Staff

 
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 Stephanie Carver

Executive Director
scarver@smpdc.org

Stephanie Carver was Transportation Director as SMPDC for 4 years prior to taking the Executive Director position. Stephanie also worked as the Planning Director at the Greater Portland Council of Governments, leading transportation and land use projects throughout Southern Maine. Before returning to Southern Maine, Stephanie began her career as a municipal planner in several towns in Massachusetts. Steph is a graduate of Wheaton College in Norton MA, and holds a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans. She currently lives in Cape Elizabeth with her family and two dogs.

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 Abbie Sherwin

Resilience Division Director
asherwin@smpdc.org

Abbie Sherwin is our leading expert on coastal resiliency, with a specialty in coastal hazards, storms, flooding and their increasing impacts. Abbie manages several programs under the Sustainability and Resilience Division, providing technical assistance to communities on the front lines of sea level rise and climate change. Prior to joining SMPDC, Abbie was a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow with the Maine Coastal Program and Geological Survey, during which time she specialized in coastal hazards, sea level rise adaptation planning and community resilience.  She is an undergraduate of Wheaton College and holds a M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire. In her free time, Abbie enjoys hiking, skiing, sewing, and spending time with friends and family.

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 Karina Graeter

Sustainability Division Director
kgraeter@smpdc.org

Karina serves as the organization's lead program manager for several projects and programs working to assist communities with planning for local and regional response to climate change. Starting with the Regional Sustainability and Resilience Pilot Program of six towns, the Division has grown to serve many communities in the process of climate action planning. Prior to joining SMPDC, Karina served as the Sustainability Coordinator for the University of Maine. She led sustainability initiatives, reporting, and outreach activities to integrate sustainability into all aspects of the campus community. Karina studied physics and earth sciences at Bowdoin College and obtained her M.S. in earth sciences at Dartmouth College. In her free time she enjoys hiking, baking, and horseback riding.

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 James Rather

Director of Strategic Initiatives
 
James comes to SMPDC from the planning departments at the City of Portland, City of New York, and several firms within the private and nonprofit sectors. James oversees many projects in economic development and long-range planning for the agency. James grew up outside of Boston and holds a master’s degree from UMass Lowell in Regional Economic and Social Development. He lives in Saco with his partner and son and enjoys road cycling and running when time allows.

 

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 Dean Williams

Transportation Division Director
dwilliams@smpdc.org

Dean came to SMPDC from Central NH Regional Planning Commission where he worked as the Principal Transportation Planner. His years of experience in transportation planning include knowledge of Federal Highway Administration programs and policies, traffic safety, active transportation, transit, and traffic data analysis. Dean obtained his BS in Environmental Planning and Geography from Plymouth State University. Dean has over 10 years of experience playing the Irish sport of hurling, now living in Scarborough he will be playing for the Portland Gaelic Athletic Association. In his free time, Dean enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking, and traveling. 

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 Jamel Torres

Land Use Division Director

jtorres@smpdc.org

Jamel Torres has returned to SMPDC after several years honing his experience in managing long-range planning projects, focusing on inclusive community engagement and clear implementation strategies. He also has extensive experience in municipal land use regulatory development and managing the review of complex development projects. At SMPDC, he’ll continue providing land use planning assistance to municipalities. Jamel received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Vermont and a Master’s Degree in Community Planning & Development from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. Outside the office, he loves spending time with his family and friends enjoying hiking, skiing, camping and gardening. 

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 Raegan Young

Special Projects and Communications Manager
ryoung@smpdc.org

Raegan is a graduate of the Muskie School of Public Service where she received her Master’s degree in Policy, Planning and Management. She also has a BS in Environmental Science and Policy and a GIS Certificate from Plymouth State University. Raegan is the Brownfields Program lead, and provides support on various other projects in land use planning, transportation and sustainability. She also manages SMPDC's communications, including the quarterly newsletter and website. Raegan currently resides in Gorham, ME where she enjoys gardening, crafts and shopping second-hand.

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 Brookelyn Gingras

Regional Planner
bgingras@smpdc.org

Brookelyn obtained a degree in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Maine, then went on to work in environmental education and wildlife research before taking a position at the Land Use Planning Commission in Oxford County. She is now pursuing a masters in policy and planning at the Muskie School of Public Service at USM. Brookelyn does planning and economic development work at SMPDC, supporting on grant programs, the Broadband program, and long-range planning. Brookelyn is a new home owner in Alfred, and enjoys gardening and board games. 

 

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 Melanie Nash

Sustainability and Resilience Planner
mnash@smpdc.org

Melanie Nash joins SMPDC as the Sustainability and Resilience Planner. Before joining SMPDC, Melanie worked as an Island Institute Fellow for the Town of Long Island in Casco Bay, where she worked on numerous municipal sustainability and development projects including Comprehensive Plan development, ordinance review, property assessment, and more. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography from Clark University in Worcester, MA, and a Master’s of Arts in Marine Affairs from the University of Rhode Island. Melanie currently lives in Westbrook, where she enjoys kayaking and reading in her spare time.

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 Mar Fink

Planning Associate
mfink@smpdc.org

Mar assists with a variety of projects across departments including sustainability, transportation, and land use. Prior to joining SMPDC's staff, Mar served as SMPDC's Southern Maine Sustainability Fellow through the AmeriCorps Resilience Corps Program. Mar holds a Bachelor of Arts from Willamette University with a double major in Environmental Science and Music. Currently residing in Portland, Mar enjoys playing bass trombone in musical ensembles around the region. 

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 Mikala Jordan

Land Use and Transportation Planner
mjordan@smpdc.org

Mikala recently moved back to Maine, bringing several years of long-range municipal and regional planning experience in Utah. She obtained a bachelor's degree in Environmental Science and Geography from Villanova University and a master's degree in Metropolitan and City Planning from the University of Utah. Mikala does planning and transportation work at SMPDC, supporting comprehensive planning, open space planning, development review, ordinance writing, the Joint Land Use Study, and the regional Long Range Transportation Plan. Mikala lives in Westbrook, and you can find her running, hiking, birdwatching, reading, or spending quality time with friends and family.

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 Kaya Williams

Resilience Fellow

kwilliams@smpdc.org

Kaya comes to us through an AmeriCorps Fellowship with the Maine Resilience Corp, to support work on the Energy Navigator Pilot Program. She’s currently working on her masters in environmental and climate policy from Vermont Law and Graduate School. When not at work or in school, she loves cooking and trying new restaurants, and is an avid knitter teaching herself how to sew. 

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 Randall Davis

Finance Director
rdavis@smpdc.org

Randy joins SMPDC with over 30 years of finance experience, working for hospitals, municipalities and non-profits, including the last 8 years being Finance Director at Southern Maine Agency on Aging and PSL/STRIVE.  Randy holds a BS degree in Finance from the University of Maine.  He currently resides in Scarborough with his family.  Randy’s hobbies include golf and playing cards with his friends.

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 Deb Cyr

Office Manager

dcyr@smpdc.org

As our new office manager, Deb will be supporting staff with onboarding, accounting, invoicing, and record keeping. Deb joins us with a wealth of experience in office administration, including a wide range of duties from payroll/HR to sales administration. When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially with her grandson, Hayden. She also loves checking out local breweries, and exploring the sites of Maine.