It Kicks! Foundation
The Black and Fournier families have a longstanding history of involvement in and support of the Merrimack Valley and its surrounding communities. The two families came together in 2015 when Energy North (EN), which is owned by the Black family, acquired Haffner’s from the Fourniers.
Since 1981, Energy North has provided energy solutions in a variety of sectors: Wholesale Gasoline Distribution, Gas Stations, Convenience Stores, Car Washes, Propane & Oil Delivery and Transportation. Since 2015, Energy North’s signature brand of gasoline, propane and oil has been the Haffner’s Brand.
After decades of giving to dozens of charitable organizations throughout the region, Energy North established the It Kicks! Foundation. The primary impact areas of the Foundation are youth development and educational opportunities for people of all ages.
So why “It Kicks?” The iconic kicking donkey has been part of the Haffner’s logo since 1933. Throughout the years, “It Kicks” has been used to describe everything from the extra boost in the Haffner’s gas to the extra mile all the employees go to make a difference. Naming the foundation “It Kicks!” was an easy decision.
The It Kicks! Foundation provides grants to nonprofits that focus on supporting youth development and educational opportunities for people of all ages.
The Foundation serves communities within Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Imagining a future with happy, healthy, active children and learning opportunities for all.
Fueling communities by listening, partnering and investing in our youth and education.
Board of Directors
Jeff Black is the Chief Executive Officer of Energy North. He is a dedicated leader who prioritizes his family and is committed to giving back to the community. Jeff is especially passionate about making education more accessible, whether it’s in the form of traditional college programs or through trade schools and skill-building opportunities. In his free time, Jeff enjoys playing golf, traveling, cooking and supporting local New England establishments.
Having begun her career in the social work field, Kathy has always prioritized serving others. In addition to her impactful work growing the Energy North business, she has been a part of many charitable clubs and organizations, from the Andona Society to the Quota Club and more. In her free time, Kathy enjoys playing tennis and golf and spending plenty of quality time with her granddaughter.
Kristina Wood is the Executive Director of the It Kicks! Foundation. A strong proponent of supporting others, Kristina is particularly driven to help children, whether it be through providing for their basic needs or making educational, athletic or creative programs more accessible. She is also an advocate for children’s mental health. Kristina lives in Boston with her family. Together, they enjoy cooking, traveling and spending time outside.
Matt LaLone is the President of Administration and General Counsel for Energy North. He is passionate about his community and is committed to providing support for others in any way he can. As a lawyer, Matt prioritizes pro bono work and has assisted in the formation of several charitable organizations. In his free time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family.
Jeffrey Musman is a Partner at Seyfarth Shaw. Passionate about serving others, Jeffrey has been on the Board of several nonprofits throughout his career, including Northeast Arc and the Urban League of Eastern Massachusetts. He is motivated to support underserved communities and ensure equal opportunities for all. Jeffrey resides in Nahant with his family and enjoys traveling and playing golf, tennis and pickleball.
Pat O’Connell is the Executive Vice President of Energy North and has spent nearly three decades as a strategic planner, GM and steward of the business. He has led many of the company’s past charitable endeavors and is passionate about providing support and opportunities to the local communities EN serves. Pat enjoys playing pickleball, tennis and curling as well as traveling and spending time with his family.
Kevin Riley is the President of Operations and Finance at Energy North. He is particularly focused on helping children, whether it’s providing them with educational opportunities or mentorship programs they wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Outside of work, Kevin and his wife are kept busy by their three children. Having grown up appreciating music with his family, they now aim to see one live show each month.
Steve Thayer is the Vice President of ABS Fuel Systems and has been part of the Energy North family for over 35 years. He believes that providing all people with equal opportunities and resources will ensure a strong future for generations to come. Steve enjoys cycling and will complete his 20th ride in the Pan-Mass Challenge in 2023. He is also close with his family and prioritizes spending time with his three daughters.