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Meet the Board of Directors

Karen Worcester, Executive Director Image

Karen Worcester, Executive Director

Immediately upon the creation of Wreaths Across America in 2007, Karen Dow Worcester was chosen for the position of Executive Director by the Board of Directors. With over 35 years of experience in the administrative stewardship of the various Worcester family enterprises, Karen is well-known as a passionate champion and spokesperson. As a volunteer and co-founder of Wreaths Across America, Karen tenaciously works on ways the organization can best Remember the fallen; Honor those who serve; and Teach our children that our freedoms are purchased at a great cost.

Equally passionate about her family, Karen is a mother to six children and nine grandchildren. Her favorite hobby is participating in and preparing for equestrian events, as well as tending to the family farm.

Wayne Hanson, Chairman Image

Wayne Hanson, Chairman

Born in Concord, New Hampshire, Wayne moved to his home state of Maine in the third grade.  He graduated from Bangor High School and received a Bachelor of Science in Education at the University of Maine at Orono. Wayne served seven years in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) while attending high school and college where he  received 2nd Lt Commission in the United States Army, Military Police Corps. He proudly served in the Army from 1967-1971 with assignments in Alaska, Vietnam, and Alabama. Wayne rose to the rank of Captain before leaving service. During his military career, he received two Bronze Stars for service and achievement in Vietnam.

After military duty, he was a criminal investigator with the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Agriculture in where he worked in Georgia, North Carolina, New York and Washington DC.  After 10 years with the Department of Agriculture, Wayne served as a Criminal Investigator in Washington DC with the United States Department of Labor.  Wayne worked with the Department of Labor for 20 years until mandatory retirement in 2002. He began working with Wreaths Across America through his involvement in the Maine State Society. He is married and has two grown children.

Mike Edgecomb, Vice Chairman Image

Mike Edgecomb, Vice Chairman

A US Navy Veteran, Mike is the Maine State Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders. Born and raised in Aroostook County, Maine. Mike returned to “The County” after 6 years active duty, and worked in the cable TV industry starting in 1980. During this time he joined and served with the Maine National Guard in Caribou, Maine.

Mike recently retired from Time Warner Cable after 36 years, and is now semi-retired, and works as an industry consultant.

Mike was the WAA location leader for the Togus National Veteran’s Cemetery, and organized the Augusta State House ceremony for many years. He is now the Patriot Guard Ride Captain for the Wreaths Across America Arlington Convoy.

Mike is married to Karen (Cormier) Edgecomb, and has one daughter, Shannon. He has lived in Spruce Head, Maine since 1996.

David "Mel" Russen, Jr., Treasurer Image

David "Mel" Russen, Jr., Treasurer

David Russen earned the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army, 6th ACR at Fort Meade, Maryland, during his service from 1968-1970. His unit was federalized during the riots in Washington DC when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed and helped restore peace to the nation’s Capital. Afterward, he attended Monmouth University, earning a Masters of Arts in Business Administration in 1982. Mr. Russen was the Toms River Board of Education Assistant Board Secretary for Accounting from 1970 to 1986 and is now the President and CEO of Mar-Jel Remodeling Inc.

Mr. Russen is a Past District Deputy Grand Master of Masons for the 17th Masonic District in New Jersey. He began his association with Wreaths Across America while a junior officer in Durand Masonic Lodge No. 179, Point Pleasant, NJ. He is a past President of the Point Pleasant Borough Garden Club. Currently, he is a Rutgers Certified Master Gardener in Ocean County, NJ, and has served as an intern class mentor, serves on the speaker’s bureau, and is the chairman of the soil Ph testing committee. He is a location leader for several Wreaths Across America locations in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, several of which are located at the "Jersey Shore". Prior to his appointment to the Board of Directors, he served on the Advisory Board for Wreaths Across America.
Renee Saunders Worcester, Secretary Image

Renee Saunders Worcester, Secretary

Renee joined the mission well before the nonprofit was ever dreamed of and has played a significant role in its growth. Having married into the founding family, she volunteers her time as Director of Development and Partnerships for the organization, working with businesses of all sizes as they look for ways to engage with their stakeholders and communities through the mission. She is a graduate of Ellsworth High School and attended the University of Maine at Farmington and Eastern Maine Technical College. Out of the office, Renee is the lead chauffeur, statistician, encourager and coach for the numerous activities her two children participate in, from hockey games to horse shows, you can always find her on a field or rink cheering on the family!
Debbie Ruane Sparks Image

Debbie Ruane Sparks

Debbie is a passionate, dedicated executive with over 30 years of marketing and operational leadership. She currently serves as the Executive Director, National Motor Freight Traffic Association (NMFTA), a nonprofit comprised of Less-Than-Truckload (LTL) motor carriers operating in interstate, intrastate and foreign commerce.

Although she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in advertising and public relations from Loyola College, Debbie kicked off her career in sales, ranking top 2 percent of the company sales representatives nationwide in one of her first sales roles. Over the years, she accumulated expertise from various positions and industries through her roles as Director of Marketing for IVC International, Vice President and Director of Operations for C.G. Slogans Auctioneers, and Product Manager for Kinkos.

Debbie has been involved in the transportation industry for nearly three decades. She previously served as Director of Transportation and Community Outreach at Wreaths Across America. She served as Vice President, Women In Trucking Association, Vice President, Business Development at the Truckload Carriers Association, and Director of Marketing for the American Trucking Association.

Lorna Harris Image

Lorna Harris

Lorna is the mother of Spc. Dustin James Harris who was killed in action on April 6, 2006, while serving our Country in Iraq. She is the President of the Maine Chapter of American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. Lorna resides in Patten, Maine, with her husband, professional truck driver, Scott Harris.

Randy Lewer Image

Randy Lewer

Randy has been involved with Wreaths Across America since 2006 as the volunteer Location Coordinator for Florida National Cemetery. Randy was born and raised in Omaha, NE. He entered the military in 1980. Throughout Randy's 23-year career, he was a helicopter repairman, Infantryman, and Imagery analyst. Randy retired with over 23 yrs of honorable service in 2003, where he began work with the Department of Defense with the National Geospatial Agency as an Imagery Analyst.

Randy is currently providing his imagery analysis and management skills at USCENTCOM MacDill AFB, Tampa, FL. He manages over 150 military and civilian personnel who provide imagery analysis on countries in the Middle East. Randy is a member of the US Military Vets Motorcycle Club, a veteran-only motorcycle club with chapters throughout the U.S., whose membership is open to honorably discharged veterans. The club participates in numerous veteran charity events. Currently, over 25 chapters within the club participate in some capacity at Wreaths Across America events across the U.S. Randy is also a member of AMVETS and the American Legion. He is a graduate of the University of Phoenix with a Bachelor's in Business Management.

Pamela W. Slavin-Lee, DNP, FNP-C Image

Pamela W. Slavin-Lee, DNP, FNP-C

Dr. Slaven-Lee received her undergraduate and Master's degrees from the University of Maine before earning a doctorate from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. There she studied the impact of operational deployment on military families. In addition to her clinical work, she served as an Assistant Professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. She currently serves as the Interim Dean, George Washington University School of Nursing. She resides in Virginia with her husband, Lt. Col. Ho Kyu Lee, United States Marine Corps, and their two young sons.

Sarah J. Worcester Image

Sarah J. Worcester

Sarah received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology (cum laude) from Husson College. And is currently working on a Master's degree of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport. She formerly owned and ran her own lobster fishing boat and is currently lobster fishing part-time. She is happily married with two children. She volunteers at the Women’s Health Resource Library in Milbridge, Maine.

Patrick Simmons Image

Patrick Simmons

Patrick currently serves as Tyson Foods Inc.'s Senior Vice President of Transportation. He is a versatile and seasoned supply chain leader with extensive capabilities spanning the end-to-end supply chain. Patrick has held several executive leadership roles prior to joining the Tyson Team throughout his 22-year career at Walmart and Sam?s Club. Prior to his civilian career, Patrick served for 10+ years as an Army Combat Arms Officer with assignments including leadership roles in Armor, Infantry and Special Forces.

Patrick and his wife of 25 years, Heidi, and their 2 children have resided in Arkansas since 2003.

Patrick is a graduate of Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.



Col. Daniel M. LeClair Image

Col. Daniel M. LeClair

Colonel Dan LeClair is the Commander of the Northeast Region Civil Air Patrol (CAP) with its Headquarters at Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts. Enlisting in 1972, the Colonel has served in numerous capacities during his time in both the active-duty U. S. Air Force and as a volunteer in the Auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force. One of his assignments was to the White House in Washington DC with the White House Communications Agency (WHCA) as a watch officer in the White House Presidential Communications Center. His duties consisted of providing the President of the United States with direct command and control of both conventional and nuclear U.S. military forces. After four years at the White House, he was promoted as the Chief of Technical Security. He provided the President and traveled the White House with technical security services for over 10 years. He has toured with three Presidents on over 500 Presidential Missions in this capacity.

He retired from the United States Air Force in 1992 and returned to Maine in 2000. After returning to Maine, Col. Leclair joined the Civil Air Patrol and served in the 77th Composite Squadron as the Deputy Commander and later as the Squadron Commander. He manages national programs for the Civil Air Patrol and served as the Director of the National Flight Academy and as a project officer for Wreaths Across America. Col Leclair is President and a principal in his consulting firm with offices in New England and married Pamela (Rowe) Leclair for 39 years. They currently live in Minot, Maine, with their two dogs.

Kevin Haley Image

Kevin Haley

Kevin has dedicated his life to serving others as a police officer with the City of Portland for the last 27 years and as an athletic coach (now retired) for the Cheverus Swimming & Diving Team for the past 32 years. Within the Portland Police Department, he has served as a Field Training Officer (F.T.O.) for new recruits, a hostage negotiator, a member of the Police Department's Honor Guard, and as a member of the Department's Peer Support team. He learned about Wreaths Across America in 2003. Since learning about it, he has taken numerous Portland Police Officers, Portland Firefighters and other Maine Law Enforcement agencies to Arlington to volunteer to lay the wreaths. Each year he has also been able to bring the Cheverus Swimming/Diving team and other members of the Cheverus community and is able to teach them at Arlington about the ultimate sacrifice. Kevin and his wife Miriam have two children, Emily and William, and reside in Portland, Maine. He had two brothers in the United States Air Force: William Patrick Haley E-9 MSGT (deceased, buried at Arlington National Cemetery) and Patrick James Haley, Retired E-6, in addition to Dr Timothy Haley, a physician in Kennebunkport, ME.

Daniel Patrick Mead Image

Daniel Patrick Mead

Dan was born in Baltimore, Maryland on May 31, 1966. He joined the military at the onset of Operation Desert Storm during his United States Army Ranger years, 1991-1994. He continues to serve our wounded warriors and organizations that support our nation’s heroes. He is currently Chairman of the Board for the Hardrock Charlie Foundation Inc., a social and philanthropic organization for Veterans of 75th Ranger Regiment.

His professional activities include over 36 years of experience in the construction industry, working in all positions of planning, placement, procurement, estimating and management. He is a Senior Estimator for Consigli Construction Company in Washington, DC.

Dan spends much of his free time working for the Irish community. He is President of Irish Charities of Maryland. Dan has served on the board of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick since 1994; serving in every volunteer activity, and finally as the Friendly Sons’ president 2006 to 2007 and 2013-2014 and is currently on the Friendly Sons' Board of Stewards. He is currently the Director of Operations for the Arlington Wreath Project.

Nathan Lewis Image

Nathan Lewis

Growing up in Biddeford, Maine, Nate went on to attended New Hampshire Technical Institute and Keene State College earning degrees in Business Administration and Safety Studies. He began a career in the trucking industry in 1994 and has been recognized with a one-million-mile safe driving award (2007) and the Maine Safety Director of the Year award in (2013). Nate currently supports safety for Tyson Foods as the Senior Director of Risk Management for Transportation. Married in 1999, Nate and his wife reside in Arkansas and together have 2 children. 
Karen Diefendorf Image

Karen Diefendorf

Chaplain Diefendorf served 24 years as an active-duty Army chaplain, assigned to various commands all over the world including the Pentagon where she worked on the Constitutionality of the Chaplaincy. She also contributed to the revision of the Army’s Field Manual on Leadership as it related to belief systems. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel to answer her church’s call to become the Academic Dean at Lincoln Christian University’s Undergraduate College, Lincoln, IL and was recalled back to active duty on special assignment by the Secretary of the Army. Karen received multiple military awards including two awards of the Legion of Merit and Instructor of the Year at the Army Chaplain Center and School. She was also the first female chaplain to become a paratrooper. Karen was inducted into the Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame, class of 2020.

Karen spent over 13 years in the local parish before entering the Army.

Following the completion of her recall to active duty, in January 2014, she served a Tyson Prepared Foods plant as a part-time chaplain while also serving as a chaplain with Hospice Care of South Carolina. She completed her formal pastoral career as Director of Chaplain Services for Tyson Foods, Inc., retiring in April 2021.

She continues active ministry by hosting a weekly radio program, “Encounters With God” on Wreaths Across America Radio and serving on five boards; Philippine Mission of the Churches of Christ, Tyson Center for Faith and Spirituality at the University of Arkansas, US Army Chaplain Regimental Association and Marsh Center for Chaplain Studies, and Wreaths Across America.

She holds an undergraduate degree in Christian Education and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling from Lincoln (IL) Christian College and Seminary (now Lincoln Christian University) and a Master of Sacred Theology in Christian Ethics from Yale University. Karen completed all residency requirements for the Doctor of Ministry degree from Lexington Theological Seminary. She was honored to receive an honorary Doctor of Theology degree from Seoul Christian University, Seoul, South Korea.

She has been married to her husband, Walt, for 44 years, and they have three adult children and six grandchildren.

Colonel Ron Sailor Image

Colonel Ron Sailor

Colonel Ron Sailor retired from the Maine Air National Guard as Chief of Staff. He attended Orono schools and graduated from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill. He further graduated from Husson University with a degree in Accounting. Ron served as the State Commander and for ten years as the Chief Administrator for The American Legion. Ron and his wife Donna have two children, five grandchildren and one great grandchild and currently reside in St. Augustine, Florida.

Jenny Lovering Image

Jenny Lovering

Jenny is General Manager for Walmart Transportation in Lewiston, Maine. She has worked for Walmart for 18 years, 15 of which have been spent in Transportation, managing a fleet of 180 Walmart drivers, and servicing Walmart stores from Connecticut to Maine. She has been involved with Wreaths Across America since 2008, and since 2020 has led Walmart’s involvement by working with the corporate communications team and the Walmart Foundation to continue to build on the strong relationship that has been established over the years. Jenny organizes the delivery of 16 loads that are relayed through 40 Walmart Distribution Centers, involving over 100 Walmart drivers annually. She resides in Lewiston, Maine, with my husband, Greg, daughter, Mya (23) and sons, Andrew (19) and Kalvin (13). Her most memorable WAA experience thus far was in 2022 when her youngest son, Kalvin, was able to join her on the week-long journey to Arlington National Cemetery. It was a priceless experience that will impact them both for a lifetime.

Graig Morin Image

Graig Morin

Graig is the owner and president of Brown Dog Carriers, LLC. based in Biddeford, Maine and a long-time supporter of Wreaths Across America. Born and raised in Biddeford, Graig and his wife Christine have three young sons Elliot, Nolan and Henry. Shortly after graduating high school in 1998 he began his transportation career, driving over 1 million safe miles. In June of 2017, Graig and his three partners launched Brown Dog Carriers. They started their company with two tractor-trailers based out of a spare bedroom at Graig’s home! Brown Dog Carriers has grown to 24 trucks, operating out of a leased location in Biddeford. They are currently in the planning and permitting process to develop 12 acres of land purchased last year.

When he started the company, he knew he wanted to be involved with Wreaths Across America. Graig had spent many years watching the convoy and learning about the mission. In December 2017, he hauled his first load of wreaths to Bourne National Cemetery in Massachusetts! In 2022, Brown Dog hauled three loads to roughly 10 locations, including Arlington, Bourne and some local cemeteries. And they had a trailer fully wrapped supporting the WAA mission. Graig is also a volunteer location coordinator for five local cemeteries in his hometown and Brown Dog Carriers sponsored 75 percent of the 3,200 veterans’ wreaths brought to Biddeford.


Charemon A. Davis, C.P.A. | Director of Finance & C.F.O. Image

Charemon A. Davis, C.P.A. | Director of Finance & C.F.O.

Charemon Davis, C.P.A., was born and raised in coastal, down east Maine, and comes from a family of Veterans, including her husband, who was an Army Ranger with the 75th Ranger Regiment. After graduating from the University of Maine, Machias magna cum laude, with a B.S. degree in Accounting - minor in Business Management, Charemon received her C.P.A. license.

She began her career at a local C.P.A. firm in Bangor where she spent 7 years. She then went on to become a partner at the age of twenty-nine. After 3 years she started her own practice. She has over 32 years in public practice specializing in governmental and non-profit auditing, system design and workflow, internal control consulting and federal /state compliance. She started with Wreaths Across America in 2013 as a consultant. She then made Wreaths Across America her home as she came to the organization full-time in 2018.

 Charemon has always put service to community as a priority in her life and has served and volunteered at various organizations such as the local PTO as Treasurer, Boys Middle School Basketball Coach, served on the local Planning Board and Gateway Milbridge Board, as well as serving as the Milbridge Evergreen Cemetery Treasurer, Worthy Matron - Eastern Star, Preble Street Shelter volunteer, among others. She is an avid animal lover and resides in Cherryfield with her husband. She has two grown sons, one of whom is also a Director at Wreaths Across America, and the other is a Merchant Marine - Chief Engineer.


Advisory Board Members

Scott DeMasi, Location Leader for Houston National Cemetery

Born April 19, 1968 in Houston, Texas. I spent my youth in Humble, a Northeast suburb of Houston, with my 5 brothers and sisters and my folks. I went to school at the University of North Texas and received my degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. From there I have spent my entire career in a variety of different restaurant or food related capacities. From running my own restaurant, to working for the corporate side, and then to the supply chain side. I currently am the Vice President for Maher Marketing, a food broker covering the Texas markets. Along the way I managed to get married to my wonderful wife Susan, who happened to be one of my waitresses. We are celebrating our 15th anniversary this year. We have two awesome kids, Katie who is turning 7, and Alex who just turned 10. Alex was the catalyst for involvement and reason for the growth in WAA in the Houston area. I couldn’t be more proud. God has dealt me a pretty fair hand and me having the opportunity to give a little back by WAA is truly an honor.

Michael Calenda

Michael A. Calenda was born and raised in Providence Rhode Island. A former Police Sergeant, he retired from the Johnston, RI Police Department in 2000. In 1999, he received the Medal of Valor, and was also the recipient of the Top Cop Award from the National Police Association, presented by President Clinton at a White House Ceremony.

Michael has been married to his wife Marie for 25 years. They have a 20-year-old daughter, Marianna. A teacher with qualifications in special education and social studies, Michael is presently teaching 8th grade American History / Social Studies at Ponaganset Middle School in the Foster-Gloucester School District; the school received the Teach Award from Wreaths Across America as the Outstanding Teach school in 2011.

Duane Belanger

Duane’s public service began when he enlisted in the US Army in 1984 where he served his country for 5 years on Active Duty. He attained the rank of Sergeant and was the Section Chief of the TACFIRE support team providing direct support to the 210Th Field Artillery Brigade and the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment playing a key role in the fielding of the TACFIRE Computer System.

His civic service continued after his Honorable Discharge and was hired as the Town Manager for the Town of Wallagrass. Mr. Belanger went on to be elected to the Maine House of Representatives where he proudly served in the 118th Legislature representing the good citizens of Maine House District 151. While in the legislature he served on the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee where he was instrumental in the expansion of the Veterans Cemeteries to the remote areas of Maine.
He is the Veterans Program Director of Maine State Knights of Columbus where he also serves as a liaison to the Travis Mills Foundation. He is active in the Maine Military and Community Network. He is the Post Commander of Martin-Klein American Legion Post 133 and has served as Adjutant of District 17, American Legion Department of Maine.
He is an active member of the community serving as Vice-President of the Fort Kent Historical Society. He organized and chairs the Annual Polar Dip in Aroostook County for Special Olympics. He has served as the President of the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Fort Kent Lions Club, American Legion riders and a board member of the Armed Forces Motorsports Foundation.

Emeritus Board Members

Barry Pottle

Jim Farrell

Joe Tibbets

Ann Ahern Hanson

Ann is a native of Washington, D.C. She retired in May 2011 from the Federal Government after 39 years of service. Ann began her employment immediately after high school working for seven years for the Office of General Counsel at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. She transferred to the Department of Labor in 1979 and worked 32 years for the Office of Inspector General retiring as the Director of Administrative Operations for the Office of Investigations, Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Labor. Her Division was responsible for financial management, human resource management and information systems (policies/procedures, case tracking, and Peer Reviews).

Ann is also the Treasurer and Membership Director for the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C., a non-profit organization. Ann and Wayne have been married since 2003. Ann has two grown sons from a previous marriage and four grandchildren.