Our Founders

The Maine Women's Fund was founded through the efforts of Gloria W. Milliken of New York City and Westport, Maine, who was a founder and board member of the New York Women's Foundation.

At Gloria Milliken's urging, Ellen V.P. Wells of Falmouth, Maine, and Jacqueline Libby of Portland, Maine, held an introductory meeting at Camp Hammond in Yarmouth in 1988 to gather support for establishing the Maine Women's Fund. Helen LaKelly Hunt, a member of the board of the National Network of Women's Funds, headquartered in Minneapolis, was the meeting's keynote speaker. She urged those attending to establish a Maine women's foundation, and she pointed out that across the nation, less than five percent of philanthropic giving supported programs addressing the needs of women and girls. Tracy V. Booth of Cumberland, who was present at the Camp Hammond meeting, offered to hold a follow-up meeting at her home for those interested in doing more. Over twenty women attended, and on June 22, 1988, the Maine Women's Fund was established.   



Photo above left, 2014: Six founding board members of the Maine Women's Fund gathered to reminisce and plan for the future of the Fund. Over tea on a brisk, sunny Sunday afternoon, founding board member Carol Ward hosted the group and CEO Sarah Ruef-Lindquist. They shared the vision that created the Fund, the impact the Fund has had since its first year of grantmaking 25 years ago, and how that vision is being carried forward for the next 25 years and beyond. Stories about how their mothers influenced them as people and philanthropists, and what they found--and still find--so compelling about Maine's only philanthropy focused solely on women and girls provided for great conversation and inspiration. Their dedication to the Fund remains a gift to Maine women and girls.

Seated, from left to right: Nancy Herter, Anne Zill, Destry Oldham-Sibley, Nancy Anderson
Standing, from left to right: Carol Ward, Margot Milliken

Photo above right, 1990: While cleaning out our offices, we came across a wonderful photo. We immediately recognized many faces, and came to realize that the photo, dated 1990, shows many of our Founders, perhaps at one of the founding gatherings. 

First row, seated left to right: Margot Milliken, Destry Oldham-Sibley, Mary Hillas, Jean Evans
Second row: Ellen Wells, Nancy Herter, Unidentified, Phoebe M. Whipple
Third row: Deborah Johnston, Jacquelin Libby, Carol Ward, Minnette Cummings, Nancy Anderson, Geraldine Dorsey
Founding board members not pictured:
Tracy Booth, Beth Edmonds, Lucinda Lang, Gloria Milliken, Marjorie Phyfe, Anne Zill

Our founders are: 
Nancy Anderson
Tracy Booth
Minette Cummings
Beth Edmonds
Nancy Herter
Mary Hillas
Deborah Johnston
Lucinda Lang
Jacquelin Libby
Gloria Milliken
Margot Milliken
Destry Oldham-Sibley
Marjorie Phyfe
Carol Ward
Ellen Wells
Phoebe M. Whipple
Anne Zill