Board of Directors


Julie Schirmer (Term ends 2025)

Julie Schirmer

Julie Schirmer (She/her/hers) LCSW is a behavioral health and curriculum consultant on a Preventative Medicine Enhancement for Maine (PrevME) HRSA grant with the Maine Medical Center (MMC) Department of Family Medicine. She recently retired from her 20+ year position as a behavioral science faculty at the MMC Family Medicine Residency Program and more recent position as Assistance Director of the Family Medicine Clerkship for Tufts School of Medicine/Maine Track Program.

She has taught, consulted and held academic leadership positions on regional, national and international levels, authoring multiple articles, chapters and an edited book " Behavioral Health is Primary Care: A Global Perspective. Julie has been actively involved with Maine Providers Stand Up for Health Care and believes that by collaborating with other like-minded individuals and policy makers, we can improve the health and well-being of our clients, our communities and ourselves.

She has been a member of NASW for over 40 years and was co-chair of the Committee on Women’s issues for the state prior to the birth of her 35 and 33-year-old daughters.

1st Vice President

Cynthia Cushing (Term ends 2025)

Cynthia Cushing (she/her/hers) is a Community Case Management Team Leader with Summit Support Services and has worked as a case manager assisting adults with developmental disabilities for the last 12 years. Cynthia assists new and upcoming case managers with learning the duties required for this valued profession, including assistance with paperwork requirements, as well as emotional feedback.

Cynthia is pursuing her Master of Social Work degree at the University of Maine and looks forward to becoming a licensed clinician once she completes her program. She is working to start a business which incorporates mentoring for folks from when they are in utero, and for as many years as needed afterwards, as a way to give all children, young adults, and adults the best opportunity for success throughout their lives. The opioid crisis, and the number of young adults dying of drug overdose, promoted this vision. The concept behind this business is to combine mentoring efforts already in place and make them more accessible for people at any age.

Cynthia received her certification as a health coach from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in 2010 and has been a certified Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) trainer since that time as well. She also has experience working as a reporter and editor for the Kennebec Journal, a career which began following her graduation from the University of Maine at Orono in 1992 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

In her free time Cynthia enjoys photographing birds, dancing at Motor Booty events, hiking, and trips to Baxter State Park.

2nd Vice President for Budget and Finance

Moriah Geer (Term ends 2024)

Moriah Geer (she/her/hers) graduated from the University of Maine school of social work in 2020 where she received her MSW along with a certificate in disability studies. As an MSW student, Moriah developed a passion for policy work while a trainee in the LEND program (Leadership and Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) from the University Center for Community Inclusion and Disability Studies. During her MSW program, she went to work for Maine Equal Justice, a nonprofit civil legal aid and economic justice organization. In her role at Maine Equal Justice, Moriah blends Micro and Macro work by advocating for clients’ needs and by advocating for systemic solutions to economic justice issues at the state legislature. Moriah grew up in poverty and has personal experience with Maine’s social safety-net, so she brings the unique perspective that comes from lived experience to her work. She wears multiple hats at MEJ; working directly with clients as the Moxie Case Coach, sharing the organizations experience and expertise as the training coordinator and recently she became the project coordinator of the newly launched Build HOPE project, which provides flexible funds to low-income parents pursuing higher education and training programs. Moriah lives in Old Town where she serves on her local school board. In 2019 she graduated from Emerge, a program that trains and supports democratic women in running for office. Moriah believes that Social Workers are uniquely qualified to serve in public office and is invested in helping social workers find ways to lend their expertise to setting public policy and in supporting them if and when they choose to run for office.


Jamie-Lynn Kane (Term ends 2025)

Jamie-Lynn Kane (she/her/hers) received her MSW from the University of Maine in 2022. Currently she works as a clinician at Behavioral Health Center in Bangor and as research associate at the University of Maine, Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center in Orono. She has previously served as the MSW Student Representative to the Board of the Maine Chapter of the NASW and she was also a field placement intern with the Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont chapters. Before pursuing her MSW, Jamie-Lynn worked in a variety of helping roles in Portland, Maine, including as a case manager at several area agencies that served people experiencing homelessness. Jamie-Lynn is committed to being part of the effort to advance social justice and to protect and promote the social work profession.

Board Members At-Large (Terms end June 2024):

Amy Blake

Amy Blake (she/her/hers) had previously served on the Board as the Branch B Chair. Amy has a private practice specializing in relationship therapy and trauma. She provides training and consultation. Amy coaches clinicians, coaches and presenters on being leaders and having a more powerful voice.

Sharon Fowler

Sharon Fowler (she/her/hers) serves as the Chair for the NASW Maine School Social Work Committee. She is employed as a School Social Worker at Gilbert Elementary School in Augusta, Maine. She is a seasoned professional having worked as a Clinical Social Worker and Clinical Supervisor in mental health and public education settings in her 34 years of practice. Sharon has received clinical training in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Triple-P Parenting evidence-based treatment models. She has additional specialized training in building Trauma-Informed Schools and Women in Leadership. She is a certified Behavioral Health Professional trainer and has trained extensively on the topic of Trauma and Trauma-Informed Schools. She is a passionate advocate for creating Trauma-Informed Organizations. Sharon grew up in Waterville, Maine and received her Bachelor of Social Work Degree from the University of Southern Maine. She traveled to Houston, Texas to study and received her Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Houston with a concentration in Children & Families. Her professional work led her to Boston, Massachusetts where she served in leadership positions in residential treatment settings and social service agencies before returning to Maine to raise her children. In Maine, she has been a leader in mental health, home-based treatment, and educational settings where she has been employed.

Kerstin Kirchner

Kerstin Kirchner (she/her/hers) had previously served on the Board as the Branch A Chair. Kerstin graduated in 2022 with her MSW degree from the University of Southern Maine. She is employed as a Social Worker/Clinical Counselor at Spring Harbor Hospital a freestanding mental hospital of MaineHealth. She had worked at Care Management at Maine Medical Center and Access to Care at MaineHealth before she transitioned to work as an adult case manager at Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH) in Springvale. Kerstin was raised in East Germany, lived eight years in Belgium, and has lived with her family in Southern Maine since 1998. She enjoys hiking, yoga, baking, and reading.

Board Members At-Large (Terms end June 2025):

Katrina Ladd

Katrina Ladd (she/they) received her masters in social work from the University of Maine (Orono) in 2022. She lives in Farmington, Maine and works in RSU 9 as the day treatment clinician at the local middle school. Katrina’s passion is working with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings. She has experience working in crisis services, child protective services, and school/community based behavioral health. In her free time, Katrina loves to watch documentaries, play softball with a local league, and spend time with family/friends. 

Kassandra Pierce

Kassandra Pierce (she/her/hers) recently received her MSW from the University of New England along with a Trauma-Informed Care certification. Kassandra has a passion for early childhood education and intervention advocacy. Kassandra also sits on the board of directors for Down Syndrome Awareness Project of Maine (DSAPME). Kassandra lives in Topsham, Maine and enjoys spending weekends hiking with her husband and dog.

Board Members At-Large (Terms end June 2026):

Kate Marble

Kate Marble (she/her/hers) is the Case Management Program Director at Health Affiliates Maine, a statewide licensed mental health agency, since 2010. She has been working in community mental health for twenty years, leading initiatives in domestic violence, Veterans suicide prevention, and community mental health. She has over fifteen years of nonprofit board work and has served as Board Chair at the Center for Wisdom’s Women and Safe Voices. Currently, Kate is most passionate about policy issues impacting frontline social workers and their clients. 

Lori Pelkey

Lori Pelkey (she/her/hers) received her LPN in 2003 from North Idaho College, her BA in Human Services in 2019 from Southern New Hampshire University, and a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology along with her MSW from the University of Maine (Orono) in 2023. Lori’s final year specialty field internship was spent with the University’s Center on Aging. Lori lives in Northern Maine and has the honor of providing care for veterans at a local Veteran’s Affairs Community-based Outpatient Clinic. Time spent on the beaches of Maine is always incredible, however if you are looking for Lori during her free time, she can be found fishing for largemouth bass in the Penobscot River. One fun fact about Lori: She has swum in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on the same day.

Grace Ott

Grace Ott (she/her/hers) has been a member of NASW since her graduation from Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work in New York City in 2012.  She is a current member of the NASW Maine Chapter’s Policy Committee. Grace has been practicing clinical social work (LCSW) through telehealth in private practice - A Personal Call, LLC. From 2020-2022, she served as a behavioral health clinician (BHC) for Pen Bay Family Medicine in Rockport, Maine. Grace co-founded a concierge Home Health Agency, My Halo, LLC, on the gulf coast of Florida and grew this practice to over 50 employees prior to moving to Maine full time. Grace continues to maintain licensure in both Florida and New York. With her multiple state licensure experience, she is interested in helping to build an interstate compact for social workers to work across state lines. Grace’s clinical experience has included work with Alzheimer’s and Dementia Related Disorders, Grief/Bereavement, Chronic health/medical issues and newly diagnosed, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Trauma, and life transitions.  

Student Representatives (Terms end June 2024):

Alicia McConkey

Alicia McConkey (she/her/hers) is a fourth-year student in the four-year MSW program at the University of Maine in Orono and lives in Bangor with her Service Dog and Service Dog in Training. She is an avid reader and lover of music and nature. Professionally, Alicia has worked with a diverse population of adolescents in a group setting and will be soon transitioning into an integrative practice providing individual clinical work, primarily with adolescents. She is working towards specializing in working with the LGBTQ+ community, the disabled community, the neurodivergent community, and trauma survivors. In her work with the NASW JEDI Committee, she has helped bring educational opportunities on various justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion topics and continues to strive to bring more opportunities to social workers in Maine. Her work with the NASW Policy Committee has led her to be heavily involved with the Social Work Student Loan Repayment Program bill and writing testimony for various other bills. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Alicia has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights since she was a teenager. Also as a member of the disabled community with a Service Dog, she has been an educator and advocate for the rights and safety of Service Dogs in Maine. Alicia is passionate about teaching about Service Dogs and advocating for changes in laws that protect Service Dogs and their handlers from harm.

Lauren Porter

Lauren Porter (she/her/hers) has a bachelor’s degree in social work and a postgraduate certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Southern Maine. After studying social policy abroad, she returned to resume her studies in social work at the University of Kentucky. Her social work focus is on topics related to substance use on micro- and macro-levels, and she is completing her thesis on international comparisons of drug policy approaches and outcomes on public health. She holds Maine licenses as a certified alcohol and drug counselor, peer support specialist, recovery coach, and MHRT/C. She currently supervises a casework program supporting individuals post-incarceration. 

Amber Willett

Amber Willett (she/her/hers) will complete her studies to pursue the path of Social Worker in the Spring of 2024. Her journey started in 2005 with a job that quickly grew into a passion for helping people. This passion has brought her professional presence into people’s living rooms, a detention center, the emergency room, and several classrooms to serve clients of all ages and backgrounds. She has also built up her community through the development of a dialectical behavior program and a celebrate recovery program, sharing her zeal through training others and devoting her free time as a volunteer. Wherever she goes she brings competency, excellent care and fierce advocacy. Although Amber has found fulfillment in each professional opportunity, her desire to expand her knowledge and be better equipped drove her to pursue the path of becoming a social worker. She has been tirelessly striving toward this goal while raising a family, volunteering and continuing to work in the mental health field. She is excited for the new opportunities that she will have as she works to finish her degree and joins NASW Maine as a new student representative. 

2023-2024 Student Interns:

Ashlea Tibbetts

Ashlea Tibbetts (she/her/hers) is working on her second year in the University of New England’s MSW program, having previously earned a BS in rehabilitation services from the University of Maine at Farmington. Influenced by positive personal experience in therapy, Ashlea entered the MSW program with sights set on private practice but has thoroughly enjoyed learning about the full extent of the field on the micro, mezzo, and macro levels. Now with undefined direction, Ashlea is grateful to have her generalist year placement with NASW-ME and be able to have an inside look to the many reaches of social work. School work and employment with her local municipality are balanced with time with family, talking to her two dogs like they’re humans, lobstering with her husband, and shopping for craft supplies.