The Rev. Susan Murphy has been an active member of the Sanford Strong Coalition for the past 13 years. Formerly the Rector, (now retired) at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Sanford, she promoted the church-sponsored after school programs the “Kids Supper Club” and the ”Teen Coffee House Gathering Grounds” in keeping with the goals of making after school programs available to students who might otherwise not have a safe place to go.
Recognizing the need to address substance abuse and recovery, she has served as an active member of the Drug Task Force with St. George’s supporting the SIRP (Student Intervention Reintegration Program) and supports group efforts at the Jr. and Sr. High school for affecting teens.
Rev. Susan serves as a member of the Sanford Food Pantry Board of Directors and volunteers there as well.
Committed to the well being of our children and Youth, she brings an enthusiasm for community coalitions and programs and a commitment to helping the greater Sanford area thrive as a member of the Strategies Board of Directors.
Kendra Williams (Board Vice President, Strategies for a Stronger Sanford)
Kendra is a Sanford native, raised by two Sanford educators. She lived with her husband, Paul, in Danvers, MA for the first few years of their marriage and then returned to Sanford and bought the home that they still live in after the birth of their first child, Shawnda. They subsequently had two sons, Blaine and Brett. All are Sanford High graduates and returned here after college to live and work in Sanford with their families, which include 6 grandchildren. Kendra and Paul founded Williams Foundations in 1974 and are pleased that one of their sons now owns the business and has continued to successfully expand it.
Kendra also established a children’s clothing store, Kids Kasuals in 1979. After selling it she returned to college to complete her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She initially worked in the field of child welfare before returning to school to earn her Master’s Degree in Social Work and then obtained her clinical license. She has held jobs in management and program development for organizations including Youth Alternatives, Woodfords Family Services and as the Director of Home Visiting and Community Programs for Goodall Hospital and SMMC.
After becoming further certified in Grief Counseling, she opened her own counseling practice specializing in grief and family counseling, from which she has recently (almost) retired. Over time, she has served on various committees in this community including the Warrant Committee, Community Development Advisory Committee, Group Home Advisory Committee and the Performing Arts Committee and WSSR Advisory Committee. She was a member of the Sanford School Committee for 10 years and is currently on the Core Building Committee, Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation Board, and Strategies for a Stronger Sanford Board.
Dorrie was born and raised here in Sanford. She is the proud parent of of two sons and lives here with her husband of more than 35 years. Dorrie has a degree in nursing and business management and is a certified project manager. She brings experience in health care, health insurance and project management. Dorrie is involved with local community groups and spent more than 10 years as a youth leader.
Lisa Blanchette (Board Ex Officio, Strategies for a Stronger Sanford), Operations Manager, Sanford Community Adult Education, Sanford School Department
Lisa may not fit the “official” definition of a Sanford native, but she was raised in Sanford from the age of 3; she and her husband have raised her three children here; and her daughter is raising her 2 grandchildren here. When Lisa’s youngest child was in Junior High she was made aware of a new program being put into action by the school resource officers in the Sanford Public Schools, and immediately became involved as an active parent and executive board member of this initiative later to be named, Sanford Police Cadets and Youth Initiatives (her son graduated from Sanford High School and the Cadet program). Through her work at Sanford Community Adult Education over the past 30 years, Lisa has seen the result of children who have not had positive experiences and have come back for a second chance but the work that Strategies and SPC&YI is doing is an attempt to make the first try a positive experience and she wants to be a part of that. Lisa is an active member of the CrossRoads United Methodist Church and serves on several of their committees and sings in the choir.
Marleah is a York County native with strong ties to Sanford and surrounding communities. She is currently the Resiliency Coordinator at Biddeford Middle School and had previously worked for Southern Maine Healthcare in their Community Health department, serving the Sanford Community. Marleah is involved heavily with youth and high school sports in the area as a coach and volunteer. Through her work in education, athletics, and prevention, Marleah has seen the positive and life-changing impact that strong community partnerships and programs can have on the lives of children and young people. She is committed to building and sustaining strong community relationships that will thrive and affect positive change at the local level.
Cherylan Demers, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Crisis.
supervisor, trainer, and clinician in acute behavioral health and substance use services in hospital, schools, and other community based settings.
- Cheryl lives in Acton, Maine. She has 3 children Ryan, Summer and Brooke, all who share a deep passion for their community roots and service to others. She currently works at Maine Behavioral Healthcare as the Crisis Response Services Community Outreach Program Coordinator.
- She has also worked for MBH/Maine Health as the Training & Public Relations Coordinator for Crisis Response Services MaineHealth.
- She is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor and MHRTC-CSP and is also a Notary Public.
- CIT-Law Enforcement Instructor and training support liaison on behalf of Maine Behavioral Healthcare for N.A.M.I.-Maine.
- She is a State of Maine Youth Suicide Awareness Trainer, LOCUS, MHRT-C-CSP trainer & a Maine Behavioral Health Disaster Team Member.
- Cheryl has served her community professionally and on a volunteer basis most of her adult life, she has formerly served on the Board of Directors of Caring Unlimited, The Acton Parent Teacher Group, Acton Recreation Board, York County Travel Basketball League Board, The Sanford Strong Coalition, CPPC committee, Allied Public Health Committee, and The Drug Free Community Task Force, Sanford High School Project Graduation Committee 2013, Chair 2017 and Chair for 2019.
- She currently serves as the Vice President of Sanford Alumni Association, Board Member for the Sanford Legacy Foundation as well as a Board Member for Strategies for a Stronger Sanford.
- In addition to these groups she has served on various task forces and sub committees in the community including the York County Opiate Task Force.
Cheryl believes strongly in community involvement and working with various grassroots efforts that impact community change.
Anne-Marie Mastraccio, City of Sanford Mayor, Sanford, ME.
Emily Sheffield, Executive Director, Nasson Community Center
Emily came to Maine via New Hampshire in 2004 where she was born and raised in a small town. She is the proud mother of two children, Nathan and Madison. She quickly became involved in the Sanford Community through her love of the local youth. She graduated from the first cohort of the Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI). She then went on to facilitator training in Virginia and began facilitating the next cohort of graduates. She received a Strategies for a Stronger Sanford High Five award for her advocacy on the school budget. She was a member of the Build Our Future Committee which raised awareness on both the High School and Elementary School projects. She became a member of the Nasson Community Center board of directors which eventually led her to become employed there as the Executive Director. She also is member of the Sanford School Committee serving her first term.
Kristen Wiegand, Workforce Development Coordinator, York County Community College
Kristen has been an active community member, along with her husband, in Sanford, have raised their three children – Spencer, Kourtney, and Peyton – and provided love and care for foster children for more than ten years. Kristen and Sean have two beautiful grandchildren, Iauna and Carson. Kristen spent many years volunteering throughout her children’s school years by assisting with volunteer recruiting and data collection, serving on Project Graduation committees, Powder Puff Football fundraising, and being a member of the Build Our Future Committee. She also has a strong connection to Strategies, as she was a parent coordinator for Strategies for a Stronger Sanford and Our Schools Our Future from 2012 to 2014. She is an active member of St Therese of Lisieux Church – Holy Family, and serves on the ACTS Team. Kristen brings experience in organizational leadership, parenting leadership, and grass-roots development. Her work in education and her own education experiences continue to spark her passion for life-long learning and opportunities for all.
Picture to be updated.
Teena Bourque, Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch
She has been involved in coaching cheering, t-ball, soccer and Girls on the Run throughout the years. She has also served as a member of the St. Thomas Development Council.
Teena has been employed in the financial services industry for over 25 years and is a Senior Financial Advisor at Merrill Lynch.
Shawn is a reporter for the York County Coast Star, a weekly newspaper that covers Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Wells, Arundel, Sanford and Ogunquit, Maine. In previous years, he served as the editor of two weekly publications, including the Sanford News, his hometown newspaper that he once delivered as a youth. He also once served as a coastal editor for Foster’s Daily Democrat, a newspaper based in Dover, New Hampshire. He also is a columnist whose pieces have been honored with multiple awards from the Maine Press Association and the New England Newspaper Press Association. In 2017, he self-published a collection of his columns, “Islands in the Chaotic Ocean of Life.” Shawn was born and raised in Sanford and is a 1990 graduate of Sanford High School.
Melissa is an Aroostook County Native that believes in the power of a Strong Community. Moving to York County 13 Years ago, she met her husband and started-raised her family here. As an active Member of the Sanford PTA over the past few years, she really wanted to make a difference for the youth in our community. Being a Positive Influencer has always been a passion of Melissa’s and she believes that our children are most important. Sanford is her home and she is thrilled to join in the efforts to make the Sanford Community a better place. Currently raising her two daughters here, both enrolled in the Sanford Public School Department, she has found a calling to help as much as she can and strives to do more. Her daughters also attend many outside programs in the community and they are always eager to help in the efforts of giving back. Wanting to be more involved and find ways to bring the community together, Melissa started offering a Kids Crafts in the park and coordinated a City Wide Yard Sale. When researching where she should donate proceeds from her efforts she found Strategies for a Stronger Sanford to be the perfect fit. Knowing this program is about bringing the community together and supporting each other it just made sense. Bringing people together really is a vital part of making a difference.