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.
Jonathan Uribe, Communications & Outreach
Jonathan is a native of the DC area, but has roots in Maine that go back to the Revolutionary War. He returned to his ancestral lands in September of 2018, and immediately fell in love with Biddeford. He was drawn to the community-centric organizations, the thriving food and art scene, as well as the access to nature that is unparalleled in Southern Maine.
Until the summer of 2021, Jonathan was a chef and business operations consultant. However, he found that his passion for community-building and facilitating connections between people outweighed his desire to cook food. He brings experience working with the immigrant community in DC to his role here at Apex, and is excited to be able to help all members of the local community feel a sense of belonging.
When Jonathan isn't working he is either doing house projects or running (usually in Clifford Park). He competes in ultra-marathons and has run races ranging from 10mi to 100mi. ..ask him about it at your own discretion, it could be a long conversation.
At Apex, Jonathan is excited to use his years of experience in the hospitality industry to help ensure everyone that interacts with Apex feels welcome, appreciated, and like an integral string in the fabric of their community.
JONATHAN IS CURRENTLY ON FAMILY LEAVE. PLEASE CONTACT MELISSA CILLEY OR PHIL BAILEY.
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.
Sydney Wolf, Family Engagement Intern
Sydney is a Bachelor's level social work student at the University of New England (UNE) in her field placement at Apex. She is a native Western New Yorker and grew up thirty (30) minutes east of Niagara Falls, NY. She moved to Maine in the fall of 2018 to attend school at UNE and has since fallen in love.
Sydney has experience as the founding president of Active Minds UNE, a mental health education and advocacy organization based at UNE, and as a program organizer for several non-profit organizations in her hometown that focus on supporting youth in building social-emotional skills. She is passionate about access to mental and physical health care, food, housing, and education. She is excited to begin her work here at Apex as the Family Engagement Intern.
When Sydney is not doing school work, she loves to read, go for bike rides, beach comb, and pet cats!
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.
Mikayla Zordan, Marketing Intern
Mikayla is a Junior at the University of New England studying Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. She is from Northwest Connecticut and has grown up spending ample time outdoors. When it came time to look for higher education, UNE piqued her interest as it reminded her of home away from home. Mikayla looks to spend her weekends in the mountains, hiking or skiing. Mikayla comes to Apex to serve as a marketing intern. She has gained most of her experience working for a local family-owned small business, Collinsville Canoe & Kayak. She has analyzed media data trends to align with business goals, generated original content to edit, publish and post daily, and marketed the addition of an online retail store at the very beginning of the pandemic. Additionally, she has done marketing for the university's activities programming board, which plans most large-scale events on campus.
Mikayla looks to get a ground-up experience relative to launching a rebrand with a fresh marketing approach while working with ABF. Apex has an immediate focus in areas in which she is passionate. This experience will allow for an inside view of a potential career option in addition to expanding her professional network. Apex will provide an opportunity to incorporate cultural differences into a worldview and further her ability to learn in a self-directed manner.
Steven Thurlow, Program Specialist — Apex Bike Factory
Steven has a great story to tell about his experience with Apex:
He started coming to Apex, then CBC, in the sixth grade. From the start, he only wanted a place to hangout, but this quickly evolved into a love of working on bikes. Steven soon joined the Kids Bike Factory - now Apex Bike Factory (ABF) - and became less shy and more connected with the program. In the eighth grade he became the Youth Shop Assistant and enjoyed helping teach other youth the skills he had learned. The summer after freshman year, Steven got a job at Rodgers Ski and Sport because of the skills he had learned from Apex Youth Connection. By his junior year, Steven’s title changed to Youth Intern as he gained more responsibility and worked more closely with the Program Specialist to help run ABF and be the bridge between the youth and adult mentors and staff members. He soon became more of a teacher for ABF and was also hired by Kennebunkport Bicycle Company where he expanded his bike mechanic knowledge. Now, Steven is a full-fledged staff member at Apex, though he is on leave while in basic training for the U.S. Army.
Steven always wanted to be an engineer, but Apex helped him narrow his scope and to discover that he wanted to pursue a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering as well a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. And with the influence of a previous staff member of Apex, Steven also discovered that he wanted to become a part of the military. He originally wanted to go active duty Navy but due to guidance from his mentors, Steven decided to go to the Army National Guard and become a 15t (helicopter mechanic).
Outside of his career, Steven is an avid cyclist and rides as much as he can. And when he can’t, he also finds enjoyment in running. He still enjoys learning more about bikes and says, “I really don’t have a life outside of bikes, haha! I should find a less expensive hobby.” He enjoys reading, mostly mythology, and spending time with his friends through Xbox, bike riding, or whatever it is.
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.