Lea Gilmore - Executive Director

Lea A. Gilmore was named the first-ever Executive Director of the New Day Campaign in December 2016, assuming its leadership from the founder, artist and curator Peter Bruun. Lea is a proud Marylander and a native Baltimorean known for her exquisite voice, bright smile, quick wit, and infectious sense of humor. She brings decades of expertise honed through her career in both nonprofit leadership and management and as an internationally-acclaimed musician who uses art as a tool for social justice, peace, and human rights.  

Lea has worked in leadership roles at the Moving Maryland Forward Network (MMFN), Equality Maryland, NAF, the Association for Baltimore Area Grantmakers, and the ACLU of Maryland. She is also one of the world's most respected and in-demand Gospel, Blues, Jazz and Inspirational vocalists and an internationally-acclaimed social justice artist and advocate. It has been said that "Lea Gilmore's rich and passionate voice is a gift from her soul to our ears." Lea has lent her voice, literally and figuratively, to advocacy for the underserved around the world and in her own backyard.

Read Lea's full bio here.
(Photo credit: Marie Jeanne Smets)

Advisory Board

A picture of Amy Bortner

Amy Bortner

Amy Bortner was born and raised in Buffalo, NY the youngest of nine children.  After losing two brothers to suicide, she has committed herself to raising awareness of mental illness.  She has served as a volunteer for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and joined the New Day Campaign Advisory Board in 2015.  With a background in marketing and education, Amy’s goal is to help bring awareness and educational programming to all those in need, in particular young adults.  She lives in Towson with her husband and three children.  

A picture of Adrienne Breidenstine

Adrienne Breidenstine

Adrienne Breidenstine is Vice President of Policy and Communications. She directs the development of communications and policy and advocacy activities for Behavioral Health System Baltimore (BHSB), coordinates BHSB’s policy priorities with non-profit and governmental partners, and implements media, public education and advocacy campaigns to create positive behavior and policy change.  Adrienne has over 10 years’ experience with health and housing policy and helped shape policy reforms as it relates to homelessness and health care policy at the federal and local level. Prior to joining BHSB, Adrienne served as the Executive Director of the Journey Home for the Baltimore City Mayor’s Office of Human Services and as the Director of Overdose Treatment and Prevention at BHSB. She received a master’s degree in social work, with a concentration in social action and community development, from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

A picture of Peter Bruun, Founder

Peter Bruun, Founder

Peter Bruun is an artist, curator, and cultural organizer who has lived in the Baltimore area since 1987. He is the founder of the New Day Campaign.

A picture of Gayle Carney

Gayle Carney

Gayle Carney is founding partner of Pulse Forward, which focuses on creating bridges between strategic planning, productive operations, culture and authentic branding in mission-driven organizations.  For over 20 years, Gayle’s leadership has transformed workplace productivity, communications, and community building in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. 

A picture of Adrienne Ellis

Adrienne Ellis

Adrienne Ellis is the Director of Policy and Parity at the National Council for Community Behavioral Health. Previously, she was the Director of Healthcare Reform and Community Engagement for the Mental Health Association of Maryland. In 2015, Adrienne had the pleasure of participating in nearly all of the New Day Campaign events where she was responsible for coordinating and distributing behavioral health resource materials. Adrienne was excited to join the Advisory Board to assist in advancing the mission of the Campaign in Baltimore and throughout Maryland, enabling other individuals and communities to benefit from the healing, compassion found at the Campaign events and activities.

A picture of John Gephart

John Gephart

John Gephart has devoted his career to providing strategic counsel to government, business and nonprofit leaders. He particularly has enjoyed serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney and Board Chair of the Community Law Center.  And, he currently feels blessed to be able to care for his 90+ year-old parents and run their small business.  John is eager to help the New Day Campaign because he: has managed unipolar depression since college; understands, as a musician, how the arts provide solace to those afflicted by brain illnesses; and seeks to fight stigma and promote healing by enhancing social awareness and education.

A picture of Toni Griswold

Toni Griswold

Toni Griswold has lived in Baltimore for 48 years and has always been involved in community services.  She served for several years on the CenterStage board, as well as on the board of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland where she served as the board chair for three years, and on the women’s board of Ashley Addiction Services (formerly Father Martin’s Ashley).

A picture of Joanna Guy

Joanna Guy

Joanna Guy is a Marketing and Business Development Associate at Premier Rides, a Baltimore-based supplier of magnetic launch roller coasters, where she is responsible for marketing communications, client engagement, and international trade shows. Prior to joining Premier, Joanna managed media relations, policy dissemination, and legislative advocacy for the Maryland Public Interest Research Group. As Miss Maryland 2012-2013 she served as a goodwill ambassador to schools and civic groups across the state. Joanna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University. In addition to her work on behalf of the New Day Campaign, Joanna serves on the Associate Leadership Council of the Living Classrooms Foundation and volunteers with Maryland Humanities.

A picture of Stephen Heishman

Stephen Heishman

Stephen Heishman is a husband, father of three, and a research scientist with expertise in drug addiction, career development, and mentoring. He joined the Advisory Board because he has lived with mental illness and addiction in his family and profession and, having attended a few events in the 2015 season and since, he believes that the Campaign was making important steps toward compassion and healing around these issues.

A picture of Greg Hobelmann

Greg Hobelmann

Greg Hobelmann works as a staff psychiatrist at Ashley Addiction Treatment. He completed his psychiatry residency at Johns Hopkins Medicine. He also completed an anesthesiology residency and pain medicine fellowship at Johns Hopkins in 2006.  Greg now focuses on treating patients with substance use disorders and pain.  He is a person in recovery and is passionate about decreasing the stigma associated with addiction. 

A picture of Christopher Jones

Christopher Jones

I am a graphic designer and illustrator operating an independent shop, with experience working with an array of firms. Now more than ever I look to pour my energy into the most meaningful projects. Working with the New Day Campaign has helped me to do just that.

A picture of Jessica Kohnen, Co-Chair

Jessica Kohnen, Co-Chair

Jessica Kohnen is a founding partner at hyve, a consulting firm that supports organizations and people who are doing things that matter. Jessica helps her clients by strategizing, facilitating, and developing leadership practices to achieve harmony at work and to move great missions forward faster. Jessica has worked in the non-profit sector for nearly two decades, with a consistent focus on building strategy and facilitating teams to tackle multi-dimensional projects within complex systems. Jessica has led two non-profit organizations in the role of Executive Director and understands the value of strong board and executive partnership. 

A picture of Nancy Lewin, Co-Chair

Nancy Lewin, Co-Chair

Nancy Lewin is the Principal and Communications Strategist at Asana Consulting, which creates communications and marketing strategies for social impact and nonprofit organizations seeking to spark growth, secure investment, and expand impact. Nancy’s work has deep roots in her decades of experience working in community public health in Baltimore, other parts of the U.S., and in Costa Rica. Prior to starting Asana Consulting in 2014, Nancy worked in senior and executive leadership roles for Evergreen Health, the Baltimore City Health Department, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the Howard County Health Department. She received her Master in Public Health from Boston University, with a concentration in social and behavioral science. She is a certified yoga teacher for children and adults and a writer and lives in Baltimore with her family.

A picture of Sharon Strouse

Sharon Strouse

Sharon Strouse is a board certified Art Therapist and licensed clinical professional Art Therapist, author, teacher, facilitator, speaker and survivor. of her 17-year-old daughter Kristin ending her own life in 2001. Sharon and her husband Doug’s Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation (KRSF) became a sponsor for the New Day Campaign in 2015, and Sharon co-curated the exhibition Touched with Fire:  Kristin and Elisif. She joins the Advisory Board because she believes the heart of the New Day Campaign and the mission of KRSF are one and the same.

A picture of Gary Vikan

Gary Vikan

Gary Vikan was the director of the Walters Art Museum from 1994 to 2013. His energies, in retirement, are devoted to writing, lecturing, teaching, and mentoring non-profit leaders. He is on the board the the Creative Alliance. His memoir, Sacred and Stolen: confessions of a Museum Director, appeared in September, 2016. 

Rita Walters

Rita Walters is the Vice President for Advancement at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

A picture of Sherry Welch

Sherry Welch

Sherry Welch is Executive Director of National Alliance on Mental Illness – Metropolitan Baltimore.  Her career in nonprofit management spans 40 years.

New Day Campaign Founders' Circle

The Founders' Circle is the fundraising campaign to secure the future of the New Day Campaign. Donors are individuals, organizations, institutions, and foundations dedicated to providing the financial support needed to make the New Day Campaign a permanent organization. Join the Circle - Learn More Here!