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Board of Directors

Jed DavisJed Davis


Jed Davis, who serves as president of the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, grew up in New York City, where he practiced law for seven years after graduating from Yale Law School. He served as a lawyer in the U.S. Navy Reserve JAG Corps. In 1971, Davis moved to an old farm in Fayette, where he still lives and where he helped raise three wonderful children. He has served as town manager of Fayette and Readfield. He has been in a law partnership, in Augusta, with Jim Mitchell since 1976. Recently, Mitchell’s wife, Libby, joined them.

Committed to issues of social justice, Davis was a founder of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in 1985, and still serves on its board; is chairman of the board of the Augusta Boys & Girls Club for Teens; is chairman of Fayette’s Planning Board; and he served for a number of years on the board of Spurwink Services. He is proud to be on the board of this important organization.

Connie Conner

Connie Sage Conner

Vice President

Connie Sage Conner was a long-time editor at The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk/Virginia Beach before moving one floor up to join the paper’s parent company, Landmark Communications, as its communications director and recruiter. After retiring, she authored the biography of billionaire Frank Batten, founder of The Weather Channel, and is now editing books.
Conner is a graduate of Old Dominion University and was a Rotary International Scholar at Oxford University’s year-long, mid-career Journalism Fellowship Programme. She and her husband, Philip, moved to Harpswell from Charleston, S.C., nearly three years ago after spending several summers on their trawler in Maine with their two cats. Her only regret was not moving to Maine sooner.

Kathy Hirst


Kathy retired as a Research Professor at George Washington University in 2016. She earned a PhD in biostatistics at the University of Colorado. She spent her professional career getting funding from the National Institutes of Health to develop and coordinate medical research involving collaborative groups across the country. She moved to Harpswell immediately upon retirement to adopt a saner environment and pace of living. She now seeks to use her skills and experience as a volunteer with nonprofit organizations. She travels globally with teams of volunteers to work beside local inhabitants; her favorite location is Cuba. She is an avid gardener and landscaper using native flora. She shares her house with her three dogs – Dinah, Sophie and Winnie.

Doug Warren

Doug Warren grew up in Brunswick, attended Brunswick High School and graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., with a BA in English. He spent 32 years in the newspaper business as a writer and editor at The Portland Press Herald, The Miami Herald and The Boston Globe, where he worked for 21 years. He also taught journalism and advised the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, at the University of Texas at Austin. Doug and his wife, Pam Berry, a small business owner and professional photographer, have two children, Emma and Jackson. He spends much of the year at their home on Orr’s Island and also resides in Austin.

Amanda Cooley

Amanda Cooley is the community relations director for Kennebec Savings Bank, a $1.1 billion state-chartered community bank headquartered in Augusta. In her role, she oversees the bank’s charitable giving program and press relations. Prior to joining the bank, she held positions at Husson University and Colby College in fundraising, marketing, and communications. At Colby, she was responsible for coordinating the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Convocation and an annual conference for student journalists.

She graduated summa cum laude from Husson University in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as an MBA. In 2012, she earned a Master of Science in Human Relations, also from Husson. She resides in Waterville with her husband, Tim, children Claire and Isaac, and a pet tarantula. 

A. Irene Schmidt

A native of Philadelphia, Irene lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for most of her life.  She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a BA degree in Writing and Political Science.  After brief stints in advertising and public relations, Irene joined ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America) in their communications department.  During her 30 years with the company, she held a number of positions in communications, marketing, general management of a subsidiary company and mergers and acquisitions.  Irene bought and sold companies for Alcoa all over the world and traveled extensively for most of that time. 

Irene and her husband, George Borowsky, relocated to Maine from the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2017.  Irene, George and their two dogs live on the shore of Union River Bay in Surry. 



Gabe SouzaGabe Souza

An Emmy Award-winning cinematographer and photographer, Gabe spent five years on staff at the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram and has worked for a variety of editorial clients.

Over the past 10 years, he has captured images in over 19 countries, spanning five continents. The first photographer to win the National Press Club Award, Gabe has a passion for telling compelling stories through images. His work has appeared in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Denver Post, and many more publications.

Gabe co-owns a 1985 BMW 325 race car named “Wilhelm,” has a borderline unhealthy obsession with coffee, and is determined to watch a game in every Major League Baseball ballpark before the age of 30. He has 3 years and 16 ballparks to go.

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