Board members are compassionate and caring, and have a demonstrated commitment to the Island Connections’ mission. They bring a range of expertise to the organization including business, healthcare, finance, and first-hand knowledge of the needs of seniors and people with disabilities. Members serve three-year terms, during which time attendance is expected at monthly meetings. The board meets nine times a year. With the assistance of the Executive Director, Board members are expected to identify and recruit volunteers and donors. Board members also provide assistance at special events for Volunteers and Neighbors.
Please let us know if you are interested in becoming a Board Member.
Island Connections Board of Directors (as of March 2021)
Lynne Leighton, President
Judith Swiss Lyles, Vice President
Sharon Knopp, Secretary
Becky joined the Island Connections board in 2018 and became treasurer in 2019. She graduated from the College of William and Mary with a degree in accounting and became a CPA. As a stay-at-home mom with two boys, Becky became an active volunteer in the communities where she and her husband, Doug, have lived. They retired to Bar Harbor and have lived year-round here for over six years.
Lynn grew up on Mount Desert Island. Even though she now lives in Ellsworth, she continues to work on MDI and have many ties to the island. Lynn is a registered nurse and works as the Director of Care Management at MDI Hospital. Island Connections is so much more than providing transportation. Island Connections allows people to stay connected with the community, have some social interaction with team members, continue medical care, obtain groceries, meals, and prescriptions, and much more. Lynn is proud to serve on the Board of Directors of an organization that supports neighbors to thrive in the community. When not working or volunteering, Lynn enjoys spending time with family, cooking, and traveling in her RV.
I am a board member and volunteer of Island Connections. I enjoy filling a need for our neighbors who are so grateful for our services. This give me a sense of purpose in my life.
Outside of other miscellaneous volunteering and working my full time job at Bar Harbor Savings and Loan as a Loan Offer, I like to spend my time enjoying the outdoors by camping, hiking and spending lot time with my family and friends. I have lived my entire life in the Mount Desert Island area
Jill and her family have been summer residents of Bar Harbor since 2007 when she and her husband bought a house in the fall of 2006.
When the opportunity to be a volunteer driver for the Island Connections program arose in 2008 she began helping out as a driver and then as part of the board for what her mother in -law describes as a "True Gem" of the MDI community". When not volunteering, Jill enjoys hiking, biking, and kayaking throughout the Acadia National Park area with her husband and two black labs.
From the late 70s to the early 80s, my husband and I lived in Bangor. Rick worked on a rural road research project, and I for the American Red Cross Blood Services. Our work took us to communities throughout Maine. We loved it all, but Mount Desert Island was very special to us. When I retired from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in 2017, Maine was where we wanted to be. In my 35-year career, I worked in public health, and a variety of nonprofit, health care, and academic settings. In retirement, I wanted to continue to contribute to my community. Island Connections provides a vital service to its neighbors, and I am delighted to be a part of its effort.
As Friends of Acadia's Conservation Director, Stephanie Clement oversees FOA's programs staff and has primary responsibility for advocacy, transportation, and resource management work. She serves as part of FOA's management team and works with FOA's Acadia Experience Task Force, Wild Gardens of Acadia volunteers, and the Wild Acadia working group. She also serves on the boards of directors for the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce, Island Connections, and Downeast Transportation, the operator of the Island Explorer bus system. She received fellowships from the Quebec Labrador Foundation in 1998 and 2010 to share the friends group/protected area partnership model with conservation organizations in the Middle East. She graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in Biology/Environmental Studies in 1992 and from the University of Vermont with an M.S. in Natural Resources Planning in 1998.
Sharon is a retired speech/language pathologist who spent her career working in the public schools in several Maine towns. Being retired on MDI is a dream come true for Sharon, who is happiest when hiking and exploring the trails all over the island with her husband Enoch and goldendoodle Kebo. Her other great joy is spending time with her three children and three grandchildren. Sharon began driving for Island Connections shortly after moving here in 2006, and joined the Board in 2012. In her own words: "I've always been passionate about giving back to the community, and I was immediately drawn to Island Connections because it provides such a vital essential service for the residents of MDI. If you can make life better for the most vulnerable residents, you make life better for everybody!