Pete Nichols, Chapter Director
Pete Nichols, a Maine native, joined Sierra Club Maine as Chapter Director in September 2023. Prior to that, he served as the Executive Director of Edgecomb-based Midcoast Conservancy. He has also worked as the International Organizing Director for Waterkeeper Alliance, an international network of 350 clean water advocates in 46 countries around the globe. Pete also co-founded his own Waterkeeper program, Humboldt Baykeeper, where he served as Baykeeper and Executive Director.
Originally inspired by the lakes, rivers, and coastal waters of his childhood home of Maine, Pete has always been a committed advocate for the environment. For nearly 30 years, he has worked to protect the world’s waters and wildlands from the redwood forests of northern California, to the majestic Tigris River in Iraq, and the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya. Pete obtained a B.S. in Conservation Biology from Humboldt State University in northern California and lives in Jefferson, Maine with his dog Bear.
Matt Cannon, State Conservation & Energy Director
Matt Cannon started as a volunteer and then became a staffer at Sierra Club Maine in June 2019, quickly moving to Campaign & Policy Associate Director in March 2020, and then State Conservation & Energy Director in March 2022. In his position, Matt coordinates the Chapter's 30x30/conservation, outings, transportation, electrification, and clean energy work. Prior to his involvement with Sierra Club, Matt received a dual major in government and sociology at Connecticut College before joining AmeriCorps in 2011. He served on Cape Cod where he developed an abiding passion for the unique landscape and our collective human responsibility to care for it. This led him to pursue work at land trusts where he served in many capacities over the years, including Executive Director, Stewardship Director, and Community Outreach Coordinator. During this time, he also served as an Executive Committee-member for the Cape & Islands Group of Sierra Club Massachusetts, and on several additional boards and committees focused on climate change mitigation and public education. Matt’s love and deep respect for our planet was instilled in him by his father who gave him a membership to the Sierra Club at a young age. Matt is intent on using his privilege to protect our planet and create a more just and sustainable future. He lives in Portland, and has his master’s in Public Policy from Tufts University’s Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning Program.
Ania Wright, Political & Legislative Specialist
Ania Wright joined Sierra Club in 2020 as a Grassroots Organizer, and now works as the Legislative and Political Specialist. In her position, Ania supports our Political and Legislative Teams and organizes state lobbying and endorsement work. She also works to engage and support youth in climate justice initiatives, and to further the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals of the chapter. Ania graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2020, where she majored in Human Ecology with a focus in Environmental Policy and Climate Justice. She has been extensively involved in climate justice activism in the State of Maine as a founding member of the youth-led coalition Maine Youth for Climate Justice, which supports young people in their work for climate action. She also sits on the board of Maine Climate Action NOW, a coalition of grassroots organizations in Maine pushing for just and equitable climate policy. Ania lives in Portland.
Marena Bach, Creative Strategist
Nyalat Biliew, Grassroots Climate Action Organizer
Nyalat Biliew joined Sierra Club as the Grassroots Climate Action Organizer in July 2022. In her position, Nyalat will play a critical role in organizing, supporting, and furthering the work of communities across Maine through our Community & Climate Action Teams. Nyalat’s work also involves engaging and supporting BIPOC and Youth Climate initiatives. Nyalat comes to us with an extensive organizing background. She is one of the founders of Black Power, A black-led liberation movement in Maine. She serves as an at-large member of the Portland Board of Education. Nyalat also led a community effort to open the City of Portland Charter commission to reevaluate the city’s charter. She has organized to support environmental justice, health, education, racial equity, and womxns rights. Nyalat’s activism and interest in climate justice started with leading outing events and environmental education training at Deering High School. She has a burning passion for social justice and ensuring that marginalized voices and experiences are centered and valued. Nyalat graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a Political Science degree and a minor in Race and Ethnic Studies. Nyalat lives in Portland and spends most of her downtime playing basketball, and pickleball, hiking, crocheting clothes and traveling worldwide. Nyalat has traveled to 6 (Africa, North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe) of the 7 Continents and hopes to see Antarctica soon!
Jane Brekke, Philanthropy Officer
Jane Brekke comes to Sierra Club Maine with a wealth of knowledge and experience. She holds a master’s degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, and is very passionate about the outdoors. As the Philanthropy Officer, Jane works closely with staff and volunteer leaders to implement effective fundraising strategies and programs that actively center equity, justice, and inclusion.
"Environmental stewardship has been at the heart of my professional calling for the past 20 years. Most recently I've been working for a local land trust in Southern Maine. I’ve loved working with my surrounding communities, but am also drawn to larger state efforts. Helping to connect people to natural places, to in turn create environmental stewards, is vitally important to me. I am also driven by my personal passion to show my daughter that you CAN make a difference in saving the planet and you CAN be a part of the solution—even if it feels infinitesimally small at times."
When not working, Jane enjoys all types of outdoor recreation with her family and friends. She also enjoys the work she does on her local town's conservation commission, working with medical herbs, and reading.
Corrine Kucirka Adamowicz, Chapter Coordinator