Leadership

Staff

Angela Twitchell

Executive Director

Angela has been the Executive Director of the Land Trust since 2008. Prior to that, she worked as the Government and Community Relations Coordinator for the Nature Conservancy’s Maine Chapter.  She also managed two successful campaigns to pass a $50 million and a $35 million public land bond in Maine in 1999 and 2007 respectively. Read more …

Caroline Eliot

Associate Director

Caroline has a Masters in Env. Studies from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and came to BTLT in 2011 after working in state and regional planning in Maine. As Associate Director, she manages stewardship of the Land Trust’s conservation lands and trails, coordinates new land conservation projects, and oversees our accreditation processes. In her free time, she tends bees and chickens on 50 acres in Bowdoin, sings with Evenlight, a hospice choir, and tries to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

Nikkilee (Lee) Cataldo

Outreach & Education Coordinator

Lee has an M.A. in Community Planning and spearheads our outreach and education programs, including all the Land Trust’s communications, and our events, Farmers’ Market, Community Garden, and the Merrymeeting Food Council. A former farmer at Milkweed Farm and an intern at Presumpscot River Watershed Coalition, she brings wonderful hands on experience.

Margaret Gerber

Stewardship and Development Associate

Margaret is a former BTLT volunteer and has experience working for the Royal River Conservation Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Maine Island Trail Association. Margaret notes, “For nearly a decade I have been fortunate to work with land trusts and environmentally conscious organizations grounded by a shared mission to preserve special places that are ecologically, economically and recreationally significant to communities. These qualities and the community that BTLT serves has made volunteering so meaningful and I am now thrilled to have the opportunity to join the BTLT staff.”

Nancy Donsbach

Development and Communication Associate

Nancy manages the Land Trust’s membership database, and assists with grant applications and reporting as well as the communication needs.  Prior to joining the Land Trust, she worked in grant administration for over a decade at The Nature Conservancy and Bowdoin College.  She lives in Brunswick with her husband Scott and two children, Benjamin and Amelia.

Jacqui Koopman

Farmers’ Market Manager

Corie Washow

TSCG Garden Manager

Board of Directors

Brad Babson

President, Board of Directors

Brad moved to Brunswick in 2003 after a career with the World Bank, where he served mainly in AsiaHe presently works as a consultant with a focus primarily on North Korea and Myanmar.  Brad graduated with a BA from Williams College in 1972 and an MPA from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs at Princeton University in 1974. He and his wife Kitty own the Packard Farm property which is under easement with BTLT.

Lloyd Van Lunen

Vice President, Board of Directors

Lloyd retired from his internal medicine practice in Maine. He worked on the staff of the Bowdoin Medical Group, which he helped to found in 1994. He currently serves on the board of Midcoast Health Services and was a past president of the medical staff of the hospital. He has been on the BTLT Board since 1995 and was president of BTLT from 2002-2008. He lives in Brunswick and is an avid sailor, hiker, cross-country skier, and music lover.

Doug Bennett

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Doug, a resident of Topsham, Maine, is a semi-retired educator.  He currently provides consultations to not-for-profits on issues of governance. He served as President of Earlham College (Richmond, Indiana) from 1997 to 2011.  Before that, he served as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the American Council of Learned Societies (1994-1997), as Provost at Reed College (1989-93), and as Professor of Political Science at Temple University (1973-1989). He was educated at Haverford College and Yale University and is a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).  He has served on governing boards and committees for Haverford College, Friends Seminary (NYC), Germantown Friends School, Friends Association for Higher Education, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, and the American Friends Service Committee.  He is married to Ellen Trout Bennett and has two sons, Tommy (born 1984) and Robbie (born 2003).

Emily Swan

Secretary, Board of Directors

Emily is business manager of Pine Island Camp, a boys’ camp that has been in operation since 1902. She has a B.A. in history from Sewanee: the University of the South and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She served on the BTLT board in the early 1990s, when she was involved in the capital campaign for Crystal Spring Farm. She served on Brunswick’s first Comprehensive Plan Committee and more recently was a member of the Downtown Master Plan Committee. She is an avid bird watcher and traveler and particularly enjoys traveling with her three children and her husband Ben.

Elizabeth Armstrong

Director

is an attorney who specializes in environmental law as well as gift planning vehicles such as charitable gift annuities, trusts, and bequests. She is employed as the Associate Director of Gift Planning at Bowdoin College. Previously, Liz served in a similar role at Colby College. Prior to that, Liz was SVP/GC at an environmental liability acquisition firm after having served as Corporate Environmental Risk Manager at one of the nation’s largest financial institutions. Liz also was Deputy Commissioner at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.  A multi-generational native of Maine, Liz grew up in Brunswick but has lived in Topsham for 27 years with her husband and two children.

Bill Ferdinand

Director

Bill Ferdinand has resided in Brunswick with his family since 1994. He served as Chair of the Brunswick Conservation Commission for many years and has been involved with open space planning, comprehensive planning, land conservation for subdivisions, and land acquisition by the Town. Bill is an attorney with Eaton Peabody, where he represents a variety of clients on public policy issues in the Maine legislature and regulatory matters in state agencies and municipalities. He has been involved with land conservation and land use policy for many years. Prior to Eaton Peabody, he was a Senior Planner with the Maine State Planning Office where he worked on environmental policy issues and economic development initiatives. Bill was educated at St. Lawrence University, Tulane Law School, and Vermont Law School. Bill really likes to spend time with his family and friends exploring the oceans, mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests of Maine and beyond.

Jerry Galleher

Director

Jerry is a retired audiologist, originally from Ohio by way of New York. He received his master’s degree from Case Tech-Western Reserve University and practiced in the State of New York for 35 years until retirement. During this time, he was an associate professor of audiology at the State University of New York at New Paltz. As a member of the Land Trust Board, he serves on the governance and agriculture committees. He resides in Brunswick with his wife Robin, an audiologist at Pine Tree Association in Bath. They are also members of the Rangeley Lake Heritage Trust and have a camp in Sandy River.

Kristine Ganong

Director

Kristine A. Ganong lives in Brunswick. She has volunteered for many organizations serving on school boards and community entities in Marblehead and Wellesley, MA.  She comes to the BTLT Board by way of the Campaign Cabinet and is also a board member of the Maine State Music Theatre. Kris has an interest in the Local Farms-Local Food movement as evidenced by her recent purchase and conservation of farmland with BTLT. Kris and her husband, Rick, are both graduates of the Bowdoin Class of 1986. They live on Mere Point and enjoy visits from their two adult children.

Elizabeth Hertz

Director

Liz recently retired as the Director of the Municipal Planning Assistance Program at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, a position she held since 2008.  Prior to holding this position, she for worked for eleven years as a senior natural resource planner for the Maine Coastal Program, State Planning Office.  She has also held positions with International Paper Company and the USGS, Eros Data Center.  Liz moved to Maine in 1978 and currently resides in Bowdoin where she has for 21 years. She also lived in Topsham for four years and year-round on Cliff Island for nine years where her two children attended the one-room schoolhouse.  Liz received a BA in Natural Resources and an MS in Remote Sensing from the University of Michigan.

Averil Fessenden

Director

Averil Fessenden has lived happily in Brunswick for just over 40 years. She loves the natural beauty of our area and the ease of moving between town and country. We are fortunate to be able to arrange a personal mix of time with people and events and times of more solitude in natural areas.

As a social worker, Averil worked with children and families for many years toward solving problems and creating fulfilling lives. She maintains a deep interest in how human communities and nature enhance individual lives. She also has been involved in a variety of educational projects over the years, including teaching English in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast. She has a BA from SUNY Binghamton and an MSW from Boston College, and is a Cooperative Extension Master Gardener. She is a life long lover of nature and activities in the out of doors – skiing, walking, cycling, gardening and kayaking, especially with her family of husband, daughters, son in law, and granddaughters.

Wells Johnson

Director

Wells is a retired professor of mathematics at Bowdoin College where he served on the faculty for 41 years.  He did his undergraduate work at Amherst College and received his PhD from MIT in 1964, when he then moved to Brunswick.  His interests with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust include stewardship, land and conservation easement acquisitions, and accreditation.  He currently volunteers to provide tax assistance for low-income citizens at local libraries and senior centers.  He is a classical pianist and enjoys accompanying soloists and playing with local chamber music ensembles.  He is an avid hiker and particularly enjoys high-altitude hiking and wildlife observation in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

Jeff Nelson

Director

Jeff grew us on a small multiuse farm in Massachusetts and graduated from Brown University with a B.S. in engineering. He then worked as a research scientist at M.I.T. He and Ann married and moved to Ludlow, Vermont where Jeff worked in manufacturing for GE and where their children, Todd and Sarah, were born. While in Vermont Jeff was active in VT Audubon and the Ludlow Fire Department. They then moved to Bedford, NH with GE, and, after retiring, Jeff obtained his M.S. in conservation biology from Antioch University. Both Jeff & Ann were among the founders of the Bedford Land Trust in 1990 and stayed active in leadership/board roles. Jeff served on the Bedford Conservation Commission for many years and was a long-term volunteer with the Audubon Society of New Hampshire while serving multiple terms as a Trustee. Jeff and Ann moved to Highland Green in Topsham in October 2006. They enjoy exploring and appreciating the ecology of mid-coast Maine.

Richard Mersereau

Director

Mers, retired recently as a Senior Leadership Gifts Officer and as Secretary of the College Emeritus at Bowdoin College. A Bowdoin graduate, Mers served in the U. S. Army and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Wesleyan.  He was lured back to Bowdoin as an assistant director of admissions to help the College become coeducational and diversify the student body. Since then, he has run the communications office, the president’s office and board of trustees operations, and even coached women’s basketball for six years in its formative days. Today, he works part-time for the Ecology School of Saco, a residential learning center for children between 3rd and 8th grade.. After residing 25 years in Harpswell, he moved to Brunswick where he has been for 19 years with his wife Bette Spettel, who founded the Bowdoin College Children’s Center, son Kyle, and daughter Ellie. He is a longstanding member of Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Friends of Casco Bay, Island Institute, Maine Island Trail Association, and the Natural Resources Council of Maine and is inspired and honored to assist BTLT as Chair of the Development Committee. He has also served six years on the board of directors at Curtis Memorial Library and has twice kayaked to Portland from South Harpswell under a (summer) full moon.

Tom Settlemire

Director, Past President

Tom is a professor emeritus of the Biology and Chemistry Departments, Bowdoin College.  He has BS and MS degrees from Ohio State University and a PhD in biochemistry from North Carolina State University.  He has published over 30 scientific articles and a textbook in the areas of immunology and microbiology. In addition, Tom has been active in many areas of agriculture in Maine. And served on local and state wide committees focusing on production, processing and marketing of Maine produced agricultural products,. He served as Vice Chair of the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Council from 1979 to 1987, he is co-founder of the Downtown Farmers Market in Brunswick and along with his family operated a sheep and vegetable farm in Brunswick from 1970 to 2005.  He has been a long time member of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust where he has served on several committees and twice as president. He has kept his roots in Brunswick by continuing to own and manage farm and tree growth land while living in Yarmouth.

Charlie Spies

Director

Charlie and his wife, Bonnie, lived in Topsham for 28 years and moved to Brunswick in 2016. They raised their three children in Topsham on a small farm and woodlot which has allowed them to take advantage of the local school system and a very welcoming community and to push the kids outside whenever needed.  Charlie is currently the Chief Executive Officer for CEI Capital Management LLC (CCML) in Brunswick.  CCML is a for-profit subsidiary of Coastal Enterprise, Inc.  It is focused on mobilizing private capital into projects located in rural, low-income communities from Maine to Hawaii.  It applies a triple bottom line discipline to its work, which is heavily concentrated on rural, environmentally sustainable projects that are economically viable and socially responsible.  Prior to joining CCML, Charlie served as the COO for the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System and is the former CEO of the Finance Authority of Maine.  Charlie holds a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry and Forest Entomology, respectively, from the University of Maine

Steve Walker

Director

Steve is a wildlife biologist working as a Project Manager for Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Formerly, Steve was responsible for coordinating the state’s Beginning with Habitat program, which is designed to encourage the implementation of local conservation planning efforts among Maine’s organized towns and land trusts.  Prior to his work in state government, Steve was the Natural Resources Planner for the Town of Brunswick and was actively involved in the drafting of the town’s open space plan, Rural Brunswick Smart Growth plan, and updates to the town’s comprehensive plan.  Steve also has a decade of experience as a private biological consultant responsible for overseeing the coordination of ecological inventory and permitting work necessary for a wide variety of commercial and residential development projects throughout New England.  Steve has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Brown University and a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Maine, Orono.  Steve, an avid birder, lives in Brunswick where he is a Town Councilor.

Margaret Wilson

Director

Margaret has lived in Brunswick for 20 years, having moved here from Madison, Wisconsin. While there, she had her first experience working on land conservation in several capacities for the Ice Age Trail, one of the national scenic trails like the AT.  She served as a Board member, as an active volunteer doing on-the-ground maintenance and stewardship, and used her skills as an attorney to help acquire land for the trail corridor. She practiced land use law for three years after moving to Maine and has served on several local municipal and non-profit boards including the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Brunswick Planning Board, the Brunswick Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, Zoning Rewrite Committee, and the United Way of Mid Coast Maine.  What she really loves to do is build things.  She’s worked as an independent contractor, as well as directed the Women’s Build and Weatherization projects for Habitat/7 Rivers Maine where she built, directed, and wrote manuals for the volunteer effort there.