Sunshine Initiative, a statewide community group brings activists and stakeholders together for day

On Wednesday, Jay Lucas, founder of the Sunshine Initiative brought together leaders from across the Granite State for a discussion on the revitalization of small towns and sharing of best practices in community development, communications, and housing.

“I am so proud of the resounding attendance we had at the Millyard Museum in Manchester for our first annual Sunshine Initiative Day. The energy, enthusiasm, and education shared today will better equip our nonprofit organizations and community associations in their mission to do good in their communities,” said Lucas.

The Sunshine Initiative Day was part of Sunshine Week which featured a community meeting and 3D housing presentation in Newport, and a stakeholder reception during the New Hampshire Fisher Cats Game. The week’s activities kicked off with a proclamation from Governor Chris Sununu who declared June 20-23 as Sunshine Week in the State of New Hampshire.

The day long symposium featured panelists including Tom Raffio of Northeast Delta Dental, Ben Frost of New Hampshire Housing, Erik Lesniak from the Manchester Economic Office, Phil Taub of Swim with a Mission, Drew Cline with the Josiah Bartlett Center for Public Policy and past Executive Director and former Union Leader Editor, and State Senator Denise Ricciardi. Moderators of the day’s topics included former WMUR political reporter and media expert Scott Spradling, New Hampshire Home Builders and Remodelers Association Executive Director Matt Mayberry, Sunshine Initiative Executive Director Brian Hettrick, and David Rogers of the US First Program.

“The panelist and moderators were hand-picked and selected because they are the leaders in their industry and have and will continue to be mentors and provide best practices on achieving goals.” Said Lucas “With their knowledge and the commitment and determination of those in attendance or live-streamed, the communities across New Hampshire will change for the good and provide a service of providing a positive impact. I am so excited for the next steps and doing this again.”

The Sunshine Initiative was founded by Jay and Karen Lucas in 2018. In just four short years, the organization is actively involved in projects in the New Hampshire communities of Newport, Rochester, Laconia, and West Manchester. In 2019, the Sunshine Initiative led the effort of setting a Guinness Book of World Records for sunflower bouquets in a community!

To learn more about the Sunshine Initiative or to watch the presentations from Wednesday’s presentations, visit or email


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