EqualityMaine Announces Appointment of New Board President and New Vice President

May 17, 2024

Portland, ME —EqualityMaine is proud to announce the appointment of John Hennessy as the new President of the Board of Directors of both EqualityMaine and EqualityMaine Foundation, as well as the appointment of Melissa Martin as the Vice President of EqualityMaine. 

John Hennessy brings a wealth of experience and a strong commitment to our organization’s mission. With a background working with AARP and Maine Council of Aging, he is poised to help us continue the work of advocacy and service, especially for LGBTQ+ older adults.

“I am honored to help lead EqualityMaine into its 40th year of advocating for LGBTQ+ Mainers all across our state. Today, more than ever, our community’s rights are under attack, and we need to be ready to defeat anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, advance a pro-equality agenda, and create an environment where everyone can live their authentic selves.” – John Hennessy

Through Melissa’s work representing survivors of domestic and sexual violence at Pine Tree Legal Assistance, as well as clerking for Justice Gorman on the Maine Supreme Court, Melissa will be a major asset to the organization’s policy and advocacy work. Melissa Martin is the Public Policy and Legal Director at the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault and cares strongly about bodily autonomy and reproductive rights issues. 

“I am excited to join the Executive Board of EqualityMaine.  EqualityMaine does so much important work, but I am particularly excited to support public policy work and candidates working to strengthen the legal rights of all LGBTQ+ people.”  – Melissa Martin

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Michael Coon, who served with dedication and distinction during his tenure as Board President, and to Shawn LaGrega, EqualityMaine Vice President. Both Michael Coon and Shawn LaGrega played pivotal roles in advancing the organization’s mission and leave lasting legacies of impact after years of service. 

As EqualityMaine looks to the future, the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers remain dedicated to the mission of protecting and advancing full equality for all LGBTQ+ Mainers by creating an inclusive and intersectional movement through political action, community building, education, engagement, and collaboration. For more information about EqualityMaine Foundation and EqualityMaine and its mission, please visit www.equalitymaine.org.

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