1776 Founders’ Circle

Founders’ Circle

Become a Founder AND Invest in Innovation &
Growth for our Local Business Community

Support the Ecosystem for Entrepreneurs that are the Economic Engine of the Monadnock Region

Since 1997, the Hannah Grimes Marketplace and the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship have served as a simple, beautiful and well-built home and a hub for entrepreneurs working to build a thriving local economy and a vibrant community. The Founders’ Circle strengthens the legacy by building the economy-community connection and offers you a tangible way to support the vibrancy of our local economy.

Founders’ Circle Membership

Immersed in the dizzying changes of these crazy days, it’s easy to lose track of the fact that each age has had its share of change. Hannah Grimes was born in 1776, another era when the political system, transportation, industry, communications and health care were also experiencing fundamental change. Hannah Grimes married in 1806 and built a farm that stands strong to this day. It is simple, beautiful and well-built, and has stayed the course through many seasons of great change. We instituted the Founders’ Circle to ensure that the Hannah Grimes Center will likewise continue to be a well-built structure able to stay the course through many seasons of great change.

We launched the Founders Circle with 22 members in 2019, with Founders Circle members supporting the Hannah Grimes Center with a gift of $1,776 or more. We warmly invite you to become part of an influential gathering of people, foundations, businesses and ideas that are foundational to our work to create a thriving local economy and vibrant community.

More details about Founders’ benefits and Founders Circle Members can be found in the links below.

Founders Circle Current Members

Ken Abbott

Ken Abbott is a Mechanical Engineer turned entrepreneur and owner of ABTech in Fitzwilliam, NH along with his son Chris who is COO and a co-owner. Ken started ABTech in 1998, they specialize in the design and manufacturing of air-bearing based measurement equipment and motion systems and has clients including NASA, GE Aviation, Delta Airlines, Boeing, Rolls Royce, Pratt and Whitney, Lockhead Martin and others. Ken graduated from Keene High and is also an automotive and motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys mountain biking.

Bank of America Foundation
Bank of America Foundation, and Senior Vice President for the New Hampshire Local Market Jim Foster, is guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better. As part of that work, they develop strong partnerships with nonprofit organizations addressing issues fundamental to economic mobility and social progress in low- and moderate-income communities. They focus on improving the lives of individuals and families by investing in basic needs, workforce development and education and also by strengthening broader community vitality by addressing needs related to affordable housing, small business, and neighborhood revitalization. They are currently supporting project costs for our Food Sector initiative as well as operating expenses related to that.
Kim Bergeron

Kim Bergeron owns K.E. Bergeron Mechanical Systems, LLC (KEBMS), specializing in mini-split heating and cooling solutions known for their efficiency and customized comfort. Established in 1973 by Kim’s father Ken, the company proudly serves residential and commercial customers throughout the Monadnock Region. Kim believes in supporting the local community and, in addition to Hannah Grimes, donates to several local non-profits such as the Monadnock Humane Society, MoCo Arts, Cedarcrest Foundation, Cheshire Foundation and the Keene Community Kitchen. In a continuing effort to promote local businesses, KEBMS provides a healthy lunch from the Monadnock Food Coop for the entire staff each day. And, in keeping in line with caring about local employees, KEBMS pays for health insurance for all staff and their families in full. In addition to running a full line HVAC business, Kim volunteers at the local, state, and international level to promote multi-use trails in New Hampshire and Alaska.

Amy Bodwell

Amy Bodwell lives in Roxbury where she stewards her 235 acres to ensure a diverse landscape that provides food, water, and shelter for as many desirable native animals as possible. She also serves as Vice President of the board of Cheshire County Conservation District and is actively involved with the Caterpillar Lab.

Megan Burke-Kidder

Megan Burke-Kidder has lived in the region for more years than she didn’t and raised her family of three children here. She was the founder of Country Artisans, a popular local artisan shop that was an anchor for Colony Mill Marketplace in the day and later on Main Street. She was also a force behind the Keene Flower Show, the change of Stonewall Farm from private hands to a public benefit, and zillions of other great causes in Keene.

C&S Wholesale Grocers
C&S Wholesale Grocers, and Senior Director of Community Involvement Alana Fiero, participates in their communities as an engaged, values-driven corporate citizen supporting causes that positively impact their communities. Core initiatives include eliminating hunger, strengthening communities, protecting the environment and encouraging volunteerism.
The Clowes Fund
The Clowes Fund, and Program Director Megan Briggs Reilly, is a family foundation that seeks to enhance the common good by encouraging organizations and projects that help to build a just and equitable society, create opportunities for initiative, foster creativity and the growth of knowledge, and promote appreciation of the natural environment.
Community Development Finance Authority
Community Development Finance Authority, and Executive Director Katy Easterly Martey, provide financing and other support to maximize the value and impact of community development, economic development and clean energy initiatives throughout New Hampshire.
Maureen Curtiss and Dean Beaman
Maureen Curtiss and Dean Beaman, Maureen serves on our board and was general manager for Janos Technology while Dean oversees customs compliance for Smith’s Group.
Annie Faulkner & Bob King
Annie Faulkner & Bob King have deep roots in the region and have immersed themselves in conservation and clean energy work in our region. Annie has been involved in land conservation, including active involvement in conserving her family’s land in Stoddard and Sullivan. Bob is an engineer with decades of experience developing small-scale hydroelectric, solar, and wind power projects, and is the president of Ashuelot River Hydro in Keene, New Hampshire. He owns and operates hydroelectric dams in New England and upstate New York. Both are deeply engaged in land conservation and renewable energy activism.
Griffin Construction
Griffin Construction, and owners Griffin and Jessi Dussault, have steadily been building their team, honing their skills, supporting their community and networking with sub-contractors since 2008. They have a well-earned reputation as a fair, highly skilled and reliable contractor for both commercial and residential projects ranging from multi-million dollar to one-day projects. They have built their business and raised their family in Langdon, NH.
Gryzcka & Associates
Gryzcka & Associates, and owner Jennie Gryczka, provides outsourced accounting and book keeping as a woman-owned consulting firm that specializes in small businesses and local non profits. Jennie and her team are passionate about offering business solutions in a personal and professional way. With over 60 years of combined accounting experience they offer the expertise and knowledge to provide quality outsourced accounting solutions. She has lived in Keene for 15 years with her husband Steve Gryczka and they have raised their two children here.
Parker Hansel
Parker Hansel is the founder of Turmoil, a business he sold several years ago. He was chair of the Giving Monadnock board when it folded into Hannah Grimes and we were fortunate to gain him as an HGC board member then. He has also been a board member and chief cheese maker at Stonewall Farm and plenty of other community involvement as well.
Peter & Bridget Hansel
Peter & Bridget Hansel are active members in the community, deeply involved with environmental and energy issues. Peter was one of the first Pitchfork presenters and is currently on the HG board. He is the retired President of Filtrine Mfg. Co., a fifth generation, family-owned business. Born in NJ, he grew up in CT, and joined Filtrine after it moved to NH. After five year sales stint in California, Peter and Bridget settled in Keene with wife, Bridget. Peter has been an active member of the committee working to establish business transition programming at Hannah Grimes and Peter serves as chair of the Finance Committee.
Paul and Susan Henkel
Paul and Susan Henkel are the founders of Electronic Imaging Materials, which produces heavy duty labels that can also track manufacturing processes and inventory under extreme conditions including abrasion, moisture, temperature extremes, chemicals, solvents and rigorous quality standards. Paul was awarded a lifetime achievement award in their industry. In 1999 Paul and Susan successfully transitioned their business to the next generation, their son and daughter-in-law. Paul has been an active member of the committee working to establish business transition programming at Hannah Grimes. Paul and Susan are active members in the community, contributing to the success of many efforts including the Keene Public Library and the Lion’s Club among many others.
John and Jean Hoffman
John and Jean Hoffman have been strong supporters of Hannah Grimes since our early years as well as many other causes in Keene. I believe John served on 17 boards at one point. He is a retired attorney and was the lead negotiator in the Iran Hostage crisis. They live on a beautiful farm in Sullivan which their grandson is now farming.
Carl and Ruth Jacobs
Carl and Ruth Jacobs are both from Keene! Carl serves on the City Council, is a well-known local musician, and has led a number of nonprofits over the years – creating amazing momentum in his wake wherever he serves. Ruth has a background in banking and finance both locally and working in microfinance in developing and post-conflict countries, including Africa, south Asia and the Middle East.
Kapiloff Insurance Agency

Kapiloff Insurance Agency, Inc. has proudly served the insurance needs of New England since 1968. Kapiloff helps people across the state find affordable and reliable insurance products from a variety of trusted carriers.

Gary Kinyon
Gary Kinyon is a shareholder and director at Bradley & Faulkner, PC. His areas of concentration are business law (including formation, succession, buying and selling); residential and commercial real estate matters (including sales and purchases, zoning and planning, tax abatements, and litigation involving boundaries easements), estate planning and municipal law. Gary Kinyon has been a member of the New Hampshire bar since 1981. Gary has served on the boards of Home Healthcare, Hospice, and Community Services, the Monadnock United Way, and the Keene Family YMCA. A native of Metuchen, New Jersey, he received his B.A. from Muhlenberg College (1977) in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and his J.D. from Rutgers University – Camden Law School in New Jersey (1980). He has lived in New Hampshire since 1981.
The New Hampshire Business Finance Authority
The New Hampshire Business Finance Authority, and Executive Director James Key Wallace, offer a variety of easy-to-use credit enhancements and direct lending tools to help New Hampshire companies grow.
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and Senior Program Office Sandeep Bikram Shaw, was founded in 1962 and manages a growing collection of nearly 2,000 funds and awards more than $40 million in grants and scholarships every year.
The Northern Borders Regional Commission
The Northern Borders Regional Commission, and executive director Rich Grogan, work to catalyze regional, collaborative, and transformative community economic development approaches that alleviate economic distress and position the region for economic growth. The Northern Border Regional Commission is a Federal-State partnership for economic and community development in northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Each year, the NBRC provides Federal funds for critical economic and community development projects throughout the northeast.
Len Perham
Len Perham is a recently returned native of Keene who spent most of his working life in California. Len has over 40 years of executive leadership and semiconductor industry experience. He retired from Integrated Device Technology in 2000 and served as, first, executive chairman and, later chairman of the board of NetLogic Microsystems. From 1991 to 2000, he served as CEO of Integrated Device Technology. He was appointed president and elected to the board of directors in 1986. During his 16-year tenure, Mr. Perham incubated several companies under the IDT umbrella including Galileo Technology , Quantum Effect Devices, Monolithic System Technology, Clear-Logic and Centaur Technology. Len graduated from Northeastern University in Boston with a degree in electrical engineering. He is eager to leverage his extensive networks and entrepreneurial skills to attract a semiconductor company to the Keene area. He and his wife live in Spofford.
The Putnam Foundation
The Putnam Foundation, and executive director Jessica Quinn, has been an integral part of the New Hampshire philanthropic world since the trust was established in 1952 by David. The Putnam Foundation’s mandate and purpose is to provide funds on a regional basis in New Hampshire and, in particular, the Monadnock Region for historic preservation, cultural enhancement, and ecological maintenance. As the family has grown and dispersed, it also supports projects in the communities where family members live.
Tom Putnam
Tom Putnam served as President and CEO of Markem in Keene until its sale in 2006, a company founded by his grandfather in 1911. The Putnams, Markem, and the Putnam Foundation have been strong supporters of economic development, education and arts & culture in the region – among many other important causes that have had a profound and positive impact on our community. Tom served on the board of the Monadnock Region Business Incubator Network, the predecessor of HGC, and has been a very strong supporter of the growth of the incubator, co-working space and our programs since then. He and his wife Babs accompany their horses to Florida in the winter.
Jim Putnam
Jim Putnam began his career at his family-owned MARKEM Corporation in 1974, working his way up through a variety of management rolls to become general manager of US operations and a member of the board in 1987. Five years later he was elected President and in 1999, became Chairman. He retired from MARKEM in 2006. He has been involved in numerous organizations including Red Cross, Keene City Council, Monadnock United Way, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (elected Chairman in 2007), Cheshire Medical Center and the Putnam Foundation. Jim has also been a board Trustee of Franklin Pierce College and Proctor Academy, and board member of Lab Tech, Hitchiner Manufacturing, and Spectra, Inc. He earned his B.A. from Hanover College and an M.B.A. from the Whittemore School of Business Administration, University of New Hampshire.
Mike Remy
Mike Remy is Senior Director of Supply Chain Strategy at C&S Wholesale Grocers. He also serves on the Keene City Council and on the board of the Keene Young Professionals.
Linda Rubin
Linda Rubin is the founder and President of Frisky Cow Gelato. She is also a former winner of our PitchFork Challenge prize and has since served as a PitchFork judge.
Steve Ryder
Steve Ryder is the founder and President of TrueNorth Networks, a company he recently sold but continues to lead.
Eileen Sarson
Eileen Sarson was a NH SBDC counselor in our building, was in our pre-incubator program, and is actively involved in growth and development of women angel investors in NH and NE and the new NH Impact Fund. She also has raised her family in Keene and her husband is a physican at CMC.
Savings Bank of Walpole
Savings Bank of Walpole and President Mark Bodin, is a mutual service bank headquartered in the Monadnock region and is an integral part of the community by providing high touch community banking and service to the community.
Katie Schwerin and Bill Whyte
Katie Schwerin and Bill Whyte are the founders of W.S. Badger Co and both actively involved in many aspects of the community, including HG. Bill’s creative thinking process helped spur the idea of a SXSW-style event for rural areas – the Radically Rural Summit!
Steve Silverstein and Melinda Beldon
Steve Silverstein and Melinda Beldon – Melinda teaches the second grade class at the Franklin School and Steve is the founder and President of Tree Free Greetings. Steve was an early board member of Hannah Grimes Marketplace and taught several cohorts of our Business Lab.
Catherine Skove
Catherine Skove is the founder of MOCO and lives quietly and sustainably in Gilsum. Her entrepreneurial spirit and shared experience of starting a nonprofit created a memorable founder connection that was highly valued during the early years of Hannah Grimes.
The TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation provides financial support through its charitable investment application process to nonprofit and municipal organizations providing services that align with their four interconnected drivers of change: financial security, vibrant planet, connected communities and better health.
Dave Therrien

Dave Therrien is a financial advisor with Edward Jones. He was previously an owner of the Melanson Company, Inc. and related businesses for over 30 years until their sale in 2018. Dave has participated in a number of community initiatives as the past president of the Elm City Rotary Club, past board chair of Monadnock United Way and current board chair of the Keene Family YMCA.

Dr. Melinda Treadwell
Dr. Melinda Treadwell is President of Keene State College, she is also a graduate of Keene State and has served on the faculty. She holds a Doctorate in Pharmacology and Toxicology from Dartmouth Medical School.
Randall and Marni Walter
Randall and Marni Walter are both active members in the community, raising their two daughters in Westmoreland, NH. While many may know Randall from many years as a company steward and lead architect at Bensonwood, Randall Walter Architect’s current focus is transforming land and buildings to aspire to their highest and best outcomes. In addition to his own development projects, he works with clients to purchase, design, permit, and build appropriate structures that integrate with their surroundings. Randall is a HGC board member and has a wild wide range of entrepreneurial activities including adjunct faculty at KSC, lead designer for Modest Man Brewery, and re-development of a building in Bellows Falls for welders and machinists and 310 Marlboro Street in Keene. Marni is an archaeologist and editor for the Society of Industrial Archaeology.
Gretchen Ziegler
Gretchen Ziegler
Chris Wheeler
Chris Wheeler is an accountant and partner in Oster & Wheeler. Chris does our Financial Review and is a strong supporter of small business in the community. Chris has also been part of the team that has helped develop our business transitions program and serves as one of our volunteer 1:1 coaches, providing consulting on business valuation, a specialty area of his CPA practice.