Reaching Higher NH Board of Directors

Alan Reische, Co-Chair

Alan Reische, Co-Chair, is an attorney with Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green. He is a director of the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits, a trustee of NHPR and a director and former chair of New Hampshire Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Alan and his wife Joan have been the 2008 recipients of the NH Charitable Foundation’s Lifetime of Service Award. Alan also serves as a member of the Governor’s Live Free and Start-Up Committee and chairs the subcommittee for revisions to and updating of New Hampshire’s securities law.

Tom Rath, Co-Chair

Tom Rath is one of the most notable Republican strategists and advisers in the state. Tom served as the Chairman of the election campaigns of New Hampshire’s former U.S. Senators, Warren Rudman, and Judd Gregg and he actively assisted in the U.S. Senate process that confirmed David Souter as Supreme Court Justice. He was appointed as New Hampshire attorney general in 1978 and later founded Rath, Young, and Pignatelli to provide guidance on legislative and public policy issues.

Kass Ardinger

Kass Ardinger is an attorney who served for nine years, five as president, on the Concord School District Board of Education. Under her Board leadership, Concord consolidated its elementary schools and built three new ones. In 2015 she was elected to serve as Treasurer for the District. Kass is also a commissioner on the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education, which is the accrediting body for all colleges and universities in New England. She has served on numerous boards of non-profit organizations that benefit children and families in New Hampshire.

Carolyn Benthien

Carolyn Benthien works with New Hampshire-based not-for-profit organizations in the areas of leadership, governance, strategic planning and resource development through her consulting firm, Carolyn H. Benthien Associates, LLC. In her 25 years of consulting she has assisted several hundred non profits create strategic plans, build stronger boards and design effective development efforts including annual funds and capital campaigns. She has also served as a member of a number of boards, both for profit and non profit, including the original boards of Leadership Manchester, Leadership New Hampshire, Manchester Regional Foundation and the NH Women’s Foundation. Prior to her full-time consulting work, she served as CEO of three United Ways including 11 years with United Way of Greater Manchester.

Carolyn is the mother of 2 adult children and 3 young grandchildren. While always believing in the value and strength of public education, experiencing anew how young people, from the very start of life, learn and find meaning every moment of every day, has renewed her commitment to ensuring access to quality education at every level of their educational journey.

Lew Feldstein

Lewis M. Feldstein is the former President of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and plays a leadership role in a number of important issues in New Hampshire. He worked with the civil rights movement in Mississippi and served for seven years in senior staff positions to New York City Mayor John V. Lindsay. Lew serves on several boards, including the Boards of Directors of the Independent Sector and Civic Ventures.

Talmira Hill

Talmira Hill is Principal of the T. L. Hill Group, an independent firm she founded in 2001 that partners with mission-driven organizations to improve opportunities and outcomes among vulnerable young adults. Talmira has held leadership roles with The Community Builders, Inc., the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Education. As a consultant, Talmira has facilitated cross-sector initiatives led by philanthropic institutions, federal agencies, nonpartisan policy organizations, national civic organizations, and advocacy groups. Author of Setting the Stage for New High Schools: Municipal Leadership in Supporting High School Alternatives (2007), Talmira earned her M.Ed. from Harvard University and BSFS from Georgetown University. Since 2003, Talmira and her husband have called Bartlett, NH home.

Mark Joyce

Dr. Mark Joyce served as executive director of the New Hampshire School Administrator’s Association for 20 years, a private not-for-profit organization that represents all New Hampshire school system administrators and advocates on behalf of all children and public education. Mark advises businesses and organizations regarding education, leadership, and communication. He has taught grades 7-12, as well as at the graduate school level and has served as a school principal and as assistant superintendent of schools in New Hampshire. He has also served as a superintendent of schools in both New Hampshire and Maine.

David Juvet

David Juvet is the current Senior Vice President of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire. He leads the association’s public policy team, where his expertise lies in the areas of education, tax policy, economic development, and human resource and labor issues.

Ashley Major, CPA, MSA

Ashley Major, Certified Public Accountant, is a Manager with Nathan Wechsler and Company, P.A.. Her practice areas include closely held business and their owners, Non-Profit organizations, manufacturing, accounting due diligence and construction. She leads the firms Charter School niche practice and works with several public charter schools in the State of New Hampshire. In addition to the Reaching Higher NH Board of Directors, Ashley also serves as the treasurer of the NH Chapter of the Institute of Management Accountants.

Selma Naccach-Hoff

Selma Naccach-Hoff, is a Manchester native who is a highly respected long-time English teacher and department head at Manchester High School Central. She served on the committee helping to define an “adequate education” as directed by the New Hampshire courts; on committees to design competency assessments and guidelines for work study practices for New Hampshire schools.

Pawn Nitichan

Pawn Nitichan is the Executive Director of City Year New Hampshire and a Vice President of City Year Inc. With Nitichan’s leadership and her commitment to helping students, corps members, and staff succeed, City Year New Hampshire has more than tripled its service capacity and developed a widely recognized culture of idealism. The organization consistently provides high-quality service to kids and communities as reflected in numerous awards including ten Best of City Year Awards, City Year National’s highest recognition, as well as a Corporate Fund’s Dunfey Award. Among Nitichan’s community and professional commitments, she serves on the boards of New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Manchester Proud, as well as the Governor’s Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council.

Adam Ruedig

Adam Ruedig is a financial advisor with The Ruedig Group at UBS in Concord and Portsmouth, Prior to his career as a financial advisor Adam worked as an architect in New York and Boston.

In addition to the Reaching Higher NH board, Adam serves on the Board of the Portsmouth Housing Authority. He has served on the boards of 3S Artspace and Red River Theater. Adam is a graduate of New Hampshire public schools and currently has two children in the Portsmouth public school system.

Barbara Russell

A graduate of Lesley University, Barbara Russell taught Grade 6 for three years prior to joining a small entrepreneurial educational publisher in Billerica MA as their first full-time employee. Barbara was directly involved in the building of Curriculum Associates to $40 million in sales and left that company in 1992, after 19 years, as Vice President of Sales and Marketing. In 1993 Barbara formed her own entrepreneurial publishing company, Options Publishing, LLC. Based in Merrimack NH, Options developed supplemental educational materials for ‘At Risk’ students in grades K – 8 nationwide. The company was built over twelve years from nothing to $20 million in sales with 45% net profit. In 2005, Options Publishing was sold. This allowed Gordon and Barbara to form the Russell Foundation and pursue their passion for Land Protection.

Past Directors

The late, Senator Scott McGilvray

Steve Duprey, President, Foxfire Management Company

Donnalee Lozeau, Executive Director of Southern New Hampshire Services, Inc.

Former State Senator Nancy Stiles