BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Debra Curtin, President and Founder, brings more than 35 years of management experience across multiple industries to her roles at New England Primate Conservancy. Her expertise includes nonprofit management, organizational and program development, training, sales, marketing and fundraising. Debra managed the Communications Department at a major Boston hospital, directed the Sales Department at a telecommunications software company on Boston’s north shore, and was an independent organizational and management consultant prior to launching New England Primate Conservancy.
In 2002, Debra’s passion for animal protection drew her into a life-changing plunge into the non-profit sector where she utilized her well-honed organizational development and leadership skills to build New England Primate Conservancy into a respected humane education center and animal protection organization.
Debra earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, Phi Beta Kappa, in Ancient Greek from Herbert H. Lehman College of the City University of New York.
LAURA LEE BAHER
Laura Bahr, M.A., Ed.D. Candidate, is an author, filmmaker and educator. She has been working with the New England Primate Conservancy since March 2020 as a Writer and Educational Content Creator.
As an educator, she has over a decade of experience in the work of developing student-driven projects and outside-the-box programs, including facilitating the Young Expert program at Bridges Academy. She has worked with K-12 students, teaching everything from mathematics to vocal performance.
Her educational background includes B.A, Theatre Arts, Brandeis University, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Gertrude Caronvsky Award for excellence in Theatre Arts, Justice Brandeis Scholar Award for excellence in writing and academics. M.A., California State University Northridge, with distinction, Robert H. Schiffman Memorial Award for highest quality of scholastic, personal and community achievement. Current Ed.D. Candidate, Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity.
As a creative professional, she has spent her life working in the expressive arts in different media. As an author, filmmaker and performer she has won multiple awards, including Best Feature, Boned, Toronto Independent Film Fest (Writer/Director), 2015, the Wonderland Book Award for Best Novel (Haunt, 2011) and Best Collection (Angel Meat, 2017). The translations of her work by Orciny Press in Spain have won acclaim Long-Form Religious Porn/Porno Religioso Improvisado (Winner of William Baskerville Award for Best Translated Novel 2019) by Libros Prohibidos. She was the 2018 Spring Writer-In-Residence at The Kerouac House. She has served in the past on the Board of Directors for the independent movie company Movie Farm and the Eclectic Company Theater.
She is passionate about kindness and respect for all inhabitants of planet Earth. None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something.
Carolina Celis-Curtin is a talented, dedicated and passionate Executive Chef at a Boston-area restaurant. She has established a reputation as one of Boston’s finest chefs and she has graced the kitchens of many of Boston and Maui’s finest restaurants. In addition, she has appeared on the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Chopped, and has been scouted for others. Carolina holds two culinary degrees from the University of Hawaii’s Maui Culinary College and brings 18 years of experience in the retail, customer service, and food services industries to her role as board member of New England Primate Conservancy.
Throughout her busy career, Carolina has rescued and fostered pets from homelessness and abuse. She has provided input into New England Primate Conservancy’s programs since the organization’s inception. Her creativity and sharp artistic eye bring fresh insights to our marketing and educational materials. Carolina brings a great deal of knowledge, experience, and insight pertaining to the mission, vision and goals of New England Primate Conservancy.
Carol Gignoux is a pioneer and expert in the field of ADHD and the founder of Live ADHD Free, LLC. For 40 years, she has coached and counseled thousands of people. She has helped a diverse group of people from different backgrounds, cultures and generations. Through her education, research, coaching and experience, Carol has discovered that ADHD is really the “Innovator Brain Type.”
Carol earned a Master of Education from the University of Georgia College of Education, was an educator in the public-school systems in Athens, GA and Boston and Sudbury, MA, including seven years as Assistant Principal in Sudbury’s public schools and Curriculum Committee Chairperson and Curriculum Writer for Boston schools. Now living in Southern California, Carol’s passion is to provide services that transform the lives of people with ADHD through coaching, teaching, seminars, speaking engagements, and workshops.
Since childhood, Carol has harbored a love for domesticated and wild animals alike. This love is reflected in her commitment to preserving the habitats of indigenous species, particularly in her support of the reintroduction of native wolves in the United States and her support of the farmed animal sanctuary movement. Having learned about the plight of captive monkeys used for research purposes, she eagerly extends her passion for animals through her affiliation with New England Primate Conservancy.