BOARD OF DIRECTORS 
2023-2024

   

 President: Daniel Puhlman, PhD 

Dan is a faculty member in the human development and family studies program at University of Maine, part of the School of Educational Leadership, Higher Education and Human Development. His research is focused on family processes such as fathering and parenting. Specifically, he looks at co-parenting relationships and how mothers and fathers influence one another in the raising of children. Daniel’s work centers around theory development and qualitative exploration of these family processes. He is also a Marriage and Family Therapist and has worked clinically with families for the past 15 years. He received a PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy from Florida State University. Daniel comes to the University of Maine with his wife Jane and 3 children, Max, Nathyn, and Jack. He is from Pittsburgh and is an avid Penguins fan and loves to be outdoors. 

   Treasurer: Timothy E. Robbins, Esq.

Tim serves as the Executive Director of the Kids First Center, a Maine non-profit dedicated to reducing the impact of trauma that children often experience when their parents divorce or separate. In this capacity, he works with the Maine Judicial Branch, the IPV community, and private legal and mental health professionals. Tim is also a member of the Family Law Advisory Commission where he is responsible to help craft family law policy and advise the legislature on family law matters. Prior to Kids First, he ran a small law office specializing in family law, child advocacy, and dispute resolution. He served as guardian ad litem to children in family and child protective cases and is a trained mediator. He has served as a referee/private judge in family disputes. As a facilitator of Kids First programming, he has worked with hundreds of co-parenting partnerships to help them reduce and manage their conflict. Tim was a member of curriculum design team of the Intensive Co-Parenting Education Program (ICOPE), a nine-week court-ordered program for parents in high conflict. He holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Maine School of Law and is admitted to practice in the State of Maine, the United States District Court, and the United States First Circuit Court of Appeals. Tim lives with his wife and two children in Cape Elizabeth.

      Secretary: Leslie A. Forstadt, PhD 

Leslie lived in the Midwest before moving to Maine in 2004. Since 2007, she’s worked at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension on campus in Orono. She earned her PhD in Educational Psychology and her research focused on alternative education for youth at-risk for high school dropout. Her current work in Human Development with UMaine Extension focuses on communication and well-being of farm families and awareness of ACEs and resilience in farms and beyond. She was a founding member of the Maine Resilience Building Network and served on the Leadership Team before transitioning to Board President. In 2019, she completed her certification in mediation. She loves spending time with her husband and two sons, and practicing communication moment by moment in her precious time with friends and family.


Member:  Heather Batchelor, Ed.D, Director – Faculty, Thomas College at Waterville.

Heather has been an educator for 25 years and is currently an Associate Professor of Education at Thomas College.  She has taught in diverse settings around the country including as an Associate Professor at Westminster University in Salt Lake City and as a decorated classroom educator in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Colorado. Her passion for more equitable and supportive schools led her to spearhead school-based programs to reduce dropout by focusing on students' social-emotional well-being.  In addition, she developed the first Masters program in Trauma-Resilient Schools in the Mountain West. She is deeply committed to the mission and goals of the MRBN, believing that focusing on the mental health and wellness of all members of our community benefits us all. 

What I love about Maine:  As an avid outdoors person, the opportunities that Maine provides to get outside and soak in the beauty of nature is unrivaled. If you like the outdoors, you're never bored here!


Member: J. Kenneth Stewart III- Senior Vice President Banking, M&T Bank

Ken is  the Regional Senior Vice President for our Retail Division in New England overseeing our Maine Retail Banking market. His family relocated from Baltimore where most recently he was a commercial manager overseeing the VIP banking relationships (sports teams, legal, political and manufacturing). Kenneth holds a BS in International Business, a Graduate Degree from MD School of Banking, and multiple years of experience with involvement in local and regional Boards supporting a variety in interest including but not limited to (Elder Care, Youth Activities, Museum and historical preservation, Homelessness and low income urban families, Orphan and Minor housing and education services)

My most memorable Maine moment is...” Proposing to my wife Heidi on Mount Kino and of course the birth of my second Son Maxell and Maine Medical


Member:  Samantha Hackney – Co-Founder & Principal, Marigold Strategy

Samantha recently joined the MRBN in January 2024. Samantha joined MRBN as believes in the importance of trauma-informed practices to build a more resilient, inclusive, and healthy Maine. Samantha is a social impact consultant and organizational development expert. She is the co-founder and principal of Marigold Strategy, a woman-owned consulting firm working at the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion and organizational development. Marigold works with nonprofits, foundations, companies, and other actors interested in building more diverse, equitable, inclusive, and resilient organizational cultures and structures. Before starting Marigold Strategy, she served as a Senior Consultant at TCC Group, a national social impact consulting firm, for 6 years. While at TCC, she designed social impact strategies to help organizations deepen impact, strengthen capacity, and sustain and diversify revenue.Prior to her consulting career, she led the development of the Haiti Development Institute, the first organization dedicated to sustained development in Haiti, by supporting the growth of community-based organizations.She also previously worked at the Boston Foundation where she advised international donors on their giving strategy. Samantha holds a M.A.L.D. in International Business and Development Economics from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a B.A. in French from Amherst College. She lives in Portland, Maine with her husband and pup Cholula.



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