The administration of Maine Veterans’ Homes is vested in the Board of Trustees of the Maine Veterans’ Homes. The Board of Trustees is formally appointed by the Governor and is comprised of honorably discharged Veterans and non-veteran community members who broadly represent the various Veteran organizations, interests, and geographic regions of the state.

Trustee Member Donald O Lagace Jr

Donald O. Lagace, Jr. served for more than 38 years in the military and retired in 2020 as Maine’s Assistant Adjutant General – Army for the Maine National Guard. He previously served as Maine’s U.S. Property and Fiscal Officer, representing the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and as Deputy Commissioner for the Maine Department of Defense, Veterans’ and Emergency Management. A Persian Gulf War Veteran and U.S. Army War College Graduate, he commenced his military career as an enlisted Soldier in March 1982 and subsequently received an ROTC commission from the University of Southern Maine in May 1984. Don owns two property management companies in Augusta, Lagace Properties, LLC, and Capitol City Associates, LLC. He is also the President of the Board for UPLIFT, INC, serving individuals with developmental disabilities. He currently serves as Chairperson of the MVH Board of Trustees.

maine veterans home board member san pedro

Steve SanPedro served more than 20 years in the US Army, and is a Veteran of both Operation Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is a past Commander of the Department of Maine Veterans of Foreign Wars, and is the current Senior Vice Chairman for the Eastern States Conference and a Silver Legacy Member of the VFW. He serves as the Vice Chairperson of the MVH Board of Trustees.

Maine Veterans' Homes Board of Trustees Member Emil Genest

Emil P. Genest is a U.S. Army Veteran, having served as a communications and staff officer from 1981 to 1984. After his military service, Mr. Genest had a 33-year career in education, serving in leadership roles that included Assistant Superintendent for Business for school systems in Hampden and Lincoln, Maine. He currently works for the Maine Community College System and serves as Treasurer of the MVH Board of Trustees.

Julie Schwetz graduated from the United States Military Academy in West Point and served 13 years in the Army as a logistics officer, including two deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Her last Army assignment was at West Point where she managed a $28M budget and led core higher education functions, including marketing and human resources. She currently works for UNUM as an Assistant Vice President, Product Manager. Julie is the Secretary of the MVH Board of Trustees.

Board of Trustee Member

Heather Burr served in the Army Reserve and earned her nursing degree through the US Army Academy of Health Sciences.  She has 23 years of experience working primarily in long-term care specializing in geriatric and dementia nursing.  She joined the AMVETS in 2014 and was elected to the executive board of Robert W. Boyd Amvets Post 2 in 2016 currently holding the position of Adjutant.  Ms. Burr serves on the MVH board as AMVETS representative.


H Burr Board Photo

David Richmond is the Director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services and an ex-officio member of the board.  He was commissioned in 1993 through Army ROTC and served on active duty as an armor officer, including tank platoon leader, heavy mortar platoon leader, and battalion adjutant. After leaving active service 1997, he served in the Maine National Guard in various positions until 2004. He began working for the Maine Bureau of Veterans Services in 1998 and served as a construction project officer, superintendent of the cemetery system, and deputy director, before his appointment to director in March of 2019.

Headshot, david richmond, mvh board of trustees

Sam Collins is a non-veteran appointee by the Governor to the board.  He is a Caribou native and president of the S.W.Collins Company, which he has led for almost three decades.  He is also a partner in two real estate development companies. He has taken an active leadership role in education and the community. He served as chair of the Caribou School Board, co-chair of the Regional School Committee for school consolidation, and chairman of the University Of Maine Board Of Trustees. In his community, Collins has volunteered as chair of the United Way of Aroostook Campaign, as president of Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development, and as president of the Caribou Rotary Club. In addition, he serves on the board of directors of MMG Insurance Company and of Aroostook Federal Savings and Loan Association.


Diane Jackson is a non-veteran appointee by the Governor to the board.  She has vast experience in community relations, business development, and government.  She most recently served as acting area state director for U.S. Senator Collins.  Previously, she served as the Governor’s Account Executive in the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.  She was also regional representative for U.S. Senator Snowe and executive assistant to the Maine Senate President.  She is a native of Oxford.

Christopher Gardner is a non-veteran appointee by the Governor to the board.  He is a Washington County native who has worked in various levels of public service throughout his professional career, including as a decorated sworn law enforcement officer with a career in the profession spanning four decades. He has served as County Commissioner for Washington County since 2004 and also as Executive Director of the Eastport Port Authority since 2007, where he has led the organization through $50M in capital construction and expansion projects.