Staff & Board of Directors

FBC’s Board of Directors at Tidal Falls Preserve in Hancock, ME. (June 2022)

Board of Directors

Officers Directors
Paul Parshley, President Ann Amstutz-Hayes
Lisa Heyward, Vice President John Cochran
Bob Noddin, Treasurer Lee Fairbanks
Mary Brennan, Secretary Nathaniel Hanson
  Cora Hilts
  Sarah Hooper
  David Manski
  Rebecca “Becky” O’Keefe
  Rebecca Sargent
  Iris Simon
  Linda Welch
  Patrick Wilson


Aaron Dority, Executive Director

Aaron oversees all aspects of Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s work, including raising funds to support our programs, managing staff and contractors and working directly with landowners to protect land. In partnership with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Aaron is currently working on a project in the Schoodic corridor north of Acadia National Park at Schoodic Point. Our partnership was recently awarded a $1 million award through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to conserve waterfowl and wading bird habitat.  Prior to taking FBC’s Executive Director position in fall, 2014, Aaron was the Federal Policy Director for Penobscot East Resource Center, now Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries in Stonington. Aaron co-founded a cooperative research hook and line marine finfish survey in eastern Maine, to strengthen stock assessments and improve fisheries management. Aaron serves on the board of the Blue Hill Food Coop. He lives in Blue Hill with his wife Jessie and their three children.


Thomasina DiBiase, Director of Development

As the Director of Development at Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Thomasina is responsible for planning, organizing, and directing FBC’s fundraising efforts including the major gifts program, annual fund, planned giving, and capital campaigns. With deep family ties to Downeast Maine, she is passionate about protecting the land we all love here and supporting programs that help us all get outside – for work or play. A graduate of Clark University, Thomasina spent over 10 years working in sales and operations management in Boston, Massachusetts. She returned to her home state of Maine in 2011 to take on the role of Vice President of an independent, eco-conscious haircare line before joining FBC in 2018. She lives in Milbridge with her husband, Dan, and their two pugs, Tallulah and Eliot. In her free time enjoys hiking and snowshoeing throughout the Downeast region.

Ellerie Ezekiel, Director of Communications & Community Engagement

As the Director of Communications & Community Engagement at Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Ellerie oversees all digital and print publications, social media, and the website. Ellie also organizes FBC’s year-round community programming and events. Ellerie is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College with a major in Animal Behavior and a minor in Environmental Studies. Before joining Frenchman Bay Conservancy, she worked as an Environmental Advocate and then Interim Director of Advocacy and External Affairs for Delaware Nature Society. She is passionate about prioritizing science-based land conservation and equitable public access to nature and the outdoors through meaningful community engagement. Ellerie lives in Ellsworth with her partner, Dakin, along with their rescue pup and two cats.

Erin Witham, Land Protection Manager

As Land Protection Manager, Erin oversees land acquisition projects in partnership with FBC’s Executive Director and Director of Conservation. In this role she works directly with landowners and municipalities to conserve land for the benefit of all within the Frenchman Bay and Union River watersheds and the Schoodic Corridor. While joining FBC’s Land Protection Team, Erin continues to serve as the Coordinator of Downeast Conservation Network (DCN), a regional conservation partnership based in Hancock and Washington Counties that she has coordinated for the past four years. DCN is a collaboration between land trusts, educational institutions, and community organizations that work together on issues impacting the region’s climate resilience, biodiversity, and economic well-being. Erin has a master’s degree in sustainability science from UMass-Amherst with a focus on water sustainability and climate change. She has ten years of experience working with non-profit organizations with a focus on building partnerships to achieve community conservation goals. Erin grew up in Maine and now lives on Mount Desert Island where she enjoys cross country skiing, birding, and making pizza for family and friends.

Austin Schuver, Land Protection Manager

As Land Protection Manager, Austin (he/him) works with landowners and other community partners to conserve land throughout the Union River watershed. Austin has served in many capacities for FBC, so you may have met him guiding hikes, supporting the Ellsworth Green Plan, or birding at Corea Heath. He recently researched climate adaptation for a Master’s in Resource Conservation from the University of Montana, and he holds a Bachelor’s in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. He lives with his partner in Sullivan where they care for a healthy six-year-old sourdough starter, destroy crossword puzzles, and eat copious amounts of popcorn.

Garrett Black, Stewardship Manager

As Stewardship Manager for Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Garrett works to increase public access to FBC’s preserves by building sustainable trails, and by maintaining and improving existing trails. Garrett also monitors the boundaries of FBC’s many conservation easements and preserves. Garrett graduated from Salisbury University on the eastern shore of Maryland with a major in Environmental Studies. He has worked with conservation corps building trails as far away as the west coast and all over the state of Maine, and works as a carpenter during the winter months. In his free time, Garrett can be found paddling his canoe around Maine’s many waterways or hiking its seemingly limitless trails.

Kat Deely, Land Protection Special Projects Manager

As Land Protection Special Projects Manager for Frenchman Bay Conservancy, Kat works to protect new lands in perpetuity in the Union River Watershed, Frenchman Bay Watershed, and the Schoodic Corridor, for the benefit of all. Her work here builds off of years of experience protecting land in Massachusetts and New York.  She began her career in conservation in the conservation corps world, and is always happy to pick up a pulaski and get to work. Her professional experience focuses on community conservation and outreach, landscape-scale land protection, and experiential education. Kat holds a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources from the University of Vermont Field Naturalist and Ecological Planning Program, and serves on the Board of Trustees for Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, VT.  She currently lives in Seal Harbor with her family.

Abigail Hanson, Business & Development Coordinator

Abigail is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a bachelor’s degree in Tourism & Hospitality Management. Throughout her career she has developed a special interest in eco-tourism through professional endeavors both abroad and the New England area. In the past she has worked for organizations that provide sustainable tourism solutions and organize volunteer abroad programs for high school students. Through her involvement with FBC Abigail hopes to do her part in protecting Maine’s natural resources in order for the region to remain a sustainable tourism destination for generations to come. Abigail resides in Ellsworth Maine with her partner Spencer and her beloved cat Nala. In her free time she enjoys hiking, doing yoga and making jewelry.

Jane Parlee, Outreach Coordinator

As the Outreach Coordinator and a member of the Communications & Community Engagement team, Jane assists with designing, leading, and promoting community programming and events. Jane graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelors in Art Education and is passionate about creating dynamic and inclusive educational opportunities for coastal Maine’s communities. She has previously served as the Program Coordinator for the Seal Cove Auto Museum, where she built programs with the goal of increasing accessibility to local schools and families. Jane grew up around Mount Desert Island and now lives in Surry with her partner, Jay and dog, Moxie. They enjoy paddle boarding in their downtime and going on roadtrips.

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