Brian Hinrichs, executive director of the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, will be leaving in May to become executive director of the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

After 10 years overseeing operations at the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, Executive Director Brian Hinrichs is leaving for a new job.

This spring, Hinrichs plans to take his business acumen and leadership skills outdoors as the executive director of the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters.

The organization serves as an official philanthropic partner of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, part of the National Park System. It also partners with the National Park Service through an education agreement.

Hinrichs brings 15 years of experience in nonprofit management to Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters. In his recent position with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, he helped achieve growth in the organization’s community outreach and annual budget, operations and endowment fundraising.

“It is an honor to be stepping into this role with Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters at such an exciting time, and I thank the board and staff for their trust,” Hinrichs said. “The mission of Friends is one that resonates deeply and personally for me.”

Hinrichs, who will take over for acting Executive Director Sam Deeran, will start his new position in mid-May. Deeran will then take the role of projects director for Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters.

Hinrichs arrives at Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters as the group seeks to expand on a membership of almost 1,000 people and its network of collaborating organizations. It includes a 13-member board of directors, seven full-time employees and seasonal support staff.

“Brian has impressed staff and board with his skillset and success as an executive director,” said Molly Ross, chair of the Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters board of directors. “Recognizing his management experience, passion for our mission and care for relationships, we are thrilled to welcome him as the next leader of Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters.”

Hinrichs plans to stay at his home in Bangor but will maintain a presence in the Katahdin area while working out of the group’s office in Patten. He will also represent the organization across the state and elsewhere.

“I look forward to working alongside the National Park Service, with Wabanaki partners, and in the Katahdin Region to help ensure the monument and surrounding communities thrive for the benefit of present and future generations,” Hinrichs said.

Hinrichs was a Fulbright scholar who received his B.A. in music and English from Colgate University and his M.B.A. from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 2022, he was the recipient of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce’s Arts and Culture Award.

His engagement in outdoor activities over the years helped cultivate a deeper interest in the Maine outdoors and led him to learn more about the mission of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters.

“I look forward to working with Brian and building upon the foundation that Sam Deeran and the Friends staff have established over the years,” said Mark Wimmer, superintendent of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

Pete Warner

Pete graduated from Bangor High School in 1980 and earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He grew up fishing at his family's camp on Sebago Lake but didn't take...