MEET OUR BOARD
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Southern District YMCA is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors who set strategic direction and policy that guide the Y in strengthening communities through programs in youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. These dedicated volunteers provide fiduciary oversight that ensures adequate resources exist to meet annual and long-range strategic plans while sustaining the current and future needs of a growing community.
Jeff Neil has worked for more than 24 years in the Pharmaceutical/Biotech industry having served in Marketing, Sales, and Training roles. Jeff graduated from Babson College in Wellesley, MA with a major in both Marketing & Economics. Jeff currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern New Hampshire District YMCA as the Chair and volunteers on different committees. He previously served on the Board of a Boston organization called Little Brothers –Friends of the Elderly (LBFE). An international volunteer-based non-profit is committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. In addition to the non-profits, Jeff has also volunteered in various leadership roles over the years within the Episcopal Church. Jeff and his wife Libby live in Exeter, NH, and have two children. His daughter Raye (20yrs) is a sophomore at UConn and his son Adam (18yrs) is a Freshman at Clemson University. The family is made whole with their adopted dog and her name is Charlie!
Board of Directors
Lindsay is a real estate agent and active citizen in Exeter. Prior to her career in real estate, she worked in fundraising and development for a variety of organizations. A passion for planning, sustainability, and thoughtfully-built communities, Lindsay is co-chair of the board of directors of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast and currently serves on the Housing Advisory Committee for the Town of Exeter. She is part of the 2020 class of Leadership Seacoast. Lindsay holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Urban Planning from Virginia Tech. An avid traveler, she has lived and worked in Togo, New Zealand, France, and Italy. In her free time, you can find Lindsay and her husband renovating their old home, traveling, and (tame) mountain biking.
Board of Directors
Michelle Berke has spent many years in service to the public in different ways. A former middle-school math teacher in Rochester NH, Michelle then helped adult learners obtain their school diploma by teaching math at Exeter Adult Education from 1998 to 2019. More recently, she has been working as crisis advocate at HAVEN, a sexual assault and domestic violence crisis center since 2017. Michelle also currently serves as a Supervisor of the Checklist for the Town of Exeter, helping ensure all voters who are legally able to, can register to vote. A wearer of many hats, Michelle's most long-term position is as Chief Operations and Financial Officer of River City Software, an Exeter based software company that provides software to the hard wood lumber and medical devices industries. Michelle also sings with and manages The Afternotes, a women’s a cappella group. A resident of Exeter, Michelle has two adult daughters and lives with her husband and dog. She enjoys cooking, hiking, a Capella singing and knitting.
Board of Directors
Christina Cassano began volunteering for the Wakefield YMCA at age 14. For the next ten years, she worked as a swim instructor and lifeguard at both the Wakefield and Bangor YMCAs. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in Childhood Education at Salem State University, author, and early literacy researcher. She works out at the YMCA and her three children participate in the youth programs.
Cheryl is a leader in the educational publishing and technology industry. In her 25-year career at the largest Higher Education provider of course solutions in North America, she has held various roles in Sales, Marketing, and Product Management. Cheryl is currently the Senior Vice President of Product for Cengage's academic business. Always a passionate advocate for the connection between education and mental health, Cheryl has an undergraduate degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Psychology and a master’s degree in Special Education from Boston University. While studying for her master's, she taught fifth grade in the Chelsea, MA, public school system. Cheryl lives in Exeter with her husband, David, a staff member at Stratham Memorial School, and her two children, Nick and Sophie. Nick is a senior at the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Massachusetts and will be headed to college next year, and Sophie is a junior at Exeter High School. When Cheryl is not working or supporting all her children's interests and activities, you can find her enjoying nature by hiking, running, walking, or reading at the beach.
Board of Directors
Maureen worked for Exeter Hospital for 32 years, retiring in August of 2018. She managed the Health Watch Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for those years, developing the program for Exeter Health Resources, then marketing and selling the service to over 30 companies and municipalities in the Seacoast area. Prior to this, Maureen worked for several years at an EAP in Lynn, MA and also as a Masters’ level Psychologist at Strafford Guidance Center in Dover, NH. Maureen completed her Bachelors degree at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Masters in Clinical Psychology at Eastern Kentucky. She was a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Employee Assistance Professional. Maureen is currently an active member of the Exeter Rotary Club and is President of her condominium association’s BOD. Prior to joining Rotary, she was a board member for twelve years at ‘A Safe Place’ which merged to become HAVEN, the non-profit agency in the NH Seacoast focused on helping victims of domestic violence. Maureen has lived in Exeter for many years and frequently sees her large extended family. Some of her passions include good food with friends, her cat Lily, traveling, walking, yoga, kayaking and nordic skiing.
Board of Directors
Tammy is a graduate of Plymouth State University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She has 20 plus years of experience working in the nonprofit public school system, first in her home district at Sanborn and then for the past 13 years at SAU16, as the Exeter Adult Education Enrichment Program Manager and Data Technology Specialist. Prior to entering the public-school sector, Tammy worked for 13 years at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts and 3 years as an employee benefits broker. Tammy has lived in Newton NH, for 28 years with her husband, Barry, where they have raised their two children, Josh, age 26 and Jenna age 22. Both her children were avid YMCA Camp Lincoln campers, and then worked as Camp Counselors for several years. Tammy even worked at Camp Lincoln for two summers, one summer as the Cooking Camp program coordinator and another summer as Summer Office Coordinator. Tammy enjoys spending time outside with her family, at the beach, hiking, kayaking, or skiing and is trying to improve her outdoor gardening skills and would love to learn Pickleball someday!
Board of Directors
Janet Guen is a native of New England who has spent her career in nonprofit development. She began her career with United Way of Greater Cincinnati and more recently spent a decade with United Way of the Greater Seacoast. Since January of 2020 she has worked for the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation as a Senior Philanthropy Advisor, based in Portsmouth. Volunteer service has been a lifelong thread including a 6-year term with Leadership Seacoast. While her children were in the Exeter School system she served as PTO Presi- dent and spent 6 years coordinating cultural enrichment programming for both elementary schools. Janet now lives in Dover with her husband Tim and dog Toby. She enjoys traveling, time in the outdoors, and anything that brings their 3 adult children back to NH.
Board of Directors Secretary
Carole Matthews is the senior director of digital production and a managing editor at The Bridgespan Group. Bridgespan is a global nonprofit that advises and collaborates with philanthropists, nonprofits and NGOs, and impact investors to build practices and strategies that help reduce the inequities preventing individuals, families, and communities to thrive. In her role, she manages the organization’s knowledge process including the production and design of Bridgespan publications and other content on www.bridgespan.org. In addition, she oversees Bridgespan’s monthly newsletters and is a strategic member of the organization's Institute team, which leads Bridgespan's deep research and publishing. She joined Bridgespan in 2008, after nearly nine years as a senior editor at Inc.com. While there, she managed the production of the Inc. 500/5,000 list as well as special editorial sections, including blogs and news. Prior to Inc.com, she worked for trade publications in the areas of digital publishing, business news, and entrepreneurship. She has freelanced for alternative weeklies, written cookbooks, and taught English composition and special education classes at a community college in southeastern Arizona. Carole has served two terms on the SDYMCA board: first joining in 2008 and then returning during the pandemic. Her desire to contribute to the SDYMCA was inspired by Camp Lincoln, and the support and care it showed for her children, one who has a special health need, while they were campers for five-plus years. Today, as a board member with grown children, Carole is still consistently inspired by the organization's work with members of the community, through the camp, its after-school program, and its health and wellness facility, and is proud to be part of such an important community organization. In addition to her SDYMCA board role, Carole is a volunteer with her local chapter of Moms Demand Action, the grassroots movement fighting to reduce gun violence and advocating for common sense gun laws in the United States. She lives in Exeter with her husband, Scott, and two college-age children, Jacob and Annelise.
Board of Directors Treasurer
Jennifer helps manage overall operations for BlueLine Advisors. Prior to joining the firm, she was an Analyst at Tudor Investments covering industrials and chemical companies. Previously, Jenn was the operations manager of a family business, and began her career as an environmental engineer at EarthTech Consulting specializing in environmental remediation. Jennifer is active in the community and volunteers as Treasurer of the Exeter Youth Soccer Association as well as serving on the Board of the Southern District YMCA. MBA Babson College BS University of Virginia
Board of Directors
Danette’s Y roots are long and deep. She grew up in the YM-YWCAs in Euclid and Cleveland, Ohio, which were the centers of many activities in the 50s and 60s—from sleepovers and teen dances to civil rights activism. Her parents, both physical education majors and teachers, volunteered at the Y. Her mother taught swimming at the Euclid and Cleveland Ys and the Y in Hendersonville, N.C. (where her parents moved after their retirement). At Oberlin College, where Danette earned her B.A., she was co-president of the campus Y organization, which sponsored and oversaw all the college’s student community service clubs and activities. Years later, she and her husband moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where their son became an active Y member, including holding several (memorable!) birthday parties there. Danette and her husband moved to Exeter about 25 years ago when she became Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary of The Timberland Company. Participating in Timberland’s community service work, Danette served several times on teams working at Camp Lincoln (as well as other locations on the Seacoast and elsewhere). She also volunteered as a member of the board of Odyssey NH (previously Odyssey House), for which the Exeter Y’s Odyssey Center is named. After Timberland’s sale, she became and has continued to be an Adjunct Professor at The University of New Hampshire School of Law. She had previously led legal departments at two other companies, including Little Caesars, and worked in a Detroit law firm. Before attending the University of Michigan Law School, Danette worked as a teacher (in public school and GED programs) and in editing and administrative positions. A member of the American Bar Association, the Michigan Bar Association, and the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), Danette served on ACC’s headquarters board and on ACC’s Northeast Chapter board. She served as a member of New Hampshire's Judicial Selection Commission, and was member of the Board of Trustees of Oberlin College. She has also served in various positions at the Congregational Church in Exeter. Currently, in addition to the SDYMCA board, she serves on the board of Journey Song and on the Leadership Council for the New Hampshire Campaign for Legal Services. Danette and her husband (also an active Y member) live in Exeter. They enjoy time in the outdoors, especially the White Mountains, and treasure time with family, especially their two adult granddaughters.