Diane Barras, OTR/L
Alpine Race Coach
Diane is an Occupational Therapist, a Registered Maine Recreation & Sea Kayak Guide, and a PSIA Level 2 Adaptive, and Level 1 Nordic Ski Instructor and USSA Coach. She has been involved in adaptive recreation, especially skiing, since 1998 when she first started volunteering for a small adaptive program in central NY. After moving to Maine in 2001, she volunteered for Maine Adaptive for three years before joining the staff full time. After 8 years as Program Coordinator, Diane took some time away from Maine Adaptive to train with blind Paralympic Skier, Lindsay Ball. Diane found her hidden talent as a sighted guide and in this role, Diane and Lindsay competed all over the world including the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi Russia. Diane has now returned to Maine Adaptive as the Head Alpine Race Coach and also practices home health OT and guides kayak and cycling tours. She lives in the mountains of Western Maine.
Toby started working with Maine Adaptive in 2006, after volunteering for many years. Toby is responsible for coordinating the participants and volunteers at our weekend downhill and snowboarding program at Sugarloaf.
Tom started volunteering as a ski instructor in 2008. Tom experience instructing all types of skiers is a great resource for the program, both in fitting the students and maintaining and adapting the equipment. He continues to instruct as well.
Rachel grew up in the town of Greenwood and learned to love skiing at the age of 3½. She shared her love of skiing and passed it on to others while being a downhill ski instructor at Mt Abram for several years. As a result of hearing about Maine Adaptive while at Mt Abram, Rachel chose to apply her past to her present while she did her student internship in the Fall 2014 to earn her Bachelors of Science degree in Mental Health and Human Services at the University of Maine at Augusta. During her internship, she assisted the equipment department as well as helping the staff and volunteers on and off the snow. Following her internship, Rachel chose to volunteer whenever possible throughout the year especially for Camp No Limits, Veterans No Boundaries winter program along with the Ski-A-Thon. At the start of winter of 2016 she began working part time for Maine Adaptive as an Equipment Technician and is excited to join the staff as an Administrative Assistant.
John “Gootsch” Gauthier
After working at Sunday River for 15 years Gootsch started with Maine Adaptive in 1988. He remembers seeing Sunday River in the 1950’s when it was just a couple dirt tracks and a dream. Gootsch’s years of experience with Maine Adaptive are a great resource for fitting participants with equipment as well as repairing and maintaining all the adaptive skiing and snowboarding equipment.
Kent brings a variety of mechanical skills he gained from his work as Reliability Engineer MeadWestvaco, Assistant Superintendent at the Sunday River Golf Course and Parks Director of Rumford. Kent helps repair and maintain all types of adaptive ski and snowboard equipment and fits participants to the appropriate equipment.
Sheldon is a University of Southern Maine student and avid outdoor recreationalist who loves sharing his passion for the outdoors! This has lead to an interest in experiential learning and sustainable practices. Having first joined the Maine Adaptive team as a winter practicum student, Sheldon is now our summer intern. He will be involved in the facilitation of all summer programming as well gaining knowledge and experience in the field of adaptive sports and recreation.
Director of Marketing, Communications, and External Affairs
Deb is a connector with a passion for travel, sports and volunteering. She joined the team in October 2013. Deb brings with her a strong combination of non-profit, event management and business consulting experiences. At Maine Adaptive, she focuses on strengthening the growing funding base, our year-round partner engagement programs and our overall brand management and marketing materials. Deb is a graduate of Hamilton College and received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School.
Brandon first joined Maine Adaptive in the 2015 winter, as a practicum student from the University of Maine at Farmington and then as an intern during the summer. A wide array of experiences and love for the outdoors, allows Brandon to challenge himself as well as others. Brandon is responsible for the Nordic Programs and has been instrumental in developing our Tennis Program. He oversees our participant registration and is based out of the Sunday River office.
An avid telemarker, Lizz came to Maine Adaptive in 2009 from the outdoor recreation field, working at Outward Bound and as a whitewater rafting guide. At Maine Adaptive, Lizz is responsible for all back office administration and coordinating the program side of operations.
Barbara is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School. Barbara began her professional career in non-profit management with several organizations in the Boston area. After practicing law for over a decade with the Portland, Maine, firm of Murray, Plumb & Murray, Barbara immersed herself in skiing. A Level III PSIA Alpine instructor, Barbara began her life as a ski bum teaching at Lost Valley in Maine and ran the Meister program at Sunday River for three seasons. For the last few seasons, she has been a weekend race coach for GACP’s youngest athletes. Barbara is happiest when she’s doing anything that connects her and others to outside activity — from gardening, to hiking, to road and mountain biking — and loves working and volunteering with people who have a passion for their organization’s mission. Her goal is to work collaboratively with Maine Adaptive’s participants, volunteers, board, and staff to expand the organization’s reach, programming, and financial base of support.
Judy has been at Maine Adaptive since 1997, when she relocated to the Bethel area. 1999 was her first year as Volunteer Coordinator, and by 2005, she took over the responsibilities of Program Director. She develops new programming, coordinates all volunteers and manages our day-to-day programs.
Alissa Towle, DPT
Alissa has been in the field of physical therapy for 31 years. She attended the University of New England for the majority of her post high school education and currently works as a PT and PT educator at New England Rehabilitation Hospital, Kennebec Valley Community College, and the University of New England. Alissa has been volunteering for Maine Adaptive ever since she participated in her first Ski-A-Thon in 1998. She has earned her Level 2 Adaptive PSIA certification and recently joined the winter advisor team at Maine Adaptive.