Joel Russ, President
Joel grew up in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 1966 with a BA in American History. He served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence from 1966 to 1971, was commissioned a second lieutenant following graduation from Officers Candidate School, attended one year of Thai language training in Washington, D.C., and was stationed in Bangkok, Thailand. He was honorably discharged as a Captain. He then attended and graduated from the University of Maine School of Law and was admitted to the Maine Bar in 1974.
Joel has held a variety of senior level positions in community-based non-profits organizations during his forty year career, including Executive Director of Greater Portland Landmarks, Vice President & General Counsel of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, CEO of the Greater Portland Chamber of Commerce, President & CEO of the Maine Science & Technology Foundation and President of the Four Square Foundation. He has also founded and managed two private companies, The Russ Company (historic preservation consulting) and Legacy Philanthropy Management, LLC (philanthropic consulting to businesses, individuals and private foundations).
Joel has served on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including the National Trust for Historic Preservation (Advisory Trustee), the United Way of Greater Portland, the Maine School of Science & Mathematics, Maine Commission for Community Service, Institute for Civic Leadership (founding board member), Maine Audubon and the World Affairs Council of Maine. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Lincoln Theatre, Coastal Kids Pre-School and Good Will-Hinckley. He serves on the Success-By-Six Early Childhood Education Council of the United Way of MidCoast Maine. Joel also coaches the Great Salt Bay Community School cross country team.
Joel is married to Carolyn Russ, a retired Maine public school teacher. They have two sons, Andrew, a pediatrician at Miles Pediatrics and Matthew, a professional landscape artist and preparator at the Colby College Museum of Art. Carolyn’s and Joel’s three grandchildren attend the Great Salt Bay School. Joel enjoys running, fly-fishing, wilderness canoeing, hiking, travel, gardening and Maine coastal boating.
Peter McKinley, Vice President
Peter McKinley is a research ecologist and conservation planner with The Wilderness Society (TWS) based in their northeastern office in Hallowell, Maine. His work includes development of conservation priorities for TWS projects and campaigns nationally with a particular focus on the northern and southern Appalachians. Previous employment includes several land trusts as permanent staff or as a consultant, forest bird research and conservation with Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences in Maine and shorebird and estuarine conservation with New Hampshire Audubon. Work has also included Forest Certification programs in Maine to direct more attention to biodiversity considerations.
Peter grew up on Cape Cod but fell in love with Maine while at Colby College and returned as soon as he could after graduating in 1987 with a BA in Biology. His education also brought him to Indiana University for a Master’s in Ecology, and University of New Brunswick for his Doctorate in Ecology. Peter is Vice President of the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust, which is active in conserving large tracts of land along the extent of the Appalachian Trail in Maine. Peter lives in Damariscotta with his wife Jeannie and spends many happy hours paddling local waters and walking local trails as often as possible.
Robert Barkalow, Treasurer
After spending more than 3 decades enjoying the natural beauty of the Damariscotta River in the summer months, Bob and his wife Drusilla embraced their lifelong dream of moving full-time to the area in October 2012. Currently residing in Damariscotta Mills, they still enjoy vacationing in the summer cottage at Jones Point, South Bristol that has been in the family since 1920.
A New Jersey native, Bob has been a Scoutmaster and Venturing Crew Guide, which helped him to share his passion for the outdoors with his son and daughter, as well as a host of other young men and women. An avid hiker, backpacker and canoeist, he has recently begun to build his skills as a sea kayaker, and enjoys exploring the Maine coast by both land and sea.
Bob had a thorough introduction to the DRA in the 2013 Midcoast Stewards program, and has been an enthusiastic volunteer ever since. He enjoys working with the Trail Tamers to maintain the pathways through the many preserves, and is steward of the Tracy Shore preserve. Other volunteer work with the DRA has included counting horseshoe crabs, sampling water quality in the estuary, and manning the grill at various DRA functions. He is also active with Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration and the Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association.
Professionally, his career as a Data Base Architect allows him to work from his home office as a consultant for a variety of clients throughout the country. He holds a BS in Computer Science from Rutgers, and an MBA in Management from Fairleigh Dickinson.
Carolyn McKeon, Secretary
Board member Carolyn McKeon hails from New Jersey. Thanks to her father who spent childhood summers on one of the Cranberry Islands near Acadia, she grew to appreciate Maine from an early age. Carolyn majored in classical archaeology at Wellesley College, and earned masters and doctoral degrees in the same field from the University of Michigan. She taught at the University of Pittsburgh, worked in the curatorial department at the Toledo Museum of Art, directed education programs at the Heritage Farmstead Museum in Plano, TX and served as community relations coordinator at a Dallas book store. After raising a son and daughter in Dallas, she and husband John moved to Maine permanently in 2004, before joining the DRA even closing on their South Bristol home.
At the DRA, Carolyn has served on the education committee, as a front office volunteer and is currently an easement monitor. Locally, she also holds board positions with the Friends of Colonial Pemaquid, the South Bristol Historical Society, Bristol Area Lions Club and Miles Memorial Hospital League. The energy of the greater Damariscotta community serves as her continual inspiration.
Tom Arter is a freelance natural history and commercial photographer. His photographs have appeared in numerous publications including: Country Journal, Nature Conservancy News, New Hampshire Profiles, Downeast Magazine, Canoe Magazine, Maine Boats and Harbors, Cruising World and Sail Magazine. He has lectured on photography and birds both in local schools and throughout New England.
Tom has taught nature photography at the University of New Hampshire, The Audubon Society of New Hampshire, and the Round Top Center for the Arts in Damariscotta.
Tom has worked as a contract photographer for several non-profit organizations in Maine and has produced work for organizations including: The Nature Conservancy, The Audubon Society of New Hampshire, The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, The Darling Marine Center of the University of Maine, The Damariscotta River Association and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Maine.
Tom is a past President of The Damariscotta River Association and served on the board for 9 years. He currently serves as the Chairman of the education committee. Tom also served on the board of Maine Audubon for 3 years.
Tom is an avid bird watcher and has taught ornithology at the University of New Hampshire. He is past president of the Seacoast Chapter of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire. He has led birding trips for New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and Midcoast Audubon. He was also employed as the staff naturalist at the Audubon Society of New Hampshire.
Tom has a master’s degree from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and Colorado State University.
Tom grew up on a farm outside Cleveland Ohio and has been interacting with the natural world ever since childhood. Tom enjoys working and learning with Children and adults exploring the natural world. He can often be found with a guitar or fiddle in his hands jamming with friends.
Raised in Alexandria Virginia, Margaret Coit has deep ties to the Damariscotta River area dating back to her great grandmother’s arrival in Newcastle in the 1890’s. Her professional career was spent as a bond salesman at The Bank of Boston, managing the bank’s investment portfolio at Maine National Bank in Portland, and as co-founder of Provenance Antiques. Margaret’s volunteer activities have been focused on advocacy for women and their families. She has most recently spent her volunteer time teaching and learning from children.
During summers Margaret and her husband David raised their two sons, Charlie and John, along the banks of the Damariscotta. She looks forward to sharing her love for the river.
Tom’s time in Maine began when his parents married while students at Colby College. Although he grew up in Central Massachusetts and Cape Cod he was a regular visitor to Maine where his grandfather was the Chief Engineer for the Water Quality Control Bureau in Maine’s Department of Environmental Protection. Trips with his grandfather along the Androscoggin River from its headwaters at Lake Umbagog in northern New Hampshire all the way down to where it meets the Kennebec in Topsham showed him the impact the Clean Water Act made on one of Maine’s largest rivers although as a young boy the biggest impression was that the Androscoggin eventually lost its brownish orange color and its smell of rotten eggs.
Tom moved to Damariscotta in 1989 where he raised two children who were only too happy to jump in the boat and explore Damariscotta Lake and the Damariscotta River from one end to the other. Whenever they are home he tries to get them back in the boat for abbreviated adventures.
Tom spent 15 years in Augusta working in Civil Rights Protection and Advocacy for people with disabilities until realizing that his father was right and he really should get his real estate license. He has happily been a real estate broker since 2005.
Tom lives in Walpole with his wife Stephanie and two dogs who wish to remain anonymous.
David W. Lawrence has spent the last 45 years in philanthropy, 32 as chief development officer serving three higher education and academic medical institutions. Returning to Maine after 42 years “away” and retiring following 20 years at the Mayo Clinic, he continues as a philanthropy consultant to colleges, universities and medical centers. Upon graduating from Miami University in 1964 he first flew in the Navy Hurricane Hunter Squadron followed by representing the Navy in Legislative Affairs with members of Congress in Washington. He has an MA in higher education from George Washington University and also completed 30 years of active and reserve duty retiring as a Navy Captain.
David is proud of growing up in “the County” graduating from Houlton High School, and his wife Susan, of Augusta, is a graduate of Cony High School and University of Maine at Farmington. They live in Newcastle with sons in Denver and Minneapolis and four grandsons. Locally David serves as a Board member of Lincoln Healthcare, and is active in other community and civic organizations.
Martha likes to say she is one of a handful to travel south to get to Maine. Canadian by birth, she grew up in New Brunswick, swimming in the Bay of Fundy and summering on the Saint John River, where she learned to sail, skate and play hockey with her older brothers. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition from Mount St. Vincent University in Halifax and a Bachelor of Education from the University of New Brunswick. This led to a career teaching middle school in Saint John and Vancouver for several years. Her Canadian perspective has been a wonderful frame of reference over the years, but she is a proud American now.
She and her husband Jack moved to Maine in 1972, just after his stint in the USMC, to open a law office. She divided her time between working at the law office, where she honed her math and people skills, and being involved with her children’s activities. As a school volunteer, she began a summer reading program and later served two terms on the Great Salt Bay School Board. During her tenure as chairman, she earned her ‘hard hat’ by successfully completing the sewer extension needed for the expansion of Great Salt Bay School. Her term with Coastal Kids Preschool was highlighted by a capital campaign to construct a state-of-the art facility. Martha continues to serve on the CKP board. Her two grown daughters have chosen to live in Maine much to her delight, and she is thrilled to be so close to her three grandchildren. Children and education have been common themes throughout her life. She is excited and humbled to be part of such a vital organization which is dedicated to the preservation of what makes this area unique.
Matt is an attorney and principal of Lynch & Newman, LLC in Damariscotta, with a practice concentrated on real estate, estate planning and probate and trust administration. A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Matt fell in love with the natural beauty of New England while attending high school at St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire. Matt received his undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and also holds a Master’s Degree from Oxford University. Prior to obtaining his law degree from the University of Virginia, Matt was a government services consultant with Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, LLC in Washington, D.C. Matt was a corporate attorney at Pierce Atwood, LLP in Portland, Maine before joining John Lynch in 2006 to establish Lynch & Newman.
Matt has been on the board of the Topsham Public Library since 2009, serving as President since 2012. Matt also volunteers on the investment committee of Skidompha Library in Damariscotta and is a former member of the Damariscotta-Newcastle Rotary Club and board member of Central Lincoln County YMCA.
When he is not practicing law, Matt enjoys walking in the woods of Dodge Point with his yellow lab and officemate, Harvey. An avid hockey fan, player and coach, Matt loves skating on the DRA rink in the winter with his family whenever possible. Matt currently lives in Topsham with his wife Suzanna and their children Alexander and Lilian.
Barnaby Porter started life as a kid with old family roots in coastal Maine, Calais and Waldoboro. Though many of his school years were spent in Massachusetts, his summer and winter vacations were spent in Maine. He entered the University of Maine’s School of Forestry in 1964 and earned his B.S. in Wildlife Biology.
After a stint in the U.S. Army as a medic, a short career as a grave digger and another as dock worker and truck driver in Boothbay Harbor, he eventually landed a job at the University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center where he was responsible for the monitoring of commercially important invertebrate populations in and around Montsweag Bay to determine the impact of the Maine Yankee Nuclear Power Plant. It was at this point in 1972 that Barnaby and his wife, Susan, settled on the Edgecomb shore of the Damariscotta River in the vicinity of Merry Island. For six or seven years he commuted to work at the Darling center in a 17-foot dory, and his love affair with the Damariscotta River began. That was 40 some years ago.
What followed in the years since included a concentrated study of the blue mussel with particular focus on growth, mortality and recruitment in the Damariscotta River, which led to, among other things, a close involvement with Ed Meyers’ pioneering aquaculture operation in Clarks Cove. After that, Barnaby managed Ocean Point Lobster Co., a lobster pound in East Boothbay.
Then, in a big career change, Barnaby acquired a sawmill and started a wood products business called Ax Wood Products and eventually relocated from Edgecomb to Walpole. He stumbled into a series of artistic creations made of old hollow trees and found materials that, once debuted in Tiffany’s windows in NYC, led him from the public TV show, Made in Maine, to exposure in magazines such as Fine Woodworking and DownEast, and various newspapers. In 1995, as “the artist” on Maine’s first International Trade Mission, Barnaby took a number of his pieces of “glorified firewood” to Japan. Governor King invited him to make a commemorative piece, a large sailing ship, to exhibit in the Blaine House. Since then, there have been exhibits in the Farnsworth Museum and elsewhere.
During those 20 years in the woodworking business, Barnaby wrote weekly newspaper columns for, first, the Waldoboro Weekly, then the Coastal Journal and the Lincoln County Weekly. Mostly essays under the title Observations, ranging from childhood reminiscences to nature observations to philosophy, he ended up reading many of them on MPBN’s Maine Things Considered. A good number of those pieces were reflections of his years working and meandering on the Damariscotta River and became the essence of his 2005 book, Twelve Miles from the Rest of the World: A Portrait of the Damariscotta River, a collaboration with photographer Al Trescot. Also in those years, Barnaby and Susan built their home at Crow Point on the river near Prentiss Island.
Most recently, for nearly 20 years, Barnaby partnered with Susan in ownership and the running of Damariscotta’s Maine Coast Book Shop & Café. He was intimately involved in resurrecting Lincoln Hall, which he and his wife shared with the Lincoln Theater. Additionally, he has also been on the building committee for the new Skidompha Library and was clerk of the works during its construction. Barnaby has served as a member of the Library’s Board of Directors and for the last several years has been on the steering committee to formulate Damariscotta’s new Comprehensive Plan. He is also currently involved with the many-faceted Waterfront Improvement Project.
Normand is a native of Lewiston and has been a part-time resident of Jones Cove in South Bristol for 20 years. He’s been trying to become a full-time resident during that entire time.
He is a Certified Public Accountant and graduate of Providence College. He started with the accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and has since worked in senior financial management positions in non-profit and for-profit organizations in several countries. These include CFO roles for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development and Tyco International Europe in Paris, France, and Alcatel USA in New York City.
Normand and his wife Dorothy Naylor have two daughters, Olivia and Madeleine, currently pursuing graduate studies. Whether living in Paris or elsewhere, South Bristol was always and continues to be “home” to the family.
Heidi Shott of Newcastle likes to say, paraphrasing Senator Angus King, that she got to Maine as fast as she could. In 1988 she and her husband Scott moved to a bed and breakfast inn on the River Road and quickly settled into the community. Soon they were regularly walking the newly-acquired Dodge Point Reserve which DRA helped to conserve. She worked as a reporter for the Lincoln County News and as Assistant Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association in Augusta before joining the Episcopal Diocese of Maine as Communications Director in 1998. In 2008, after a two-year stint as Communications Director of the Genesis Community Loan Fund, she returned to the Diocese as Canon for Communications and Advocacy. Her news, features, and essays have been widely published in a variety of faith-focused newspapers, magazines, and blogs.
Locally Heidi served two terms on both the Great Salt Bay School Board and the board of the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb. She currently sits on the board of United Way of Midcoast Maine and is a member of its Basic Needs/Safety Net Council. Heidi is also a youth mentor with Restorative Justice of Midcoast Maine and offers volunteer communications consulting to several Maine nonprofits. In 1998 Heidi and Scott moved with their young twin sons to a home on the millpond in Damariscotta Mills. Her commitment to the preservation of the natural beauty and ecosystems of the lake, the fish ladder, the salt bay, and the river runs deep. Heidi takes pride in her newly-honed oyster-shucking skills obtained as an apprentice shucker at the recent Damariscotta Mills Alewife Festival.
Polly came to the Midcoast in 1947 when her parents, looking for a “wilderness” experience for the family, purchased an undeveloped piece of land on the river in South Bristol: Plummer Point. From surplus WWII army tents to cabins and eventually a year-round house with electricity and running water, a permanent home evolved. Most of that land is now owned by the Damariscotta River Association as the Plummer Point Preserve.
With a BA in zoology from Mount Holyoke College, Polly continued on to Yale University for a master’s degree in nursing, which led to a career in international public health. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology, which she has applied to research in maternal and child health, family planning, and HIV/AIDS in several countries of Africa as well as in Haiti. She worked for Family Health International, headquartered in Durham, NC, and taught at the Universities of Massachusetts and North Carolina.
Polly now lives permanently in Damariscotta on a tidal cove where she watches nesting eagles and follows birdlife on the river as the seasons change. Polly has been a member of the DRA since its origin as a land trust. She is now an easement monitor, serves on the Lands Committee, and coordinates the front-desk volunteer program. Her children and grandchildren are frequent summer visitors to the Plummer Point home and occasional volunteers at the DRA.
Joy joined the DRA at its beginning and has been steward of Stratton Island for several years. And while caring for the island is a highlight and remains dear to her heart, Trail Tamers service work is a close second. Most days, Joy can be found watching birds, tides, currents, seals, ice floes (in season) and the sky, and when spending time with friends, she admits to steering the outings to include islands, docks, coves and beaches.
Joy works as an art professional and has lived by the River in South Bristol since 1972.