Susan Linn has been serving nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years. Susan’s early career days as a direct service worker for struggling children and families continue to influence her leadership of programs and services today. Her leadership roles include two decades in upper management, fundraising leadership, and chief executive roles for schools, municipalities, higher education, and nonprofits. A graduate of Cornell University and San Diego State University, she has served on several Boards. Susan’s spouse has epilepsy, and they have been involved with epilepsy-related causes in a number of capacities for many years. When not at work, Susan values her time with her children, 2 dogs, and 4 cats, especially time in the outdoors. Susan has lived in Providence and Bristol, RI as well as Fall River, Watertown, Woburn, and Shirley MA and Nashua, NH: she and her family frequent Maine for surfing in the summer!
Early in her career, Judy developed a passion for philanthropy working as a staff assistant for the Founder of Cambridge College. She served the college for almost two decades. Her greatest achievement at Cambridge was to lead its first ever Capital Campaign, having raised nearly $40M, the first endowment. Over the course of her career she has continued to work for non-profit organizations in order to serve the greater good. In her free-time Judy likes to garden and to spend time with her teenage daughter and her 2-year old rescue dog. Like any native New Englander, she cherishes the warm seasons and loves the Atlantic Ocean. Judy holds an M.Ed. from Cambridge College.
Susan has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Leadership from Southern New Hampshire University and an Associate’s degree in Sociology from Bunker Hill Community College. Susan’s involvement with Epilepsy Foundation NE began in 1996 as the parent of a then thirteen-year-old daughter with epilepsy, by 1999 she became a volunteer parent group leader. In 2000, she was a volunteer mentor for Epilepsy Foundation of America. In 2001, she joined the team at Epilepsy Foundation NE and over the years, she has provided more than 400 presentations on epilepsy and related topics to a variety of audiences. Susan and her daughter and their network of family and friends are active volunteers in all of the events at Epilepsy Foundation NE. She embraces Epilepsy Foundation NE’s vision to provide help for today and hope for tomorrow and uses it as a guide for her work here.
Bill has worked in the field of disability issues for over 45 years, starting his career as a special education teacher right after attending Syracuse University. In 1980, he became a founding member, and first Executive Director, of what was then called the Epilepsy Association of Greater Boston and is now EFNE. In 2005 Bill went to work for the national Epilepsy Foundation as Director of State Government Relations, until retiring in 2013. Retirement didn’t last long! In 2014 he “came full circle” and again is with our local Epilepsy Foundation affiliate serving as Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for EFNE. He returns to the National office each Spring to conduct their “Teens Speak Up” program; bringing teens from across the country who live with epilepsy to learn about advocating for epilepsy and to visit with their legislators on Capitol Hill. Now living in Newport, RI, Bill can often be found on the highway traveling to Boston, Providence, Concord or Augusta to promote public policies beneficial to people with epilepsy and their families.
David Searles joined the EFNE team in July 2017 as the Events Specialist and became Associate Director of Development in January 2018. While working on his undergraduate degree at Ithaca College, he worked for the non-profit, Cornell Cooperative Extension, as a Race Director for two first-time events: the 4-H Color Splash run and the Ithaca Glows: Light up the Night 5K. During a second stint at Cornell, he interned in their athletic department as the Operations and Event Management Assistant before beginning work in Wilmington. David holds an M.S. in Sport Administration from Canisius College. In his free time, David enjoys landscaping, listening to Bruce Springsteen, and playing cornhole.
Sarah Robinson has worked for the past five years as a consultant with small nonprofits. Prior to starting her consulting practice, she worked as a Major Gifts Officer for a national health care non-profit, Executive Director for a statewide network, and as an Office Manager for an emerging community organization. Sarah holds an MS in Nonprofit Management from Antioch New England. Sarah and her husband live in Portland with their two very active children. In her free time, she gardens, snowboards, and volunteers for the PTO and Girl Scouts.
Michael has worked for many years to help improve the quality of life of individuals from various backgrounds and life experiences. Prior to joining EFNE in July 2017, Michael served unemployed youth and adults by providing them with employment and training opportunities. He has worked to manage the transition of people who have been in prison, to break the cycle of recidivism. He helped adults with special needs live more productive and meaningful lives and gain greater acceptance by the wider community. Michael received his bachelor’s degree in business administration and his master’s in the Economic & Social Development of Regions from UMass Lowell. In his free time he is an avid reader, community volunteer, and his favorite TV show is British Prime Minister’s Questions on C-SPAN.
Christina joined EFNE as RI Field Service Manager fall of 2017, but her relationship with the foundation began in 2002 when she began volunteering as a camp counselor. Since then, she has continued to work with the foundation in various capacities, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to her work as FSM, she worked in sponsored projects at Brown University for seven years, managing funds for research grants. Christina is an alum of Providence College, studying Leadership Development and Organizational Communications. She loves spending time at vineyards with her grandma, and at home with her rescue dog Simon. Christina’s favorite part about working with EFNE has been the ability to advocate and create awareness about epilepsy throughout the community, and meet new people every day.
Joy joined the staff at Epilepsy Foundation New England as the Resource and Support Services Coordinator in February 2018. She has a BS in Psychology from the State University of New York at Cortland and has been a social worker in New England for over 20 years, serving individuals and families in need. After her son, Seth, was diagnosed with epilepsy, Joy became involved with EFNE by organizing and co-chairing the NH Swing Fore Epilepsy Golf Tournaments and NH fundraising Galas. Seth inspires her to spread epilepsy awareness and share her experiences to help individuals and families whose lives are impacted by epilepsy. In her free time, she enjoys creating fairy gardens, kickboxing, spending time with her family, and laughing with friends.
Martha joined the Epilepsy Foundation of New England in January 2018 as Director of Business and Administration. She has spent her professional career in financial roles in small to medium sized businesses. Always curious about business ownership, Martha opened a retail store, The Birdwatcher of Newburyport at The Tannery, Newburyport Mass. For 11 years she combined her love for nature, birds and meeting new people in this venture. Most recently, she spent 8 years in the Finance Department of Emmaus, Inc., a homelessness prevention social service agency in Haverhill Mass. Martha is a graduate of Merrimack College with a degree in Accounting and Masters in Management from Lesley College. She and her husband, Karl and daughter Kat live in Newbury, Mass. She enjoys birdwatching, reading and volunteering for social justice and environmental causes.
Chanda Gunn is an accomplished ice hockey player known for overcoming obstacles on and off the rink. When she was nine, she was diagnosed with having both absence and grand mal seizures which were controlled with medication. Unfortunately, she experienced a series of tonic-clonic seizures and had to drop out of college to regain control over her epilepsy. Through hard work, she returned to the ice spending her college tenure at Northeastern University and leading Team USA at the Olympic Games.
Today, Chanda lives an active life with her family. She continues to battle epilepsy but never lets it defeat her. She now controls her epilepsy with the ketogenic diet and is an advocate for using dietary therapy as treatment. She is heavily involved in charity work, passionate about her work with NYU's FACES and wearing many hats across the country as an Epilepsy Foundation of America spokesperson. Chanda is dedicated to her work with the Young Leaders Network and providing services to the residents of New Hampshire as the NH Field Services Manager. Chanda believes people living with epilepsy should support one another and encourages the community not to let seizures discourage them from chasing their dreams.
Marie began her work with the Epilepsy Foundation, now EFNE, in 1980 and has remained involved since that time in a variety of capacities, beginning her work as an Employment Specialist. She managed a very successful employment program developed the Parent and Family Network. Marie also managed the Information and Referral Program, assisted with developing the first camp for children with epilepsy, and developed and facilitated the first group for women with epilepsy. Marie continues to facilitate the in-person and phone support groups for adults with epilepsy. She works with the coordinator of the support center responding to calls providing support, resources, and information to callers, as well as assists with the Career Navigator program when needed.
Sarah Specht joined Epilepsy Foundation New England in July 2018 as the Camp Administrator and the Central & Western Massachusetts Field Service Manager. Sarah has a Bachelor in Science of Criminal Justice and had planned to attend the Police Academy when her son Hunter was diagnosed with Doose Syndrome shortly after his third birthday. As challenging as life can be raising a child with epilepsy, Sarah believes that her son Hunter’s diagnosis has helped her be a better person. Sarah and Hunter first got involved with the Epilepsy Foundation New England at the Family Camp. “It was the first time I felt that I did not have to hide my son’s seizures or his side effects from medications. Hunter was accepted for who he was regardless.” She has fundraised for a service dog through 4 Paws for Ability and Hunter received Angel in December of 2014. They enjoy going on road trips and walks on the beach. Sarah is very excited to establish connections and provide support for people and families living with epilepsy.