Pinetree Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit based in Eliot, ME, and Portsmouth, NH facilitating a number of approaches to solving one key issue: the long-term effects of trauma on individuals, and the communities in which they live. Childhood trauma, in particular, can have lasting physical, mental, and behavioral health consequences on the adults we become.
At Pinetree, we offer community based, trauma responsive solutions through the three avenues of education, engagement, and collaboration. We offer access to the latest research, and information about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Positive Childhood Experiences (PCEs), and trauma informed solutions, through:
- Online courses and webinars
- Individualized group presentations and workshops
- Speaking engagements
- Podcasts and videos
- And coordinated community system implementation
Pinetree Institute does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, nationality of origin, religion, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, or military status in any of its operations. This includes, but is not limited to, hiring and firing personnel, the selection of volunteers and vendors, and the provision of services.
We commit to an inclusive and welcoming environment for all staff, volunteers, contractors, vendors, clients, and program participants.
The mission of Pinetree Institute is to create sustainable well-being for individuals, families, and communities. Our key focus is addressing the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) through trauma responsive approaches. We do this by assisting communities in creating collaborative solutions to significant mental and behavioral health challenges.
We envision communities with the capacity they need to engage leadership across all sectors in building whole-system networks that rely on data and collaboration to address the underlying causes of trauma. Thus, improving the health, happiness, and quality of life for the current generation and beyond.
What We Do
Pinetree Institute offers three areas of service
Pinetree Learning Center
Idyllic Pinetree Farm is a beautifully renovated 1792 farmhouse and barn nestled between lush gardens and quiet woodlands in rural Eliot, ME. Located only 3 miles from Rt 95, just over an hour from Boston, MA or Portland, ME and just over the bridge from Portsmouth, NH, this peaceful yet convenient setting is the location for many Pinetree Learning Center workshops. Currently closed due to COVID-19, we look forward to re-opening the Learning Center when we can safely resume offering:
- Workshops, retreats, and training programs for personal development, helping professionals, and leaders, and
- Rentals for retreats and workshops related to personal growth, trauma, and therapeutic approaches to enhancing resilience.
Click here to learn more about the Pinetree Learning Center, currently closed through 2021.
Did you know that at the edge of a deep valley, there is an excellent pine tree growing up straight in spite of many years of cold? - Keizan
Dr. Larry McCullough
Ed.D., Executive Director
For over 30 years Larry has worked with major corporations and non-profit organizations in the areas of leadership development, change management, and strategic planning. Larry has worked with more than 25 Fortune 500 companies, many of which are also Global 100. He has worked across a wide range of industries including technology, pharmaceuticals, financial services, manufacturing, professional services, and consumer goods in addition to governmental and non-profit organizations. Recent significant projects have included: lead designer and facilitator for the highly acclaimed Experienced Leader Program at Ford Motors; transformational leadership programs for more than 72,000 managers and supervisors with the U.S. Veteran’s Affairs, including a very successful webinar series and content for their high-impact Change Academies; and global leadership initiatives for several global companies resulting in significant improvement in employee engagement ratings.
Larry established the workshop and retreat center at Pinetree Farm and began hosting workshops in 2005. He officially launched Pinetree Institute in 2012 to address issues of positive well-being through workshop offerings and community programs in the Seacoast NH / Southern Maine region. He brings his experience with leadership, change management and strategy to bear in creating and managing initiatives related to positive well-being. A particular focus for the past few years has been the development of trauma-informed approaches to community services, especially as related to addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) as a way of building individual, family and community resilience.
Director of Community Engagement
Amy Michaels, MS
Director of Prevention Programs
Program Coordinator - Greater Portsmouth Recovery Coalition
Board of Directors
Alan is a career strategy and marketing executive, but his passion is giving back to the community through a wide range of volunteer, board and civic commission positions. In his various professional and volunteer roles, he has seen first-hand how trauma and its aftermath can impact individuals, their families, and the community at large. Through his work at Pinetree, he hopes to help improve prevention strategies for abuse, addiction, and other trauma-related illnesses. In addition to his work at Pinetree Institute, he is the President of the Seacoast Repertory Theatre and is a member of both the City of Portsmouth’s Arts and Cultural Commission and the Economic Development Commission. He and his equally active wife Susan reside in Portsmouth but regularly go “over the bridge” into Maine.
Ann C. Bliss, M.A. is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor and has maintained a private practice for more than 30 years in Portsmouth, NH. She serves as a guest lecturer in the Marriage and Family Therapy program at the University of New Hampshire and is the Executive Director of the Center for Trauma Intervention, LLC. Ann is an active member of the NH Behavioral Health Disaster Response Advisory Committee and Response Team (DBHRT) and the Youth Suicide Advisory Assembly (YSPA). As a certified CISM trainer, she offers training in Critical Incident Stress Management Intervention for schools, communities, and business. Following the September 11th tragedy, Ann went to NYC with a response team from the Trauma Center of Boston. In 1998, She developed, and for 10 years directed, the Seacoast Response Team, a school and community-based crisis network in both Rockingham and Strafford Counties. This team is now a part of the NH Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team managed by the Dept of Safety: Homeland Security and Emergency Management. In addition to her work on the Pinetree Institute board, Ann is currently the Board President of the Seacoast Renewable Energy Initiative.
Kim Kelsey is a licensed clinical social worker with 25 years’ experience in the field of family therapy and social work education. She served on the faculty of the University of New Hampshire’s Department of Social Work until May of 2018 where she taught courses in Human Behavior and Child and Adolescent Risks and Resiliencies.
She has a private psychotherapy practice in York, Maine and also works for Merrimack Valley Hospice in the York community as well as the High Pointe Hospice House in Haverhill, MA. She believes in a holistic approach to healing and well-being. Some avenues for self-care that she practices and weaves into her professional work are yoga, prayer and meditation, sandtray therapy and nature therapy.
She believes that since the root of most trauma lies in the disruption of healthy connections, healing must occur in the context of building creative and supportive connections with self, others and the sacred.
In her spare time she enjoys spending time outdoors as well as reading, sewing and cooking for her friends and her large family which includes ten grandchildren.
Gregg Dowty is retired after serving as the President and Executive Director of the Children’s Home of Easton in Easton, PA. He also served as the Deputy Executive Director and then Executive Director of Good Will-Hinckley Homes for Boys and Girls located in Hinckley, ME. These positions followed 20 years in various administrative and teaching positions in Central Maine schools.
He holds a bachelor degree from The University of Maine at Farmington, a Masters degree in Educational Administration from The University of Southern Maine, a Certificate of Advanced Study from The University of Maine, and he received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Maine. His doctoral work focused on the role of significant adults as protective factors in the lives of at-risk youth.
Gregg has served in leadership roles with a number of professional organizations at the local, state and national levels. He has served as the President of the Maine Association of Group Care Providers, President of Maine Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development, Chair of the MSAD 74 School Board of Directors, ASCD International Board of Directors, and Chair of the Residential Care Consortium.
Gregg also served on several boards of directors including the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development International, National Fellowship of Childcare Executives, Children’s Coalition of the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth and Family Services. Lehigh Valley Workforce Investment, Non-Profit and Business Partners Council of The Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Lehigh Valley, Waterville Opera House and Pro Kids of Easton. Gregg is a member The Rotary Club of Dover, NH and its 2020-21 president. He also serves as Rotary District 7780 Protection Officer