Who We Are
We are your friends and neighbors, all dedicated to keep Chebeague a vibrant, year-round community now and in the future. We do this through The Recompense Fund's support of island non-profits, whose volunteers serve so many. Contact any of The Recompense Fund's Board Members listed below to learn more about our operations.
Leila grew up in Princeton, New Jersey and received her Ph.D. from Princeton in 1976, just after the university first began to admit women. Both of her paternal grandparents were born and grew up on Chebeague. As a girl Leila came summers to the island, enjoying relatives, reading and walking to the beach.
In 1982 she and her husband, Suhail, decided to make Chebeague their home base while working abroad or in Manhattan. Leila has had a career with universities, foundations, the United Nations and the private sector. She has lived on Chebeague year-round since 2002.
Leila and Suhail’s family - three daughters, their spouses, grandchildren, and their extended families – share their love for the island.
She served for many years as a Trustee of the Island Institute and as the Vice-President of the Chebeague and Cumberland Land Trust.
Justin summered on the island until the age of seven, when his parents decided to move there year-round with him and his younger brother Zach. He grew up lobstering every summer, and has worked at the Chebeague Island Boat Yard since 2007 and is lead mechanic.
Justin joined Recompense so he could become more actively involved in its efforts to support the sustainability of Chebeague.
Beverly Johnson grew up in Wayland, Massachusetts while summering as a teenager on Chebeague Island. She married islander Stephen Johnson in 1971 and has lived on Chebeague ever since.
She studied Civil Engineering at Northeastern and worked as an engineering technician with EC Jordan until 1975 when she changed careers to become a Master Plumber. She recently received a degree in Information Technology.
Beverly has served as President of the Chebeague Transportation Company as well as other island nonprofits, and was once Chair of the Cumberland Town Council when Chebeague was part of that town.
Beverly is Chair of The Recompense Fund.
Manny was born and brought up in Massachusetts. She became a Chebeague summer resident in 1978, and a full-time Mainer in 1985.
She attended Wellesley College majoring in Classical Archeology, and spent her early career excavating in Greece and at Roman sites in England.
Over the course of her adult life she performed social work in Boston, worked in personnel at Harvard, and in development for nonprofits in Maine.
Manny is now retired and spends her time volunteering at historic landmark properties and supporting preservation efforts. She has served on the board of the Recompense Foundation and helped guide its transition to the Maine Community Foundation to become the “community field-of-interest fund” it is today. Her interests include travel, sailing, dance, and particularly, hiking.
Laura grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. She and husband, Geoffrey discovered Chebeague Island in 1989 after searching the coast of Maine for the perfect “fixer upper”. They raised their two children, John and Caroline on Chebeague.
She studied Art History at Connecticut College and then went on to Lesley College to earn her Masters in Management. Prior to coming to the island, Laura worked in business management of graphic arts, fine arts and architecture in Boston and New York.
She has served on multiple island nonprofit boards as well as municipal committees and eventually discovered her passion for sustainable living. She currently works as chef at the Chebeague Island School, where she loves teaching young children the importance of healthy eating and the value of “breaking bread” with their community. Chebeague has afforded her endless opportunities while enjoying a simple, but rich life.
Linda moved to Yarmouth from Philadelphia at the age of seven. She visited Chebeague many times in her early years as her best friend summered here.
Linda graduated from Brown University with a major in the History of Art, then worked for several years at the Portland Museum of Art. In 1971 she married Robert White and moved to England where they owned and managed a successful furniture business. Upon retirement they moved to Chebeague.
A Director of The Recompense Foundation in its early years, Linda has continued on the Board of The Recompense Fund, helping to guide its transformation under the Maine Community Foundation into Chebeague’s community fund. This involvement has been immensely satisfying to her.
Elaine's career started in private law practice and then took a wonderful turn into public service where her background in real estate and construction law is put to good use. She has overseen real estate and leasing transactions and most of the State's publicly funded construction for close to 14 years, and did similar work while serving in senior administration at the University of Maine.
Elaine currently serves as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.
Elaine fell in love with Chebeague in the late 1980's when she and her children visited, and has been committed to the island ever since.
Chip first visited Chebeague in 1961 and spent numerous summers at the familyʼs cottage on Carters Point. He worked at the West Winds Camp run by his relatives Jan and Marion Friis. He performed in the first Chebeague Childrenʼs Summer Theater which sparked his passion for island music. In 1975, he graduated from the University of Massachusetts, with a degree in General Business and Finance.
Chip has spent his professional life working for Shrink Packaging Systems Corporation, developing the new field of heat shrinkable packaging films and equipment. Using computers for collaboration, presentation, design and finance are at the core of the way he works..
In 1977 Chip and Vicki Hamilton, an 8th generation islander, married and raised their family outside Boston. In 1992 they built a cottage on Chebeague, where Vicki and their three children spent many Summers. In 2016, Chip and Vicki moved permanently to the island and look forward to giving back. 7 grandchildren visit frequently.
Betts Gabrielsen Mayer
Betts graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Psychology. She has had a career as a psychotherapist, an alcoholism specialist, lecturer and adjunct professor at Rutgers Summer School for Alcohol Studies.
She founded The Gabrielsen Group in Pennington, NJ, a multidisciplinary psychotherapy practice for the whole family specializing in various addictions.
Betts arrived on Chebeague at night in the rain for an October, 1993, weekend with her new boyfriend, Eldon. The next morning she met Earle Doughty at the Island Market, and found him very friendly and welcoming. Later, she met Madeleine Brewer at her home and has never forgotten her. Then she visited with Shirley Burgess, whom she found fascinating and delightful. Eldon showed her every nook and cranny of Chebeague Island's beauty and charm as well as introducing these island stalwarts, convincing her to make the island part of her life.
Scott is a Maine native and has owned property on Chebeague for over 17 years. He is the majority owner of the Chebeague Island Boatyard.
He co-founded two large national industrial construction companies and an equipment rental company.
He is a graduate of the Maine Maritime Academy, where he founded an endowed Regimental Scholarship. To date more than 90 students have received significant aid/scholarship awards from the J. Scott Searway Endowed Regimental Scholarship.
Scott has been an active supporter of The Ronald McDonald House in Portland, Maine for twenty years, and in 2015 received the “Heart of Gold” Award. He has been a longtime Trustee of The Susan L. Curtis Foundation and Camp Susan Curtis, Maine’s largest summer camp for economically disadvantaged children. He is a Vice-Chair of The Recompense Fund.
Scott and his late wife Jan have 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren.
Jim Van Fleet
Born in Middletown, NY, Jim holds an economics degree from St. Lawrence University and an MBA from the University of New Hampshire.
He married Sarah Swann within “mere moments” of his first trip to the Swann cottage on Chebeague Island, and has been a summer islander since 1971, sharing island life with two children and two grandchildren.
Jim has worked in banking, land conservation, finance, and has led his own business. His nonprofit experience includes municipal government and various nonprofit Boards.
Jim is a Vice-Chair of The Recompense Fund.
Mally first visited Chebeague Island in Maine in the summer of 1999, and has been visiting with her husband and children ever since.
She is the founder of Benefactory Philanthropic Advisors LLC, a consulting firm that provides strategic thinking on generosity to families of wealth and their foundations.
A feature journalist by training, Mally’s second book, The Case for Heaven, has been translated into four languages. Her third book, By the Water’s Edge is about gardening on Chebeague.
Mally has appeared widely on TV and radio to talk about her work. She now blogs about philanthropy. One of her blogs on Exponent Philanthropy, “Succession Planning: Becoming New After 40 years”, may be found on the Recompense Fund website www.recompensefund.com under “In The Press”.
Founder of The Recompense Fund
Eldon was born in Annapolis, Maryland as a “navy brat”. He lived in numerous duty stations during his early years and usually returned each summer to Chebeague to stay with his grandparents.
He majored in economics at Princeton and was commissioned in the Marine Corps upon graduation.
His Wall Street career was spent in investment management; he started his own firm in 1976.
Eldon purchased a Chebeague seasonal cottage in 1972, built the “log house” in 1989, and retired to the island in 1998.
He founded the Recompense Foundation in 1991 and in 2013 transferred its assets to open the Recompense Fund at the Maine Community Foundation.
Past Board Members: Gail Miller, Doug Ross, Roy Jackson, Jon Rich, Joyce Souchek, John Wilson, Gary Ross, Ralph Munroe, Lewis Ross, Kim Hamilton, and Sandi Whiston
Founder of Recompense Foundation: Eldon Mayer
Advisor: Mally Cox-Chapman
Youth Advisors: Amanda Campbell, Isaac Julien