Meet the Staff
At the MAR office you have a support staff of experts working hard for you. Recruitment; database management; website maintenance; email alerts; information and assistance; and sound operations management – that and much more happens at the MAR headquarters every day.
The staff at MAR are ready and available to assist you, from assisting you with technical Maine State Retirement System questions… to signing you up for Dental benefits… and everything in between, the staff at MAR are ready to work for you. Just give them a call today (1-800-535-6555)
Barbara J. VanBurgel, Executive Director
Barb has been MAR’s Executive Director since 2012. She continues to be excited at the opportunity to work for MAR and its members. Her goal is to create connections and community among MAR members in Maine and across the country. Barb was raised in Michigan and is a graduate of Michigan State University. She moved to Maine in 1976, teaching first in Van Buren and later working with the Aroostook County Action Program. Her career in State government began with the Welfare, Education & Employment Training program in 1983. She moved to Augusta in 1986 and held a series of management positions in the Department of Health and Human Services, retiring in 2011 as Director of the Office of Family Independence. Barb lives on 40 acres in Mercer. She enjoys playing cards (especially poker), gardening, knitting, quilting, and traveling.
Diane Bailey, Operations Manager
Diane comes to MAR after a 40+ year career in State Government working in agencies including Transportation, Education, Corrections, Professional & Financial Regulation, Office of Employees Health & Benefits, Department of Health & Human Services and Dirigo. She is especially knowledgeable about health, dental and drug insurance issues. Diane and her husband Norman live in N. Vassalboro where she raises and shows cattle at agricultural fairs, likes to garden, golf, snowshoe and x-country ski.
Patty Castonguay, Finance Coordinator
Patty is now the coordinator of MAR’s fiscal activities. She retired several years ago from a long career as a Personnel Officer with the Department of Transportation. She and her husband Gerry live in Augusta. She likes to play cards, and in the summer, she enjoys her “dream job” working in the store/office at the Augusta West Kampground in Winthrop.
Lisa Blue, Technical Support Coordinator
Lisa comes to MAR with 24 years of IT support, data analysis, and software training experience. She maintains the MAR database, helps staff with technical support needs, writes the Technology Corner articles for the newsletter, and is available to MAR members to answer basic technical support questions. When she’s not at MAR, you can find her out on the golf course with her husband, Dave, or walking her Aussie mix dog, Aster, in her West Gardiner neighborhood.
Linda Leet, Membership Assistant
MAR’s Member Services Assistant, is a Maine native living in Farmingdale, Maine. Linda retired from State Government after 35 years of working in the Social Services field. Linda is on the local school board and is serving on her her 28th year. She loves to help provide the best education to all children. Linda is now ready to start the next page of her life which is working to help Maine’s elderly receive what we have all worked hard to achieve. She believes, with MAR’s leadership, we can successfully reach our goals. Linda is a parent of two boys and has no grandchildren as yet. Her interests include spending time with her family, reading, taking day trips and just enjoying each day of life.
Julie Hallee, Policy and Research Coordinator
Julie has many years’ experience with business management and financial services, along with technology knowledge. She is presently working on researching available benefits and services for seniors in Maine.