Noreen holds a B.A. from Haverford College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She is a partner with the firm of Eaton Peabody in Brunswick, where she focuses on commercial and real estate litigation. She was previously President of the Board of Directors of the Maine Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She resides in Durham with her husband and two young daughters.
Board and Committees
Maine Women's Fund 2018-19 Board of Directors
Board and committee members of the Maine Women’s Fund donate invaluable time, expertise and financial resources to our mission and represent communities throughout Maine.
Noreen Alvarado Patient, Esq.
Janice is Corporate Vice President of Human Resources of Diversified Communications, a global media solutions company headquartered in Portland. Janice is responsible for establishing the strategic direction and growth of the global Human Resources operation. Under Janice’s direction, Diversified has developed a unique employee-centric culture that fosters a challenging, rewarding work environment where people succeed while having fun along the way. Prior to Diversified Communications, Janice worked as a Human Resources Manager at Maine Medical Center, and as a Human Resources generalist at MiTech, an engineering firm in Washington, DC. A 1989 graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Janice earned her B.A. in French Language and Literature, and has pursued advanced studies in Human Resources Strategy and Leadership. She is certified by the Human Resources Certification Institute as a Global Professional in Human Resources. She resides in South Portland with her husband of 20 years, Darrell, and their daughter Samantha and son Nathan.
Melissa is a managing partner and director at Hightower Advisors. Prior to joining HighTower, Melissa was the Founder and Managing Partner at Duffy Anderson Investment Management, LLC, a $300 million asset management firm in Cumberland, Maine. Over the past 20 years Melissa has worked in many areas of financial services at Fidelity Investments, Charles Schwab, and State Street. Melissa currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Wayfinder Schools, and has served on the board of ChoralART and The Junior League of Portland. Melissa lives in Cumberland, Maine and enjoys skiing, hiking and camping with her two daughters.
Candace Walworth, MD
Candace is a retired nephrologist. She received her AB summa cum laude from Smith College and her medical degree from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. She is past president of the Maine Nephrology Society, and former board member of the Renal Physicians Association. She served as Chief of Medicine at Central Maine Medical Center from 1992-1996. This spring, Candace was blessed with her first 2 grandchildren (Mainers-girl and boy). This is her best job ever.
Aga is a senior counsel at FordMurray, a Portland-based law firm specializing exclusively in immigration law. She joined the firm in the spring of 2018, after owning a private immigration law practice. Aga’s work resonates deeply with her personal experience of going through the immigration process herself, when she first moved to the United States from her home country, Poland, more than 10 years ago. Aga earned her J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law. She holds a Master of Arts in Law from Poland and was awarded an Associate of Science in Legal Studies from Quincy College, Massachusetts.
Aga has served as Community Grant Reviewer for the Fund’s Swift Social Justice Grants committee since March 2017. She is past board member of Women United Around the World. Aga lives in Portland and enjoys traveling, skiing, cooking, and spending time with her dogs.
When I was a child, I started spending time in the Blue Hill area, and permanently moving to Maine quickly became my dream. I deeply love this state and feel fortunate to now call it my home. While I live in Maine, I work remotely for MIT, where I co-founded and lead the Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC), the flagship program at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy. The IIC is a global award program for entrepreneurial organizations that use technology to increase economic opportunity for workers around the world and reinvent the future of work. My job enables me to positively impact mission-driven organizations around the world and to ensure that fewer people are left behind economically as digital technology races ahead.
I feel particularly strongly about the Maine Women’s Fund’s mission to transform the lives of women and girls. My feminist parents brought my two sisters and me up to be resilient and independent. While I was taught that I could do “anything a boy can do”, we still have a long way to go before all girls know this to be true and before it is indeed possible.
Deqa Dhalac is a passionate advocate for the immigrant community with extensive experience in social services, public health. She currently works for The Center for Grieving Children as the Intercultural Program Manager. She previously worked for The Opportunity Alliance as a community builder and the City of Portland Social Services Division as a Human Service Counselor where she worked closely with refugees, immigrants and asylum seekers and survivor of torture clients. Deqa is the acting board president for the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and serves numerous other boards and advisory boards in Maine.
Deqa has a Master’s Degree in Development Policy and Practice from University of New Hampshire and MSW from University of New England. She is a certified language tester and cultural skill trainer and has been providing broad mediation for patients/clients in different settings with service providers to ensure they get their needs met.
Gabrielle is the Director of Mission Impact at Spurwink, where she develops, funds, and raises visibility for behavioral health programs. She has provided strategic program and fund development for nonprofits for more than 20 years, raising nearly $35M for health, women and girls, economic development, racial justice, and youth. While at the YWCA USA, Gabrielle co-created YWCA TechGYRLS, a STEM program for girls in over 65 locations, and co-convened the First National Girls Conference at the UN. A graduate of Oberlin College, she is committed to social change efforts that address gender equity, racial justice, and the arts. She is currently on the board of Engine, an arts and creative economy organization in Biddeford, and served as Board Chair of Platform Shoes Forum, a nonprofit that developed online learning platforms and communities for girls. When she moved to Maine 15 years ago she found a community of women that inspired her in the New Girls Network at the Maine Women’s Fund. She lives in Saco with her husband and son.
Mary holds a BA from Smith College and MA from the University of Southern Maine in Public Policy and Management. She has served as the Representative to the Maine Legislature for District 112, which includes Falmouth. She is past president of the board of Portland Symphony Orchestra, Choral Arts Society, Osher Library, Friends of the USM School of Music and Maine College of Art, and has served on the board of the Maine Municipal Association and is a corporator of Maine Medical Center.
Catherine Richards Olney
Catherine is a community volunteer and recent graduate of ICL’s (Institute for Civic Leadership) Leadership Intensive program. She is a founding board member of Coastal Studies for Girls, a science and leadership school, where she served for seven years. Catherine is the current board Chair for the Isle au Haut Community Development Corporation and also sits on the board of Freeport Community Services. She has a love for collaborative work and empowering girls and women. Catherine resides in Freeport with her husband, Bob, and two children, Aidan and Elspeth.
Arabella Pérez is clinical faculty at the University of New England’s School of Social and the coordinator of the Trauma-Informed Certificate program for UNE’s Westbrook College of Health Professions. Her many responsibilities include teaching, advising, facilitating grant-funded initiatives, and publishing on the topic of trauma and cultural competency. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Tulane University in New
Orleans and has been a practicing social worker and therapist for 25 years. She is a certified cultural competency trainer and has presented both locally and nationally on Trauma Systems Change, Cultural and Linguistic Competency issues, and Youth-Adult Partnerships. She provides federal monitoring coordination, and technical assistance and consultation to states and communities on the development of traumainformed systems of care as a consultant for the University of Maryland’s Technical Assistance Network. She is a native Spanish speaker and daughter of parents from Cuba and Puerto Rico and although she is not a Mainer she is in love ith Maine summers and an active member of the Portland community.
In her spare time, she teaches Zumba four days a week and is currently enrolled in a Yoga Teacher Trainer with plans to become a certified Trauma Sensitive Yoga Instructor and volunteer with Sea Change Yoga, a non profit dedicated to brining yoga to people who don’t have access to this healing practice.
Ms. Smyth is the Chief Experience and Marketing Officer of Camden National Bank. She joined as Chief Marketing Officer upon completion of the merger of Camden National Corporation and SBM Financial, the parent company of The Bank of Maine, on October 16, 2015. She was promoted to Executive Vice President (“EVP”), Chief Experience and Marketing Officer in May 2017. Ms. Smyth oversees the company’s customer experience and marketing strategies while ensuring they support the overall objectives of the organization. Additionally, she is responsible for the company’s digital transformations, and the customer assistance center. Previously, Ms. Smyth served as Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing for The Bank of Maine, since 2010. Smyth has a Master of Business Administration from The University of Hartford’s Barney School of Management and a bachelor’s of science from Ithaca College. Smyth is married and has two daughters and a son.
Natalie Solotoff, CPA, JD
Natalie serves on the Fund’s Finance, Leadership Gifts and Executive committees. She is a Tax Senior Manager at Baker Newman Noyes, where she has worked since 2008. She specializes in tax compliance and planning for high wealth individuals. In addition to obtaining her CPA designation in 2012, Natalie received her law degree in 2007 from the University of Connecticut School of Law. A native of Pensacola, Florida, Natalie received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Davidson College. Natalie serves on the board of Hebrew Free Loans of Maine, the Investment Advisory Committee of the Southern Maine Section of the National Council of Jewish Women, and has served as a volunteer with the Junior League of Portland and as Treasurer of the Blue Angels Foundation. She lives with her husband and son in Portland.
Sarah is the President of Strategic Wisdom Partners, a consulting practice that serves non-profit, health care, education, government and other public agencies in Maine. SWP’s mission is to activate the wise hearts and creative, strategic minds of community leaders and citizens so they can be catalysts for sustainability and resilience in their communities and organizations. Sarah’s work with clients includes scenario and strategic planning; meeting design, convening and facilitation; board governance and development; and coaching for emerging non-profit leaders. Sarah’s home is in Robbinston on the beautiful St. Croix River and Passamaquoddy Bay. She has been an activist for women and girls social, reproductive and economic justice for many years. Sarah also serves on the boards of Cobscook Community Learning Center, the Robbinston Historical Society, and the Center for Earth Wisdom.