John Hagan, Chair, Maine Climate Table
John Hagan is an ecologist, and former President of Manomet, a nonpartisan, science-driven sustainability nonprofit based in Brunswick, Maine. He has partnered with a diversity of for-profit sectors on sustainability, including large timberland owners, farmers, institutional investors, retailers, and many nonprofits. He received the Austin Wilkins Award from Governor John Baldacci for his work on the stewardship and conservation of Maine’s forests, and the Integrity in Conservation award from the New England Society of American Foresters. John has served on the board of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, the largest forest certification standard in North America.
Kevin is Vice-chair of “A Climate To Thrive,” a nonprofit dedicated to achieving energy independent on Mount Desert Island by 2030. Kevin has a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Maine. He has an extensive background in the telecommunications industry. Kevin is also Selectman in Tremont, Maine. He moved to Tremont in 2000, and became Selectman in 2015. One of his greatest accomplishments is the installation of Tremont’s 153-megawatt solar array on a capped landfill.
Ellen Stern Griswold is the Policy and Research Director at MFT. She oversees municipal, state, and federal-level policy work, as well as research projects that inform that work and support the effectiveness of MFT’s programs. Prior to MFT, Ellen practiced federal energy regulatory law for eight years in Washington, DC, working on the development of energy policy in Congress and advising clients on energy and environmental regulatory requirements. Then her deep personal interest in the structure of our food system – and its implications for agriculture producers, the environment, and public health – led Ellen to pursue a new career in agriculture and food policy. She obtained her LL.M. in Food and Agriculture Law from Vermont Law School, her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, and her BA in Public Policy from Brown University. Ellen loves exploring Maine’s beaches, forests, and farms with her family.
Dave Herring has been in management and leadership roles for non-profit conservation organizations for more than 20 years. He became Executive Director of Wolfe’s Neck Farm in 2012 and, since then, the Freeport-based nonprofit has gone through an organizational transformation that includes an ambitious new long-range vision, the launch of major new initiatives to support new and beginning farmers, the regenerative agriculture movement and a transition to the Wolfe’s Neck Center (WNC) for Agriculture and the Environment. In 2019, WNC launched OpenTEAM, a global collaborative organized to develop the technological tools that will enable farmers around the world to implement soil health practices. Prior to joining WNC, Herring served as the first Executive Director for Maine Huts & Trails, from 2006-2012.
Catherine Lee, Lee International (and Founding Chair, Maine Climate Table)
Catherine Lee founded Lee International in 1997, after a 17 year career in law, first as a Sex Crimes prosecutor in the Brooklyn, NY DA’s Office, then as a partner at the Portland law firm of Bernstein Shur Sawyer & Nelson. Lee International provides legal, regulatory and advisory services to around the world to assess, develop and implement climate change projects, programs and policies. She recently attended the COP21 conference in Paris, which brought international stakeholders together to bolster business innovation and cooperation in the global green economy and resulted in a groundbreaking global agreement between 195 countries to work together to address climate change. Climate change, environmental degradation, the impact of poverty on women, and food insecurity are inextricably related issues.
Richard enjoyed a career as a commercial lobsterman, fishing out of Friendship harbor for over thirty-five years. During that time he also served served on Maine’s Ocean Acidification Commission and subsequently on the steering committee of the Maine Ocean and Coastal Acidification (MOCA) partnership. Over the course of seven years, and with the aid of the Island Institute, he participated in the Northeast Regional Ocean Planning process guided by the National Ocean Policy. After retiring from fishing, he joined the board of Medomak Valley Land Trust, now the Council to Midcoast Conservancy. He has often availed himself as a concerned member of the fishing industry, whether it be trips to our delegations in D.C., or testifying for legislation in Augusta. He continues to write, speak, and advocate for ocean and climate issues and policies.
Paige Nygaard has been involved in climate work in Maine since she was in high school. She graduated from College of the Atlantic with a BA in Human Ecology in 2019. She is currently the Development and Outreach Coordinator for Maine “Environmental Changemakers,” Treasurer for “SustainUS,” a youth-led organization advancing justice and sustainability by empowering young people to engage in advocacy, and Outreach and Networking Team Lead for “We Own It,” which promotes energy democracy and a just transition to a sustainable economy. Paige is also leading JustME for the Maine Environmental Education Association, a project focused on civic engagement and climate justice in rural Maine communities.
Steve Ward has been a member of the Maine Climate Table from the outset and chaired the Table’s Energy Efficiency Team for several years. Previously serving as Maine’s Public Advocate for utility customers, Ward retired from Maine government in 2007 after holding that position under four successive Governors from 1986 through 2007. As Public Advocate, Ward was actively evolved in establishing ratepayer support for energy efficiency and renewable energy as the preferred alternative to monopoly utility power generation. Ward assisted in the creation of Efficiency Maine and served as the national President of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates in 2000-2002. In that role he regularly appeared on behalf of NASUCA before Congress, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the FCC.
Andy is Director of the Sustainable Economies Program at Manomet. Andy works mainly with the business sector to measure and manage for sustainability, including of course, greenhouse gas reductions. He has recently developed and implemented a sustainable agriculture standard for U.S. and international institutional investors, such as TIAA-CREF, UBS, and others. His program at Manomet developed the nation’s largest grocery sustainability framework called the Grocery Stewardship Certification, with more than 900 stores across the U.S. certified. Andy has over two decades of experience working with timberland owners on biodiversity conservation and climate adaptation.
Madeline Williams is a student at the University of Maine working towards a Marine Sciences degree, concentrated in Biology, with an Interdisciplinary Legal Studies Minor. As a lifelong Maine resident, she has worked for the Lakes Environmental Association as a Courtesy Boat Inspector, preventing the spread of invasive aquatic life and encouraging boaters to do their part. Madeline is currently part of a team researching Maine’s Shellfish Resilience, working with coastal communities on seeking population data. She plans to remain engaged in research for Maine’s conservation efforts throughout her life.