Board of Directors
President: Leslie A. Forstadt, PhD
Leslie lived in the Midwest before moving to Maine in 2004. Since 2007, she’s worked at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension on campus in Orono. She earned her PhD in Educational Psychology and her research focused on alternative education for youth at-risk for high school dropout. Her current work in Human Development with UMaine Extension focuses on communication and well-being of farm families and awareness of ACEs and resilience in farms and beyond. She was a founding member of the Maine Resilience Building Network and served on the Leadership Team before transitioning to Board President. In 2019, she completed her certification in mediation. She loves spending time with her husband and two sons, and practicing communication moment by moment in her precious time with friends and family.
Catharine Biddle, PhD
Dr. Biddle’ is an Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Maine. Her research focuses on ways in which rural schools and communities respond to social and economic change, particularly in how schools can more effectively leverage partnerships with external organizations or groups to address issues of social inequality and how non-traditional leaders—such as youth, parents and other community members—may lead or serve as partners in these efforts. Her interests are driven by her professional background in community development that leverages schools. Prior to joining the faculty at UMaine, she spent five years as a research affiliate with the Center on Rural Education and Communities at the Pennsylvania State University and two years as the managing editor of the Journal of Research in Rural Education. Dr. Biddle also served as the executive director of the Nanubhai Education Foundation, an international education nonprofit working in rural India, and as an out of school time educator for the national nonprofit organization Citizen Schools.
Darylen Cote, MS, LSW
Darylen has been the Director of TRIO College Access Services at the University of Maine at Presque Isle for the past 15 years, managing two Upward Bound projects and an Educational Talent Search program. She has been a foster parent and a member of the Youth Leadership Advisory Team (YLAT) for the Muskie School of Public Service and DHHS, a group working to empower and improve the lives of youth in care. Prior to her work in TRIO, Darylen coordinated educational services for a family planning and adolescent health program at ACAP, a Community Action agency, and also worked as a school/community liaison for the Civil Rights Team Project in the office of Maine’s Attorney General. She taught English at the high school level and human sexuality at the college level, as well as management workshops for the American Management Association at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. She is a champion for health, education and equity, particularly for women and girls, and a long-time social justice advocate for opportunities and policies that lift people from poverty and improve the lives of Maine people.
Deborah Deatrick, MPH
Deborah is a public health professional with more than 30 years of experience in developing, leading and evaluating population health initiatives, focusing on tobacco prevention and control, obesity, asthma, child health, access to care, and other issues, with a focus on multisector projects that align clinical, community, and policy interventions to achieve measurable outcomes. Ms. Deatrick recently retired as Senior Vice President for Community Health Improvement for MaineHealth and is currently an independent consultant. At MaineHealth, she co-founded the nationally-recognized Center for Tobacco Independence, the Let’s Go! childhood obesity prevention program, the Health Index, and AH! Asthma Health among other regional and statewide population health initiatives. Prior to her tenure at MaineHealth she was executive director of a national organization that focused on shared health decision making, led a statewide health research consortium based at USM, directed the state dental public health program and taught part time in several universities and colleges. She holds bachelors and masters degrees from the University of Michigan and completed doctoral level coursework in evaluation at the University of Houston and the University of Maine.
Shannon began her career in reproductive health 4 decades ago. She began by working at a Family Planning clinic, as an intake counselor, in Waterville, Maine. Over the next twenty years working at the Kennebec Valley Community Action Program she followed her interest in reproductive, adolescent and women's health. She ended her career working for 15 years at the State of Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. During that time in addition to other program management Shannon was the State's Adolescent Health Coordinator and the Women's Health Coordinator. Since retiring, in 2017, she has become a member of Grandmothers for Reproductive Rights (GRR) and continues to advocate for women’s and girl’s health.
Daniel Puhlman, PhD (pending board confirmation)
Dr. Puhlman is a faculty member in the human development and family studies program at University of Maine, part of the School of Educational Leadership, Higher Education and Human Development. His research is focused on family processes such as fathering and parenting. Specifically, he looks at co-parenting relationships and how mothers and fathers influence one another in the raising of children. Daniel’s work centers around theory development and qualitative exploration of these family processes. He is also a Marriage and Family Therapist and has worked clinically with families for the past 15 years. He received a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. Daniel comes to the University of Maine with his wife Jane and 3 children, Max, Nathyn, and Jack. He is from Pittsburgh and is an avid Penguins fan and loves to be outdoors.
Timothy E. Robbins, Esq.
Tim Robbins serves as the Executive Director of the Kids First Center, a Maine non-profit dedicated to reducing the impact of trauma that children often experience when their parents divorce or separate. In this capacity, he works with the Maine Judicial Branch, the IPV community, and private legal and mental health professionals. Tim is also a member of the Family Law Advisory Commission where he is responsible to help craft family law policy and advise the legislature on family law matters. Prior to Kids First, he ran a small law office specializing in family law, child advocacy, and dispute resolution. He served as guardian ad litem to children in family and child protective cases and is a trained mediator. He has served as a referee/private judge in family disputes. As a facilitator of Kids First programming, he has worked with hundreds of co-parenting partnerships to help them reduce and manage their conflict. Tim was a member of curriculum design team of the Intensive Co-Parenting Education Program (ICOPE), a nine-week court-ordered program for parents in high conflict. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maine School of Law and is admitted to practice in the State of Maine, the United States District Court, and the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals. Tim lives with his wife and two children in Cape Elizabeth.
Amy Trunnell, CPA
Amy is a practicing CPA in Readfield, Maine. Amy began her accounting career with one of the Big 8 firms in Houston, Texas. Once she settled in Maine, she began working with small regional firms and in 1996, started her own business in Readfield, focusing on providing full service accounting services, with an emphasis on the nonprofit sector. Amy has a passion for the outdoors and preserving the land. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Kennebec Land Trust for over twenty years and is currently their treasurer. The Land Trust promotes sustainable forestry, conservation of woodlands and ecological reserves, promotes reduced energy consumption, use of natural resources and provides support for loggers, land owners, manufacturers and consumers. In addition to her love of the outdoors, Amy enjoys hiking and playing tennis. She is married and has two grown sons and two grandchildren.