Linda Saunders Paquette Retires From New Futures


Sheila Vargas, Public Relations Director

Linda Saunders Paquette Retires From New Futures

The organization looks forward to 2018 legislative session

CONCORD, N.H. – The New Futures Board of Directors has officially announced the retirement of former President and CEO, Linda Saunders Paquette. After eight years at the helm of the organization, Paquette retired at the end of 2017, handing over the reins to former Senior Vice President Michele Merritt on January 1, 2018.

Under Paquette’s leadership, New Futures had a profound impact on alcohol and other drug policy in New Hampshire. Building off this work, New Futures expanded focus on overall health policy and advocacy in the Granite State in 2016. With Linda’s support, New Futures supported policies which increased funding for substance use and mental health services, implemented prevention, treatment, and recovery programs, and put more state dollars into early childhood development.

Merritt, who has been with the policy and advocacy organization since 2014, will continue to grow and expand the organization and is particularly looking forward to the 2018 legislative session:

“With our growing policy, community engagement, and communications teams, we are ready to focus on policies to improve the health and wellness of Granite Staters in 2018 and beyond,” said Merritt. “We will continue to advocate for positive early childhood, substance misuse, general health, and children’s behavioral health policies in the upcoming years. In 2018, we’ll focus on ensuring the reauthorization of the New Hampshire Health Protection Program, which provides life-saving health insurance coverage to more than 50,000 New Hampshire residents and has enabled more than 23,000 individuals to access treatment for substance use disorder.”

“As the New Futures Board, we are grateful for Linda’s service to the organization and to the state of New Hampshire during her lengthy career. Linda’s commitment to excellence has allowed New Futures to strengthen at both an internal level, but more importantly with our partners, to allow for stronger collaboration. While we are certainly going to miss Linda, we are very much looking forward to this continued level of excellence with Michele,” said Kelsea Hale, Board President.

“Michele has already contributed greatly to the work of New Futures, leading the organization’s policy efforts and expanded capacity into early childhood and health policy,” continued Hale. “Her dedication to our work, passion and skill have already made her a great organization leader. We are so thankful to have Michele and look forward to continuing to work with her.”

About New Futures

New Futures is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that advocates, educates and collaborates to improve the health and wellness of all New Hampshire residents. Learn more at

Your contribution to New Futures will leave a lasting impact in the Granite State!


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