Serving the Maine Communities of Franklin County, Livermore & Livermore Falls

The Team

Kendra L. Baker
Executive Director
Kendra L. Baker

Kendra joined United Way in 2015 as the Finance and Operations Coordinator. She assumed the Executive Director position in July of 2022. She is excited to continue to grow and impact the local community.

Past employment with Franklin-Somerset FCU, Camden National Bank, Work First Inc. and LEAP provides Kendra’s with a strong financial background, the ability to manage all operations associated with an office setting, and experience working with a diverse community. She has completed coursework at Coastal Carolina Community College and is a graduate of Mt. Blue High School. Certifications include State Board Licensed Insurance Producer and Medical Terminology.

She has a passion for our community, especially youth programming and led the way to the development of the Hope Fund. She has also started many of United Way's main events, including Dodgeball, the COLOR ME UNITED 5k Walk/Run and Halls of Horror. She and her family are avid volunteers in the community. Kendra holds a variety of awards/ recognitions, and certifications ranging from financials of banking, medical terminology to ethics in the workplace.

Kendra, an avid sports mom, lives in Jay, with her husband Kenneth. Their adult children, Hunter, Calley, Ashley, and Emily are grown and no longer at home, but several of them still travel back to participate in United Way's fun events.

Kendra joined United Way in 2015 as the Finance and Operations Coordinator. She assumed the Executive Director position in July of 2022. She is excited to continue to grow and impact the local community.

Past employment with Franklin-Somerset FCU, Camden National Bank, Work First Inc. and LEAP provides Kendra’s with a strong financial background, the ability to manage all operations associated with an office setting, and experience working with a diverse community. She has completed coursework at Coastal Carolina Community College and is a graduate of Mt. Blue High School. Certifications include State Board Licensed Insurance Producer and Medical Terminology.

She has a passion for our community, especially youth programming and led the way to the development of the Hope Fund. She has also started many of United Way's main events, including Dodgeball, the COLOR ME UNITED 5k Walk/Run and Halls of Horror. She and her family are avid volunteers in the community. Kendra holds a variety of awards/ recognitions, and certifications ranging from financials of banking, medical terminology to ethics in the workplace.

Kendra, an avid sports mom, lives in Jay, with her husband Kenneth. Their adult children, Hunter, Calley, Ashley, and Emily are grown and no longer at home, but several of them still travel back to participate in United Way's fun events.

Nichole Ernest
Director of Marketing & Communications
Nichole Ernest

Nichole Ernest serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications and has been with United Way since April of 2016. 

Nichole has BA in International Business from Eckerd College and an MBA from Plymouth State College. She grew up in the Farmington area and moved back after 10 years in New Hampshire to raise her children close to her family, and in the community that she knows and appreciates. Past employment includes working with MAS Community Health, Work First Inc and LEAP. These positions have provided Nichole with a diverse background and a full awareness of both the needs of the local community, as well as the many resources available within our community. Nichole has coordinated and participated in many local events and always finds time to volunteer regularly. As the current President of the Mallett School PTA, the treasurer of the JWL Riding Club, and co-advisor of UMF's Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Nichole demonstrates valuable volunteer leadership in our community.

Nichole and Andrew live in Farmington with their family, Jaimi, Madeleine and McKenna. Nichole is an active mom, juggling work, farm animals, riding lessons, dance lessons, gymnastics and skiing. 

Nichole Ernest serves as the Director of Marketing & Communications and has been with United Way since April of 2016. 

Nichole has BA in International Business from Eckerd College and an MBA from Plymouth State College. She grew up in the Farmington area and moved back after 10 years in New Hampshire to raise her children close to her family, and in the community that she knows and appreciates. Past employment includes working with MAS Community Health, Work First Inc and LEAP. These positions have provided Nichole with a diverse background and a full awareness of both the needs of the local community, as well as the many resources available within our community. Nichole has coordinated and participated in many local events and always finds time to volunteer regularly. As the current President of the Mallett School PTA, the treasurer of the JWL Riding Club, and co-advisor of UMF's Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Nichole demonstrates valuable volunteer leadership in our community.

Nichole and Andrew live in Farmington with their family, Jaimi, Madeleine and McKenna. Nichole is an active mom, juggling work, farm animals, riding lessons, dance lessons, gymnastics and skiing. 

Chelsie Whittier
Director of Community Engagement
Chelsie Whittier

Chelsie serves as the Director of Community Engagement and has been with United Way since August of 2022. 

For the last decade Chelsie has focused her career on customer service, with the last 5 years as an insurance agent for Kyes Insurance. She holds a degree in Administration from University of Phoenix and is a graduate of Mt. Blue High School. She is excited to now have a direct role within the community that where she grew up. She was born and raised in Farmington, and now lives in Wilton with my husband Greg and their four kids. Outside of work she is very involved in youth sports, from volunteering, to fundraising, to being on the board for different leagues. Outside of work the family spends a lot of time outdoors on the boat, at camp, on the ATVs, hiking or at one of their kids' many sporting events.

Chelsie serves as the Director of Community Engagement and has been with United Way since August of 2022. 

For the last decade Chelsie has focused her career on customer service, with the last 5 years as an insurance agent for Kyes Insurance. She holds a degree in Administration from University of Phoenix and is a graduate of Mt. Blue High School. She is excited to now have a direct role within the community that where she grew up. She was born and raised in Farmington, and now lives in Wilton with my husband Greg and their four kids. Outside of work she is very involved in youth sports, from volunteering, to fundraising, to being on the board for different leagues. Outside of work the family spends a lot of time outdoors on the boat, at camp, on the ATVs, hiking or at one of their kids' many sporting events.

Justus Hillebrand
Food Hub Coordinator
Justus Hillebrand

United Way recently received a three-year grant from the Betterment Fund to research food insecurity in Greater Franklin County and implement ways to best meet people’s needs based on the data collected. We are excited that Justus Hillebrand is leading this effort in a part-time role. 

Justus has spent more than a decade researching Maine's past. Now, he is excited to expand his focus on the present to help understand and improve the community he calls home.
 
Justus received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Cologne, Germany, and his doctorate in History from the University of Maine. After moving back and forth between his native Germany and Farmington since 2011, he and his family settled in Farmington in 2020. Apart from his work with United Way, he is founder and director of Digital History Consulting, Inc. and a member of the Greater Franklin County Food Council steering committee. 

United Way recently received a three-year grant from the Betterment Fund to research food insecurity in Greater Franklin County and implement ways to best meet people’s needs based on the data collected. We are excited that Justus Hillebrand is leading this effort in a part-time role. 

Justus has spent more than a decade researching Maine's past. Now, he is excited to expand his focus on the present to help understand and improve the community he calls home.
 
Justus received his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Cologne, Germany, and his doctorate in History from the University of Maine. After moving back and forth between his native Germany and Farmington since 2011, he and his family settled in Farmington in 2020. Apart from his work with United Way, he is founder and director of Digital History Consulting, Inc. and a member of the Greater Franklin County Food Council steering committee. 

Laura Hoeft
Food Hub Educator
Laura Hoeft

One of United Way’s goals is to improve health. One objective to accomplish this is to increase consumers’ access to and consumption of healthy foods. With support of the Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation, United Way has engaged Laura Hoeft. Among many activities related to improving food access, she will design programs and work collaboratively with organizations to provide community education. Laura will be working with Justus Hillebrand who is working on a three-year food insecurity project funded by the Betterment Fund. 
 
Laura was hired by the Greater Franklin County Food Council in August, 2020 to fill the new role of school garden coach for four area schools in Franklin County. During her first year in this position, she collaborated with staff in two of the schools who already had established garden programs to increase capacity.  In the remaining schools, she established new garden programs all together, creatively seeking out ways to build support and enthusiasm with staff and students alike. In year two of her position, she added three additional schools to her programming, for a total of seven schools in Franklin County.  
 
In January 2021 and 2022, Laura also managed Sugarloaf’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Sugarloaf Charity Summit.  In spite of needing to completely reinvent the event due to the restrictions that COVID mandated both years, she led the team to raise over 240k in 2021 and 320k in 2022 to fight cancer in Maine.  Laura has worked previously as a Group Sales Manager at Sugarloaf, coordinating large groups to visit the resort during both the ski and golf season. She has served as a Board member for a number of organizations, including the Maine Mountain Children’s house (a Montessori preschool in Kingfield), the Kingfield POPS committee, and the Town of Belgrade Parks and Recreation department. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Human Development.  She lives in New Vineyard with her husband and three children and is eager to begin her position as a Food Hub Educator for UWTVA!  

One of United Way’s goals is to improve health. One objective to accomplish this is to increase consumers’ access to and consumption of healthy foods. With support of the Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation, United Way has engaged Laura Hoeft. Among many activities related to improving food access, she will design programs and work collaboratively with organizations to provide community education. Laura will be working with Justus Hillebrand who is working on a three-year food insecurity project funded by the Betterment Fund. 
 
Laura was hired by the Greater Franklin County Food Council in August, 2020 to fill the new role of school garden coach for four area schools in Franklin County. During her first year in this position, she collaborated with staff in two of the schools who already had established garden programs to increase capacity.  In the remaining schools, she established new garden programs all together, creatively seeking out ways to build support and enthusiasm with staff and students alike. In year two of her position, she added three additional schools to her programming, for a total of seven schools in Franklin County.  
 
In January 2021 and 2022, Laura also managed Sugarloaf’s biggest annual fundraiser, the Sugarloaf Charity Summit.  In spite of needing to completely reinvent the event due to the restrictions that COVID mandated both years, she led the team to raise over 240k in 2021 and 320k in 2022 to fight cancer in Maine.  Laura has worked previously as a Group Sales Manager at Sugarloaf, coordinating large groups to visit the resort during both the ski and golf season. She has served as a Board member for a number of organizations, including the Maine Mountain Children’s house (a Montessori preschool in Kingfield), the Kingfield POPS committee, and the Town of Belgrade Parks and Recreation department. She is a graduate of Cornell University with a degree in Human Development.  She lives in New Vineyard with her husband and three children and is eager to begin her position as a Food Hub Educator for UWTVA!  

Merrill Woodworth
Community Rides Coordinator
Merrill Woodworth

With support from the Maine Community Foundation, United Way has engaged Merrie (Merrill) Woodworth in a part-time role to help coordinate the Community Rides program - a volunteer driver transportation program. Merrie is piloting the program in Rangeley with hopes to expand the program into other communities. 

Merrie Woodworth grew up in the Boston area and attended University of Pennsylvania receiving dual degrees in Biology and English. After graduating, she spent a few years as a research assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology.

Experiences there led her to pursue an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Management at Boston University. She grew up spending summers with family in Maine and the pull to settle in the state was strong so Merrie found a career at Maine Medical Center. There she worked for over 10 years in the Planning Office where she joined a team responsible for strategic planning and program planning for the hospital. Merrie met her husband Charlie, the current director of Greater Franklin Development Council, in southern Maine.
 
While raising two children, Merrie balanced part-time work with volunteering. She was very active in her children’s schools and with the Royal River Conservation Trust in Yarmouth. When Maine Huts & Trails hired Charlie as its Executive Director, Merrie made the leap to western Maine in 2012 and eventually joined the team at Maine Huts& Trails where she worked to build an Outdoor Education program designed to connect students to the unique and special landscapes of Western Maine.

Merrie has always been interested in United Way, starting as a donor through Maine Med’s workplace campaign. That interest was deepened after coffee and conversation with UWTVA director Lisa Laflin. For the last two years Merrie has been dedicating many hours to United Way. She has organized a Transportation Summit; served on multiple committees that review grant applications; worked with a sub-committee to strengthen the community investment process, and she is continuing to work on steps to increase transportation options in Greater Franklin County.
 
“I have really enjoyed volunteering for United Way. The energy the staff, board and other volunteers bring to their work is inspiring. I can see outcomes leading to real change in our local communities. My involvement offers me the opportunity to learn more about, and appreciate, the good work happening throughout the region. I feel fortunate to be "part of the team"! "

With support from the Maine Community Foundation, United Way has engaged Merrie (Merrill) Woodworth in a part-time role to help coordinate the Community Rides program - a volunteer driver transportation program. Merrie is piloting the program in Rangeley with hopes to expand the program into other communities. 

Merrie Woodworth grew up in the Boston area and attended University of Pennsylvania receiving dual degrees in Biology and English. After graduating, she spent a few years as a research assistant at the Harvard School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology.

Experiences there led her to pursue an MBA with a concentration in Health Care Management at Boston University. She grew up spending summers with family in Maine and the pull to settle in the state was strong so Merrie found a career at Maine Medical Center. There she worked for over 10 years in the Planning Office where she joined a team responsible for strategic planning and program planning for the hospital. Merrie met her husband Charlie, the current director of Greater Franklin Development Council, in southern Maine.
 
While raising two children, Merrie balanced part-time work with volunteering. She was very active in her children’s schools and with the Royal River Conservation Trust in Yarmouth. When Maine Huts & Trails hired Charlie as its Executive Director, Merrie made the leap to western Maine in 2012 and eventually joined the team at Maine Huts& Trails where she worked to build an Outdoor Education program designed to connect students to the unique and special landscapes of Western Maine.

Merrie has always been interested in United Way, starting as a donor through Maine Med’s workplace campaign. That interest was deepened after coffee and conversation with UWTVA director Lisa Laflin. For the last two years Merrie has been dedicating many hours to United Way. She has organized a Transportation Summit; served on multiple committees that review grant applications; worked with a sub-committee to strengthen the community investment process, and she is continuing to work on steps to increase transportation options in Greater Franklin County.
 
“I have really enjoyed volunteering for United Way. The energy the staff, board and other volunteers bring to their work is inspiring. I can see outcomes leading to real change in our local communities. My involvement offers me the opportunity to learn more about, and appreciate, the good work happening throughout the region. I feel fortunate to be "part of the team"! "

Cassandra Fraser
Western Maine CA$H Asset Based Organizer
Cassandra Fraser

Cassandra has served United Way in a number of capacities, including practicum student, and Loaned Executive. She is currently working with our free tax program and helping individuals learn more about keeping and growing their hard-earned money. Support for this role is provided through funding from the John T Gorman Foundation, the State of Maine, and Maine Equal Justice.

Cassandra lives in Manchester with her son Tyson. She earned an Associates degree in Human Services from Central Maine Community College and is currently completing a Bachelor's degree in Human Services from University of Maine at Augusta. 

Cassandra has served United Way in a number of capacities, including practicum student, and Loaned Executive. She is currently working with our free tax program and helping individuals learn more about keeping and growing their hard-earned money. Support for this role is provided through funding from the John T Gorman Foundation, the State of Maine, and Maine Equal Justice.

Cassandra lives in Manchester with her son Tyson. She earned an Associates degree in Human Services from Central Maine Community College and is currently completing a Bachelor's degree in Human Services from University of Maine at Augusta. 

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