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


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


  • VP of Media and Communications

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

  • Kathy Allen
    Executive Assistant

    Kathy Allen is the Executive Associate at the Island Institute, serving as an assistant to Rob Snyder and performing administrative duties, scheduling, and logistical and operational functions.

  • 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.

  • Nancy Carter
    Human Resources

    Nancy is responsible for the Human Resource management functions at the Island Institute.

  • Heather Deese
    Executive Vice President

    As Executive Vice President, Heather plays a critical role in assisting the Island Institute’s president, serving as the second-in-command, and providing strategic leadership and professional guidance to the organization.

  • President

    Rob is responsible for working with island and remote coastal leaders to identify innovative approaches to community sustainability.

  • Vice President, Development

    Michelle Tussing oversees all fundraising and development activities, and helping build the Institute’s visibility, impact, and financial resources.

  • Eric Waters
    Senior Vice President and CFO

    Eric Waters oversees all financial operations of the Island Institute and also leads the organization’s day-to-day operations.


  • Sales and Product Coordinator

    Patty provides customer service, merchandising, and back of the house support for Archipelago, the Institute’s retail store and fine arts gallery. 

  • Frances Holdgate
    Assistant 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.

  • Lisa Mossel Vietze
    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.


  • Tom Groening
    Working Waterfront Editor
  • Media Specialist

    Kim is responsible for managing our website and supports the media team through the execution of online editorial projects including our “What Works” solutions library.

  • Media Associate

    Jack supports the media team through the execution of online editorial projects, including our “What Works” solutions library, and produces journalistic and visual content to support our work with island and coastal communities.


  • 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.

  • Systems Integration Specialist

    Chris uses information systems and technology resources to enhance our organizational capabilities. He provides technical expertise and recommendations in assessing new projects and initiatives, identifies opportunities for improving efficiency, and offers internal support to staff on the effective use of information systems.

  • 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.


  • Development Associate - Membership

    Hannah is responsible for maintaining and growing our annual fundraising through management of the Island Institute’s membership program.

  • Janet Bosworth
    Grants Associate

    Janet provides support to the Grants Director.

  • Kate Elmes
    Major Gift Associate

    Kate supports the president, vice president of strategic development and the donor relations director in their roles as major gift officers. She coordinates all aspects of major donor events and other major donor contact.

  • Joyelle Jones
    Development Associate

    Joyelle is responsible for gift processing, information management, and administrative support for the organization’s fundraising activities.

  • Development Associate

    Lynn performs a variety of support functions that contribute to the day-to-day operations of the Development department, including data entry, managing the organizational switchboard, processing acknowledgement letters, and maintaining files.

  • Campaign Director

    Beth is responsible for leading the implementation and successful completion of a three-year comprehensive capital campaign that garners support from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies. As a …

  • Julia Maher
    Director of Foundation and Government Support

    Julia is responsible for expanding grant and government funding for all our programming areas, working with each program director to ensure that the Island Institute continues to grow funding in ways that directly respond to our communities’ needs.

  • Events Coordinator

    Bethany helps raise awareness and generate support for the organization’s mission and programs by planning, coordinating, and executing all development and visibility events.


  • Susie Arnold
    Marine Scientist

    Susie works primarily on the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on marine resources and fisheries dependent communities.

  • Nick Battista
    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.

  • Infrastructure Finance Specialist

    Alli travels throughout the coast of Maine and works with internal and external partners to aid communities investing in infrastructure (e.g., clean energy, broadband, working waterfronts), support small business owners, and allocate organizational resources to help further the sustainability of Maine island and coastal communities.

  • Rebecca Clark Uchenna
    Marine Programs Associate

    Rebecca works on regional ocean planning in the Northeast, and provides information and support to fishermen interested in aquaculture.

  • Community Energy Director

    Suzanne leads the Institute’s award-winning initiatives on community-based energy efficiency, locally-owned renewable energy, offshore wind, and energy education.

  • Economic Development Associate

    Stephenie provides support for programs that address island and remote coastal communities’ priorities related to strengthening diverse economies and workforce development initiatives.

  • Sally Perkins
    Programs Associate

    Sally assists in planning and coordinating events for all programs departments.

  • Community Energy Associate

    Harry assists the Gulf of Maine’s year round islands in implementing numerous programs focused on efficiency upgrades, education, and community owned renewable energy.

  • Kate Tagai
    Community Development Director

    Kate oversees the Institute’s core community development programs including Island Fellows, scholarships and transition programing, and the Maine Islands Coalition.

  • Community Development Associate

    Andy is responsible for providing support for programming related to strengthening diverse community development initiatives, including the Island Fellows program and alumni network, the Maine Islands Coalition, and mentoring and transition support programing.

  • Education Director

    Yvonne works closely with island and coastal schools to develop and implement education programs that address their unique educational challenges and opportunities.

  • Economic Development Director

    Briana is responsible for overseeing programming that addresses island and remote coastal communities’ priorities related to strengthening diverse economies, and workforce development initiatives.

  • Community Energy Manager

    Brooks works closely with island communities to assist with programming in energy efficiency, community-owned renewable energy, offshore wind and energy education.


  • St. George Fellow

    Meredith works with the St. George school to build external networks, and determine the best way to create a service center to provide wrap-around support services to improve student growth and development. She is a graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Public Health.

  • Islesboro Fellow

    Maddy works with the Islesboro Community Center to support intergenerational collaborations between the elder care facility, preschool, and community center. She is also increasing the technical capacity of the artist economic support programing run through the community center. Maddy is a graduate of Bates College with a degree in Geology.

  • Millinocket Fellow

    Meghan works with the Millinocket Memorial Library developing a community resource and volunteer coordination center for the Katahdin region. Meghan is finishing her graduate degree at of the University of Southern Maine, pursuing a degree in Policy, Planning, and Management.

  • North Haven Fellow

    Maria works with the teachers at the North Haven Community School to create dynamic, standards based, agricultural curriculum. She is also supporting community health and wellness initiatives. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Morris with degrees in Biology and Psychology.

  • Swan's Island Fellow

    Stefanie works with the Lobster and Marine Museum helping to curate the extensive collection of local maritime and fishing history. She will also work on marketing, outreach and volunteer recruitment for the museum. Stefanie is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Master’s in Cultural Heritage Management.

  • Deer Isle - Stonington Fellow

    Dana works with the Deer Isle - Stonington Elementary School to bring place based aquaculture education and mentoring opportunities to middle school students, and with the Historical Society training volunteers to use technology and catalogue the extensive collection of oral histories.

  • Vinalhaven Fellow

    Hillary works with the Vinalhaven School and Partners in Island Education to build capacity for the afterschool program, adult learning options, and parent support programs. She is a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias with a degree in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts and Creative Writing.

  • Eastport Arts Center Fellow

    Tarah will be working with the Eastport Arts Center to strengthen community partnerships through innovative arts programing. She will also be continuing to support the creation of a community makers space. Tarah is a graduate of Salve Regina University with a degree in International Studies.