The UNH Manchester Advisory Board advises Dean Michael Decelle and the college community on matters surrounding UNH Manchester's programs and outreach, working to increase the college’s visibility. Read about the board members for the 2015-2016 academic year below.
Frank Wells, Chair
Frank Wells is Senior Shareholder and Managing Director of Hoyle Tanner. He serves on the firm’s Board of Directors as Chairman and is a 39 year veteran of the firm. Hoyle Tanner is a professional services organization that provides consulting engineering and planning services throughout New England, central Florida and the Caribbean Islands. Frank is an active member on several community and higher educational boards including Vice Chairman of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and Chairman of the Chamber’s Executive Committee. He is a long serving member and current Chairman of the University of New Hampshire’s Manchester College Advisory Board and the University of New Hampshire Advocacy Council. Frank’s educational background includes civil engineering technology at Northeastern University and technical illustration studies at Massachusetts College of Art.
Heather Ramsey, Vice Chair
Heather Ramsey, a partner with Sojourn Partners, is a Certified Professional Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF). She received her B.S. in Business Management at Northeastern University and her Masters in Mental Health Counseling at Argosy University. She utilizes her broad international business experience integrating multiple cultures and focusing on leadership development, team building, communication skills, and conflict resolution. Throughout her career, Ramsey has cultivated and worked with professionals in the U.S., Egypt, Switzerland, the U.K., Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Germany and Australia. Some of her consulting and coaching clients have included Nike, Embassy of Denmark in Cairo, Microsoft as well as nonprofits, law firms, international manufacturing, healthcare, software, retail and small businesses.
Virginia Theo-Steelman, Secretary
Virginia Theo-Steelman is a practicing psychologist and a life-long resident of Manchester. Devoted to higher education, she also serves as a board member on UNH Alumni Association. Theo-Steelman is a double alumna of UNH and has served the UNH Community in several capacities. She was a Trustee of the University System of New Hampshire and she has been on the Dean’s Leadership Council of the UNH College of Health and Human Services. She has also been a Trustee of the Manchester City Library and of Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum.
Bradford Cook, Member
Brad Cook is head of the Sheehan Phinney’s Estate Planning and Probate, Government Relations and Not-for-Profit, Charitable and Religious Institutions Practice Groups. He is a past President of the firm and has practiced with Sheehan Phinney since 1973. A UNH alumnus, Cook has received several awards including Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Citizen of the Year Award, Easter Seals New Hampshire’s Eugene M. Van Loan III Leadership Award and UNH Alumni Meritorious Service Award. In 2012 he was the National Easter Seals’ Volunteer of the Year and was named a “Political and Nonprofit Maestro” in Business NH Magazine's 2012 Influencer Index. Cook currently serves as Chair of the Warren B. Rudman Center Campaign, President of the Boys Club of New London and as a member of the Executive Committee of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire (BIA). He serves as secretary of the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund, Camp Fatima and Camp Bernadette of the Diocese of Manchester. A graduate of the first class of both Leadership Manchester and Leadership New Hampshire, Cook is a member of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Manchester Steering Committee. Cook is also a member of both the Steering Committee of the New Hampshire Forum on the Future and the Board of Directors of Canterbury Shaker Village; Chair of the Easter Seals Vermont Board of Directors; Assistant Secretary of Easter Seals New York and Connecticut; and a member and Chair of the N.H. Ballot Law Commission.
Liz Gray, Member
Liz Gray currently serves as the state’s Director of Entrepreneurship and leads the Live Free and Start initiative. Liz draws on her experience in public policy and project management to drive Live Free and Start’s agenda and work to make New Hampshire an even better place for innovation based businesses to start, connect and succeed. Originally from New York, Liz came to the University of New Hampshire for college, fell in love with the Granite State and decided to stay. Liz is drawn to public service and state government. She started her career working for Governor Jeanne Shaheen, followed by time with the New Hampshire State Senate and the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. During Governor John Lynch’s administration Liz served as his policy advisor for workforce and economic development.
Liz is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire where she received a B.S. in Environmental Conservation and International Affairs and a Master in Public Administration. She also serves on the New Hampshire Economic Development Association Board of Directors and Symphony NH Concord Advisory Committee.
William Hill, Member
William Hill is a Program Manager III at BAE Systems, with more than 30 years of engineering and program management experience. He has been recognized for his leadership in the “most successful transition to production” on a major Government program, and he has been awarded several bronze Chairmen’s Awards for his teams’ contributions to major program successes. Hill earned a Masters in Management of Technology at the Whittemore School of Business at UNH and his undergraduate Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology at UNH.
Heather Lavoie, Member
Heather Lavoie, MBA, a native of Manchester and serial entrepreneur, serves as founder and Chief Strategy
Officer for Geneia, a health care technology, analytics and clinical services organization, and CEO of Illume Advisors, LLC, a strategy and coaching firm.
In her role with Geneia, she has overall accountability for strategy development and execution, supporting the launch and administration of products and services that sit at the intersection of personalized and population health and help healthcare organizations transform the way they deliver care. Previous to Geneia she co-founded and served as Vice President of Product Development, Delivery and Engineering for Choicelinx Corporation, now a CIGNA Health Care subsidiary. Heather sits on the Board of Granite United Way and the advisory Board of PCG Public Partnerships, LLP.
Debra Livingston, Member
Debra Livingston is the Superintendent of Manchester School District. Livingston previously served as Superintendent of the Fall Mountain Regional School. Prior to her tenure at Fall Mountain, she was the Executive Director of Curriculum and Instruction in Socorro Independent School District in El Paso, Texas, which had over 37,000 students.
Paul Mailhot, Member
A fixture in the New Hampshire high tech scene for years, Paul Mailhot has spent the last two years as the VP of Business Operations at Dyn. Prior to that he spent 19 years in various leadership positions at Autodesk, Inc., including Sales, Sales Management, Academic Programs, Learning & Training and Business Development. Mailhot is now focused on the development of new revenue streams and leveraging business and market opportunities for Dyn. He is the current Chair of the NH High Technology Council and is also one of the earliest members and supporters of the Entrepreneurs Foundation of New Hampshire.
Stephanie McLaughlin, Member
Bringing a background in journalism to marketing, Stephanie McLaughlin merges creativity with clarity for results that are functional and, more importantly, relevant to the ever-changing business world. Principal at Savoir Faire Marketing/Communications, McLaughlin is a versatile communications practitioner with more than 15 years of professional experience in both media and public relations. McLaughlin is a founding member of the Manchester Young Professionals Network, a social and business networking organization for younger professionals in the Manchester area; a member of Manchester's Heritage Commission; a member of the Capital Center for the Arts Ghostlight Committee; and works on the Manchester St. Patrick's Parade committee.
Selma Naccach-Hoff, Member
Selma Naccach-Hoff is Chair of the English Department at Manchester Central High School and has taught for more than 30 years. Naccach-Hoff is a UNH graduate and was part of the UNH Manchester STEM Discovery Lab Work Group. She previously served as a board member of the New Hampshire Humanities Council and chair of the Bean Foundation.
Stephen Reno, Member
Stephen Reno is Chancellor Emeritus of the University System of New Hampshire. Over a 40-year career in higher education, he has served as president of Southern Oregon University and held teaching and senior administrative posts as the University of Southern Maine and the University of Leicester (UK). He is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Winchester (UK) and twice a Visiting Scholar and ad hoc Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Study of World Religions. He has served regularly as the chair of accreditation teams for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. As a Senior Associate at Penson Associates, his areas are: integration of accreditation self-study and institutional planning, multi-campus systems of higher education, board development, and CEO development and evaluation. Recent consultations include Northwest Oklahoma State University, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Kutztown University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Reno holds the AB degree from St. John’s College, California, and the MA and PhD in religious studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Nick Soggu, Member
Nick Soggu is the President and Founder of SilverTech, a national digital marketing agency serving an eclectic roster of big brands. Soggu teaches as an adjunct at area colleges and universities, including UNH Manchester’s Computer Information Systems program. He also sits on numerous professional and non-profit boards including Northeast Delta Dental, Amoskeag Industries, the SEE Science Center and the Palace Theatre. He has been a recipient of the "Excellence in Business" Award presented by the New Hampshire Business Review, was honored by The Union Leader with a ‘40 Under 40’ award, received NH Charitable Foundation’s ‘Emerging Leader’ award, and even earned a spot on New Hampshire Magazine’s ‘IT’ list. He was named a ‘Top 25 NH Leader to Watch Over the Next 25 Years’ by Business New Hampshire Magazine, and received a ‘Good Samaritan’ Award for his generous community support.
Susan Walsh, Member
Professor Walsh teaches a wide range of literature and writing courses. She specializes in Victorian literature and art, and teaches 18th and 20th century British literature in addition to courses in 19th century fiction, poetry and drama. She has presented papers on 19th century American and British literature at many conferences and currently serves as the Coordinator for the English program at UNH Manchester.
Gail Wolek, Member
Gail Wolek is Deputy Director of the Division of Parks and Recreation at N.H. Department of Resources and Economic Development. In this role she works with the Attorney General's Office and the state's legislators, keeping them informed of what's happening in New Hampshire's parks, particularly in areas of the Division's finances. Wolek also oversees the division's legal agreements, marketing, public relations and retail operations. In 2009 Governor John Lynch appointed Wolek to a 10-month term as the Executive Director of the Gaming Studies Commission for New Hampshire. Wolek previously served as Executive Assistant to Governor Jeanne Shaheen. She is a graduate of the Political Science program at UNH Manchester.
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