Staff

| No Comments | Published on February 19, 2012
The content that follows was originally published on the Rippleffect website at http://www.rippleffect.net/about-2/staff/

Adam ShepherdIMGP0002

Executive Director

Adam first started with Rippleffect as a guide in the summer of 2012 while on a summer break from his graduate studies and then returned in May of 2013 as the Director of Advancement before taking on the role of Executive director in January of 2016. With over 20 years of experience in outdoor experiential education and youth development, Adam brings a deep understanding and appreciation for the work Rippleffect does in the community. His career has included time as a public school teacher, director of a children’s summer camp in the Adirondack mountains, and co-founder of Brown & Shepherd Nonprofit Consulting.

Adam grew up in southern Ohio and moved from New York City to South Portland three years ago where he lives with his wife Julie and daughter, Luisa. He holds an undergraduate degree in education from Miami University and a master’s of nonprofit management from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

As an enthusiast for all things “outdoors”, Adam has not only dedicated his career to youth development through outdoor adventures, but also finds himself running way to the woods and waters of the Northeast any chance he gets.


Leah McDonald

Program Director of Community Partnerships

Leah McDonald came to Rippleffect in 2006 as a lead guide for our social service programming. She became the Youth Program Director in 2008, and has worked since then to expand and improve Rippleffect’s impact with youth in Maine. Before coming to Rippleffect, she worked with island youth as an Island Institute fellow on Chebeague Island and as a therapeutic guide at the adolescent wilderness therapy program Summit Achievement.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Leah’s roots lie in the mountains and woods. She moved to Maine in 1998 to attend Bates College and, though she occasionally longs for the mountains of Appalachia, has since made this state her home. Leah has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Bates and a Masters of Social Work from the University of New England. She is also a Registered Maine Sea Kayak and Recreation Guide, a Wilderness First Responder, a certified ACA Sea Kayak Instructor, and a Licensed Social Worker. Leah lives in Cumberland with her husband and two daughters.


Toby Arnold

Program Director of Wilderness Education

Toby joined the Rippleffect team in the spring of 2010 as a guide and licensed boat captain. In the spring of 2011 he became the Island Manager and began year round work with Rippleffect. Through his tenure with Rippleffect he has helped shape and create “Rippleffect Outdoor Leadership Education” (ROLE) and has helped expand Rippleffect’s programming into the after school arena with middle schools in the greater Portland area.

Toby came to Rippleffect from the Virgin Islands where he worked as a sailboat captain and snorkel guide and previously from Washington State where he taught sailing and outdoor living skills on-board schooners Zodiac and Lavengro. Toby graduated from the Evergreen State College with a B.A. concentration in Maritime Business. Toby is also a certified ACA Sea Kayaking Instructor. Toby is a passionate educator and outdoor enthusiast who is happiest when adventuring on the ocean or in the mountains with his wife Shannon.  Toby, Shannon, and their two sons live in Standish.


Sam White

Program Managerunnamed-1

Sam White was born in Iowa where she attended undergrad before moving to Thailand to teach English as a Second Language. She taught ESL abroad and in NYC before transitioning into outdoor education. In 2013, Sam studied at the National Outdoor Leadership School where she graduated from their pilot Wilderness Rescue Semester and began working as a wilderness guide.

Sam joined the Rippleffect team in June 2014 as a seasonal guide, taught the ROLE program throughout the following school year, and in April officially joined our full time staff as our Program Manager. Sam is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and Leave No Trace Master Educator. She spends as much time as possible adventuring outdoors and has recently fallen in love with the Canadian Rockies. Sam lives in Portland with her partner Nick.


Wil Davis

Operations ManagerWil - Website Photo

Wil Davis came to Rippleffect in the fall of 2011. He was a seasonal guide at Ripple for three years, facilitating many different programs and immersing in the wildness of ocean travel and adventure. He has seen many roles while working with Ripple and was hired full time as Operations Manager in April 2015. In the off season he helps implement the ROLE after school programming and winter treks. Before Rippleffect Wil worked as a therapeutic guide at the wilderness therapy program Summit Achievement.     

Wil was born in Portland, Maine. He grew up wandering in the woods of Acton, which led to a healthy hiking obsession. He earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from the University of Maine Farmington. Wil has a Wilderness First Responder certification through the esteemed SOLO campus in Conway, NH. Having lived and adventured in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington, Wil truly believes that Maine has the best wilderness around.  He is passionate about being outdoors and having New England youth get out and explore it. He resides in a lovely dwelling in Portland with his fiancee Hailey.     


Check back soon to learn more about our Business Manager Laura Rochette!