Board of Directors
Karin Look is a retired national security professional. Following education at Sweet Briar College, Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, and UVA Law School, Karin held positions at the Central Intelligence Agency, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, and Department of State. During her career, she wrote and negotiated treaties controlling nuclear weapons, led the removal of nuclear and chemical materials from Libya, led consultations with NATO on conventional forces, and led for the State Department renewed U.S. thinking about controlling biological weapons. Since arriving in Maine in 2012, Karin and her husband, George, have immersed themselves in the restoration of their 1813 federal house and barn and created extensive herb and vegetable gardens. They embrace the use of natural methods, emphasize native plants and are ever-conscious of the needs of bees and butterflies. While in Maine they have supported Maine Preservation and local land trusts, team-taught classes at the Belfast Senior College, presented at Pecha Kucha, started a lunch-time discussion group on global issues, and adopted two cats. In addition to her work on the Program Committee, Karin serves on the Town of Montville’s Planning Board, and the Mid-Coast Forum on Foreign Relations’ Speakers Committee.
Don Abbott has been coming to Camden in the summers since childhood. He has a degree from Kenyon College in chemistry and earned his MBA from Wharton. He has had a career working with international corporations on the financial side and he and his wife, Penny lived in Brazil, Spain and Mexico over the course of his career. They have two married sons who live on the northwest coast.
Don and Penny moved to Camden full time for retirement. Don served on the town development committee for several years as well as being treasurer on the YMCA board. He is an active fly fisher and served as Chair of the Maine State Trout Unlimited organization. And in the summer there is boating on Penobscot Bay.
Wayne Hobson is a retired academic who moved to Rockland from southern California in 2005 and has been a year-round Maine resident since his full retirement in 2010. He has been active in the Rockland Shakespeare Society and currently serves as its president. He served his entire academic career in the American Studies Department at California State University, Fullerton, which he joined after earning his PhD from Stanford University in American History, with a secondary field in African History. During his thirty-seven years at Cal State Fullerton he taught both undergraduate and graduate-level courses. His research and writing interests shifted over the years. Much of his research and writing was on aspects of the history of American legal culture, with a particular interest in celebrated criminal trials. That interest ultimately evolved into the broader study of public memory. Wayne was very active in the California American Studies Association, serving a term as its president as well as many years as that organization’s secretary-treasurer. He also served six years as chair of his academic department, four years as the director of the university’s honors program, and one year as the university’s director of academic advisement.
Bruce ColeDevelopment Chair
Bruce J. Cole is President of McNabb Marketing Resources, Inc., a Camden-based communications and marketing company. McNabb organizes technology exhibitions and conferences in North America and Europe and operates in a number of markets, including wind power, energy from biomass and waste, hydrogen and fuel cell technology, commercial maritime, and recreational boating. Bruce is past president of Diversified Communications’ publishing and trade show division. He has been the lead communications consultant for the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) since 1997. Bruce grew up in western Oregon and has B.S. and B.A. degrees from Oregon State University and an M.A. in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Minnesota. He has served in leadership positions for the Camden Rotary Club, Rotary International’s Youth Exchange Program, and the First Congregational Church of Camden. He is a past president of the Camden Conference.
George A. CookeDirector
George has spent summers in Maine since childhood and, along with his wife Laura, became a permanent resident of Lincolnville in 2019 following his retirement from an active legal practice in the media and entertainment business. After graduation from Dartmouth on an NROTC scholarship, George served on destroyers tracking Russian submarines in the Med and did an in-country tour north of Danang as an advisor to the South Vietnamese coastal patrol force. The GI Bill enabled him to continue his studies at Cambridge University and Harvard Law School. Between stints at Boston and LA law firms, he had the good fortune to work for 20 years at HBO, where he had a front row seat to the burgeoning of pay television and the internet. George continues his involvement with film as a Board member of the Points North Institute, organizer of the Camden International Film Festival.
Jim Hengerer grew up in Albany, NY. After medical school, he served in U.S. Navy for nine years while training in Ear, Nose and Throat. He practiced in Lynchburg, VA for 35 years and retired to Rockland four years ago with his wife, Judy. They have spent summers in Maine on Echo Lake for many years. Jim also serves on the United Midcoast Charities Board of Directors and is a member of UMC’s Development Committee and Grants Committee.
Elaine Keyes spent ten years as a high school teacher and administrator, followed by 30 in the investment management industry. After her B.A. from the College of Wooster in Philosophy and German and a B.Ed. from Queen’s University, she and her husband George moved to Utrecht in The Netherlands where they stayed for eleven years. In The Netherlands Elaine taught at the International School Beverweerd, a small bilingual Dutch and English boarding school. During that time she became Academic Head of the International Section and brought the school into the International Baccalaureate program as the 42nd school to join and the first in The Netherlands. She continued to teach both subsidiary and higher level I.B. Contemporary World History. Returning to the U.S., she received her M.B.A. in Finance at the University of Minnesota. Most of her investment business positions at various firms were back office related, often dealing with complex securities and pricing issues. Since retiring and moving permanently to Maine in 2008, she has volunteered at Chewonki Foundation in Wiscasset and taken French courses at the Penobscot School. Her husband, George, is an Art Historian, an interest they share. Elaine’s recent enthusiasm is about Chinese export porcelain before 1750 and how it got where it is now. They are both involved with the Bowdoin College Art Museum. Although they traveled widely during their years in Europe, they continue to love to travel. Museums, beautiful cities, and nature are their destinations. At home they both enjoy the beauty around them here in Maine.
Wendy A. LaidlawDirector
Wendy A. Laidlaw, CFP® is involved in many aspects of R.M. Davis, from portfolio management to heading up the Finance Department, from compliance assistance to human resource leadership. Wendy is the firm's Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer. Her care and commitment toward her clients and their circumstances are genuine and valued. She is a Certified Financial Planner™ and an Investment Advisor Certified Compliance Professional. Wendy is a member of the Management Committee.
Born in Michigan and now residing in Portland, Maine with Mike, her husband, Wendy has two step-sons and eight grandchildren. Wendy enjoys reading, travel, keeping fit, and classical music.
Eric Lebson has a career that includes both private sector consulting for corporate clients and national security policymaking. He led the Pakistan team within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, served as a Director at the National Security Council, and was in charge of the Strategic Risk Assessment team as an exchange officer within the Australian Department of Defence. Outside of government, Eric conducts corporate investigations and business intelligence projects for private sector clients, serving on the advisory board of TD International, LLC, an industry leading company that he co-founded in 1999. He also built a successful business intelligence practice within a crisis communications firm. Eric manages business operations for Evergreen Philanthropic Solutions, a Maine-based consulting firm that helps clients achieve philanthropic outcomes. He is personally committed to supporting hostage families and advises families and governments on a volunteer basis. After about 30 years in Washington, DC, Eric and his wife, Diane, moved to Camden in 2018 but they have been in love with Maine for a whole lot longer.
Merlin Miller grew up in Illinois, attended Purdue University (BS & MS in Engineering Sciences) and Northeastern University (MS & PhD in Physics). He and his wife, Carlotta, moved to the Boston Area in 1962 where he worked for AC Electronics division of General Motors, the Avco Everett Research Laboratory and Physical Sciences Inc., and taught physics at Northeastern University. A resident of Topsfield MA for 48 years, Merlin was a member of the Elementary School Committee, Finance Committee, and Board of Selectmen. Merlin and Carlotta have been visiting Maine for about 40 years and bought their home in Rockland in 1993.
Nick MillsMarketing Chair
Nick B. Mills taught journalism at Boston University for 26 years. In the 1980s he trained dozens of Afghan journalists in Peshawar, Pakistan and founded the Afghan Media Resource Center, a full-service news agency. In 2004 and 2005 he worked in Kabul with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and collaborated with Karzai on a book, "KARZAI - The Failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan."
Jane NyceCommunity Events Chair
Jane Nyce retired to Cushing, ME in the summer of 2014. She was co-President of the Board in 2015 for Village to Village Network, a national non-profit supporting community programs to keep seniors safe in their homes and connected in their communities. Additionally, she is working with Methodist Conference Home in Knox County, ME to establish a village model program for Knox County. She was the founding Executive Director for Staying Put in New Canaan in Connecticut, one of the early “village” models, now in its ninth year of operation. She came to the program when it was in development in the summer of 2007 for her last internship in a Masters of Health Advocacy at Sarah Lawrence College. Before that, her professional work for over twenty years was in consumer insights and market research. She worked for Kraft Foods, Tropicana and Information Resources, a national research firm for clients such as P&G, Unilever, Quaker, Coca Cola, etc. Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Smith College and work in the doctoral program in Psychology at Cornell University.
Charlotte SingletonProgram Chair
Matthew StorinEducation Chair
Matt Storin served as editor of The Boston Globe from 1993 to 2001. Earlier, he was editor of the Chicago Sun-Times, executive editor of the (NY) Daily News, editor of Maine Times and national editor of U.S. News & World Report. His reporting career, which began in his hometown at the Springfield (Mass.) Daily News, included stints in Washington for the Griffin-Larrabee News Bureau and later the Globe, for whom he covered Congress, the White House, and later Asia. Based in Tokyo, he covered the late stages of the wars in Cambodia and Vietnam. After retiring from the Globe, he served as associate vice president for communications at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, where he also was concurrent professor of journalism. He retired from Notre Dame in 2014 and lives in Camden.
Our Advisory Council serves in an advisory capacity to the Board of Directors. We are extremely thankful for their support.
Thomas M. Deford
Robert G. Hirsch
David P. Jackson
Jean B. Lenderking
Kimberly ScottExecutive Director
Kimberly Scott (Executive Director)
Kim has been with the Conference since 2008, becoming its first Executive Director in 2018. She formerly held positions in legal, non-profit, and consensus building arenas, leading local communities, advocacy groups, and public agencies at all levels of government. She is a member of the Bar in both Maine and Massachusetts, and received her Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo College of Law. When not working, Kim enjoys traveling to the far reaches of the world to trek in Nepal, Peru, and Tanzania, as well as closer to home in the Camden Hills.
Lauren LewisOffice Manager
Lauren Lewis (Office Manager)
Prior to starting with the Camden Conference, Lauren was involved in the local arts community, both in the for profit and non-profit areas. After earning her MS at the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, she worked at the Andrew Wyeth Study Center at the Farnsworth Art Museum until 2014, when she and a partner opened The Kelpie Gallery in South Thomaston. She maintains a painting conservation practice out of her studio at the gallery, and lives in Thomaston with her husband and daughter.
Erin TownsCCC Outreach Liason
Erin Town (Classroom Program)
Erin has worked with the Camden Conference in the Classroom Program since 2015. As a high school educator, she uses professional fellowship experiences in Japan, Kazakhstan, China, Germany, Canada and Ethiopia to help students investigate the world, examine cultural perspectives, and apply knowledge to take action on contemporary issues. Erin teaches at Edward Little High School and serves as Vice President of the Maine Council for Social Studies.