Susan is a born and raised Mainer, spending the vast majority of her time playing and working in the Northwoods as a guide, manager and recreational business owner with her partner Mark and raising their son on the West Branch of the Penobscot river. In 2013 she moved over to the East branch of the Penobscot and became a recreation manager for Elliotsville Foundation Inc , working on their conserved lands located primarily in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties on recreational planning , infrastructure development and maintenance , and outreach . Starting in 2016 EFI became a partner organization with the National Park Service and the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters organization , following the designation of lands generously donated by EFI and the Quimby family to create the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument . Susan currently holds positions as co-president of the Katahdin Tourism Partnership Board of directors, a regional organization dedicated to creating vibrant communities and economic growth through promotion of local tourism , and visitor experiences along the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Scenic By Way . She also participates in a local organization working towards more non-motorized trails , Patten Area Outdoors. She contributes to advisory boards on recreation and tourism for both Washington County community college and Katahdin Region Higher Education Center. She is very dedicated to the health and well being of all Maine water resources with a focus on the Penobscot watershed and has most recently become President of Maine Lakes . She currently resides in Patten Maine with her husband Mark and gets out on the trails, mountain biking, hiking , skiing and paddling , taking others along whenever she can.
Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, Akeem has been obsessed with bikes his whole life, but never got the chance to explore mountain biking until after graduating from college. He now works as a bike mechanic at Sidecountry Sports in Rockland, and volunteers as a trail builder with John Anders, of Sidecountry Trails. Before moving to Maine, Akeem built and maintained Trash Wheels in Baltimore. He also has experience as a legislative intern with Citizens Climate Lobby in D.C., and as an economic consultant to the town of Cambridge Springs, PA. Akeem hopes to use his past experience working with nonprofits and local governments to form the partnerships necessary to create a world-class trail network in the Midcoast area. He is excited about the rate of growth that mountain biking has seen in the last couple years, and wants to continue that growth in Maine by building extensive trail networks for both recreation and transportation.
Digital Marketer &
Social Media Influencer
Liz has 7 years experience in social media marketing. From influencer coordination to content creation, social posts, and strategy to analytics and advertising, she’s always using her experienced eye and innovative brain to use social media as a tool for growing our client’s businesses. Liz has led the charge at iBec in making TikTok content creation and strategy an essential element of any media plan.
John was inspired to become involved in mountain bike advocacy working alongside volunteers at an IMBA trail care clinic over 15 years ago. Along the way, he’s seen how investments in trails has led to improving the environmental, physical, social, and overall economic health of communities. He previously served as the board president of the Midcoast Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association for 10 years and is still an active board member. He has worked with different municipalities, private landowners, and conservation organizations to gain access to trails for mountain biking, while coordinating volunteer support to develop and maintain a wide network of trails throughout neighboring communities. John also had the good fortune to have his volunteer experience working on trails lead him to a position with the Georges River Land Trust as their trails manager. During his time at the land trust, he worked with local volunteers to maintain the 60+ mile Georges Highland Path, and developed new trails throughout the Georges River Watershed. One of his notable projects included working with a variety of community partners to integrate mountain bike optimized trails in the Thomaston Town Forest. Another notable experience was a collaboration with the Midcoast School of Technology’s Outdoor Leadership program over the last four years. He’s helped to provide opportunities for students to engage in various trail projects, while providing hands on experience and exposure to different facets of employment in the trail building industry. John is currently a trail builder for Sidecountry Trails based in Rockland. Sidecountry Trails was born out of a conversation about how a local bike shop (Sidecountry Sports) could help increase support for the growth and stewardship of mountain biking trails. Since 2021, Sidecountry Trails has helped partners in various stages of mountain biking trail development in seven different communities. Sidecountry has also supported fundraising efforts, employed a seasonal youth trail crew, and has assisted in the establishment of mountain biking programs at two schools.
Chief Marketing Officer
Atlantic Sea Farms
Jesse has spent her career promoting food with integrity and activating the edible approach to healthy communities, economies, and environments. Before joining Atlantic Sea Farms in 2019, Jesse worked with mission driven food and beverage companies to tell their sustainability stories and educate consumers. Jesse, a native Midcoast Mainer, is deeply and proudly rooted in the Maine lobster industry.
Justin is an experienced marketer in just about every popular marketing medium of the day. Capable of ad creation, management, and reporting analysis, his toolkit makes him an invaluable resource to the iBec team.
Supervisor - Outdoor Recreation Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands
As Supervisor - Outdoor Recreation for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Doug manages three programs directly related to increasing and or improving the outdoor recreation landscape in Maine. He is the State Liaison Officer for the Land and Water Conservation Fund in Maine, and current president of the National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers. He serves as the State Trail Administrator for the Recreational Trails Program in Maine and provides programmatic oversight to the Maine Conservation Corps. Doug came to BPL after nearly five years as the Physical Activity Coordinator at the Maine Center for Disease Control. Prior to Maine CDC Doug served as recreation superintendent for the City of Auburn and was the first executive director for the Maine Recreation and Parks Association. He earned a B.S. in Recreation & Parks from The Pennsylvania State University and lives with his wife Jodi in their North Monmouth empty nest.
Professor, School of Economics
University of Maine
Kathleen, a member of the University of Maine faculty since 2001, conducts economics research to address environmental, economic development, and public health problems. Many of her active research projects focus on the resilience and well-being of rural communities and explore the connections between outdoor recreation, natural amenities, and economic development. Kathleen relishes working with researchers from other disciplines and with colleagues from the private and public sectors. She uses her economics expertise, interdisciplinary research experience, connections to stakeholders, and leadership skills to produce actionable science. As the leader of several large interdisciplinary research initiatives, Kathleen has made substantial contributions to UMaine's research and interdisciplinary training programs. Committed to workforce development, she shares her passion for data, problem-solving, creativity, storytelling, and evidence-based solutions with students. Kathleen enjoys living near UMaine and on Maine’s coast with her partner Robert. She is an avid runner, bicyclist, and reader, and enjoys long-distance ice-skating and cross-country skiing.
Maine Street Skowhegan
As executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, Kristina Cannon is the central coordinator of the organization’s strategic projects. She spends much of her time managing and fundraising for the future Skowhegan River Park, a community development initiative to enhance access to the Kennebec, redevelop the downtown riverfront, and enhance whitewater paddling and surfing opportunities in Skowhegan’s river gorge. Kristina also oversees several projects focused on strengthening Skowhegan’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the new Skowhegan Center for Entrepreneurship, and she manages the Skowhegan Outdoors AmeriCorps Program, which provides free outdoor recreation activities and gear for local youth and community members. Kristina was a 2019 Mainebiz Next List honoree, recognizing dynamic individuals who are changing Maine's economy and making a significant impact in their industry and the 2020 recipient of the Mid-Maine Chamber’s Outstanding Professional Award. Under her leadership, MSS was awarded, by the Maine Office of Tourism, the 2019 Governor’s Conference on Tourism Award for Marketing & Promotion for the organization’s work to promote the town and region during the 2018 Skowhegan Moose Festival. Kristina has 15 years of experience in the marketing communications field, having worked at a Boston advertising agency and in higher education communications before taking the helm at Main Street Skowhegan in 2015. Kristina graduated magna cum laude from Emerson College with a bachelor’s in integrated marketing communications and earned a master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University. A native Mainer and Carrabec High School graduate, Kristina grew up on Williams Farm in North Anson and currently lives just a mile from her childhood home with her husband, John, two dogs, and two cats. She loves to travel and relishes adventures in the Maine woods while whitewater standup paddle boarding, mountain biking, skiing, backpacking, and fishing.
Founder and CEO
Ali Carr is the founder and CEO of Basecamp Outdoor, a 40,000-strong community that has become the epicenter for hiring across the outdoor industry. She founded Basecamp after a 6-year stint as a travel and gear editor at Outside magazine by bringing together her personal Rolodex of industry contacts and asking everyone to bring in theirs. The goal? To change the industry’s exclusive paradigm by bringing together both industry veterans and industry-curious alike to better leverage each others networks…and get hired. It worked! She and her co-founder, Jenna Celmer, have built a space that prioritizes inclusivity and pushes companies, organizations and job-seekers to show up as humans, unapologetically. The community grows by 1,200 members per month. Ali’s most recent positions share one thing: a mission that she finds meaningful. Until mid-2022, Ali was a content strategist at Rivian, the electric adventure vehicle maker, working to keep the world adventurous for our kids’ kids’ kids. Before that, she worked within Nike’s start-up lab, Valiant Labs, where she was the Head of Content & Community, working on a project that advocated for and honored women’s realities in pregnancy and postpartum. She is an award-winning writer and editor with 15+ years experience and has published in The New York Times, Men’s Journal, Gear Patrol, Sunset magazine and more. In 2018, the feature story she wrote about her dad’s disappearance at sea in Outside won a gold medal from the Society of American Travel Writers. Ali is a firm believer that our inner genius (and learning to listen to it) can help create a fulfilling career path and life. She’s also a firm believer in lunchtime runs, office dogs and advocating to get young girls outside, including her three daughters.
Chief Community Officer
Jenna is the co-founder & Chief Community Officer for Basecamp Outdoor, a community & career hub where she gets to connect with and collect trends from the workforce behind the outdoor industry - from CEOs to journalists, creatives, & athletes. Jenna is driven by increasing access to opportunity and capital, especially for communities victimized by systemic oppression. Jenna is also VP of strategy and growth for Sekr, an app to help people find campsites & outdoorsy community founded by a queer woman of color. Jenna came to the outdoor industry via The US Olympic Committee (Team USA) where she was a Scientific Communicator helping heads of sport from leagues like MLB and the NFL understand why they should care about scientific advances in anti-doping. Before that Jenna worked at an aerospace & tech startup launching an accelerator with the US Air Force Academy to help make entrepreneurs more competitive for government contracts. The small team launched top secret spaces to perform work, (SCIF), set up a membership organization, and created a funnel for transitioning military veterans to find work with civilian organizations that needed their skills and clearance. Jenna is from Canada, lived in Europe most of her 20s after eloping in Spain, and just relocated to DC after 10 years in Colorado. She hates it. Jenna's creative act is making videos only she finds funny. She does pure barre 7x/week and is a former power-lifter. She is childless by choice, a fierce advocate of therapy, and keeps 43 plants alive. She's obsessed with her cats & dog and she is a nice person.
Manager of Accessibility
Museum of Fine Arts in Boston
Jessica Doonan received her Bachelors in Theater and American Sign Language from Northeastern University. Over the last decade she worked professionally in disability access, first at National Braille Press as the Executive Assistant to the President and then for seven years at the City of Boston Mayor's Commission for Persons with Disabilities, most recently as the Chief of Staff. During her time at the City of Boston, she graduated from UMass Boston with a Masters in Global Inclusion and Social Development with a concentration on International Disability Policy. Now Jessica is the Manager of Accessibility at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, responsible for ensuring accessibility across all areas of the museum. Through her work at the museum, Jessica recently was given the opportunity to work with the Appalachian Mountain Club and has enjoyed working with them to bring more access to the woods of Maine and the night sky.
Friends of Fort Gorges
Paul is the Executive Director of the Maine-based nonprofit Friends of Fort Gorges and he also serves as chair of the Westbrook Recreation & Conservation Commission and leadership teams of the Mountain Division Alliance and Maine Trails Coalition. As a lifelong community builder, Paul’s work began with Boys Scouts of America, transitioned into youth-based counseling and community work, and now culminates in his current passion - saving Fort Gorges for future generations. When Paul’s not hard at work he can be found enjoying Casco Bay, biking around southern Maine, cooking for friends and family, or volunteering.
Go Beyond the Fence
As a child born with Spina Bifida growing up in Patten, a small town in northern Maine, Enock had to learn to do things differently than others but with the use of adaptive equipment and help from friends and family, he has had a very full life. Having had the opportunity to experience a lot of things that people with two working legs may not even try, he now resides in Bethel Maine and is an avid skier, rock climber, and participates in many other sports. These sports include tennis, basketball, paragliding, and skydiving. Through an internship related to his studies in computer science, he was able to travel across the United States and visit some of our most cherished outdoor spaces including many national parks. He culminated his internship experience in California with a 5-day ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. It is because of all of these experiences that he has made it his life's mission to speak to anyone and everyone about never saying I can’t and instead always asking: How can I?
President and Chief Sustainability Officer
Sea Bags was founded in 2006 on the principles of being green in product and practice, being made in Maine, and acting as good stewards to our community and state. Sea Bags has employed over 200 people, many of whom Beth mentored and have gone on to run their own companies. Today, Sea Bags has 45 stores, a robust online business, and hundreds of wholesale accounts including Life Is Good & Ralph Lauren. As Sea Bags continues to grow, Beth remains focused on the core mission of the company: being sustainable in product and process, becoming a best-in-class employer, and keeping production local. Beth also serves on the boards for the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and serves as Board Chair for the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. She co-founded the Maine Textile Consortium, actively mentors start-ups, and has been named a Woman to Watch by Maine Biz.
Rachel is the Founder/Transformationalist at DEI Outdoors, a firm which deals directly with the outdoor industry to foster DEI in organizations. Her main objective is to transform the outdoor industry into a diverse, equitable, inclusive and accessible space. Rachel is committed to creating an industry where anyone can experience, thrive, and lead in the out of doors no matter their circumstances, and has a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities. She has served and inspired organizations in the creation of actionable systems aligned with creating diversity, equity, and inclusion in outdoor spaces. She is a frequent writer for industry publications like Adventure Park Insider and Ski Area Magazine, and has given talks on DEI & Social Justice on international platforms.Outside of her endeavor to bridge the gap between racial and ethnic diversity in the outdoors and social justice, Rachel can be found searching for magical creatures in the woods with her daughter and German Shepherd.
Director of External Communications
Amanda Hannah is the Director of Brand Engagement and External Communications for L.L.Bean. In her role, Amanda oversees Public Affairs, Issues Management, Media Relations, Social Media, Events, Partnerships and Charitable Giving. Amanda’s work at L.L.Bean has included establishing a strategic, proactive, media relations strategy, designing a data-led reputation management process and the articulation and integration of the brand’s purpose, both externally and internally. Prior to joining L.L.Bean, Amanda oversaw External Communications and Public Affairs for Chick-fil-A, Inc. where she was responsible for national media, issues management and new market growth, helping drive the brand’s expansion into New York City, Seattle, Boston and Toronto. Originally from Atlanta, GA, when not working, Amanda along with her husband, two sons and three dogs can be found exploring their new home state of Maine.
Founder & Director
She Summits Company
I’m an outdoor enthusiast who currently calls Old Town, Maine home. I’ve been in the outdoor industry for 18 years, starting as a salesperson on the retail floor, moving up to general manager of a small business, and now founder/owner. I have a BBA from Boise State University and am currently working on a MBA . I love spontaneous hiking adventures to new places and all things travel especially getting lost in a new country. I also have two little girls who keep me busy - they are currently plotting a way to add a mini cow to our family.
Head of Sustainability & Community Partnerships
Hostetter has worked in the outdoor industry for 25+ years. Currently the Head of Sustainability and Community Partnerships for Outside Interactive, she manages the company’s sustainability efforts and its nonprofit partnerships. In June 2022, Hostetter launched the Find Your Good platform which leverages Outside’s 80+ million audience members to drive awareness and funds to the work of the company’s 14 nonprofit partners, all dedicated to protecting the planet and increasing diverse participation in the outdoors. Prior to this role, Hostetter served as editor-in-chief of Outside Business Journal, an award-winning trade magazine and website. From 1994 through 2015, she traveled the globe as BACKPACKER magazine’s gear editor, developing the magazine’s rigorous gear testing program. She has appeared as a gear expert on NBC’s Today, CBS’s The Early Show, and The Martha Stewart Show, among others. Kristin is the author of four books: BACKPACKER’s Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair, Don’t Forget the Duct Tape, Adventure Journal, and Tent and Car Camper’s Handbook.
Equity & Community Organizer Nature Based Education Consortium
In 2022, Anthony joined the Nature Based Education Consortium in the role of Equity & Community Organizer. He began his work within communities by going back to his high school and forming a group with Black alumni and alumni of color, with whom he worked to give recommendations to the school on how to better serve BIPOC youth. This work continued through harm-reduction initiatives, housing and houseless support, and land and food access work with a local racial justice organization. Anthony’s ultimate goal is to help create a sense of belonging for all people with a focus on Black, Indigenous, and persons of color. He believes in the transformative power that developing a relationship with nature can have and wants to encourage those who lack this key relationship to form and deepen this connection. He is excited to be a part of the NBEC network to help further progress toward achieving accessible outdoor education for all of the youth in the state. Anthony finds the most joy through nature, his personal and communal relationships, and exploring different forms of artistic expression.
Maine Department of Economic and Community Development
Heather Johnson serves as Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, where she oversees several bureaus focused on helping Maine communities and businesses prosper through initiatives ranging from targeted tax relief to tourism marketing. Prior to her confirmation by the Maine Senate in 2019, Commissioner Johnson led efforts to expand broadband connectivity in Maine as Director of the ConnectMaine Authority. As Commissioner, Johnson draws on her 25 years of experience in the public and private sector, including a successful career in the private technology sector. She currently resides with her family in her hometown of Skowhegan.
International Mountain Bicycling Association
Steve grew up playing in the New England forests. He came to Trail Solutions with a civil engineering background focusing on stormwater management and stream restoration. He has lived and pedaled up and down the Appalachians. His passion for rocky trails and technical problem solving have made him a key team member in design development, master planning, project management, and construction implementation. Steve’s knowledge of low impact design, erosion and sediment control, and environmental permitting needs help ensure regulatory compliance and natural resource protection in a variety of trail projects. His deep understanding of trail visitors needs and goals leads to engaging and inspiring trail systems for everybody. Steve's experience in assisting communities on the east coast is diverse and varied. He has led the planning, design, and construction of several notable trail systems in over 15 states. In Maine he has worked with Outdoor Sports Institute (OSI) in the community of Millinocket for six years straight, overseeing the design and build of the newest trails at Hammond Ridge and in town. With OSI Steve has helped deliver numerous workshop and educational seminars, helping build sustainable trail capacity and knowledge in rural communities. Steve has provided landscape level trail planning on the 4,000-acre Bethel Community Forest, 10,000-acre Elliotsville Foundation property, and 18,000-acre Scopan Public Reserved Land. He believes Maine is in a unique and exciting position to become the leader in high-quality trails in New England and the east coast. From epic destinations to contemporary and accessible trails in all communities, Maine is poised to become the go-to place for hikers, trail runners, mountain bikers, and people who love to play outside close to home and Steve is excited to help make that dream a reality.
Maine Marine Trades Association
Stacey is the Executive Director of the Maine Marine Trades Association and has been primarily involved in the marine industry for nearly 30 years. She started as a charter boat cleaner after college and then worked at a boatyard/marina in the midcoast for over 12 years. Growing up in Vermont she started her passion for many outdoor activities and now spends as much time as possible seeking mini adventures mostly in northern, eastern, and coastal Maine. Some of her favorite activities include sailing kitewings on ice, mountain biking, camping, kayaking, bird watching, and nature photography. Her volunteer work includes her local Midcoast Maine NEMBA chapter and seabird conservation for the Audubon Project Puffin Seabird Institute.
Jenna Klein Jonsson
Jenna is a Partner with Blaze Partners, a B Corp Certified digital marketing and advertising firm in Yarmouth. A veteran of the outdoor industry, Jenna began her career as a reporter for Skiing Magazine and spent 15 years at L.L.Bean before co-founding Blaze. She is an experienced leader, brand strategist, multi-channel campaign developer and writer and loves working with mission-driven and outdoor/lifestyle brands of all shapes and sizes. She has successfully led high-profile, complex projects and has won numerous industry awards for catalogs, digital experiences and integrated advertising campaigns. Jenna’s love affair with the Maine outdoors began when she was a student (and ski racer) at Colby College. An avid outdoorsperson, road biker and skier, Jenna lives in Freeport with her husband, two children and two dogs.
Maine Outdoor Brands
Jenny took the helm of MOB in 2019, bringing over a decade of experience working with outdoor-focused non-profit organizations in government and public relations, strategy and organizing. Her work as executive director allows her to lead a powerful and expanding network of businesses united around a clear objective: to create a thriving local outdoor recreation economy. Prior to working at MOB, she served at The Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. and in Maine. There she directed advocacy campaigns and led coalitions to protect outdoor areas across the country and take meaningful action on climate change. She serves on the board of Maine GearShare and the Outdoor Industry Association’s Recreation Advisory Council. She takes the ferry to Portland from her home on Peaks Island in Casco Bay where she lives with her husband and son pursuing adventures both big and small.
Emily brings her background as an outdoor educator and Registered Maine Guide to her work at Maine GearShare, where she is passionate about the mission to connect more people to the outdoors and break down barriers to outdoor recreation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and an M.S.Ed in Early Childhood Education from UMaine Farmington, where she focused her research on the benefits of allowing young children to take risks. She grew up on Matinicus Island, a childhood which lended itself to community activism, a can-do attitude, and a love of boats, and now lives in Portland with her husband.
Mahoosuc Guide Service
Polly Mahoney was born and raised in Maine and is co owner and founder of her business Mahoosuc Guide Service started in 1990. Polly spent 10 years in her twenties living a semi subsistence lifestyle in the Yukon bush in northern Canada and came back to Maine to work as an instructor for the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School in Newry. Polly is a Master Maine guide and offers fully outfitted dog sledding and canoeing trips in Maine and northern Quebec.
Devin was born and raised in Portland, Maine, and is a graduate of Portland High School and The University of Maine. While in college Devin helped found Flowfold. What started as a company selling a single wallet made out of recycled sailcloth has grown into a mission driven brand offering bags, backpacks, totes, pouches, and dog gear made out of recycled material. At the heart of Flowfold is a tight-knit team of makers, problem solvers, and business innovators, each bringing expertise and commitment to our mission. Devin lives in Portland with his wife and three young boys.
Outdoor Industry Consultant
Ponch Membreño started his career in the outdoors as an outdoor educator and wilderness trip leader. He later applied those leadership experiences to work in business and management on the business side of the outdoor industry. He has been the Wilderness Trip director at Merrowvista, a Senior Manager at Toad&Co and recently teamed up with the founder of Intrinsic Provisions, an outdoor lifestyle shop that connects consumers to socially conscious and sustainable brands. Ponch moved to Maine in 1985 to attend Colby College and currently resides on Peaks Island, his “rooted place.” He is known as an innovative leader, strategic connector, and mentor. He is inspired by nonprofits and companies that can find success while doing good.
Director, Office of Outdoor Recreation
Maine Department of Economic & Community Development
In 2018 Carolann returned to the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development to serve as the first Director of the newly created Office of Outdoor Recreation. Her prior role at DECD was as Director of the Maine Office of Tourism from 2010-2016. A graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, she has a strong background in hospitality and outdoor recreation having been the Executive Director of Maine Huts & Trails, chef/owner of an award-winning Maine restaurant, former whitewater guide/operations manager at New England Outdoor Center, and lodging manager at Sugarloaf Resort. In 2015, she was named by Maine Magazine as one of “50 Mainers Boldly Leading Our State.” Carolann currently serves in board or advisory member capacity on the Maine Sports Commission, Maine Gear Share, Maine Trails Coalition, USM Muskie School of Public Service, UMaine Outdoor Leadership Program and Skowhegan Savings Bank. She is a ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, hike and paddle enthusiast, working on her fishing and hunting skills, and loves the exploration and discovery of adventure travel. The focus of the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation is to leverage Maine’s assets and outdoor recreation heritage to grow the outdoor recreation economy and build Maine’s outdoor recreation brand as part of a coordinated effort with partners from the public and private sectors. The Office joined the Confluence of States in October 2019.
Inland Woods + Trails
Gabe grew up in Bethel, ME. In 2011, Gabe started as a founding board member of Inland Woods + Trails and since 2014, has served as the Executive Director. In that time, he has led the organizations efforts to steward and develop 85 miles of trails at 21 locations in nine communities throughout Oxford County. Gabe holds a degree in Environmental Policy and Planning from the University of Maine at Farmington. He serves as co-coordinator of the Maine Trails Coalition, is a Senior Fellow in the Environmental Leadership Program, and an alumnus of the Community Practitioners Network. He can sometimes be found patiently renovating his grandparents’ old home on in Bethel with his wife, Jessie, dogs Champ, Mike, and cat, Indiana Jones.
Shred Electric and The Boat Yard
Nick is Co-Founder of Shred Electric and The Boat Yard, as well as Board Secretary of Sea Meadow Marine Foundation. He grew up in California and Maine, lived in NYC for 16 years, and worked in leadership capacities at renewable energy startups and utilities across the country and in international IT sales to humanitarian organizations. He has volunteered with Empower Generation, Amigos de las Americas, Engineers Without Borders, The Manna Energy Foundation, and several gun safety and DEI groups.
The NPD Group
•40+ years in the Retail industry •25+ years in the Sporting Goods industry •30+ Years as Sports industry analyst •Widely regarded by the sports industry as a Sporting Goods and Athletic shoe expert •27000+ LinkedIn connections. oOne of the top 1% most viewed @LinkedIn profiles. •Frequently makes presentations to senior executives of Athletic retailers and brands •Often quoted as industry expert in major business publications •Writes “Sneakernomics” Blog for NPD •Senior Sports Industry Advisor for NPD Group
Nick is a communications strategist focused on helping brands protect and enhance their reputations and respond to challenges that arise in the public policy arena and through the course of conducting business. He has counseled senior leaders in government, business and nonprofits at organizations such as Harvard Business School, MIT, Bank of America and Lloyd’s of London. Prior to founding Comsint, Nick worked as a Senior Vice President for corporate communications and issues management at Weber Shandwick, where he managed high-profile client assignments, including the Boston Athletic Association’s response to the marathon bombings and a corporate restructuring at one of the world’s leading life science brands. Nick has extensive public affairs experience and has served as an elected and appointed government official.
John D. O'Bryant School
Bridget Ryan is an accomplished educator with more than 15 years of experience engaging youth in urban education settings. She is a high school World History and Government teacher at the John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science in Roxbury. In addition, she serves as the varsity coach for both girls soccer and softball teams as the O’Bryant and has been recognized as Coach of the Year on multiple occasions. Bridget also works as Lead Teacher for Save the Harbor/Save the Bay’s summer youth programs. She brings her deep understanding of pedagogy in creating and implementing exceptional youth programming designed to increase young people’s understanding and appreciation of our natural resources. Bridget was born in Portland, Maine, and spends summer in Ogunquit.
Gerry Seavo James
Together Outdoors Lead
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
Gerry Seavo James is the Together Outdoors Lead at the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable, where he leads a cross-sector coalition of over 100 organizations, individuals, business leaders, federal agencies, activists, manufacturers and service providers who share a commitment to building an inclusive outdoor recreation community. Prior to ORR, Gerry founded Explore Kentucky, an outdoor-oriented social enterprise which works to expand outdoor accessibility, build environmental literacy, and improve quality of life for folks in Kentucky. He also works as a consultant on the EPA's Recreation Economy for Rural Communities program. Gerry earned a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications Area from Campbellsville University. He is also an Air Force veteran, social artist, and photojournalist. Since 2010, Gerry has adopted the Commonwealth of Kentucky as his home.
Vice President and COO
Driven by a commitment to make a positive impact, Rachel’s work with clients over the last 15 years spans the full spectrum of services offered by Camoin Associates. Rachel is energized by bringing the right people to the table, facilitating difficult conversations, and identifying the necessary steps that will advance the group toward a collective vision. Her passion for playing a role in creating resilient, vibrant, and livable communities is evident in the many successful, complex, multi-stakeholder projects she has led. With a unique perspective gained from her internal operations role, Rachel is exceptionally skilled at managing multiple interest groups and conflicting priorities with compassion, understanding, and always a little humor. Rachel holds a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from SUNY Albany and is certified by the American Planning Association.
President and Founder
Pale Morning Media
Drew Simmons is the president and founder of Pale Morning Media (2001), a public relations and strategic communications agency specializing in the outdoor world. He is also an advocate for the outdoor recreation economy, serving as the chair of the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance; a founding steering committee of the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative; and an occasional writer at www.wickedoutdoorsy.com. Born in California, raised in Colorado, and lucky enough to meet his future wife in Wyoming, Drew moved to Vermont in 2004 and lives in a renovated 1830s farmhouse in Waitsfield. He is an avid skier, mountain biker, and angler; a longtime youth lacrosse coach; and a casually competitive ultimate disc player and golfer.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC)
Rondi Stearns is Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) where she focuses on customer experience and growing revenue to support AMC's mission. Rondi has held a variety of positions including customer service, sales, and marketing since joining the organization in 2006. Prior to AMC, she was as a senior level manager in marketing and new product development for Bureau of National Affairs (Now Bloomberg BNA) and held a variety of positions in sales and marketing in the Washington, DC area. Rondi lives in Lovell, Maine where she enjoys hiking, biking, hanging out with family and restoring old stone walls.
Membership & Marketing Director
Maine Outdoor Brands
Having been involved with MOB since the beginning, Brian was hired full time in March of 2021. As a climber, paddler, skier, backpacker, adventure photographer and a nonprofit aficionado, Brian brings valuable experience to connecting and promoting brands. He sits on the advisory board for Baxter State Park and recently joined the board of Rippleffect in hopes of ensuring wild places stay wild and anyone and everyone can access the outdoors. Brian lives in Portland with his wife and stepson and can often be seen frequenting the Fore River Sanctuary in his backyard.
Outdoor Recreation Planner
Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry - Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL)
Rex Turner works as an Outdoor Recreation Planner for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry - Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL). His role at BPL involves planning and recreation management at various scales. In addition to coordinating State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plans, he works with Bureau staff on recreation policy and management. As a resource specialist, he helps plan and manage outdoor recreation resources for the Bureau – most notably human-powered and backcountry resources on Maine Public Lands. Rex also serves as a liaison with partner groups such as the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Appalachian Mountain Club, various trail groups, the Northern Forest Canoe Trail, and the Maine Island Trail Association. Rex has an MS degree in Forestry from the University of Maine and a BS in Recreation and Parks Management- also from the University of Maine. He is a board member of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.
Tree Free Fire
Dylan Veilleux is the founder of Tree Free Fire, a manufacturer of outdoor goods, including portable campfires and campfire kits. Based in Waterville, Maine, Tree Free Fire sells products to hundreds of stores throughout the country, including Bespoke Post, Huckberry, REI, and Stonewall Kitchen. Dylan graduated from Thomas College in 2020 with a B.A. in Entrepreneurship, and he earned his MBA from Thomas College in 2021.
Jessica Wahl Turner
Outdoor Recreation Roundtable
Jessica (Wahl) Turner is the first President of the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), America’s leading coalition of outdoor recreation trade associations and organizations. Under her leadership, ORR has connected all segments of the outdoor recreation economy to pass historical legislation like the Great American Outdoors Act and achieve millions of dollars in funding for public lands, waters and rural gateway communities. Jessica has over a decade of experience navigating the halls of The White House, Department of the Interior (DOI), Capitol Hill, state recreation offices and outdoor lifestyle businesses. Prior to ORR, she directed Outdoor Industry Association’s (OIA) outdoor recreation portfolio in Washington D.C. where she successfully gained landmark government recognition of outdoor recreation’s contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product as one of America’s leading industry sectors. Jessica began her career at the Department of the Interior where she managed external relations for the Secretary, as well as First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Outside and Let’s Move! in Indian Country initiatives. Jessica is also the co-founder and past-chair of the Coalition for Outdoor Access, serves on the Board of the American Conservation Coalition, Advisory Council of Oregon State University’s Outdoor Economy Program, on NOAA’s Business Advisory Council and has been recognized for her leadership in D.C. and the outdoor industry with Outdoors’s 30 Under 30 and the Hill’s Top Lobbyist. Jessica has a Master of Arts and bachelor's degree in American Government from Georgetown University and is a passionate outdoorswoman.
Maine Brand Strategist
Appalachian Mountain Club
Jenny is the Maine Brand Strategist for the Appalachian Mountain Club. A graduate of the University of Maine and Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, she was instrumental in the successful launch of AMC’s Medawisla Lodge & Cabins and led the effort to designate AMC’s Maine Woods as an International Dark Sky Park. She serves on the boards of Destination Moosehead Lake, Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corp, Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, Greenville Planning Board, Maine Trails Coalition and is a Piscataquis County Advisor for the Maine Community Foundation. Her numerous volunteer efforts are centered around her love of the people and landscape of the Moosehead region. She is a Registered Maine Guide and in her free time she loves to hike, trail run, cross country ski, and stand under the stars and look up.
Digital Project Manager
Ross brings marketing experience from both an agency and in-house perspective. At iBec, he serves as an overall guide for a diverse range of projects from start to finish.
Live + Work in Maine
As Executive Director for Live and Work in Maine, Nate is focused on raising awareness about the career opportunities and world-class quality of life experienced by those of us who live and work in Maine. A University of Maine graduate who followed employment to the mid-west only to come 'Boomeranging' to the Way Life Should Be, Nate knows first-hand how under-appreciated life in Maine is – and how much opportunity there is for our future. Nate is also co-founder of Flight Deck Brewing on Brunswick Landing (the re-developed Brunswick Naval Air Station).
Engagement & External Communications
The outdoors was ingrained into Gabe DiGristina’s life at a young age. He grew up the Fingerlakes region of Central NY spending his childhood hunting, hiking, camping, gardening, skiing and mountain biking. Time outdoors has always been what centers him. Gabe spent 16 years working in the experiential and partnership marketing spaces on the agency side of the marketing world. L.L.Bean was a client of his for eight of those years where upon he oversaw the development and execution of more than 50 different L.L.Bean experiential, college marketing and retail marketing campaigns. He joined the L.L.Bean Brand Engagement + External Communications team in 2021 to help guide and execute L.L.Bean’s experiential and community engagement efforts.
Senior Program Director
Northern Forest Center
Mike is a founding staff member of the Center, with more than 20 years’ experience in rural community development, engagement, and conservation work across the Northern Forest region. He was instrumental in leading the Center’s foundational regional programming – serving as principal researcher and author of the Northern Forest Wealth Index and leading development of Ways of the Woods: People and the Land in the Northern Forest, a mobile forest heritage museum funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2014, he coordinated the Thoreau-Wabanaki 150th Anniversary Tour – a 325-mile canoe expedition celebrating the 150th Anniversary of publication of Henry David Thoreau’s The Maine Woods. Mike leads the Center’s rural Destination Development Initiative including development and replication of the Community Destination Academy and related business and community assistance programs. Since 2015 he has led multi-sector efforts to advance community revitalization in the western Maine [link to Projects Near You >Maine > Western Maine] region through program development and investment in broadband access and adoption, educational attainment and aspirations, and active communities. Mike holds a B.A. in Journalism from James Madison University and a master’s in Natural Resource Management and Administration from Antioch University. Mike lives in South Portland, Maine, with his wife Carolyn and his kids Tom and Yenenesh. He is an avid canoeist and is slowly building little cabin of hand cut, peeled, and hauled logs on a piece of land in western Maine.
Portland Gear Hub
Ainsley is the Director at the Portland Gear Hub, a nonprofit outdoor gear and bike shop, powered by Ketcha Outdoors. She helped start the Gear Hub in 2014 with the mission to repair and recycle used gear and increase equitable access to the outdoors. She has worked in the bike and outdoor industry for 15 years, and prior to Portland fell in love with biking and positive bike culture in Minneapolis. You can find her at the Gear Hub or riding the Portland trails with her 2 dogs and husband.