Greater Bedford Womenade

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Debby Fedder

Sometimes it takes a newcomer to get things rolling. Our fearless leader and President, Debby and her husband Michael moved to Bedford in 2011 from her native suburban Philadelphia home where she raised her two sons and enjoyed a 26 year career in independent education.  She was a founding member of Impact100 Philadelphia, a collective women's giving circle, and served as Education Chair and on its Board as Membership Chair.  Eager to find a way to bring a charitable giving group to the Bedford area, and inspired by the success of other Womenades, Debby founded GBW in summer 2013. Debby is a self-driven go-getter who keeps the Board on track and focused. Debby works at The Derryfield School in Manchester, NH, and enjoys tennis, winter sports, hiking, reading, traveling and, sadly, playing games on her iPad!

"I love how the Womenade model engages community. Monies are raised by the community to serve the needs within it.  It's simple,  powerful, and we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others."

Karen Allard

As Vice President of the Board, Karen comes to Womenade fully loaded with charisma and a bold approach to life. Combining these attributes with her keen sense of compassion, Karen is a key player in the successful launch of GBW. Originally from San Francisco, Karen lives in Goffstown, NH, with her husband John and their three children.  She has a marketing degree from Pepperdine University and has spent the last 25 years raising her family.  In addition, Karen has been active in various local organizations, which include The Derryfield School, the Greater Manchester YMCA as a former Board of Trustee member, and as a Spouse Forum member for the YPO Boston chapter. Her interests include tennis, running, travel and most recently, golf.

"I am thrilled to be a part of an organization like Womenade which gives back to the community I love and call home".

Christiane Ackerson

Christiane’s desire to give back and help others is what brought her to GBW. While she and her husband Peter are longtime residents of Bedford, Christiane has previously lived in the three communities GBW serves. This is one of the many reasons she is passionate about GBW’s mission. Christiane holds a Doctorate in Leadership, which she earned from Franklin Pierce University, and a Master of Education degree from Lesley University. She is the founder of Ackerson Leadership, where she works as a leadership consultant and personal development coach. Christiane is also an adjunct professor in the Organizational Leadership Department at Southern New Hampshire University. In previous years, Christiane has served on various local boards, and most recently has volunteered her time at the NH State Council on the Arts. A self-professed foodie, Christiane’s other artistic interests include: poetry, photography, and jazz music. Additionally, she enjoys reading, walking, playing golf, traveling—and loves spending time with her family, friends, and fur baby, Bentley.

There is so much power in women gathering together to be of service to others. For me, that is the hallmark of compassion, kindness, and love. I am honored to be affiliated with an organization whose caring efforts produce an immediate impact in the communities it serves.”

Kacey Graham

Kacey is thrilled to be part of Womenade and its commitment to helping local families in need.   As a nationally published interior designer, Kacey brings a special creative energy to the group. Her talents and professional experience are the perfect fit in her role overseeing and organizin events.  The Greater Bedford Womenade will greatly benefit from Kacey’s roots as a Bedford native and a West High School graduate.  Kacey’s connections run deep as a Providence College graduate, local coach, and as the owner of a prospering design business. As a busy wife to Michael and mom to Kiley, Quinn, and Teagan, Kacey looks forward to showing her family how rewarding it is to help a neighbor in need.

“What would the world look like if we all woke up asking: 'How can I help'?"  Womenade offers an opportunity to make a profound difference in a "neighbor's" life. Helping others is what we teach our children; this is what we should practice ourselves. There is no greater gift than the kindness we show others.”

Julie Muir
A native of Amherst, New York, Julie is thrilled to serve as Secretary for GBW. A proud graduate of Colgate University, she started her career in editing at Random House while she pursued her Masters in English at NYU. After a brief stint in academia, she threw caution to the wind and embarked on a series of adventures with her husband Gavin in Colorado and landed in private elementary education where she was able to marry her passion for learning and teaching with outdoor pursuits. Julie has happily spent the last 20 years raising her two daughters in New Hampshire while volunteering her time in her daughters’ schools, on the Bedford Curriculum Committee, and at Manchester Community Health Center. Julie loves to travel, kayak, hike and cook and is generally happiest when she is outside with her family.

“I was drawn to GBW’s mission, and I am in awe of this nimble and impactful powerhouse group of ladies. Like so many of my fellow board members, I welcome and am humbled by the opportunity to make a difference for families in our community. One of my favorite quotes from Winston Churchill rings very true:  "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."

Leah Neal

Leah was seized into the custody of the GBW Board due to excessive production of good ideas and the wherewithal to bring these ideas to fruition.  Beware-- her positive attitude and fun nature are contagious, so proceed with caution!  

Leah started her career as an early employee of and TMP Worldwide, first in sales and later managing  alliances and partnerships. In 2004, she left Monster to focus on raising a family and supporting her husband Mike's dental practice in Bedford. These days, Leah spends most of her time ferrying her

daughters to riding lessons, cheer and dance.  Leah enjoys volunteering at

school and has been involved with Girls On The Run New Hampshire. Leah runs, teaches yoga and loves to cook, and if she could, she would travel anywhere and everywhere.

“My daughters are at an age where it's important for them to see us practicing what we preach.  With GBW, I’m able to show them how to contribute to the welfare of our neighbors and community.  GBW is such a simple concept.  It can show us all how far just a small effort or contribution can go in improving the lives of others.”

Gail Weeks

GBW is so excited to welcome Gail as our co-treasurer. A native of Connecticut and long-time resident of Bedford, NH, Gail brings various professional and personal experience to her role. Her work at Fidelity Investments in Boston, her many volunteer experiences within the Bedford Schools, and Board roles for the Pats Peak ski team and Bedford Bluffs Swim and Tennis Club make her a tremendous asset to the GBW Board! Gail is a new empty-nester and keeps herself very busy with tennis, skiing, traveling, yoga and her work at a local garden center.  

"I am  happy to give some of my new found free time to such a great organization."