Andy Beahm has been appointed the new executive director of Maine Audubon. He has served as interim director since January and worked for L.L. Bean for 34 years.

He is the group’s third executive director since 2014. Beahm had served as Maine Audubon’s interim director since January, when Ole Amundsen III resigned for personal reasons after serving for less than a year.

Beahm, who has been on Maine Audubon’s board of directors since 2009, retired in December after 34 years at L.L. Bean. He worked in a number of leadership roles, most recently as the vice president of business transformation. He also served as Bean’s vice president of internal audit and the vice president of brand services and the director of strategic planning.

That experience, Beahm said, will help Maine Audubon to become an organization that better informs and engages a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts.

“Maine Audubon is a great organization and it couldn’t be any more important than right now,” said Beahm, who developed a passion for the outdoors as a child while growing up in Limestone in Aroostook County. “What I want to do is augment what we’re doing. We’re going to work on getting the word out to people so they know if there is something going on (at Gilsland Farm), and also what is important to us as an organization.

“From a marketing standpoint, right now we have a lot to do. But we’ve been working very hard. Eventually I want people to immediately think: ‘What’s going on at Maine Audubon?’ And they will always go check knowing there is always great stuff going on here.”

Beahm plans to attract a wider audience beyond Maine Audubon’s 10,000 members by mixing conservation lessons with “Maine lifestyle events,” such as those that incorporate music and art.

In the six months Beahm has led Maine Audubon, he said there has been growth. The attendance for nonprofit group’s recent Peony Bloom and Ice Cream Social tripled from 200 last year to 600. The group’s annual native plant sale is expanding from 400 plants last year to 1,600 that are expected to be sold Saturday.

Photo courtesy Press Herald and Shawn Patrick Ouellette