Board Bios

Matthew Hanly

Matthew Hanly, President

In 1930, Matthew’s Grandfather Hanly built one of the first camps on Biscay Pond, beginning an intergenerational family love affair with life on Biscay. Born and raised in South Portland, Matthew spent summers at his family’s camp. He purchased his own camp in 1995, eventually renovating it to become a year-round home on the edge of the Pond and fulfilling his lifelong dream when he moved there permanently in 2009.

Matthew is a 1979 graduate of Bowdoin College and in 1983, he received his Master’s Degree in Counseling and Consulting Psychology from the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. Following this, Matthew spent 30 years in Independent Schools in New Jersey, Michigan and Oregon, including 15 years as Head of School at University Liggett School in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. As Head of School, he focused his energies on effective governance, fundraising and strategic planning. In addition to serving as a board member for the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education, he served as President of the Association of Independent Michigan Schools, and held volunteer leadership roles within the regional (ISACS) and the National Association of Independent Schools.

Upon his return to Maine in 2009, and after working for L.L. Bean, Matthew became a full time volunteer. He currently serves as chair of the Bremen School Committee and the AOS93 School Board, served as a founding member of the Bremen Broadband Committee, and worked with the Lincoln County Sheriff to establish a Citizen’s Advisory Committee, among other roles. Until recently, Matthew also wrote a regular column for the Lincoln County News, “On the Pond.”

Matthew is married to Gregory Hardison and has two children and three grandchildren who represent fourth and fifth generation Biscay Ponders.  It is important to Matthew that Biscay Pond and the entire region be environmentally protected so that others may enjoy the peace and beauty his family has enjoyed since first settling in the region in the late 1700s.

Gordon Morrell

Gordon Morrell, Vice President

Gordon joined our Board in 2021, exactly 30 years after he and Sheila purchased their home on Seal Cove in South Bristol. But their roots in Maine go deeper. As a child, Sheila visited her grandparents’ property on North Haven Island so she always has had a sense of the area’s beauty. After Gordon graduated with a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California in 1976, they moved first to Kennebunk and later to Cape Elizabeth where he taught at Nasson College and then the University of Southern Maine in Gorham.

Gordon retired in 2021 after 31 years as Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of a software company, which during that time grew from 25 to 7,500 employees. He continues to advise Executive Officers of nonprofit organizations and chairs the board of KCLU, a public radio station. Sheila and Gordon divide their time between Maine and California, where they can be 2700 miles closer to their two daughters and their partners, and four grandchildren.

Lee Schiller

Lee Schiller, Treasurer

Lee grew up in White Plains, NY, and started coming to South Bristol in the late 1940s on family summer vacations. He remembers exploring the abandoned house on Witch Island in the 1950s, well before the island was donated to the Maine Audubon Society (and then to the DRA). He and his wife, Linda, continued this tradition of South Bristol summer vacations with their own children.

Lee has a BA degree in economics and an MS in engineering from Brown University, and an MS in computer science from Carnegie-Mellon.  He worked in the computer industry for over 40 years in Massachusetts and North Carolina, finishing his career as a Director of Software Engineering at EMC. Approaching retirement, in 2010 he and Linda moved from Acton, MA, to their new home in South Bristol on the western shore of Johns Bay, so that they could enjoy the natural beauty of this area year-round.

While a member of the DRA since the 1990s, Lee did not have time for volunteer work until retirement in 2012 – initially trail taming, but later adding preserve stewardship, conservation easement monitoring, and clearing blow-downs. He joined the Finance Committee in 2021.

In addition to his volunteer work, Lee enjoys travel, sailing during the outdoor months, tennis at the Y during the indoor months, and just being outside on a nice day, regardless of the season. He is also a member of the South Bristol Fire Department and an EMS First Responder.

Trustee Kelsey Gibbs

Kelsey Gibbs, Secretary

Kelsey Gibbs loves nothing more than to walk in the woods. After many years visiting her grandparent’s camp on Kimball Pond in Vienna, Maine, Kelsey made our great state her permanent home after she attended Colby College in Waterville. She received her BA from Colby in Cultural Anthropology and Art.

She and her husband, Matt, own and operate Wanderwood, an organic farm and sustainable event venue, located on Pemaquid Pond in Nobleboro. They were delighted to find a vibrant, environmentally-aware community when they arrived in the mid-coast, and they are excited to share these practices and ideals with their guests.

Kelsey’s professional life has been in communications and marketing; she worked for L.L. Bean as an Inventory Buyer, the Farnsworth Art Museum as an Arts in Education Assistant, and most recently as Skidompha Library’s Communications Director. She now wears a variety of (sun)hats at Wanderwood including: event coordinator, graphic designer, candid photographer, construction worker, and farmer. She and Matt enjoy time at the beach, keeping honeybees, floating in the lake, and hanging with their two very fluffy farm cats.

Josh Allan

Josh Allan

Josh was born and raised in the Pemaquid area. He currently lives on the Damariscotta River and spends his summers in South Bristol. After graduating from Lincoln Academy, he went to Maine Maritime Academy where he received a BS and a USCG 3rd Mate Unlimited Tonnage License. After shipping for a couple years, Josh and his family moved to Newcastle, where he has worked since 2007 for his family’s business in Edgecomb, which specializes in metal fabrication.

Josh grew up fishing from a young age on the local rivers, ponds, lakes and sea. His love of fishing has grown and continued to his adulthood. Any spare time that he has is spent boating in the Damariscotta River and all along the coast.

Jen AtkinsonJennifer Atkinson

A midcoast resident for 30 years, Jennifer moved to Damariscotta with her family in 2017. As an Attorney with Gallagher, Villeneuve and DeGeer, she specializes in Immigration matters, but also provides legal representation in Estate Planning, Corporations, and Family Law.

Jennifer began her career with the Conservation Law Foundation, and for over twenty years worked on ocean and coastal conservation issues at CLF and then later at the Quebec-Labrador Foundation. In both positions, she enjoyed the opportunity to partner with area land trusts, including, at the time, both Damariscotta River Association and Pemaquid Watershed Association.

Malcolm Foster

Malcolm Foster

Malcolm has owned a seasonal log cabin on Biscay Pond for over sixty years. Almost ten years ago he bought a permanent home on Days Cove in Damariscotta. Between these properties he feels a passionate connection to the water of our beloved Pemaquid peninsula. When not tending the in-town garden at Days Cove, he can usually be found fishing on Biscay Pond or chasing stripers down the Damariscotta River.

Malcolm comes to Coastal Rivers with an extensive financial background. He was the Branch Manager of the Annapolis, Maryland office of A.G.Edwards & Sons for over 10 years. He finished his 35-year career with Wells Fargo Financial Advisors. In that time, he was advisor to many non-profit organizations.

Malcolm holds an A.B. From Colby College and a master’s degree from Wesleyan University. He has a wife, Les; four children; and two grandsons.

Carol Lariviere

Carol Lariviere

Carol and her husband, Rick, moved to Round Pond in 1986 where they raised their two sons. As a teacher and administrator here in Maine and throughout New England, she interwove the natural environment into her curriculum whenever possible, bringing an awareness of nature and the environment to her students.

Having retired from the classroom in 2017, Carol currently volunteers at the Skidompha Used Book Shop and on Hurricane Island, trims trails for Coastal Rivers, and traipses through the wilderness of the midcoast with her husband, Rick, and dog, Che. Her “beater” kayak takes her to islands on the Maine Island Trail, and in winter she is a xc skier.

Kathy Leeman

Kathy Leeman

Kathy’s roots are in Marblehead MA, where she grew up with a love of the ocean and a passion for racing sailboats. She went on to get her BA degree from Brown University, teach middle school science for 12 years, and then study landscape design at Radcliffe College. In 1990 she moved to Round Pond and married her fisherman husband, Wallace Leeman. Together they ran a charter business with their 36’ lobster boat focused on ecological tours, hauling lobster pots, hiking islands, and viewing sea birds.

More recently, Kathy has donned the cap of a real estate agent associated with Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty. As she witnesses the rapid growth in the area brought on by an insurgence of buyers from away, she is more committed than ever to the preservation of valuable local lands. First working with the Pemaquid Watershed Association, she has served on the lands committee for Coastal Rivers for the past few years. On her time off she can most often be found out in the fields and woods training and hiking with her two golden retrievers!

Dennis McKenna

Dennis McKenna

On retiring from the US Navy after a twenty-year career, Dennis and his family departed Coronado, California for his native Massachusetts where he enrolled at UMass, Amherst. After completing a BS in Political Science and an MPH in Health Care Administration, he began a twenty-five-year career as a Nursing Home Administrator.

Civilian retirement found Dennis and his wife, Kathleen, looking for a house by the sea, drawn to Damariscotta. The positive feeling for the area was acquired through yearly trips to Monhegan Island and the midcoast, thus convincing them that this was to be home. Almost from the beginning of Dennis’s tenure here, he volunteered at DRA, now Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, manning the front desk.

While living in Amherst, Dennis’ life-long love of bird watching led to a position as President of the Hampshire Bird Club and as a member of the Hitchcock Center for the Environment Board. He currently serves as Field Trip Chair for the Mid-Coast Audubon and is the Compiler of the Pemaquid area Christmas Bird Count.

Rod Melanson

Rod Melanson

Rod Melanson has a long history with natural resource planning and management. He currently serves as the City of Bath’s Director of Sustainability & Environment, where he assists the community in developing plans and actions to prepare for a changing climate.

Prior to his role in Bath, Rod was the Director of Planning for the Town of Topsham, where he started his municipal planning career as their Natural Resource Planner. In that role, he developed plans to mitigate the impacts of sprawling development, most notably helping to create the state’s only municipal Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) to ensure vernal pool conservation.

With his cousin, Rod operates Heron Island Oysters, a small oyster farm on the Damariscotta River. Rod lives in Newcastle with his wife Danielle Young whom he met while leading sea kayak trips for the Chewonki Foundation many moons ago. Their kids Eli and Owen attend Lincoln Academy and Great Salt Bay respectively.

Dru Sanford

Dru Sanford

Dru’s ancestors came to the region from Germany in 1753 and settled in Waldoboro. Born at Miles Memorial Hospital and raised in Nobleboro, Dru is a third-generation graduate of Lincoln Academy. After attending the University of Maine, she returned to the area to live in Damariscotta, where she worked professionally for a local independent insurance agency and as a loan officer and manager at two local lending institutions.

Dru has a strong love for community and volunteerism, having served on the Lincoln Academy Board of Trustees as well as on the board of Pemaquid Watershed Association (now part of Coastal Rivers). She served for 15 years at Miles Memorial Hospital in the Food Service Program and has served on the board of the CLC YMCA more than once, including early on when it was known as the “Rec Center.” She and her late husband Carl Sanford were instrumental in establishing the current tennis courts at the YMCA, and started the Annual Sanford Open Tennis Tournament which funds the children’s tennis program there. Much of Dru’s free time is spent traveling with her son Fred, daughter-in-law Jessika, and four grandchildren.

Dru feels strongly that the efforts made by Coastal Rivers to conserve land and water are vitally important to ensure that the next generation is able to enjoy the natural resources that she has enjoyed throughout her lifetime.

Emily Weiss

Emily Weiss

Emily grew up on Long Island NY, and spent many summers up in Maine. Her interest in animal behavior began staring into the tidal pools and training crabs on the shore line. She has been a summer resident in South Bristol for over 15 years, and has been a consistent trail advocate and CRCT supporter.

As an Applied Animal Behaviorist, Dr. Weiss has worked with species as varied as lions, orangutans, elephants and Komodo dragons, as well dogs, cats and horses.

A nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Weiss has published extensively on topics related to applied animal behavior and human-animal interactions. She served as the ASPCA’s VP of Research & Development, overseeing groundbreaking research related to the animal sheltering field and developing assessment tools for shelter animals. Before that she created training programs and designed exhibits to improve husbandry and decrease stress for zoo animals.

Emily has worked in the nonprofit sector for her entire career and has a strong understanding of the sector and how to improve and grow in a healthy and sustainable manner.

In all of her work two central questions have driven her approach – Why? And – How do you know? These questions guide a consistent creative and scientific approach to the work of applied science as well as strategy development.

Emily recently sunsetted her career at the ASPCA and is enjoying applying her passion on a few select projects where her knowledge, skills and talent can make a significant impact for animals (including the human animal) and the world that they live in.

Ellen Wells

Ellen Wells

Ellen first came to South Bristol in 1957 on her honeymoon and has been there every year since, at first for summer visits, then as a year-round resident. The old family home in Christmas Cove, the same house in which Stan’s father grew up, was home base for those visits and remains in the family today.

Ellen graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1956 and met Stan while both were attending graduate school in Cambridge, Mass. Their four children were born in Tennessee. After a few years in Rochester, NY, they moved to Connecticut where Ellen earned her law degree and practiced law for over twenty years.

The late 1990’s brought retirement and the easy decision to relocate to Christmas Cove on a permanent basis.  Their love for Maine had been heightened by cruising the coast many summers in their beloved Hinckley Bermuda 40. Hiking nearby trails and fly fishing in lovely streams when visiting the family home confirmed the decision.

Ellen’s first community involvement in Maine was with the South Bristol Historical Society, a marvelous way to get to know not only South Bristol but the neighboring towns and villages as well, all part of this special area. When she retired from active leadership of the Historical Society, Ellen had the time to get to know more about the Damariscotta River Association and its present incarnation, Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, following its activities online and in the news and becoming a front-desk volunteer. Ellen looks forward to learning more and hopes to contribute more as a Board member.