News icon Gagnon Joins the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society

With her most recent gift to the Mitchell Institute, Malinda Gagnon, the 1999 Mitchell Scholar from Telstar Regional High School and CEO of Uprise Partners—a Maine-based technology firm providing small and medium-sized businesses with IT, cybersecurity, software engineering, and automations—became the 18th and newest member of the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society.

The Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society recognizes Mitchell Scholar alumni who have followed the example of the late Truc Huynh, a remarkably gifted and altruistic Scholar alumnus who passed away at the age of 40 in mid-June 2022. As part of his legacy of paying it forward, Truc made financial contributions to the Mitchell Institute at a level that matched and eventually surpassed the entire amount of the Scholarship award that he received in support of his education at Bowdoin College.

Gagnon, whose financial support of the Mitchell Institute has been made through table sponsorships at the annual Gala, says supporting Mitchell Scholars is a way to acknowledge the significance of the scholarships she and her husband received and to ensure that education remains an “equalizer” for Maine students.

“Giving to support access to education is important to my husband and me, and for our company, Uprise Partners. We’re both from rural Maine and greatly appreciate not only the financial support we received for our educations but also the community support,” Gagnon said. “My husband, Brian Gagnon, who is from Rumford, received a Pulp and Paper Scholarship to study engineering at the University of Maine. I received the Mitchell Scholarship and a sizable grant from Bates College, without which I wouldn’t have been able to attend that school. To us, education is the equalizer in this world—if there can be one. For both of us, going from small-town Maine to working at a couple of the world’s fastest-growing technology companies, we’ve seen firsthand what education can unlock. We want to help other Maine students have the same opportunity and not be limited by their financial situations.”

Gagnon has more than 20 years of experience in business strategy and technology, specializing in business resiliency planning, communications technologies, product management, and technology operations. Before co-founding Uprise Partners in 2017, she was senior partner and head of product management and technology at WPP—a British multinational communications, advertising, public relations, technology, and commerce holding company—where she founded and led their consulting organization and the product management and technology group. She also was a founding team member of Google’s ad technology organization and has advised large clients such as Procter & Gamble, General Electric, Volkswagen, BlackRock, and Walmart, as well as hundreds of startups. Gagnon serves on the board of the Maine Venture Fund and is a mentor with Techstars, MassChallenge, and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs. She is a 2003 graduate of Bates College and earned a master’s in international relations and communications at Boston University.

Jared Cash, President and CEO of the Mitchell Institute, thanked Gagnon for her contributions to the Mitchell Institute over the years that resulted in her membership in the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society.

“We are deeply grateful to Malinda for supporting current and future Mitchell Scholars and for helping to ensure Gala is a success again this year,” Cash said. “Her remarkable career success will inspire future generations of Scholars to understand that they too can grow up in a small, rural town and leverage a college education to achieve a career with a global impact. It has been inspiring to witness her return to Maine to lead and grow a company that strengthens the economy of her home state.”

Membership in the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society can happen through a multi-year pledge, steady giving over many years, or a single gift to the Mitchell Institute. New and founding members of the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society are invited to attend an annual reception to celebrate their philanthropic commitment to supporting the Mitchell Institute. If you are interested in learning more about the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society, please contact Mitchell Institute President and CEO Jared Cash. See all members of the Truc Huynh Alumni Giving Society.