Board of Directors

Venture’s Board of Directors and Corporate Donors are made up of people from all walks of life: small business owners, lawyers, carpenters, police officers, teachers—active people like you who want to be involved and make a difference in the lives of others.  Contact Mike Hyland for more information.

Current Board Members

Andrea Cropley has been working with the organization since 1988 and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2009.  She also serves as the Vice President for the Big Alum Lake Association in Sturbridge. Mrs. Cropley has decades of experience in working with people living with disabilities, both professional and personal.  She has a son with autism, which has prompted her to become interested in what the community has to offer those with special needs.  Mrs. Cropley is currently a teacher at the Charlton Street School in Southbridge, Massachusetts.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Providence College and a Master of Education from Westfield State University.

Doris Dono was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2022. She has been retired for six years from a professional career in education as a classroom teacher and building principal in the Dudley Charlton Regional School District.  She guided and supported special education programs, inclusion models, and parent groups with a team of specialists.  Mrs. Dono received her Bachelors Degree in Education at Rivier University and a Masters Degree in Leadership and Administration from Worcester State College. Doris has resided in Charlton, MA since 1980 and has been involved in many community  activities and organizations such as The Helping Hand Society, Dudley Women’s Club, PTO, playground construction and multiple fundraisers. Community involvement is always exciting and rewarding for her. She is pleased to be a member of the Venture Board of Directors and to contribute to such an important and essential organization. “A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles” ~ Christopher Reeve

Carl Ekman, Board Clerk joined the Board of Directors in 2007 following a 38 year career as a law enforcement officer for the Charlton Police Department.  Mr. Ekman earned a Master of Arts in Criminal Justice from Curry College and currently serves as the Emergency Management Director for the Town of Charlton.  He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Charlton REAS Foundation, which provides residential energy assistance to senior citizens.

Gail Fanning, Board Treasurer  joined the Board in 2016, shortly after retiring as managing partner of Culliton & Fanning LLC, Certified Public Accountants.  During the course of her career she particularly enjoyed helping small businesses achieve and manage growth.  She is currently a member of the adjunct faculty at Worcester State University in the Business and Economics department.  She served as a Trustee of the Charlton Library during construction of the new Charlton Library, and also served as an original member of the Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary Board of Directors.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wyoming and earned a Master of Business degree from Clark University.  She resides in Charlton with her husband and their dog, Max.

Patricia Lamoureux first joined the Board of Directors in 2009.  Now retired, Mrs. Lamoureaux enjoyed a rewarding career as a Registered Nurse, specializing in both pediatric and psychiatric nursing.  Her background has provided a unique insight regarding the agency’s support services.  Additionally, she has served as president of the Helping Hand Society and was also a member of the Alzheimer’s Association at Harrington Memorial Hospital.  She holds a degree from the David Hale School of Nursing.

Donna Peters, Board President, has been serving on the Board of Directors since 2000.  A lifelong resident of Charlton, Massachusetts, Ms. Peters has been dedicated to the community for decades.  She has served as Vice President of the Glen Echo Improvement Association in Charlton since 2008 and she has also been a member of the Charlton Helping Hand Society for over 20 years.  Ms. Peters has also volunteered as a Massachusetts State Committeewoman and Southbridge Savings Bank Cooperator.  Working in a variety of industries, including real estate development, restaurants, retail sales, life insurance and as a small business owner, Ms. Peters believes that people with disabilities are integral contributors to the community.

Jean Vincent, was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2022. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Charlton Housing Authority for 28 years before retiring in 2018. Jean is also active on many boards and committees such as The Charlton Planning Board, she is a delegate for the Central Mass Regional Planning Commission and is a member of the Charlton Community Emergency Response Team. She has been a resident of Charlton, MA for over 30 years.

Richard Whitney Board Vice President, joined the Board of Directors in 1995, continuing a long association with charitable organizations in central Massachusetts.  Mr. Whitney has served as a Trustee of the Jacob Edwards Library as well as Director of the Optical Heritage Museum.  He is also a co-founder of the Future of Southbridge Group.  Mr. Whitney has found his years of experience with the Board of Directors to be extremely rewarding.  He is devoted to ensuring that individuals with disabilities benefit from the services provided by Venture. Mr. Whitney is a Quality Management Standards Manager for Carl Zeiss Vision located in Southbridge, Massachusetts, where he first started work for American Optical in 1974.  He holds a Bachelor of Science in Astronomy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.