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New president for Maine Seacoast Mission

Tuesday, February 5th 2019

New president for Maine Seacoast Mission

The Maine Seacoast Mission has announced that John Zavodny, PhD, will be its new president beginning on Feb. 19, 2019.

Board Chair Stacey Smith cited Zavodny’s excitement and compassion for the work of the mission and an understanding of life in rural Maine. “He is a broad and collaborative thinker, an empathetic communicator and we look forward to the next chapters of the Maine Seacoast Mission with John at the helm,” she said.

Zavodny has been chief of staff at Unity College in Unity, Maine. Unity College offers a unique education based on sustainability science that engages students with its rural environment. During his 18-year career at the college, Zavodny has also served as professor of philosophy and humanities, academic chair, director of the Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities, and dean of academic services.

He has also been active as a community volunteer, serving on the board of WERU Community Radio in Orland and in various capacities for the Camden Conference and the Maine Humanities Council, among others. He holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in classical languages from Lipscomb University. He currently lives in Belfast, Maine, but plans to relocate to the Mount Desert Island area.

Zavodny will replace Reverend Scott Planting, who served as president since 2010 before recently announcing his decision to retire.

“What an incredible opportunity and humbling responsibility,” said Zavodny. “Over the last century, leaders like Scott Planting have helped Maine Seacoast Mission establish a powerful history of service with island and coastal Maine communities.”

As president, Zavodny will oversee the operation of the Maine Seacoast Mission and its many programs delivered from campuses in Bar Harbor and Cherryfield and from the Sunbeam, a 74-foot boat. Since 1905, the Mission has served the isolated communities of the unbridged islands and coastal villages of Hancock and Washington counties with health, education, food assistance, Christmas, and community-building programs, and pastoral care.


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