Our Board of Directors meets every other month on the third Monday from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. The Board usually meets in-person at our office in Concord but due to COVID-19, meetings will be held via Zoom until further notice.
2020 Meeting Dates
Meet Our Board of Directors
Pedro is the Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Easter Seals NH, VT, ME and the Farnum Center.
Prior to joining Easter Seals, Pedro served as the Community Engagement Coordinator for New Futures, worked with at-risk youth in the Manchester School District, and served as the Cultural Affairs Coordinator for the Mayor of Nashua where he focused on strengthening the relationship between municipalities and diverse communities and participated in efforts to address persistent opportunity gaps faced by people of color, survivors of sexual/domestic violence, LGBTQAI+ community, and groups of diverse cultural, religious and spiritual backgrounds.
Beyond work, Pedro’s experiences reflect devotion to race equity in practice and an unmatched passion for public service. Raised in New York City and a graduate of Colby-Sawyer College, he is committed to serving the Granite State by advocating for low-income, marginalized communities and addressing inequities within education, public health, and environmental stewardship in hopes to create a more inclusive and equitable community for all its residents.
Pedro brings his years of exposure to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives, expertise in advocacy, and a joy for community engagement to his work on the DRC-NH Board of Directors.
Kathy Bates is a teacher, advocate, and a writer. After receiving her BA degree in Elementary Education from St. Andrews University in North Carolina, she began her teaching career. Kathy has worked extensively with both children and adults, with disabilities. She believes in everyone’s right to full citizenship and envisions a future where disability is seen as just another form of diversity. She lives in Somersworth. Read Kathy’s writing at https://iod.unh.edu/iod-blog
Judith is an attorney specializing in disability, estate planning, public benefits and elder law. Her training and affiliation with special needs trust planners enables her to assist clients in planning for the future care of individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities by tailoring estate plans and public benefits eligibility to ensure long-term financial security for their loved ones. She received her BA from Rhode Island College and her J.D. from UNH School of Law. She lives and works in Manchester, NH.
Dellie Champagne, Secretary
Dellie is the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative. Her passion for mental health awareness comes mostly from her lived experience. Her son lives with Schizoaffective Disorder and Dellie has advocated for his needs from the onset. Dellie received her BA in Sociology and her M.Ed. in Education from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently working on another Master’s Degree in Human Services. She lives in Concord.
As a person with a disability, Katie Epstein often draws on her personal experience when advocating for disability rights. Katie works as a Direct Support Professional and is a 2010 graduate of the IOD Leadership program. Katie has a special education degree from Granite State College and recently completed her term as the Vice-Chair of the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities. Katie lives in Epping.
Darlene Gildersleeve is the mother of three children, ages 2, 13 and 19. Her two older children have significant mental health needs. She is an advocate for families, using the knowledge that she gained through lived experience to help other families learn to advocate for themselves. Darlene speaks regularly about the mental health needs of her children and gaps in the system of care for children’s mental health. She has a degree in business from SNHU and is a graduate of the IOD Leadership program. Darlene lives in Hopkinton.
Attorney Daniel Goldstein recently retired from a remarkable career with the Baltimore, Maryland law firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy. For several decades, Dan’s disability law work concentrated on increasing the accessibility of digital content and devices, including ATMs, voting machines, accessible absentee ballots, websites, e-readers, kiosks, educational software and instructional technology. He worked with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) to reach agreements with some of the country’s most well-known companies and universities including Apple, Amazon, Target, Penn State, and Florida State University.
At the time of his retirement, settlement was nearly complete in a lawsuit for blind prisoners against the Maryland correctional system, ensuring that blind prisoners learn independent cane travel, need no longer depend on sighted prisoners to file grievances or other forms, and can fully participate in work and educational programs.
Dan is the recipient of the NFB’s Kenneth Jernigan Award for his contributions to the blindness community and the American Bar Association’s Paul Hearne Award for Disability Rights Advocacy (together with Marc Maurer, then President of the NFB).
Juliana is the founder and consulting lead of Neighborhood Access. Jules is a late-Deaf entrepreneur with a passion for leveraging design, community, and talent to create more accessible neighborhoods. They are finishing their Master in Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Jules has worked on a wide variety of projects, including diversifying graduate schools with the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers, building a youth entrepreneurship curriculum with the UNH Sustainability Institute, running tech support for the Crip Camp documentary team’s summer discussion events, and training Black Lives Matter organizers on protest accessibility. Jules lives in Barrington NH.
Benjamin T. King is a partner in the Concord, New Hampshire, law firm Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C. He focuses his practice on employee rights litigation, personal injury litigation, and workers’ compensation. Ben’s peers have rated him among the top 5% of attorneys in New England in representing employees in employee rights litigation, continuously since 2014. New Hampshire Magazine has ranked him among the best attorneys in the State in representing injured workers in workers’ compensation cases. Ben frequently lectures at continuing legal education seminars educating New Hampshire attorneys and human resource professionals on State and Federal employment laws.
Ben is the current President of the New Hampshire Chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association, and a Past President of the New Hampshire Association for Justice, as well as a current member of its Board of Governors.
In his spare time, Ben enjoys writing freelance columns in the Concord Monitor on topics like restaurant kiosks, hotel resort fees, and what not to do in Concord in a snow emergency. Ben graduated from Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia School of Law. He resides in Concord, New Hampshire.
Melissa Mandrell, Chair
Melissa Mandrell is a social worker whose projects currently focus on supporting access to person-centered long-term care options for individuals with disabilities and/or who age into disabilities at the Institute on Disability, a program of the University of New Hampshire and New Hampshire’s UCED. Throughout her career as a social worker Melissa has been committed to the social work mission of “promoting the responsiveness of organizations, communities and other social institutions to individuals’ needs and social problems.” Serving on the DRC-NH Board is an opportunity to further that goal by assuring that people with disabilities do not experience discrimination. Melissa received her MSS and MLSP from Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research and her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College. She lives in Concord.
Anne Rice, Vice Chair
Anne Rice is an attorney whose practice focuses on the integration and coordination of employment law with personal injury, Workers’ Compensation, Social Security, discrimination and disability law with an aim toward maximizing benefits, coverage, and outcome for those with serious injuries or disabling conditions. Anne’s passion for her work is strong and her roots in NH run deep. Anne grew up on the Seacoast of New Hampshire before heading off to the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton School of Business for her undergraduate degrees. Thereafter she received her Juris doctorate from the University of Connecticut before returning to the lakes region, where she has lived and worked for over 20 years.
Ellen’s personal experience with mental illness, PTSD, and epilepsy guides and inspires her work as a Team Leader at a Peer Support Center. Ellen challenges us all to look beyond a person’s diagnosis and, as a certified WRAP facilitator and certified in Intentional Peer Support, she focuses on empowering those she works with to live lives filled with purpose and meaning. Ellen holds a degree in Behavior Sciences, with a focus on special education and lives in Berlin.