Stu Rich, President
Tenants Harbor – Alumni parent, Community Member & PenBay Solutions
As a long time Trekker parent and volunteer, I have witnessed the change that the Trekkers program can make in people’s lives, both as students and as leaders. As a teenager, I was profoundly affected by participating in a similar program in my high school, and I am glad to have the opportunity now to give back as a member of the Trekkers Board. Professionally, I am the CTO of PenBay Solutions. Personally, I am the father of three awesome (now grown) kids in Tenants Harbor and the husband of a very patient and marvelous woman.
Dee Megna – Vice-President
Rackliff Island – Community Member/Retired Reinsurance Company Executive
In 1973 I started my business career in New York City as an insurance underwriter in the International Department at Chubb. 2 years afterwards, I joined Guy Carpenter, a reinsurance company, which is a subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan. Marsh is a global professional services company. I spent 32 years at the firm and eventually became their Vice Chairman. During that time, I served on the Board of Trustees of St. John’s University School of Risk Management and was also a director on the Board of the Reinsurance Association of America. I “semi” retired in 2007 and accepted a directorship at Platinum Underwriters, a reinsurance company headquartered in Bermuda. The company was sold in 2015. I decided that it was time to officially leave the business after having worked in it for 42 years.
Near the end of my career, my wife, Phoebe and I decided it was time to reconnect with Maine. That led us to find our place on Rackliff Island. We kept our residence in New Canaan, Ct. since we have ties there with family and old friends. During my teens, I attended camp in Maine and like so many others, I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent there. Canoeing up the Allagash and hiking on Mt. Katahdin with my peers was such a valuable learning experience. I’m pleased that I discovered the Trekkers organization. It has the wonderful combination of bringing back cherished memories and of bringing forward the exceptional programs that have been developed for young people in the local community and beyond.
Ken Oelberger, Treasurer
St. George – Community Member/Retired Engineer
In addition to being a member of the Board, Ken is also a Trekkers volunteer. He completed his first expedition with the 7th graders at Acadia National Park in May 2011. A former design engineer/program manager with Raytheon, Ken spent the better part of his career developing and installing Air Traffic Control Systems. He and his wife, Dianne, are now retired and enjoying life from their home in St. George. Ken likes kayaking, sailing, hiking and cross country skiing. He is a member of the St. George Budget Committee and Conservation Commission.
Rockland – Executive Director, Youth Forum Maine, Inc. & Co-Founder of Trekkers
I was on the founding Trekkers Board of three members at its infancy in 1999-2000, serving as President, and have continued to be a member to the present. It’s been a great ride as we’ve watched this project blossom! In 1994, I was lucky enough to be one of four male volunteers that took five boys on the first Trekkers trip for five days of canoeing on the Moose River Bow. With the exception of 2002 when I was on leave with a study grant, I haven’t missed a 7th grade trip.
While Trekkers was still under Youth Forum Maine (the organization I direct), my name, along with one other person from YFM board, was on the loan that bought Bessie, the famous Trekkers bus! That was an exciting adventure. What a privilege I’ve had in sharing that bus with students on dozens of expeditions over the years. I cherish the relationships built over the years. Married to Judith, we have a biracial family with four grown children and six grandchildren. I have a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a masters degree in theology.
Douglas M. Erickson
Thomaston – Community Member, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate/The Masiello Group
I‘ve had the rare opportunity of spending the first ten years of my life on Great Inagua Island in the Bahamas. My life on Great Inagua Island was similar, in many respects, to that of Mark Twain’s stories of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Looking back over time, I found my life on the island has had a profound and positive impact on me today, particularly with self-confidence, creative thinking, and problem solving to name a few. In some respects, Trekkers offers some of these opportunities I experienced as a young child. It is these experiences and opportunities that attracted me to Trekkers. It is my hope that my grandchildren will one day participate in the Trekkers program so they too have the opportunity to learn about themselves and coping with life in general. I recognize that scholastic education is very important, however, it is also my belief that learning about life and learning to cope with whatever it dishes out will provide teenagers with a more rounded education and do a better job of preparing them for life in the long run.
My past volunteer endeavors have included being the past President of the Rockland Kiwanis Club, past President of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, past Treasurer for the Maine Association of Realtors, Committee Member on the Professional Standards Committee for The National Association of Realtors and past Chair for the Thomaston 4th of July. Currently, I serve on the Thomaston Board of Appeals. Dragon C.A.P. Committee, Director for the Maine Commercial Association of Realtors, Thomaston Budget Committee and the Regional Micro Loan Committee. The National Association of Realtors awarded me designation of “Realtor Emeritus” in recognition for the volunteer work I have provided the local, state and national Realtor Associations and for the years I have been a member of each.
It is with great anticipation that I look forward to becoming involved with Trekkers.
Michael Hersom, DMD
Rockland – Trekkers parent & Dentist, Glen Cove Dental Associates
Michael was born and raised in Sanford, Maine. He earned his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where the ethic of service to others was a key element of his Jesuit education. Since returning to Maine in 1996, Michael has strived to be active in his profession and engaged in his community. He has served on the Executive Board of the Maine Dental Association, the Knox County Health Clinic/Mid-Coast Health Net, Rockland Rotary Club, and was a member of the St. Bernard’s Parish Council. He proudly admits his favorite volunteer activity was coaching his two daughters’ Little League softball team for 5 years. Though somewhat familiar with Trekkers when it was limited to SAD 50, Michael became more knowledgeable of Trekkers and its mission when the program was expanded to RSU 13. He became personally invested when his son joined Trekkers as a 7th grader.
Michael enjoys health-related physical fitness, music, and motorcycles. He lives in Rockland with his wife, Hope, and they have 3 children, Hannah, Abby, and Nathan.
Rockland – Alumni parent & Director, Child Development Services
Larry Schooley has spent his whole career as a life-long educator and the last 30 years as a school administrator. He served as the Executive Director of the Bancroft School, a private school for students with developmental disabilities. Larry served as the Principal of the Merchantville School in New Jersey where he developed a comprehensive environmental education program which included expeditionary learning. After moving to Maine, Larry served as the Principal of the St. George School. While at St. George, he developed an affiliation with the national network of expeditionary learning schools and developed nationally recognized programs at the school. Recently, he served as the Principal of Oceanside High School, the recently consolidated high school. In July, Larry retired from public education and became director of Child Development Services (CDS). CDS serves children from birth to five years of age with developmental disabilities in Lincoln, Knox, and Waldo counties. Rebecca Schooley is a Trekkers alumni, so Larry is familiar with the life-changing work that happens at Trekkers. Larry is excited and privileged to be able to serve on the board of Trekkers as we continue to plan for the future.
Rockland – Dream Local Digital- Director of Client Services & Sales Support
I participated in the Trekkers program from 2003-2008, I also served as a student leader and participated in the Big Trek Little Trek program. It was a foundational experience for me. Upon graduating high school, I earned my degree in Business Management at the University of Maine at Augusta after attending University in New Haven in Connecticut for a few years. While still attending college, I began working with a local startup, Dream Local Digital, to build the business to expand nationally. I am still with them today on the leadership team as their Director of Client Services & Sales Support. In my free time I love to glamp, hike, paddle and be outdoors with my two greyhounds, Chili and Zooka. I feel so fortunate to have gotten involved with Trekkers in a leadership role again and experience the energy the group provides. I am looking forward to bringing my passion and experience to the Trekkers board to help the organization continue to flourish, and I am excited to share the Trekkers culture and represent an organization that has given so much to me.
Bryson (Cowan) King
Boston, Massachusetts – Capital Campaign Manager, Beaver Country Day School
Born and raised in Tenants Harbor, Bryson graduated from Trekkers and Georges Valley in 2008. She then attended Connecticut College, where she earned a dual degree in Government and Economic & Environmental Analysis. Since graduating, she has worked in nonprofit fundraising and is currently the Capital Campaign Manager at Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill, MA. Prior to this role, she was a Consultant at Development Guild/DDI, a national consulting firm specializing in fundraising and talent management, where she partnered with a wide range of social service and educational clients.
Bryson resides in Boston with her husband, George, where she can be often be found crafting, biking and always looking for excuses to be outside. She loves coming “home” to the Midcoast as much as possible and is thrilled to be a part of an organization that shaped her as a person and continues to inspire her.
Owls Head – Director of Sailing, The Apprenticeshop
Tori Willauer is an experienced facilitator, climber and wilderness instructor. She has extensive coastal and offshore sailing experience and is a member of the Cruising Club of America (CCA) and the Ocean Cruising Club (OCC). She has more than 25 years in the field working with groups at sea and on land. Recently, she and her family sailed over 4,000 nautical miles from Maine to the Caribbean. She focuses on collaboration with local organizations in her role as the Director of Sailing at The Apprenticeshop who serve over 450 local youth from April to November. Her experience designing and teaching sailing programs and as a USGC (100TNC) licensed captain Watch Officer for Outward Bound and NOLS bring a wealth of knowledge to her students. She has designed, programmed, managed, and facilitated a variety of groups including corporate, youth and veterans. In addition to her work with local youth on the water, she works for Ridgeline and Brimstone Consulting Group facilitating high level leadership development for corporate groups using initiatives, low and high ropes courses and strategic planning. Tori’s emphasis is providing specific strategic learning based initiatives to drive innovative and successful leadership for youth and professionals. She lives in Owls Head with her husband, their three children and dog, Zephyr.
Rockport – Policy Advocate, Acadia Center
Kathleen Meil’s passion for lifelong learning and sustainability grew from her strong background in education, science, and community development. She began her career as an educator, earning an M.Ed. in Elementary Education and teaching kindergarten through fifth grade in public and independent schools for nearly a decade, and brings a teacher’s perspective to her work in Maine’s clean energy economy. As Policy Advocate at Acadia Center, a regional non-profit committed to advancing the clean energy future, Kathleen works to advance community energy initiatives that expand opportunities for Mainers to adopt clean, and affordable, local energy. Kathleen has served on the Board of Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, volunteers at Rockland’s soup kitchen, and chairs the Friends of the Rockport Public Library. She lives in Rockport with her husband, Ari, and their children, Tessa and Calder, and is thrilled to be part of Trekkers.
Thomaston – Student
I am a Student Board Member. Currently, I am a junior at Oceanside High School. As well as being a Student Board Member, I am very involved with the Trekkers organization as a whole. I started this six-year program in the 7th grade, initially being very hesitant and shy, but looking back, I am so glad I continued with the program. I am currently in the Trekkers Student Leadership program, a member of the Community Service Corps, and I participated in the Big Trek Little Trek program three times. Aside from Trekkers, I run cross country, as well as indoor and outdoor track. I love to read, hike, and be with family and friends. Trekkers has given me so much opportunity to grow, as a leader and a person, and also shed some light on what I want to do when I am older. I am very excited to step into the role of a student board member and serve my community. I am looking forward to sharing my voice and offering my ideas through this position.
Rockland – Student
Makaila is currently a Junior at Oceanside High School. Trekkers has been a big part of her life for as long as she can remember because her sister, and fellow board member, Alyssa Rolerson did the program from 2002-2008. After being wait-listed her seventh and eighth grade year, Makaila joined the program during her 9th grade year. And she has been in love with the program ever since. She is currently a student leader for the eighth grade Team Albatross and in her time apart from Trekkers she loves to do yoga, “sling sandwiches” at her workplace Clan Maclaren, play field hockey for not only her high school team, but also for Bates’ AAU team, and participate in school activities like Student Government, Prom Committee and Key Club. She is so excited to be a part of the Trekkers board as she has been interested in being in the position since her start in Trekkers. She is mostly excited to be able to share her opinion with the board and be able to give back to Trekkers, because the program has given so much to her.