Bryan Bessette, President, Program Director
Bryan's commitment to the cause was solidified after leading a service trip to Nepal in January 2011, where he and a team of students spent time working with families recovering from life-long bonded slavery. He helped initiate and co-found the Freedom Cafe in 2012. Bryan is passionate about bringing people together in community to learn from one another and translate ideas and beliefs into beneficial action for all. He frequently shares the vision of the Freedom Café to organizations around the Seacoast area offering education and training to support the end of human trafficking.
Bryan oversees Freedom Cafe's daily operations, develops educational events and curricula, acts as chief organizer for New England's GIFT Box, and serves as President of Freedom Cafe's Board.
Bryan is a also long time tea drinker and has come to equally enjoy coffee since experiencing the tastes and culture of the specialty coffee world. Bryan has a BS in Education from Plymouth State, is Ordained by the Assemblies of God and serves as a Chaplain and adjunct faculty at the University of New Hampshire.
Freedom Cafe Board of Directors:
Michael D'Angelo, Chair
After helping to found the Cafe as a student at UNH, Mike moved to New York City for a year to attend school. He is now back in Dover teaching and earning his MFA in nonfiction from UNH. Mike hopes to use his writing to educate the community about the issue of human trafficking and commercial exploitation, and has started developing a series of essays to explore the topic.
Theresa Trombley, Secretary
Over the past 10 years, Theresa has been dedicated to the mission of ending human trafficking through research and advocacy. Through her time spent at UNH earning a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology, she had many opportunities which led her to care deeply for this cause and for survivors. After graduating from UNH in 2010, she went on to obtain her Master's Degree in Social Work from the University of New England. She currently works as an administrator and clinician at a community mental health agency in Massachusetts, where she has the opportunity to provide training and consultation about human trafficking and domestic violence to her colleagues and others in the community.
Theresa has been a member of the Freedom Cafe Board of Directors since September 2014. She has been blessed to watch the Cafe grow from being an idea to a reality, and is excited to see the impact that it will have in the years to come.
Paul D'Angelo, Treasurer
Paul first heard about the exciting work happening at the Freedom Café through his brother Michael D'Angelo. He is excited about the impact that the Freedom Café is making in the Durham area and around the world. Since September of 2014, Paul has served on the Board of Directors by working to maintain the organization of the Freedom Café's finances and to provide analysis in support of strategic decisions. Paul is a corporate banking professional at TD Bank and graduated from Rutgers University in 2010.
Dan is the founder and owner of D Squared Java (Espresso Bar and Coffee House) in Exeter, NH which opened it's doors in 2012. The focus of D Squared Java is on quality and continuing to push the envelope of specialty coffee on the New Hampshire Seacoast. Dan has accumulated nearly 10 years of coffee and barista experience, holds a Level 2 Barista certificate through the Barista Guild of America and is a certified Lead Instructor for the Specialty Coffee Association.
As a frequent speaking guest and trainer at Freedom Cafe, Dan has offered Seed to Cup seminars detailing coffee's journey from the farm to the coffee shop as well as providing training opportunities for motivated volunteers to learn about the brewing process.
Noticing the connection with the coffee industry and human trafficking, Dan became a board member in 2015 to help educate consumers through the Freedom Cafe on how to purchase coffee in an ethical manner.