Board of Visitors
The University of Maine at Machias Board of Visitors was created by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees to advocate for the University, advise the President on community and regional needs, review new academic programs and tuition waivers, and submit an annual report of its activities to the Board of Trustees.
Members are recommended by the President and are drawn from the local community external to the University. The regular term of appointment is three years with a maximum of two terms.
- Sarah Craighead Dedmon- Chair
- Charley Martin-Berry - Vice-Chair
- Kyle Winslow
- Nicole Case
- Nakia Dana
- Atrica Emerson
- Susan Mingo
- Jennifer Peters
- Rhiannon Hampson
- Juana Rodriguez Vazquez
- Beth Clifford
- Bill Kitchen
- Betty Mason
- Sam Whitney
- Amy Zipperer
- Jordan Porter
- Richard 'Rick' Scribner
- Jacqueline O'Clair
- Kyle Pepperman
- Dean Preston
Sarah Craighead Dedmon- Chair
Board of Visitors Chair
Together with her husband and two sons, Sarah Craighead Dedmon relocated to Machiasport in 2012 and loves living in Down East Maine. Her career background is in the tech industry, was the former editor of the Machias Valley News Observer and started The Washington County Almanac in spring 2023. Sarah is also a freelance journalist. She has a degree in history from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and in her free time enjoys reading, knitting, excessive gardening, volunteering for Porter Memorial Library, and extolling the virtues of Washington County far and wide.
Charley Martin-Berry - Vice-Chair
Board of Visitors Vice-Chair
Executive Director, Community Caring Collaborative
As director of the CCC, Charley Martin-Berry leads our multi-level collaboration of local, state, and tribal partners working to improve outcomes for vulnerable community members in Washington County, Maine. Prior to becoming director, she led the design and implementation efforts for Family Futures Downeast, helping shape this two-generation education and workforce opportunity for families that was designated as a White House Rural Council Rural IMPACT project in 2015. Charley has also led CCC barrier removal programming, including the Hope Fund and the Dream Fund. Focusing on strengthening partner organizations and their collective impact, Charley builds on the values of the Community Caring Collaborative to increase health and hope in Downeast Maine. A graduate of the University of Maine in Orono with a degree in Anthropology and Women’s Studies, Charley lives in East Machias with her husband Jacob and her little daughter Raven.
Principal, Machias Memorial High School
Since graduating from UMaine Machias in 1992, Nicole has spent her entire career in education, specifically in the Machias Public Schools. She taught at Rose M. Gaffney for five years and at Machias Memorial High School for twenty-two years. The beginning of the pandemic seemed like a good time to jump into administration, and Nicole has served in that capacity since 2020.
Nicole resides in Whiting with her husband and their youngest son. She enjoys reading, gardening, seasonal paddling or walking on and around Indian Lake, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Educational Resource Coordinator, Passamaquoddy Tribe
Nakia Dana is a member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe. She earned her degree in Business Administration from UMaine Machias in 2008 and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Maine in 2020. She has 15 years of experience in human services programming coordination and health care administration serving as the Tribal Health Director for the Passamaquoddy Tribe from 2010 – 2014. Her current work involves coordinating adult and post-secondary education as well as youth workforce development programs for the Tribe as their Education Resource Coordinator.
Employment and Training Specialist, CSSP Case Manager
Washington County CareerCenters
Atrica “Dodie” Emerson has worked for the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services in the Washington County CareerCenters for 20 years. She attained an associate degree from the University of Maine at Machias in 1999 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in May 2020. She has lived in Washington County her entire life and currently resides in Addison with her husband, Ossie and son, Jacob.
President, Washington County Community College
Over her more than fifteen-year career in higher education, Mingo has devoted herself to providing opportunities for degree attainment that advance the lives of individuals within Washington County and the State of Maine. Susan has served as the President of WCCC since August 2018 and prior to that as the Dean of Students for seven years. Susan supports under-resourced students and works to improve opportunities at the College to close achievement gaps and improve retention and persistence rates for the students they serve. She is an advocate for decreasing barriers that impede student success, creating supports, and leveraging resources to assist students with navigating their external barriers.
Prior to working in higher education, she worked for twenty years in local businesses as well as two years in municipal government. Susan graduated from the University of Maine at Machias with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and from Husson University with a master’s in Human Relations.
Susan has spent her life in beautiful Downeast Maine. She and her husband are owners and operators of two small businesses in the Calais area. Susan was born and raised in Washington County, and has chosen to reside here while raising her family. She has two adult children, who both live and work within education in Boston, Massachusetts. She treasures time spent with family at their camp on Nash’s Lake where she enjoys relaxing with friends and family, boating, and the peace and tranquility of her natural surroundings.
Assistant Director, Sunrise County Economic Council
Jen Peters joined SCEC in June 1996 while attending classes at the University of Maine at Machias. She graduated summa cum laude from UMaine Machias in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree, with concentrations in marketing and office Management. First as SCEC program manager and most recently as assistant director, Peters has played a crucial role in developing and administering several of the Council’s signature programs, including its scholarship fund for nontraditional learners, and trainings for small- and micro-business people. She began coordinating the award-winning Washington County Leadership Institute in 2002 and took on program facilitation in 2019. She is an active member of boards and committees dealing with topics from sustainable tourism to economic and community development, education, and workforce development.
State Director of USDA, Rural Development, Maine
Rhiannon Hampson graduated (’17) from the University of Maine at Machias where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Community Studies. She currently serves as the Biden-Harris Administration’s appointed State Director of USDA, Rural Development, Maine. Raised in some of the most rural pockets of the state, Rhiannon has a profound belief in the value of lived experience as the foundation for creating effective public policy. To that end, she has served as the District Representative covering Maine’s heritage industries for one of Maine’s U.S. Congressional Representatives, a Maine Community Foundation Public Policy Scholar, and in numerous state advocacy roles. With her husband Gregg, and their two children Ruby and Maden, she owns and operates an organic livestock and dairy farm in Knox County. Rhiannon’s experience as a small business owner further informs her understanding of, and dedication to, advancing Maine’s sustainable economic development.
Juana Rodriguez Vazquez
Interim Executive Director/Rayitos del Sol
Bilingual Childcare Care Director
Mano en Mano/Hand in Hand
Juana first came to Maine 20 years ago to participate in Maine’s wild blueberry harvest. Her active participation over the years and her commitment to sharing her knowledge and experience with other parents led her to become an AmeriCorps Member with Mano en Mano in 2014. Through this position, Juana was involved in a range of activities such as creating short non-fiction informational videos for other parents, helping to coordinate bi-lingual learning activities for families, and co-presenting about her experiences at national and regional events. Juana was hired as a full-time member of the team in 2016, and promoted to Program Director in 2019. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in education from the University of Maine at Machias and General Elementary (K-8) Teacher Certification from the Maine Department of Education. In 2015, Juana received national recognition as migrant parent of the year from the National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education. Juana is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Women’s Health Resource Library and the Friends of the Milbridge Public Library.
Curriculum Director of Maine Indian Education
Throughout her sixteen years with MIE, Beth has put learner equity and access at the center of her work with the MIE learning communities. She is a dedicated professional who selflessly works to ensure that every person has access to exceptional education, young learners and adult learners alike. Beth has served on the MLCA Board longer than any other board member, and is a cherished holder of historical MLCA knowledge. She has also given her energy and expertise to AXIOM Education and Training Center, the Cohort for Customized Learning, and to professional learning initiatives across Washington County.
Machias Town Manager
Kitchen was initially hired as the interim town manager in Machias in May, when previous town manager Christine Therrien departed. Machias’ board of select people voted to remove “interim” from Kitchen’s title on Sept. 22. As town manager, Kitchen will be paid an annual salary of nearly $70,000, the same as his predecessor, he said. Like all new town hires in Machias, he will have a 6-month probationary period. During his time as interim town manager, Kitchen has been tasked with hiring a new police chief. Kitchen was previously a selectman for Machias from June 2017 through September 2020. He also worked as a reporter and photographer for the weekly Machias Valley News Observer from 2014 through 2019. Kitchen also has experience in reality television. He was featured in 2015 on a National Geographic show called “The Watch,” in which he lived alone for 8 weeks at an abandoned amusement park in Princeton, West Virginia.
Kitchen was not allowed to contact the outside world while he stayed in a motorhome on the property — which closed in 1966 and was rumored to be haunted — and was tasked with mowing, fixing fences and keeping out trespassers who might be looking to connect with the resident spirits. Kitchen got the TV gig from the summer of 2011 to the fall of 2012, in the Little River Lighthouse on an island off the village of Cutler. Before that, the Connecticut native worked as an investment banker, owned a nightclub and restaurant in Virginia, worked as a music promoter in Washington D.C. and New York, and got to know Bill and Hilary Clinton when he produced Bill Clinton’s inaugural balls after he was elected president in 1992 and 1996.
Kitchen moved to Maine in the early 2000s and, since 2002, has been owner and operator of KitchenSync Consulting in Machias, offering marketing and public relations to national and Maine businesses and organizations.
Betty resides in East Machias with her 2 children and husband. She began her college journey in 2016 in the first cohort of Family Futures Downeast. She graduated from UMM with a certificate in Family Studies in 2017 and with my bachelor’s degree in psychology and community studies in 2022. Betty is currently employed at Downeast Community Hospital’s Family Practice as a certified scribe for Dr. Rioux.
Assistant Branch Manager, Machias Savings Bank
Sam Whitney graduated from the University of Maine at Machias in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship. It was during his four years at UMaine Machias that he started a career at Machias Savings Bank, where he is currently the assistant branch manager of the Machias main office. As the ABM, Sam manages the operation of the branch as well as develops customer relationships through loans and deposit account services. Sam spends roughly 200 hours every year volunteering at local schools through financial literacy programs and coaching various athletic teams. Coaching has been a passion of his for close to ten years, ranging from junior high to high school athletes. Sam also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Eastport Health Care. He lives on a beautiful lake where he can spend most of his free time enjoying the lake life; fishing, boating as well as hiking and spending time with family and friends.
Education Coordinator, Down East Community Hospital
Amy Zipperer received an associate degree in nursing with a Machias-based cohort through Central Maine Medical Center College of Nursing and Health Professions (now Maine College of Health Professions). She has worked as a registered nurse in the emergency department at Down East Community Hospital and completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing through University of Maine at Fort Kent in 2015. She has provided nursing care throughout Washington County as a community health nurse with Community Health and Counseling Services. She currently works as Education Coordinator/Nurse Educator at DECH and is in her third year of a distance-based graduate nursing program with Duke University School of Nursing. Her current work involves linking nursing students with clinical placements at DECH, training and orienting new staff, and providing ongoing professional development opportunities for current staff.
Nurse Practitioner, Downeast Community Hospital
Jordan is a highly trained nursing professional who is happy to be back in Washington County where he intends to do his best to improve the health outcomes for his family, friends, and the community. Jordan is passionate about the people of Washington County. He grew up on Gardner’s Lake and has many family members who live and work in the Down East area. He loves the ocean and the rugged coast of Maine. Jordan is a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) and board certified family nurse practitioner (FNP-BC). He received his bachelor’s of science in nursing from the University of New England in Portland, Maine, and worked as a nurse at Vanderbilt University Medical Center while obtaining his DNP degree at neighboring Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
Richard 'Rick' Scribner
Retired Associate Professor Emeriti of Recreation Management
Rick retired in 2015 from the University of Maine at Machias as Associate Professor Emeriti of Recreation Management. He received his Master’s of Education, Health, Physical Education, and Recreation and his Bachelor of Science Degree Double Major: Health, Physical Education and Recreation as well as Mathematics from the University of Maine in 1971 and 1973 consecutively. Rick began his 40 year career at the University of Maine at Machias in 1975 where he Developed, taught, and planned undergraduate courses, was instrumental in student academic advising and handled Cooperative Education as well as committee assignments.
Rick was Director of Greenland Point Center in Princeton, Maine, (UMaine Machias owned) from 1994 – 2001. A 64-acre field camp located on Long Lake in Princeton, Maine. The program’s primary purpose was to provide opportunities for university students majoring in Recreation Management, Environmental Science, and Education to develop, teach, lead, and maintain conservation education programs for Maine children. The number of children yearly attending these programs from throughout Maine increased from 270 to 700.
Jacqueline is the President of Sunrise Senior College, Board Chair of Downeast Community Hospital, and the Director of the Board of St. Aidan’s Church of Machias.
Kyle Pepperman graduated from the University of Maine at Machias in May 2009 with a B.S. in Marine Biology and a minor in Chemistry. Originally from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, Kyle currently lives in Marshfield, Maine with his wife Mandie and two children, Ryder and Anson. Kyle currently serves as the President of the UMaine Machias Alumni Association.
Kyle is the Associate Director of Technology transfer at the Downeast Institute on Beals Island Maine, which serves as the marine field station for the University of Maine at Machias. Kyle is responsible for helping municipalities and individuals interested in public stock enhancement and sustainable shellfish aquaculture. He also manages a small demonstration oyster farm in a vacant lobster pound on Beals Island that produces premium “Three Islands” oysters for the commercial market. Kyle is also the project coordinator of a restorative aquaculture project funded by the Builder’s Initiative with a goal of creating a sustainable soft-shell clam resource for the town of Beals.