Board of Trustees
Bruce Mast, Chair
Bruce Mast is the President of BMA, a firm he founded in 1997 that has become well known for helping individuals and organizations who are stuck and/or at a juncture point find a productive way forward. This is accomplished through a variety of Organizational and Leadership Development initiatives such as Executive Coaching, Strategic Narrative facilitation, and BMA’s proprietary Leadership On The Line™ and Leadership In The Middle™ programs. Bruce holds a Master’s Degree in Peace Studies (Applied Ethics) from the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, a BA in Social Science, summa cum laude, from Bethel College, and has completed advanced academic studies in counseling. In addition to his responsibilities at BMA, Bruce has taught Organizational Management and Leadership in MS and MBA programs and is currently an Adjunct Faculty member of finance department of the UNH’s Paul College of Business and Economics. He serves as the Chair of the RiverWoods Exeter Board of Trustees and on the Governance Committees for Strawbery Banke Museum and the NH Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. He was recognized with the Greater Seacoast United Way Douglas H. Eldridge Award in 2004 for “outstanding dedication, commitment and caring in service as an agency board member” and with The President’s Call to Service Award in 2013 for a “commitment to strengthening our Nation and for making a difference through volunteer service.” RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2013.
Cathy Trower, Vice Chair, Trustee
Dr. Cathy A. Trower is President of Trower & Trower, Inc., a board governance consulting firm, through which she has provided consulting and coaching services to more than 125 nonprofits. Cathy is author of The Practitioner’s Guide to Governance as Leadership: Building High Performing Nonprofit Boards (Jossey Bass 2013) and the second edition of Govern More, Manage Less (BoardSource 2010). She is co-author with R. Barbara Gitenstein of What Board Members Need to Know about Faculty (Association of Governing Boards of Colleges and Universities, 2013), and she has written several articles for the AGB’s Trusteeship magazine—most recently “Flipping the Boardroom for Trustee Engagement: Why and How” (March/April 2015). Formerly Research Director at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Trower studied academic leadership, shared governance, faculty work life, employment issues, policies, and practices including the experiences of faculty through a generational lens, women in STEM disciplines, and underrepresented minorities for sixteen years. Prior to Harvard, Cathy served as a senior-level administrator of business degree programs at Johns Hopkins University; she has also been a faculty member and department chair at a liberal arts college. Trower has published an edited volume on faculty policies, dozens of book chapters, articles, and case studies. Cathy’s latest book about faculty work life and policies is called Success on the Tenure-Track: Five Keys to Faculty Satisfaction (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2012). Cathy serves on two additional nonprofit boards: Wheaton College (MA) in 2012, and BoardSource (Washington, DC). Cathy is a popular, energetic, and dynamic conference speaker. She has a BBA (1981) and an MBA (1985) from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. (1996) in higher education administration and leadership from the University of Maryland, College Park. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2015.
Dianne Mercier, Treasurer, Trustee
Dianne Mercier has served as People’s United Bank President for New Hampshire since 2009. Dianne’s banking career began in New Hampshire in 1985, holding various positions in both regional and commercial banking. Ms. Mercier holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Southern New Hampshire University. Dianne’s civic and charitable activities include: Board Member on The New England Council, Former Board Chair & present Board Member of Elliot Health System, Board Chair of Rivier University, Former Board Chair & Board Member of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chair of the NH Center for Public Policy Studies. Dianne lives in Manchester, NH with her husband, John, and they have two grown children. Dianne also serves as a Board Member for The RiverWoods Group and has been a RiverWoods Exeter Board member since 2013.
Tammy Michaud, Trustee
Tammy is a CPA and principal at BerryDunn, a large regional public accounting firm, and is the leader of BerryDunn’s Not-for-Profit Practice Group. Tammy joined BerryDunn 27 years ago in the Bangor, Maine office and relocated to the Manchester, New Hampshire office approximately nine years ago. Nearly all her professional time is spent serving not-for-profit and health care organizations throughout New England. In addition to providing audit, accounting and consulting services to her clients, Tammy coordinates BerryDunn’s not-for-profit client educational sessions, webinars, client newsletters and website content. She also has spoken at many local, regional and national seminars on not-for-profit accounting, fraud and board governance topics. Tammy has served on many not-for-profit boards in various leadership roles and is currently serving on the Not-for-Profit Council of the American Health Care Association, the board and finance committee for Lift360. Tammy has three grown children and resides in Kensington, NH. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2014.
David P. Brownell, Trustee
Dave retired in 2003 from Tyco International (US), Inc. as Senior Vice President – Corporate Marketing and Community Affairs. His responsibilities included corporate marketing strategy and maintaining community relationships in the New Hampshire, New York City and Boca Raton, FL communities. Dave had been with Tyco since 1984 and held numerous management positions in their divisions, as well as headquarters. Prior to Tyco, he had been with the General Electric Co. for 19 years. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Unitil Corporation (NYSE-UTL), Hampton, NH, serving on their compensation committee and chairing the nominating/governance committee. Dave received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY in 1965. Dave regularly volunteers his time to various non-profit organizations in New Hampshire. Currently, he is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Stratham Community Church, is a member of the UNH Foundation Emeriti Board where he is co-chairing the Emeriti Council - Student International Service Initiative. Dave, in the past, has been Interim President of the UNH Foundation, Vice Chair of the UNH Foundation Board of Directors, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees at Exeter Health Resources, President of the United Way of the Greater Seacoast (UWGS), Chair of the UWGS Endowment Committee and Chair of the Stewardship committee and Moderator of the Stratham Community Church. He also was the Chairman of the 1997/98 “Character Under Construction” capital fund campaign for the Daniel Webster Council-BSA and served on the Daniel Webster Council nominating committee. He has been a member of the board of the NH BIA and NH Junior Achievement. Dave resides in Stratham, NH with his wife, Jeri. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2017.
Denise Burke, Trustee
As Chief Operating Officer, Denise is responsible for all operational oversight of Bigelow LLC. Denise understands a business from start-up through the complexities of managing and growing multiple companies. In addition to her financial knowledge base, she brings expertise in business planning strategy and oversight. Prior to joining Bigelow, Denise spent over fifteen years at the Liberty Lane suite of companies which included Liberty Lane Partners, Perspecta Trust, Liberty Lane Service Company, and their related entities. She held numerous professional roles in these companies including Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer, Compliance Officer, and Controller. Denise began her career at KPMG in Boston after graduating from the College of the Holy Cross, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Accounting. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Society of CPAs and the Massachusetts Society of CPAs. Originally from Connecticut, Burke resides in North Hampton, New Hampshire with her husband Michael and their two girls, Kristin and Kelly. Burke is an avid reader and enjoys spending time at Lake Winnipesaukee, cross-country skiing and walking the beach. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2017.
Sarah Donnelly, Resident Trustee
Sarah Donnelly, a native Clevelander and a resident of RiverWoods since 2013, is mother of 2 sons and grandmother of 1, majored in history at Wellesley College and obtained an MS in mathematics from Bowling Green State University (Ohio). She was a teacher first of chemistry and physics and then of mathematics at both the high school and college level for 20 years and then became for another 20 years the Executive Director of the Association of Independent MD schools. As a volunteer she was instrumental in founding an Adult Day Care Center and served on the Board of Ginger Cove in Annapolis, MD, for 6 years. She also served as Clerk of Session of Woods Memorial Presbyterian Church in MD and was Moderator of the Baltimore Presbytery. She served on The Country School Board and the Laurel School Board for 6 years each. At RiverWoods she has served as chair of the Employee Appreciation Fund and 2 goal groups, and as a member of the Resident Council for 3 years. In the Exeter community she volunteers for End 68 Hours of Hunger. RiverWoods Exeter Board member since 2017.
Jack Dunn, Resident Trustee
Patti and Jack Dunn moved to The Ridge at RiverWoods in 2015. They had lived in Jackson, NH for 25 years, during which time: Jack was moderator of the Jackson Community Church, and chaired the capital campaign committee that added a new parish hall; He served on the board of Fryeburg Academy (ME), and led two strategic planning committees; He and Patti have been board members and Jack was board chair of Mountain Top Music Center; They led a capital campaign that gave the school its first permanent home and a small endowment; He was Executive Director of the Mount Washington Observatory from 1996 to 1998. From 1992 through 1995, he served as President of Dean College, a two-year private institution in Franklin, Massachusetts. In the late 1980s, he founded HEDS, a 125-school data-sharing consortium, to assist colleges and universities in planning, assessment and management. He worked at Tufts University from 1969 through 1989 in various capacities. As Vice-President for Planning, he was involved in campus planning, fund-raising planning, major curriculum overhaul, and long-term strategic planning; he also staffed a number of key personnel searches. After college, he spent two years in the U.S. Army, and then went to work for the Budd Company in Philadelphia, Detroit, Gary, and Buenos Aires, the last as Vice-President and General Manager of Armetal, S.A.C.I., Budd’s manufacturing operation in Argentina. Mr. Dunn is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A., 1956) and of Harvard (Ed.M., 1970). He has written and lectured on higher education topics and consulted with several colleges as well as serving on the boards of Dean College, Wesleyan University, the Association for Institutional Research, EDUCOM, and the Society for College and University Planning. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2016.
Ross Gittell, Trustee
Ross Gittell is the Chancellor of the Community College System of New Hampshire. Chancellor Gittell’s career has been in higher education administration, research and teaching with a focus on advancing economic opportunity and economic competitiveness. His areas of specialization include community and state economic development and workforce education and training. Prior to becoming Chancellor in February of 2012, Dr. Gittell was James R. Carter Professor at the University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics and taught at the New School of Social Research and Harvard University. He is the author of four books and over 200 articles. He serves as the chair of New Hampshire Governor Hassan’s STEM K-12 Education Task Force and is the chair of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges. In addition, he is Vice President of the New England Economic Partnership and on the boards of the NH Charitable Foundation, the New England Board of Higher Education, Exeter Hospital and Exeter Trust Company. Chancellor Gittell received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, M.B.A. from University of California at Berkeley, and A.B in Economics from the University of Chicago. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2016.
Deb Riddell, RiverWoods Exeter Executive Director
Deb Riddell is the Executive Director of RiverWoods Exeter’s three campus continuing care retirement community (CCRC). Prior to joining RiverWoods Exeter, Deb held various senior executive leadership roles in the CCRC industry, including Silverstone Living in Nashua and Piper Shores in Scarborough, Maine. Deb received her Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and earned her BA from the University of Iowa.
Eric Robb, Trustee
Eric is a principal of Marble Harbor Investment Counsel, LLC, a registered investment advisor based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is an investment counselor who has been working with families for nearly three decades. Before joining Marble Harbor, Eric was a Vice President at Welch & Forbes in Boston. There he acted as trustee and portfolio manager to multiple generations of a number of families. Prior to Welch and Forbes, Eric managed portfolios at David Wendell Associates in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he was a principal and Director of the firm. Before establishing a career as a portfolio manager and fiduciary trustee, Eric was an equity analyst with the U.S. division of Sun Life of Canada in Wellesley, Massachusetts. There he worked directly with a senior portfolio manager evaluating and recommending investments in various industries. Prior to working at Sun Life of Canada, Eric spent several years with Coopers & Lybrand in Boston, where he was a consultant in the firm’s Financial Advisory Services Group. Early in his career, Eric spent five years with Loring, Wolcott & Coolidge in Boston. Eric graduated from Occidental College with an A.B. in Economics and from the F. W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College with an M.B.A. He has completed course work on “Building Trust Expertise” with the American Bankers Association and is an active trustee for several families and individuals. He is a member of the Boston Security Analyst Society and the CFA Institute. Eric is also a board member of the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association in Concord, Massachusetts, and he is a member of the Hamilton Trust, the oldest investment club in the country established in 1882. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2016.
Nate Tennant, Trustee
With more than 18 years of international experience in creating and building marketing programs at technology companies, Nate was well equipped to take on the rapid changes that Google and other search engine based "inbound marketing" efforts have brought to bear on marketing departments the world over. A hands on entrepreneur, he spends much of his time poring over proprietary search analytics for Kirk clients and works constantly to develop sophisticated solutions and algorithms to keep pace with dynamic underpinnings of Google and other search engines. Nate is a graduate of the Executive MBA program at the Whittemore School of Business at the University of New Hampshire. He earned his BA degree at Saint Michael's College in Colchester, Vermont. He enjoys music, hiking and spending time with his family. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2016.
Justine Vogel, CPA, President and CEO, The RiverWoods Group
Graduate of Rutgers University School of Business with a B.S. in Accounting. Justine began work at RiverWoods as part of the pre-opening team in June 1994. Her tenure at RiverWoods began as the Director of Accounting, with growth into the role of CFO in 1997, COO in 2005 and President/CEO in 2007. Ms. Vogel’s prior experience includes several years in auditing and financial analysis with Arthur Andersen & Co., Ernst & Young, and Chubb Life Insurance Company. Ms. Vogel is a certified public accountant in the state of New Jersey and serves as a Trustee and Treasurer of the Board of Directors for Leading Age of Maine and New Hampshire. Ms. Vogel has lectured at the University of New Hampshire and is a frequent speaker at local, regional and national industry conferences on topics including strategic management, growth planning, culture development and financial oversight.
Howie Ulfelder, Resident Trustee
Howie and his wife Susie moved to the Boulders in 2011. He has been a member of the Charitable Funds Committee, the Resident Finance Committee, and the Innovation Committee. After twelve years in corporate finance including two stints as a CFO, he spent twenty four years as owner-operator of a series of retail businesses. He then spent fifteen years working with several non-profits. Howie has a BA from Harvard, an MBA from the University of Virginia, and a Master’s in Business Economics from Claremont Graduate School. Howie and Susie have four children and six grandchildren. RiverWoods Exeter Board Member since 2015.