service and management positions at John Hancock Signature Services.
Susan “Sue” Ratnoff is a founding member of the Women’s Fund of NH. She joined their Board in 2013 after serving on their grant making committee for several years. As a retired teacher/school administrator, Sue has many interests. She builds custom furniture and cabinets, plays golf, snowshoes, enjoys good cinema and loves traveling. Her other philanthropic interests and work include The Portsmouth Music Hall, The Southeast Land Trust, The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Human Rights Campaign. She married her longtime companion, Lynda Beck, in 2010. They live in Exeter.
Mary Rauh, husband John and their three sons moved to NH in 1986. From 1987- 93 she served on the board of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and returned to the board in 2012. She was a founding board member of the Women’s Fund of NH and the NH Women’s Initiative. She served nine years on the NHPR board. She is on the Campaign for Legal Services, serving agencies that provide legal services to low-income residents.
Lisabritt Solsky is an attorney and administrator at the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, where she serves as Deputy Medicaid Director. She is a Leadership New Hampshire alum, was selected for the Union Leader’s Forty Under Forty designation in 2010 and was honored with a Business and Industry Association “Above and Beyond Award” in 2011. She lives with her children in Concord.
Chris Strong is president of the Strong Resource Group, a strategic consulting firm with 35+ years of expertise in helping not-for-profits, associations, and businesses deepen their understanding of their business and the issues they face. Chris volunteers in professional and community organizations, is a board member and incoming Vice President of Education for the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Northern New England, Co-Chair of this year’s AFP-NNE/Conference of Fundraising Professionals, and a member of the Great Bay Community College Advisory Board. She received her MBA from the University of Southern California, BA from the University of Colorado and is a graduate of Leadership Seacoast.
Laura Thibault is a nonprofit consultant currently serving as Interim Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice NH. A native of NH and graduate of UNH, her background includes over a decade of non-profit advocacy and management. Laura loves mission based work and her focus is to build nonprofit capacity via fundraising, strategic planning and communications. Laura volunteers in several roles in her community, including Stewardship co-chair of the Starr King Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and the Pease Public Library Association. She enjoys volunteering with her two children during the summer months with the Plymouth Area Eco-Learning Farm Stand.
Gemma Waite French is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce. In her role at the Chamber, she oversees the areas of membership, programs/events, and communications. Gemma also served as Director of Public Relations and Marketing for the Daniel Webster Council, Boy Scouts of America. She began her career in television news and has worked on-air and behind the scenes at several television stations throughout New England. Gemma is a 2010 graduate of Leadership Greater Manchester and a 2014 graduate of Leadership New Hampshire.