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Board of Trustees

Sam Adams

Sam is a financial advisor and investor with Woodhull Capital Advisors in Yarmouth. He provides strategic and operational advice, and capital advisory services, to growing businesses. He moved to Maine from Connecticut in 2011, following a decade as a corporate lawyer in New York City and a decade as a hedge fund manager there. His real home, however, has always been Small Point, Maine and the nearby beaches and islands of Casco Bay, where he has spent all of his summers. Sam is a graduate of Gould Academy and holds a B.A. from Kenyon College and a J.D. from Washington & Lee University. Sam is active on the Gould Alumni Board and Small Point Water Company. He and his family love skiing and sailing, and Sam has a passion for saltwater fly fishing that borders on the pathological. He lives in Freeport with his wife, Kelly, and son, Nick. They have two Labradors who also love Maine’s beautiful shoreline and chilly water.

Kelly Baetz

Kelly is an attorney with Verrill Dana and practices in the firm’s Environmental, Timberlands, Energy and Telecommunications Groups. She joined Verrill Dana in 2005 and was previously an associate with an environmental boutique firm with offices in Boston and New Bedford, Massachusetts. Kelly received her A.B. from Bowdoin College in European History and Environmental Studies in 1996 and earned her J.D. and a Master of Studies in Environmental Law (M.S.E.L.) from Vermont Law School in 2000. Kelly enjoys golf, skiing and running. She lives in Bath.

Nick Battista

Nick is the Marine Programs Director at the Island Institute, where he spends his days helping fishermen and coastal communities understand emerging issues. Most recently he has been working on understanding the impacts changing ocean conditions will have on fishing communities; including fishermen and coastal communities in ocean planning; helping fishermen diversify their income by starting shellfish or seaweed aquaculture businesses; and leading statewide discussions about ocean acidification. He spent 3 years working for Congresswoman Pingree, advising her on natural resource, working waterfront, and coastal policy issues. He has been a MITA member since 1996 and has paddled much of the Trail, including a 20 day trip in 2008 from Lincolnville to Machias. He is a native Mainer, registered Maine Guide, graduate of Colby College, and has a Masters in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island and a JD from Roger Williams University. He and his wife Meredith live in Camden and enjoy sailing in Penobscot Bay and kayaking to MITA islands.

Steve Birmingham

Steve worked in banking for 23 years.  He started at Maine National Bank, then moved to Maine Bank & Trust in 1995.  There he quickly moved from teller to Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager in the Wealth Management Department, responsible for over $200 million in both individual, corporate, and non-profit funds.  He holds a BS in Economics from Bates College.  Steve is also active in the Coast Guard Auxiliary, Portland Community Rowing Association, and helped found the local Sea Scout Ship.  Quite often he can be found cruising the coast of Maine, racing sailboats, playing hockey, or hiking in Acadia.  He lives with his wife Paula and cat Strawberry in Cape Elizabeth.

Dan Carr (Vice-Chair)

Dan Carr is a registered engineer and geologist with expertise in groundwater engineering and environmental chemistry.  He is semi-retired, working on-call as a Principal Emeritus and consultant with Sanborn Head & Associates, Inc., a 100-person geo-environmental consulting firm serving clients on projects across the U.S. and worldwide.  A lifelong advocate of human-powered travel, Dan has paddled much of the Maine Coast from Kittery to Cobscook Bay, logging between 200 and 500 miles a year in a kayak along with similar miles biking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, and kayak surfing.  He and his wife, Pam, an organic gardener and herbalist, live in Dayton, Maine along with barn cats, chickens, and Chocolate the horse.  In gratitude they annually give to MITA in the proportion to human-powered miles and trail nights.

Nicole Connelly

Nicole is a Major Gifts Officer for the Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT). Prior to that, she was with the University of New England as part of the Institutional Advancement Team, and a member of UNE’s Carbon Monitoring Task Force. Nicole joined the University in 2005 when she moved to Maine from Maryland. There, she was the Executive Director of the Environment Fund for Maryland, and prior to that worked for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as Manager of their Port Isobel Island Education Center. Nicole is trained as a marine biologist and she lives in Falmouth with her husband, John, and together they own and operate Adventurous Joe Coffee, a unique outdoor lifestyle specialty coffee company.  In the summer, John and Nicole can often be found kayaking Maine’s coast or rafting inland rivers together. Nicole is also an avid telemark and skate skier.

Nancy Egan

Nancy retired from her private medical practice in 2017, and looks forward to more time on both land and sea. She loves to hike, ski and forage for wild mushrooms when not kayaking or sailing in the waters around Harpswell and downeast.  She believes getting outdoors is restorative for all of us, and setting oneself physical challenges adds satisfaction. She has been active on the American Cancer Society board as well as the board of a local theater. Home is in Harpswell with her husband, who has been helping the younger of her two sons pursue oyster aquaculture there.

Mark Fasold (Treasurer)

Mark is Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer & Treasurer at L.L. Bean, Inc. He first worked for L.L. Bean from 1977-1991 and returned in 2001. Mark is a former trustee of the Maine Audubon Society. Other former Board service includes North Yarmouth Academy, the Raymond School Board, and the United Way of Greater Portland. Mark loves the outdoors and counts fishing, biking, boating, kayaking, skiing, tennis and golf among his favorite activities. He lives in Yarmouth with his wife, Pattie. They have three adult children and two grandchildren. One of their children has been profoundly deaf since the age of 18 months, which led Mark and Pattie to found a non-profit organization in 1982, the Cued Speech Association of Maine.

Tom Franklin

Prior to joining MITA, Tom was a lawyer in the computer industry in Boston – but after 40 years he still couldn’t get the hang of it and retired to Portland. He was a Loaned Executive to United Way of Greater Portland in 2003 and then was appointed MITA’s Director of Marketing & Membership in 2004. He filled several roles at MITA, including Interim Executive Director in 2006-7 as a volunteer, and joined the Board in 2012. In Boston he was a volunteer at the Perkins School for the Blind, an Overseer of the Museum of Science and a Trustee of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the Computer Museum. He is an active biker (over 6000 miles so far this century) and cruiser (more than 15 Gulf Stream crossings) in the Caribbean and everywhere he can get to in Maine. He is married to Anna Ginn and shares with her homes in New York City and Portland, as well as five children and thirteen grandchildren.

Lindsay Hancock (Chair)

Lindsay is a development professional specializing in grantwriting and special fundraising events. A graduate of Colby College, Lindsay applied a degree in fine arts to her professional life as a practicing artist and thirty-seven years of development, marketing and directorship of many leading arts, cultural and educational institutions in Maine. She currently provides development services to the Bates Dance Festival and Museum of Art, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and Maine Performs!, among others. Additionally, she a trustee of the Spannocchia Foundation, a nonprofit organization supporting an organic farm operation in Italy and education and enrichment programming that promote dialogue about sustaining cultural landscapes for future generations. She lives in Gray, Maine with her husband Bill, former environmental centers director for Maine Audubon Society. An avid gardener, Lindsay still finds time during the growing seasons to cycle, kayak and hike and in winter, to ski on trails that begin and end at her back door.

Alicia Pulsifer Heyburn

Alicia is a Registered Maine Sea Kayak Guide and grew up around wooden boats, exploring the coves of Quahog Bay in Harpswell, ME. She runs CommunityWorks, a consultancy focused on building local connections for environmental benefit – whether between residents and local natural resources, towns via bike trails, or restoring rivers for migratory fish passage – which she did for the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Maine Rivers. She serves on MITA’s Governance and Trail Committees and participates in island stewardship activities. She also serves on the board of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust and is a Community Spoke for the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. Alicia is part owner of Raspberry Island.

Elizabeth Incze

Liz and her husband Lew divide their time between Cumberland, ME and Little Brother Island in Casco Bay. They spend as much time sailing as their busy lives allow. Liz is Senior Partner and Managing Director at Pathways for Impact, a consulting services firm specializing in professional coaching, facilitation, and organizational change & development. She is a past board member of Friends of Casco Bay and Safe Passage. Liz and Lew have two sons.

Cindy Knowles

Cindy lives in Cumberland, ME with her husband, Jon. They own East Coast Yacht Sales in Yarmouth, ME. She and her family have cruised the coast of Maine for over 30 years. They spent six months cruising in the Caribbean when their three children were in elementary school, have done extensive cruising in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and recently delivered a boat down the entire Intercoastal Waterway. She is on the Public Programs Committee at the Maine Maritime Museum.

Rob Nichols

Rob was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Economics. During the early 80’s he biked, hiked, and worked in New Zealand, Australia, and Southeast Asia before settling into a career as a computer network specialist for Columbia University, Banker’s Trust, and Digital Equipment. After earning his CFP in the mid 90’s, he ran a small financial planning business until 2004. A resident of Kittery Point since 2000, he has been an active volunteer with the Kittery Land Trust and the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative, helping to conserve over 1000 acres in Southern Maine. Rob can most often be found outdoors on the water or veggie gardening during the summer and telemark or cross-country skiing during the winter. His adventures have included mountain climbing in Nepal and Bolivia, summiting Denali, sailing from Hobart to Sydney, and backcountry skiing in Greenland and Iceland. While indoors, he enjoys sipping Italian red wine, making pasta, and strumming his ukulele.

John Noll

John began his tenure as the Director of the Submerged Lands Program (SLP) within the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry in October 2014. The SLP, now in its 37th year, seeks to compensate the public for the loss of their Public Trust Rights by issuing a lease or easement whenever an entity places a structure such as a dock, pier, float or submarine cable on or over publicly owned submerged lands. Lease fees are used to provide annual grants to municipalities and other state agencies for the purposes of harbor management and improving public access to Maine’s coastal waters and Great Ponds. He also oversees the State’s Sunken Log Salvage Program, Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Program and the Coastal Islands Registry. Prior to joining the Department, John was program manager at Eastern Maine Development Corporation and worked closely with local, state and federal officials on regional transportation, land use, tourism, economic development and conservation projects. John lives in Orland, is a part-time captain of a 21-passenger sightseeing boat and water taxi in the MDI area and, when time allows, enjoys running his own boat out of the Union River.

Melissa Paly (Secretary)

Melissa is active in all manner of outdoor activities from paddling and biking to sailing, skiing, hockey, and gardening. She was a member of MITA back in the late ’80s when she first started kayaking. Melissa is a Principal of CrossCurrent Communications, a Portsmouth-based PR, communications, and media production company that specializes in translating complex issues and information into compelling, integrated programs for businesses, non-profits, universities, and agencies. Melissa is past president of the Kittery Land Trust, current trustee of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and serves on the Alumni Council of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. She has a BA in Geology from Yale College and a Master of Forest Science from Yale Forestry. She lives in Kittery Point and has three terrific teenage kids and an awesome dog.

Lucas St. Clair

Lucas was born in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine and spent his childhood in a hand-built log cabin with few amenities and a focus on living in harmony with nature. After graduating college, Lucas immersed himself in outdoor wilderness adventures: hiking the Appalachian Trail, paddling the North Forest Canoe Trail, and fine-tuning his survival skills with the National Outdoor Leadership School in Patagonia. He then pursued an interest in organic and sustainable food, and graduated from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in London. After that he worked in the food and wine industry for ten years. Lucas is an avid fly fisherman, boater, and mountain climber. Lucas works full time for Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. to conserve the land in the North Maine Woods for future generations, and he serves on the board of the Quimby Family Foundation. He currently resides in Portland with his wife Yemaya and their  two young children.

Andrew Stern

Andrew was born in Boston, Massachusetts and spent summers enjoying the coastal waters of Cape Cod and Nantucket. After attending boarding school in Newport, RI, it was clear that he would need to spend his life on or near the water. Upon graduating from Hobart College with a B.S. in BioChemistry, Andrew took a position as a coach of the Bowdoin Sailing Team and moved to Portland, having never been there before. After several years in the marine industry, including 4 years working for North Sails, Andrew joined RBC Wealth Management as a Financial Advisor and is currently a candidate for the CFA. Andrew, his young daughter Caroline and dog Tank live in Falmouth and enjoy exploring and racing sailboats throughout the Maine coast.

Odette Thurston

Odette Thurston is Investment Manager at Cribstone Capital Management, based in Augusta, Maine. Cribstone specializes in family wealth management, retirement and estate planning and philanthropic advising, as well as consulting, governance and investment management for non profit organizations. Prior to joining Cribstone, Odette spent nearly ten years in non-profit development at several leading conservation organizations, including the Penobscot East Resource Center, Maine Audubon, and the National Wildlife Federation. Most of Odette’s professional life has been in investment research and portfolio management, including long stints at Morgan Stanley and J&W Seligman in New York City. Odette holds a BA in History from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and an MBA in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She lives in Falmouth and Bar Harbor with her husband Scott and three dogs and enjoys sailing and paddling the Maine coastline, among many other outdoor activities.