Get to know our Board of Directors by clicking on their names below to reveal their biography.
Lucy Crocker Abisalih, Board Chair
Lucy Crocker Abisalih first dipped her toes in the water of the Georges River about 50 years ago when, while sailing, her family sought refuge from the fog in Pleasant Point Gut. They were fogged in for two 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, conservation and community development. 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.” (Read our welcome interview with Lucy)
Gail Presley, Secretary
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.
Liz Jenkins, Treasurer
Liz Jenkins was the Board President of AIO Food and Energy Assistance, located in Rockland from 2017-21. She also played the role of ‘Executive Director’ providing organizational, operational, and programmatic leadership to the organization as it transitioned to staff leadership and a new 4,000 sq ft facility, while doubling its budget and vastly expanding its community impact. Liz has recently pivoted her focus from food insecurity to the health of oceans and land built on the premise that our food starts there, and both must be preserved and protected. Since joining the Board of GRLT she has been enjoying hikes on our many preserves across the region. She is currently working on the Advancement Team of Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership. For nearly 20 years, Liz was with McKinsey & Company, most recently focused on social responsibility and Environmental, Social and Governance projects. Past roles at McKinsey include learning and development programs, the Social Sector Practice, and a capability-building leadership initiative. She is also a nonprofit development operations consultant working with organizations to establish donor management processes and systems. Liz holds an MS in Management from Lesley University and a BS in Advertising from Simmons College. “I am excited to get more involved in the stewardship of land and exploring this amazing region.”
Juliet Carey‘s concern for the environment and her involvement in ecological causes spring from her long time love for the St. George peninsula which she first visited when she was two. For years she has been actively involved with a study group at the Friends Meeting Cambridge (MA) which combines spirituality with ecological action, and she is a long time supporter of the Sierra Club Muir Society. Professionally, Juliet has a master’s in public health, and spent 25 years in public health, HIV/AIDS, and homelessness support services. Her focus was in working to strengthen community nonprofits, supporting them in identifying and reaching their strategic goals. Juliet draws strength and inspiration spending time at her family’s home in Port Clyde. She has followed the many accomplishments of GRLT over the years and is glad to have the opportunity to directly contribute to this good work!
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.
Heather Deese spends as much time as she can enjoying the outdoor beauty throughout the midcoast with friends and family. Heather’s professional passion is tackling the root causes of climate change through transitioning our society to clean energy and she currently serves as the Director of Policy & Regulatory Affairs for Dandelion Energy, a residential geothermal company. She comes to the Land Trust with over two decades of experience advancing environmental and energy outcomes through scientific research, policy advocacy, and community development. Heather holds a PhD in Oceanography from the University of Maine, Orono, and also serves on the board of the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership. She is enthusiastic about contributing to GRLT’s land conservation efforts and its work with partners to do our part locally on climate change.
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.
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.”
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.
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.