Board of Directors

Steve Ball serves as Chair of the Forum. He is a retired a Colonel after over 27 years in the U.S. Army commanding at all levels from platoon to Battalion while serving in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Steve has lived and worked in Japan, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.  He has worked in or been in jobs focused on Asia for more than 15 years. Steve graduated from the University of Maine at Orono, Cornell University, and the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  He was the U.S. Army Senior Service College Fellow to Georgetown University from 2000-2001.  Steve was the U.S. Army Defense Attaché to Hanoi, Vietnam from 2002-2005. Steve currently resides in Windsor, and has returned in May from a year in Vietnam working with ordnance removal. He remains connected to Asia working as a Consultant for private and government interests in Southeast Asia.

Joan Sanzenbacher  is retired from Colby College and lives in Waterville. 

Nat Shed  is the retired Director of Friends Camp, a Quaker youth
camp in South China, Maine. In the past he has served as the Director
of Development for the Family Planning Association of Maine, the
Executive Director for the Boys and Girls Club in Waterville, the
Director of the Foster Grandparent Program in Portland, and as
Director of Camp Ketcha in Scarborough. In addition to his involvement
with the Mid-Maine Global Forum, he serves on several community
boards: the Oak Grove School Foundation, the Maine Youth Camping
Foundation, and the Keller Family Campership Fund.  He is a member of
the Vassalboro Friends Meeting, where he serves on the Pastoral Care
Committee and the Finance Committee.  Nat has two adult children and
is married to Julie de Sherbinin.

Mary Benziger earned a B.A. degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts.  With that degree Mary (and her husband John) raised four children and has dedicated countless hours to community and international volunteer efforts.  Mary designed and implemented an art appreciation program in the Waterville Public Schools that involved dozens of community members sharing art prints in the classrooms (K-8).  She is a docent at the Colby College Museum of Art, on the board of directors of the Keller Family Campership Program,  the Let’s Talk Language School, and Partners in Health of Maine.  Since 2003 she and John have traveled to Nicaragua many times with PIH and has painted 8 murals with the eager help of the Nicaraguan people.  In her spare time she enjoys biking, hiking, and traveling—-always up for an adventure and eager to learn about other cultures.

Jim Fleming is Professor of Science, Technology, and Society at Colby College.  Jim has held a number of major fellowships, including a Scholar’s Award from the US National Science Foundation, the Lindbergh Chair in aerospace history at the Smithsonian Institution, and a Woodrow Wilson Center policy scholarship.  He is a fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society, contributing author to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-AR4), founder and first president of the International Commission on History of Meteorology, and series editor of Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology.  His latest book is Fixing the Sky: The Checkered History of Weather and Climate Control (Columbia University Press, 2010), winner of the 2011 Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology and the Louis J. Battan Author’s Award from the American Meteorological Society.  He enjoys fishing, good jazz, good BBQ, building the community of historians of the geosciences, and connecting the history of science and technology with public policy. Jim earned his Ph.D. in history from Princeton University.

Sylvia Jadczak (grant writer) is the Librarian at Messalonskee High School where she coordinates student programming in the arts, cultural & civic engagement, and the locavore movement.  Her professional interests include grant writing and adolescent literacy. She enjoys facilitating and participating in school and community book groups.   She majored in American Studies at Rutgers University and received her Masters degree in Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina.

Steve Knight (Secretary, web manager) is currently an Adjunct Professor of History at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield, Maine, after 36 years of teaching mostly at Lawrence High School, also in Fairfield.  After spending part of his high school education living in England, Steve received his Bachelors in History in 1970 from Ithaca College and his Masters in U.S. History from the University of Virgina in 1973.  He has led student trips to the Soviet Union, England, France, Thailand and Vietnam, and has traveled extensively in South America, Europe, Africa and parts of Asia.

William A. Lee III is an attorney at O’Donnell, Lee, McCowan and Phillips, LLC, where he specializes in all aspects of litigation, personal injury, estate planning and municipal law. Bill began his practice as an attorney for the Colville Confederated Tribes in Washington state, where he represented the Tribes and individual tribal members in civil and criminal litigation. He relocated to Waterville in 1982, where he has practiced law since.  Bill was a member of the Waterville City Council for six years (two as Chairman) and the Waterville School Board for three years.  He serves as City Solicitor for Waterville, Town Attorney for Winslow, and legal counsel for several small municipalities, in addition to his role with the Mid Maine Global Forum.  Bill is also a part-time professor at Colby College, where he teaches courses in Comparative Law and the U.S. Legal System.  He is a graduate of Eckerd College and the University of Florida School of Law.  Bill has two adult daughters and resides in Waterville with his wife, Linda. He is an avid runner, golfer, kayaker and bird-watcher, escaping to Baxter State Park whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Sarah Sugden is the Director of the Waterville Public Library.  A graduate of Waterville High School, Sarah earned an undergraduate degree in History from Dartmouth College and a Masters Degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons College.  She lives with her family in East Vassalboro.

Jerry Tipper is one of the founders of the Mid -Maine Global Forum and has been a board member since its inception. He served  six years as chairman of the board.  A Williams College and Harvard Business School graduate, Jerry is the former owner and CEO of the Cascade Woolen Mill in Oakland, ME.  In addition to his involvement with the MMGF, he is also the former chair of the Mid-Maine Medical Center, Waterville Boys and Girls Club and the Colby College Leadership Institute.  His current volunteer efforts are focused on the environment and specifically on programs to improve the water quality of the Belgrade Lakes, as the founder and current board member of BRCA Youth Conservation Corps and the BRCA Lakes Trust.  Jerry has engaged in extensive international travel in addition to his many local volunteer efforts.

Bonnie Sammons is a teacher, farmer, traveler, and lifelong student of the universe.   She has taught science at three central Maine school districts over the past 30 years, where in addition to teaching duties she accompanied students on numerous trips, advised student Outing Club, Amnesty International Student group and Maine Envirothon Team.   Bonnie loves traveling. She has traveled to six continents; number seven may soon be in the offing.    Education Fellowships took her to Peru, Brazil and Indonesia to participate in scientific field research.  She also worked at a Tanzanian school during her sabbatical from RSU18 in 2008. Bonnie holds a Maine Guide license and is a certified Level II Wildlife Tracker.   She values wild places and takes every opportunity to hike, cycle, kayak and connect with the Earth; that is, when she is not engaged in her new adventure – farming.  Her advanced degrees are from UMO and Thomas College. Bonnie has two grown children whom she considers fascinating people.  She lives in North Belgrade with her husband Mitch and assorted animal friends.

David Richards is Director of the University of Maine Margaret Chase Smith Library in Skowhegan, where he has worked since 1996.  From 1984 to 1991, he was Curator of Collections at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Museum in New Gloucester.  He holds a B.A. in History from Bates College, a M. A. in New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine, and a Ph. D. in History from the University of New Hampshire.  His first book, Poland Spring: A Tale of the Gilded Age, 1860-1900, tells the story of the famous Maine resort and water source.  His current research project is “the man who taught America how to play,” Milton Bradley of Vienna.  In his spare time, he has led over 350 Maine Humanities Council book discussions in schools, libraries, and jails throughout the state.  David is also a member of the Maine Humanities Council Board of Directors.

Julie Letourneau  the Media Director of the Waterville High School Library.

Mike Griffin is a retired physician and serves as the Forum’s treasurer.

Liz Helitzer is the Executive Director of the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine. She began her time at the HHRC in January of 2012 as the office manager and an educator. In August of 2014 she was thrilled to be named Executive Director. Prior to that, she was the General Manager of The Theater at Monmouth in Monmouth, Maine where she also served as educational coordinator, company manager, directed, wrote original music and performed. Liz has performed and been the educational coordinator for several theaters throughout the United States. She has taught Holocaust workshops and guest taught theater and music workshops for over 10 years. Liz is an Alfred Lerner Fellow and graduated from Brandeis University.

Crystal Shamas-Douglas is the librarian at Erskine Academy in China, Maine.

David Leigh:  The bulk of his career in Maine consisted of a thirty-one year span, serving as high school social teacher, high school principal and instructor at Kennebec Valley Community College.  During this period he, his wife Ann and family lived in five of Maine’s sixteen counties. He holds a master’s degree in education from UMO, a master’s in African History from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania’s Lebanon Valley College. From 1966-1968 he served in the Peace Corps as a volunteer in Malawi and still spearheads efforts for the surviving members to meet as regularly as possible.

    Locally he has served for eight year as a board member of HealthReach Community Health Center organization, the last two as Finance Chair.  He also recently ended his twenty year tenure as board member for the Belgrade Regional Health Center.
    In retirement David oversees operation of a registered family owned 62 acre tree farm in North Belgrade.  The family also has close ties to both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island where they have owned property since 1969.
    International travel has focused of late on visits to Taiwan where youngest son, Dr. Philip Leigh and wife teach at the Kaohsiung American School.
    Finally, retirement activity has included giving enrichment lectures on cruise ships to the Caribbean, Canadian Maritimes and Great Britain.

Tammy Rabideau works at the Waterville Public Library and uses her skills and contacts to promote the Forum’s programs and collaborations.