MSSPA Announces Three New Board Members

Press Release – April 16, 2020

MSSPA of Windham, Maine is pleased to announce the election of three new board members, Joseph McCarthy of Cumberland, Maine, Benjamin Culver of Portland, Maine, and Amy Starnes of Westbrook, Maine.  “Our Board of Directors is composed of a dedicated team of community leaders committed to providing rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing programs to Maine’s abused, neglected equines,” said Meris J. Bickford, Vice President and CEO of the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals. “We are excited to channel Joe, Ben, and Amy’s talent, expertise and energy into advancing the Society’s mission.”

Joseph McCarthy, a newly-elected member of the board, with one of his horses

Joseph McCarthy is a marine shipping professional with more than 40 years of experience in maritime commerce, concentrating on environmental safety in the transfer of hazardous materials at ports of call worldwide. Since his graduation from Maine Maritime Academy, Mr. McCarthy has supervised seamen and operations for Exxon Oil Corporation, Hess Oil Corporation, Marine Transportation and Towing as well as the National Response Corporation. At present, he manages product transfer activities for Moran Shipping of Houston, Texas. Joe is also an avid horseman. Together with his wife Nancy, he owns and trains a registered Percheron gelding named Summit and a grade Tennessee Walker gelding named Mickey, who was adopted from the MSSPA. Joe volunteers with the Society and also with the Farmers’ Club of Cumberland, Maine.

Ben Culver, a newly-elected member of the board, with MSSPA horse Diana

Ben Culver, co-owner of the popular Arcadia National Bar on Preble Street in Portland, began volunteering at the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals in 2018. Prior to his arrival in Maine and the founding the business in 2014, Mr. Culver engaged in a variety of interesting activities, including hiking the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine, tour guiding for an outdoor adventure company in Hawaii, and working as a union stagehand. Ben has an extensive volunteer resume including serving on the Daily Evergreen, Washington State University’s daily student newspaper, The Preble Street Resource Center, WMPG, and the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Ben’s life partner Amanda Nobbe is a lifelong horsewoman and together they are regulars in the volunteer corps at the MSSPA’s River Road farm. They share their home with Taco, a rescue Beagle, and Tom, a handsome feline fellow who was adopted from a local companion animal shelter.

Amy Starnes, a newly-elected member of the board, with one of her adopted dogs

Maine native Amy Starnes, of Westbrook, currently serves as Senior Director of Digital Engagement for Best Friends Animal Society, a national animal welfare organization committed to saving the lives of cats and dogs in America’s shelters by 2025.  She sets the vision for the organization’s digital program, with a focus on audience growth, revenue generation, and community engagement to support high-impact animal welfare programs at both the national and grassroots levels. Her technical expertise combined with innovative and meaningful communications strategies has driven best in class recognition for the organization’s online programs with over 2M+ community members. She has also served animals while working with MSPCA-Angell in Boston, the second-oldest humane society in the U.S., in addition to her work at startup and healthcare technology companies. Ms. Starnes is a sought after presenter at national conferences and seminars, speaking on topics ranging from content marketing to digital fundraising and social media. Amy and her husband Elias share a love of technology, Maine, and most of all, animals. She is a lifelong rescuer of pets and lover of horses. Their family includes two adopted dogs, Polly and Stella, who came from the south but have learned to love the snow.

The 2020 officers and directors of the Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals include: Meris J. Bickford, Esq., Vice President; The Honorable Bill Diamond, Treasurer; Katherine Woodbrey, Secretary; Deborah Valenti, Assistant Treasurer; Marilyn L. Goodreau, Chairwoman Emeritus; Ben Culver; David Jefferson, DVM; Joseph McCarthy; Nancy Mills; Sonya Nadeau; Andrew Robinson, District Attorney; Christopher Rogers; Danny Shaw; Jane Sheehan; Amy Starnes; John Trafton; and Roger Timmons.