Laura Rose Day became President and CEO of 7 Lakes Alliance in September, 2018, bringing to the Belgrade Lakes community in-depth and diverse experience in watershed management. As a long-time Kennebec watershed resident, she, her husband and two sons also appreciate paddling, boating, hiking and otherwise enjoying the outdoors and community of the Belgrade Lakes region. Laura has most recently provided strategic consulting expertise on conservation issues as a Principal in Source to Sea Consulting, LLC. For thirteen years prior, she was Executive Director of the Penobscot River Restoration Trust, the non-profit formed to lead an historic multi-party effort to restore nearly 2000 miles of sea-run fish habitat while maintaining energy production. There she helped develop and led innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary approaches and teams, including a coordinated campaign to successfully raise over $60 million in public and private funds to fully implement the project.
Laura’s career began in the Great Lakes as Regional Counsel for of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago, then as the Lake Superior and Biodiversity Project Manager and Attorney for the National Wildlife Federation where she also taught environmental law seminars and oversaw the environmental law clinic for the University of Michigan. Laura also served as Director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine's Watershed Program; helped develop and direct Maine Rivers, a statewide watershed organization; and serves on Maine Woods Forever and the Klamath River Renewal Corporation. Laura has degrees in wildlife management (B.S., Wildlife Resources from West Virginia University) and law (J.D. with a certificate in Environmental and Energy Law from Chicago-Kent College of Law).
Tom Klingenstein, Chair
Since 1989, Tom Klingenstein has been the managing partner of Cohen, Klingenstein, LLC, a New York City investment advisor. Before that he was the Chief Executive Officer of a Colorado financial institution, a Wall Street securities analyst and Peace Corps volunteer, teaching agriculture in Swaziland. Tom is a playwright and is closely involved with a number of non-profit organizations. He lives in New York City and has two grown daughters.
Chris Cook, Secretary
Chris Cook wasn’t born at the lake but got here as fast as she could. After a childhood spent playing in the woods in upstate New York, Chris lived in Ithaca, NY, Boston, Washington, DC, Pittsburgh and Connecticut, earning a B.S. from Cornell University, MBA from Boston University and JD from the University of Connecticut along the way. She has been a banker and an attorney in private practice and now spends her working hours at the Maine Public Utilities Commission. Chris enjoys hiking the Kennebec Highland trails and other trails with her best friend and husband, Andy; growing things in the garden; and spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Mel Croft, Treasurer
Mel Croft, born in Florida, holds a Master of Science degree in geology from Florida State University. He worked as a geologist in industry for over 27 years before retiring to East Pond with his wife in 2007. Mel and his family lived in Louisiana, California, and Texas during his career, and Mel’s work carried him to the far corners of the earth for over a dozen years. He’s been active in volunteer work to protect our lakes since 2008. He loves outdoor activities, including camping, fishing, skiing, hiking, and just enjoying the beauty of the Belgrade Lakes. Mel has been teaching introductory geology classes at Colby College since shortly after his retirement. He’s been a member of the BRCA and East Pond Association boards since 2008, and was president of the BRCA and 7 Lakes Alliance for over 6 years.
Ted has been spending time on Great Pond since 1948. A graduate of Kents Hill School and Rollins College, Ted and his wife, Barbara, have lived in an antique home near Boston since 1975, but have never missed a summer in Belgrade. Ted retired in 2000 as vice-president of Dexter Shoes, but remains active on the boards of Kents Hill School, Rollins College, the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Colby College Museum of Art, and 7 Lakes Alliance. His greatest pleasure, however, is passing on his affection for Great Pond to his and Barbara’s nine grandchildren, and sharing with them a sense of responsibility for its well-being.
Matti Bradley was raised in Los Angeles and Belgrade Lakes. She has a BA in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine. She operated Mid-Maine Sailboards before joining Marriott Hotels based out of Washington, DC and Boston. She then joined her husband, Chris, in New York City. There, she worked for Morgan Stanley and Shearson Asset Management. In 1987, Matti and Chris opted out of the New York lifestyle and moved to Maine permanently. She joined Chris in running their company, Cuddledown, while raising their family. Eventually, she became The Piano Lady, tuning and repairing pianos, in the greater Portland area before her retirement. She and Chris now live in Belgrade Lakes. She has served on the boards of Bush Equities, Inc, The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Portland, the Camp Runoia Alumnae Organization, including 5 years as its president, and 7 Lakes Alliance.
In 1988, Pat Donahue was living in NYC and saw an advertisement in the New York Times about a lakefront camp for sale on an island in Great Pond, and he has been here ever since. A native Mainer, he was drawn back by the area’s natural beauty and friendly people. A graduate of the University of Maine and a Coast Guard Veteran, he enjoys working with people to find their dream, whether a Lakeside cottage or a home in the country. He has been a longtime board member of the Belgrade Lakes Association, and most recently, the Maine Lakes Society. It’s a privilege to work with these groups and 7 Lakes Alliance to help ensure the next generation has this wonderful place.
Scott and his family have spent every summer on the Belgrade Lakes since moving to Clearwater Camp on Great Pond in 1989. Scott is a graduate of Hartwick College where he majored in both Business Management and Fine Arts. He served on the Board of the Belgrade Lakes Association from 1993 to 2011, was a founding member and Treasurer of the Maine Lakes Resource Center and now serves on the Board of 7 Lakes Alliance. Scott also served on the Board of Trustees of the White Mountain School in Littleton NH. Scott’s interests include skiing, where he spent 15 years on the Sugarloaf Ski Patrol, sailing, motorcycle travel and simply taking in all that the area has to offer. Scott recently retired as Managing Director - Investments of The Finlay/Roy Private Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors in Boston, Massachusetts. Scott and his wife Martha reside in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
Peter Kallin retired in May 2012 as the Executive Director of the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance, a position he held for 5 years. Pete is a retired university water resources extension specialist, Professional Wetlands Scientist (PWS), and environmental engineer with more than thirty years of experience in engineering and scientific project management. A retired Navy Commander, his experience in service included air support for the hunt for the real Red October submarine. He is a member of the Maine Land Trust Network (MLTN) Steering Committee and has served as President of the Maine Lakes Society. He is a member of the Maine Community Foundation Fund for Land Conservation (LAND) review committee and an Atlantic Salmon Federation “Fish Friends” mentor. An avid sportsman, Pete fishes, hunts, and lives in Rome, Maine, with his wife, Linda.
Dennis Keschl has served as Town Manager of Belgrade where he has lived for nearly 40 years. He has an undergraduate degree in Math and Physics from Mansfield University, PA and a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science from Rutgers University, NJ. Dennis served in the Maine State Legislature as a Representative from 2011 thru 2014. He career includes work as the Administrative Director and Director of Technical Analysis Division for the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Director of the Bureau of Air Quality Control and Director of the Division of Operations and Maintenance in the Bureau of Water Quality. He was the President of the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA) in 1988 and the Chair of the New England Commission for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM) in 1994. A veteran with 31 years of service in the U.S. Army and the Maine Air National Guard, his Military career included work in Military Intelligence, Logistics and Planning, and as the 101st ARW Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Commander. Dennis is a member of the Belgrade Lakes Association, the Belgrade Public Library, Belgrade Historical Society, Ducks Unlimited, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Reserve Officers Association, the National Rifle Association, the Sportsmen Alliance of Maine, the National Guard Association of Maine, and Maine State Museum Commission.
Whitney King, Miselis Professor of Chemistry, Colby College. Trained as a chemical oceanographer, Prof. King teaches General Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry, and Analytical Chemistry courses. Prof. King and his research students develop and build analytical instruments for the analysis of metals and reactive oxygen species in natural waters. These instruments allow fundamental studies of redox reactions at the ocean/atmosphere, sediment/water, and plankton/water interfaces critical in defining aquatic environments. These instruments are now used by over one hundred research groups in over fifteen countries. In 2002, Prof. King co-founded Waterville Analytical with Janet King to meet the commercial demand for this specialized instrumentation. Prof. King was the principal investigator on an NSF-EPSCoR funded project investigating the impacts of human development on the Belgrade Lakes watershed. The Belgrades work has benefitted from a dynamic, collaborative team of eight Colby faculty, over fifty students, and six conservation organizations. This work is continuing in partnership with 7 Lakes Alliance to evaluate specific remediation strategies for each of the Belgrade Lakes. Beyond Maine, Prof. King and his students continue to participate on oceanographic research cruises through collaborations with US and international researchers.
Seth Lawry traces his roots to Central Maine back to when his ancestor, Asa Redington, settled here after three enlistments in the Revolutionary War. Growing up, he enjoyed visiting family and friends with summer places across the Belgrade Lakes and his lifelong appreciation and love for the lakes grew. Beginning in 2001, he and his wife, Cindy, began coming to Great Pond with their growing family and, in 2008, finally settled into their own place on the lake. Cindy, Seth and their four children spend much of their summers enjoying the water, nature and communities here. Seth currently serves as an Advisory Partner at Thomas H. Lee Partners, after almost 25 years as an active partner. A graduate of Williams College and Stanford Graduate School of Business, Seth currently serves as a trustee of Colby College as well as a director of several non-profit and for-profit organizations.
Lynn Matson’s business career took him from a 13-year management position at a Minneapolis, Minnesota advertising agency to a 27-year ownership of a Maryland based equipment distribution company. His personal pursuits found him on many wilderness canoe, whitewater rafting and bare boat sailing trips and climbing some of our country’s 14,000′ peaks. Now retired, Lynn and his wife, Phyllis, relocated to Belgrade Lakes as year round residents in 2010 to enjoy the sensational beauty of the area and become members of a very special community. They have two children and four grandchildren who they are fortunate to frequently welcome to their Maine home.
Tom McCandlish was the founding member of the McCandlish Holton firm and has served as its Chairman for over three decades. Over the course of his career, Tom has led the firm’s Corporate and Health Care Group as well as its International Practice Group. Under Tom’s leadership, the firm operated a branch office in China for over 15 years beginning in 1995 as one of the first 12 US law firms approved by the Chinese government. McCandlish Holton continues to serve the international needs of its clients in China and elsewhere through membership in Lawyers Associated Worldwide, an international network of law firms around the globe. Tom has served on the Board of Visitors of Virginia Commonwealth University and on the Board of Directors of the VCU Intellectual Property Foundation. He is a member of the Society of International Fellows (SIBF) and is immediate past Chairman of the Global Network Foundation affiliated with SIBF.
Diane Oliver owns and operates Day’s Store in Belgrade Lakes Village with her husband Kerry. Diane is the third generation of Days' to operate the general store that sits between Long Pond and Great Pond in the village. A Belgrade resident all her life, Diane understands the sense of place that locals and visitors express about the area. Clear lakes and protected lands are vital to maintain this way of life for generations to come. Diane is a member of the Belgrade Lakes Association, North Pond Association, Friends of Messalonskee Lake, East Pond Association, and the McGrath Pond/Salmon Lake Association. She is a member of the Maine Grocers & Food Producers Association, a Board Member of the Belgrade Lakes Region Business Group, and President of the Friends of Belgrade Lakes Village.
Lenny Reich grew up in suburban Washington, DC, but loved the woods, fields, streams, and lakes of the countryside from a young age. In his early teen years, he learned to sail on salt water and fell in love with the ocean and shore as well. Academically inclined, he earned a BA in Mathematics and a BS in Mechanical Engineering, an MA in Teaching, and a PhD in the History of Science and Technology. He has held fellowships at the Smithsonian, the Harvard Business School, and MIT, and retired in 2014 as Professor Emeritus of Management and of Science, Technology, and Society after teaching 28 years at Colby College. Lenny was the co-founder and first president of the McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association in 1989 and also served on the original board that, in 1991, transformed the Watson Pond Land Trust into the Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance. Shortly afterward, he was a co-founder of its Youth Conservation Corps. Returning to the board of the McGrath Pond-Salmon Lake Association in 2016, he became its president once again in 2020. Lenny and his wife Barbara have been active salt-water sailors since they came to Maine in 1987 and have been members of the Rockland Yacht Club since 1993, where Lenny was Commodore in 2017-18.
Gail Rizzo has been selling real estate in the Belgrade Lakes for 30 years and learning over time just how important it is to protect and preserve our natural resources as our lakes in this region of Maine. It is our responsibility to make sure that our job as board members is to teach and show our friends on the lakes how to be good stewards of the land and lakes. As a past president of Belgrade Lakes Association, Gail feels it is her responsibility to share what she knows and pass onto the new generation of waterfront owners who are new and or have inherited their waterfront properties from the previous generation. We need to have all generations on the same page to protect and preserve for many more generations to come. Gail has been fortunate to grow up in the Belgrade Lakes and to stay in the area. She married Frank Rizzo (a New Yorker) 47 years ago and raised two sons, Eric and Todd. She has five grandchildren that she hopes can experience the wonderful place that we call home.
Bill Swan was born and raised in Maine and moved to the Belgrade Lakes region in 1981 directly after graduating from college. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maine. He worked in the computer industry for 21 years and is currently the Director of Licensing at the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife where he has worked for the past 15 years. Bill and his wife, Karen, lived year-round on Long Pond for 28 years where they raised their two children. He was formerly on the board of the Belgrade Lakes Association and was on the BRCA board for many years. Bill and Karen recently moved to Parker Pond which is part of series of neighboring lakes just 6 miles west of Belgrade Lakes. He is currently the chairman of the board of the 30 Mile River Watershed Association whose mission is to preserve, improve, and protect the land and water quality in the 30 Mile River Watershed (which Parker Pond is part of). He loves to fish, hunt, hike, canoe, kayak, and anything else related to the outdoors. He has been a Registered Maine Guide for over 20 years.
Dr. Alexander Wall has lived in Belgrade since 1979 when he and his wife Kathi bought the Yeaton farm on Manchester Road. Dr. Wall holds a bachelor’s degree from Union College and Doctor of Medicine from the College of Physicians, Columbia University. Certifications in general and vascular surgery followed his completion of residency at Mary Bassett Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. He practiced surgery in Augusta until 2000. Subsequently, he became a builder of center console wooden boats. Beginning in 2004, he became a volunteer teacher of human anatomy and physiology at Kents Hill School where he has been a Board member for over twenty years. More recently, he joined the Boards of the Belgrade Lakes Association, 7 Lakes Alliance, and continues to serve on the Old Sturbridge Village Board of Overseers. He is a member of the Appeals Board for the Town of Belgrade. Hobbies include photography, woodworking, motorcycling, skeet shooting, hunting, and property conservation.