Portsmouth NH 400th Holds First Task Force Meeting, Opens Fund-raising Portal

December 29, 2021

The Portsmouth NH 400th Executive Team held an organizational meeting of the Portsmouth NH 400th Task Force on September 2, 2021 and is forming sub-committee teams to begin planning for the city’s celebration in 2023. The Task Force is designed to support the Portsmouth NH 400th organization and guide signature events and projects, including a parade.

The Executive Team now includes:

  • Karen Conard, Portsmouth City Manager
  • Susan Labrie, Community Engagement Officer
  • Valerie Rochon, Managing Director
  • Denise Wheeler, Minister of Fun
  • Trevor Bartlett, “Tech & Social Media Guy”

The Executive Team is supported by the City’s Public Information Officer Stephanie Seacord and the Legal and Finance Departments.

Task Force Sub-Committees Organized Around Thematic Pillars

There are six Task Force committees:

  • Arts & Culture: Team Leader Lauren Rosen
  • Commerce & Trade: Team Leader Cleo Villaflores
  • Community & Neighborhoods: Team Leader Dawn Przychodzien
  • Education: Team Leader Helaine Wimple
  • Legacy Projects: Team Leader Ernie Greenslade
  • Military/Maritime: Team Leader Cathy Reddington

And three additional teams:

  • Signature Events: Team Leader Beth Moreau
  • Merchandising: Team Leader Beth Gross-Santos
  • Volunteers: Team Leader Ilysse Sirmaian

Individuals, businesses and organizations who would like to join the Task Force or any of the teams to help steer the programming for the 400th are invited to contact Valerie Rochon at hello@PortsmouthNH400.org

Portsmouth NH 400th Fund Donation Portal
As Portsmouth NH 400th completes the process to incorporate as a non-profit 501(c)3, the Executive Team has named the following to the Board of Directors:

  • Karen Conard, Portsmouth City Manager
  • Susan Labrie, Community Engagement Officer
  • Valerie Rochon, Managing Director
  • Steve Butzel, Portsmouth Public Library
  • Ron Baisden, African Burying Ground Memorial Stewardship Committee
  • Marlon Pinto, Portsmouth High School Sophomore
  • Anne Jennison, Native American storyteller, historian, educator

While the incorporation process moves forward, the City has established a Portsmouth NH 400th Fund with a secure donation portal on the City website (click on the “Make a Donation” button on the homepage, or click here). Donations may be made on the site by electronic check (no fee) or by credit card (the 2.9% fee goes to the service provider and is not retained by the City). The secure portal accepts all major credit cards plus Venmo and Paypal. Check donations may also be mailed to Portsmouth NH 400th Anniversary c/o City Hall, One Junkins Ave., Portsmouth NH 03801. All donations to the Fund are tax deductible to the extent the law allows.

The goal of Portsmouth NH 400th is to give the community an inclusive opportunity to tell the stories that are important to them, through programs, events, exhibits and legacy projects. Portsmouth NH 400th will celebrate the diverse and animated social, political, intellectual, cultural, economic and spiritual history of Portsmouth from before settlement in 1623 to the present. Portsmouth NH 400th invites individuals and organizations considering programs and events for the Portsmouth NH 400th Anniversary celebration to join the collaborative effort. A key intention is for the Portsmouth NH 400th team to engage the next generation(s) in exploring what the City’s 2023 legacy might be and how they might steward Portsmouth and its history beyond 2023.