Upper Valley Haven Welcomes Two New Board Members


[Press Release] Upper Valley Haven Welcomes Two New Board Members


April 2023 

CONTACT: Spencer Sanders, (802) 478-1806 or  



The Upper Valley Haven is excited to welcome two new members to its Board of Directors—Evan Smith and Frances Cohen. Both members bring with them decades of leadership experience that will guide them as they support the Haven’s mission of providing food, shelter, and service assistance to those experiencing poverty in the Upper Valley.

Board President, Mary Brown states, “We are so delighted to welcome Evan and Franny to the board of the Haven. They each bring a tremendous amount of experience in areas that highlight our current board focus. Evan was instrumental at Hypertherm in adopting diversity, equity and inclusion principles and practices and Franny has a longstanding record of pursuing justice as a civil rights lawyer for the U.S. Department of Justice. We are so fortunate to gain their wisdom and expertise as we work to move the needle on greater diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Evan Smith, a resident of Hanover, NH, has been a dedicated employee of Hypertherm North America for over 30 years, and has held the President & CEO position since 2015. He previously served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy and held several leadership positions at Hypertherm before being appointed to his current role. He currently sits on the executive board of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, the Corporate Council of Vital Communities, and most recently New Hampshire Humanities, and Granite United Way. Evan shared, “I’ve had a long-time connection with the Upper Valley Haven through Hypertherm and individually as a volunteer, donor and partner, and Hypertherm places a high priority on engagement in our communities through service and shared problem solving. The Upper Valley Haven is such an important piece of the Upper Valley social services fabric that it’s a natural partnership and an honor for me to help the organization and support the team in advancing its critical mission.”

Franny Cohen of Hanover, NH as well, has over 40 years of experience in law. She is a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Education Opportunities Section, though she joins the Haven’s board in her personal capacity. Through her many years as a lawyer working in civil rights she has gained valuable skills and a passion for equality and fairness. Cohen serves on the boards of Brighter Boston and Upper Valley Rays in her free time. She is a compassionate leader who will bring her professional and personal experiences and passions to her new position on the Upper Valley Haven Board of Directors team.

The Upper Valley is a private, nonprofit organization that never charges for any of its services. It is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and opens its doors for everyone regardless of citizenship status, job status, and income. With the support of the UV community the Haven assists individuals and families who are experiencing poverty to be free from hunger, securely housed, and to receive the Community Service assistance they need. The Haven has served the UV community for over 40 years and currently serves more than 14,000 people annually.


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