Gillian Schair, Chair
Gillian Schair is a resident of Portland, Maine and a full-time mother of two children, ages 16 and 12. Gillian is the current board chair of the Maine Women’s Lobby and the Maine Women’s Policy Center and has served on boards relating to both the arts and the environment; she also has a passion for social justice and equality. She is the president of her family’s charitable foundation, which currently focuses on programs that support immigrant and refugee youth in Southern Maine. For ten years she served as a Maine CASA/guardian adLitem, advocating for children in the foster care system. She is a beginner bee-keeper, a seasoned skier and an enthusiast of Maine winter recreation.
Leah Coplon, Vice Chair
Leah Coplon is the Director of Abortion Service at Maine Family Planning. Prior to that, she worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing at the University of New England where she specialized in community and public health nursing and women’s health and obstetric nursing. Leah worked in private practice as a Certified Nurse-Midwife and a Labor and Delivery Nurse in Portland, and has worked in women’s reproductive health for close to 2 decades. Leah holds a Master in Public Health and a Master of Science in Nursing, and lives in Portland with her partner and two children.
Pat Ryan, Treasurer
Pat Ryan served as the Executive Director of the Maine Human Rights Commission from 1979 – 2011. As Director, she was responsible for shaping policy and overseeing the investigation, conciliation, and litigation of complaints of unlawful discrimination filed with the Commission. During her tenure with the Commission, Pat was member of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies, a member of the Joint Standing Committee to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a member of the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s State Agency Advisory Board.
Prior to her work at the Human Rights Commission, Pat served as Chair of the Maine State Personnel Board, and Chair of the Maine Commission for Women. She chaired a coalition to secure passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in Maine, and was Chair of the International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee in Maine. Pat was a founding director of the Maine Women’s Lobby, and the Maine Women’s Political Caucus.
Currently, she continues work as a mediator, focusing on cases for the Maine Human Rights Commission, as well as serving a second three-year term as Board member and Treasurer of the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center. Pat is Senior Warden at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick, where her focus is on human trafficking and community outreach efforts, and she is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Elizabeth Riotte, Esq., Secretary
Elizabeth (Liz) Riotte is the board secretary of the Maine Women’s Lobby and the Maine Women’s Policy Center and serves on the Finance Committee. She is currently Assistant Corporate Secretary of Avangrid, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), a diversified energy and utility company with more than $30 billion in assets and operations in 25 states, focusing on corporate governance, securities law compliance, public disclosures and securities filings, and providing support to the board of directors. Liz was previously an attorney at Axiom, a leading provider of tech-enabled legal services and an associate at Verrill Dana LLP in Portland, Maine and BakerHostetler LLP in Cleveland, Ohio. Liz holds a B.A. from Tufts University and a J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law School, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Case Western Reserve Law Review and graduated magna cum laude and Order of the Coif. Liz lives in Cumberland with her husband, Sam, and their two young daughters.
Andrea Berry, Maine Initiatives’ Director of Communications and Engagement, is a specialist in fundraising and communications strategy. She has spent her career helping nonprofits plan and execute effective campaigns to meet organizational and mission goals. At Maine Initiatives Andrea amplifies the work of MI grantees and the values of Maine’s progressive community using communications as a platform for convening and conversing.
Prior to joining Maine Initiatives, Andrea specialized in nonprofit technology at Idealware and Firefly Partners, offering consulting services, writing workbooks, and training thousands of nonprofits in fundraising and communications best practices. Earlier in her career she worked as a middle school math teacher, an archaeology field educator, and a development director for educational organizations. A proud Americorp alum, Andrea graduated from Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Archaeology and is currently pursuing her Masters in Education from Lesley University.
Residing in North Yarmouth with her husband, daughter, and two crazy dogs, Andrea spends her free time exploring Maine’s rocky coastline, gardening, and trying her hand at backyard beekeeping.
Deborah M. Burd
Deborah M. Burd is the Director of Grants Administration for Covenant Health of Tewksbury, MA. Deb is tasked with providing system-wide strategy for three acute are facilities (two in ME), consultation, facility on-site coordination, and support and compliance oversight. She is a founding member of the Maine Women’s Agricultural Network and GrowSmart Maine and has formerly served as a trustee of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, on the board of CEI, the Spannocchia Foundation and the Center for Wisdom’s Women. Currently, Deb is a member of the Good Food Council of L-A, on the Advisory Board of Health Androscoggin and a board member of the Friends of Lewiston Public Library. Deb worked previously as the Executive Director of the Maine-based Western Mountains Alliance and as the Executive Director of the New York-based National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture. Deb lives in Lewiston and is a graduate of the University of Maine with a background in education.
Lucia Chomeau Hunt
Lucia Hunt is the directing attorney of family law at Pine Tree Legal Assistance where she leads a team of attorneys who represent survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Lucia is the chair of the statewide Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse. She lives in Yarmouth with her husband and two energetic children.
Betsy Mahoney, Esq.
Betsy Mahoney, Esq. has represented asylum seekers in the Portland area for the past seven years, both in her own private practice and as a volunteer attorney at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project. As the mother of three, one of whom has autism, she has been an advocate for Mainers with intellectual disabilities. She has been active in the Coalition for Housing and Quality Services, a group of parents and service providers to adults with developmental disabilities, since 2010.
Prior to practicing asylum law, she was a public policy consultant on issues such as access to health care, reproductive health rights, and civil liberties. She served as a commissioner of MaineHousing from 2007 – 2011 and served on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine and the Maine Public Health Association. A former community organizer, she has volunteered in a number of referendum campaigns in Maine that related to reproductive rights and access to health care. Betsy graduated from Wesleyan University and NYU School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar. She resides in Cumberland Foreside with her husband.
Destie Hohman Sprague
Destie Hohman Sprague, Associate Director for the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MECASA), has focused her career on helping social justice nonprofit organizations build their capacity to create change. In her role at the Coalition, she oversees MECASA’s key programming, which includes training and technical assistance for Maine’s sexual violence prevention educators and service providers; the Maine Sex Trafficking and Exploitation Network; and the Maine Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Before coming to MECASA in 2008, she served as the Outreach Director for the Children’s Alliance of New Hampshire, and coordinated the NH Child Advocacy Network, a coalition of nearly 100 partner agencies. Destie is active on several boards including the Maine Women’s Lobby, and also supports several emerging community-based nonprofits with capacity-building. She received her undergraduate degree from Tulane University, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy. She lives with her family in Bath, Maine.
Malory Otteson Shaughnessy
Malory Shaughnessy, MPPM, has over 30 years of advocacy and public policy experience. She has worked at all levels of government from legislative staff in the office of Congressman Tom Andrews in the early 1990s, to working on projects for the Maine Legislature’s Office of Policy and Legal Analysis, and serving as a Cumberland County Commissioner. As a Commissioner, she served as President of the Maine County Commissioners Association and represented Maine Counties on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Counties. She was also a founding member of the Cumberland Public Health District. Nominated to Chair the Maine State Sentencing & Corrections Practices Commission by Governor Baldacci, she worked to make positive changes to Maine’s Sentencing practices. Malory is currently the Executive Director of the newly merged Alliance for Addiction and Mental Health Services, Maine. Representing over 30 provider organizations, the merger created the state’s largest provider organization focused on a comprehensive and coordinated approach to meeting the needs of individuals and families burdened by the challenge of living with substance use disorders and/or mental health diagnoses. Malory received her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Muskie School of Public Service, and her BA in political science and economics from the University of Missouri. Malory also serves on the Board of Visitors for the Muskie School of Pubic Service. She has four grown sons and resides with her husband in Westbrook where she loves to kayak and take long walks.
Kristina Yurko has spent most of her life in Maine and currently resides in Westbrook. She grew up in Freeport and attended the Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone. After graduating from Dalhousie University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and English, she returned to Maine and started working for the Mainer’s United for Marriage campaign as a fundraiser. She went on to be part of the finance team for the Shenna Bellows for U.S. Senate campaign, spent a session with Moose Ridge Associates lobbying in the Maine legislature, and worked as part of the development team at Maine Family Planning. With her background in political and non-profit development, Kristina is thrilled to bring her fundraising experience and passion for women’s rights and access to affordable, comprehensive healthcare to the Maine Women’s Lobby board. Outside of her professional endeavors, Kristina spends her time practicing yoga or walking dogs for her local humane society when she isn’t curled up with her two cats watching football or Netflix.