Island Institute "staff portrait" showing our personal and professional passions and commitments


Click on a staff member's name to read their full bio:


  • Kathy Allen
    Executive Associate

    As the Executive Associate, Kathy serves as an assistant to Island Institute President Rob Snyder and performs administrative duties, scheduling, and logistical and operational functions.

  • Chief Operating Officer

    As Chief Operating Officer, Rob oversees the Island Institute's business operations and ensures the organization has effective operational and financial procedures in place. He works to build capacity to help sustain effective internal processes and maximize our community impact.

  • Chief Philanthropy Officer

    Sue guides the strategy for all fundraising initiatives on behalf of the Island Institute, including annual membership, sponsorships, grants, planned giving, and major gifts. She leads the Development team in setting priorities for maximizing the depth and diversity of the pool of Island Institute supporters.

  • Chief Talent Officer

    Karen works across teams at Island Institute to maximize the contributions of individuals through personal and organizational professional development. She also oversees the technical and administrative aspects of our human resources operations.

  • IT Integration Specialist

    Chris uses information systems and technology resources to enhance our organizational capabilities.

  • Chief Community Development Officer

    Suzanne is responsible for designing the organization’s strategic approach to sharing information and experiences across all areas of its work in order to further the sustainability of communities in Maine and elsewhere.

  • Chief Financial Officer

    Peter provides leadership to the Island Institute’s financial operations and also supports the organization's small business development efforts.

  • President

    As President of the Island Institute, Rob is responsible for working with island and coastal leaders, in Maine and around the world, to identify innovative approaches to community sustainability.


  • Archipelago Manager

    Frances coordinates and participates in the retail store and gallery’s day to day activities, including vendor recruitment and relationship management; merchandising; purchasing; and management of Archipelago’s staff.

  • Product Coordinator

    Lisa is responsible for managing Archipelago’s product inventory, updating the store website, processing web orders, and assisting with wholesale purchasing.

  • Archipelago Director

    Lisa is responsible for creating an arts-oriented retail and gallery space that promotes island and coastal artists in support of Archipelago’s mission as a program of the Island Institute.


  • Senior Communications Officer, Creative Director

    Marydale sets and guides the strategy for all communications, website, social media, and public relations messages to consistently articulate the Island Institute’s mission.

  • Tom Groening
    Working Waterfront Editor

    Tom serves as editor of The Working Waterfront newspaper, overseeing all aspects of the paper's print and online editions, and edits the organization's annual publication, the Island Journal.

  • Communications Strategist

    Kim is responsible for developing and coordinating the Island Institute's communications and public relations activities, including the organization's website, email outreach, and social media.

  • Multimedia Storyteller

    Jack documents the stories of the Island Institute’s work across media platforms including photography, videography, and writing.


  • Cathy Frederick
    Finance Associate

    Cathy provides general clerical assistance to the Finance Department staff, including the performance of accounts payable, data entry, filing, and administrative tasks.

  • Operations Coordinator

    Peter works collaboratively across organizational teams in the areas of revenue, expense, and grant tracking. He is also responsible for the oversight of organizational assets and provides additional support for the Finance, Development, and Program teams as needed.

  • Finance Manager

    Ginny is responsible for managing the day-to day-accounting activities of Island Institute, including preparing for annual audits, providing advice in areas of compliance, preparing and interpreting budgets, and offering additional financial support as it arises.

  • Chief Financial Officer

    Peter provides leadership to the Island Institute’s financial operations and also supports the organization's small business development efforts.


  • Chief Philanthropy Officer

    Sue guides the strategy for all fundraising initiatives on behalf of the Island Institute, including annual membership, sponsorships, grants, planned giving, and major gifts. She leads the Development team in setting priorities for maximizing the depth and diversity of the pool of Island Institute supporters.

  • Major Gifts Officer

    Kelsey helps individuals and families make an impact in their communities through the work and programs of the Island Institute. As a Major Gifts Officer, she helps build the organization's visibility and resources by growing philanthropic revenue and enhancing fundraising efforts in the Mount Desert Island (MDI) region.

  • Philanthropy Officer - Annual Giving and Stewardship

    Farah is responsible for all aspects of the Island Institute's membership and annual giving programs. Working closely with staff across the organization, she helps build the Institute’s visibility, impact, and financial resources and communicates with members regarding the benefits of their support.

  • Database Manager

    As Database Manager, Lynn performs a variety of support functions that contribute to the day-to-day operations of the Development department, including gift entry and acknowledgments, data requests, and data maintenance to ensure accurate tracking and reporting.

  • Laura Shields-Haas
    Philanthropy Officer - Grants

    Laura brings over 20 years of experience in building strategic relationships and organizational partnerships to successfully acquire and sustain external funding for the development of complex programs to strengthen systems and build capacity. In her role as Philanthropy Officer at the Island Institute, she is responsible for cultivating funder relationships and managing the processes of proposal development and reporting to private, corporate, and public foundations as well as federal and state agencies.

  • Major Gifts Officer

    Colleen is passionate about helping individuals and families make a meaningful impact in their communities through an investment in the work and programs of the Island Institute. In her role as Major Gifts Officer, she helps build the organization's visibility and resources by growing philanthropic revenue and enhancing fundraising efforts in the Casco Bay region—primarily focusing on Portland and the surrounding communities.


  • Susie Arnold
    Marine Scientist

    As Marine Scientist at the Island Institute, Susie works on the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine resources and fisheries-dependent communities.

  • Community Development Officer - Broadband and Energy

    Hannah provides project management and community engagement support to the Institute’s Broadband and Energy teams.

  • Nick Battista
    Senior Policy Officer

    Nick provides proactive and strategic policy support for work across the organization, providing strategic support to our project teams, and increasing our effectiveness in engaging policy makers.

  • Community Development Officer - Sea Level Rise Project Lead

    Sam serves a project lead for our Sea Level Rise and Lobster Strategy teams, and provides support for the Aquaculture team.

  • Community Development Officer - Education

    In her role as a community development officer with the Island Institute, Robin spends the majority of her time on the Education team, where she provides support for the Outer Islands Teaching and Learning Collaborative (TLC) and manages other student-centered programming.

  • Community Development Officer - Small Business Project Lead

    As a Community Development Officer, Claire serves a project lead for our Small Business team and provides support for our Fellows, ILEAD and Community Data teams.

    In her role, Claire provides one-on-one and group …

  • Community Development Officer - Data Analytics and Translation

    Meghan collaborates across the organization and is responsible for data analysis and translation for project teams, as well as GIS work involving capturing, analyzing, and managing geographic data. She serves on the …

  • Community Development Officer - Broadband Project Lead

    As a Community Development Officer, Kendra Jo leads our Broadband team as they work to achieve national average connectivity for all island and coastal communities in Maine. She also provides support to our Island Fellows, Energy, and Aquaculture teams.

  • Senior Community Development Officer - Sustainable Community Infrastructure

    Stephenie works with island and coastal communities to strengthen diverse economies, future resiliency, and environmental connections. Currently, she is responsible for strategizing projects across the Broadband, Energy, and Sea Level Rise teams.

  • Senior Community Development Officer - Small Business and Aquaculture

    Craig provides business support and coaching to island and coastal entrepreneurs in communities that are highly dependent on natural resources. He also designs and implements projects across a portion of our Strengthening Community Economies strategic priority area to help meet community needs and impacts.

  • Sally Perkins
    Events and Building Coordinator

    Sally assists in planning and coordinating events for project teams and oversees building and preventive maintenance programs for the organization.

  • Community Development Officer - Marine Business Specialist

    Peter works with and supports island and coastal fishermen through the Island Institute’s shellfish and seaweed aquaculture business-development and small-business Launchpad programs. By serving on project and other cross …

  • Kate Tagai
    Senior Community Development Officer - Education and Leadership

    Kate provides programming support for the Island Institute's Sea Level Rise, ILEAD, and Island Fellows Teams and designs the scope and direction of the organization's education and leadership programming.

  • Community Development Officer - Island Fellows Project Lead

    Andy is responsible for supporting Institute programming surrounding a diverse array of community development initiatives, including Island Fellows, the Energy program, and the organization's leadership development and support efforts.

  • Community Development Officer - Education Specialist

    Yvonne works closely with island and coastal schools and education organizations under our ‘Enhancing Education and Leadership’ strategic priority area—working collaboratively to develop projects, support teacher professional development, and strengthen networks to address the unique educational challenges and opportunities schools face.

  • Community Development Officer - Education Project Lead

    Christa serves as project lead on the Education team, supporting student and adult college and career readiness programs, and also supports the Broadband team on community outreach and digital literacy programs.

  • Community Development Officer - Climate Specialist

    Emma uses her interdisciplinary background to support people and organizations in their sustainability efforts. She currently leads the Island Institute's energy team and climate work, where she guides communities to transition to cleaner, more resilient, and more affordable energy.


  • Swan's Island Fellow

    Caroline is working on Swan’s Island to complete a comprehensive municipal plan. An additional area of Caroline’s fellowship is supporting the Recreation Committee, offering programs for school-aged and teenage youth.

  • Monhegan Island Fellow

    A recipient of the Louis W. Cabot Fellowship, Dan is working with the Monhegan community to bring high-speed broadband access to the island and with the town assessors to set up municipal systems.

  • Millinocket Fellow

    Diana is working with the Millinocket Memorial Library to develop a community resource and volunteer coordination center for the Katahadin region.

  • Frenchboro Fellow

    Natalie is working with the community on the island of Frenchboro to support educational efforts with an after school and summer learning program.

  • Eastport Fellow

    Mark is working with Eastport Arts Center and Stage East, community theater groups aiming to increase work with new participants and audiences, especially youth.

  • St. George Fellow

    A recipient of the William Bingham Fellowship Endowment for Rural Education, Ellie is working with the St George School and Blueberry Cove to develop and implement a sustainable afterschool program.

  • Washington County Council of Governments Fellow

    Dylan is working to develop and implement the Bike Bus, a mobile bicycle repair and riding program for youth in Washington County.

  • Isle Au Haut Fellow

    A recipient of the Willoughby I. "Toby" Stuart Island Fellowship, Molly is supporting the Isle au Haut community by adding capacity and technical support for a community telemedicine facility and affordable, sustainable year-round housing.

  • Vinalhaven Fellow

    A recipient of the James S. and Joanne M. Cooney Island Fellowship, Gillian is supporting the work of the Vinalhaven nonprofit, Our Island CARES (Community Addiction Recovery Education Support).