THEATER STAFF & BOARD
STRAND THEATER STAFF
Norrie Thompson – Box Office Manager & Graphic Designer
A deeply rooted Maine native, Norrie left the state just long enough to earn her degree in film and video production. Upon graduation, she returned home where she spent several years honing her photography skills, winning awards for her work in the process. Having, for the time being, retired her camera, and in addition to her role as the Box Office Manager, Norrie enjoys focusing her creative energy as the Strand’s graphic designer.
When not tucked away in her lair, deep within the belly of the Strand, creating her next design masterpiece, you might spot Norrie paddle boarding down the river toward her family's farm where she spends her free time tending the gardens and putting up jars of canned goods for the long Maine winter.
Dave Dailey - Projectionist & Video Production Director
Dave was born in Camden and raised in Rockland. He spent 13 years working in the photography industry starting with Bill Thuss from Camden in the early 90's and moving on to California in 1998 where he became a manager for Sharpshooter Spectrum at their Disneyland Venue in Anaheim. Upon returning to Maine, he occupied the labs at Maine Coast Photo in Camden & Damariscotta for almost a decade. Currently he is a Graphic Designer at Courier Publications and part time Projectionist here at the Strand Theatre.
Joanna Hynd - Assistant House Manager
Joanna Hynd is a native of Maine who graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 with a degree in English focusing on poetry. During most days she can be found at the Thomaston Public Library where she works in the Children's room running Story Hour and the Summer Reading Program. On Tuesdays and during special events she can be found at The Strand working in the Bar and Box Office. A long time inhabitant of both jobs, she began working at the library in 2004, and The Strand in 2008. Viva La Strand!
Liz McLeod - House Manager & Chief Projectionist
House Manager Liz McLeod is a fourth-generation native of Midcoast Maine, and came to the Strand in 2006 after a fifteen-year career in broadcast journalism. Away from the Strand, she is best known as an author and historian of 20th Century American popular culture, whom you may have seen or heard on BBC radio, NPR, and PBS television’s “History Detectives.” She has a longtime family connection to the motion picture business – her uncle was a projectionist from the 1950s thru the 1970s, and once managed the former Rockland Drive-In Theatre.
Jessica Ripley - Membership Coordinator & Office Manager
Membership Coordinator and Business Office Manager, Jessica Ripley, comes to the Strand with 8 years of experience in the print and online news industry working at VillageSoup -- most recently in the IT Customer Support department.
Away from her work at the Strand, Jessica spends her time following her daughter Autumn’s athletic endeavors, from court to field and back again, with her husband Adam and toddler Chase. When they’re not busy cheering from the sidelines, the Ripley’s enjoy spending time by the lake with their friends and family.
Jana Herbener - Marketing & Community Relations Manager
Jana worked in the film and theater industry for 10 years, at Compass Light Film Productions, the Camden Opera House, and the Camden International Film Festival, before joining the Strand Theatre’s administrative team.
She grew up in the Midwest, where she received an Advertising Degree from the University of Kentucky and began a career in video production. Eventually she “heard the call of the sea” and went sailing for 10 years, finally throwing out the anchor in Maine and returning to the public relations work that she loves. Jana also is currently the sponsorships coordinator for PechaKucha Midcoast Maine and serves on the Library and Planning Boards in the town of Searsmont, where she lives with her husband and two teenage sons.
Jessie Davis - Executive Director
With a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, a PC in Documentary Filmmaking from Rockport College, and certified as a Building Analyst through The Building Performance Institute, Jessie’s professional life has been as varied as her academic study. Joining the Strand team in the spring of 2014, Jessie was excited to return to the cultural arts fold, after a very full seven year stint as new mother AND energy efficiency engineer with Evergreen Home Performance. Before the birth of her daughter, Jessie was the manager, programmer, projectionist, popcorn maker, and chief ticket taker at the Bayview Street Cinema in Camden, Maine. In May 2007, while selling tickets for a 7pm showing of AVENUE MONTAIGNE, her water broke. After starting the show, and re-focusing the film on her way out the door, Jessie birthed her way in to retirement from the Bayview.
Today, Jessie and her family – Dan, Scout, and dogs Dinah Murray & Mirabelle – love the ready access of Rockland living – from sea and sand to park and playground, and, of course, having the Strand Theatre just a few blocks from home!
FRIENDS OF THE STRAND THEATRE - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Jo Dondis – Board Chair
Jo Dondis is a Maine native and the granddaughter of Joseph and Ida Dondis who built the Strand Theatre in 1923. She holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.S. in Communications from Boston University. Jo spent twenty-four years in Los Angeles working as a television news producer at CNN, ABC, CBS and KCET, a PBS station where she won a Peabody Award for her work on the show A Place of Our Own. In 2010 she returned to her roots when she moved back to Maine with her husband and spearheaded the effort to transition the Strand to a non-profit. Jo has also served on the boards of Emerge Maine and Adas Yoshuron Synagogue in Rockland.
She looks forward to the day when her grandson Nathaniel is old enough to see his first movie at the Strand.
Roy A. Hitchings, JR. – Board Treasurer
Roy A. Hitchings, Jr. recently retired after a 30-year career in healthcare management. He served from 1998-2012 as the president and chief executive officer of Pen Bay Healthcare (PBH) and Pen Bay Medical Center (PBMC), a community not-for-profit healthcare system in Rockport, Maine. A 1969 cum laude graduate of Dartmouth College, Roy earned his Master of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Hitchings currently serves on the board of the Maine Health Access Foundation, is Chairman of the board of the Mid Coast Community Chorus, and is a member of the Rockland Rotary. He is past chairman of Maine Hospital Association’s Board of Directors, was a founding board member of the Knox County Health Clinic, former member of the United Mid Coast Charities board and past president of George’s River Chapter of Trout Unlimited.
Mr. Hitchings and his wife Debbi live in Camden and have two children and a grandson. Roy enjoys fly-fishing, singing, kayaking and exercise and is active in his church.
Mary Ann Carey
Mary Ann Carey and her late husband Church spent forty years living and working in San Juan, Puerto Rico. While Church built a mortgage banking company, and Mary Ann a basket and native artisan shop, they raised three children. Over 30 years, Mary Ann’s business grew, from a small shop to a well-established interior design store. Relocating to Spruce Head – an area Church had summered as a child – and having been very involved with the United Way of Puerto Rico, Mary Ann and Church were eager to continue their good works. Locally, they have supported Georges River Land Trust (GRLT), The General Henry Knox Museum, The Farnsworth Art Museum, and United Mid-Coast Charities. In addition to serving on the Friends of the Strand board, Mary Ann co-chaired the annual GRLT Garden Tour for five years.
Christopher J. Brownawell
Director/CEO, Farnsworth Art Museum Mr. Brownawell is responsible for the overall direction and management of the Farnsworth. Previously he was Director of the Academy Art Museum in Easton, Maryland. Mr. Brownawell has a Master’s Degree in Museum Education, focused on 20th-Century American Art, from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C; a Bachelor’s Degree, with Emphasis in Art History and Arts Administration from Wilkes College, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania; and he completed the 1995 Summer Museum Management Program at the University of Colorado. He and his wife Carol and their three children live in Rockport, Maine.
John Bird grew up in Rockland, Maine. John received his A.B. degree from Bowdoin College (1959) and an M.A. from George Washington University (1965). Following his marriage to Mary Alice Hocker in 1960, John began a 29- year career in independent education, the last 19 as the head of three different schools in Illinois, Oklahoma and Missouri respectively.
In 1989 John joined the consulting firm of Educators' Collaborative, LLC (EC) and returned to Maine. He served as the 10-member firm’s president from 2001 until he retired in 2007. He now holds the title of president emeritus. John has also served as a trustee and board chair of several non-profit boards in the fields of education, health care (e.g., chaired both Pen Bay Healthcare and the Pen Bay Healthcare Foundation boards), the environment (e.g., chair emeritus of the Island Institute board), the arts (e.g., member of Farnsworth Art Museum board and, of course, the Strand), and religion and recently began a four-year term on the seven-member Maine Charter School Commission. He has been active in the Episcopal Church since 1970, including serving as senior warden of parishes in Oklahoma and St. Peter’s in Rockland.
John and Mary Alice have lived on Rackliff Island in Spruce Head, Maine, since 1990. The Birds have three grown children (one of whom is an Episcopal priest) and six grandchildren.
Carol R. Emery is a partner in the law firm of Emery and Eagar, located on Main Street, Rockland, just two blocks from the Strand. She also serves the citizens of Knox County as Probate Judge, a position she is grateful to have held since 1990. Carol is a graduate of Principia College, Elsah, Illinois, and received her law degree from The George Washington University, Washington, DC. Carol worked on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant, as a director of an office within the U.S. Department of Commerce and as a staff attorney with the Washington, DC law firm of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan. After Carol’s husband, David, completed his service as U.S. Congressman and then Deputy Director of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, they decided to return to Maine with their young son Albert. Carol has served on various non-profit boards (Georges River Educational Foundation, Maine Pro Musica, Parentworks) . Carol and David reside in Tenants Harbor. Their son, now a physician, is completing his residency at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor.
is a resident of Washington DC and Spruce Head. She is a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, focusing on housing finance, community development and consumer finance. From 1997 through 2001, she was the Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, and concurrently served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and as Chair of the Board for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation. Ms. Seidman has also been a Visiting Scholar in the Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco (2012-14), held various senior positions at ShoreBank Corporation and its affiliates (2002-2010), served as Senior Counsel to the Democratic Staff, House Financial Services Committee (2001-02) and Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (1993-1997). From 2012 to 2016 she was a member of the inaugural Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She has been a member of the board of Coastal Enterprises Inc. (CEI), based in Brunswick, since 2007, and is currently Board Chair. She also chairs the board of Aeris Insight, and is a member of the board of City First Bank of DC. Ms. Seidman received her M.B.A. in Finance and Investments from George Washington University, her J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and her A.B. from Radcliffe College.
Willliam C. Black
After first practicing law in Camden in the late 1970s, Bill Black moved to Portland. He has recently retired from thirty years of serving as General Counsel and Deputy Public Advocate in the Public Advocate Office. Bill continues to represent public-interest concerns before public utilities commissions in northern New England and the Eastern Caribbean and is active on the Advisory Council to the Maine Telecommunications Relay Service. He is a long-time board member of Pine Tree Legal Assistance, and serves as co-chair of the annual Edmund H. Muskie Award Dinner, which raises funds for Maine six legal services organizations. Before moving to Maine, Bill graduated from Stanford University, received an MAT from Reed College, and graduated from the Boston University School of Law.
Bill lives in Portland with his wife, Jackie Potter, and maintains his ties to family in Rockport and Lincolnville. He is proud to have watched two documentaries shown at the Strand that were produced by his son Sam.