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Charity names interim president and pledges cooperation with AG's office after former president is found dead

By PAUL FEELY
New Hampshire Union Leader

September 20. 2018 5:30PM




Donny Guillemette of Weare was president and CEO of The Caregivers Inc., based in Manchester. Police announced on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2018, that he had been found dead in Merrimack.

MANCHESTER — A Manchester-based nonprofit has named a new interim CEO and is pledging "complete cooperation" in addressing regulatory issues with the Attorney General's office, after the group's former president was found dead over the weekend.

On Thursday The CareGivers, Inc., announced James Wilkie of Bedford as its interim president and CEO, after Weare police announced over the weekend the firm's former president and CEO Donny Guillemette was found dead in Merrimack, after family members reported him missing Sept. 11.

"Our board, staff and volunteers have all been devastated by the passing of our former President and CEO, Donny Guillemette," said Wilkie in a statement. "For more than 16 years, Donny worked tirelessly on behalf of the organization and was a dear and valued friend to us all. We are deeply saddened by his death, and our hearts and thoughts are with his family during this very difficult time."

In a release, Wilkie said The Caregivers, Inc, is working with Atty. Ovide Lamontagne of Bernstein Shur "to assist us as we work in complete cooperation with the Director of Charitable Trusts and the Attorney General's office to address any outstanding regulatory issues our organization may have."

"The CareGivers expects to be back next week doing the important work we love on behalf of our 400 clients," said Wilkie in a release. "We are grateful to our 600 dedicated volunteers who will continue to carry out our vital mission serving elderly and disabled residents in our communities, and helping them to remain living independently in their homes."

The Manchester and Nashua offices of The CareGivers, Inc. have been closed since news of Guiillemette's death was announced.

Thomas Donovan, director of the state's Division of Charitable Trusts, confirmed Monday that Guillemette and additional members of The CareGivers, Inc., board of directors were issued a subpoena Sept. 6 for failure to file annual reports as required under RSA 7:21 for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

"We issued a subpoena on Sept. 6 for Guillemette and the board of directors because they were overdue on filing annual reports with us," said Donovan. "No complaint had been filed against them; we had been asking for the reports to be filed. When there was no response, we sent a subpoena."

The subpoena, a copy of which was released to the New Hampshire Union Leader, shows state officials are requesting:

• Complete annual reports for years 2015, 2016 and 2017;

• Tax and wage records for all employees from Jan. 1, 2015 to present;

• Records of reimbursements of expenses to directors from Jan. 1, 2015 to present;

• Bingo and Lucky 7 receipts from Jan. 1, 2015;

• Records of revenues and expenses from Jan. 1, 2015;

• Financial records from Jan. 1, 2015; and bank records including cancelled checks, deposit slips, bank statements and loan agreements from Jan. 1, 2015 to present.

The subpoena instructs board members to produce the requested information at a meeting scheduled for Sept. 25 at 10:30 a.m. Donovan said after hearing of Guillemette's death, his office contacted the remaining board members and agreed to move the scheduled meeting with them to Oct. 11 "to give them time" to gather the requested information.

According to GuideStar USA, Inc., an information service specializing in reporting on U.S. nonprofit companies, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has revoked The CareGivers, Inc., tax-exempt status for failing to file a Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, or 990-PF for three consecutive years.

"Further investigation and due diligence are warranted," the website says.

The most recent Form 990 filing — filed with the IRS in 2014 — shows The CareGivers, Inc., took in $326,569 in total revenue that year, down from $437,918 in 2013. The nonprofit paid out $205,578 in salaries in 2014, including $63,616 in reportable compensation — and $17,389 in "other compensation from the organization" — to Guillemette.

"We are grateful to the many members of the community who have reached out to offer their condolences and support," said Wilkie in a statement. "We look forward to returning to our important work serving the citizens who rely upon our services each and every day."

According to a biography provided by The CareGivers, Inc., Wilkie recently retired from Fidelity Investments after nearly 19 years with the firm.

According to a news release, Wilkie has served on the Board of Directors of The CareGivers, Inc, for the past three years.

In addition to the CareGivers, Wilkie serves as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) for abused and neglected children in the New Hampshire court system.

pfeely@unionleader.com


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