Just look around. How lucky we are to enjoy this beautiful mountain playground. But not everyone gets to enjoy all our area has to offer or has the opportunity to build a fulfilling life here.
So in 2018, The River Fund Maine was founded with the goal of creating educational and recreational experiences that can truly change lives. By granting college scholarships, facilitating educational workshops, and supporting community needs, TRFM focuses on bringing all of us who live, work, and play here together to help our community unleash its potential.
To create a bright economic future for our community by investing in the education of our youth and by harnessing the recreational assets of our region
A community building a bright future for youth
Jean Benedict is a development economist with over 25 years of experience managing personnel, resources, and projects in both the public and private sector with significant core expertise in private sector development. Jean has extensive project management and strategy development experience in post-conflict and emerging economies including Sierra Leone, Kenya, Croatia, Malawi, and Palestine. Most recently, Jean worked for the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) supporting the start up of the Palestinian Office of Shurook, an investment and consulting firm. Prior to working with Shurook, Jean worked as the Chief of Staff and Private Sector Advisor for the Office of the Quartet also under the United Nations umbrella in Jerusalem.
Secretary / Compliance Officer
Mirza Cifric is co-founder and CEO of Veritas Genetics. Although beginning as an electrical engineer, Mirza quickly moved into creating companies that stand at the intersection of technology and biology. As a dedicated entrepreneur in the life sciences space, Mirza has founded and successfully sold three other companies before creating Veritas. In addition to being an angel investor in life sciences companies, Mirza sits on several company and not-for-profit boards. He is also a former Trustee of Endicott College.
By combining her broad knowledge of science (BA in Biology and MA in Environmental Science) with her passion for teaching, Sarah has quickly become a highly admired educator. Sarah is on staff at Telstar Middle School in Bethel where she has applied her skills in curriculum development and teaching sixth-grade science. A dedicated mountain biker, she has collaborated with the Mahoosuc Kids Association to establish an after school middle school mountain biking program and helped to develop a seasonal mountain bike program at the Mt. Abram Bike Park, where Sarah also serves as a Mountain Bike Coach and Mentor to younger staff. Sarah currently serves as Chair of TRFM’s Education Committee.
Jim is a revenue growth strategist who works with early stage start-ups to design & build sustainable commercial functions. Having spent the majority of his career in tech consulting, Jim has enjoyed working with a range of customers, including numerous non-profits, to drive innovation through technology enablement. This is Jim’ s first non-profit board-seat. He is honored to contribute to the Greater Bethel community, which he feels a deep personal connection to & enjoys sharing with his wife & two young sons.
Julia is the Designated Broker and Manager of Sunday River Real Estate. After starting her real estate career in 2000, she partnered to form her own real estate company in Bethel before joining and expanding the real estate team at the resort. Julia has served on the executive boards of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce and the Mahoosuc Arts Council. Julia lives in Bethel with her daughter Charlotte who attends Gould Academy class of ’24. A graduate of Gould ’87, Julia attended college in NYC. She was called back to the mountains more than a decade later to find Bethel poised for growth. Julia has been involved in the greater Bethel community for more than 25 years.
Lisa Gordon is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Gordway Technology Partners, a cloud-native digital solutions company headquartered in Boston. Lisa is also a Partner in Gordway Group, an Independent consulting practice, counseling not-for-profit, start-up and pre-IPO companies in strategic planning, implementation of new business initiatives and corporate communications. Lisa has served on many nonprofit boards leading fundraising efforts, participating in grant making and grant oversight and participating in strategic planning, among other activities, and volunteers with several non-profit organizations. Lisa and her family have a second home in Newry and are enthusiastic participants in the Sunday River Resort community.
Wade grew up in Winthrop, Maine and received a degree in Economics from Bowdoin College. After first teaching and coaching at Gould Academy, Wade spent a decade in Brooklyn, NY in a collaborative art practice. When Wade is not engaged in showing his work internationally, he and his wife re-opened The Gem, the local movie theater in Bethel.
Jim retired in 2018 after 40 years in the healthcare industry, the last 10 as the President and CEO of Yankee Alliance, Inc. a not for profit dedicated to reducing operating costs of its member institutions. He served on and chaired multiple committees at Premier, a national healthcare alliance. His success was recognized through his induction into the Bellwether League’s Hall of Fame for Supply Chain Leadership.
Bob has been working in the investment industry for over twenty-five years in various business development roles since graduating with an MBA and BA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society.
SARA WHALEN SHIFRIN
After earning a BA (St. Michel’s College, 1992) and an MA (Middlebury Bread Loaf School, 2001) in English, Sara Shifrin has dedicated her life to educating students in the Bethel area. On staff at Gould Academy since 1993, Sara has held traditional academic appointments ranging from Director of the Writing Center and Chair of the English Department to more managerial and innovation-focused roles such as Director of the Library, Program Developer for the Tanzania Education Cooperative, and Director of the Marlon Family IDEAS Center. With her interest and extensive background in innovation and entrepreneurship, Sara currently serves as Gould Academy’s Director of Innovation and as a Facilitator for the “Learning Environments for Tomorrow” program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
BOARD MEMBERS EMERITI
Stuart is CEO & Managing Partner of Ora ADG, where his acumen in science and business has helped grow Ora from a small family business to a multinational clinical research organization. Driven by a passion for innovation, Stuart has 20 years of broad experience in business and marketing strategy, international operations, M&A, licensing, product and business model innovation. In addition to serving on multiple nonprofit and corporate boards, Stuart has shown his active commitment to Maine youth by serving as a Trustee for both Bates College and Gould Academy.
Beth has been the Board Chair of the Copenhagen International School U.S. Foundation since 2016 and was a Board Member of the Copenhagen International School prior to that. She has held various positions within her community: leading fundraising efforts and serving as president of various philanthropic organizations, including supporting afterschool programs at the Ronald McDonald House of New York City. Earlier in her career, Beth held manufacturing management positions with Frito-Lay and Kraft General Foods.
Joe is and has been the Engineering Manager at Sunday River Resort for the last thirty years. He is active in the community serving on the Mahoosuc Land Trust Board the Board of the Androscoggin River Watershed Council and previously the Newry Planning Board.
Leslie served as head of Corporate Audit, Director of Engineering Services, and as Chief Information Officer for General Instrument, the world’s largest provider of equipment for the cable industry, before joining Motorola in 2000. She completed her career as Senior Vice-President & Chief Information Officer for Motorola Solutions. In additional to broad technology advisory board work, Leslie has been active in board committee activities for the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation and has served as an Executive Trustee for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago.
With more than 30 years of ski industry and management experience, Dana Bullen currently serves as the President and General Manager of Sunday River. An inductee into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 2017 for his many contributions to the state’s ski industry, Dana has spent his career not only growing the resort, but also fostering a positive and philanthropic relationship with the region surrounding Sunday River through the Sunday River Community Fund.
Allen has over thirty years of experience in the hospitality industry and is a Managing Partner of The Bethel inn Resort. Active in the community, Allen has served on numerous boards including: The New England Inns and Resorts Association, as State Vice President; Western Maine Health, Board of Trustees and Finance Committee; The Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce, as President; Rotary Club of Bethel, as Club Services Chair and is currently on the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s National Resort Committee, as a member of the Executive Board of Directors.
Amy Halsted is thirty-five years a creative director with clients as diverse as superyacht owners and the industry, familiar global lux brands, and worthy causes. Amy is co-founder of In Medias Res Creative, owner of The Barn Collection, handles multi-media creative services for clients, and spends lots of time volunteering. If she’s slow to respond, she’s either gardening, skiing, hiking or meditating, clearing the way for a steady stream of creative ideas and opportunities for free-spirited debate while providing balanced and deeply rooted strategies for success.
Caitlyn is the Executive Director of Find The Cause Breast Cancer Foundation, funding cutting edge research on the environmental risk factors for cancer. Prior to that, Caitlyn was the Director of Corporate Initiatives for the Massachusetts/New Hampshire Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association where she grew corporate and foundation support to multi-million dollar revenue annually. Caitlyn has had a long career in the non profit sector working for various voluntary health organizations. Caitlyn, her husband Jason, along with their dog Surfer, live in Wellesley and have a home in Newry where they enjoy being part of the Sunday River community.
Noah is well known within the Sunday River and greater Bethel communities and has a keen sense about knitting together the local, second homeowner and visitor populations. A regular host of OutsideTV’s “Wake Up Sunday River!”, Tanguay-Collins has worked at Sunday River Resort since 2016 in increasingly dynamic positions, most recently in the management and growth of Sunday River’s wedding business. When several years ago, The River Fund Maine developed from the former Sunday River Community Fund, Tanguay-Collins facilitated its vision, mission, and core tenets along with a talented team of devoted and soon-to-be-appointed directors. Noah served as Director of Fundraising and Co-President of Endicott College’s DECA Organization, and as Vice-President of the Sunday River Community Fund’s Advisory Board. Noah is also an active participant in Endicott College’s Gold Alumni Council and Cornerstone Society, and is Vice Chair of the Central Maine Healthcare Advisory Committee.