Dana Baer

B.Sc. Mining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO
M.Sc. Civil Environmental Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
Professional  Engineer     Maine #8982            New Mexico  #9840

Worked as construction program manager for the Indian Health Service, project manager for Wright-Pierce Engineers, rural engineering program manager for Agricultural Cooperative Development International in Cape Verde, West Africa, water system operator and homebuilder/craftsman in New Mexico.

Project Manager for our new building.

Judy Bauman

Judy Bauman- Vice President

I received my nursing degree from the School of Nursing, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.  Over time, I have held various positions, the most recent being Wellness Director at the Highlands Retirement Community in Topsham.

I am a member of First Parish Church, and facilitate the weekly Caregivers’ Support Group held there.  I served on the church’s Outreach Committee, and  participated in one of the church’s mission trips to Honduras.

I was a volunteer at the Tedford Shelter and the OASIS Clinic, and served on the Board of Directors of Spectrum Generations in Augusta.  Currently, I am pleased to be a member of the weekday volunteer team at The Gathering Place

Chick Carroll

After college, I did a corporate tour of duty in New York City. Then 4 years in the federal government in Washington during the Johnson Administration. Followed by several years there in private business, representing European companies in the United States. A move to Maine in 1976. Many years self-employed in real estate development in Maine, New Hampshire, Florida, and Pennsylvania, plus some years as a carpenter/builder of a few houses, including our own.

In 1990, a brief but deep recession led to my abrupt demise as a developer, and to severe financial consequences. In the years that followed, forced by our new circumstances, I was able, from a completely different perspective, to reconsider what is meaningful to me, to a complete reconsideration of values. And to an empathy with others I hadn’t known before.

Some years later, this reevaluation led to my attending seminary, graduating at an advanced age, followed by ordination in the Episcopal Church as a Vocational Deacon. I serve at St.

Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick.

Married to Ann. We are fortunate to have 4 children and 6 grandchildren, all living in Maine.

Of the things I have done, I seem to enjoy each successive one more than the last. To contribute more to it, to get more out of it. May it continue.

Dana CaryDana Cary- Treasurer

Dana is a resident of Topsham, the town where he grew up. His career was based on financial management in both banking and business operation. In addition to The Gathering Place, Dana also volunteers with Mid-Coast Hunger Prevention, Topsham Historical Society, Brunswick Topsham Land Trust, Cathance River Education Alliance, and as a Master Gardener with local non-profits.

Ed Caswell

Ed Caswell
I am a lifelong resident of Maine who was born in Belfast and feels fortunate to have grown up on the shore of beautiful Penobscot Bay. I am a graduate of the University of Maine at Orono and have recently retired from a forty-six year career as a consulting structural engineer.

My wife Lynne and I have lived in Topsham for thirty-seven years. We have two children and four grandchildren, all who live in this Midcoast area.

We work with several small local environmental groups because we believe that care of this good earth benefits all of its creatures.
I have volunteered with The Gathering Place over the last few years. As a member of the Building Committee I served during the planning, design, and construction of our new building.

Joanna Damon- Secretary

I have lived in Harpswell for the last 32 years and I have attended Mid-Coast Presbyterian Church for the last fifteen years. As a resident of Harpswell I served on the Board of the Holbrook Community Foundation from the time it was formed until two years ago when I completed my second term. During the time I served the Board raised 1.5 million dollars to buy the Holbrook property in Cundy’s Harbor in order to preserve it as a working waterfront.

I am a retired teacher leaving the public school system in Lansingburgh, New York in 1979. I subsequently became a paralegal working for the Legal Division of the Maine Department of Transportation. I retired from the Department in 2002 as the Legal Administrator for the Division. After that I worked as a consultant for the Division for another eight years. I also became involved in several volunteer efforts including work for the Tedford Shelter, Habitat for Humanity and the Hunger Prevention Program.

I have been involved with The Gathering Place (TGP) from the very beginning. I attended the first meeting called by the Tedford Shelter as a representative of Mid-Coast Presbyterian Church and all subsequent meetings that led to the creation of TGP. I took the training courses and was on the original committee prior to the formation of the Board. I left the committee but volunteered at TGP two days a week from the first week it opened its doors until this past September. I helped to move the clothing racks and set up the room, putting up tables and chairs, setting out games and doing everything necessary to change the room from a clothing distribution center to a welcoming place for the guests. I have been a spokesperson for TGP at my church, have canvassed for volunteers and organized special services about volunteer work in the community including TGP

I am very acquainted with TGP and several of the volunteers.  Although my involvement with TGP guests has been somewhat limited I have come to know a few of the regulars. I feel that I could be a helpful addition to the Board.

Charles Erb

The Rev. Charles Erb (and his wife Rebecca) are members of First Parish Church, graduates of Eden Theological Seminary (St. Louis), and ordained clergy of the United Church of Christ.  Chuck, as he is usually referenced, has been active in community and ecumenical affairs all his life being a past CVO of the Waldo County YMCA, a core member of The Game Loft board in Belfast, an alternative style youth center for nerdy adolescent kids, Habitat boards in varied cities, a trainer of volunteers for Hospice, and a member and chair of an abundance of denominational committees and task forces. 

Currently at First Parish he serves the Stewardship Committee, the 300th. Anniv. Capital Funds Campaign, and convenes the Inquiring Minds book group, a hifalootin name for a group that enjoys reading, eating cookies, and drinking tea. 

The last day of March marks the Erb’s second anniversary of residence at The Highlands of Topsham where Chuck heads the vespers committee and acts as a surrogate pastor.  As he puts it,”you become socialized into a role so that that basically it becomes your identity; you really come to have no idea who you really are.” 

Myers-Briggs-wise, he’s an ENFP or ENFJ depending upon how pressured he feels any particular day, is compulsively attentive to detail, is highly organized, and often describes himself as “a series of walking non-sequitors.”  His feelings will not be hurt if you decide you can do without his presence at The Gathering Place.

Bunny New rvsd

Caroline ‘Bunny’ Fazekas

After graduating from college with a BA in Economics, I worked for the World Data Analysis Program at Yale. After teaching myself some programming and how to use  statistical research programs, I became a Research Assistant, and later a free-lance computer programmer. Clients included a number of professors at Yale, the Hill Health Center and the New Haven Census.

During this same time, I became a student at  the Yale School of Public Health in biometry. Met Isidore Falk and was able to provide statical support for his efforts with the US Congress to put more funding into Community Health Care Centers.

Upon marriage to Joe, my priorities and energies shifted, focusing more on family and home. Time was filled with children and remodeling an older home. An attempt to work from home was not successful so I spent those years with part-time volunteering in schools with computers.

Once my children were through elementary school, I returned to the workforce in mostly part time jobs while getting certified in Gerontology from New Haven Community College. I then began working at an Assisted Living Alzheimer’s Unit developing daytime activities.

Family ties pulled me out of the work force again when my mother entered Hospice in 2003. When she died, I became responsible for my sister with MS, and after her death, became the trustee for her 11 year old daughter.

In late 2006 , I found out my youngest son had developed paranoid schizophrenia. January of 2007 we moved to Maine. I learned everything I could about mental health.
Took the NAMI’s Family to Family class, volunteered at Sweetser’s Learning and Recovery Center, and completed a class on Intentional Peer Support.

Now, I am able to bring all my wisdom of life experiences and the various learned skills to The Gathering Place, supporting all those who pass through our doors.

John Fitzgerald

Brunswick has been my home since 1983 and I have taught economics at Bowdoin since that time.  I have been aware of the Gathering Place since its inception through my association with Tedford Housing and with some people presently and formerly associated with it through First Parish Church.  The Gathering Place provides a vital service, particularly in conjunction with other social services in Brunswick such as Tedford Housing and Midcoast Hunger Prevention, and makes Brunswick a better community.

At the college, I was a faculty fellow for the McKeen Center for the Common Good for several years.  It coordinates volunteer activities and promotes public engagement by faculty and staff. I served on the board of (now) Midcoast Community Action, formerly Coastal Economic Development, for 10 years and was Treasurer for several years.  At the time it handled a number of programs directed toward low income families, such as Head Start, Low Income Energy Assistance, WIA (job training), and low income housing projects.  I served on the board for Tedford Housing for several years, and was Treasurer for two or three years.

My association with these groups has been personally enriching and also had a side effect for my work.  My research has often focused on policy for low income families and broader themes of intergenerational links in income and health.   I have taught courses in Poverty and Inequality, Public Economics, and Public Policy Evaluation.   Serving on the board of organizations that provide services has allowed me to see “where the rubber meets the road” in poverty policy.  In my work it is easy to get bound up in statistics, but meeting clients and understanding how services affect people makes it personal and human.

Wally Frank

  • Director of Finance for a development and management company of congregate care retirement communities.
  • Over 40 years of practical financial and accounting experience in real estate development, management and construction industry.
  • Participated in the debt and equity financing of developments in the range of $10 to $90 million.
  • Developed capital and operating budgets and controls for development projects.
  • Demonstrated success in the analysis of projects for prospective investment.
  • Strong financial and organizational abilities of multi-entity organizations.
  • Highly skilled in preparation of annual reports, budgets, income tax and general business matters.
  • Experience in subsidized housing and special emphasis on low income housing tax credits (Sec 42).

Read more here

Bill Martens

I was born in N Y C and educated at Blair Academy and Bucknell University. I was commissioned and served   eight years in the Army and Reserves.

I was part of the Vestry in three Episcopal Churches, I was President of the Poppenhusen Institute (Adult Ed) in  NY. I was a Trustee of College Point Savings Bank in NYC, I served on the board of St Mary’s Children’s Hospital in Bayside N.Y., and I was active in several trade organizations  in NYC.

I moved to Maine in 1982. I am an active member of St. Pauls Episcopal Church in Brunswick. I served on the board of MCHPP. 

I am married and live in Pownal where we raised our two daughters and bred and trained English Setters.

I am an active upland bird hunter and a Trout and Salmon fisherman. I am now retired,  having been self employed for many (too many) years.

Mary O'BrienMary O’Brien

I am a resident of Brunswick who is active in public policy work around children and family services, and in church and community based volunteer work.  I was employed for 20 years as a consultant, primarily with a federally funded child welfare resource center at the Muskie School at the University of Southern Maine, where I promoted organizational improvement in public child welfare agencies, through webinars, newsletters and publications.  Before coming to Maine I worked as a program analyst in the federal government and as a church based community organizer.

I have been active at All Saints Parish in Brunswick, through the Social Justice and Peace Commission, youth ministry and adult faith formation, organizing fundraisers, volunteer, and reflection opportunities for adults and youth.  While raising my two children, I volunteered with and led Brunswick school parent groups.  During a 2015-16 sabbatical year in Ann Arbor, Michigan with my husband, a Bowdoin College professor, I volunteered with interfaith service organizations, and researched anti-poverty approaches in the U.S.  I am passionate about working with others to build stronger community responses to poverty, and am currently studying interfaith ministry, and volunteering in the community.

Abigail Manny Patterson

I was born and raised in the Boston suburbs, attended high school in Virginia where I was president of my class. Attended Radcliffe College for two years, married and spent a year at Fort Benning, Georgia. I returned to college and finished my degree while my husband was at graduate school and our first two children were born. I graduated, with their toddling help, in 1958.

I was lucky enough to stay home while the children were young, and was elected classroom representative at least once for all six of them. Call me a PTA junkie, veteran of more sales and fundraisers than I care to count. Outside of their schools, the volunteer work I am most proud of during those early years was at a Planned Parenthood clinic on 125th Street in Harlem.

When the youngest child entered kindergarten, I went to work as Director of Admissions at the New Canaan Country School until my late husband’s retirement in 1993 when we moved to Harpswell.

Since living here, I have been president of the Harpswell Garden Club, happiest to be involved in the work its members have done on the Centennial Hall Gardens in Harpswell Center and at the Memorial Gardens at the former Navy Base. I have also been president of the Auxiliary of MidCoast Hospital and co-chaired its major fundraiser, the “Grand and Glorious Yard Sale” four times. I have served three terms on the Board of Directors of MidCoast Hospital and am still working on its Development sub-committee. Still volunteer at the Hospital and at St. Paul’s Church. I am also Secretary of the Maine Women’s Giving Tree.

I love working with people, and would love to help the Gathering Place in Outreach and Fundraising. The work you all do for the forgotten and neglected sector of our population is truly awe inspiring.


Robert P Patterson

Born and raised in MA, I graduated from Boston University in 1952, then in 1955 from Berkeley Divinity School in New Haven. I continued further studies at Harvard Divinity School. After parish ministry in CT, MA and MI,I came to a church in Baltimore during the turbulent days of the 60s and 70s, serving there for 28 years.

While there I developed skills in counseling, organizational development, Myers–Briggs training, and in 1987 was a founding member of the Institute for Christian and Jewish Studies, a center for developing interfaith programs of study and cooperation.

I’m married and have three grown children, all of whom now live in Maine. I’m  an active member of the Oratorio Chorale, enjoy fly fishing, and have had a summer camp in Lovell since 1970.

In 1999 I moved to Maine, and have been active in several non-profit organizations that focus on bringing affirmation and hope to people our society often neglects or ignores.

Caroline Russell

I was born into a military family, exposing me to different cultures and values early on. I adopted New England as my home when I went to college in Boston. Several different careers- banking, real estate then my own business for 18 years- took me to New Hampshire and, finally to retirement in Maine. Now that I don’t have to work for a living, I can work on things that matter and that I enjoy. I am very active St. Paul’s Episcopal church, especially in hospitality and all things food. I serve on the board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bath/Brunswick and have a delightful “Little”. Recently, I have been licensed as a foster parent and have a “bonus daughter” living with me until she is ready to be independent I have supported TGP since its inception and am delighted to serve on its board.

Pat Ryan

I grew up in Lancaster, Pa, moved to Boston after graduating from Syracuse University, and have lived in Maine since 1971.  After serving as Executive Director of the Maine Human Rights Commission for 32 years I retired in 2011.  I am committed to civil rights, and have worked on issues pertaining to women ever since I can remember.  I am proud to be a founding director of the Maine Women’s Lobby – an organization that continues to advocate for girls and women in Maine today.

I continue to work as a mediator and serve on several non-profit boards.  I am an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and focus my energies on outreach.  

My husband Charlie Priest and I live in Brunswick.  We have two wonderful daughters who together with their families make us grateful for our lives.  I am excited to become a board member of The Gathering Place!

PhilPhil Studwell – President

I received my BA in Religion in 1977 from Trinity College in Hartford, Ct  and my Master’s in Social Work from Hunter College in NYC in 1982. I recently retired from 27 years with the Portland School District as a clinical school social worker and also maintained a part time private LCSW practice for 15 of those 27 years in a downtown Brunswick office working with youth ages 6 -21 yrs.

Previous to working in the Portland schools, in the 1980’s, I worked in New York City with Jewish Childcare Services, then in Brunswick, Rockland and Augusta for the State of Maine Dept of Mental Health and Retardation for a year plus. I facilitated the first NAMI support groups in Bath and Rockland during that time, then worked in York County with Sweetser Children’s Services for 4 years doing intensive home based family work .

I have lived in Brunswick since 1985 and, with my late wife, raised two children here.  I’m currently remarried and a member of St Paul’s Church where I facilitated a youth group over four years culminating in a service pilgrimage to a social work university in Southern India. I also chaired St Paul’s Outreach Committee from 2010-15. With Chick, Ed, George, Bunny and others I founded the Gathering Place in 2010.