Chewonki Foundation Names Nancy Kennedy as New President

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Nancy Kennedy, President

(Featured above: Trustee and President Search Committee Co-Chair, Marion Howard, President Nancy Kennedy, Board Chair André Heard)

We are excited to announce Nancy Kennedy has accepted the role as Chewonki’s newest President!  

At our most recent all-staff day on Tuesday, May 28, Chewonki Board Chair André Heard and President Search Committee Co-Chair Marion Howard delivered the news that our board of trustees approved the appointment of Nancy Kennedy as President by unanimous vote at our most recent May board meeting, and Nancy had graciously accepted the role. 

With cheers and a standing ovation, Nancy thanked the assembled group of staff and trustees for their trust and confidence in her leadership. 

“I am thankful to the board for the opportunity to embrace the President’s role. This month marks my ninth year of working at Chewonki: nine years of laughter and tears; nine years of “I love you’s” and big hugs, nine years of travel, meeting people, learning, and welcoming people; nine years of working alongside dedicated colleagues who, like me, are trying our best to extend the Chewonki mission to more participants: a mission of inspiring life-long learning in nature that calls each of us to learn how to be in sustainable community with ourselves, with one another, and with this beautiful world.”

Nancy has served at Chewonki for nearly a decade in several roles including the Director of Girls Programming, Vice President for Camp Chewonki, Executive Vice President, and as the foundation’s Acting President for the past two years. She brings a wealth of experience in youth development, outdoor education, and nonprofit administration. 

“Chewonki Foundation is a complex organization,” said Chewonki board chair André Heard. “Nancy’s leadership has been shaped by institutional history, lived experience, and the culture of Chewonki. She is ready to lead on day one, and that is exactly what Chewonki needs now.”

In her role as President, Nancy will oversee Chewonki’s strategic direction and operations, expand the existing summer and school-year youth programs, foster partnerships, and promote the organization’s mission to “inspire transformative growth, teach appreciation and stewardship of the natural world, and challenge people to build thriving, sustainable communities throughout their lives.”  

“Nancy brings many special qualities to the foundation, including an unmatched ability to connect with others, a willingness to learn through her work, and a deep respect for equity and inclusion in the Chewonki community,” said Marion Howard, Trustee and Co-chair of the foundation’s president search committee. “We are collectively thrilled that Nancy has accepted, and we are confident in her ability to lead all of us into the next phase of Chewonki’s evolution.”

Nancy received her BA from the University of Maine, her Masters of Divinity from Bangor Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of New Hampshire. She served as a  Mentor in the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, as a board member for Valo, and is a member of the board of the Wiscasset Chamber of Commerce. Kennedy previously provided senior leadership at Kieve-Wavus as the Director of Wavus Camp for Girls where she oversaw several initiatives to improve the campus and create programming for the girls camp, and veteran’s groups. Kennedy also serves in various capacities as a faith leader for several organizations. Nancy Kennedy will be the fourth President in the foundation’s history, following Tim Ellis, (President 1966-1991), Don Hudson (President 1991-2010), and Willard Morgan (President 2010-2022).

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