Melissa Cilley, Executive Director
Melissa joined Apex (then CBC) in November of 2018 as Interim Director and Strategic Consultant. After nearly a year, a name change, and lots of inspiring interactions with Apex youth, she knew she didn’t want to leave and became permanent E.D. in October of 2019.
Melissa has been a child advocate her entire career. She began as a teacher then spent over a decade as an education and juvenile justice lawyer before beginning non-profit work. She comes to Apex with 15+ years of non-profit leadership experience.
Melissa serves on the Boards of the Maine Children’s Alliance and Youth & Family Outreach in Portland. She was a member of the Upsilon Class of Leadership Maine. Melissa loves hiking, camping, snow sports, making stained glass art, acting in community theater, and riding horses. Look for her at Apex HQ with her rescue dog, Andy!
Phil Bailey, Program Director
Phil is a lifelong cyclist, cycling competitor, and a USA Cycling certified coach. He's earned American Mountain Guide Association certifications for rock climbing instruction, Wilderness EMT certifications, and has been a Wilderness First Responder Instructor.
His two books on risk management and leadership development were used as part of a higher education curriculum. He was also a guest lecturer at Unity College.
For over 20 years he's worked with under-served youth all over the country and trained field staff on how to work with at-risk teens on adventure and expedition-based programs. In 2011, after more than 1,200 wilderness leadership field days, Phil began consulting with the outdoor education industry to train field staff, lead safety reviews, write policy, and improve risk management.
Phil leads all outdoor Exploration & Adventure programs at Apex.
David Munger, Program Manager — Job Readiness
Dave brings many years of experience facilitating youth development and leadership in Maine, as well as a Master’s in Education Entrepreneurship. After graduating from Hamilton College with a degree in Philosophy focused on experiential learning, he put theory into practice at Kieve Wavus Education to create opportunities for students to learn more about themselves, their peers, and their potential through team challenges and outdoor adventure. Dave is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, Level II Challenge Course Practitioner, Level III whitewater canoe instructor, and Level IV whitewater kayak instructor. He will receive his Bike Technician and Shop Operations certification later this year. Dave completed his Master’s in 2020 at the University of Pennsylvania. Through the Education Entrepreneurship advanced degree program, he learned entrepreneurial skills alongside research-driven principles of education design and delivery. He applied that learning to create a comprehensive, ready-to-launch business plan. At Apex, Dave is using his skills and experience to grow the Job Readiness Program and empower students to understand their potential, take charge of their future, and expand their opportunities.
Dave leads all Apex job readiness programs including Apex Bike Factory, Junior Mechanics, Earn-a-Bike, and all developing programming.
Maxine Darling Program Manager -- Leadership & Empowerment
Maxine works at Apex as the Leadership & Empowerment Program Manager. She brings a passion for restorative practices, youth empowerment and social justice to the role, with nearly a decade of experience in the field. She earned her Masters of Social Work in 2017 from the University of New England in Portland. She most recently worked as a youth outreach and empowerment coordinator, and has previously worked in prevention education, youth mentoring programs, restorative justice, school social work and case management. She enjoys supporting youth in their growth and learning, helping youth find and pursue their passions and advocating for youth opportunities. At Apex, Maxine uses her experience as a social worker and advocate to support youth through programming that provides opportunities like community engagement, relationship building, service, life and leadership skill building, social emotional learning and more. Maxine does her work through the lenses of restorative practice, person-in-environment, strengths-based, and trauma informed concepts.
Originally from Vermont, Maxine moved to Maine in 2015 to pursue her graduate degree. She loves New England and enjoys taking adventures around to discover and enjoy all the beautiful communities and nature in the area. She lives with her husband and their (many) animals. In her free time she is passionate about music (she would be glad to tell you everything she knows about her favorite bands), art, getting outside, gardening, cooking, reading, and laughing with friends.
Dannielle Gladu, Student Support Specialist
Dannielle is a fun and adventurous true Mainah-gal! She grew up Portland before making her way down to Connecticut for college. She graduated with a triple minor in psychology, sociology and philosophy. She moved back to Maine when she graduated and started working as a behavioral health professional specializing in working with children with autism and other developmental disabilities. She loves working with children and seeing them blossom and grow! Dannielle is with Apex through special support from the City of Biddeford. Each day through 2pm, she works as a support specialist at Seeds of Hope in Biddeford. She helps individuals, or as we call it neighbors, find housing, obtain/fill out applications, assist homeless individuals connect to resources/housing, prepare job readiness, find jobs and assist in teaching digital literacy skills. In the afternoons, she supports kids in Apex programs and runs our Hub Club. She loves building relationships with the kids and is happy to be a part of the team!
Matthew Baldwin, Administrative Support
A better title for Matthew is "Community Servant / Problem Solver" as he has served in the Biddeford community for over 25 years. He is a member of the Biddeford Police who specializes in Crime Scene Investigation and Crash Reconstruction. Matthew also owns his own Forensic Training and Consulting Company. A firm believer in giving back wherever he can, Matthew supports Apex AFTER his full-time job! He is at Apex HQ three days each week in the afternoon. In his spare time, Matthew is an avid motorcycle enthusiast and off grid traveler.
Ashley Potvin, Exploration & Adventure/Data Intern
Ashley Potvin comes to Apex as an intern through the University of New England’s Master of Social Work program. She is a 2011 graduate of Norwich University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Education while competing on the varsity ice hockey and rugby teams. After graduation, Ashley made her way back to her hometown of Biddeford, ME and spent time working at the Heart of Biddeford, but ultimately became a teacher and coach of soccer, softball, and ice hockey in the Biddeford School System. In 2012, Ashley also accepted a volunteer head coaching position as the University of New England Women's Rugby Club. After four years of championship seasons, Ashley was named the head coach of the Nor'easters' 16th varsity sport. Ashley also serves in several leadership capacities including as the co-chair of the Athletics Community, Equity, and Diversity Committee, the advisory to the Female Athlete Alliance, and as the Division III NIRA coaches' chair.
Outside of the higher education landscape, Ashley serves as the president and founder of the organization A Running Passion in honor of her late husband, Coach Will Fulford, which helps provide scholarships, apparel, shoes, and opportunity to athletes grades 3-12 in southern Maine that participate in the sports of cross country and track and field. Ashley is also the founder and director of the Girls Got Game Sports Camp at UNE which offers non sport specific training and a holistic approach to teaching athletic skills and healthy habits. Ashley currently resides in Biddeford and in her spare time enjoys running, hiking, reading, traveling, and spending time with her pets: Patches, Stormy, and Pepito.
Ethan George, Climbing Programs Consultant & Advisor
Ethan is an accomplished rock climbing professional and experienced youth worker. He is an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) licensed guide and owns his own climbing guide service. Ethan approves our climbing sites, gear, anchor systems, and climbing related policies and practice.
Ethan believes that confidence-building through adventure and mentorship is key to supporting youth and teen development. Ethan's personal mission is to narrow the opportunity gap for young people of color and those from low income families to experience adventures outside.
Ethan has worked in youth-serving organizations since 2009. His experiences include student instruction at Thompson Island Outward Bound, case management at Action for Boston Community Development, coaching at Boston College High School, and program management at Youth Enrichment Services and Summer Search, where he currently serves at Director of Program Operations.
Ethan holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire and a Core Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Institute for Nonprofit Practice.
Outside of his work, Ethan enjoys rock climbing, snowboarding, gardening, and playing speed chess.