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 and two grandchildren.
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 Rudelitch, Treasurer, 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.
Thomas Urmy, Secretary, 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.
Marsden is the President of Maine Aquaculture Co-op, 3rd Generation Maine Commercial Fisherman and Stonington aquaculturist. He has been a commercial fisherman all his life. His extensive fishing experience includes shrimping, urchining, scalloping, off shore ground fishing and lobstering. He owns and operates the 38’ F/V Lindsay Marie and fishes out of Stonington. Marsden has considerable experience in all matters relating to scallop aquaculture including spat collection and stock enhancement. He has collaborated with scientists in Maine (including Dan Schick, Scott Feindel and Dana Morse) for over 15 years on research, outreach and education regarding scallop aquaculture.
The Maine Aquaculture Co-op, which Marsden is President of, is Maine’s first aquaculture cooperative, with a board and membership comprised entirely of Maine fishermen and aquaculturists. They seek to expand Maine’s seafood-producing industries through the thoughtful integration of fishing and farming, to diversify income opportunities for Maine fishermen, maintain our robust working waterfront, and strengthen our coastal communities. They feel that by working cooperatively, we are all better able to solve technical difficulties, share best practices and resources, and leverage buying and marketing power.
For the past three years Marsden’s received an LPA permit from DMR for growing scallops and recently participated in a cohort that traveled to Japan to learn about the ear-hung method of scallop aquaculture. Marsden is a former member of the DMR Advisory Council, has been a selectman for the town of Stonington for 6 years and with his wife Donna, runs Red Barn Farm retail shop featuring lobsters and his farms’ goat milk cheese and soap. In 2001, Marsden was an original member of the Stonington Fisheries Alliance, an organization that Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries originated off from.
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.
Dr. Elizabeth (Libby) Jewett has been coming to Stonington her entire life. Her grandfather first bought a house above the sardine factory, currently the Isle au Haut ferry dock, back in the 1950s. She and her husband now own a house in the village which they try to visit as often as possible. She has a PhD in the Marine Ecology from the University of Maryland and has been the Director of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (located in the Research division of NOAA), based in Silver Spring, MD, since its founding in 2011. Her love of the ocean directly stems from her time in Stonington and she is hoping to give back to the community, especially the fishing community, by joining the MCCF board.
Former Rep. Walter Kumiega recently completed his fourth term in the Legislature and served as House chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources. Kumiega had served as Maine’s Legislative Commissioner to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The fishing industry is a major part of the economy in the district Kumiega represented. Kumiega previously served on the Deer Isle-Stonington School Committee for nine years and is in his 19th year on the board of Child and Family Opportunities, the Head Start grantee for Hancock and Washington counties. A self-employed carpenter, Kumiega lives on Little Deer Isle with his wife, Penny. They have 2 adult children.
James (Jim) Markos grew up in Ellsworth, Maine and attended Ellsworth public schools. He attended Colby College where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in political Science. He continued his education and got a law degree from American University in Washington, DC. Jim was once the Assistant District Attorney for Hancock County. Later, he went in to private practice and opened a law firm, “Markos and Roy” in his hometown. In 1982, James joined Maine Shellfish Co. as the general manager. That’s a position he’s held for 30+ years and still holds to this day. Jim currently resides in nearby Blue Hill.
Brent Oliver started fishing in 1978, working in the stern for one year. He then bought an old boat and rigged it for scalloping. Since then, he’s gone gillnetting, fish dragging, and scallop dragging with a net, growing his business throughout the 1980s. 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 started lobstering in the winter. In 1994 he stopped gillnetting, affected by many changes, including the new groundfish rolling closures. In 1995 he began full-time lobstering and has been lobstering ever since, 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 currently fishes aboard the F/V Jarsulan 4 out of Stonington. He 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 is chair 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.
Mike is a 26 year old third generation fisherman living in Steuben in Washington County. He is a graduate of Maine Maritime Academy, a board of director’s member of Maine Lobsterman’s Association and a member of the Right Whale Take Reduction Team. Mike is very familiar with MCCF and supports our mission. He is frequently called upon by DMR to assist with various science observations. At his relatively young age he possesses an uncommon understanding of Maine’s fishing industry. He is aware that the current lobster bubble is likely unsustainable and that diversity in the fisheries that once existed needs to be strengthened. Mike’s occupation, familial heritage, age, understanding of and vision for the fishery make him a solid board member at Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries.
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.
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.