Board of Directors
Dennis Damon, Chair, is a fourth-generation commercial fisherman with extensive experience in many fisheries including ground fish, shrimp, scallops, lobsters, and herring. Dennis graduated from Mount Desert High School, in Northeast Harbor then received a B.S. degree in education from the University of Maine at Orono. He is committed to advancing the dialog and policies that will define and develop Maine’s marine economy. Other areas of interest include promoting and strengthening Maine’s foundation for growth, education, transportation, energy, information, technology, and the environment. He has worked as a schoolteacher, coach, entrepreneur, and small business owner. Mr. Damon is a former Maine State Senator. As senator, he chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources and he was Maine’s legislative appointee to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. He lives in Trenton, Maine, where he lives with his wife Bonnie. The couple has three grown children; Erin, Sadie and Doyle.
James Chesney, Vice-Chair, is the founding partner of the Policy Initiatives Consulting Group (PICG), a consulting practice that uses strategic, analytic, research and political skills to turn ideas into action. Jim has built and managed large scale demonstration projects that use research results to produce change. Jim has held academic appointments at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, the University of Illinois, and Wayne State University. His Ph.D. is from the University of Michigan in Political Science. He is the author of more than 24 peer-reviewed articles on health care policy and politics and is co-author of Building Civic Literacy and Citizen Power and Taking Care of the Uninsured: a Path to Reform. Jim is a resident of Ann Arbor, Michigan and a lifelong summer resident of Sunset, ME.
Charles Lucas, Treasurer, was, until the end of 2005, Corporate Vice President and Director, Market Risk Management at American International Group (AIG). Prior to joining AIG in May, 1996, he was Senior Vice President and Director of Risk Assessment and Control at Republic National Bank of New York. For the 25 years prior to joining Republic in late 1993, Chuck was with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, in various research, domestic monetary policy, and international policy areas. From mid-1978 to mid-1979, he was a technical assistance mission to the Central Bank of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Chuck has also consulted in monetary policy planning and implementation with Bank Indonesia, Bangledesh Bank, the National Bank of Georgia, and the Bank of Morocco. He is a member of the Advisory Group on the Financial Engineering Program at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, is a Member of the Corporation, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and was a member of the Board on Mathematical Sciences and the Applications of the National Academy of Sciences from 2002 to 2011. From 2000 to 2004 he was a Director of Algorithmics, Incorporated. He earned a B.A. in economics in 1961 and a Ph.D. in economics in 1968, both from the University of California at Berkeley.
Charlie Osborn, Secretary, retired in 2006 as Director of Business Development for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP (S&C), an international law firm headquartered in New York City. Prior to establishing the firm’s business development department, he developed advanced practice management and litigation support departments for S&C, adapting database technologies and data mining techniques to the information needs of law firms. Before joining S&C, Charlie was a senior economic consultant with Alan McAdams Associates, advising the U.S. Department of Justice on the U.S. v. IBM anti-trust case. Charlie’s background includes a B.A. in economics from Vanderbilt, an M.B.A. from Cornell and an M.A. in political philosophy from Columbia. Charlie and his wife, Kathleen, became year-round residents of Deer Isle in 2006 after 30 years in the New York City area. Since relocating to the Island, Charlie has been active in community organizations and issues. He is treasurer of the Island Medical Center (IMC) Board of Trustees, where he also helped lead IMC’s successful capital campaign in 2006-2007, and serves on the advisory board of DIS-FIA, a new initiative providing free medical transportation for Deer Isle-Stonington residents. He is a past member of the steering committee for the Reach Performing Arts Center, where he handled financial matters.
Ted Ames is a founding board member of Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, a lifelong fisherman and historical fisheries ecology researcher. He fished for groundfish and scallops for 24 years, lobsters for much of his career, and has extensive additional fishing experience. While almost retired from fishing, he still lobsters on the F/V Mary Elizabeth during the summer and fall seasons. Since coming ashore Ted has developed a method to integrate fishermen’s knowledge and fishery science and has published peer-reviewed articles on groundfish stock structure, their interactions with prey, and essential fish habitat. He was Visiting Coastal Studies Scholar at Bowdoin College during 2010-2011 and has a continuing research association with Bowdoin. He is an adjunct professor at University of Maine with an ongoing research association. Ames is the recipient of a 2005 MacArthur Award, the 2007 Geddes W. Simpson Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Maine. In the past, Ted set up and directed Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries’ Zone C Lobster Hatchery, established and ran an environmental and water quality laboratory, was Executive Director of Maine Gillnetters Association and was an instructor/teacher of chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental science for ten years. Ted has a B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry and an honorary PhD from the University of Maine. His public service includes the NOAA Marine Advisory Committee, Maine Department of Marine Resources Hatchery Technology Association, the Stonington Harbor Committee and the Deer Isle-Stonington School Board. He lives in Stonington, ME with his wife, Robin Alden.
Dwight Carver is a long time fisherman in Washington County. For the last few decades he has been exclusively lobster fishing, but he has been involved in all types of fishing for fin fish and shellfish over the years including: gill netting, scalloping, crabs, and quahogs. Dwight is a believer in area management for fisheries. He is concerned about the disappearing working waterfront, as well as being concerned about the future of fishing as an occupation. He has been very active in giving support for initiative on preserving fishing. He is a member of the Maine Lobster Association Board of Directors, the Downeast Lobster Association, and the Lobster Council (LCNT). Dwight is a life-long resident of Beals, Maine where he and his wife, Patti have raised 3 daughters. He is active in the Beals Community of Christ Church where he is a lay preacher. He has been a basketball coach in area schools.
Joe Fessenden is a Bangor native and worked with the Maine Marine Patrol in the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) for 40 years and recently retired from his post. He rose through the ranks from “coastal warden” to Colonel and Chief. During his 40 years working with the DMR, he worked under seven different commissioners and maintains strong relationships with the DMR and the commercial fishing industry that he served. He has been honored for his work with the Maine Marine Patrol by Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), United States Coast Guard, and Maine Lobstermen’s Association (MLA). In 2007, the ASMFC presented Joe with its Annual Award of Excellence in Law Enforcement for his lifelong work. The US Coast Guard honored him twice with their Meritorious Public Service Award. In 1996 and 2009, the MLA awarded Joe with their Officer of the Year Award for his outstanding leadership and service. In addition to these accolades, Joe spent 15 years on the New England Fishery Management Council’s enforcement committee, which allowed him to effect management plans in the commercial fishing industry. Currently, Joe resides in Pittston with his wife and two step-children, Faith and Brenna.
Ted Hoskins is a founding board member and immediately before retirement served as Minister for Fisheries and Coastal Communities for the Maine Sea Coast Mission. He retired in 2003 from being the Mission’s “boat minister” aboard the Sunbeam, serving the outer islands of Maine. Prior to that he was a pastor in Westport, CT for 40 years and was the summer minister for Isle au Haut for many, many years until 2015. Hoskins is founding board member of Stonington Fisheries Alliance, Saltwater Network and active in numerous community efforts having served on the Maine Lobster Advisory Council and Board of Directors of Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. He is the founder of Belize Federation of Fishers (BFF), an organization of commercial fishermen from all of Belize who are committed to marine resource conservation and sustainable harvesting. For almost two decades he has taken work groups to Monkey River, Belize – rebuilding after severe hurricane devastation to the community and responding to their self-identified needs of putting in place a computer lab for both students and the community, electricity to Monkey River, and establishing a scholarship program so students can go to high school and even college.
Brent Oliver is a fisherman and started fishing in 1978, working in the stern for one year. He then bought an old boat and rigged it for scalloping. After 1 1/2 years he moved into a 34′ boat which he used for offshore scalloping in the summer and inshore scalloping in winter. In 1983-84 he brought gillnet gear and in 1985 bought a bigger boat. He bought a new boat in 1987 which he used gillnetting, fish dragging and scallop dragging with a net. In 1989 he ordered a 48′ boat for gillnetting further offshore and longlining. In 1991 he could see the writing on the wall for groundfishing and bought lobster gear and went lobstering in the winter, until 1994. At that point fishermen were told if their boat was less than 45′ they would not have to use Days at Sea or call in, to fish. In 1994 those rules were revoked so in 1994 he finished the season gillnetting, affected as well by the new groundfish rolling closures. In 1995 he went full time lobstering and has been lobstering since then, from shore to well offshore. He has seen a huge change in both the lobstering and the gillnetting industries. Brent is a lifelong resident of Deer Isle and resides in Deer Isle with his wife Susan.
Jane Osborne founded and served as Executive Director of the Saturday Environmental Academy, a Washington DC based environmental education program for inner city 7th and 8th graders, from 2006 through 2014. Prior to that she worked as a personal and executive coach and organization development consultant and served for 20 years in the US Public Health Service working in various agencies within the US Department of Health and Human Services. She has a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and a Master’s in Administrative Science from John Hopkins University. Jane also serves on the Island Heritage Trust (IHT) Board of Trustees and is a member of the CSD13 (Deer Isle/Stonington) School Board. Additionally, she is a college coach and coordinates Job Shadow Day for the Deer Isle-Stonington High School and helps with environmental education programs at IHT. Starting in 2010, Jane and her husband, Woodley, moved full time to Deer Isle from Washington, D.C.
Cecily Pingree is a documentary filmmaker and restaurateur. In 2009, Cecily co-founded Pull-Start Pictures with her brother-in-law, Jason Mann. Pull-Start pictures has worked on projects for The New York Times, National Geographic, and The Gates Foundation. Her solo work covers such varied topics as fishing and worm harvesting on the Maine coast, public health in east Africa, and media consolidation across the US. Her work has been supported and recognized by the Sundance Institute, Chicken & Egg Pictures, LEF Foundation, IFP, Maine Arts Commission, and the Maine Community Foundation. She was a fellow at the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab and was the recipient of the Maine Arts Commission’s Media and Performing Arts Fellowship. Prior to starting Pull-Start Pictures, Cecily worked for Big Mouth Films in NYC and for Outward Bound as a sea captain. She currently lives on an island off the coast of Maine. In 2012 she also built out a 100 year old island dance hall and turned it into an active community space and restaurant called Calderwood hall (calderwoodhall.com) with three old friends.
Charles Rudelitch is the Executive Director of Sunrise County Economic Council (SCEC). A Harrington native, he has earned degrees in Applied History from Carnegie Mellon University; Resource Economics & Policy from the University of Maine; as well as a law degree from the University of Maine, School of Law. Charles has served as the Staff Attorney for Pine Tree Legal in Hancock & Washington counties. In addition to the legal field, he has worked in economic and community development for the towns of Bridgton, Fort Kent, and Guilford, and the Passamaquoddy Tribe, along with the Eastern Maine Development Corporation. Charles lives in Harrington with his husband, Marc. They own and operate a baking company and along with other members of their extended family, are partners in a family farm.
Robert Steneck is a professor at the University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences. He and his students study ecological processes with a focus on food webs and marine community stability. He applies basic ecology to applied human marine resource and management questions. Bob has worked throughout his career with Maine lobstermen and some of his recent work explores the social and ecological consequences of the Gulf of Maine’s current alternative stable-state, i.e., a marine community dominated by lobster instead of cod. Bob’s work and experience is integral to MCCF’s mission of securing a fishing future for Eastern Maine. Bob has a M.S. in Botany and Plant Pathology (Marine Ecology) from the University of Maine and a Ph.D. in Earth and Planetary Sciences (Ecology and Evolution) from Johns Hopkins University.
Susan Toder is a management consultant, leading organizational development and strategic planning in family businesses and start-ups. In executive roles with Hewlett-Packard, GE, and Telecom New Zealand, she managed reorganizations, privatization, and acquisitions in the U.S. and overseas. She has a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.B.A. from the University of Maryland. Susan was active in starting community initiatives, including Neighbors-to-Neighbors, assisting aging in place and Green Neighbors, focusing on local sustainability efforts. She serves on the D.C. Advisory Council of Avodah, a social justice organization. On Deer Isle, she is a Board Member of Ready By 21 Mentoring and the Edible Island Culinary and Ecological Center. She lives half the year in Stonington and is committed to enhancing the vitality of coastal communities.
Thomas Urmy is an attorney with Shapiro Haber and Urmy LLP in Boston. He has been actively engaged in civil litigation practice since 1964. During that time he has been an associate or partner with firms in New York City and Boston, and he has litigated cases in California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. He has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has been named a Massachusetts Super Lawyer numerous times, most recently in 2015. Tom specializes in complex and class action litigation in both federal and state courts. In recent years he has represented plaintiffs in consumer fraud, wage and hour and securities class actions across the country.
Paul Venno is a fisherman, born on Cape Rosier in the midst of family history that stretches back to pre-revolutionary days…1750 to be exact. In the early days all the men went to sea, though his great grandfather was the last to be a commercial fisherman. Then Paul, when he was 6 or 7, went clamming down at the cove, discovered how much he liked to catch stuff, and in one way or another has been fishing ever since. After graduating from the University of Maine with a major in wildlife management and a minor in forestry, Paul worked at the federal level with the Bureau of Commercial Fisheries and then for 9 years with Maine’s Sea and Shore Fisheries Department (now the DMR) where he was Regional Biologist and then Director of Marine Extension. All the time, as part of his work and now as his primary work, he’s been fishing: clamming, scalloping, shrimping, fish traps, seining, ground fishing, and oh yes, lobstering.
Jim Wilson is an economist in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine. His research interests are principally concerned with the interaction of complex socio-ecological systems, especially the effect of scale on the conduct of science and governance. He is the coordinator of the ‘dual degree’ program in marine science, a three year master’s program in which students write a single integrated thesis and get two M.Sc. degrees, one in marine biology or oceanography and one in policy. He chaired the committee that established the system of zones and local governance in the Maine lobster fishery, did the research that led to the Portland Fish Exchange, was a co-founder of the Maine Fishermen’s Forum, is a member of the Fish Locally Collaborative and was Co-chair of the Downeast Initiative, a group advocating for multiscale governance of the groundfishery. He has published in Science, PNAS, Marine Policy, Ecology and Society and other journals and is currently PI or co-PI on three NSF coupled systems projects. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin.