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Our Staff

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Chris Kelleher

Guide

"I appreciate the opportunity to grow alongside the teens and to partner with them to cultivate the space where we can collectively push our edges and hold and support each other in our vulnerability."

Chris originally hails from New York with a decade or so stop off in New Hampshire. He earned his B.S. degree in outdoor education with a minor in therapeutic recreation from the University of New Hampshire. He is passionate about building relationships and engaging with youth in Maine in unique and transformative ways. Chris finds value in investing his time in the communities he lives in to encourage safety, connection, and growth. Valo offers him this opportunity to build long term relationships with teens to help them realize how they want to show up in the world in healthy ways that align with their values and interests whilst holding their emotional well-being with utmost care and importance. Formerly program specialist and training institute program director at Maine Boys to Men, Chris continues to do consulting work at the organization because he believes in their mission-driven work. He also works (and climbs!) at Evo Rock and Fitness. Chris loves to find connection and adventure in the natural world; he travels deep into the mountains to find rocks to climb, where he finds grounding and serenity, so that he can show up as the best version of himself. Chris and his partner Leah live in Freeport with their cats, Newt and Birch. He is excited to take a major step in his journey with the prospect of a baby on the way!

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Dana Anderson

Executive Director

Guide

"I hold the image of valo teens emerging into the world with a deep-rooted desire to engage meaningfully with whoever they meet — igniting sparks in their communities, one connection at a time."

Dana has been passionate about working with young people for over thirty years. After graduating from Middlebury College with a degree in English and Education, she cut her teeth in an experiential youth program in DC and as a middle school teacher outside Boston. Dana went on to receive her Masters in Education from Harvard and to work at Freeport High School for almost 15 years, where she taught English and advised a number of clubs. Over many summers, Dana co-directed an overnight summer camp for underserved kids. In 2013, after almost twenty years in the classroom, Dana left the school setting to found and lead Valo, and she's never looked back. She can't imagine a better place to work and learn - alongside passionate adults and inspiring teens who continue to show what real connection feels like. Dana's involvement on various Boards and in volunteer capacities ties back to kids. She currently serves on the Boards of To the Top Foundation (president), SEEDS of Independence, and Main Idea at Camp Walden, as well as a parent coordinator at her children's school, and middle school cross country coach. Dana has also earned her life coach certification through Optimize. In her free time, Dana has discovered a new love of marathons; when she’s not pounding the pavement, you can find her with her family skiing, biking, hiking, or diving into Casco Bay. Dana lives in Freeport with her partner, Erik, their three sons, and too many pets to list.

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Danny Mejia

Guide

 

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn alongside young people, and work together to create communicative, loving communities”

Originally from Minneapolis, Danny has made his home in Maine for the last 10 years. He first came to Maine for college, and graduated from Bowdoin with a degree in Sociology. Danny has always had an interest in the promotion of emotional wellbeing, and during his time in school, conducted an independent study exploring the emotional expression of men on campus. This research led him to seek local organizations who were doing the work of promoting emotional intelligence in young people, and ultimately led him to Valo. Danny believes that through focusing on empathy, connection, and a feeling of belonging, we can equip young people and adults alike with the tools necessary to create compassionate and safe communities. When he isn’t guiding at Valo, Danny serves as the Program Director at Maine Boys to Men, a local violence prevention organization. He also is an avid trail runner, backpacker, disc golf player, and enjoyer of all the best food the greater Portland area has to offer.  

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Katie Casper

Website Manager

"Teens bring a fresh perspective to the world. Their opinions, thoughts,  voices, and ideas keep me energized, connected, and hopeful."

The oldest of 9, Katie has been supporting young people for 10+ years and her close relationship with her high-school-aged sister keeps the work fresh and energizing. Katie earned her B.A. in Economics and Consumer Behavior from Hendrix College. Following graduation, Katie spent several years working in tech, before joining Valo in 2019. She has been passionate about working with teens and expanding our digital presence ever since. In addition to her work at Valo, Katie serves as the Community Engagement and Communications Director for First Parish Church in Yarmouth, where she is responsible for connecting the needs of the community with the many resources offered by the congregation. She has also served as a volunteer for The White Mountain National Forest trailhead stewardship program, and is involved in Friends of Mount Agamenticus, a nonprofit serving the conservation area where she lives with her husband Shane and rescue dog, Coco.

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Luca Antolini

Communications Intern

"As someone who wasn’t a teen too long ago, I am excited for the opportunity to be able to promote the mental wellbeing of teens with an organization that did the same for me when I was in high school."

Raised in Yarmouth, Luca is a recent graduate of Bates College in Lewiston. He participated in Valo during his high school years and is very excited to be able to work for a program he was once a part of and which offered him so much during his teen years. When he’s not working at Valo, Luca enjoys playing soccer, cooking, and hanging out with his dog, Cheeto.   

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Macy Galvan

Guide

"I am humbled by the opportunity to create an environment where teens feel welcomed, seen, heard, and accepted."

Macy is a new Freeport resident after living in many parts of Maine. Macy earned her B.A. in Gender and Women’s Studies and Sociology with a minor in Africana Studies from Bowdoin. She has been involved in the education sector for the last 10 years through many avenues including teaching in Armenia, a director for afterschool programs, and substituting in Maine schools around the state. Her interest in Valo stems from having a glimpse of students inside the school setting, as well as structured settings after school. She's passionate about finding ways to help students connect to their peers in a completely different environment than the ones that exist now. She appreciates Valo’s unique approach to community building and its work providing space for teens to be curious and to connect. She has a pup named Pushkin that she brings almost everywhere.

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Meg O'Neill

Program Director

Guide

"Working with young people has filled me up in wonderful and unexpected ways allowing me to see the world with fresh eyes, to listen more acutely, to love more fully, and to laugh more heartily."

 

Meg earned her B.A. from St. Lawrence University. She started her career at UNUM in Tarrytown, New York, and later transitioned back to Maine as an Underwriter and eventually a Regional Underwriting Director in UNUM's South Portland office. After a decade at UNUM, Meg moved to Smith Group Reinsurance & Consulting where she continues to work part-time writing white papers and moderating webinars for the industry's group disability segment. Meg joined Valo in 2015 as a guide and added Program Director to her plate in 2019. She earned her Life Coach Certification from Optimize in 2017. Raised in a family of educators and the youngest of five, guiding comes naturally to Meg. She grew up, and currently resides, in Yarmouth where she and her husband Colin brought up their four daughters. Meg is an active member of First Parish Church where she taught Sunday School and led teen youth groups for many years. Outside of her time at work, Meg sits on the Riverside Cemetery board as Secretary and is a co-Moderator of her church's Council. She loves spending time with her family, writing, taking her dogs for walks, and winning (occasionally) at games of spoons!   

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Natasha Huber

Guide

"Working with teens has helped me gain perspective. It has made me realize that there is a sweet spot between adolescence and adulthood where caring adults can capitalize on creating experiences with very meaningful, positive influences."

Natasha was raised in Iowa in a large family. She moved to Maine in 2007, and began working as a teacher in outdoor experiential education. After obtaining a Masters in counseling from the University of Southern Maine, she has been a counselor in Maine public schools since 2011. Within her school district, Natasha serves on many teams to ensure students have everything they need to be successful. Her roles include CARE team (securing donations from community members on an ongoing basis), BOOST (district drop out prevention team), 504 coordinator, civil rights team advisor, and summer camp scholarship committee. Working as a guide with Valo since 2018, Natasha loves what she does and feels honored to play an important role in kids' and teens’ lives. What draws her to the work with Valo is the unique, thoughtful ways of being together. Guides learn from teens, and vice versa, in a multi- generational, enriching, and eye-opening experience. Natasha lives in Portland with her partner and 2 young kids. In her free time, you can find Natasha designing and making beaded accessories, for her hobby turned small business.

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Owen Heil

Guide

 

Bio coming soon!

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Tiffany Harrington

"The power of young people speaking up and feeling seen and heard during Valo retreats is inspiring to me. It's clear that they carry that empathy with them to share what they learned with friends and family."

Tiffany has worked in educational fundraising for more than 20 years, nationally as well as internationally. She is passionate about educational equity and access and is a continual learner herself. She recently completed her MBA at the University of Maine at Orono and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for her undergraduate degree in journalism and French. A trained copy editor and writer, Tiffany enjoys telling the story of an organization and finding new ways to engage supporters. 

Having worked with young people from elementary school through college, and at various times throughout her career, Tiffany is inspired by Valo’s mission to cultivate wellbeing in young people and encourage open, curious communication.

In her free time, she practices yoga, runs, and enjoys time in and on Maine’s waters, whether lakes or oceans.

Our Board

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Fiona Chace-Donahue

"The values and ways of being that I learned through Valo have been integral to my personal growth and relationship development, and I am delighted to be supporting the work of an organization that has so positively impacted my life."

Fiona is a 5th generation Mainer and an alum of Valo's first retreat group. She studied neuroscience at Mount Holyoke College and is a founding member of the Peer Advisory Board for pediatric chronic pain workshop at Boston Children's Hospital. While pursuing her career in healthcare, Fiona has spent time working in patient care, conducting education research, and substitute teaching. After graduating from college in 2020, Fiona lived in Washington, Virginia, and Arizona before landing in North Carolina where she currently lives with her husband and their gigantic cat, Pimento. 

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Samuel Coleman

“Valo’s holistic and intersectional approach is creating a new system for young people. By meeting participants where they are and helping them to develop behaviors focused on community building and fostering emotional wellbeing, Valo is laying the foundation for change in a generations-long mental health crisis. I am thrilled and humbled to be a part of this work.”

Sam has worked in the marketing industry for 7+ years at companies like L.L. Bean and Johnny’s Selected Seeds. He hopes to utilize his expertise by helping Valo share its story and message to further the reach of the organization. Growing up in southern Maine, Sam faced his own struggles with mental health and wants to ensure young people today know about Valo’s work and have access to it. Prior to his career in marketing, Sam was an educator and worked with kids in summer camps and schools, seeing first-hand the power that intentional conversation and connection can have.

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Sally Thomas

“I am energized and grateful to be part of a proactive organization that envisions, enables, and equips today’s teens with practical and emotional skills that validate and kindle their unique selves with an ever widening lens to how they might enrich the world all their lives.”

Since her own children declared their innate theology as tiny sage ones, Sally has been attuned to the spiritual wisdom children offer in this wondrous world. She completed her Doctor of Ministry at Eden Seminary in St. Louis in 2022 and recently relocated to Freeport with her husband, Bill. Her doctoral and current research focuses on how sharing stories–even the most simple–enhance our connectedness to one another in our digitally complex world. Sally has been sitting with circles of children and their families using Godly Play for 20-some years and has enjoyed working as an RN & Nurse Practitioner. Sally and Bill are the parents of 2 adult daughters and welcomed their first grandchild this summer.

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