Visionaries who aren't afraid to get their hands in the dirt
When you walk into CEBE, we're here.
As an activist and father, Scott sees a profound need to rapidly relocalize and solarize our economy to help future generations and wild nature thrive in the face of increasing climate instability and resource depletion. Scott is a professional photographer and writer and spent many years documenting the organic seed movement. He also teaches and practices permaculture design, builds with local timber, and worked for many years as a market gardener. He lives off the grid in Otisfield where he still grows gardens with his neighbors and friends, paddles with the beavers on Moose Pond, and skis his ever expanding trail network every chance he gets.
Programming & Education Director
Seal holds a Master’s Degree in Education and a Certificate in Outdoor Leadership. She is committed to connecting with members of her community to problem solve issues stemming from climate change and reduced oil access so that her community can become more resilient in the face of resource depletion. She brings a wealth of experience with curriculum design and is tackling grant writing to help fund the CEBE mission. Seal is an avid nature lover and adventurer.
Communications & Project Coordinator
Renee is a sheep farmer, writer, and educator. Renee has a small licensed dairy and farmstead in Hartford. Renee holds a BA from Middlebury College in Environmental Studies with a focus in nonfiction writing. Renee instructed for Outward Bound for eight years, and is passionate about connecting youth with wild places.
BOARD OF STEWARDS
Our board is extremely active in CEBE's mission, each spearheading a piece of the CEBE vision. While our bylaws allow for any board steward position to be stipended, we currently provide grant-funded stipends to support youth stewardship on our board. This is one way CEBE attempts to keep our leadership inclusive and accessible, so that our organization and community can thrive.
Born and raised here in the Oxford Hills, Michael is a fifth generation owner of W.J.Wheeler Insurance Agency. Married to Kathryn, father to Olivia, and living with them in Otisfield's first Maine Passive House. He also worked as Alternative Education Teacher at Oxford Hills, MSAD#17 where he worked with teens-at-risk for school failure or dropout to organize their lives and complete high school. He was a Staff Assistant at Children's Cabinet of Maine, which was a collaborative project of the five state agencies serving youth, while at the Muskie School of Public Policy. Since college, he's been a lead instructor and course director for Outward Bound, including 4 years of full time work, with the remaining years involving seasonal work during time off from other full time work. Currently he is a member of the Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association.
Don McLean has been an environmentalist much longer than he has been a veterinarian. In third grade, he did his science project on pollution. “Since then I have been trying to at least reduce the negative impact of modern life on our environment.” McLean, who grew up in Oregon without much money, has had “a lot of experience in not wasting, in doing without, in using up whatever you have and in planning ahead.” That attitude appears to inform his approach to every facet of his life. On Earth Day, April 1970, he focused his awareness on what we’re doing to the environment and what we can do to improve it so that we can leave a livable environment for future generations. When living on the Umqua River in Oregon, he and a friend decided to protest the releasing of raw sewage into the river whenever the electricity failed. From their desire to change awareness in a positive way, they started a river appreciation group. Don continues this environmental work.
Mike has been fascinated with electricity since first grade when he and his father built an electric motor with wire and a tin can. Back then, he had patience and finally got the motor working in third grade. Many electronic projects later he graduated with a BS in electrical and computer engineering from Clemson. A physics class at Clemson required reading Amory Lovins' Soft Energy Paths which sealed his interest in energy issues. After a falling out with technology a few years later, a cross-continental solo motorcycle trip, a winter of discontent in South Carolina and a summer in Europe, Mike hitch-hiked to a job interview in Maine to become a potter's apprentice. There he met a woman who somehow convinced him to help her build a house on some cut-over swamp, er, forested wetland in Harrison. Andrea hated the electric utility and so they lived off-grid for 30 years before grid-tying the solar system. She hasn't kicked Mike out because he hasn't finished the house yet. They are assembling a permaculture food forest for physical, emotional and, perhaps, financial sustenance.
Ted and his wife Doretta have been farming the land that has been in his family for four generations. On their farm, Beech Hill Farm in Waterford, they raise grass-fed bison, laying hens, MOFGA certified organic produce, and where Doretta regularly bakes artisan breads and bagels. By doing so, Ted is continuing his family’s farming tradition, which stretches back to 1900, when his great-grandfather and grandfather bought the rambling, sloped land with views of the Mahoosuc Range and turned it into a dairy farm. Back then butter, not bison, was the export du jour. The retired Coast Guard captain, who remembers working on the farm as a boy, never thought he’d be corralling bison here at 68. “Regenerative farming reverses the effects of global warming by putting carbon back into the soil,” Guptill said. “We don’t want to just maintain the status quo but improve the landscape.”
Thea was raised in Pequaket Valley by the White Mountains and attended Alfred University, where they graduated in 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. After moving to back to Western Maine, Thea has found connection with fellow local artists, at sing circles and solstice gatherings, and in the garden with friends. Thea spends their time working at Fare Share Food Coop, organizing gatherings for young folks in Oxford Hills, planning art classes for local kids at Creative Norway, making art, and working with others at CEBE planning sustainable, affordable, accessible, cooperative housing in Norway. As one of the handful of queer and twenty-something-year-old people in our area, Thea is passionate about finding opportunities in our community to cultivate connection and creativity and address the housing crisis, workers' rights, reparations, Indigenous sovereignty, and climate crisis.
Climate Action Steward
As an ecologist, educator, and activist, Roberta has been helping Maine people and their communities protect the ecological systems they depend upon for three decades. With a special passion for the lakes of Maine, she has been leader in the development of some of Maine’s most enduring lake education programs, has led watershed restoration & resiliency efforts, and has trained and mentored thousands of citizen lake scientists and stewards. She is the author of a host of print and online resources supporting citizen engagement in the protection of Maine waters including the Maine Field Guide to Invasive Aquatic Plants. Roberta is keenly aware of our precarious moment in history, and the urgent need to restore balance to local and global ecosystems. She is thoroughly committed to the work of ensuring a better world for future generations and grateful for having found a loving and supporting community to help her in this work at CEBE. Roberta is an “all-weather” outdoor enthusiast, an exuberant gardener, a fearless cook, and lifelong learner, musician and dancer. She and her husband are firmly rooted to gardens, orchards, fields, and woodlands that grace their beloved Irish Hill in Buckfield.
Our board is made up of community members like you!
Katherine has worked as a research analyst for Group Dimensions International for over eight years. She double majored in mathematics and the arts at Smith College, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sustainable development and geospatial analysis (GIS) at the Muskie School of Public Service. Katherine is a native Mainer and grew up on the Midcoast. After graduating college she spent two years in Italy completing a “Farm to Table” internship, during which she expanded her skills and knowledge regarding sustainable agriculture, sustainable systems, and the importance of the food system as a cultural focal point of society. After returning from abroad, Katherine returned to Maine to purchase land in the Western Foothills and is developing a dynamic and ecological heirloom orchard along with a permaculture farming project and lifestyle. She loves the complex beauty of wild environments, and exploring the outdoors.
CARL COSTANZI, PH.D.
Carl got a B.S. in Microbiology from Penn State and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia (now Drexel) and worked as a research molecular biologist for twenty years, most recently for ten years at University of Pennsylvania's School of Veterinary Medicine where he studied chromosome packaging and gene regulation. In 2004 he and his family moved to Norway where his wife Carolyn took a position at Stephens Memorial Hospital. Carl learned carpentry working in construction for a couple of years before co-founding and teaching at Ganderia Middle School. There he developed an integrated, project-based curriculum grounded on a sense of place and community engagement. Carl currently coordinates the Let's Go! program for Western Maine Health, promoting healthy eating and active living in Oxford County. He loves growing food, cooking for his family, spending time with his three grown sons, Ben, Nick and Dan, and exploring the natural world with a camera.
“Home is wherever I am at the moment,” says Scott. Born in El Dorado, Arkansas, but raised in North Africa and Europe, he thrives on movement, and feels kin to the nomads of the world. Being raised as a Third Culture Kid gave Scott a deep appreciation for different cultures and values and has instilled a sense of adventure and responsibility that he has tried to balance throughout his adult life. Scott’s adventuress side has led him to pursue several outdoor passions including rock climbing, surfing, paragliding, mountaineering, adventure racing and ultra-running. His professional life has gone through numerous changes. A degree in mining engineering in 1990 led to working in a gold mine in the Venezuela, working a tunnel engineer and a surveyor in Boston, a 3d computer animator, and a litigation graphics consultant. Interspersed during this time he worked as a paragliding instructor and volunteered his time for a NGO in Uganda. Scott moved to Norway in 2003 and currently owns Café Nomad and Fiber & Vine on Main Street. He is a board member of Norway Downtown, The Norway Opera House Corporation, and is an advisor for the Maine Downtown Center. Scott also continues to work as a litigation graphics consultant.
Fred got paid for doing a card trick in 1974, and has been a professional performer ever since. On Sesame Street, he was the acrobat inside Barkley the Dog. On Broadway, he was the chief juggler in the musical Barnum. He toured Europe, Hong Kong and Australia with the Obie Award-winning Foolsfire, with Bob Berky and Michael Moschen. Whether tumbling for the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center or dancing with MOMIX in Brazil, Fred brings a gymnast's timing and an actor's presence to his Inflatable Theater Co. He even was featured on David Letterman's Late Night. Fred Garbo continues to astound and tickle audiences with his pop-action inflatables and hilarious stage presence. For more than two decades he has been inventing inflatables with artist/builder: George York. Fred has trained and performed with the Master of Illusion: Tony Montanaro. (Fred also trains in “snowboarding" every chance he gets.) Recently he now runs his home and car from the power of the sun.
PHIL HAWES, PH.D.
Phil was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and went on to become the principle architect of Biosphere 2 in Arizona. He holds a PhD from the San Francisco Institute of Architecture where he is on the faculty. He has developed educational programs related to sustainable community design and green architecture internationally and has developed sustainable eco-village designs in the US and elsewhere. Phil is an architect and town and regional designer whose area of interest and expertise is sustainable community development. He has established programs in architecture and community planning in the U.S., Portugal, and France, and has lectured widely on these subjects in the U.S. and abroad. He has also worked on ecological projects in the U.S., England, France, Nepal, and Australia.
Kristine currently works in the Transportation Division for the City of Portland, Maine's Planning & Urban Development Department. She focuses on bicycle and pedestrian related planning initiatives including bike corrals and racks, bike sharing, abandoned bicycles, sidewalk materials, complete street design, and strategic transportation planning. Kristine is currently pursuing a Master's of Urban Planning at Tufts University and working to complete her thesis focused on active transportation and community development in Norway, Maine. She was recently awarded the 2014 Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship by the Federal Highway Administration and the CT APA Diana Donald Scholarship. She previously worked as a research associate for a transportation demand management firm in Boston for almost four years doing transportation surveying and data analysis. Kristine spends her free time in the woods of Western Maine skiing, hiking, biking, and canoing.
Nikki has been an art teacher in the Oxford Hills for over thirty years and has inspired young artists and the community to make art as important as math. She is an accomplished and prolific artist herself who enjoys combining her art with all other forms of art such as music, dance and theater. She has been a founding and loyal member of the Commons Art Collective for almost 15 years and continues to bring art to the area. Her support and commitment to the local food movement through Fare Share Co-op and other efforts make her one of the most beautiful sustainability supporters around.
Brendan is the Active Communities Environment Coordinator through Healthy Oxford Hills and works collaboratively with community partners to increase bike and pedestrian usage in Oxford County, specifically in Norway, South Paris, Bethel, Rumford, Mexico, Hiram and Porter. Brendan’s focus is to raise awareness of existing pedestrian and bike resources, promote education that keeps cyclists, pedestrians and motorists safe, and implement wayfinding programs to facilitate the use of pedestrian and bike resources. Brendan works with the Oxford County Wellness Collaborative and other community partners to establish a county-wide education and awareness campaign. Brendan is currently completing his Masters in Community Planning and Development at the Muskie School of Public Service in Portland Maine. He has previously worked as a Project Manager with Moose Pond Arts+Ecology and he is currently the Coordinator at Good Food for Lewiston/Auburn.
Lisa is Norway’s Poet Laureate. She writes materials for the educational industry and facilitates the Mountain Poets Society that has performed at the Norway Arts Festival for many years. Her book There is a Crooked River offers poems about the Maine woods for young readers. Other recent works include The Haiku Project, a collaborative celebration of 100 original Haiku, a biography of Elie Wiesel for high school students, and an annual collection of poems, such as Smoke that was letter-pressed in West Paris. Lisa has been a member of Fare Share Co-op since the 1980's and has been serving the Co-op in many different ways, including having a knowledge of Policy Governance and the ability to train others in using it well.
Ken grew up and worked on a 60 acre family apple orchard in the foothills of Western Maine. For 40 years, he’s been involved in community organizing, mostly focused on food. As a food co-op organizer, he helped start Fare Share Co-op in Norway, Maine in 1978. He also worked at the Maine Federation of Cooperatives, which operated Fedco Warehouse that delivered natural foods and produce across the state. His role there as newsletter publisher led to opening Grassroots Graphics, a graphic design and print shop that he operated for 18 years. Ten years ago, he became the director of Healthy Oxford Hills, one of 28 community health coalitions that cover the State of Maine. He’s been active in the Local Foods movement for years and most recently focused on Farm to School efforts. A year ago, he started Community Food Strategies. In this role, he coordinates the Maine Farm to School Work Network and the Maine Network of Community Food Councils, and serves as Maine’s rep on the Leadership Team of Farm to Institution New England.
Travis grew up in South Paris, Maine and graduated from Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in 2001. He began researching alternative energies including electric vehicles, biodiesel and hydrogen fuel while still in school. He holds a bachelor's degree in Space Studies from American Military University. where he focused on ways to produce food in the spacecraft environment for long-duration spaceflight. "...my idea was to work for NASA or SpaceX and find some way to help humanity become a multi-planet species. I figured that wherever humans go, we need food, so I focused on growing healthy food in the spacecraft environment." Travis has also worked in the automotive industry for over a decade and is now the office manager and education outreach coordinator at Paris Autobarn, where he continues his work in sustainable energy and transportation, driving EVs and waiting for his Tesla to arrive.
Karle is a mixed-media artist and freelance graphic designer, specializing in illustration, identity development, and promotional material. She's worked on an off as the Communications Coordinator for CEBE and is currently farming in Waldo County, Maine. Raised in the Western foothills of Maine, she is passionate about working within small grassroots communities. Woods is a recent graduate of College of the Atlantic (COA), with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Ecology. She is dedicated to connecting with people and the surrounding ecology to create positive, sustainable change.
John Snell has worked at the intersection of energy politics and technology throughout his professional career. John has focused on the built environment, first as a framing carpenter and subsequently as an energy consultant for single family, multifamily, and municipal facilities. John has worked on energy-related projects throughout the US with an emphasis on energy efficiency projects in New England. John currently works with towns to help them understand the scale of effort needed to meet state carbon reduction goals and next steps required to achieve these goals. His volunteer efforts include CEBE’s Energy Working Group, support for the Western Foothills Land Trust, and historic preservation advocacy and maintenance for Isle Royale National Park’s cultural resources.