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Board of Directors

Katie Baron

Katie is a counselor and wildlife educator.  Her passion is connecting people with animals and nature in a way that is mutually beneficial for both! Through her counseling practices she does this utilizing animal-assisted psychotherapy and nature-based activities that facilitate people learning more about themselves, their environment, and the animals they are sharing space with.  As the Education Director she provides wildlife & environmental education programs at Acadia Wildlife nature center, teaching people about native wildlife and what we can do to help protect them and their environment. She has been a member of Acadia Wildlife Center's Board of Directors since 2022.

Becca Bendure

Becca was born and raised here in Maine. She has always loved animals, from garden beetles that her brother taught her to find when they were children, to the many pets she was raised with. She still will go out of her way to see any large spider or insect she hears about. She graduated from the University of Maine at Orono in 2010 with a BS in zoology. Jobs were competitive so she joined Acadia Wildlife as a volunteer in 2013 to continue working with animals. Presently, Becca is teaching and working toward an MA in Communication as she became passionate about science communication and critical thinking.

Becky Bendure

Becky joined Acadia Wildlife Center in 2005 as a volunteer.  She values what the organization does for our local wildlife and is proud and grateful to be a part of it and the wonderful education it provides for the public.

Becky grew up on three acres of land in Maryland, where she was exposed to all different species of wildlife.  Her father taught her and her siblings to respect all living creatures, even those that people do not like.  Often the more we learn about these creatures, the more we appreciate them.  To this day she is passionate about bats, skunks, porcupines, and snakes.

Becky moved to Maine in 1980 to go to the University of Maine in Orono where she met her husband.  They have two wonderful adult children who also have an appreciation for the outdoors and all the creatures that live there.  She supervises the Infant/Toddler program at the University of Maine Children’s Center, where she strives to get children outside as much as possible to play and see distant wildlife.

Genevieve Benites

I have worked in wildlife rehabilitation part or full time for around three years. I have my BAS in NRC wildlife conservation and ecology and love furthering my education wherever I can. I have a strong passion for ornithology, bird rehabilitation and clinic work. In my free time I like to focus on my singing, writing, painting and coffee making. I am also a self-proclaimed bird nerd and birder. I am excited for what lies ahead in the future of wildlife rehabilitation! 

Lori Boynton

I have been connected to AWC for a long time! I admire the compassion, work ethic and dedication of all that work with this great organization. I started as a volunteer and over the years, Ann has been amazing about providing educational events at several of my workplaces. I was inspired to create the  AWC annual auction fundraiser in 2021 and it is so rewarding. I have substantial experience in fundraising- my first project was creating an athletic field complex at the Lamoine School and I went on to obtain a lot more hands on fundraising when I worked at Bank of America. I am an animal advocate for wildlife and domestic- truly an animal lover. I have two equines at my home as well as some very sassy chickens and a small rescue dog that joined me in October. I love to garden, bake and read when I’m not working or busy with animals!

Heather Roche

Born and raised in Reading, Pennsylvania.  I share that birthplace with 2 famous people: novelist John Updike and songwriter/singer Taylor Swift. MDI is now my home. For decades I tended to lost and abandoned cats.  
Likes:  animals more than people, rock music, running, working outdoors, Sea Isle City NJ, reading, and Hendrick’s gin.
Future:  Learn to sail.  Adopt a dog(s).
Next life:  Astrophysicist

Vicki Salsbury

Vicki was born, grew up and attended Mount Desert Island School. She was the creator and owner of Salsburys Organics in Town Hill for over forty years. In between she raised two children, took Library Science courses, and married her sweetheart, Brent Hutchins...that was over thirty years ago.

Salsburys is where Ann Rivers and I first met. She needed supplies and I tried to find them for her. Salsburys has had one of Acadia Wildlife's donation boxes for years now and has sold Christmas trees to benefit this amazing Wildlife Center.

I am thrilled to see how many volunteers we now have, and excited about all the new plans. I look forward to our continued relationship and helping where I can. As well, my husband loves turning his carpenter and theater earnings over to them. He too, loves to see all the animals that have been helped in this wonderful rehab center.

Denise Shomo

After years of vacationing on MDI, I recently moved to Bar Harbor and am thrilled to be a “Mainer” and full-time resident. “When you are lucky enough to love where you live, it is a privilege. Like wow I actually live here!  It is now time for me to get involved in the community and Acadia Wildlife Center perfectly aligns with my passion and belief that animals are important, fascinating, incredibly amazing, and essential. 

An unlikely person to be on a board of a non-profit, as my entire career has been in the for-profit financial services sector. Yet I bring business experience that I believe is transferable such as, outreach, writing/reviewing contracts, managing and people skills (by understanding how to navigate various levels and personalities), and by creating relationships. I am exceptional at driving results. Mom once called me a tornado. She said., “You get in, get-it-done, and get out”.  On a personal level, physical labor has always been part of my DNA. For some odd reason, I just love the independence of knowing what I can achieve with a bit of muscle power. I’m often found outdoors working with various tools doing manual labor. I use my chainsaw to cut trees and an axe to split firewood and then general clean-up of the grounds at Acadia Wildlife Center. The tasks and constant money needs seem so overwhelming until you watch the release of a beautiful animal that has been a patient at The Center, and you then understand why volunteers do what they do. AWC volunteers are HERO’s. Helping Ann and Tony inspires me.