Marion Institute Team

Marion Institute Team

Robyn Branco
Development Director
Ext: 116

New Bedford Native, Robyn returned to the area in 2007 after working in non-profit development and event coordinating in both San Francisco and Washington, DC. She graduated with a BS from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in Natural Resource Studies and a minor in Anthropology. Robyn has dedicated her career to non-profit work and is happy to be back on her native soil. In 2011, she was awarded one of the New England Business Bulletins top young professionals of the year. When not working, she enjoys playing soccer, rowing for the Azorean Maritime Heritage Society and spending time with her son Liam.

Adam Davenport
Garden Operations Manager, Grow Education

Through the Grow Education program, Adam designs, manages, and connects residents to use the school based-community gardens.  His BS in Civil Engineering, Certificates in Integrative Nutrition and permaculture, and experience working as a SpEd. science teacher have helped develop his expertise in designing interactions between the ecological and social worlds.  In addition to his part-time role as Grow Education’s Garden Operations Manager, he is the co-Founder of Terra Cura, a Design and Consulting firm focused on regenerative social and ecological systems.  His interests range from philosophy to physics but center around nature.  In his free time he is rock climbing, practicing yoga, or traveling to experience and learn from worldwide cultures.

Jane Dolan
BioMed Network Manager
Ext: 115

As a registered nurse with experience in rehabilitation and primary care medicine, Jane has witnessed firsthand both health and disease as well as the amazing capacity of the body to heal if supported correctly. She is passionate about seeing people achieve the greatest potential of exceptional health and well-being and has attended lectures and courses on vitamins, minerals, herbals, Reiki and nutrition. In the role of BioMed Network Manager her deeply held lifelong interest in alternative health practices will guide her to collaborate in the establishment of a biological medicine clinic in Providence, RI.

Zoe Hansen-DiBello
Grow Education Director

Zoe Hansen-DiBello is a Providence, RI native who now resides in the SouthCoast of Massachusetts.  Zoe graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 and is currently working towards a PhD in Educational Leadership at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Zoe has worked for the Marion Institute since 2009, starting as a Youth Coordinator for the Connecting for Change conference as well as working part-time as the Sustainability Education Initiative (SEI) Coordinator.  SEI was re-birthed in 2013 as Grow Education, which Zoe manages in New Bedford Public Schools.  Grow Education seeks to empower public school teachers and students through the creation of school-based gardens.  Zoe is a graduate of Leadership SouthCoast, serves on the Education Roundtable in New Bedford and has been a Big Sister to a New Bedford student since 2011.

Nicole Morris-McLaughlin
Development & Events Assistant
Ext: 119

Nicole is thrilled to join the Marion Institute as Development and Events Planning Assistant. Nicole has a degree in Cultural Anthropology from Miami University of Ohio.  Nicole recently moved to the South coast of Massachusetts by way of Buffalo, NY.  In Buffalo she was the Promotions Coordinator for The Buffalo News, where she worked with Buffalo’s nonprofits and cultural institutions.  Nicole is passionate about education, environmental advocacy, and social justice; she was able to combine these passions by building and running a School/Community garden in her hometown for the last seven years.  You can find Nicole and her family on the weekends exploring the natural beauty and cultural richness of their new home in New England.

Milagros Sanchez-Gaton
SouthCoast Energy Challenge Community Outreach Manager

Milagros Sanchez is originally from the Dominican Republic and moved looking for the “American Dream”. She graduated Bristol community college and is working in her BA at Simmons College. Her passion is to help, Advocate, and make a difference in the community. Because of her community involvement and academic success she was the winner of the “29 who shine Award” And represented Bristol Community college at the state house. “Millie” as she likes to be called, has experience working as a peer educator and as a facilitator for the Girl Scouts. You can find Millie Volunteering or spending time with her twin daughters.

Angela Silva
Accounting Manager
Ext: 111

Abigail Smith
Health & Human Resources Manager
Ext: 113

As Health & Human Resources Manager, Abby manages the BioMed Network, Human Resources, and Accounts Payable for the Marion Institute. She graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology and minor in Women’s Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2007 and has a personal interest and commitment to social justice and quality compassionate healthcare. Prior to working at the Marion Institute, Abby’s experience as the office manager at a chiropractic office developed her belief in a multi-faceted holistic approach to health and wellness encompassing mental and physical wellbeing as well as nutrition. Away from the office, you can find her gardening, reading, cooking, and spending time with her family.

Ryan Trepanier
Digital Communications Associate
Ext: 114

Ryan is taking over communications at the Marion Institute after a decade in journalism, writing, editing, and designing content for print and digital publication at the Standard-Times of New Bedford, Cape Cod Times, and a number of weekly publications in the South Coast. He studied English at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth with a concentration in Writing, Rhetoric and Communications. Ryan currently resides in Dartmouth, where he enjoys cooking, hiking and other outdoor activities with his wife, Marlaina, and son, Henry, such as looking under rocks for snakes worms, and insects.