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Committee Members

The High Hopes Foundation is proud of the talented and diverse mix of board members who come to the organization from all walks of life and bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise. They mutually see the need to create a bridge between charitable giving and the business community. They selflessly contribute their time, talent, and energy to granting life-changing-Experiences to chronically and seriously ill children in New Hampshire.

Executive Committee

Jay Welch - Executive Committee, Chairman of High HopesJay Welch – Chairman
Territory Manager, Guest Supply – Sysco 
Jay is a local business leader with more than ten years of experience in both large corporations and small businesses. He has been a High Hopes Board member for four years, three of which he has served as Board President. During Jay’s tenure as Board President, he was key in rebranding High Hopes Foundation and laying the groundwork for increased fundraising and future growth. He is a native of Nashua, NH.

 

Lisa Rourke - Executive Committee, President of High HopesLisa Rourke – President
CPA and Financial Analyst, Amphenol in Nashua, NH
Lisa has been volunteering with The High Hopes Foundation since 2011 and joined the Board of Directors in September 2014. In her downtime she enjoys the outdoors, running and spending time with her husband Brian and adorable pup, Macie. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Masters of Science in Accounting from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics.

 

Melissa Hardy - Executive Committee, Treasurer of High HopesMelissa Hardy – Treasurer
Owner, Cypress Consulting Accounting in Milford, NH
Having my own business allows me the flexibility to spend the time I need with my family. My son Aidan is very active in sports and my husband Rich can be found either coaching or assisting in some way with the many basketball teams/leagues. We love to travel and spend time at our place in Wells Beach, Maine in the summer. When I would see a child with a disability or struggling with a disorder, I wanted to help them but never knew how. Offering a warm smile or helpful hand did not seem like enough. High Hopes is now my vessel. What High Hopes does to change children’s lives – for a moment or a lifetime – is the most rewarding thing to be a part of. You never forget the light that shines in their eyes or the smile that appears on their face when they are granted their Experience.

 

Kathleen Palmer - Executive Committee, Secretary of High HopesKathleen Palmer – Secretary
Marketing & Content Director, RR Auction in Amherst, NH
Kathleen joined High Hopes in 2013 because of her love for the good work all nonprofits do for their communities, and because she is grateful for her own daughter. In her spare time, she does stand-up comedy, live theater, and spends time in nature with her daughter.

 

General Board Members

Hall Fogg - Board Member of High HopesHall Fogg
President & Owner, CEO Bedford, Inc. in Bedford, NH
CEO Bedford, Inc. is an award-winning executive business center located in Bedford, NH that provides a professional setting and trained staff to assist his clients with their day to day business needs. In addition, Hall is also founder and President of Pinnacle Solutions, LLC which provides innovative assessment, coaching and organizational strategies to small businesses and individuals. Hall is a Certified Professional Behavioral Analyst and is certified in the delivery and analysis of Axiology, the science of human values. Hall resides in Amherst, NH with his wife Jo-Ann and is an active business leader within the community and enjoys working with children in many areas. Hall has coached the local high school golf team and is a ski instructor of 4-7 year old children at Mt Sunapee.

 

Becky Hooley - Board Member of High HopesBecky Hooley
AVP Treasury Services Sales Officer, Eastern Bank
Becky started with Centrix Bank in 2006 as a Retail Floater traveling to all of the branches in New Hampshire covering all roles as needed. She then was promoted to Business Development department as the Sales Coordinator in 2010 being responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with many business customers in Southern New Hampshire. In 2012 was promoted to Business Development Officer covering the Bedford, Manchester and Concord region. In October 2015 Centrix Bank merged with Eastern Bank where she was a crucial part in making the merger as seamless as possible while maintaining her internal and external customers. She was quickly promoted to AVP Treasury Services Sales Officer in June of 2015. She is currently perusing a Bachelor’s degree for Business Administration at Southern New Hampshire University. She also sits on the Emerging Leaders Society for Granite United Way, Chairing as volunteer committee. She is also a Community Review Team member for Granite United Way.

 

Cheryl Paquette - Board Member of High HopesCheryl Paquette
Administrative Coordinator
Cheryl is active in the community and currently is a CASA GAL. She works part-time in the medical field and also helps with her husband’s small business. She spent time as a volunteer EMT for many years as well. Cheryl has volunteered with High Hopes for several years. High Hopes holds a very special place in her heart as her son was granted an experience when he was 4 years old – a life-changing event for her family.

 

Seth SimonianSeth Simonian
Founder Hop Head United and The Flight Center in Nashua, NH
Seth is a local entrepreneur that operates several businesses within the Craft Beer world. In his down time he enjoys coaching his kids’ sports teams, playing soccer, and spending time with his lovely wife Kelley. He graduated from Daniel Webster College with a Bachelors of Science in Business, Bachelors of Science in Marketing and an Associates in Aviation Flight Operations.

Experience Committee

Celia Gatsas
Pediatric Occupational Therapist DTS, Inc. Therapy, Exercise and Rehab
Celia has been working as a pediatric occupational therapist for over 20 years. She graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University in 1997 and spent the first half of her career working in New York State as the supervisor of a large private therapy clinic. In that capacity, Celia serviced children in the early intervention program, clinics, pre-school and school settings. Since moving to NH, she works part time for DTS, Inc. as well as working as an independent provider throughout southern NH. Celia is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, and the New Hampshire Occupational Therapy Association. She has a special interest in early intervention and holds a Certificate of Clinical Enhancement in Functional Vision. Celia joined the High Hopes team in 2017 simply because its mission supports helping children who need it the most. Celia lives in Manchester with her husband Matt, her two young children, Calla and Matthew and her dog Fella.

 

Gary Dietz
Marketing Professional and Technology Entrepreneur
Gary Dietz has been a marketing professional and technology entrepreneur for over 20 years. He is an experienced speaker who has discussed technology, communication, education, and special needs at conferences and in the media. He is the father of a warm, funny, and challenging 18-year-old young man who experiences a number of developmental, intellectual, physical, and behavioral challenges. Gary holds a BA in Writing from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Potsdam and is the author of the book Dads of Disability: Stories For, By, and About Fathers of Children That Experience Disability (and the Women Who Love Them).

 

Donna Brand
Paraprofessional – Nashua School District
Donna has been working with and supporting individuals with disabilities for over 20 years. She attended Fitchburg State College and Keene State College for Special Education. She is a graduate of The N.H. Leadership Series through UNH Institute on Disabilities. Donna has also completed the PIC (Parent Information Center) Volunteer Advocacy training and Parents as Leaders through The New England Consortium. Donna joined the High Hopes Experience Committee in 2017. The High Hopes Foundation is near and dear to her heart as her son was granted an experience at the age of 11. Always wanting to give back, she is now able to give Hope and Joy to other children who experience a medical or developmental challenge. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband Eric, her 3 children, Ashley, Tanner and Hayden and her friends. She enjoys the outdoors, camping, running and traveling.

 

Cheryl Paquette - Board Member of High HopesCheryl Paquette
Administrative Coordinator
Cheryl is active in the community and currently is a CASA GAL. She works part-time in the medical field and also helps with her husband’s small business. She spent time as a volunteer EMT for many years as well. Cheryl has volunteered with High Hopes for several years. High Hopes holds a very special place in her heart as her son was granted an experience when he was 4 years old – a life-changing event for her family.

 

Lisa McDonough - Executive Committee, Vice President of High HopesLisa Rourke
CPA and Financial Analyst, Amphenol in Nashua, NH
Lisa has been volunteering with The High Hopes Foundation since 2011 and joined the Board of Directors in September 2014. In her downtime she enjoys the outdoors, running and spending time with her husband Brian and adorable pup, Macie. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Masters of Science in Accounting from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics.