Andrea Amico is a mom turned national recognized clean-water activist. An occupational therapist with a master’s degree from Worcester State college, Andrea, her husband Joe, and three beautiful, amazing children: Sophia, Vinny, and Gia have lived in Portsmouth since 2007. Andrea enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and riding bikes with her kids.
Ben is a psychotherapist working with children, adolescents, and families for nearly 30 years. In response to a lack of communication among professionals working with children, he started the Center for Collaborative Change. He regularly attends school meetings and consults with pediatricians to best serve his clients. Currently, Ben is developing a new practice called Aloft Integrated Wellness. This practice will further expand on the concept of collaborated care to integrated wellness.
Bryan Bessette is passionate about bringing diverse people together to learn from one another and translate ideas and beliefs into beneficial action. He is Co-founder and President of the local nonprofit, The Freedom Café, and has served as a Chaplain at UNH since 2002. Bryan appreciates working in a range of roles: empowering change-makers, managing events, and building collaboration. A long-time tea lover, Bryan now equally enjoys specialty coffee. He lives with his wife Hannah and their musical family in Durham.
Caitlin Thompson is currently raising two inspiring young daughters in Scarborough, Maine. She has gained significant recognition throughout her career in design and for her talent as a fine artist. Most recently, Caitlin experienced tremendous personal growth through the practice of public speaking. She now hosts an exclusive speaking club that helps women discover, awaken, and develop their own voices.
Dr. Arnold is a Board-certified gynecologist in private practice at Inner Balance Pelvic Health & Wellness Center in Newington. She sees routine gynecology patients and specializes in pelvic pain disorders, giving her clear insight into the problems that exist within the structure of our current medical care models. In 2016, she co-founded a nonprofit organization, Hope On Haven Hill, which opened in her family’s home, providing residential substance use treatment to pregnant women and their newborns.
Diane Murphy Madison Person
Diane is a poet, gardener, singer, and lover of art, music, and dance. She believes self-directed education is the most authentic and innovative way for teens to learn. The BigFish Learning Community is her leap of faith and leap out of the public school system where she’d been teaching for many years. Previously a Maine public school English teacher, Diane ran after-school theater programs, playwriting classes, and a yoga club and also taught English at York County Community College.
Madison Person is a high school senior and artist. During her sophomore year, she withdrew from public school and registered as a homeschooler to craft her own education based on her interests and passion for art. Over the past two years, she has been building her academic and artistic portfolio by studying at a self-directed learning center, apprenticing with professional artists, conducting independent research, and selling/showing her artwork. She grew up on a small farm in South Berwick and enjoys kayaking and climbing trees.
Dr. Elizabeth Burakowski
Dr. Elizabeth Burakowski is a snow scientist at the University of New Hampshire. She uses climate models, snow measurements, and satellites to understand how winter in the northeastern United States has changed in the past and what we can expect for the future.
Dr. Laura Rubin
Dr. Laura Rubin is a licensed clinical psychologist/neuropsychologist and Founder of the Portsmouth Neuropsychology Center. Dr. Rubin presents psychological/educational topics to medical centers, universities, elementary schools, and community organizations and is a frequent media contributor. She is an active member in Healthcare GIVES, the Seacoast Women’s Giving Circle, and the Great Island Garden Club. She lives in the Seacoast with her husband and three children.
Jaed Coffin is the author of A Chant to Soothe Wild Elephants, a memoir about the summer he spent as a Buddhist monk in his mother’s village in Thailand and Roughhouse Friday, which chronicles the year he won the middleweight title of a barroom boxing show in Alaska. Jaed teaches creative writing at UNH. He’s currently working on a television series about the experiences of Mexican carnival workers in Maine during the 2016 election year.
Kartik Sakthivel has been a proud resident of NH for nearly 25 years, 20 of those in the same 0.3 mile radius in Dover, where he lives with his spouse of 16 years, Yukiko, and two wonderful children – Sophie, 13 and Simon, 9. He serves as the Vice President & Chief Information Officer of LIMRA, LOMA, LL Global, Inc., the oldest and largest insurance trade association in the world. Technology is inherent and ubiquitous in everything. As CIO for an organization with over 200 years of history, he is helping to shape the next several decades of an unequivocally member-centric company.
Quita’s two competing passions are theater and health care. She’s been able to merge these two passions at Next Step, an organization that provides teens and young adults living with chronic illness experiences and opportunities to learn life skills and build community. She uses expressive arts to develop “adulting” workshops. She’s a true people person and always happy to discover anything and everything while sharing a meal.
Rebecca Throop has been working in marketing and communications strategy for 20 years. She’s combined analytical marketing and storytelling into traditional and digital branding solutions for clients, from early stage startups to national companies. She deeply believes in giving back to causes that matter to her such as education, health care, and mental well-being. She is an avid athletic fanatic — from cheering on her boys, holding onto a passion for college basketball, and doing any athletic activity outdoors.
Rock Street Family Band
Rock Street is a family hip-hop band led by Jesse and Melissa Lore that includes their two kids, Ruby, 10, and Jackson, 8. Jesse is Vice President of Sales and Service at Mobility Works, the country’s largest provider of wheelchair-accessible vehicles. Melissa is a novelist who recently completed her supernatural horror epic, Bad Larry. Ruby loves figure skating, karate, reading, and writing books. Jackson enjoys hockey, baseball, soccer, and anything with wheels
Steve uses neuroscience to disrupt conventional wisdom about interpersonal interactions in the hopes that we can all have better conversations, every day. He’s pursuing a second master’s degree in sustainability to save nature from the humans. After living in Berkeley, California for 16 years, Steve and his wife returned to their hometown of Durham with their young daughter. Steve listens deeply to music in the dark so his desk of unfinished work doesn’t distract him. He has been spotted kayaking in subzero weather, making forts in College Woods, and taking too long to cook (amazing) dinners
Selected by Portland Magazine as one of the “Ten Most Intriguing People in Maine,” award winning writer and performer Susan Poulin is a leader in bringing a female voice to New England storytelling and humor. She is the author of eleven plays, six of which feature her alter ego, Ida LeClair, “the funniest woman in Maine.” She writes the popular Maine humor blog and podcast, Just Ask Ida, and is the author of Finding Your Inner Moose: Ida LeClair’s Guide to Living the Good Life and The Sweet Life: Ida LeClair’s Guide to Love and Marriage published by Islandport Press.