The Land & Garden Preserve has named Sam S. McGee as chair of the Board of Directors, succeeding Neva Goodwin. Sam was elected in November 2017 and will transition to the chair role during the spring of 2018. Neva will remain on the board, allowing her to focus her efforts as chair of committee overseeing the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden, which the Preserve took ownership of this past December.
Sam has been a board member at the Preserve since 2007, serving as chair of the Thuya Garden Committee, as well as serving on the Audit, Development, Finance & Planning, and Lands & Trails Committees. He was also a board member at the Mount Desert Island Historical Society from 2012-2015. Sam also serves on the Town of Mount Desert Warrant Committee, the Mount Desert Community Development Corporation, and the Northeast Harbor Village Improvement Society.
Sam’s connections to the Preserve are deep and personal. His maternal ancestors, the Savage family first settled at Harbor Brook in 1798; later moving to the head of Northeast Harbor where they established the Asticou Inn in 1883. Sam’s relative Charles K. Savage conceived and created Thuya Garden and Asticou Azalea Garden. Sam grew up surrounded by the two gardens and the Preserve in the Savage family enclave of Asticou. He attended local schools on Mount Desert Island and completed his secondary education at Gould Academy in Bethel. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1994 from the University of Maine and is a 2017 graduate of Stonier Graduate School of Banking at University of Pennsylvania. He is currently a Senior Vice President at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.
Sam and his wife, artist Jennifer Judd-McGee, live in Northeast Harbor. They have two children.
Sam's interest in art, architecture, and family history drove him to initiate a book project about his relative, noted shingle-style architect Fred L. Savage. The book, Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert, written by John M. Bryan and photographed by Richard Cheek, was published in 2005.
The Land & Garden Preserve is a 501(c)3 non-profit on Mount Desert Island based in Seal Harbor and Northeast Harbor, Maine. The Preserve's mission is to share the beauty of historic lands and gardens on Mount Desert Island. The lands consist of over 1,400 acres between Acadia National Park and the Atlantic Ocean, including Little Long Pond. The gardens are comprised of Asticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden, and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden.