Meet the Staff
Charles J. Rudelitch, Esq.
Charles Rudelitch joined SCEC as Executive Director in May 2014. A Harrington native, Charles has a long history with the Council, having interned with SCEC in the late 1990s and serving on its Board during the early 2000s. He has earned degrees in Applied History from Carnegie Mellon University; Resource Economics & Policy from the University of Maine; as well as a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law.
Prior to joining SCEC, Charles served as the Staff Attorney for Pine Tree Legal in Hancock & Washington counties. In addition to the legal field, he has worked in economic and community development for the towns of Bridgton, Fort Kent, and Guilford, and the Passamaquoddy Tribe, along with the Eastern Maine Development Corporation.
Charles lives in Harrington with his husband, Marc. They own and operate a baking company and along with other members of their extended family, are partners in a family farm.
Director of Community Development
Jennifer Peters joined SCEC in June 1996 while attending classes at the University of Maine at Machias. She graduated summa cum laude from UMM in 1997 with a Bachelor of Sciences degree with concentrations in Marketing and Office Management.
First as SCEC Program Manager, then Assistant Director, and most recently as Director of Community Development, Peters has played a crucial role in developing and administering several of the Council’s signature programs, including its scholarship fund for nontraditional learners, and trainings for small- and micro-business people. She has also coordinated the Noyce award winning Washington County Leadership Institute since 2002, and is an active member of boards and committees dealing with topics from sustainable tourism to economic development, education and workforce development.
Gabriela joined SCEC in April 2017. Gabriela manages the financial aspects of the many contracts and grants which support SCEC’s work. Trained at the Air Force Academy and New Mexico State University, Gabriela has worked as both a finance officer and as an English teacher.
Gabriela lives in Trescott with her husband, five daughters, and various farm animals. She spends her spare time spinning, weaving and knitting as well as teaching others about fiber arts.
Family Futures Downeast Director
Marsha joined SCEC in February 2017. At SCEC, she manages the Family Futures Downeast Program which creates access to education and employment opportunities for parents with young children.
Marsha has a Bachelor’s degree in English Writing and American Studies. Before coming to SCEC, Marsha worked for the Nome Eskimo Community, serving as their youth director and then deputy director for the tribal government. Now settling in Jonesboro, Marsha lives with her husband Mike, and two cats–Sophia and Randy. She is a keen gardener, fisher-woman and swimmer.
Denise joined SCEC in April of 2019 and helped lead the community input, layout design, and capital campaign efforts for the MaineStreet Business Building and developed and delivered business startup and development programs in collaboration with many business support network partners. Denise furthers SCEC’s mission through helping manage the financial, administrative, development, and programmatic work of the organization. As Denise transitions into her senior management role, she will continue to work directly with businesses, individuals, and partners as well as municipal and county governments, non-profit organizations, and Tribal governments.
In May of 2015, Denise graduated from Saint Joseph’s College having earned her MBA. She earned her preceding business management degrees through Washington County Community College and UMaine Machias, respectively. Prior to joining SCEC, Denise worked in the banking/finance industry for 13 years in the commercial credit risk and branch leadership and lending arenas. Since 2013, Denise has enjoyed an active adjunct business faculty role at WCCC and as of March 2023, her Select Board Member role for the Town of Jonesport. She lives in Jonesport with her husband, son, and furry kids. Favorite pastimes include musical expression, spending time with family and friends, as well as volunteering for causes around the premise of creating opportunities for the children of Washington County.
Director of Small Business & Entrepreneurship
Katie joined SCEC in March 2018 and currently leads the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program Team at SCEC, delivers in person and online business programs and coaching, and oversees daily operations of the MaineStreet Business Building on Main Street in Machias. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Community Studies from the University of Maine at Machias and a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Creighton University.
Katie previously worked as a case manager in Washington County and owned and operated a hair salon in Machias for over 17 years. Katie lives in Machias with her husband Judd, children Joe and Sophie, and their German Shorthaired Pointer.
Director of Community Promotion
Crystal Hitchings joined SCEC in February 2020 as director of Community Infrastructure & Promotion Programs, including National Heritage Area Feasibility, DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism, Outdoor Recreation, and Community Broadband planning. Prior to joining the SCEC team, Crystal worked as a regional planner for 7 years with Washington County Council of Governments and DownEast Acadia Regional Tourism. She has a Masters degree in Landscape Planning and a Bachelors in Environmental Studies & Creative Writing.
Crystal lives in Cherryfield on a 400-acre parcel of conservation land where she grew up. Her favorite outdoor activities are swimming, camping, beachcombing, and bushwhacking in the forest. Otherwise, you’ll probably find her hanging out with cats in the sunshine.
Director, Downeast Fisheries Partnership
Robert (Bob) Wood comes to Downeast Maine from the Mid-Atlantic with over two decades of experience working as a coastal ecosystem scientist, a director of a federal-state-academic partnership laboratory, and as a coastal ecosystem restoration program director for a regional family foundation.
Bob’s scientific credentials include a M.S. in environmental science from the University of Virginia, a PhD in marine science from the College of William & Mary, and more than a dozen scientific papers focused on coastal fisheries, coastal water quality, & climate change.
Bob started his career as a research scientist with NOAA, but soon realized that coastal ecosystem restoration solutions required addressing the intertwined scientific-social-economic dimensions of problems at hand. Accordingly, his roles and interests shifted over time to focus on helping form, work within, and guide community and regional problem-solving partnerships among scientists, policy makers, nonprofit organizations, corporate leaders, farmers, fishermen.
Bob’s began visiting Washington County three decades ago with his first fishing trips to the area. He and his family, which includes his wife Melinda, their son Bailey, and their dog Champ, now reside in Cutler.
Matt Dana II
Working Communities Partnership Director
Matt Dana II joined SCEC in May of 2022 as the Working Communities Challenge Partnership Director. In his role, he helps facilitate, coordinate, and maintain the Washington County & Passamaquoddy Tribe team partnership.
Prior to joining SCEC, he was in Law Enforcement for 21 years for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township. He was both the Chief Game Warden and Chief of Police at separate times in his career at Indian Township Tribal Government. He also served a four term as the Passamaquoddy Tribal Representative to the Maine Legislature.
Matt currently lives at Indian Township with his wife Nakia and two dogs. He is a proud father of one daughter and two sons, and an extremely proud Mumu of 4. He also co-owns two small businesses. He enjoys almost everything to do with the outdoors.
Loan Program Manager
Susan Hatton joined SCEC in December 2014. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Maine at Machias, an Associate Degree in Computer Technology from Washington County Community College and Paralegal Certificate from the University of Maine at Augusta. Prior to joining SCEC, Susan worked as Paralegal, Bookkeeper and Network Administrator at a law firm in Bar Harbor. She also worked in the aquaculture industry in Eastport where she monitored husbandry and inventory of farmed Atlantic salmon and was responsible company compliance with federal and state regulations.
Susan lives in Charlotte with her friend, Joseph, where they own and operate a 20-acre blueberry farm.
Family Futures Downeast Transitions Coach
Shane Renshaw joined SCEC in July 2017. He has a Bachelor degree in Psychology with a concentration in Addiction Studies. He was Born and raised in Washington County Maine where he lives with his wife Valerie and two children, Alex and Brianna. Prior to joining SCEC, he worked as an adult and children’s mobile crisis worker. He has also held various supervisory roles in community mental health.
Family Futures Downeast Student Coach
Jessica joined SCEC in the summer of 2016. She has Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Community Studies from the University of Maine at Machias and a mental health rehabilitation certification from Washington County Community College.
Prior to working at SCEC, Jessica was an intern at the Community Caring Collaborative where she organized training programs. As a case manager at Wings for Children and Families, Jessica managed client cases and undertook home visits.
Community & Economic Development Planner
Elaine joined SCEC in October 2021 and serves as the Community and Economic Development Planner. She provides assistance with comprehensive planning, broadband planning, and other community initiatives.
Mae Garvin joined SCEC in January of 2020 as a Finance Assistant to Gabriela Eyerman. After growing up in Down East Maine Mae has lived many places in the U.S. where she honed her skills in Finance and Human Resources. Throughout the years working in many different types of industries in major metropolitan cities, and in suburban and rural communities. After returning to her roots here, but prior to join SCEC, Mae worked for Washington Academy, Down East Community Hospital, and UMM.
Mae lives in Bailey’s Mistake where she spent her formative years, enjoying the quiet and scenery that only Down East Maine can offer. In her spare time, she volunteers on many Board of Directors, and other positions for lots of the organizations in need. She takes classes at UMM. And she scrapbooks and spends time walking the beach.
Enrollment and Eligibility Assistant
Angela Cox joined SCEC in February of 2020. She is the for the Family Futures Downeast Program. Angela recruits and enrolls families into the program and assists with administrative duties. She is a Certified Mental Health Technician and previously provided case management services to individuals in the Waterville area.
She was born and raised in Washington County. She currently resides in Machias with her golden retriever Willow.
Start Up Downeast Student Coach
Thea joined SCEC in September 2021 as Executive Assistant to support communication, organization and record keeping needs, needed between SCEC and their partners. Thea holds a Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and a Bachelor of University Studies in Elementary Education from University of Maine at Fort Kent. She has worked in Education and Social Services with children and adults of all ages.
Fiber Art is one of her passions and she continues to create as a Fiber Artist as well. Thea grew up in Maine, and now lives in Columbia Falls with her husband Shawn. She loves to wander in nature, garden and write as well.
Community Resilience Partnership Coordinator
Tanya has worked for SCEC off and on since 2015. She currently is the regional coordinator for the Community Resilience Partnership helping municipalities in Washington, Hancock and Waldo Counties access funds and technical support to improve their climate resilience. Trained as a natural resource manager and archivist, Tanya brings subject knowledge and strong organizational skills to her position. Tanya has worked in America, Asia and Australia as a park ranger, organic farm manager, citizen science leader, and land trust director.
Tanya lives in an old farmhouse on one of the capes with an assortment of animals and a rotating cast of house guests. She spends her spare time homesteading, foraging, hiking, cooking and provoking needless, but amusing adventures.
Jessica joined SCEC in February 2022, and is the Maine APEX Accelerator Counselor for the Downeast area of Maine. Jessica helps businesses that produce products/services find, win, and perform on government contracts at local, state, and federal levels.
She graduated from Franklin Pierce University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing and Finance in December of 2019. After graduating college, she moved to Beals Island, Maine to join her fiance. Prior to joining SCEC, she worked in the banking industry. Jessica and her fiance have two dogs and in their free time they enjoy walking and hiking trails in the area.
Downeast Fisheries Partnership Coordinator
Brittany Foster is a native Texan with over a decade of experience in a combination of coastal ecology research and environmental science education projects.
She earned her B.S. in Biology and a M.Ed in Curriculum and Instruction and has spent the previous two years in Washington County as the 4-H Professional. During this time, she collaborated with local volunteers and education organizations to build community partnerships that create positive learning experiences for youth. She looks forward to continuing community collaborations with Downeast Fisheries Partnership.
Brittany lives at the coast where you are likely to find her hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing or fishing.
Coastal Opportunity Advisor
A graduate of University of Maine at Machias’ Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Community Studies, Amanda spent a period of time working in Mental Health and Substance Use Counseling before embracing the world of workforce development case management – roles her internship with the Department of Labor prepared her for. At the onset of the pandemic, in response to the mass layoffs, Amanda was tasked with creating and facilitating an introductory resources workshop to assist thousands of Mainers with identifying how to adapt to the rapidly changing employment landscape; this workshop was then adapted for and used at the state level.
Amanda resides on Great Wass Island with her husband and daughter, whom they’ve opted to homeschool – another topic she’s quite passionate about.
Atrica "Dodie" Emerson
Downeast Community Catalyst
Before joining SCEC, Dodie worked at the CareerCenter in the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services for 23 years. She holds a BS in Management and Human Services, an AS in Business Technology – Office Information Management, and a Certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of Maine at Machias.
Dodie is a lifelong resident of Washington County and resides in Addison with her husband, Ossie, and their son, Jacob.
Client Technology Advisor
With over 10 years in Healthcare IT, Geoffrey brings a wealth of knowledge in resolving intricate IT challenges and processes. His experience ranges from Software, hardware, project management, and EHR. In his role with SCEC, Geoffrey works with businesses to leverage technology to drive business growth and innovation.
Geoffrey holds an MBA and a Master’s in Information Systems from Middle Tennessee State University.
Geoffrey lives in Beals with his wife, daughter, and their two dogs.
Brooke Hachey joined SCEC as the Affordable Connectivity Outreach Coordinator in August 2023, and is currently a Program Manager.
Brooke completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communities Studies at the University of Maine at Machias in 2019. Prior to joining SCEC, she worked at the Maine Department of Labor’s Bureau of Employment Services for 5 years.
Brooke is a lifelong Washington County resident who has a passion to assist the community and get everyone connected to resources, including affordable internet. Brooke resides in Addison with her two children Ray and Delilah and her rescue animals.
Community Development Grant Coordinator
James Jutras joined SCEC in July 2023 by way of Northern Vermont with a career in Water Quality and Public Works. His degree is in Natural Resources Management with broad professional work in public works infrastructure and municipal utility operations. Project management experience has been from concept through engineering and implementation. He currently maintains a Grade 5 Wastewater Operator Certification in Maine, MA and VT. Work history also included day to day wastewater treatment facility operations, small scale renewable energy development projects (combined heat and power), energy conservation, and construction management. He can assist SCEC served communities in moving projects from concept to permit and financing, then construction.
In his spare time, James and his wife Pauline enjoy exploring the beauty, quiet and solitude Downeast has to offer.
Finance & Administration Assistant
Bio coming soon!
Executive Director, Greater East Grand Economic Council
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Downeast & Acadia Regional Tourism Coordinator
Bio coming soon!
Ashley Hinson Dhakal
Bio coming soon!