Paula Fox brings 20 years of business administration experience, specializing in human resource and operations management. Paula began her career at Unum, working as part of the Operations Department to grow their national presence. Most recently she founded Persona Consulting LLC, having spent more than a decade as Chief Human Resources Officer of a nationally recognized advertising agency with offices in Maine, Massachusetts and New York. As a member of countless senior leadership teams throughout her career, Paula is capable of making the sound, though sometimes difficult, decisions necessary to build a successful business.
Paula has served on the board of many notable non-profit organizations founded in the region. She was a founding member of the board of directors for the thriving Shekinah Glory Yachting Ministry, a start up ministry serving the indigent community in Exuma, Bahamas. On her own time, Paula has participated in mission trips to Argentina and Mexico, supported many missions-based organizations as well as several non-profit organizations.
John & Linda Gregoire: Co-Founders
John and Linda were married in 1981.They have two boys, Nicholas and his wife Dian, and Matthew, a cat named Murphy and a dog named Hope (she came with that name).
After 26 years of a normal life, complete with Youth Soccer, Little League, camping and backpacking trips,fishing trips and pursuing a "normal" life, the family's world was turned upside down when John was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease) in 2007.
The family has raised funds for research for various organizations, traveled to Washington, DC for National ALS Advocacy Day and have met many families with ALS.
After a visit to The Steve Saling ALS/MS Residence in Chelsea, MA (at The Leonard Florence Center for Living), John and Linda developed a vision for The Hope-JG.Foundation.
By day, Mike Lewis brings over 10 years of business experience, specializing in retirement plans and sales. He began his career at Fidelity Investments providing employees with retirement planning guidance and quickly moved up the organization to retirement plan sales. There he worked with financial advisors, third party administrators, as well as c-suite executives on effective and efficient ways to manage their organizations retirement plan. Mike has since left Fidelity to work at Sentinel Benefits and Financial Group but ultimately has now found his home at SS&C Technologies as a Retirement Plan Account Manager. Throughout his career, his area of focus has been in design, implementation, communication and administration of qualified and non qualified retirement plans.
By Night, Mike is an on-call firefighter for the town of Mont Vernon NH, where he has been extensively trained to handle extreme situations where life saving decisions must be made. This has also presented Mike with the opportunity to be on the board of the Mont Vernon Fire Department Association acting as the treasurer, being responsible to safeguard the associationsassets.
When Mike isn't working or fighting fires, he enjoys playing soccer, being outdoors, and spending time with friends and familyM
Verna Lynch is CEO of Linchpin Business Advisors LLC and has a demonstrated track record of rapid and enduring improvement in structure, culture, efficiency, and employee performance across a wide range of industries. Verna has a proven ability in identifying innovative solutions that contribute directly to improving performance, increasing revenue, and cutting costs through organizational strategy, organizational design, process design and improvement, leadership development, and employee engagement. Her clients include Fortune 100 companies, professional services firms, higher education institutions, pharmaceutical corporations, non-profits, and a wide range of manufacturing companies across many sectors. She holds a Strategy Culture Alignment Certification, is a Certified Professional Business Coach, and a Milliken Certified Independent Contractor in Performance Excellence
Vienna is a management consultant and well-being advocate. She has over a decade of consulting experience and a deep interest in how investing in human potential can help organizations achieve better business results. Vienna has a history of working collaboratively with leaders, managers, and staff to develop practical action plans and navigate change.
When not working with clients, Vienna leads BerryDunn’s Well-being Initiative and is the co-chair for the firm’s Well-being Committee. She holds Master’s degrees from Babson College (Accounting) and the University of New England (Applied Nutrition).
Author, speaker, photographer and avid hiker Jeff Ryan was born and raised in Maine. His love of the outdoors was instilled by his parents, who often took him boating along the Maine coast.
As an adult, Jeff adopted hiking as his favored mode of exploration. In 1983, he went on his first long-distance hike, a 6-month adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail (see photo above).
Upon his return to Maine from the PCT, Jeff kept right on trekking. He and a hiking partner climbed Maine’s highest 50 mountains in one year. He then began “section hiking” the Appalachian Trail with his friend Wayne Cyr in 1985 (a journey that would take 28 years to complete and culminated in his first book, Appalachian Odyssey: A 28-year hike on America’s trail, published by Down East Books in 2016).
During his research for Appalachian Odyssey, he became interested in the history of the AT, in particular, the two larger than life personalities most responsible for the Trail’s existence. This led to his second book, Blazing Ahead: Benton MacKaye, Myron Avery and the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, published in 2017 by Appalachian Mountain Club Books). He continues to write about hiking adventures in an ever-expanding collection of books including Hermit: The Mysterious Life of Jim Whyte, released in 2019..
When he isn’t writing, researching, hiking or speaking at various venues, Jeff travels North America in his vintage 1985 VW camper.
Josh is a native Mainer who grew up in Millinocket. After high school, he attended the University of New England and graduated with a bachelor’s of science in history. He then attended the University of Maine School of Law and has been a practicing Maine attorney ever since. He has dedicated that practice to public interest and has served as both a prosecutor and a city attorney. In his free time, Josh enjoys reading, fishing, and mountain biking.