Susan Reid Russell (Board President)

susan-russell
Susan R. Russell’s career as an executive, consultant, and board member has been devoted to strengthening non-profit institutions in education, healthcare, the environment, human services and the arts. She has led teams to design new programs, increase fundraising, improve board governance and staff systems, better communications, invent marketing initiatives, and build community and customer support. Her involvements have ranged from national organizations with multi-million dollar budgets to start-ups. Russell now resides in mid-coast Maine, having previously lived in Nashville, TN, Washington, DC, and Buffalo, NY.

In Maine since 2003, Susan has served in leadership positions for a number of boards. She is the immediate past-president of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, past board chair of Kieve Wavus Education Inc., Treasurer of Friends of Historic Head Tide Church, and a former board member of Common Good Ventures and Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association. She is a member of the International Women’s Forum and the Junior League of Portland.

Russell majored in history and journalism at Syracuse University, where she graduated magna cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and received the Arents Award. She has done graduate work in history and healthcare management. Her major spare- time interests include fly-fishing, music and gardening. Susan is married to Professor Emeritus Clifford S. Russell and has a son, daughter in law, and two young grandsons.

Buck O’Herin (Vice President)

Buck O’Herin has been doing education and conservation work for more than 30 years. He has been with the Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance since 1999 as a board member and for six of those years was the land trust’s first executive director. He taught semester-long environmental field study programs with the National Audubon Society Expedition Institute and Sterling College, and environmental and outdoor recreation courses at Unity College. For 8 years he taught at The Community School in Camden, Maine a residential school for high school dropouts. Since 2013 he has served on the Strategic Planning Committee at the Ashwood Waldorf School in Rockport, Maine.

Buck has done extensive wilderness travel throughout North America both leading groups and organizing personal trips from Alaska’s National Wildlife Refuge to Mexico’s Copper Canyon. He founded and ran Earth Treks for ten years, a guiding business offering backpacking and canoeing trips in the U.S. and Canada. He is a founding participant of the Waldo County Trails Coalition that is working to build a 45- mile recreational footpath from Belfast to Unity. He has a M.S. in Environmental Education. He lives in Montville with his partner Lisa.

Hugh Riddleberger (Treasurer)

Hugh Riddleberger lives on Damariscotta Lake in Nobleboro with his wife, Louise McIlhenny. Along with his three grown children, they have a 35 year association with and love for the lake and for Maine.

Hugh is a former school Headmaster in Washington DC and is a career educator. He founded LearnServe International in Washington DC in 2003 and Maine Music Outreach in Maine in 2012. He serves on a number of not for profit Boards including Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, Maine. When not involved in his volunteer work he enjoys gardening, the out-of-doors and playing grandfather to his three grandchildren.

Joanne Steneck  (Secretary)

Joanne graduated from the University of Maine School of Law in 1987 and spent her legal career with the state regulatory agency, the Maine Public Utilities Commission. She was an attorney with the Commission until 1997 when she became General Counsel. As such, she supervised the legal division and was a member of the senior staff advising the three member commission on gas, electric and telecommunications matters. She oversaw the connection to the internet of Maine’s schools and libraries and was the manager of the first in the nation project providing laptops to all Maine seventh and eighth graders. She retired from the Commission in October 2014. Joanne has lived in Whitefield, Maine along the Sheepscot River since 1981 with her husband Robert, a professor of marine science at the University of Maine. She was a board member of the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association since 2008 and served as the Chair of their Lands Committee.

Carole Cifrino

Carole is an Environmental Specialist working on sustainable materials management at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. She specializes in working with product manufacturers to implement new recycling programs to prevent the release of toxics to the environment, and to reclaim valuable materials and reduce energy consumption in production. Carole currently serves on the Boards of the National Center for Electronics Recycling, the Electronics Recycling Coordination Clearinghouse, and the Maine Resource Recovery Association. She lives in Whitefield, where she previously served on the local School Committee and currently on the recycling committee. Carole holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Connecticut, and a M.S. in Adult Education from the University of Southern Maine. She volunteers often at Hidden Valley Nature Center events and works with the HVNC Education & Events Committee.

Chuck Dinsmore

Born and raised in Maine where he learned early on to love and value wild places, Chuck graduated from Bowdoin College (A.B., biology) and Brown University (Ph.D., biological sciences). He began his career as a college professor in Boston (1974-76), then accepted position on the faculty of Rush University at Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke’s Medical Center, Chicago, rising to the rank of full professor in the College of Medicine and the Graduate College, and spent two years as a visiting scholar at the University of Chicago. His laboratory research focused on animal regeneration, while he also wrote on its historical foundations.

Chuck returned to Maine in 2000 where he taught high school biology at Lincoln Academy for eight years and at the same time began volunteering on projects with the Pemaquid Watershed Association. Upon the founding of Hidden Valley Nature Center (HVNC) in 2009, he started participating on many of its projects and engaging in its further development, joining its Board in 2013 and becoming its president in 2015.

During that time Chuck also completed the Maine Master Naturalist Program and regularly shares his enthusiasm for the outdoors by leading educational tours on the trails and waters of HVNC. He and his wife, Megan, have two grown children and two grandchildren, and reside in Damariscotta.

Louana Himel Frois

Louana is a graduate of Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA. (B.A.) and Loyola University School of Law, New Orleans, LA (L.L.M.) She practiced defense litigation and for several years and donated her legal services to the New Orleans Pro Bono Project providing civil, domestic legal services to an indigent clientele. She also provided pro bono legal advice to Senior Citizen groups addressing issues of elderly abuse, housing, estate planning, medical power of attorney, Medicare, Medicaid and disability benefits.

She was a Director on the New Orleans Pro Bono Project Board, was one of the first recipients of the Loyola Law School Gillis Long Public Service Award and also received a Thousand Points of Light Certificate from President George H. W. Bush recognizing her contributions to public service.

She was a Director on The Women’s Home Board of Directors in Houston, Texas. The Women’s Home was established in 1957 and built around a mission to help women in crisis regain their self-esteem and dignity empowering them to return to society as productive individuals. The organization’s programs target individuals who are homeless or vulnerable to homelessness – many have histories of addiction, mental illness and incarceration.

She was a Director on the Board of The Women’s Fund for Health Education and Resiliency, Houston, Texas whose mission is to provide Houston-area women and girls with the tools they need to be advocates for their health. She was the 2011 Chair of Long Range Planning Committee.

She is presently a board member of The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM) at University of Texas Health, established 1995 in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. The IMM is focused on studying and preventing diseases at the genetic, cellular and molecular levels using DNA and protein technologies and animal models. The IMM is part of the Texas Therapeutics Institute, a multi-institutional collaboration encouraging drug discovery.

She is also involved with many conservation groups in Maine, the former Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust and Westport Island Historical Cemetery.

Carolyn Gabbe

Carolyn Gabbe is an artist living and working in Nobleboro, Maine, where she and her husband have owned a home since 2000.  Carolyn spent more than 20 years working in non-profit organizations, private business and associations.  Her professional experience includes strategic planning, program development, financial management, fund raising, marketing, communications and research.

She began her business career after earning her Bachelor’s degree from George Washington University.  Following completion of a Master’s Degree in Performing Arts Management from The American University, Ms. Gabbe turned her focus to the non-profit sector and the arts. In Washington, she was Director of Development for the National Cultural Alliance, a coalition of 52 national service organizations in the arts and humanities.

In 2015 she became a full time Maine resident after completing the four-year professional painting program at Nelson and Leona Shanks’ Studio Incamminati in Philadelphia.  Her work has been shown at galleries in Philadelphia & Bucks County, PA, New Jersey, Maine and New Mexico.

Mary Kate Reny

Mary Kate Reny is respected as an active civic leader, with comprehensive expertise in both the private and non-profit sectors. A strong believer in the power of collaboration and partnerships, she has chaired the Twin Villages Alliance since 2009. Among her many professional and public service affiliations are the Retail Association of Maine, Skidompha Library, Maine Downtown Center and Topsham Development Inc. Deeply involved in the operation of R.H. Reny, Inc., Mary Kate is as at ease behind the Waltz soda fountain as she is at the board table, or leading a large property management team for the company.

She has a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara in Geography and Environmental Studies, and a M.A. in Planning and Community Development from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Maine. Before joining Renys’ management group she was a statewide GIS/Environmental Consultant and an Environmental Specialist.

Martin Welt

Marty holds a BS in Math from the University of Vermont and an MS in Computer science from Purdue University. For 35 years he worked at Bell Laboratories in the design and development of large scale voice and video business communications systems. These systems supported many Fortune 500 companies. Marty retired from his position as Bell Labs Fellow and Director of Research and Development in 2000. One of Marty’s many volunteer activities in retirement is with the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse where he is president of the group, Friends of Pemaquid Point Lighthouse. Marty also serves on the board of the American Lighthouse Foundation, based in Owls Head, Maine. He has been on the board of the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association (DLW2A) since 2002. Marty served as president of DLWA for 3 years. He and his wife Betty live on Darmariscotta Lake in Nobleboro.