Governance

Board of Trustees

Alexsandra Fisher Coles

Representing her late father’s interests, Alexsandra Fisher Coles serves as president of the Fisher Charitable Foundation. Along with the other trustees, she concentrates on primarily the State of Maine’s needs with personal emphasis on the tri-county area of Knox, Waldo, and Lincoln.

She is particularly proud of the Foundation’s work in granting scholarships for medical students who wish to practice in Maine; fuel cost relief for lower income residents; and supporting entrepreneurial endeavors promoting traditional Maine skills.

She is extremely pleased to serve alongside her son Arie Fisher Coles who takes the Foundation into its third generation.

 

Owen W. Wells

Owen W. Wells was born in Kittery, Maine in 1943. He attended the University of Maine, graduating in 1965 and subsequently graduated from George Washington University Law School in 1968. He served as a Captain in the United States Army in Vietnam where he was awarded the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster.

From 1972 to 1997, Mr. Wells was a Partner, Director and Shareholder of the Portland law firm of Perkins, Thompson, Hinckley & Keddy.

Mr. Wells formerly served as the President of the Cumberland Bar Association, and President of the Portland Museum of Art.  From 1990 to 1995 he served as a Trustee of the University of Maine System. He has also served as a Trustee of Maine Public Broadcasting, Colby College, Westbrook College and the University of New England.

Mr. Wells is a former Trustee and Chairman of the Board of the Maine Medical Center and a former Trustee of MaineHealth. He is formerly President and CEO of the Libra Foundation where he presently serves as Vice Chairman and Trustee.

 

Henry L. P. Schmelzer

Henry Schmelzer was president and CEO the Maine Community Foundation from 2000 to 2008.

Prior to entering the field of philanthropy, he practiced corporate and securities law in Boston, becoming Vice President and Counsel of New England Mutual Life Insurance Company. He transitioned from law to business management and from 1991 to 1998 he served as president and CEO of the former New England Mutual Funds group.

Hank graduated from the University of Maine and George Washington University Law School. In 1999 he was a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He has been on many corporate and non-profit boards over the years.

He is currently on the boards of the College of the Atlantic, University of Maine Foundation, and Friends of Acadia.  Hank was a Captain in the U.S. Army (military intelligence) and served in Vietnam where he received a bronze star with oak leaf cluster and the Vietnamese cross for gallantry.

 

Meg Baxter

Meg Baxter joined the Board of the Foundation in 2000 while serving as President and CEO of United Way of Greater Portland.  Meg served as a Trustee of Maine Medical Center for many years and concluded her tenure as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Meg presently serves as President and CEO of the Mitchell Institute, established by former Senator George Mitchell.  The Institute grants scholarship aid to deserving graduates of Maine high schools.

 

Craig N. Denekas

Craig N. Denekas has served since 2012 as the Chief Executive Officer of the Libra Foundation after first being named a Trustee in 2010. Mr. Denekas joined the Foundation in 2001 and served successively first as Vice President, Executive Vice President and President.

Prior to joining Libra Foundation, Mr. Denekas was a director and shareholder at the law firm of Perkins, Thompson in Portland.

Mr. Denekas is a past Trustee of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy and a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Maine Public Broadcasting.

Mr. Denekas currently serves as a Director of MEMIC (Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company) and is a Director of Camden National Corporation (NASDAQ: CAC), the parent company of Camden National Bank. He is also a Director of both Pineland Farms Natural Meats, Inc. and Pineland Farms Dairy Company, Inc., closely-held food companies.

Mr. Denekas received his bachelor’s degree cum laude in Economics from Dartmouth College and a law degree cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School.

 

Arie Fisher Coles

Arie Coles spent his childhood years in the Camden-Rockport Maine area.  Enjoying the summers on the water with his grandparents, Dean and Betty Fisher.  His grandparents were a constant during his youth, always instilling a hard work ethic, do what you love and help your community attitude.  Although Arie was very young, he recalls some of the best business advice he was taught.  Treat your employees well, even if it hurts the bottom line.  This was Dean Fisher’s philosophy with Fisher Engineering, keeping most of the employees on payroll during the summers when nobody was buying snowplows.  This attitude turned Fisher Snowplows into the number one snowplow and winter equipment company in America and enabled the creation of the Fisher Charitable Foundation.

In the spirit of his grandparents, Arie has become an entrepreneur, starting many small businesses and now primarily owning rental property and a successful premium used car dealership in southwest Florida.  In 2017, Arie became a Trustee of the Fisher Charitable Foundation.  His Mother, Alexsandra Coles being the only other family Trustee, Arie felt the need to join the legacy of his grandparents and continue in the spirit of giving back to the community in ways that truly uplift, benefit and enable the people of Maine to achieve success and their passions in life.