Meet the Staff!
Calder Akin, Hale Day Camp Director
As a chess player, personal trainer, magician, and Celtics Season ticket holder, Calder Akin has a wide variety of interests. Add in the fact that he once served as the General Manager for the Medieval Manor and enjoys juggling and making balloon animals and you have the quintessential Renaissance Man. Calder brings enthusiasm and experience in fundraising, value-driven program development, and a passion for building community partnerships to his new role at Hale Day Camp. An avid athlete, he prides himself in being able to play pretty much any sport, but his true passions are weight lifting, snowboarding, basketball and soccer, the latter of which he had the opportunity to play competitively in England as a high schooler. Calder most recently worked as the Director of Youth Development & Sports at the Oak Square YMCA in Brighton, MA.
Eric Arnold, Executive Director
Eric Arnold has been Executive Director at Hale since 2001. His work focuses on long-range organizational direction, advancement, and innovative program development. A University of Denver graduate, Eric earned a Master’s from Lesley University in Educational Leadership. The American Camp Association (ACA) has honored his work with a Leadership Award, National Service Award and Meritorious Service Award. He has served as the President of the American Camp Association, New England and the Massachusetts Camp Association and is currently on the advisory board of the Summer Fund. Eric has been a presenter at conferences for ACA, the National Summer Learning Association and a variety of other summer learning summits in the Boston area. Eric loves spending time outdoors hiking, biking and trail running and plays guitar, bass and mandolin in a local band. He lives in Westwood with his wife, Hildi, and their two teen-age children.
Diane Collins, Finance Director
Working here for 25 years, Diane is the resident expert on all things Hale. As Finance Director she is responsible for budget management, financial operations and audits but Diane also oversees IT and Human Resource administration. Diane attended Bentley College. She and her husband Pat make their home in Franklin, with their two boys, Michael and Matthew. Michael and Matthew grew up with Hale, both having the great opportunity to attend the Hale Day Camp and are now to be a part of our Camp Staff. Diane enjoys watching the New England Patriots and the Boston Bruins. Her favorite season has always been the fall season with all its brilliant colors.
Tom Dietzel, Ranger
Tom has been working at Hale for nearly 25 years. He provides assistance with the day-to-day maintenance and management of the grounds at Hale and makes sure the rules are enforced. He can also be seen helping out with natural history programs. With a degree in social sciences and park management from Unity College, Tom enjoys bird watching, animal tracking and especially keeping an eye (and ear) out for owls. He is also a big fan of the Boston Bruins.
Lorraine Driscoll Sousa, Director of Philanthropy
Lorraine joined the Hale team in February 2016 as the Director of Philanthropy. She spent many of her childhood summers at Membership Beach, and learned about her job when looking for information about Hale Day Camp and Membership Beach for her family. Lorraine loves her work encouraging people to join her in their enthusiasm for Hale by supporting our fundraising initiatives. In addition to spending time with her husband Ron and their kids Madeleine and David, Lorraine has been in an all-women investment club for 15 years, and many of those women were moms and kids at Hale with her growing up. She also loves to sing, and has sung at weddings, been a church cantor and sang classical choral music for years; if you have any recommendations for a choral group in greater Boston, she’s ready to get back into it! With the exception of the time she spent in DC at Georgetown, Lorraine is proud to be a lifelong Bostonian.
Blair Evans, Director of Education & Adventure Programs
Blair grew up in Roswell, GA in a home that abutted the woods. He and his brother spent hours each day exploring the area and loved building forts and playing in the nearby creek. True to his nature, Blair was eager to see more of the country and chose to attend college at Wesleyan in Connecticut. With the exception of a couple years of military service, Blair has called New England home ever since. Although new to Hale in a permanent capacity, Blair is no stranger to these 1,100 plus acres having worked with programs since 2013. Blair is always impressed with the different insights our participants have and loves seeing Hale from another perspective. Before working at Hale, Blair designed educational and entertainment software. He still enjoys a video game or two but not nearly as much as getting outside and being active himself.
Patrick Francois, HOLA Administrator
Although born in Roxbury, Patrick spent his early childhood in Haiti where he lived with his grandparents. When he came back to the states, he settled in Cambridge. Always a sports enthusiast, Patrick was honored to participate in track and field and basketball at his alma mater, Fitchburg State. While at Fitchburg, Patrick studied education and went on to become a preschool teacher and eventually a child care director. At Hale, Patrick works with our Hale Outdoor Learning Adventures campers (HOLA) where his fluency in Creole comes in handy. He also helps with the After School Program. In his spare time, Patrick sings, writes and produces music.
Greg Freed, Advancement Associate
Greg is all about inventive learning opportunities: previously, he administered action learning courses at Harvard Business School, designed and taught service learning courses at Suffolk University, and facilitated place-based learning initiatives at Boston University. A lifelong proponent of experiential education, he began facilitating programs at Hale in 2013, and eagerly joined our advancement team in 2016. Greg loves to build awareness of Hale and help people understand the impact of our work. When he isn’t doing that, you’ll find him teaching at Emerson College, hiking or skiing around New England, and spoiling his dog, Wyatt. He’s a big fan of diners, and as a New Jersey native, is forever searching for what he calls “real pizza.” If you find any, let him know.
Melissa Kent, Marketing & Administrative Associate
Melissa joined Hale shortly after graduating from Framingham State University where she majored in Art Studio with a concentration in Illustration. Melissa loves exploring the outdoors and working in a log cabin. The beautiful scenery at Hale gives her inspiration for watercolor paintings and photography, two of her favorite artistic mediums. Her previous work experience as a cookie decorator at a local bakery and events employee at Bass Pro Shops have helped her with her duties at Hale in marketing and advancement. Melissa lives in Easton with her family and her Golden Retriever, Autumn.
Ariel Martinez, Project Manager
Ariel Martinez is a Project Manager for Hale’s Facilities Team. An avid outdoorsman, Ariel loves being at Hale and just enjoying nature. When he is not working, Ariel loves to fish. Ariel and his wife have four children and a beautiful granddaughter. The family lives in Hyde Park.
Paula McLaughlin, Director of Communications & Donor Relations
The rumble of camp buses and the boisterous sounds of children are some of the things that make working at Hale so special for Paula. This trivia buff manages public relations, fundraising, community outreach and special events. Paula previously worked at The Children’s Trust Fund and Boston College, where she also earned her degree. Paula is a board member of Needham Bank and a founding member of Westwood Community Chest. Paula lives in Westwood with her husband, Paul and her children Erica, Casey and Molly. In her spare time, she enjoys watching sports, especially Skidmore Basketball.
Cam Miller, Director of Challenge Course Operations
One of six children, Cam Miller loved growing up in a big family where there was limited alone time but lots of friends. Cam attended Snow College in Utah close to home and studied psychology. Eventually his need to explore led him across the country to Maine working at KieveWavus. There he was an educator on the ropes course and lead weeks’ long wilderness hikes gaining skills and experiences that serve him well at Hale. An Eagle Scout, Cam was happy to learn that Hale’s history is closely tied to scouting. Cam loves working with a wide variety of individuals and watching them have fun while unknowingly learning team building skills. Cam’s sense of adventure also carries on into the kitchen where he enjoys creating his own dishes, the “Camburger” is among his favorites. Cam and his wife Kayleigh recently rescued a dog named Zero.
Shannon Obey, Membership & Events Director
As the Director of Membership Beach, Shannon is always working hard to make sure the aquatics programs (and everything else at Membership) go swimmingly. Before coming to Hale, she was the blog writer at Social Boston Sports. She also worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor at the Pro Sports Club in Washington. In her free time, Shannon likes to sew, crochet, and do arts and crafts. Shannon earned her B.A. from Providence College.
Wendy Rands, Office Manager
When Wendy first began working at Hale, she immediately saw the passion that her new co-workers had for the organization. It was quite the welcome contrast from her previous career as a programmer. She enjoys the challenges that each day brings and looks forward to being the face of Hale when visitors come to the office. In her spare time, Wendy enjoys puzzles – word, jigsaw, logic, she loves them all. Wendy married her high school sweetheart, Patrick, and they live in Westwood with their two daughters, Tori and Isabelle.
Emily Rivard, Program Coordinator for After School & HOLA Match
Emily first fell in love with Hale as a child at Membership Beach, where she learned to swim. As a teen, Emily returned to Hale during summers to teach swim lessons, lifeguard and eventually become the North Beach Aquatics Director. While attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Education, she stayed connected to Hale by working with Education and Adventure facilitators during school breaks. Emily drew on her experience while in Malaysia on a Fulbright scholarship as an English Teaching Assistant to engage her students. Fortunately, the revival of the afterschool program and expansion of the HOLA program left some gaps in the staff that Emily was a perfect fit for once she returned to the States!
Tyler Simpson, Director of Operations
Tyler joined Hale in the winter of 2014 after seven years with the YMCA of Greater Boston in the afterschool and summer camp programs. While basketball is his most often played sport, Tyler also enjoys tennis, golf, and has picked up biking again after a long hiatus. Even though it has been a while, Tyler has snowboarded in Park City (Utah), Lake Tahoe (CA) and Mt. Washington (NH) among other places. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was a four year member of the Track Team, focusing on sprints, jumps and hurdles, while dabbling in the decathlon. Additionally, he worked as a Resident Assistant, while also running his own barbershop out of his dorm room. In his former life, Tyler worked as a vendor at Fenway Park, highlighted by working all home games in the 2013 World Series. Tyler grew up in Lexington, and now lives in Westwood with his wife and daughter.
Jay Walsh, Buildings & Grounds Director
Jay loves when autumn’s vibrant colors decorate Hale. As an avid outdoorsman, one of his favorite activities is spending a sunny fall day at the top of Sen Ki property. Before coming to Hale in 1998, Jay worked as a camp counselor at Chickatawbut in Milton, Massachusetts. He now manages the buildings and grounds at Hale. Jay earned his BS at UMass Boston. Jay confesses that he has a love/hate relationship with gravity.