The NRCM Rising Leadership Team helps provide ideas, energy, and momentum to NRCM Rising. The Leadership Team acts as an advisory board to NRCM Rising staff across the full range of NRCM Rising activities, including events and initiatives aimed at connecting young people who care about Maine’s environment to each other, to high priority environmental issues, and to special places across the state.
Dana Wilfahrt, Portland Dana grew up on the North Shore of Massachusetts before attending school in Rhode Island, traveling a bit, spending a couple of years in Boston, and finally ending up in Maine, which she now happily calls home. Having grown up tied to the beach and the water, from a sand-eating three-year-old to trans-Pacific sailing to a Peaks-to-Portland competitor, a love for the ocean quickly translated to a passion for all things outdoors. The great work of NRCM was introduced to Dana through their partnership with Patagonia, where Dana spends her workdays overseeing the Environmental Program and the day-to-day operations of the store in Freeport. She is excited to be a part of the NRCM Rising team in helping connect important topics and issues involving our environment to current and future generations of Maine.
Heather Drake, Cape Elizabeth Heather grew up in rural Central New York and graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in political science. She made her way to DC, where she earned a masters in public health from The George Washington University. From there she made her way through Boston and eventually to Maine, working in a wide array of public health fields most currently with the Maine Public Health Association. Heather fell in love with Maine, a community reminiscent to where she grew up—down to earth, welcoming people with an expansive and beautiful landscape to explore. Since moving here, she has found hobbies to keep her engaged in outdoor activities all year round. Heather is excited to marry her career in public health with her passion for the environment to ensure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy all that Maine has to offer. On any given day, you can find Heather looking for an excuse to get outside and explore the great Maine landscape, most often with her dog, Gunther, and husband, Andrew.
Jeremy Vroom, Kittery Jeremy grew up in Bangor and after living all around the state of Maine he has migrated south, hanging on to still being a Mainer by a few hundred yards. He graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington with a B.A. in Geography and Art. Since then he has worked numerous jobs in the outdoor industry throughout Maine and has now settled working for Pinnacle Outdoor Group, a sales agency representing five different outdoor gear companies to New England retailers. Being passionate about outdoor pursuits of all kinds, and being able to make a living because of Maine’s strong environment and recreation opportunities, he sees NRCM’s work for the environment and public lands as critical to keep Maine’s outdoor economy strong. He takes part in NRCM Rising as a way to give back to what Maine has given him. In his free time, he enjoys photography, drawing, hiking, skiing, biking, and most recently trying to learn how to surf.
Ryan Linn, Portland Ryan grew up in Belfast and eventually settled in Portland. Somewhere along the way he found the mountains of northern New England were some of the few places he could truly relax and gather his thoughts. After hiking the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail, Ryan started Guthook Hikes to make smartphone-based hiking guides as a way to share the joy he finds in hiking all over the country. Ryan joined NRCM as a member when he learned about NRCM’s work to protect Maine’s Public Reserved Lands, since Maine has so many wild places yet so little public land. When he is not working on Guthook Hikes projects, Ryan can be found hiking and camping in Baxter State Park.
Sarah Cotton, Rockland Sarah is passionate about keeping our water clean and clear and protecting natural spaces. After earning her B.A. in Environmental Studies at the College of St. Benedict, Sarah volunteered with AmeriCorps in northern California working in water quality in coastal redwood forests. After enjoying California for a few years, she moved back to her home state of Minnesota. There she worked for a Soil and Water Conservation District where she coordinated its education and outreach efforts to help landowners take action to conserve natural resources. After visiting Maine several times to visit family, she moved here with her husband in 2019. Sarah works in the admissions Department at Hurricane Island Outward Bound School where she is involved with their custom programs and works with students and their parents to get them ready for their courses. She lives in Hope and has found many great places in Maine to hike, canoe, and sit by the ocean.
Tom Kittredge, Portland Tom grew up along the Maine coast and his deep love of Maine’s natural heritage is rooted in his childhood paddling its waters and exploring its forests and mountains. He spent many years working in outdoor education at the Chewonki Foundation, which instilled in him an appreciation for the soul-stirring power of the natural world. Tom recently moved back to Portland after two years studying an international MBA in Spain, Kenya, and Brazil, where he focused on social innovation and sustainability. He firmly believes that new business models are necessary to combat the climate crisis, and is excited at the opportunity that Maine has to be at the forefront of a movement integrating environmental and social priorities into business. In addition to his role at NRCM Rising, Tom is a Top Gun mentor at the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and on the planning committee for Startup Maine. His favorite pastimes include backpacking, sea kayaking, sailing, cooking, soccer, and getting lost in the woods.
Vanessa Berry, Old Orchard Beach Vanessa brings experience in sustainable waste management, environmental education and outreach to the NRCM Rising Leadership team. Born and raised in Maine, she graduated in 2015 from the University of Maine at Farmington with a B.S. in Elementary Education, and now uses her skills as a teacher and passion for the environment in her role as an Environmental Educator for ecomaine to help Mainers follow the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, then Recycle! Outside the office, Vanessa enjoys hiking, kayaking, biking, and spending time along the coast near her home in Old Orchard Beach. Through her role at NRCM Rising, she is most excited about empowering residents to become change agents for strong environmental policies that preserve and protect Maine's beautiful outdoor spaces.
Will Hardy, Wells Will is from Wells and a native Mainer. With an education in Integrated Manufacturing, Will has worked extensively with many of the largest manufacturers in the world and has had a hands-on experience boosting efficiency of their processes. Frustrated by the lack of environmental concern in our factories, Will is currently the owner of Vagabond Coffee in Portland. Will is passionate about diversifying green businesses in Maine so as to stabilize and create a healthier and greener workforce that is modernized and able to adapt to greener, 21st century demands. Will believes that for society to move in a greener direction, we need more people from the trades to be a part of the conversation and as such is passionate about spreading the word about NRCM and how they work to benefit all Mainers. Boosting Maine's solar energy production, combating sea-level rise, and expanding the infrastructure for electric vehicle ownership in Maine are issues Will is excited about. Will's favorite place is Deer Isle, and he loves to live in Maine because there are countless activities to enjoy in each of the four seasons, such as rock and ice climbing, paragliding, Nordic skiing, and more!
NRCM Rising Leadership Team Alumni
Erin Walter (2020-2021) Sabattus Originally from Kentucky, Erin discovered her love of wild places the first time she visited Acadia National Park, and decided to take a full-time adventure when she moved to Maine in 2013. Erin earned a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Cincinnati, and after deciding against a lucrative career as a barista, started working in project management and technology-focused operations and marketing communications. She has worked on many community and nonprofit-focused campaigns for fundraising, loyalty, and membership enrollment and volunteers with organizations in the community for children and the environment.
Yvette Meunier (2017-2020), Topsham Yvette is a Promotional Coordinator for the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, her previous experience includes working on Maine’s Bottle Bill, wastewater permitting and working for a solar company. She holds a BA in Geosciences and a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development from the University of Southern Maine. In her free time, she enjoys overnight kayaking adventures on the Maine Island Trail, road biking to farmers’ markets, and plogging.
Jesse McMahon (2014-2019), Arrowsic Jesse is a content producer for the hit PBS KIDS animated series, Nature Cat. The show motivates young children to go outside and connect with nature (wherever they may live) in hopes of inspiring the next generation of environmental stewards. Prior to her work in television, Jesse worked as an independent communications consultant and freelance reporter.
Kelly Corbin (2016-2018), South Portland Kelly is an experienced environmental educator, ecological landscape manager, and communications professional. She holds a Master’s degree in Ecological Design from The Conway School as well as a Master’s in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England. Kelly also plans and designs native plant gardens, hikes, runs, rock climbs, reads, sews, and appreciates life with her husband and dog in South Portland.
Lucy Perkins (2016-2018), South Portland Lucy calls South Portland home, where enjoys a quick walk to work as the Sustainability Program Coordinator for the City. She has marveled in the opportunity to impact her local community through energy efficiency, waste reduction, solar, and climate adaptation programs. Prior to this work, Lucy was an Annual Giving Coordinator for her alma mater, Bates College, where she earned a degree in Environmental Studies as a student.
Jenny Kordick (2017-2019), Peaks Island Jenny brought experience in campaign management and strategy, environmental advocacy, and outreach to the NRCM Rising team. She is the Executive Director of Maine Outdoor Brands, a nonprofit committed to working with individuals and organizations from the public and private sectors in helping to drive Maine’s $8.2B outdoor recreation economy. She moved to Maine in 2017 to be closer to nature and to enjoy life the way it should be.
Mike Williams (2016-2018), Cumberland Mike is the Vice President of Strategic Development for the BlueGreen Alliance. The BlueGreen Alliance unites America’s largest labor unions and its most influential environmental organizations to identify ways today’s environmental challenges can create and maintain quality jobs and build a stronger, fairer economy. He moved to Maine in June 2014 with his wife and children.
Greg Edwards (2015-2016), Bangor Greg is a staff accountant at Edwards, Faust, and Smith in Bangor, as well a part-time graphic design student. Greg was born and raised in Bangor and is a graduate of Bangor High School. Greg is an Eagle Scout and serves on the board of Bangor Greendrinks, ACE Mentor Program of Maine, and the City of Bangor Tree Board.
Sadie Lloyd Mudge (2015-2017), Waldo Along with her environmental ethic and advocacy, Sadie brought to the Leadership Team her experience in city planning, fundraising, marketing, and communications. After graduating with honors from Lesley University, Sadie attended the Muskie School of Public Service where she earned her Master's in Community Planning and Development.
Ellen Sabina (2015-2017), Belfast Ellen brought communications, marketing, and statewide organizing experience to the team. Currently the Outreach Director at Maine Farmland Trust (MFT), her previous experience includes work in development, event management, design, and coordination of diverse environmental groups on common goals. After studying at Bates and working on farms and with farmers in Vermont and Washington, Ellen settled in her home state of Maine
Sarah Short (2015-2017), Portland Sarah is the Development Director for the Senator George Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute, which works to increase the likelihood that young people from every community in Maine will aspire to, pursue, and achieved a college education. Prior to joining the Mitchell Institute, Sarah worked for the Union of Concerned Scientists. Sarah received a B.A. in computer science from Amherst College, and later went on to earn her MBA in nonprofit management at the Yale School of Management.
Alicia Rea (2015-2017), Lewiston Alicia has skills and experience in community service, nonprofit organizations, and fundraising. Currently serving on the Lewiston City Council and working as an Annual Giving Coordinator for Student Programs at Bates College, Alicia is a proud graduate of Connecticut College.
Rob Ellis (2015-2016), Waterville Rob is a solar design specialist at Revision Energy in Portland, Maine’s largest residential and commercial solar panel installer. At Revision, Rob helps Maine homeowners understand the potential of solar energy and the options available for their homes. Prior to joining the Revision team, Rob worked as an Americorp VISTA in Portland helping homeowners and renters winterize their homes.
Adam Turner (2017-2019), Hallowell Adam makes a living by renovating and renting apartment buildings in Augusta, Hallowell, Gardiner, and Portland. He is passionate about the protection of the natural environment and is especially interested in preventing the growing climate change disaster. Adam has also worked as a worm digger, an urchin tender, a mussel farmer and with fixing, fitting and selling bicycles in all shapes and sizes.