The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation (AWWF) is pleased to announce the election of seven new board members. In making this announcement, Bob McIntosh, Board President, noted “The Foundation is well positioned to expand its board as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway’s designation as a National Wild Scenic River. These new members will bring specialized skills, local knowledge, and a range of experiences with the Waterway that will significantly benefit the Foundation in the years to come.”
The seven new members joining the existing AWWF board are:
New board members bios are attached below. They began their terms on July 1, 2020.
AWWF also appointed Alexandra Conover Bennett, Willimantic, Maine, North Woods Ways, to be Foundation’s first “Advisor to the Board.” Alexandra’s bio is attached below.
During the annual meeting, board members reviewed the significant progress and growth of the organization over the past fiscal year and highlighted several larger initiatives. The Foundation continues to offer Allagash experiences for youth in the St. John Valley and organized two multi-day trips in the fall of 2019. This spring, AWWF published Allagash Explorer, a Take-Along Companion to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway in collaboration with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.
This summer, the Foundation, again in collaboration with the Maine’s BPL, has engaged noted Maine ecologist Janet McMahon to begin work on a multi-year natural resources inventory and assessment of the Allagash.
The Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation created in 2012 to enhance the wilderness character of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, protect its environment, preserve its historic and cultural values and foster knowledge and understanding of the Waterway.
The AWWF fulfills its mission by raising funds from private and public sources that supplement, not replace, necessary and appropriate state and federal funding. It supports:
• Youth access to the experience of this unique and remote public resource;
• Acquisition of critical lands and/or easements along the watercourse;
• Necessary capital improvements and infrastructure development and restoration;
• Natural, historic, and cultural interpretation and public educational programming; and
• Research, planning, and demonstration projects to strengthen the management, use and experience of the Waterway.
Kaitlyn Bernard – Gray, ME
Kaitlyn, originally from Fort Kent, is the Natural Resources Policy Advisor for The Nature Conservancy in Maine. In that role she is responsible for leading federal policy strategies and covering a range of state policy issues to advance land and water protection and sustainable fisheries. Prior to joining TNC, she served as the Maine Policy Manager for the Appalachian Mountain Club. Kaitlyn graduated from Colby College in 2013 with Honors in Environmental Policy and is an award-winning Nordic Ski Coach for Falmouth High School. She also serves on the board of Teens to Trails.
Tom Gerard – Madawaska, ME
A University of Maine, Orono graduate Tom had a career with Fraser Papers for over 25 years. Tom gained a second degree from University of Maine Fort Kent and a Master’s Degree from Fresno Pacific University and began a second career as a Health and Physical Education at Madawaska Middle High School. He has coached a variety of sports continuously and participated in various staff roles for the past 15 years. Tom is also a 2001-2002 Iota Class member of Leadership Maine; Registered Maine Guide; and Board President of St. John Valley Associates that serves adults with intellectual disabilities. Hobbies include enjoying the woods and waters of this great State year-round, reading and enjoying time at home.
Chace Joe Jackson – Allagash, ME
Chace grew up in Allagash, his family’s home since the 1830s. He managed the Allagash Historical Society Museum, was involved in efforts to preserve cultural uses and resources of the Allagash River, and was an assistant ranger at Michaud Farm. His professional career has included work in electoral politics and government affairs and he is currently the American Heart Association’s Director of Maine Government Relations. Chace previously worked in the law firm Preti Flaherty for its Legislative Practice Group. However, Chace’s primary interests lie in Allagash where he is committed to documenting and studying the Moosetowner culture and identity. This identity is associated with the modern town of Allagash but historically referred to the people who live along the Allagash, upper St. John, and Little Black Rivers. As such, Chace believes exploring and interpreting the Moosetowner perspective is an integral part of preserving, protecting, and promoting the Allagash River in the future.
Jana L. Kenney – Westbrook, ME
Jana is an attorney at Richardson, Whitman, Large & Badger in Portland. A native of central Maine, Jana graduated from the University of Maine and is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, where she was an editor on the Maine Law Review. Jana is passionate about both natural resource protection and elder advocacy. In her free time, Jana is most likely found hiking and climbing in Maine and New Hampshire.
Leslie Marquis – Fort Kent, ME
Leslie is a wife, a mother of two boys and a high school science teacher. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a Master’s Degree focused in Reproductive Biology and is the Head Alpine Coach position for our high school ski team, an officer for the Lonesome Pine Trail board of directors, and a volunteer for the Can Am Crown sled dog race and biathlon ski races. She is one of six owners who manage the Too Far North Fit gym where she also coaches CrossFit classes.
Jason Perkins – North Yarmouth, ME
Jason is the Brewmaster/VP of Brewing Operations at Allagash Brewing Company in Portland Maine. He began with the company in 1999, as the third full-time employee (including the owner). He has watched the brewery and craft beer grow greatly during that time. Prior to Allagash, Jason graduated from Bates College is currently on the board for the national trade organization for Craft beer, the Brewer’s Association as well as the Economic Development and Sustainability Committee for North Yarmouth. He enjoys hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, playing hockey and spending time with his family.
Jenny Ward – Greenville Junction, ME
Jenny is the Business & Community Relations Manager for the AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative. A graduate of the University of Maine and Senior Fellow of the Environmental Leadership Program, she was instrumental in the successful launch of AMC’s Medawisla Lodge & Cabins and the current effort around creating the Maine Woods International Dark Sky Reserve. She is a Registered Maine Guide and serves on the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, First Light Learning Journey, coordinator for Moosehead Trails and is currently a County Advisor for the Maine Community Foundation. She also volunteers for numerous conservation and community projects. In her free time she loves to trail run, cross country ski and explore the landscape of her life.
Alexandra Conover Bennett – Willimantic, ME
Alexandra is a Master Registered Maine Guide and co-owner of North Woods Ways with Garrett Conover since 1978, leading year round canoeing and snowshoeing trips in the wildest regions of Maine and Labrador. She has snowshoed the length of the Allagash upriver and down twice and guided our guests on summer and winter camping trips there for decades. Alexandra is currently on the Advisory Board of Friends of Baxter State Park and has served in an advisory capacity on a variety of the State’s Bureau of Parks and Lands committees over the decades.