Joseph Dembeck,


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Joe has served as the Executive Director for the District since 2015. He is responsible for management of: operations, finances, program development, collaboration with other agencies/entities, and implementation of education and outreach activities. Joe has expertise in aquatics/fisheries, wildlife habitat management, invasive plant management, and planning. Apple tree management, renovation, and pruning is a skill set that Joe has a depth of knowledge in and is always willing to address with landowners. His wife, Natalie, and he live in Skowhegan where they enjoy managing their woodlands for timber and wildlife, tend their every growing gardens and orchard, as well as finding time for canoeing, fishing, hunting, and wildlife watching. Prior to working at the District Joe worked as a fisheries biologist for 20 years in positions with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and an environmental consulting firm. He received a B.S. in biology from the State University of New York College at Geneseo, Geneseo, NY and a M.S. in Water Resources Management from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY.


Laura Suomi-Lecker,

Technical director

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Laura has served as the Technical Director for the District since 2007.  She enjoys working with farmers and landowners on nutrient management and conservation planning.  She is a certified Crop Advisor, Conservation Planner, Nutrient Management Planner and Soil Scientist. Laura is the education and outreach coordinator and a long-time volunteer for Avian Haven Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center in Freedom and her passion for birds has led to the creation of the District’s Ag Allies grassland bird habitat program.  Prior to working at the District, Laura was a Soil Conservationist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. She received a B.S. in Soil Science from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. in Ecology from Penn State University.  


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Jennifer joined the District as Outreach Coordinator in 2018 after nearly 20 years working in Maine land conservation.  Jennifer is responsible for our web site and social media, publicity and publications, and special projects to broaden awareness and participation. In 2019 she will also provide field support for AgAllies and the Conservation Innovation Grant - Invasive Plants Management project. In addition to her work with the District, Jennifer provides conservation project design and communications support for nonprofits and landowners across the state through her business, Rise & Shine consulting.  After earning her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy at Duke University, she got hooked on the power of story while a student at the Salt Center for Documentary Field Studies.  She enjoys helping organizations better tell their stories in order to build greater support for their good works. Jennifer is a mom of two and an avid trail runner, known to travel in search of challenging trails, strong coffee and gluten-free bakeries. 


Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Employees

Nick Pairitz, DISTRICT Conservationist

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