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Mosaic Monday: Dan Bonner, Spurwink COO

By May 18, 2023Blog

Spurwink is a mosaic of individuals who comprise our vibrant and brilliant community — from generous corporate partners to individual donors, our hardworking and diligent staff to the people we are humbled to serve.

This week’s Mosaic Monday, we recognize Spurwink COO, Dan Bonner.

After more than 42 years with Spurwink, Dan Bonner is winding down his career, and in his words, “leaving a job and an organization he loves, and believes in.” Dan discovered his passion for working with kids and families faced with intellectual and behavioral challenges while working at a summer camp for disadvantaged kids in New York City. Dan joined Spurwink in 1981 as a direct care worker and has spent his entire professional career with the agency.

In 1980, Spurwink looked very different than today, but Dan believes the principles, and values have changed very little: believe in people, believe in the dignity of self-determination, and to help everyone become the very best version of themselves, regardless of the challenges. Spurwink’s adult program in 1980 amounted to 2 homes on Woodford Street in Portland and a small woodworking shop in the basement of one of these homes. While nothing grand, this was the first community living option for many that had spent years in state institutions, and the beginning of an era of hope.

It was in those early days that Dan committed to what became a lifetime journey. Dan’s pathway in Spurwink included roles as Case Manager, Assistant Director and Program Director within Adult Services, Administrative Coordinator on the Senior Leadership Team, Spurwink’s Vice President, Interim President in 2013, and several years in his current role as Chief Operating Officer. Regardless of the role, Dan has never lost his sense of stewardship, or his sense of humor.

Dan grew up in Northern Ireland in the era that became known as “the Troubles,” one of 10 children, at a time where bombings and assassinations were common, employment opportunities were few, and discrimination was sanctioned by the lawmakers of the time. He credits this experience as shaping his core beliefs of justice and equality. Not surprisingly, values mirrored by Spurwink.

Dan notes that he is proud to have played his part in shaping Spurwink, and proud that Spurwink has evolved into a critical safety net for so many of Maine’s families. All of the staff and friends of Spurwink who have gotten to know Dan over the years are incredibly grateful for Dan’s profound impact on Spurwink and our greater community.

Thank you, Dan!

In recognition of Dan’s impact on Spurwink and our community, we invite you to make a fiscal year-end donation in his honor. Please feel free to include well wishes with your donation that you’d like to be shared with Dan. You can donate online at, or mail a check to:


Attn: Advancement

901 Washington Avenue, Suite 100

Portland, ME 04103