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Island Institute president announces departure

Feb 18, 2021

Rockland — After 18 years of furthering the organization’s mission and values, with eight of those as president, Island Institute President Rob Snyder announced he will be stepping down from his leadership role at the end of April.

During his tenure, Snyder has been a driving force behind the growth of the Rockland-based nonprofit and its support for Maine’s island and coastal communities.

“Rob’s vision and leadership will be greatly missed by the Island Institute’s staff, board and nonprofit partners,” said Island Institute Board Chair Emily Lane.

“His unique approach to exploration, innovation, and culture has been integral to the success of the organization. We are grateful for his dedication to Maine’s islands and coastal communities, and we wish him the best of luck in his next chapter.”

Snyder’s next role will be with ACME Smoked Fish Corp. as their first culture and sustainability officer, where he will be able to put his leadership skills and approach to innovation to work for a fast-growing company with global impact.

ACME Smoked Fish is a privately-owned company based in Brooklyn, N.Y., with manufacturing facilities across the eastern U.S., Chile and Denmark.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this organization over the past 18 years,” said Snyder.

“I love the Island Institute and am very proud of what the organization accomplished during my tenure. We have a talented, dedicated team of people who truly care about the coast of Maine, are part of the communities we serve, and can flex to address any problem that our coast will face in the future. This organization has never been more vital.”

Over the next several months, the Board of Trustees will be working with a recruitment firm to conduct a national search for the Island Institute’s next president. As of March 15, Rob Beams, the chief operating officer at the Island Institute, will serve as interim president for the duration of the recruitment process.

On this subject Beams said, “Rob’s foresight and guidance helped recruit an incredible staff, including a leadership team with the expertise to lead our organization through this transition to a new president. It’s an exciting time for the Island Institute.

"We're growing and hiring for new positions to build our teams and further strengthen our focus on climate action, the coastal economy, and investments in community infrastructure and leadership. We are committed to helping our islands and coast meet the challenges ahead, and we look forward to working with our partners, supporters and communities to continue to build resilience along the Maine coast.”

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Comments (1)
Posted by: David Schmanska | Feb 18, 2021 17:35

In a relatively short time Rob Snyder has transformed the Institute from one that was very heavy handed and pedantic, to one which is very well thought of, both locally and nationally. He seemed to make a point of seeking out qualified, dedicated, and very bright young folks who were committed to his vision.

In the old days the Institute was viewed by many as more than willing to "help" whether or not that "help" had been asked for. That is no longer the case.

Having lived and worked on islands my entire adult life it has been very refreshing to see the Institute mature under Rob's guidance and I believe ACME Smoked Fish folks have made a great "catch" of their own.

Good Luck Rob. Take care and be well.

Dave Schmanska



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