AAI Founders

Ray Gauvin, director and founder of the organization, is a first generation college graduate, coming from an economically disadvantaged family. His father passed away when he was 14, and he always felt fortunate to receive the benefits of several local businessmen mentoring him. Additionally, he received assistance from members of the community to help him attend college.
A graduate of the University of Maine at Portland, Ray has owned franchises of Advantage Payroll Service in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont. This business became the largest payroll processing firm, not only in Aroostook County, but in the State of Maine as well, having at one time a staff of 35 people. Payrolls were processed all over the New England area, even though the home office was located in Presque Isle, Maine. Gauvin understands first-hand the possibilities, challenges and benefits of creating and operating a business both in and from Aroostook County. He is also a Vietnam veteran, a renowned businessman (recently retired) and a well-respected philanthropist in Aroostook County.

Sandy Gauvin, President and co-founder, graduated from the University of Maine system and has a master's degree from the University of New England. She is a 25-year veteran of the education profession, teaching in both SAD #20 and SAD #1 as well as working with potential first generation college and economically disadvantaged students throughout her career. Sandy is also a fellow of the Maine National Writing Project. She has served in the non-profit sector for 15 years, serving on several local, regional and state non-profit boards, such as The Learning Disability Association of Maine, Homeless Services of Aroostook, the Northern Maine Community College Foundation Board and the Aroostook County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation, among others.

Board of Directors

Jason Parent

ACAP, Executive Director and CEO

Phil Bosse

Senator Collins (Exec. Board)

Michael Marquis

NMCC Student, Thompson-Hamel

Sharon Campbell

Senator King

Gregg Collins

SW Collins Co.

LIse Collins

Education Consultant

Lois Dickson


Denise Duperre

Marketing Director, NorState Credit Union

Chris Fitzpatrick

Machias Savings Bank

Larry Fox

Retired Educator (Exec. Board)

Kevin Frazier

CFO UMaine Foundation

John Lisnik


Jennifer Olson

WAGM-TV, Sales Department (Exec. Board)

Christopher Rogeski

IT Department, Cary Medical Center (Exec. Board)

Scott Smith

Cavendish Farms (Exec. Board)

Steve St. Pierre

Key Bank (Exec. Board)

Jane Towle

REMAX Owner & Agent (Exec. Board)

Honorary Board Members

Mr. Dana Connors

President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, former Transportation Secretary for the State of Maine

Durwood Huffman

Retired President of Northern Maine Community College

Laurie Lachance

President of Thomas College, Former Executive Director of the Maine Development Foundation

Don Zillman

Retired President of the University of Maine at Presque Isle, former Interim President, University of Maine at Fort Kent

Jim Patterson

Retired President of Northern Maine Community College and the Maine School of Math and Science

John Fitzsimmons

President, Maine Community College System

Dr. James Page

Chancellor, University of Maine System

Mrs. Meg Baxter

President and CEO, Mitchell Institute

Mr. Larry Shaw

President and CEO, MMG Insurance

Stephen Bowen

Council of Chief State School Officers, Maine Department of Education

Mr. Norm Fournier