Are you interested in joining the Grow L+A Board? You are welcome to contact us.
Gabrielle Russell | President
Doris Russell | Vice President
Gisele Guerrette | Secretary
Peter Rubins | Treasurer
Katie Bosse | Member
Julia Harper | Member
Legacy Members are former board members or founding members who continue to volunteer and advise the organization.
Peter Flanders | Legacy Member
Keith Morin | Legacy Member
Shanna Cox | Legacy Member
Justin Nadeau | Legacy Member
Sarah Goodrich | Legacy Member
Ryan Rhoades | Legacy Member
Board Member Bios
Katie Boss is one of Grow L+A’s newest board members, joining in September of 2015. Katie is the Outcome Broker for the Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) of Lewiston-Auburn. In her role, she works with diverse local organizations, agencies and community leaders to break the link between unhealthy homes and unhealthy families. Her work with GHHI centers around preventing childhood lead poisoning and holistically addressing other health hazards in low-income homes in the urban core of Lewiston and Auburn.
A resident of Auburn, and a mom, Katie is passionate about supporting the development and growth of L-A. She sees immense potential in this community and tells everyone she can about all the great things that L-A has to offer. She is excited to have the opportunity to serve as a board member for Grow L+A and combine her professional experience in healthy homes, her academic background in public health, and her personal passion in community development, in giving back to her new hometown.
Gisele Guerrette has been an active member of Grow L+A since November 2014. She became a member of the Board of Directors in July 2015, and is committed to a leadership role as secretary to the board.
A native of Lewiston, a resident of Auburn, Gisele is a business owner, creative director, and a writer. She has an extensive background in technology within the telecommunications and finance industries.
With a skillset that is oriented towards project coordination, process improvement, and administration, Gisele offers that support to Grow L+A’s leadership team and working groups. Additionally, she serves on the board of directors for the Androscoggin County Chapter of The Women’s Network, and has held positions with church boards, conducted volunteer efforts with faith-based organizations, as well as mission groups.
Bates Mill No. 5 is a project that is personally meaningful to her. She seeks to ensure the historic part of the Bates Mill complex building is repurposed as a vibrant downtown landmark and a cornerstone of the ongoing revival of the overall complex.
Gisele brings a genuine passion for economic development to her Grow L+A role, supporting local businesses and encouraging partnerships, sharing Grow L+A’s vision for building community, providing vision, and inspiring growth.
Gisele is also a passionate cook, a seeker of fresh ingredients, a recipe creator, and a new food blogger committed to increasing the visibility of the ever-growing food culture in Maine.
Julia grew up in and around the L-A community. She joined the Grow L+A board in 2014. Julia serves with the Good Food Council of Lewiston-Auburn as their Coordinator, and with Androscoggin Land Trust as Conservation Assistant. She holds a degree in Sociology from the University of Maine. Julia is a resident and member-owner in the RAISE-Op Housing Cooperative in downtown Lewiston and lives there with her partner.
Doris was born and raised in Lewiston and now lives in Auburn. She worked for the State of Maine for 38 years and is currently retired. Her experience in the Department of Health and Human Services included work as a Social Worker, Manager and Supervisor for statewide contracted family planning and nutrition services, Operations Manager for the Bureau of Maine’s Elderly, Assistant Director of the Bureau of Elder and Adult Services, and Health Planner for the Bureau of Health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Maine, Orono.
Doris serves her community by participating on several local boards. Previously, she was on the Occupational Training Center (now Pathways) board and Diocesan Human Relations Services (now Catholic Charities) advisory board. She currently sits on the Board of the Woman’s Literary Union and serves as the Assistant Treasurer, as well as being a member of the advisory committee for Auburn’s Community Development Program. Doris is a founding board member of Grow L+A.
Her fondness for historic buildings, like Bates Mill No. 5, extends to her place of residence in Auburn—which is listed as part of a historic district designated by the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1854.
Architect Gabrielle Russell is a founding member and past president of Grow L+A. She brings more than 12 years of experience in the design and construction fields, along with her commitment to the preservation of Maine landmarks. She’s particularly passionate about the proposed revitalization of Lewiston’s Bates Mill No. 5.
Gabrielle also serves on Lewiston’s Historic Preservation Review Board, the board of the YMCA of Lewiston-Auburn, and previously was a member of the board of LA Arts and the Zoning Board of Appeals in Lewiston.
Her work as an architect in the ongoing efforts to preserve and redevelop Bates Mill No. 5 has been recognized by Maine Magazine, Maine Home & Design, as well as Mainebiz.
Gabrielle was chosen as a TEDxDirigo presenter in 2012 and delivered her impassioned “Envisioning the Future of a Mill City” talk, which continues to bring attention to the efforts at redeveloping Bates Mill No. 5.
She attributes the love of history and architecture as serving as a catalyst in motivating her to be involved in improving her community.
Gabrielle holds a Masters and a Bachelor of Architecture from Tulane University in New Orleans and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She is from Auburn and now lives in downtown Lewiston.
Peter Rubins saw a lot of our country before he was 18. He was born to a research jet engine engineer from Oklahoma and a modern dancer from Brooklyn.
He was born in Texas, lived in Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Tennessee, and Connecticut and played sports. This necessitated learning to learn to adapt quickly to new school situations. He was a child of the 60’s; civil rights, John Kennedy, Vietnam, Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Woodstock nation, and the environmental movement all shaped who he is today.
He attended Bates College during the tumultuous years of 1968-1972. He fell in love with Maine and the L-A area and ran a bar, La Cage, with a friend, not knowing what he wanted to do but determined to forge his own destination.
Peter became involved with old building restoration through a mentor, Thomas Moser, and started working on several key historic buildings in LA with his business partner, David Rogers. He also used his biology degree to help organize a small group, The Androscoggin River Committee, to press for a cleanup of the Androscoggin River, then one of the top ten polluted rivers in the country. From this evolved legislation that forced the paper mills to clean up the river. The Androscoggin Land Trust was formed to save 2000 acres in Turner that is now Riverlands State Park.
This progression of being socially and environmentally forward-thinking led him to becoming bing a member of Grow L+A. Peter was a board member of The Craft School and board president in the late 70’s, which provided classes in photography, stained glass, jewelry, pottery, dance and more.
He is a member of Androscoggin Land Trust, NRCM, the Chamber and the active chair of the Grow L+A River Task Force. He became active with Grow L+A to help save Mill 5, and help set the future for the River’s Best Use, by facilitating dialog with the two cities and all organizations that have a vested interest in seeing our beautiful natural wonder appreciated for future generations.
Peter feels a vibrant L-A is what we see today, with a community that is at the cusp of seeing the potential of the stock of historic buildings, the beauty and access to the river, with its future growth being guided by a concerned and active public.
In recognition of our founding members: