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Board and Staff

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Board of Directors

christineChristine Force, President 
Nonprofit Development

Force has  extensive experience in corporate community relations, development and donor engagement, corporate and foundation relations, event planning, and more than 20 years of commitment to advancing Maine's non-profit community.

Before joining the non-profit sector Force spent 14 years in the marketing  department at Hannaford supermarkets. There she developed the Hannaford Helps Schools program and helped raise over a million dollars for local non-profits. Force's community work has included Vice President of Fund Development at Good Shepherd Food Bank where she managed the development and marketing strategy and helped launch the Mainers Feeding Mainers farm program.

She is currently a member of the Portland Rotary and has served on many boards including the Maine Association of Non-Profits, Maine Commission for Community Service, Portland Salvation Army Advisory Board, and the Center for Grieving Children.

jaredJared McCannell, Secretary  
Account Executive, Knowledge Center, Inc.

Knowledge Center is a software firm that provides software solutions for incident and event management. Before moving into software, McCannell worked with volunteers across the US. He was the Medical Reserve Corps State Coordinator and oversaw the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) for the State of Maine. 

Prior to his move to health care volunteer programs, he was Assistant Director for Anuual Fund and Alumni Affairs at Maine Central Institute. In California, he was the Civic Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator for San Diego's Senor Community Centers.

McCannell's community service includes a current term as Vice President of Membership on the national board of the Association of Leaders In Volunteer Engagement (AL!VE) .

webirneyWilliam E Birney  
General Manager - Power Generation, Cianbro

Bill Birney has 20 years of experience at Cianbro in the Power & Energy and Industrial & Manufacturing market. As General Manager of Power Generation, he is directly responsible for the overall operations of Power Generation projects and manages projects all over the east coast.

In the community, Birney served on town boards in South Paris, ME for many years.

maryaliceMaryalice Crofton
Executive Director, Maine Commission for Community Service

Maryalice Crofton joined the Commission staff on April 1, 1995 and served as Grant Program Officer until she was appointed Director in 1996. Under her leadership, the Commission has fostered the growth of AmeriCorps in Maine, developed the first codified set of competencies for volunteer managers, created VolunteerMaine, brought Service Enterprise and Service Year to the state, launched online volunteer management training, developed the first online model for AmeriCorps grant management that was adopted nationally, and led the design and launch of special initiatives for other government agencies.

Before moving into government, Crofton spent15 years as Executive Director of two Maine Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies, a year with USDA Cooperative Extension as evaluator of a national project, and five years with Univ. of Connecticut Cooperative Extension. In the community, Crofton serves with the Spiritual Care Dept at Maine General and recently completed two terms on the board of Roncalli Housing in Augusta.

pattiPatricia Foden
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty

Since 2015, Patricia Foden has been a realtor with Keller Williams. Before taking up this new career, Foden was the Program Coordinator for the Encore Leadership Corps based out of the UMaine Center on Aging. During the same period she served as Vice President of the Maine chapter of the American Society for Training and Development. Prior to that she operated the Foden Group for nine years.

Foden is a 20-year member of the Junior League of Portland and has served in numerous leadership roles including President. She has been a member of the Children's Leadership Council, served at Portland Adult Education as an assistant ESL teacher, and chaired the Carrabasett Valley Academy Parent Association.

raHolmesRonald A. Holmes
New Sharon
Engineering Site Manager, AECOM

Ron Holmes has worked in the paper industry for over 40 years. While most of those years were spent in Maine, he now works on projects across the globe. Throughout his career he maintained a strong commitment to community service. Ron served 11 years on the Maine Commission for Community Service and during six of those years held officer positions including Chair of the Commission. On a national level, he represented Maine's interest on the public policy committee of America's Service Commissions.

In his hometown, Ron is involved in several organizations including Girl Scouts where he and his wife, Sharon, are support leaders of the local troop. He is also a mentor in the Mout Blue School District where he is helping students exploring robotics.


jb russ, ceoJoel B. Russ
Chief Executive Officer

Joel loves a challenge and he loves Maine. As CEO of the Maine Volunteer Foundation, he continues his career of pursuing possibilities.

Joel grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1966 with a BA in American History. He served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence from 1966 to 1971, was commissioned a second lieutenant following graduation from Officers Candidate School, attended one year of Thai language school at the Foreign Service Institute in Washington, D.C., and was stationed in Bangkok, Thailand.  He was honorably discharged as a Captain in 1971. 

Joel graduated from the University of Maine School of Law in 1974 and was admitted to the Maine Bar in 1975. 

Joel has held a variety of senior level positions in community-based non-profit organizations during his forty year career, including Executive Director of Greater Portland Landmarks, Vice President & General Counsel of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, CEO of the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO of the Maine Science & Technology Foundation and President of the Four Square Foundation. He served as Vice President of Development at LearningWorks, Portland, Maine, from August 2009 to February 2013 and Director of Advancement for Harpswell Coastal Academy, Harpswell, Maine from  May 2013  to June 2015 . 

He has also founded and managed two private companies, The Russ Company (historic preservation consulting) and Legacy Philanthropy Management, LLC (philanthropic consulting to businesses, individuals and private foundations). 

Joel has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Advisory Trustee), the United Way of Greater Portland, the Maine School of Science & Mathematics, Maine Commission for Community Service, Institute for Civic Leadership (founding board member), Maine Audubon and the World Affairs Council of Maine. He recently  served  on the board of directors of the Lincoln Theatre, Coastal Kids Pre-School and Good Will-Hinckley. 

He currently serves as President of the Board of Trustees of the Damariscotta River Association; his second year in this position. He serves on the Success-By-Six Early Childhood Education Council of the United Way of MidCoast Maine. Joel also coaches the Great Salt Bay Community School cross country team, which he has done for the past five years.

 Joel is married to Carolyn Russ, a retired Maine public school teacher. They live in South Bristol.  They have two sons, Andrew, a pediatrician at Lincoln Health in Damariscotta, Maine  and Matthew, a professional landscape artist and preparator at the Colby College Museum of Art. Carolyn's and Joel's three grandchildren attended or attend  the Great Salt Bay Community School. One grandson currently attends Lincoln Academy.  

Joel enjoys running, fly-fishing, wilderness canoeing, hiking, travel and Maine coastal boating.