Debra Deal, Executive Director
As Executive Director, Debra works closely with the CBC board to develop the vision and philosophy of camp and has overall responsibility for developing camp programs and infrastructure, managing the budget and fundraising activities, and supervising personnel. In collaboration with staff, board, and other organizations, she plans to expand year-round programming and to realize the full potential of Camp Beech Cliff’s location and facilities.
Debra has more than 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector, managing programs at camps, outdoor education centers, and other recreational programs for youth and adults. For the five years just preceding her joining the CBC team in 2006, Debra served as Director of Camping and Recreation Services for AHRC, one of the largest social service agencies in New York City. She has also directed camps and an outdoor education center for urban, disadvantaged youth in Washington, D.C. and on Long Island, and helped to start a new camp in Rhinebeck, NY for girls from 20 different countries to promote multi-culturalism. She earned her B.A. from the University of Richmond, Virginia, and her Masters in Education from Harvard.
Debra has vacationed on MDI for years and now lives there with her husband, Rogier van Bakel, a freelance writer and photographer, and her three daughters.
Matt Cornish, Camp Director
Matt is joining CBC as Camp Director after many years as director of Camp Washington in Connecticut. Matt's passion for camp, campers and theater will be put to good use at Camp Beech Cliff.
John Brown (aka "JB"), DIrector of Finance
JB spent much of his youth on the slopes of Sugarloaf and rivers of Maine as a canoe guide for youth. JB comes to Camp Beech Cliff with a Bachelor’s Degree from Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. JB has spent the last 30 years in finance and technology management and most recently sharing his Director of Finance roles between the Abbe Museum and Camp Beech Cliff. JB believes not-for-profit accounting deserves to meet the highest of standards and thus honor the public trust imposed on not for profit entities. JB has spent the last 40 years as an MDI resident. JB currently lives in Somesville with his wife Emily, a local nurse practitioner. His son is a long time returning CBC camper. In his free time he enjoys gardening, hiking, skiing, boating, and running with 20 finishes of the MDI half marathon!
Jamie Whitehead, Director of Development
Jamie’s summers as a youth were spent going to or working at Camp Arrowhead on Rehoboth Bay, DE. Summer camp was an important part of his life as a youth and he is very happy to be back at camp after all these years. For the past 25 years Jamie has focused on fundraising and business development in a number of capacities and joined CBC in January 2018. Jamie is a fairly recent transplant to MDI after spending almost 20 years living in New York City. He resides in Somesville with his daughter (and CBC camper) Cece, along with their cats Dave and Halo. In his free time Jamie enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, running, and cooking.
Jim Daigle, Director of Facilities
Jim grew up in the area and has been camping and enjoying outdoor sports in the state of Maine since he was young. You may spot him hiking the trails of Acadia with his wife, young daughter, and his dog, and paddling his kayak around the bay. Jim graduated from the Maine State Fire Academy in 1998 and has worked serving the community as a volunteer firefighter on MDI for over ten years. He has also been in the construction trade for 15+ years. Jim has the responsibility of keeping the buildings and grounds operating smoothly. Asked about this challenging position, Jim said that he “looks forward to maintaining the beauty and function of our newly renovated camp and holding the vision of those who made it possible.”
John Izenour, Director of Operations
With five summers under his belt, John continues to explore new opportunities for improving the camper experience, the registration process and the operations at CBC. John and his family are relatively new transplants to MDI; making the jump from envious summer visitor to determined MDI resident in 2012. When not at camp, you will find John walking his kids to school each morning, downhill skiing on winter weekends, or wearing an apron for his wife's catering business.