Ashley graduated from the Emerge Maine program in 2011. She has worked in fundraising roles for statewide and coordinated races, most recently as Finance Director for the Maine Democratic Party. In addition to fundraising work, she’s been involved in leadership roles for various organizations in political and non-profit work, on local House races and ballot initiatives. She also served on Emerge Maine’s Development and Executive Committees. Additionally, she’s worked in consulting roles in strategic communications, fundraising, and organizational transitions. She is also a returning trainer to the Emerge Maine program. Ashley has a BA in Communications from the University of Southern Maine.
An Emerge Class of 2019 graduate, Lily Herrmann has worked in Maine Politics for the past 5 years and is currently a Legislative Aide in the Maine Senate Majority Office. Most recently, she served as the Field Director of the Maine Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, where she oversaw all 35 Democratic Campaigns for the Maine state senate and advised candidates on fundraising, messaging, field, and expenditure strategies. This 2020 campaign secured a 22-seat majority – the largest since 1984 – flipping 2 seats, protecting 14 incumbents, & winning 6 open seats. She has also worked for the Maine Democratic Party in a variety of roles from 2017-2019 and for the Hillary for America Campaign in 2016. Lily lives in Portland with her partner and her dog where she enjoys getting outside on local trails, riding her bike, and digging into a good book.
Jenna Howard is the Communications Director for the Maine Speaker of the House. She has served as Deputy Campaign Director for the Maine House Democratic Campaign Committee, where she worked to elect Democrats in all 151 districts in Maine. During the 2018 campaign cycle, she was co-director of Swing Left Maine, her mission: to help take back the House by electing Jared Golden to Congress. For eight years prior, she ran a marketing and digital advertising agency.
Jenna graduated from the Women’s Campaign School at Yale in 2019 and the Emerge Maine bootcamp in 2018. A lifelong Mainer from Washington County, she holds a masters in Community Planning, Public Policy, and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service.
The first door she ever knocked was for marriage equality in Maine.
Chloe Maxmin, hailing from rural Maine, is a Maine State Senator. She founded the Climate Action Club at Lincoln Academy and co-founded Divest Harvard at Harvard College, a campaign that grew to over 70,000 people. She was elected in 2020 after unseating a two-term Republican incumbent and (former) Senate Minority Leader. In 2018, she served in the Maine House of Representatives after becoming the first Democrat to win a rural conservative district. Chloe is about a new politics for rural America. She and her campaign manager, Canyon Woodward, are writing a book for Beacon Press on their work. She is 28 years old and the youngest woman ever to serve in the Maine State Senate.
Sen. Mattie Daughtry is serving her first term in the Maine Senate. She is a former member of the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs and has served as House chair of the Maine Commission on College Affordability and College Completion.
Sen. Daughtry co-owns and brews at Moderation Brewing Company, in Brunswick. She also runs her own local photography and video company.
She previously was the communications associate for Maine’s Majority and did legislative research for the organization. She has also worked as a curator for Brunswick-based VSA Arts of Maine, an organization serving people with disabilities through the arts. Sen. Daughtry founded and ran the news department at WOZQ 91.9 FM and also worked in the news department at WFCR 88.5 FM, an NPR station in western Massachusetts. She worked in Congressman Tom Allen’s office as an intern in college. She has extensive experience working in her local community, on a local farm, as a waitress, as a counselor at several local camps and as a contributor to the Times Record.
Secretary of State Shenna Bellows is Maine’s 50th Secretary of State, sworn into her first two-year term in the position on Jan. 4, 2021. Secretary Bellows is Maine’s first female Secretary of State.
Secretary Bellows previously served two terms in the Maine Senate from 2016-2020, representing 11 towns in southern Kennebec County. In the Maine Senate, she served as Senate Chair of the Labor and Housing Committee and served on the Judiciary Committee. She was a 2020 presidential elector in the Electoral College.
Secretary Bellows most recently led the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine as executive director from 2018 to 2020. Previously, she owned Bellows & Company, a non-profit consulting business, where she worked with organizations such as the Sierra Club’s Maine Chapter, Consumers for Affordable Healthcare and the Maine Women’s Lobby. She also served as interim executive director of LearningWorks. In 2014, Secretary Bellows was the Democratic nominee for United States Senate in Maine.
From 2005 to 2013, Secretary Bellows was executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. She was a member of the first Right to Know Advisory Committee and the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition. She served on the Executive Committee of the 2009 and 2012 ballot campaigns to pass marriage equality in Maine, and co-chaired a successful 2011 statewide ballot campaign to restore same-day voter registration. She was an original member of the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting.
Secretary Bellows grew up in Hancock and is a graduate of Ellsworth High School. She holds a B.A. in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College. She volunteered with the Peace Corps in Panama and AmeriCorps VISTA in Nashville, Tennessee.
Secretary Bellows lives with her husband, Brandon, in Manchester.
Eva Facundo serves as the Deputy Affiliate Director of Fundraising for Emerge America where she trains, works and supports Emerge America’s growing state affiliates on their fundraising goals.
Eva got her start in political fundraising as a major gifts intern for EMILY’s List in Washington D.C. while studying at American University where she graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minor in Spanish language. Since then she has fundraised for the DSCC, Karen Bass, John Oceguera for Congress, Loretta Sanchez, Sue Savary for Congress, Lucy Flores, Mitchell Schwarrtz for Mayor of Los Angeles and finally as the Finance Director for Delaine Eastin for Governor. She is passionate about the new and creative ways of reaching fundraising goals that better fit the new political class of women and people of color. Eva was born in Dominican Republic and grew up in Miami, Florida but is now proud to call Southern California her home.
State Senator Cathy Breen is the Ranking Member on the Joint Standing Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs. She was elected the Maine Senate in 2014 and served her first term on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Cathy served on the Falmouth Town Council from 2005 – 2011, serving two terms as Chair. As Chair in 2007, Breen led the effort to pass Falmouth’s Open Space Conservation program, one of the most successful municipal conservation programs in Maine history. Cathy serves on the Board of Directors of Spurwink Services, Inc., a non-profit behavioral health provider with sites throughout Maine. She holds a B.A. from Tufts University and M.Ed. from the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Senator Cathy Breen is serving her fourth term in the Maine Senate, where she represents the people of Falmouth, Yarmouth, Cumberland, Gray, Long Island, Chebeague Island and part of Westbrook. She is the chair of the budget-writing Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, having previously served on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
Senator Breen lives in Falmouth with her husband and has two adult children.
Eloise was first elected to the State Senate in a special election, in 2013 and was recently re-elected for her third full term representing District 23, Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden. She was elected by her peers to serve as Assistant Majority Leader in 2018 and most recently, became Majority Leader upon the departure from that position of Senator Nate Libby of Lewiston. She has served on the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and Marine Resources Committees and now serves on the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee as well as Government Oversight Committee.
Eloise retired after 38 years with New Ventures Maine, where she worked to advance the economic status of women and their families, creating programs and opportunities for entrepreneurship development. She served for many years as a member of the Maine Economic Growth Council and was President of the Board of the MidCoast Economic Development District. She currently serves on the board of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
She is a long time resident of Arrowsic where she lives with her husband and her small flock of chickens. She is the mother of two grown sons, both of whom graduated from Morse High School. Eloise takes joy in being in Maine’s great outdoors – gardening, hiking in the woods, walking along the shore, or just sitting in her yard.
The Power of Allyship
Margaret Brownlee (she, her, hers) is MECA’s first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion officer. Her goal is to unveil new initiatives aimed to improve DEI on-campus using design thinking and principles of transformative change. Margaret is focused on serving the students of color coalition, students of faith club, and students of the LGBTQAI+ community.
Margaret is working on her doctorate (Ed.D) in Educational Leadership at UNE, holds a Master’s degree in education, and a Bachelor’s degree in performing arts. She is passionate about helping college students’ establish a sense of belonging in higher education by facilitating conversation about intersectionality, intercultural competence, and global fluency.
Outside of work, Margaret serves on the South Portland Human Rights Commission and spends time with her wife and 4-year old daughter Estella Rose.
Ethics & Finance
Emma is a born and raised Mainer, and has been a Candidate Registrar at the Ethics Commission for over seven years, and has worked through four elections there. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine in 2012 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Criminology, and graduated from the University of New Hampshire with her Master’s Degree in Justice Studies in 2013. She has been the assigned registrar at the Ethics Commission for Governor Mills, Mike Michaud, and Terry Hayes, among others, and has overseen the campaign finance compliance for over a thousand legislative and county candidates. She lives in Portland with her cat, Cuddles, and her partner, David.
Gwen Doak is Chairperson of the Wilton Democratic Committee, an Executive Committee Member of the Franklin County Democratic Committee, and a Maine Democratic State Committee Member representing Franklin County.
She currently serves on the Wilton Planning Board, Wilton Finance Committee, Board of the Wilton Free Public Library, and on two short-term town committees, Broadband and Comprehensive Plan. Gwen is a member of the Wilton PTF (Parent Teacher Forum), the Wilton Day Extension, Wilton Fish & Game, and F.O.W.L. (Friends of Wilson Lake). She’s an advocate and ally for many social service non-profits and organizations committed primarily to voting, social justice, disability, environmental, and reproductive rights – and, of course, those working to get Democratic women elected!
Gwen is also the mother of a six-year-old attending G.D. Cushing School, where she volunteered before the pandemic, and her husband, John, is a Navy Veteran. She earned a B.A. from Old Dominion University, in Virginia where she grew up, and an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park, before heading north to her husband’s family & forever home in Wilton, Maine.
April Fournier is a member of the Dine’ Nation, of the Honaghaani clan and one of the newest members of the Portland City Council. She is a mom of 4 kiddos (2 are adults now). She has an M.Ed. with a concentration in Early Intervention and currently work at Maine Med as the Early Childhood Specialist Case Manager with pediatric families to address the most critical social determinants of health.
Deqa is a passionate advocate for the immigrant community with extensive experience in social services, public health, community building. Deqa is the Family Engagement and Cultural Responsiveness Specialist for Maine Department of Education. She formerly worked for The Opportunity Alliance as a community builder and The City of Portland as a Health and Human Services Councilor. Deqa holds a master’s degree in Development Policy and Practice from the University of New Hampshire and master’s in Social Work from the University of New England. She is a certified language tester and cultural skill trainer and has been providing broad mediation for clients in different settings with service providers to ensure unmet needs of immigrant communities. Deqa is originally from Somalia East Africa; she came to the United States in 1992 and has three children. She is a leader in the Somali Community Center of Maine; Deqa is a Board member for Northern Light Mercy Hospital, I am Your Neighbor Books and Emerge Maine. Deqa is the co-founder of Cross-Cultural Community Services where she and her colleagues provide cultural competency trainings to organization in Maine to better understand the challenge BIPOC communities go through. Deqa believes everyone should have the opportunity to access quality education, healthy food, safe and affordable housing and a clean environmental to thrive in no matter where they are from or what ethnicity they have.
Deqa Dhalac is a South Portland City Councilor representing district 5 and Emerge Maine Alumni.
Courtney Allen is the Policy Director for the Maine Recovery Advocacy Project, an Augusta At-Large City Councilor, and is currently studying towards a master’s in public policy at the Muskie School of Public Service. Prior to this work, Courtney interned in Senator King’s D.C office, successfully managed two local campaigns during the 2020 election session, and operated the first recovery residences in her community. She lives in Augusta with her two sons, fiance, mother, and their cats: RJ and Lion.