Maine is home to numerous venues for outdoor enjoyment. Our forests, woods, and waters provide opportunities for not only connecting with nature but also for social, physical, and sometimes competitive pursuits. Today we speak with leaders of two organizations that make these pursuits available to Mainers of all levels of physical capability. Barbara Schneider is the executive director at Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation, and Mark Stevens is a board member. Nanci Boutet is the executive director at Special Surfers in Kennebunk.
Barbara Schneider is the executive director of Maine Adaptive in Newry, Maine. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School, Barbara began her professional career in nonprofit management with several organizations in the Boston area. After practicing law for over a decade with the Portland, Maine, firm of Murray, Plumb & Murray, Barbara immersed herself in skiing. A Level III PSIA Alpine instructor, Barbara began her life as a ski bum teaching at Lost Valley in Maine and ran the Meister program at Sunday River for three seasons. For the last few seasons, she has been a weekend race coach for GACP’s youngest athletes. Barbara is happiest when she’s doing anything that connects her and others to outside activity—from gardening to hiking to road and mountain biking—and loves working and volunteering with people who have a passion for their organization’s mission. Her goal is to expand the organization’s reach, programming, and financial base of support.
Mark Stevens is the CEO and president of Northern Data Systems in Falmouth, Maine. Mark is the son of Charlie Stevens, a founder of Maine Adaptive. A lifelong Sunday River skier, Mark has been a strong supporter of Maine Adaptive for many years, providing human, computer, and financial resources for its information technology systems and its major events such as the Ski-A-Thon. Mark has served as a member of the Board of Directors, and has held leadership roles for the last several years, including serving as the vice president (2010 – 2012), as president (2012 – 2014), as immediate past president (2014 – 2016) and as vice president (2016 – present).
Photo by Matt Cosby
Nanci Boutet, executive director of Special Surfers, has been bringing volunteers and special needs children and their families together for some good clean fun, sharing the surf stoke at Kennebunk’s Gooch’s Beach, for over a decade. Nanci’s boundless energy is only surpassed by her passion for Special Surfers.