President | John Thibodeau
John Thibodeau, LCSW, is a therapist with a small practice specializing with seniors. He lives in Deering Center where he is a neighborhood activist/organizer, and hosts the Love Deering Center Facebook page. In recent years John has coached youth baseball, soccer, basketball and been active with the Friends of Evergreen and the Woodfords Club. In 2017-18 he served as the Volunteer Coordinator for Protect Our Neighborhood Schools and was on their Steering Committee as they successfully passed Portland’s 4 Elementary School Bond. John became civically active in the 1990s with the Maine People’s Alliance (MPA), beginning as a field canvasser and eventually becoming the Community Organizer for Lewiston & Portland, and led MPA’s state-wide health care policy work. John grew up in Bangor, loves to garden and bicycle and is happy to call Portland his home for the past 20+ years.
Vice President | Linda Carleton
Linda Carleton is a retired teacher of history and comparative religion who was ordained in the UCC to a ministry of refugee resettlement. She worked as church sponsorship developer for Interfaith Refugee Ministry in New Haven, Connecticut, and she founded and served as resident director of the Melita Welcome House until retiring to Chebeague Island in 2008. She now lives in Portland where she teaches at and serves on the steering committee for the Hope House English Language Program. She is also an artist who enjoys leading mandala workshops and recently published her first novel, Elmina’s Fire.
Secretary | Mary Ellen Schaper
MaryEllen holds a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Maine and a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has been an educator in Maine for the past 37 years, currently teaching physical education, adapted physical education, dance, and theatre in the SAD/RSU 6 School District. MaryEllen is active with choral music and theatre locally, and is very involved with arts education at the state level. She has previously served on the Board of Directors for the Wayside Soup Kitchen.
Treasurer | Ronald A. Kreisman
Ron is a local attorney with a solo legal practice focused on representation of nonprofit and governmental entities. Educated at Harvard Law School (JD), Brown University (A.B. in political science), and the London School of Economics and Political Science, Ron has extensive experience working with nonprofits, including ten years as General Counsel to the Natural Resources Council of Maine and briefly as Executive Director of Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project (ILAP). He holds the following bar admissions: State of Maine (1985), U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (1982), U.S. Claims Court (1982), and District of Columbia (1981).
Ali AL Dhamen
Ali AL Dhamen holds a Master’s Degree in International Business and Development from J.F. Oberlin University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University. He was an ESL educator in Japan for over 4 years, and is the Stability Manager at Goodwill Industries of Northern New England. He is responsible for the organization-wide (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont) financial literacy programming; employee Stability, as well as 2 regional volunteer income tax assistance (VITA), and asset building programs – CA$H Greater Portland, and Midcoast CA$H. Since entering the position in September 2015 he has partnered to establish a unique employee emergency loan (Good Will) assistance program, as well as acquiring and managing a second VITA tax program. Ali is a native of Munjoy Hill, and currently lives in Gorham.
Don is a retired United Methodist Minister who served numerous parishes in Massachusetts and was a District Superintendent and Conference Council Director (Program Director). He and his wife Sue have three grown children. Don is President of the New England Methodist Federation for Social Action and a Board Member of The Religious Coalition Against Discrimination in Maine. He is a graduate of Drew and Oxford Universities and has taught Urban Ministry in the United States and Great Britain.
Jennifer is a licensed clinical social worker at Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, Lewiston, ME, having earned her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Southern Maine. From July 2000 to May 2013, Jennifer was a senior account executive at Burgess Advertising & Marketing, a Portland-based advertising, branding and marketing agency where she has provided strategic planning and communications counsel. Previously, she served as Director of Community Relations, Marketing & Development for Stephens Memorial Hospital (Norway, ME) and Communications Officer at KeyBank of Maine (Portland). Jennifer is a 1992 graduate of Wells College, where she earned her BA in history.