Board of Visitors Biographies


Ron Beckwith

Ron Beckwith was born and raised in Stratford, Connecticut.  He graduated from the University of Maine at Fort Kent in 1981 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies.  Ron taught school in Lubec until 1985, when he went to work for the Roosevelt Campobello International Park.  Ron began work at RCIP as a clerk/computer technician and served in successive positions as bookkeeper, staff accountant, and finance and administration manager.  He brought the Park into the computer age by purchasing and installing first-generation desktop computers; collaborated with a financial accounting software firm to develop the Park’s unique computerized payroll and accounting system; developed new items for sale at the Park’s gift shop; contributed to the procurement of the Park emergency radio system; and worked on Park promotion and regional tourism initiatives.  Ron was appointed as Superintendent of the Park and Executive Secretary to the Commission in August 2010.  The Roosevelt Campobello International Park is the world’s only true “international park,” having been established by a 1964 treaty between the U.S. and Canada.


Tom Boutureira (Chair)

Tom is Executive Director of the Downeast Coastal Conservancy.  Prior to the Downeast Coastal Conservancy, Tom was the Executive Director of Great Auk Land Trust.  From 2003-2005 he served as a rural natural resource volunteer with the United States Peace Corps in Vallegrande, Bolivia.  As a result of his successful service, he was invited to work as a technical specialist for the Peace Corps Natural Resource Management Program in Cochabamba, Bolivia until 2007 when he returned to Machias.  Tom’s previous experiences include working as a conservation organizer with the Sierra Club in Maine, trail steward and operations assistant at Little Lyford Pond Camps in the 100 Mile Wilderness of the Appalachian Trial, watershed field assistant with the Maine Department of Conservation, and as a native pollinator researcher for Downeast blueberry growers. He graduated in 1999 from the University of Maine at Machias with a B.S. in Environmental Studies. Tom lives on a small farm with his wife Chloe and two children, Arlo and Darwin.


Ruth Cash-Smith

Ruth Cash-Smith is a business counselor for the Women's Business Center at Coastal Enterprises, Inc.  In 2010 she was named the SBA Women in Business Champion of the Year for both Maine and New England.  Ruth has taught business communications for colleges in the United States as well as in Southeast Asia.  A former mediator for the Maine court system, she has also served as a college administrator, career counselor, and federal grants evaluator.  She has published more than seventy articles and essays and has written several award winning handbooks for a variety of non-profit organizations.  Her book, The Graphic Designer's Guide to Better Business Writing, was published in 2007 and won an Apex Award for Excellence.


Susan Corbett

Ms. Corbett is the owner and CEO of Axiom Technologies, a telecommunications company headquartered in Machias, Maine that has been creating and developing solutions for rural broadband deployment since 2005. The recipient of four State of Maine ConnectME grant awards totaling $825,000.00, Axiom has brought high-speed Internet service to Washington County with over 90 Access Points, creating an umbrella over 2,500 square miles. The company is the only Information Technology Company in Washington County, employing fourteen, much sought technical positions.  Additionally, Ms. Corbett owns a medical billing and practice management company, Morning Glory Enterprises, which provides services throughout New England and employs a staff of ten.  She has managed many businesses throughout her 35-year career, mostly in healthcare and has a 25 year background in office nursing and medical practice administration and has consulted in over 250 medical practices and businesses.  She has been a public speaker throughout Washington County and Maine advocating for rural broadband and is dedicated to the mission of bringing broadband to every resident and business. Ms. Corbett is a 2010 MaineBiz Women to Watch awardee recognized for her dedication in rural broadband development in the State of Maine.


Harold Clossey

Harold Clossey serves as the Executive Director of the Sunrise County Economic Council, cultivating and strengthening relationships with Washington County key partners in business and economic development communities as well as federal, state and local government. From Eastport, he received a degree in Small Business Management from Washington County Community College and has spent several years working in rural economic development in Washington County. Harold currently serves on the Governor’s Nature Based Tourism Task Force and is a core governing member of Washington County: One Community!


Sharon Dean

Sharon Dean serves as Executive Director of Sunrise Opportunities, a rehabilitation agency serving 120+ adults with intellectual disabilities and mental illness in Washington and Hancock Counties. From Middlebury, Connecticut, Sharon received her B.A. in Psychology in 1969 from Boston University and her M.S. in Education in 1983 from the University of Maine. After graduation she worked as a welfare worker for the state of Connecticut, and a teacher in a private special education school in Virginia.  In 1973, Sharon accepted a position as a social worker at the Elizabeth Levinson Center for severely retarded children in Bangor. Her tenure as Executive Director of Sunrise Opportunities began in 1980. Since then, she has overseen the growth of this program from a small, one-site rehabilitation program to an umbrella agency that encompasses six residential programs, two day programs, and several outreach and home-based programs.  She is an avid gardener and fitness swimmer.


Elizabeth “Betsy” Fitzgerald

A graduate of Washington Academy and the University of Maine at Machias, Fitzgerald spent 35 years teaching history, government and law at Erskine Academy in South China, ME. During her tenure, she received an Educator of the Year Award from the Maine Council for the Social Studies and was a semi-finalist for Teacher of the Year. In addition to her work in education, she served for many years as the code enforcement officer for the towns of Vassalboro and Benton. Returning home to Washington County, Fitzgerald served as the town manager of Machias for three and a half years and is now Washington County Manager.


Bonnie Fortini

Bonnie graduated from the University of Maine in 1965 with a B.S. in Bacteriology.  She worked as a teacher and tutor from nursery school through high school, and then as a pediatric assistant until “retiring” to raise a family on a small fiber farm in southern Maine.  After moving to Machias in 1989 and taking Literacy Volunteer tutor training, she began working for adult education and was eventually promoted to Director in 2000.  She also served as the ABE coordinator for the federally funded adult basic education collaboration (CWCABEC), which includes AOS 96, Lubec, and Maine Indian Education for the Passamaquoddy Tribe.  She currently oversees the state-funded Maine College Transition Program (TRAILS).  Bonnie has served on a number of national, state, and regional committees and projects, such as the State of Maine Learning Results Review Advisory Committee, Maine Compact for Higher Education, and the Local Workforce Investment Board.  She also chairs the Board of Directors of the Literacy Volunteers of Washington County.


Wendy Harrington

Since 2007, Wendy Harrington has served as Downeast Campus Director for Maine Sea Coast Mission.  She graduated from Framingham State College in 1990 as class valedictorian with a B.S. in Education: Consumer and Family Studies, and served a volunteer stint in the U.S. Peace Corps.  Wendy previously served as Co-Director of the Leadership Decisions Institute in Nobleboro, Maine, and as Adult and Community Coordinator for MSCM’s EdGE program. A recipient of the Maine Children’s Alliance Giraffe Award for meaningful work with children, Wendy also serves on the Board of Directors for Washington County: One Community, the Executive Board for UM’s Cooperative Extension, and the Advisory Boards for Downeast Table of Plenty, the Neighbors Care Volunteer Center, and the Washington County Food and Fuel Alliance.  At MSCM’s Downeast Campus, Wendy oversees programs that provide resources, support, and critical services to Washington County, including the food pantry, housing repair program, clothing assistance, emergency financial assistance, and senior companion program.


Dr. Joyce Hedlund

Dr. Joyce Baker Hedlund was born and raised in Fort Kent, Maine and has worked in higher education for 35 years.  She has been employed by the Univsersity of Maine at Fort Kent, the University of Maine, Husson University, Eastern Maine Community College and now serves as President of Washington County Community College in Calais.  Her higher education background includes work experiences in almost every area of a college environment, from admissions to counseling to continuing education to academic affairs and fund raising.  She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Fort Kent and the University of Maine.  She is an honorary member of Phi Theta Kappa, the academic honor society for two year colleges and a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the academic honor society for four year and graduate institutions.  President Hedlund currently serves on a number of local, regional, and state boards and organizations including the Calais Rotary Club, Maine Women's Forum, Maine Higher Education Council, Penobscot Bay Sail and Power Squadron, and the College Board's New England Community College Advisory Committee.  She also serves on the Board for Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems.  She is a graduate of the Delta Class of Leadership Maine and is the recipient of the 1998 Kenneth M. Curtis Leadership Award, given by the Alumni of Leadership Maine.


Blaine Jones (Vice Chair)

Blaine Jones received a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Maine in 1992 and a Masters in Business Administration for Thomas College in 2002. He was employed by the Pine State Trading Company from 1993 to 2006 in many positions from Marketing Assistant to the Director of Category Management and Purchasing.  In 2006 Jones became the Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager of Bangor Savings Bank, the largest independent bank in Maine. He is a member of the Machias Rotary Club, the Downeast Institute for Applied Marine Research and Education, Sunrise County Economic Council


Doug Jones

Doug is the new CEO of Down East Community Hospital in Machias, following ten years of exemplary service as President and CEO of Maine Coast Memorial Hospital in Ellsworth, Maine.  At Maine Coast, Doug successfully led a $5.5 million capital campaign to expand that facility and its surgical services.  Doug holds a B.A. in Economics from St. Lawrence University, and a Master of Public Health degree from Tulane University.  He previously served as President/CEO at Genesee Memorial Hospital and United Memorial Medical Center, in Batavia, NY, during the 1990s, during which time he oversaw the merger of Genesee Memorial Hospital with St. Jerome Hospital.  Doug has extensive experience in strategic planning and budget management, and he is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Maine Hospital Association (Public Policy Council), and chaired the United Way of Eastern Maine campaign in 2006.


Doug Kell, Sr.

Dugald, 81, is a graduate of MCTI, Marine Engineering and Technical College and has had a varied career.  He was in the United States Air Force from 1951-1953; he has worked as a captain of sport fising vessels for may years on the U.S. East Coast and the Bahamas.  At present, he is the founder and president of Kelco Industries, as small, successful manufacturing and sales corporation engaged in supplying the needs of the natural Christmas tree and wreath industries.  Just recently Mr. Kell has taken on the task of renovating an old 1800 era building and transforming it into an art gallery.  This new exstension of Kelco Industries activities will open in June 2011.  Auto racing, driving, sailing and flying airplanes are all sports in which he has or now enjoys.


Anne C. Perry, MSN, FNP

Anne Perry is a Family Nurse Practitioner working at Calais Regional Medical Services in Calais, ME.  She is a former State Representative for House District #31 (2003-10) in the Maine State Legislature and has served as co-chair of the Joint Standing Committees of Insurance & Financial Services and Health & Human Services.  Ms. Perry is an adjunct professor at Husson University.  She is a member of the District Coordinating Council for the Public Health System, board member of Washington County: One Community, member and president-elect of Calais Rotary Club and board member of the Maine Nurse Practitioner Association.  Ms. Perry is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with a BSN and Husson College with a MSN.


Ernestine “Ernie” Reisman

Ernie serves as VP of Human Resources at the Down East Community Hospital in Machias. From southern Maine, she graduated from Marshwood High School in 1975 and in 1979 from Colby College, where she earned her B.A. in Human Development and Sociology. She and her husband Jon moved to Washington County in 1984. Since coming to the area, Ernie has managed programs providing services for young children and their families, and for children and adults with disabilities. She has been active on statewide boards and committees that advocate for the needs of these individuals.


James Thompson

Jim earned a B.A. in Social Sciences and History from California State University, a Certificate in Newspaper Management from the National Press Institute in Reston, Virginia, and a Certificate in Human Factors Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Throughout his career he has worked at communications in a number of venues including American Airlines, executive director of the Maine Publicity Bureau, and director of public information for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development as well as the North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film and Sports Development.  Jim was owner and editor of the weekly Piscataquis Observer, and senior editorial officer for daily newspapers in Brunswick, Maine, and Barre-Montpelier, Vermont.  Most recently Jim was executive director of the Downeast Heritage Museum.  He also served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maine and Washington County Community College and is project coordinator for the Cross-Border Higher Education Partnership.


Ian Yaffe

Ian graduated from Bowdoin College in 2009 with a degree in Latin American Studies and Education, including a semester at the University of Havana studying Cuban history and philosophy. In 2008, he was awarded Campus Compact’s National Student Humanitarian Award and Maine Campus Compact’s Heart & Soul Award. As Bowdoin College’s Goodwin Commencement Prize recipient, Ian was selected to speak at Bowdoin’s 2009 commencement ceremony. In addition to his work with Mano en Mano, Ian is a Call Firefighter for the City of Ellsworth and a Petty Officer in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve.  For the past two years, Ian has been a participant in the Maine Leadership Forum on Sustainable Food Systems. Mano en Mano’s mission is to build a stronger community in Downeast Maine by working with diverse populations to provide educational and affordable housing opportunities, remove barriers to health and social services, and advocate for social justice.

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