Ten Mainers completed the 2019 John T. Gorman Fellowship, an intensive program designed to strengthen a leader’s ability to make a measurable difference in the lives of disadvantaged Mainers.

Participants in the program learned how to be come more effective leaders using a model that leverages data, collaboration and other strategies to make progress toward a population-level result. Throughout the program, the Fellows learned from accomplished leaders in Maine and across the country who spoke about their experiences in large-scale systems change.

Here are the Fellows, and the results they are striving for:

• Chris Bicknell, executive director, New Beginnings: Youth in Maine ages 12-24 who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of becoming homeless will be safe and cared for in their communities.

• Gail Cressey, director of intervention strategies, Portland Public Schools: All Portland students are successful in school.

• David Dorr, director, Somerset Career and Technical Center: Youth in Somerset County are valued and prepared to succeed.


• Matt Dubel, executive director, Portland ConnectED: All Portland students are successful in school.

• Kim Gustafson, scholarship director, Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute: All people in Maine hold a post-secondary credential.

• Elizabeth (Liz) Neptune, senior consultant, Wabanaki Aspirations: All Maine Wabanaki communities and their citizens are economically stable, prepared to succeed, while living longer, healthier lives.

• Karen Normandin, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment, Kennebec Valley Community College: All community college students will complete a certificate or associate degree.

• Misty Parker, economic development manager, city of Lewiston: Families in Lewiston are economically stable.

• Janet Smith, regional manager, New Ventures Maine: All Maine families are financially secure.

• Tara Williams, executive director, Maine Association for the Education of Young Children: Every child in Maine has high-quality early learning experiences.

This is the third cohort for the program, which was established in 2015 and now includes 32 Fellows. The leadership institute is part of the John T. Gorman Foundation, an independent, statewide organization that advances and invests in innovative ideas and opportunities to improve the lives of disadvantaged Mainers.

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