Maine Audubon director stepping down after less than a year

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FALMOUTH — Just shy of a year on the job, Ole Amundsen III is resigning as executive director of Maine Audubon.

Amundsen is stepping down to spend more time with his family, Maine Audubon said in a Dec. 16 press release. He called the decision “very difficult,” but added it’s the “right move for me and my family at a busy time.”

Jeremy Cluchey, director of communications at Maine Audubon, said in following up the press release that Amundsen “explained his resignation as a personal decision based on quality of life.”

“He’s been commuting daily from Waterville on 295, has kids at home and after a very busy year professionally and personally decided this was the right move for him and his family,” Cluchey said.

The details are still being worked out, but Amundsen’s last day on the job will be sometime in mid-January, according to Cluchey.

The Audubon board of directors appointed Andy Beahm acting director until a new top manager can be hired.

Beahm was hired in early August as the organization’s first-ever deputy director.

He is a former chairman of the Maine Audubon board, and recently left L.L. Bean, where he served in many capacities during a 34-year career, including as director of strategic planning, and vice president of business transformation.

Beahm has also held a leadership role on the boards of a range of Maine nonprofits, including Portland Nordic, Greater Portland Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Cancer Community Center in South Portland.

Amundsen was hired in January, and brought “strong experience in landscape-scale conservation, environmental education and finance” to the post of executive director, according to the press release issued last week.

During the past year he oversaw “a critical financial review process … (and) a focus on planning and restoration efforts at Maine Audubon’s sanctuaries,” the press release added.

Before joining Maine Audubon, Amundsen was a program manager for The Conservation Fund.

“Many leaders have made important and valuable contributions to Maine Audubon over its 173-year history,” Jerry King, president of the board, said Dec. 16. “Ole has earned his place among their ranks, and the board thanks him for his service.”

King added, “We are fortunate to have Andy ready and well-prepared to step in, and we look forward to working with him and the dedicated Maine Audubon staff on the important work ahead.”

The board at Maine Audubon intends to begin its search for a new executive director in the New Year, although no due date has yet been set for receiving applications.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Updated Dec. 20, 2016.

Amundsen

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