CEO & Founder
Nini Meyer grew up in Lyme, NH, as a competitive equestrian and returned to New England in 1999 to raise a family of two boys. She attended Tufts University and C.U. Boulder, and holds a B.A. in theatre. She’s a starting line junky, endurance runner and cyclist, avid hiker, and very poor cook. Alongside her role as Founder and CEO of Positive Tracks, Nini currently serves as a Trustee of the Jane B. Cook Charitable Trusts; a member of Friends of CHaD Board; an Overseer of Hopkins Center For The Arts At Dartmouth; Community Engagement Director of the CHaD HERO Half Marathon, and Trustee of the Hypertherm HOPE Foundation.
Me In 140 Characters Or Less: Wife, Mother, Philanthletics Passionista. Nothing Rivals The Power of Fun, Sweat, Gratitude.
Mary Margaret Sloan
Mary Margaret Sloan has 20 years of nonprofit leadership experience, including an extensive background in organizational development and project management. Before her current role at Positive Tracks, Mary Margaret was Executive Director of Vital Communities, a regional sustainability nonprofit in White River Junction, VT, and worked as the Northeast Regional Director and the Alumni Director at the Student Conservation Association (SCA) in Charlestown, NH. Prior to that, Mary Margaret was president of a national nonprofit, American Hiking Society, in Silver Spring, MD, and began her career as a litigator in a general practice law firm in northern Virginia. Mary Margaret holds a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, a J.D. from Villanova University, and recently received her executive certificate in Sports Philanthropy. She lives on a farm in Vermont, at the site of the first ski rope tow in the country, with her author husband Howard Krum, mouser Lucky George (cat), and hiking companion Mola Mola (dog). She has summited Mt. Rainier and Mt. Kilimanjaro, but her heart is in the rocky, unforgiving trails of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Mary Margaret has served on numerous boards, including ReThink Health of the Upper Connecticut River Valley, Tanzania Education Fund, and Outdoor Industries Women’s Coalition.
Me in 140 Characters or Less: Grateful To Live In A Place Most Just Dream Of Visiting; Happy When Cooking—Happier When Eating; Adventure And True Love Are What Life’s All About.
Community Organizing Director
Nakia Navarro helps create methodology and tools for Positive Tracks programs, in addition to co-managing the Challenges Program and its Coordinators. Nakia has over 10 years of nonprofit leadership experience, including an extensive background in nonprofit management and developing community investment strategies. Before working at Positive Tracks, Nakia was a Program Director at the New England Grassroots Environment Fund, a regional fund investing in the cross-section of environment and social justice. In addition, she worked as the New England Regional Director at Let’s Get Ready, a nonprofit providing college access and success resources within low resourced communities. Nakia holds a BA in Public Administration from Winthrop University, a MA from Tufts University in Urban Environmental Public Policy, and a certificate in Global Communications from the University of Salamanca. In addition to helping youth sweat for good, Nakia teaches Environmental Justice at Brooke Charter High School and volunteers as the board chair of the Dorchester Food Co-op. Nakia hails from Hilton Head Island, SC and currently resides in Boston, MA.
Me In 140 Characters Or Less: Loves To Cook!; ATV’er; Spa Lover; Book Addict; Challenge Finder; Snorkeler Extraordinaire; Strategic Thinker
Partnerships & Creative Director
Liz Verney Kelsey grew up in the Peterborough, NH area as a die hard athlete, outdoor enthusiast and artist. She moved to the Upper Valley in 2001 to raise a family of two girls. Liz attended Connecticut College and holds a BA in Art, though college athletics were her true passion. She’s an avid runner, cyclist, hockey player, hiker and has no relationship with her couch. Liz most recently dedicated 7.5 years to the Upper Valley Haven as their Development & Communications Director until leaving to get married, move across the river and pursue her next big career adventure! Liz lives in Lyme with her husband, two girls and 12 miniature chickens.
Me In 140 Characters Or Less: Give Back & Get Going; Seriously?; Lover of All Creatures Mini; Athlete; Swedish Fish; Sailor; Closet Gardener & Interior Designer; Addicted to Waves, H2O & Sun; Mom!
Liz Gray has been with Positive Tracks since 2012. In addition to helping create methodology and tools for Positive Tracks programs, Liz co-manages the Challenges Program and its Coordinators. Liz leads technology development at Positive Tracks and also supports social media and marketing efforts. Liz’s volunteer leadership experience includes being Co-Director of Ford Sayre Ski Club’s Alpine Racing Program. Liz enjoys captaining her USTA tennis team and works tirelessly to improve her game. Liz loves nothing more than helping youth activate sweat for good visions. Liz lives with her husband, Alex, and two sons at the Cardigan Mountain School where her husband is a teacher and coach.
Me In 140 Characters Or Less: Enthusiastic Giver; Southerner at Heart; Tennis Addict; Serial Volunteer (AKA Sucker); Loves Live Music; Collaborator.
Communications & Communities Director
Emily Gardner grew up in beautiful Sharon, VT. She received a B.F.A in Acting from the University of Connecticut and is a graduate of The Second City – Los Angeles. After living and working as an actress in LA, Emily returned home in 2011, and became the Events and Corporate Relations Manager at Vital Communities in Vermont. She joined Positive Tracks in 2016 and bothers/entertains her co-workers with random comedic musings. Emily loves kickboxing, spinning, live theatre, and yard sales. She lives in Wilder, VT with her husband, 2 daughters, and multiple deranged cats.
Me In 140 Characters Or Less: I’m Local; Comedian; Fake It Till You Make It; Believe In Fate; Live In The Moment, Command Positive Energy, Campfires And Picnics; No Regrets; Bread And Cheese 4 Eva.
Wayne Burwell is a Master Trainer and a graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH where he holds a bachelor’s degree. Not only is Wayne a certified strength and conditioning specialist, but he holds certifications with NASM, USAW, and Apex. Attending college in the Upper Valley allowed Wayne to embrace and support his community, and he is passionate about the wonderful people that thrive within it. He owns and runs Wayne’s World, Elite Fitness Training, which is located in Lebanon, NH. Wayne has been named the Top Revenue Producer, 5 out of the 6 past years with the River Valley Club, a fitness center also located in Lebanon, NH. He holds the record, with Pro Fitness Alliance, for the most number of personal training sessions in one month of 239 hours. For the last 15 years, Wayne has trained athletes and individuals of all ages. Encouraging individuals desiring to achieve their personal fitness goals and maintaining those goals with a rewarding and healthy mindset, is Wayne’s purpose.
Me In 140 Characters Or Less: Hilarious, Faithful, Energetic; Not Too Hard To Look At; Loving; Resourceful; Loves God & Great Food; Loves Making People Happy; Loves Family.
Fiona Almeida is a native of South Africa who now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She is a recent graduate of Tufts University, where she obtained her Master’s degree from the Urban Environment Policy and Planning Department. Fiona obtained her BA from Wellesley College and her AS from Middlesex Community College, Boston, MA.
Almeida is passionate about Global Healthcare, Education, Gender Equality and the intersection of Culture and Identity. Fiona’s research focuses on a minority group of African Indians called Siddis, living in Karnataka, India. She conducts ethnographic research and focuses on culture, identity, mental health, education and women’s reproductive health, specifically menstruation. Fiona has implemented two ongoing projects in several Siddi villages in Karnataka. She teaches women the skill of making reusable cotton sanitary napkins and raises awareness on menstrual hygiene. In 2016, she implemented an awareness and prevention project called Break Free From Depression for Adolescents. The projects in India are part of her ongoing interest and commitment to women’s education and reproductive health. Fiona has a varied and richly textured background and has held various positions at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Wellesley College, and Harvard Smithsonian – Center for Astrophysics.
When Almeida, is not buried in research and designing projects, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, trying out new food spots and enjoying outdoor activities. Fiona also runs a South African networking group for South Africans in Massachusetts and neighboring states.
She is currently a member of the following boards: Middlesex Community College Alumni Association, Commonwealth Honors Society at Middlesex Community College and African Indian Alliance.
Byron Glaser is designer and illustrator of creativity-inspiring products and film, including the award-winning line of Zolo® toys and Curious Bonz™ and Higashi Glaser Design. He works in a variety of mediums including paint, collage, sculpture, film, and digital art. Byron, a native of Southern California, graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena with Honors. He lives in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and also serves on the Empowerhouse Board in Fredericksburg, VA.
Me In 140 Characters Or Less: Resourceful; Design Police; Astral Projector; Street Smart; Half Full; Often Confuse Literally With Figuratively; Hard-Ass Softee.
Philanthropic & Legal Advisor
Gioia Perugini is the Associate Director of Philanthropic and Family Office Services at Hemenway & Barnes, LLP, a Boston-based legal and fiduciary firm. She works with individuals, families, advisors, charitable trusts and foundations to provide a range of philanthropic advisory and client services. She works with clients to design and implement charitable giving strategies, research particular charities, negotiate gifts of cash and/or tangible assets (with a specialty in gifts of fine art) and coordinate family meetings. Gioia oversees the grant making for Jane’s Trust, the CHT Foundation, Jane B. Cook Charitable Trusts, George B. Henderson Foundation, the Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation and the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust. Gioia is a frequent speaker, writer, panelist and blogger on issues relevant to philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. She co-authored a Family Office Exchange publication “Sitting on a Nonprofit Board: What to Consider Before Saying Yes” and authored “It’s All About the Money…Or Is It? Creative Strategies for Charitable Giving.” She serves on the Board of the Brookline Community Foundation, where she is Chair of the Program and Grants Committee and a member of the Development Committee. She also serves on the Board of the Maine Philanthropy Center, as well as the Steering Committee of the Maine Environmental Funders Network. When not working in philanthropy and volunteering, she can be found running, biking, or on the sidelines of her children’s soccer and baseball games.
Me in 140 Characters Or Less: I Talk Way Too Fast And Am Apt To Break Into Song; Motivated, Passionate People Inspire Me; My Kids Teach Me Something New Every Day; Is There An App For That?