Francine Nichols

Director of Finance and Operations

Why I work at Everyday Democracy:

I work at the Paul J. Aicher Foundation’s Everyday Democracy because I believe in the vision and mission of this organization.  I believe that we all should have the opportunity to be heard equally and repectfully.  Over the years of working here, I have been a part of helping local organizers organize and recruit participants from all cultures and classes within their communities to participate in dialogue to change programs.  I’ve seen the power of bringing ‘new’ voices to the dialogue and watched new leadership come to light.  Too many stories to be told here but look through our website and you’ll see why this work is so dear to me.


What I love about what I do:

I’ve had many roles here.  I’ve enjoyed every one.  My role as Director of Administration is more behind the scenes than when I worked in and with communities directly.  This role is never boring but then again any role I’ve had here has been.  I have many responsibilities from financial administration to facilities operation. I may have a plan of what my day will be like but most days it’s having to deal with the unexpected and that keeps me on my toes.  I’m no ballerina but it’s a whole lot of fun.  Did I tell you I love the people I work with also.


How I got here:

I got here 29 years ago.  So long ago, I can hardly remember how.  Actually, I had been working for the insurance industry and decided I didn’t much care for it and had left my job.  I wanted to work but was trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up when a friend of a friend was looking for someone to clerk for a this small non-profit foundation located not to far from my home in Killingly, Conn.  So, I applied and here I still am. 


What I do when I’m not helping communities create change:

I’m an avid gardener.  I am a nationally certified fitness instructor and still teach 3 to 5 early morning classes every week.  I love to do canning (preserving vegetables and fruits).  I love the beach.  I have 2 dogs (West Highland Terriers) and 4 cats (yes, crazy cat lady).  I have the best friends the world.  I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, and grandmother to my loving family.

Dialogue to Change

Our ultimate goal is to create positive community change that includes everyone, and our tools, advice, and resources foster that kind of change. Whether you’re grappling with a divisive community issue, or simply want to include residents’ voices in city government, Everyday Democracy's Dialogue to Change process, using a racial equity lens, can help.