Employee Spotlight on...

Laura Harvey

December 8th, 2017

    Laura Harvey is the Associate Director of Human Resources for Independence Association.  She began her career at Independence Association in October 2002.  Over the years Laura, (known outside of work as “Laurie”) has been a reliable, consistent, and professional employee who serves as an example for everyone, that continued growth and promotions within the association are possible if you are flexible and willing to learn.  Beginning as an Individual Services Manager, Laura gradually worked her way up into positions of increasing responsibility.  Within two years, Laura was promoted to the role as Children’s Services Program Manager.  Her talent continued to blossom and she was promoted to the role of In Home Supports Manager.  Then in September 2015, the opportunity to move Laura into Human Resources availed itself and she moved into the role as Associate Director of HR.  Never to let moss grow on her feet, Laura continued her education and in December of 2015, Laura received her Maine State license as a Social Worker.  Continuing with her aversion to moss, Laura is an accomplished runner.  She has participated in countless local races, but even went so far as to participate in three races at Disney World- the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror 10 miler (2013), Expedition Everest Challenge (2015) and the Wine & Dine Half Marathon in 2017.  When she is not running our HR department or running the streets in her hometown of Bath, she spends time with her husband Joe, and son Caleb.  They enjoy camping and watching her son’s baseball games.  Don’t let her size fool you, she may be calm and quiet but she can be a giant killer if necessary. 😊

Ray Nagel, Executive Director

David Curtis

July 25th, 2017

David Curtis is the Program Manager of Independence Association’s Community Living Program where he created the now famous “Chatty Goose” program on Gilman Avenue. David came to Maine from Florida, but was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. David and his significant other Ed live in Phippsburg and have been together for over 15 years. They have two furry children; Basil the famous Jack Russell Terrier you can often see with David when he is volunteering to do extra-curricular activities and a beautiful cat named Isabella. David is a DJ and owns his own DJ Company called “DJ Haunt”. He has volunteered his DJ services to many of Independence Association events. His favorite musician is Madonna and he can tell you anything you want to know about her. Much like Madonna, David is very interested in Kabbalah, and does spiritual outreach through a regular Facebook site called Kabbalah 4 All. David is rumored to be an excellent cook, and enjoys scary movies. He owns a large movie collection and oftentimes loans his movies to the participants at the Chatty Goose. David crochets yarmulkes and sells them all over world, is a skilled web designer and knows his way around a computer. In fact, David was commissioned to create the first Independence Association “Brand Book”. Most important, the staff and people in the Community Living program are very fond of David. Although he is very busy, he makes sure he at least stops in for every Chatty Goose activity.

Ray Nagel, Executive Director

Jessica Bernier

April 19, 2017

  Jessica Bernier is the Residential Manager at our Hallowell Road Group Home in Durham.  Her coworkers say she is one of the strongest leaders on the Residential team. She is well liked and not afraid to tackle tough projects. Jessica is originally from Massachusetts but her family moved to Norridgewock when her sister was born. She graduated from Skowhegan high school in 2004 and received a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Biology from Unity College in 2008. Jessica got married almost a year ago to Shawn Bernier. They have two dogs (Maggie and Ari). Jessica’s hobbies include reading, gardening, spending time with family, and exploring new places. She loves movies and doing “crafty” things. Jessica’s music tastes are varied but include oldies, country, (her new favorite country song is “Jolene” by Dolly Parton!) jazz, blues, and rock n roll.  Jessica does not really like heavy metal and rap. She dislikes rude people. She wants to have her own truck. Jessica is terrified of snakes and spiders. She really wishes her extended family lived closer.  Jessica’s most visible quality is the fact that she really cares about the people we serve and her staff. Jessica has a bright future at Independence Association and has yet to realize her full potential.

Ray Nagel, Executive Director

Jane Hart

February 1, 2017

    Jane Hart has worked at Independence Association for almost 16 years and is an Associate Director of Community Supports; working primarily at the Founder’s Building. Jane is described by others as a “hippie” at heart, and she enjoys making various balms, salves, and potions from scratch.  Despite being notoriously cold all the time, (she wears sweaters in the summer), Jane has a very warm heart. She has two boys; AJ and Kendrick, and is married to her long-time companion, Carl. Jane loves gardening and plants. Despite only having two boys, she describes having many babies at home.  Referring to her plants as “dirt babies”, the inside of Jane’s home has been described to be very Jurassic Park-like with plants and flora abounding.  She graduated from Lisbon High School, and enjoys listening to Celtic and Blues music and will occasionally imbibe in Sangria when the mood strikes her.  For those of you who want to get on Jane’s good side, try jewelry, because it is one of her guilty pleasures.

Ray Nagel, Executive Director

Angela Minard

September 26, 2016

angela Angela Minard is one of our “stronger” managers. Having worked in a family owned group home for many years, “Angel” came to Independence Association a little over two years ago to work as a DSP. Her potential was quickly evident and she was promoted to role of Manager at our Old Portland Road home. Angel is known for being firm but fair, and she earns the respect of her staff because she “leads by example”. She works long hours and is appreciated by the staff, the residents and family members. She serves as a mentor to her coworkers and is known to have a quick wit. Angel’s past group home experience; in a group home owned by her mother, can be credited for turning the serious health condition of a resident at Mae Lane from a dire, life-threatening diagnosis, to one that has become vibrant, and thriving. Her encouragement and understanding of that individual made the difference from the recommendation of “hospice care” to thriving in a matter of one month. She is one among many of our unsung heroes. Thank you Angela.

Ray Nagel, Executive Director

    Jimmy Franklin Jr.

    July 7, 2016

jimmy f   His name is not James, his given name is not Jim; it really is Jimmy!  Jimmy Franklin Jr. has been working at Independence Association for over seven years and is currently working as our Staff Trainer and Special Olympics Coordinator.  Jim is always in a good mood and is eager to help his fellow staff and work with the people we serve.  He has been the Special Olympics Coach for many years and has seen the participation rates increase significantly. He thrives on the accomplishments of the Special Olympians he coaches, and is a beloved coach and trainer; he derives as much pleasure watching the athletes perform as they do participating.   He loves sports, especially basketball and football, and his favorite team is the Miami Dolphins! He collects authentic jerseys, and can oftentimes be seen eating Tootsie Rolls while training staff.  Jim is accredited to teach Safety Care, CPR, First Aid, and the live portion of the College of Direct Supports.  It is no doubt he has personally trained more staff than anyone else in his position.   Jim is a true family man and he is devoted to his wife Cyndie and their children.  He takes his role as a father seriously and attends all of their extracurricular activities; he really goes crazy making them specialized Halloween costumes which are always based on a theme.  The next time you see Jim; ask him where he bought his wedding coat!

Ray Nagel, Executive Director

    Christine Walker

   June 1, 2016

christine Christine Walker is the Manager of Independence Association’s Children’s Case Management Program; commonly referred to as Targeted Case Management. She supervises three full time case managers who collectively support over 60 children and families in the greater Brunswick area. When you first meet Christine you are greeted with an ear-to-ear smile and a heartfelt friendly greeting. Her smile is contagious and her greeting is both warm and sincere. Christine has been married for over 16 years to her husband Cullen. Together, they have a 9-year old daughter named Gabby. Gabby loves softball, and from the looks of Christine’s Facebook album, she and Cullen spend a lot of family time supporting Gabby’s softball interests. Christine is a photography buff, but her friends will tell you that she is a talented singer too. In addition to being well known in the community, Christine is very well liked by her fellow employees and the families she serves. In September, Christine will have worked at Independence Association for 20-years. Her families and fellow employees both agree that the reason Christine is so well liked is because she genuinely cares for other people. She is one of the first people to volunteer for a good cause and has organized bake sales, golf tournaments, and collected box tops in support of worthy charities. Thank you Christine for all the work you do for the people we serve at Independence Association.

Ray Nagel, Executive Director