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Pamela Baker is the New Hampshire Reporter for Courthouse News covering civil litigation in New Hampshire and Maine. Before moving back to her native New Hampshire, Pamela worked in independent film in New York and Los Angeles. An active member of her local community, Pamela is a graduate of Nashua's City Academy, volunteers for Nashua’s Meals for Kids program, and runs the Nashua news and culture blog GraniteStateGirl.com. Pamela holds a B.A. in Film Studies and Production and Women's Studies from Hofstra University and is passionate about issues of representation and spectatorship in media. In her spare time, she plays roller derby, enjoys birding, hiking, and board games.
Elayna was born and raised in North Conway, New Hampshire. Growing up in the granite state taught her a lifelong love of both politics and the environment; though unfortunately she never did develop a love for skiing. Elayna moved to Boston to get a B.A. in political science from Tufts University. Later, Elayna moved to the DC area and then onto Charlottesville, Virginia- all the while working in local politics and the nonprofit world. Elayna recently returned to New Hampshire to work on Democratic campaigns in 2016. Now that she is here, Elayna feels invested in the vitality and future of her home state. She would like to see New Hampshire become an inviting place for the next generation of forward thinking, progressive people. Elayna is focused on economic justice and asset building at her position at the Midas Collaborative and is currently applying to law school. Over the next few years she would love to complete law school, advance in her career, and settle down in New England. In her free time she enjoys getting out in nature (unfortunately still no skiing!) and hanging out with her two rescue dogs.
Sam Cooper-Wall is a new resident of New Hampshire and a passionate advocate for progressive policy and government service. He is an outreach coordinator in the Office of Congresswoman Annie Kuster. His policy portfolio includes the issues of agriculture, energy, environment, immigration, homeland security, and housing issues. Originally from Washington, DC, Sam enjoys helping ensure that the needs and priorities of the Granite State are heard in Congress
Sam graduated from Gettysburg College with a degree in history and political science. He has previously served in positions with the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Park Service. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, hiking, and volunteering for political campaigns.
Sam Hammond is a lifelong New England resident who is passionate about policy advocacy, social justice, and community health. For the past 8 years Sam has been advocating on behalf of the LGBTQ community and low-income families. In 2015 he received a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Public Health from Wheaton College. Sam currently works as a certifier for Southern New Hampshire Services, assisting low-income individuals as they apply for public benefits. Prior to this position, he served as an AmeriCorps Vista member for East End House, where he developed the benefit intake screening system that the community center uses to connect local families with public benefits. Previously, Sam interned as a summer policy researcher for the Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation where he advocated for an expansion of Medicaid to include coverage of a newly released medication for patients suffering from Hepatitis C. Sam’s other professional experience includes designing and leading workshops on being an ally to the LGBT community. Additionally, Sam serves as policy coordinator for the Roosevelt Institute where he taught young adults how to engage in the political process and advocate policies that reflected their progressive agendas. When he is not working Sam enjoys solving crossword puzzles, running, and drinking too much coffee.
Tim Josephson currently juggles his time between two different small businesses (Lucky's Coffee Garage and The Leotard Boutique) in the Upper Valley while also serving as a State Representative. In the New Hampshire State House, Tim serves on the Municipal and County Government Committee. Tim grew up in South Windsor, CT and graduated from Johnson State College with a BA in Liberal Arts, American Studies. He recently completed a Master's in Public Administration with a focus on Rural Governance from Norwich University.
Tim has worked 14+ years in restaurants, doing everything from overnight baking to store management to multi-unit operations. As a result, he has an interest in working on labor laws that deal particularly with the service industry in order to improve the conditions for employees. Tim's other passion is recapturing the spirit of the New England Village. He authored a capstone project about utilizing the village concept as a mechanism for re-invigorating the rural New Hampshire economy when tied with expanded broadband and cellular towers along with vigorous resident involvement and town commitment. He also serves as the Vice-Chair of the Mascoma Valley Regional School Board and is committed to preserving and improving our public education system, particularly the state funding model for New Hampshire public schools.
Tim is an avid Red Sox fan while also enjoying kayaking, live concerts (especially Wilco), and lots of coffee. He lives in Canaan, NH with his wife and two daughters.
Shoshanna Kelly is an entrepreneur and founder of Kelly Creative Advertising. She is passionate about lifting up businesses of all shapes and sizes and believes that strong communication is a key ingredient to success. Recently, the current political landscape ignited her into action, and she was elected Alderwoman at-Large in Nashua, NH. She joins another new member as the first people of color elected to serve on the board in Nashua.
Her experiences both abroad, in her industry, and as a business owner have led Shoshanna to be an advocate for women and women of color in business. She has been heavily involved in the 3% Conference to help promote and recruit more women leaders in advertising (an abysmal 3% when the effort began). She has also worked within her industry to promote diversity and speak about the struggles and challenges ahead. In Nashua and Boston, she is passionate about reducing homelessness and childhood hunger and has volunteered with Meals for Kids, the Nashua Soup Kitchen, and Solutions At Work. She is a Board Member of Positive Street Art as well as the Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter. She is also active in the Chamber.
Shoshanna holds a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Boston University. Since leaving the BU community, Shoshanna has worked in the Boston advertising field with small firms, big agencies, and everything in between. Her clients have included TD Bank, Stride Rite, Buick, Bertucci’s, National Grid, Converse, and more.
As a Nashua resident for 12 years, Shoshanna and her husband have proudly built a strong community of friends, family and business leaders. They credit this network to living in the vibrant downtown for the first few years, before settling on a cul-de-sac with their daughter Elsa. She hopes to use the experience at NLC to help shape her impact on Nashua in the next four years.
Kim Kerley was born and raised in the seacoast of New Hampshire. Her father attended the United States Air Force Academy and became a pilot for Delta Airlines. She gained a strong appetite for learning more about foreign countries and working together on a global scale while traveling with her father. Her mother was a small business owner who opened her own boutique when Kim was in school. Her mother taught her the strength of an independent women and gave her the drive she has today.
After attending Winnacunnet High School, Kim then attended the University of New Hampshire. While at UNH, Kim came in undeclared so she could find the right program for her. After encouragement from a professor, she declared a major in Political Science and graduated in 2010. With the degree she was able expand her knowledge of foreign governments and national policy, picking up on the interest her father distilled in her early on.
After graduating from UNH, Kim was at a stand still, trying to understand what path she wanted to go down. Unsure of her next step, Kim got involved in the local school district and worked as a substitute teacher. Kim taught all grades, from Kindergarten to High School. It was through substitute teaching where Kim learned that she enjoyed working most with people who wanted to learn. As a self declared information junkie herself, Kim loved seeing students get excited about certain topics and latch on to them. She was also privileged to coach the same high school lacrosse team that she played on in school. Coaching, Kim quickly found that she was able to grow her leadership skills and learn how to keep people motivated in the face of defeat.
Taking her career one step farther, Kim took a job Southern New Hampshire University as an Academic Advisor. Here, Kim was able to continue to work with students and loved the ability to work with students that wanted to learn. Enjoying helping others, Kim started volunteering with Planned Parenthood. The strength and determination she learned from her mother made her passionate to make sure that all women were able to take control of their lives. She now is a Co-Lead for the Seacoast NH Planned Parenthood Community Action Team. She spends her free time with friends, family, and is currently planning the next step in her life, her upcoming wedding.
Natalie Laflamme is a New Hampshire native, born and raised in New Hampshire’s northernmost county. She is an associate at Sulloway & Hollis, a law firm in Concord, where she handles a wide variety of civil litigation matters. Prior to practicing at the firm, Natalie clerked for the Hon. Robert J. Lynn of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. Natalie currently serves as treasurer of Sycamore Community Gardens, a local nonprofit that provides garden plots and supplies for over 150 low-income families in Concord, including many refugees and New Americans. She also currently serves on the Gender Equality Committee of the New Hampshire bar and is a volunteer attorney with the New Hampshire bar’s DOVE Project, through which she represents victims of domestic violence and stalking.
Natalie attended Georgetown University where she studied Philosophy, Cognitive Science, and Spanish, and studied abroad in Valparaiso, Chile. While in college she volunteered as an ESL tutor for recent immigrants and their families in Washington, D.C. She was also a member of the Georgetown University Pep Band, in which she played the saxophone, crash cymbals, and — most importantly — the cowbell. Following college, Natalie attended law school at Duke University. While there she volunteered with a number of organizations, including the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program, a group assisting DACA applicants, and a clinic providing legal services to special needs students. During her last semester of law school, Natalie interned full-time with the appellate section of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. Informed by her various experiences over the years, Natalie is passionate about gender equality, education, and immigration. In her spare time, Natalie enjoys kayaking, music, and vegan cooking.
Adriana Lopera is new to the Granite State and passionate about improving the health of communities as an issue of social justice. She is particularly interested in addressing the systemic challenges women of color face in leading healthy lives. Adriana is currently a Program Manager for the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety. She supports a number of the agency's ongoing initiatives and stakeholder engagement work. Prior to joining the Betsy Lehman Center, Adriana worked for the Neonatal Quality Improvement Collaborative of Massachusetts’ Human Milk Initiative. She coordinated logistics and communications for this statewide collaborative of Neonatal Intensive Care Units that uses quality improvement methodology to support mothers of very low birth weight infants in the provision of breast milk. Adriana has also worked for the Disparities Solutions Center at Massachusetts General Hospital; supporting health equity related projects and educational events as well as a national leadership program for healthcare professionals.
Adriana received her Masters of Public Health with a focus on Maternal and Child Health from Boston University. She received her B.A. in Latin American Studies from Columbia University and is a returned Peace Corps volunteer. She enjoys traveling, baking, and hiking with her dog.
Sierran Lucey is a NH native and was raised in the small town of Strafford. She is a two-time graduate of the University of Maine, first with her B.A. in Sociology, and then with her M.Ed. in Student Development in Higher Education. As an undergraduate student, Sierran was involved with the Peer Education program on her campus; hosting workshops and providing education to college students on various topics. While attending graduate school, she served as the LGBT Student Services Coordinator. This work included planning events on campus as well as advocating for and advising LGBT students and their allies. During this time, she also completed an internship in the Multicultural office on campus and was a frequent volunteer for many other campus events and programs.
Sierran began her professional career working in Special Education in the public school system and coached various sports at the high school level, focusing most of her time on JV Basketball. She eventually made her transition back to higher education and now works for Southern NH University. Sierran currently serves as an Academic Advisor III and an Adjunct Faculty Member. Additionally, Sierran is a Co-Lead for the Seacoast NH Planned Parenthood Volunteer Community Action Team.
She spends her free time with friends, attending classes at her neighborhood fitness studio, and in her apartment in Portsmouth with her cat, Valerie. Sierran is passionate about social justice activism and is interested in learning more about policy, campaigning, organizing, and the inner workings of our political system.
Douglas Marino is a student at the University of New Hampshire. He is currently a Senior and is set to graduate in May of 2018 with a degree in Political Science. Marino spent his Fall semester in Washington D.C., working as a intern for Senator Maggie Hassan. He was born in Mineola, New York, and moved to New Hampshire at the age of eight. After moving to New Hampshire, he quickly became involved in local politics by volunteering for political campaigns. He has served as an organizing fellow for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign, as well as Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign. He also served as Vice-President of the University of New Hampshire College Democrats from 2014 to 2015, as well as serving as the organization's Co-President from 2015 to 2016.
During his time as an activist, Marino has taken a particular interest in issues relating to social justice. He has been active in the campaign to pass legislation in New Hampshire to protect transgender citizens from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations. He has also been active in campaigns to support reproductive rights, including working as an intern for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England during the summer of 2017.
Marino hopes to continue to use civic engagement as a tool for advancing social and economic justice. Following his graduation from UNH, he hopes to attend law school to study civil rights law. He eventually hopes to run for office and serve the public as an elected official.
Aly McKnight currently works as a member of the community engagement team at New Futures. She recruits and trains advocates to stand up for New Futures’ policy priorities in the NH legislature and across the state.
Aly earned her BA in public policy and sociology at William Smith College in Geneva, NY in May of 2015. Much of her academic and extracurricular time at William Smith focused on social justice through participation in coalition-building, community dialogues, and committees on organizational change. Specifically, her work focused on campus activism against sexual violence and community activism for racial justice. In 2013, she studied abroad for a semester at the University of Kwazulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
After graduating, Aly spent two years working in downtown Nashua as a field organizer, an assistant to Mayor Jim Donchess, and a substance misuse professional in the Division of Public Health and Community Services. Much of her time in Nashua focused on building a stronger continuum of care for prevention, treatment, and recovery services by bringing community partners together to align goals and set strategy.
Aly grew up in the Souhegan Valley, and she is a proud alum of both Souhegan High School in Amherst, NH and the Boys and Girls Club of Souhegan Valley in Milford, NH. She currently lives in Manchester, NH.
Jennifer 'Jenni' Muns lives in Manchester and has worked in Concord as the Communications & Outreach Coordinator for Congresswoman Annie Kuster since August 2016. In this role, Jenni assists with all communications aspects of the Congresswoman's office, including press releases, op-eds, social media, talking points, and remarks. In addition, Jenni handles social security casework. Prior to working for Congresswoman Kuster, Jenni lived in Washington, DC; attending American University for her bachelor's degree in journalism and her master's degree in political communication. Jenni completed internships in Washington for Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, the American Federation of Teachers, the Democratic National Committee, and the National Education Association. She also interned at Global Radio News Live in London, UK in the spring of 2012 while she studied abroad in the city.
Although Jenni was born in Michigan, she moved to Hampton, NH at the age of 6 and considers herself a native Granite Stater. A proud feminist, Jenni is passionate about women's rights, gender equality, and addressing toxic masculinity, as well as other issues like gun safety, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, combating sexual violence, improving healthcare, animal rights, disability rights, and combating climate change. Outside of work, Jenni enjoys being involved with the New Hampshire Young Democrats, exploring parks and nature reserves, shopping, and most importantly, spending time with her family, friends, and her yellow lab, Sally.
Anja Parish is a graduate student at Brandeis University and will be graduating in May 2018 with a joint Masters in Public Policy and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. After receiving a Bachelors in Political Science and Communication from the University of New Hampshire in 2005, Anja started her career in public service by serving two years with AmeriCorps VISTA in Manchester, NH. There, she worked with the immigrant and refugee community on both disaster preparedness and health and safety. In 2008, she was selected for the Federal Career Intern Program with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. For eight years, Anja interviewed and adjudicated applications for immigration benefits, investigated cases suspected of having fraud or national security issues, provided policy guidance, and trained new officers on immigration policy and procedures. Her time with USCIS convinced her that she wanted to switch from adjudication to policy research, analysis, and implementation, and she was drawn to Brandeis University for the school’s strong commitment to social justice. Although Anja’s expertise is in immigration policy, she has also volunteered as an advocate for survivors of gender-based violence, and her work at Brandeis has focused on the Violence Against Women Act.
Anja currently lives in Manchester, NH, and she works part-time as a research assistant on the Immigrant Integration project with the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy. Her interests lie in both immigrant policy and gender equality, with a focus on developing programs bring members from underserved populations to the table when creating and implementing policies to ensure that solutions are equitable and community-based. In her free time, Anja enjoys relaxing with coffee and a good book or traveling. She can also be seen on stage acting, singing, and dancing in community theater productions in southern NH.
Dorothy Parsons is a New Hampshire native whose interests in government and politics range from local town meetings in her hometown and NH's unique political structure to studying political parties abroad in Rabat, Morocco. She is a recent graduate of Skidmore College where she studied International Affairs with a concentration in the Middle East, as well as Environmental Studies and English Literature. At Skidmore she was elected President of the Student Government Association where she prioritized improving socio-economic inequities, diversity and inclusion advocacy, and student voice. Dorothy has interned for then-Governor Hassan and New Hampshire Parks and Recreation, where she was a host for a video series on lesser-known parks.
She is currently employed as a staff assistant in the Office of US Senator Maggie Hassan where she communicates with constituents, composes event letters on behalf of the Senator, and hopes to raise office morale with her creative sense of humor. She enjoys volunteering for her town and local non-profits, and now that she has moved back to her home state is looking for more ways to get involved. Dorothy is a literature and language (English, Arabic, Spanish) enthusiast, former Quidditch player, and loves being outside with her dog, Maggie.
Chris Potter serves with City Year New Hampshire, where he manages a team of full-time volunteers who are tutors and role models at Parker-Varney Elementary School in the Manchester School District. His responsibilities include coaching literacy and math instruction, coordinating with school partners, and developing the volunteers as leaders.
Prior to joining the City Year staff in 2015, Chris graduated from UMass Amherst with a BS in Political Science in 2012. Chris did a volunteer year with City Year and then was Assistant Athletic Director at the Greater Manchester Boys and Girls Club. He also was a grassroots, faith-based community organizer in St. Louis in 2014 and 2015, at the time of the Ferguson protests.
Today, Chris is in the process of being ordained a deacon in the Episcopal Church. He canvassed with the Young Democrats in the 2017 Manchester mayoral election, and is a facilitator for Answering the Call, a program that helps veterans of service programs clarify their personal calls to political leadership.
Through these projects, Chris hopes to make lasting structural changes so that people of every background can fulfill their potential. Chris advances this goal through the development of communities that promote positive values and the will to fight for justice in their members.Chris is a proud and committed resident of Manchester. In his free time, he plays basketball, volleyball, and board games, and enjoys reading. He is the proud father of two cats.
Anthony is a community-focused, passion-driven leader who is committed to working toward long-term, systematic change that brings about real and measurable improvements to the lives of those around them. For the past two years, they’ve been building Rights & Democracy NH, a local political nonprofit startup. As a multi-issue, multi-tactical grassroots organization, they’ve been a part of a core team that’s run statewide issue and electoral campaigns, for candidates as high up as Governor and down to local municipal races. They’ve worked on both defensive and proactive legislative campaigns, for issues such as raising the minimum wage, defeating Right to Work, winning transgender nondiscrimination, and much more.
Previously living on the south shore of Lake Superior, Anthony attended Northland College, a small environmental and social change institute, where they received their B.S. in Mathematical Science with an emphasis in Indigenous Studies, as well as a quantitative focus and minor in Physics, with a double minor in Environmental Law & Policy. While there, they organized with grassroots, grasstops, and local Indigenous reservations to prevent legislation permitting mountain top removal, open pit mining, concentrated animal feeding operations, the Illiana Tollway, and the Keystone XL Pipeline. Anthony grew up in the Chicagoland area before relocating to the south shore of Lake Superior and ultimately Manchester, New Hampshire.
Lauren currently serves as the Communications Director for the SEA/SEIU Local 1984, a labor union representing 12,000 workers across the Granite State. As the head of the communications department, Lauren oversees all outward and internal communications for the union, as well as the management of social media channels, email marketing, and media outreach. She and her team dedicate their time to elevate member voices and fight for the rights of working people and their families.
Prior to joining the SEA, Lauren worked for public relations agencies in Portsmouth, NH and Minneapolis, MN, specializing in corporate, nonprofit, and crisis communications.
Lauren is member of the New Hampshire Women’s Foundation, serving as a Foundation Ambassador and member of the Communications Committee. She is also a former board member of Art-Speak, a nonprofit dedicating to elevating community arts on the Seacoast.
Originally hailing from the Midwest, Lauren attended Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, earning a B.A. in both advertising and history. In her free time, she enjoys reading, attempting to finish crossword puzzles, and exploring all New England has to offer.
Arya Thapa grew up in NH, went to Manchester Central High School and graduated from Saint Anselm College with an International Relations and Economics major in May 2017.
In College Arya served as President of the College’s Honors Council and International Relations Club. As President she helped coordinate community wide discussions and lectures with experts from each field on relevant current event issues such as: Syrian Refugee Crisis, Bio-Ethics, TPP Trade Agreement, etc. Furthermore, she helped secure funding and coordinated other logistics that allowed the IR Club to participate in the Harvard Model United Nations. Arya was an integral member of the group that initiated the first food recovery program at St. Anselem College. This program facilitated campus involvement with local communities by safely donating unused food items from the Dining hall to local food banks. She also spearheaded the fundraiser for Nepal’s Earthquake Relief raising over $3000 in a span of two weeks.
After graduation, Arya travelled to South East Asia where she was able to visit and volunteer in regions exposed to commercial human trafficking. She is very passionate about raising awareness about this issue and completed an honors Senior Capstone Thesis examining trafficking in Nepal and India. She is an ardent believer in the power of diversity and wants to lead her professional career open to new ideas. She is a strong supporter for improving economic inequality and protecting our environment. She believes progressive ideals of feminism, inclusion of diverse workforce, and openness for trade and migration as vital to the sustenance of our community and economy.
Arya is now working in the Office of U.S Senator Jeanne Shaheen in her Manchester Field Office and enjoys the opportunity to see meaningful changes in the lives of NH Residents.
Athena Valkanos is a passionate organizer with a diverse range of experience. She is a current senior and Honors student at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) pursuing a dual major in sociology and sustainability, graduating in May 2018. In the past four years, Athena has worked for a host of progressive causes. Throughout her college career, Athena spent her time as an active student organizer with the UNH Student Environmental Action Coalition. In the 2016 primary elections, Athena served as Vice President and Staging Location Director for the UNH Students for Bernie Sanders Organization. She continued working into the general election as a fellow for the environmental organizations, 350 Action and Next Generation Climate, pushing local and federal level candidates to prioritize climate justice. In January 2017, she interned with Planned Parenthood Action of Northern New England. Over the summer, she was a research assistant for a UNH sustainability professor, working closely with the Coastal Adaptation Work Group, a committee of scientists and municipal leaders helping NH seacoast communities adapt to rising sea levels.
Today, Athena is a board member on the local non-profit organization (Open Democracy), serves on the UNH sociology department undergraduate committee, and enjoys hosting at Margaritas in Dover on the weekends. She is focused on obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree and applying to graduate school for a Master’s program in the Fall 2018. Athena is an aspiring sociologist and engaged activist, committed to applying her skills to creating real, systemic change. Ultimately, she hopes to one day serve as a political campaign manager for a progressive presidential candidate.
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