Friends of Aine is a volunteer organization run by a board of directors.
Here are the members working with us to help grieving children and families.
Christine and David Phillips, parents of Aine and Bella, founded Friends of Aine in 2013. Following the sudden death of their eldest daughter Aine in 2010, Christine’s and David’s focus turned to making sure that their youngest daughter Bella could flourish in spite of the trauma of losing her big sister. This led them to the Good Grief program which was one of the factors in their decision to establish a non-profit organization, The Friends of Aine Foundation in 2013. An avid volunteer in the community, Christine is working to raise awareness and advocate for children that have suffered a loss. She is the editor for child loss at bellaone.com, a member of the Elliot Hospital Pediatric Bereavement committee and a member of the National Alliance for Grieving Children.
“I serve in honor of my beautiful daughters, Aine and Bella, and for the all the silent and forgotten mourners whose story is left unheard.”
A native of England, David came to the US in 1999 as Vice President and General Manager of Publishing Solutions North America for Unisys Corporation. After expanding market coverage from North America to Europe and Latin America, he began a new career in consulting; designing and implementing strategies for clients in a variety of industrial and commercial markets.
“I serve to establish an enduring legacy of Aine that embodies her spirit, personality and kindness by supporting children like Bella so that they do not feel alone after the death of a sibling or parent.”
Joseph Murray – Board Chair, is the Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for Fidelity Investments’ regional center in Merrimack, NH. He leads Fidelity’s external relations work in New Hampshire which includes government relations, community relations, and corporate philanthropy. Joe leads the development committee for Friends of Aine and is working to launch our Capital Campaign. He lives in Bedford with his wife and three children.
“Not everyone is born with the same degree of resiliency. As someone who lost his father at the age of 13, I share Friends of Áine’s goal to create a place of solace and support for New Hampshire children who are coping with loss.”
Barbara LaFrance, RN, FACHE serves as our clinical expert and primary liason to Home Health & Hospice Care (HHHC) in Merrimack, NH. A member of the Senior Management team at HHHC, she oversees the Good Grief Children’s Bereavement program and Teen Topics Support Group as well as the Hospice, Palliative Care and Risk Management divisions. Barbara lives in Brookline, NH with her husband and has two grown children.
“It is a privilege to join the Friends of Aine Board of Directors, who have provided such needed support to so many grieving children and families in our community. It will be a pleasure to support their mission and continued vision for our community.”
Caroline Verow is a successful, licensed, full-time Realtor for the State of New Hampshire at Keller Williams Realty Metropolitan in Bedford, NH. Caroline has been a Realtor at Keller Williams since July of 2004 and a consistent top performer. She is currently a member of the Associate Leadership Council, ALC, being in the top 20% of the company. In that capacity she helps develop and deliver trainings, sets office policies and acts as a mentor to new associates. Caroline received her Associate’s Degree in Business Science at Hesser College in Manchester, NH.
“Friends of Aine is near and dear to my heart as I vividly remember Aine’s beautiful and radiant smile and contagious joy of life. Her passing was heartbreaking so I view anything I can do to bring comfort to children and families going through similar circumstances as a way to preserve Aine’s spirit and memory”.
Gina Powers is the Director of Government Relations for RYP Granite Strategies in Concord, NH, where she works representing a number of businesses and organizations before the New Hampshire Legislative and Executive Branches. In 2010, she began volunteering with Merrimack Home Health and Hospice, where she met Bella while co-facilitating a “Good Grief” group. Gina and her husband now live in Bedford after 12 years in Manchester.
“Having suffered a loss similar to Bella’s at 14 years old, I am eager help grow and expand Friends of Aine so that no child will find themselves without critical bereavement services should they need them.”
Joseph Bator is the Executive Vice President and Senior Lender at Primary Bank located in Bedford NH, where he is responsible for all lending and commercial banking functions of the Bank. His background in business banking and commercial real estate will be helpful as we finalize our business plan and work towards establishing a Friends of Aine Center for Grieving Children. Joe lives in Bedford with his wife and five boys.
“I serve on the board of Friends of Aine because I cannot think of anything worse than a grieving child. Any help we can give them is worth it.”
Kristen Kraunelis, RN,BC,LICSW is the Director of Quality Improvement at The Mental Health of Greater Manchester where she has gratefully worked for the past 24 years. She is a hospice volunteer through The Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester and Southern New Hampshire and has experience working with individuals and families as they journey through the grief process. Kristen is involved in many community-based coalitions and councils, and is dedicated to building partnerships that promote recovery and community wellness.
“I am truly honored to be part of Friend’s of Aine and feel the mission of this inspiring organization is perfectly aligned with my personal and professional values and interests. I look forward to doing whatever I can to help further our mission and promote hope and healing for the children and families we serve”.
Linda Dinndorf joins us as a recently retired Lieutenant Colonel of the United States Air Force. Her background in leadership instruction will be helpful in developing training and education programs for grief counselors. Linda is an original member of the Friend of Aine Kid’s Try-athlon committee and is instrumental in running the swim portion of the race each year. She lives in Bedford with her husband and four children.
“The Friends of Aine organization is helping to fill a vital need for many families in New Hampshire who are grappling with a difficult loss and the opportunity to raise awareness and provide expanded bereavement services for children is such a worthwhile endeavor.”
Ahad Fazelat MD/MPH is a Vitreoretinal Specialist and Owner of The Medical Eye Center in Manchester, NH. He is a member of the Bedford Lions Club and Future In Sight, a non-profit serving the blind and visually impaired. Ahad joins the development committee for Friends of Aine and will be working to launch our Capital Campaign. He lives in Bedford with his wife and two children.
“As medical professionals my wife and I have witnessed someone suffer the loss of a beloved family member far too often. Bewildered and confused, families often need help to forge the path forward as the future they had imagined is irreversibly altered. The overwhelming grief the bereaved suffer is a daunting obstacle to the healing process and none are more susceptible than the children in these situations. Friends of Aine provides the ear, the shoulder, or the hand to guide these little ones through the process. This organization inspires us to become involved as it provides a clear and tangible good to those of who have suffered an unthinkable loss
Lisa Wallace is a founding board member and currently works at EVR Advertising in Manchester. With a background in creative direction and marketing strategy, she leads our Marketing and Communications committee. An avid volunteer for children’s programs, Lisa coaches soccer for the Bedford Athletic Club and manages a Destination Imagination Team for students at Bedford High School. She lives in Bedford with her husband and two daughters.
“We had the privilege of knowing Aine as a dear family friend. Working to create a legacy for Aine by helping other children is an honor.”
Robert Reardon joined Friends of Aine in 2017 as Chairman of the Board. Bob’s career includes various Research and Development management roles in Fortune 100 companies
followed by 30-plus years as a principal and Chief Operating Officer of TKL Research, Inc., a privately held Clinical Research Organization.
Bob served on the board of an inner-city school in Central Harlem in New York City helping to raise more than $40 million dollars and was also President of CHILD, Inc.
(Central Harlem Initiative for Learning and Development), a not-for-profit organization which raised educational funds for financially disadvantaged children of the inner-city. Bob’s management and fundraising experience is helping to drive Friends of Aine towards it’s ultimate goal of helping as many children as possible. A native of New England, Bob and his wife reside in Tenafly, NJ where they raised their three children.
“It was learning that, for the one-in-five kids who have lost a parent or sibling, there were virtually no support services to meet their profound feelings of isolation, loneliness and insecurity. With the loss of an essential anchor in their lives, kids lack the extended support
systems that most adults can depend on. Friends of Aine is now providing those services to about 50 kids and we want to multiply that number many times over.”