Leslie is the heart and soul of Grahamtastic Connection (GC). After spending months in the hospital with Graham, Leslie became increasingly aware of the isolation her son felt and the difficulties he faced in continuing his education. When Graham lost his battle to cancer at the tender age of eight, she founded this charitable organization in his honor.
Leslie graduated from Mt. Ida College with an Associate Degree in Art, majoring in Graphic Design. After 25 years as a designer, she left her career to dedicate all her time to building and growing Grahamtastic to where it is today. Her goal is to provide children with serious illnesses the necessary technology and access to internet to lessen their feelings of seclusion and assist in ongoing educational needs despite medical or financial hardships.
Leslie lives in Springvale, Maine with her husband Gary. They enjoy watersports and spending time with their two daughters and grandchildren.
Kathy joined the team at Grahamtastic Connection in December of 2018 as our new Program Coordinator. Kathy had previously attended several of our fundraising events with a tremendous appreciation of our mission. She is very excited about taking on this prestigious role in providing support to the Grahamtastic Connection family. She states, “I enjoy coming into work and getting the opportunity to make a positive change in the world.”
Kathy attended Sumter, SC Technical College and later updated her business skills through York County Community College. She has worked as an administrative manager in the healthcare industry over the last 25 years. She has a great understanding of the various components involved in managing a successful organization. Additionally, she has volunteered in her community through the local elementary schools and various youth sporting teams. Kathy points out that what makes this position so rewarding is that it allows her the ability to combine her business administrative skills alongside her enjoyment of working on the behalf of children; she loves being afforded the opportunity to take part in making a difference in people’s lives. As Lydia M. Child stated, “An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.”
Kathy resides with her husband Ron in Sanford. They have two sons, Zachary and Alex as well a miniature schnauzer, Banjo, who completes their family. Outside of work, Kathy greatly enjoys spending the Maine summers boating and swimming as well as reading and trying new recipes.
Beth Ann Brown
Beth was inspired to join Grahamtastic Connection in 2013 after personally witnessing the love, compassion and strength displayed by Founder Leslie Morissette and her family in their mission to honor their son and brother while giving back to children in need. She now serves as President of the Board of Directors and is a member of the Finance Committee, leveraging expertise garnered in a 25+ year career in the asset management industry, as well as a passion to give back.
Beth currently serves as an Independent Trustee on the Invesco Mutual Fund Board, where she is also a member of the Compliance Committee. Prior to this, she served as an Independent Trustee on the Oppenheimer Mutual Fund Board of Trustees (NY), where she was also a member of the Governance and Regulatory and Oversight Committees. She also serves as a Director on the Board of Directors for Caron Engineering Inc., a global engineering firm. Previously, Beth was Head of Intermediary Distribution for Columbia Management in Boston, MA. She served as a member of the firm’s Senior Management Team, M&A team, Product Approval Committee and Code of Ethics Oversight Committee, among other operating committees and teams. In addition, she was the primary distribution liaison to multiple Mutual Fund Boards.
Beth has completed board-specific educational training through OnBoard Bootcamp and is active in the Mutual Fund Directors Forum (MFDF) and the Independent Directors Council (IDC). She has completed the IDC Core Responsibilities and Fund Directors program and the MFDF Nuts and Bolts of Being a Director program. She earned a B.A. from Boston College graduating magna cum laude and began her career as a news director and anchor for WMSX Radio and WCEG Radio, both in Massachusetts. Beth and her husband currently live in Acton, Maine.
“When you lose a child you don’t lose the love, and there’s got to be a place to put that love,” Leslie Morissette, founder. Witnessing the incredible love, strength and compassion Leslie demonstrated by founding Grahamtastic Connection inspired Denise to be a part of our organization. Denise has aided with events and fundraising since Grahamtastic’s inception. She became a board member in 2009. Denise currently serves on our public relations committee and advises on our events committee.
Denise graduated in 1985, with a BS in elementary education and earned her master’s in literacy education in 1992. She taught grades K-6 in Title 1 Literacy for fifteen years. Her work and experience in this field fuels her passion for and commitment to Grahamtastic Connection. Denise strongly supports the difference our organization has made in keeping our superstars connected to their education and social connections. She firmly believes that being able to stay connected to family and friends both at home and at school is vital to physical and emotional health.
Denise and her husband David of thirty-three years are enjoying their new home on a lake in Acton, Maine. She currently works with her husband and three sons in their family run concrete business. In her spare time Denise enjoys reading, running, paddle boarding, and being with her family.
William F. Frank, M.D.
Bill joined the Grahamtastic Connection in 2017 after retiring from serving 36 years as a family physician in Sanford, Maine. He wholeheartedly supports the work of the organization in its mission to keep ill children connected with their schools and communities through technology.
Currently, he is President of the Medical Staff of Southern Maine Health Care and works as a covering physician for Hospice of Southern Maine. He has been a medical examiner in Maine since 1983, covering a large part of York County. In 1993, he helped set up and run the Maine State Victim’s Compensation Board. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Boston College, his medical degree from Georgetown University and did a three-year residency in family practice at the University of Oregon Health Science Center in Portland, Oregon.
Bill lives with his wife, Mary Frances, a former junior high school language arts teacher. He has four grown children and ﬁve grandchildren. For fun, he enjoys bicycling, gardening and ﬁshing.
Gwen Bedell Gadbois
Gwen Bedell Gadbois, CPA, CFE was invited to join the Board of Grahamtastic Connection and take over the Treasurer’s role in March 2020. With an extensive history of service to area non-profits, Gwen was especially excited about this opportunity to work with Leslie and the entire Board of Directors, combining two passions: for one community service and the other for finances. “I cannot do all the good that the world needs. But the world needs all the good that I can do.” – Jana Stanfield.
Gwen began her career at a law firm in Portsmouth, New Hampshire in 1996 and then moved up to a boutique accounting firm, Carrigan Associates, in 1999 where she spent the next 13 years honing her craft in forensic accounting and analysis. Upon the principal’s retirement, Gwen returned to Sanford-Springvale area to serve as the CFO/CHRO of the local YMCA in 2012, and was a member of the fundraising team. Having success at the Y, she took on a more demanding role at the Sanford School Department in 2014 as the Business Administrator and remained there until 2020, where she enjoyed the opportunity to work with more than 700 staff each year, participate in numerous construction projects and advise the Sanford-Springvale taxpayers via semi-monthly television reports. Gwen joined Global Aquaculture Alliance of Portsmouth, NH in January 2020 to reorganize the finance team and implement new accounting standards and internal controls, and having accomplished that, desired to return to the Sanford-Springvale community. As of August 1st 2020, Gwen will be serving, with great excitement and enthusiasm, on the leadership team at H.A. Mapes to support the multi-generational family business.
Gwen earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Maine at Augusta and continues to serve as an adjunct instructor of business and accounting courses there, as well as a public spokesperson appearing in television, radio and print ads. She has a Master of Science Degree in Accounting from Saint Joseph’s College, and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in Maine and New Hampshire, as well as a globally-recognized Certified Fraud Examiner.
In addition to serving on the Board for Grahamtastic Connection, Gwen is currently the Treasurer of the Industrial Development Corporation of Sanford, the Chair of the Finance Council for St. Therese Parish, the Internal Auditor and a member of the Finance Committee for United Way of York County as well as the Maine Adult Education Association. She was previously the Treasurer for Sanford Schools Legacy Foundation, and Secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Sanford.
Gwen lives in Alfred with her husband Eric, and their blended family including Michael, Emma and Madison, as well as one very spoiled cat, Cali. Gwen is an avid daily runner, with 10 marathons under her belt, and countless more half-marathons. When she’s not working, volunteering or running, she enjoys traveling with her family to the Caribbean, and looks forward to checking off many US and international destinations on the bucket list in the near future.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Kim has been a part of Grahamtastic Connection since the beginning, having been one of Graham’s teachers from his diagnosis in 1995 through 1997, at the time of his passing. This cemented her connection to the organization. Kim has served the board of directors since 2011, recently becoming chairman of the Public Relations Committee.
After graduating from UMO, Kim sold real estate in the family business, Carpenter Realty. She then became a teacher in the Sanford School department teaching first through fourth grades. Six of those years she brought science into the classroom of third graders in all elementary schools, developing units on habitats, biomes and the solar system to name a few.
Kim has a great interest in the environment and serves on the board of directors for the Square Pond Improvement Association which works to help preserve the lake community.
Kim is married to Rob Caron. They live on Square Pond in Acton, Maine. She has two boys, Konnor and Keegan Simons, and a step-daughter, Kristin Caron. Kim loves water and snow sports, especially skiing. She also enjoys travelling and meeting new people.
Louis Pasteur said, “When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments – tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become.
Lori was inspired to work with children early on, teaching swimming lessons to young children when she was a teenager. Her volunteer work started at the Boys and Girls Club in Burlington, Vermont while she was in college. Inspired by her early education work and teaching experience at Head Start, she realized that children are not always in control of their situations, and if we have the ability, we should help make their experience as positive as possible.
It is this belief that brought Lori to Grahamtastic Connection. Lori has served on the board as a director since 2017. She is a member of our Public Relations committee and has participated in the planning and implementation of many of our fundraising events.
Lori enjoys all the beauty of living in Maine. She spends as much time outside as she can with her husband and new baby.
Nanci was fortunate to know Graham as a neighbor and friend. They shared an interest in creating art. To this day, she cherishes his many handmade presents. Nanci has gladly served Grahamtastic’s for many years contributing to our 5k, annual silent dance/auction. She has been a member of the board since 2010. Nanci is currently the Events Committee chairperson.
After graduating from the University of Maine at Portland Gorham with a BFA in art, Nanci later received a degree in art education. She co-owned a raku pottery business with her husband, and they were members of a cooperative store, The Maine Potters Market, located in Portland, Maine. Nanci has taught art at the Lebanon Schools, MSAD 60, for thirty years and is a member of the Maine Art Education Association.
Nanci enjoys traveling with family and friends and combining outdoor adventures with history, music, culture and creating art.
Gwen graduated from Saint Joseph’s College with a degree in
elementary education. She quickly jumped into renovating and opening a full-scale childcare program at the Sanford Springvale YMCA. This is where she met Graham, who was in her Kindercare 1/2 day program. Gwen then had him and his sisters in summer camp. After two years of establishing six programs where Gwen managed a staff of 15 and well over 100 children, she took a job teaching fourth, fifth and six grade in a multilevel classroom at Carl J. Lamb. Graham and his sister Deneka both attended and Graham was in the pod she taught in. When Graham was sick, Deneka would go to Gwen’s classroom for lunches and recess, where she taught her to quilt. Gwen then had the privilege of staying home with her two daughters for 15 years. Gwen says; “ I am now very passionate and excited about the field of real estate, I’m going into my sixth year, I can’t imagine doing anything else!”
Born and raised in upstate New York, Larry moved to Maine in 2007, to work as a newscast director for WGME-TV. In 2009, he moved to WCSH-TV as a newscast director. One of his hobbies has always been working on and repairing computers. In 2010, Larry was introduced to Leslie and Grahamtastic Connection by a coworker who had done a story on her.
Upon learning about Grahamtastic and its mission, Larry volunteered to provide tech support and to work on fixing and setting up donated laptops. That was an eye opener for Larry. He realized he was having more fun working on computers than he was directing. That prompted a career change! In 2014, Larry made the move from being a newscast director at WCSH to becoming a member of the TV station’s IT department.
In 2015, Larry was invited to join the board of directors for Grahamtastic. Since then, Larry has become the Senior IT Support Specialist at Tilson Technology Management in Portland. And he is now the Chairman of the Technology Committee for Grahamtastic.
Matt Wirth has been with WEX for more than 20 years. Through his tenure, he has held a variety of positions in different lines of business supporting Fleet, Government Services and most recently Corporate Payments. He is currently responsible for the Production Services, Solutions, and Data Architecture teams for the WEX Corporate Payments Technology group. He is an active member in the WEX CODEX program which teaches middle-school children software engineering. Matt grew up in Connecticut, obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern New Hampshire and presently resides in Scarborough with his wife Madeline and their 4 children.
Kim has supported volunteerism though leadership, organizational efforts, and in one on one opportunities with many organizations all throughout her life. Her desire to help others and make a difference in lives and for the community has been a lifelong hobby.
Kim became most familiar with Grahamtastic Connection as she began running in the annual 5K fundraiser in 2014, as well as raising additional funds for the event on her own. In 2017 she ran her first Beach to Beacon race with a fundraiser in memory of her late husband and to benefit Grahamtastic Connection. Kim began became a director of Grahamtastic in 2018, and currently serves on the fundraising committee.
Kim continues to devote her time to organizations that are dedicated to bettering the lives of others. She is Past-President and a 32 year member of the Sanford –Springvale Rotary Club having worked on many local to global projects and committees. She is the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Sanford Housing Authority, a Federal agency, having been appointed to the board 17 years ago. Projects have included a new 55 and over facility, as well the purchase of several condemned houses from the city, renovating them, and selling them to first time home buyers giving the opportunity of home ownership and placing property back on the tax roles as income for the city. Kim’s dedication to other non-profits include Board of Directors and Secretary of Junior Achievement of Maine and York County, 17 years, Past President and board member of the Sanford-Springvale Chamber of Commerce, 10 years, United Way of York County Capital Campaign Committee, Day of Caring Committee, 15 years, member of the Maine Children’s Cancer Program and contestant in their Dancing with the Stars program, along with several others.
Kim is the recipient of the Governors Top 100 Award, MaineHealth Works on Wellness Superhero Award, and the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellowship Award and others.
Kim in the Administrative Coordinator for the Sanford Campus of Southern Maine Health Care, and is a member of the National Association of Administrative Health Care Professionals.
Kim has a degree in Marketing and Retail Development. She resides in Springvale, has a daughter Ashley, and in her spare time enjoys traveling and visiting new places, spending time with her daughter, family and friends, the family cottages at Mousam Lake, running, motorcycle rides with her fiancé Steve, and working in her yard.
Adam is a licensed attorney in Maine and Massachusetts with experience consulting and managing broadband infrastructure projects and teams across the United States. He has a strong technical and analytical background working as a Microsoft Certified Professional Web Developer with 10+ years experience designing, developing, and managing complex platforms, content-managed web applications, and custom internal frameworks. He spent his first few years out of law school leveraging this technical background and Juris Doctor as Partner in a law firm that had a focus on digital forensics and the general intersection of law and technology. He has since transitioned into a leadership role at Tilson Technology in Portland working with first-in-class consultants assisting communities plan for and execute robust telecommunications solutions to improve and expand access across the United States. A long-time Mainer, he is a graduate of Bates College as well as the University of Maine School of Law.
Adam lives in Scarborough Maine with his wife, Danielle, and two boys, Noah and Henry. His hobbies include taking advantage of all of the wonderful outdoor activities available in Maine with his family including: hiking, biking, skiing, camping, and kayaking.
Daniel L. Cummings, Attorney-at-Law