Get to know our Board of Directors by clicking on their names below to reveal their biography.
Alvin Chase, Board President
Alvin Chase is a St. George native now living in Warren, and is a well respected community member and businessman. Alvin’s grandfather established Eastern Tire and Auto Service in 1946 and the briefest conversation with Alvin reveals his pride in Eastern Tire’s outstanding reputation for quality and integrity as well as its commitment to the community. Alvin served on the Board of the Georges River Land Trust from 2006 – 2015 and after spending a term-limited gap year, rejoined the Board in 2016. He is the current chairman of the Langlais Leadership Team, a project which he is passionate about. He also currently serves on the Land Trust’s Lands Committee. If he finds any free time, Alvin can be found hunting or fishing in the watershed or riding horseback, but never at the same time.
Bruce Sigsbee, Treasurer
Bruce Sigsbee grew up in a small town in Massachusetts. He spent every available minute outside, often fishing and in his teen-age years bird hunting. His family started vacationing on Cape Cod in the 1950’s. He attended Dartmouth College and Dartmouth Medical School. After living in New York City for 4 years while he completed his residency in Neurology, he and his wife decided to move their family back to New England, specifically Maine. He has family ties to this state. His grandfather was Governor Milliken and his Mom was born in the Blaine House. In Maine the opportunities for living in a beautiful environment and enjoying the outdoors were still possible. Seven years later they bought land and built a home in Union. In 2012 they donated a conservation easement on their property to GRLT. He feels very strongly about the mission of the GRLT. Maine does not want to end up like Cape Cod. He retired from full time medical practice in 2013, and can often be found out fishing on the St. George, bird hunting, gardening, or just out for a walk with the dogs (yes, they have six). Jane, his wife shares the connection to the land, and both of their daughters live in Maine.
Jeanne Klainer, Secretary
Jeanne Klainer and her family visited Maine from Minnesota when she was a child, not to the coast but to beautiful Sebec Lake in Piscataquis County, where she grew to love the deep, clear, cold waters, and the mountains and endless trails. As a teenager, she decided that she wanted to live year-round in Maine, and moved here as soon as she could to attend Colby College. Jeannie and her husband left Maine for over 20 years, what they call their “years of exile,” where she earned an MBA and her husband became a physician. Together they operated an Emergency Department at a regional hospital for more than 15 years. They now live in Owls Head and manage the local Knox County Health Clinic. Living on the mid coast Jeannie quickly discovered the extensive system of trails that have been developed and maintained by the Land Trust. She loves being able to trek from mountain to mountain in all seasons, and wants these resources to be around for generations to come. “It’s time for me to give back to the Land Trust for all the joy it has given me,” says Jeannie.
Lucy Crocker Abisalih
Lucy Crocker Abisalih first dipped her toes in the water of the Georges River about 45 years ago when, while sailing, her family sought refuge from the fog in Pleasant Point Gut. They were fogged in for 2 days. Her parents went ashore, met up with a realtor and since that time Lucy has had the good fortune to spend summers in Cushing. They landed on a plot of land called Burying Point, which immediately engaged them in the local traditions, long history and natural beauty of Cushing and the Georges River. Lucy spent most of her adult life serving on nonprofit boards in education and conservation. The concepts of land stewardship and our shared responsibility for environmental health are dear to her. “As the stresses on the earth’s resources and human well-being increase, the value of thoughtful, community-based conservation through an inclusive process is essential. I am honored to serve on the GRLT board to continue this good work.”
Peter Duffey grew up in southern California, and earned a degree in business from UC Berkeley. On graduating, he entered the Navy officer’s candidate school, served in Vietnam, and returned to San Diego for a Masters Degree in Business Management. Peter and his wife Caroline’s love of travel took them to New Zealand, Vancouver, Canada, and eventually to Cambridge, MA. They have been on the east coast for 22 years, with Peter working at various software companies. The family bought a house on Seven Tree Pond in Union a while back, coming up on weekends and summer vacations. They retired recently, and now live in Union year round. Peter enjoys swimming, kayaking, and fishing. Peter said, “It is nearly impossible to live on the Georges River and not feel the urge to help preserve the river and surrounding watershed.”
Nicole Gogan joined the Treasury Management team at Camden National Bank in March 2017, after serving as Deputy Director of Economic Development with the City of Brewer for six years. She works with many types of businesses, municipalities, and non-profits on a wide variety of business issues and takes a customized approach with each business to help solve problems. Nicole is active on many area boards and committees including, but not limited to: Board Chair of the American Folk Festival, and the Maine Infantry Foundation. “While I’m a Maine native from the Bangor area, I moved down to the Midcoast area in June of 2017, and was struck by the beauty and diversity of this area.” Nicole lives in Rockland with her fiancée, two stepdaughters, and two fur babies, a neurotic border collie/lab mix named Tip E. Toes and a sweet and calm yellow lab named Nellie.
Steve Hirshberg attended a summer camp in Casco, Maine, for 14 years where they paddled many of the major rivers, lakes and ponds climbed the high mountain peaks of Maine. On his way to Eagle Scout he learned the importance of conservation. At Holderness School in New Hampshire and later in the Tufts University mountain club he continued to explore the great outdoors of New England. Fly fishing became his passion. After retiring from a 28-year career with Morgan Stanley, Steve and his wife Susan moved to Union, Maine in 2016. Living along the Georges River Steve enjoys the river’s “crown of jewels.” Now every day is like summer camp again.
John Hufnagel purchased his first boat when he was 11 to use in Penobscot Bay, and dreamed of moving to Maine to live full time. He spent his free time and vacations at his family’s cottage in Owls Head, cultivating an early interest in land conservation from being outdoors from morning to night every day and from having grown his own vegetables, and flowers and selling them to neighbors. John practiced law for over forty years in Westchester County, New York. His particular expertise and interests are in real estate and trusts and estates. John was able to spearhead a fundraising operation for concerned citizens in Owls Head so that Ash Island, a wild and precious island just off the coast, could be purchased and retained as a wildlife habitat for coastal flora and fauna that is accessible to the public. Being here in Maine at last brings the opportunity for him to connect all of his passions in one place.
Jim Jenkins is a retired financial adviser. He graduated from the University of Maine – Orono with a BA in Economics and he holds an MBA from the College of William and Mary. After college, Jim served six years as an Army officer and is a Vietnam veteran. He and his wife Anne have lived in Owls Head for 42 years. Both have been active on numerous nonprofit boards and they consider themselves blessed to be living on the mid-coast of Maine close to their five grandchildren. Jim enjoys gardening, fishing, bird hunting, skiing, and just being outdoors.
Bill Long is the co-owner of Long Landscaping with his wife Beth, and they have been in this business for the past 35 years. In 1987, they moved to Maine and have been in Owls Head for the past 18 years. He graduated from Stockbridge School of Agriculture in 1975 with background in landscape operations. He and Beth have been great supporters to the Land Trust offering their landscaping services pro-bono on the Langlais Preserve. Bill has served on the Merry Spring board of directors and is excited to use his experience to support the land trust and protect valuable landscapes in our watershed.
Adam Marcus was born and raised in New Orleans, and still manages his real estate business located there. Adam was on the nonprofit boards of the Contemporary Arts Center and the New Orleans Film Festival both located in New Orleans. He loves being involved with the arts and film. Four years ago Adam and his partner Linda moved to Owls Head, and Adam enjoys the outdoors, hiking Ragged Mountain and fishing. He loves the four seasons, which he didn’t experience while living in New Orleans. Adam is a member of the GRLT Trails Committee.
Gail Presley has had a love of the outdoors since she was a child when her parents took the family camping for two months every summer all over the U.S. All that exploration of nature led her to become a wildlife biologist. In a 25-year career for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Gail focused her efforts on conserving the most sensitive habitats and endangered species. After moving to Maine full time in 2008, she joined the Georges River Land Trust as Executive Director, which brought her passion for conservation down to the local level. She retired in 2015 but has volunteered ever since. The Land Trust helped her find her community in Maine, and she was delighted to return to an active leadership role on the Board in 2017.
Debbie Rogers became interested in the environment as a camper and a counselor at an Audubon camp when she was a child. As an adult, she loves to get children involved in community efforts. She served on the board of Connecticut Special Olympics for 9 years, and arranged for her children’s school to host a Special Olympics event each year. At the same time, as a Member of the Garden Club of America, Debbie engaged the schools in their chapter town in growing plants and taught the kids the importance of plants in our landscape. After being introduced to the Land Trust, the Gardens in the Watershed Tour became a natural place for Debbie to get involved. “I am so happy to be involved with the outstanding Garden Tour committee. It has enabled me to meet and enjoy many other members.”
David Theriault is a dentist practicing in Rockland since 1990. A member of the Rockland Rotary Club for the past 25 years, Dave is a past president of the club. He is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy and served in the U.S. Merchant Marine as an engineering officer for 3 1/2 years. Dave then went on to work at Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston as a mechanical Engineer before graduating from Boston University Dental School. He has practiced in the Department of Oral Surgery at Boston City Hospital, Harvard Community Health Center in Boston and taught at Harvard Dental School. David lives in Rockport with his wife Suzan. They have two adult children and three grandchildren.
David Williams is the founder of Williams CPA Group, LLC. David grew up in Camden and spent much of his youth traipsing through the woods and canoeing the rivers of Knox and Waldo Counties. He holds a B. A. in economics from Hamilton College and spent time in the banking and boat building industries before settling on his accounting profession. David has served on conservation boards such as Friends of Casco Bay, Coastal Conservation Association, and Coastal Mountains Land Trust.”
We welcome diverse, committed citizens to our Board. Board service is a great way to give back to your community and help protect our beautiful watershed. If you are interested, please contact our office at (207) 594-5166.