Melissa Cilley is the new executive director for Apex in Biddeford Courtesy photo

BIDDEFORD — After a year as interim executive and strategic consultant, Melissa Cilley will transition into executive director at Apex Youth Connection in Biddeford (formerly The Community Bicycle Center). Cilley is a consultant bringing 15 years of nonprofit leadership experience, including eight years as executive director of the Susan L. Curtis Foundation.

“We’re thrilled to formally announce Melissa’s hire,” said Brian Chin, Apex board president. “She’s more than proven her worth as part-time interim in this last year alone, and Apex is extremely fortunate to have her at the helm in this new chapter.”

As interim director, Cilley led the organization through a pivotal transitional year, overseeing an organizational rebrand as well as the expansion of the youth-based programs on offer to Biddeford-area youth.

“Bicycles will always be a primary tool to connect with youth,” Cilley said. “Our new name and brand, though, allows us to better communicate who we’ve always been: a youth-centered, mentor-based organization that gets youth out there — connecting with nature, with their community, and with their futures.”

Beyond free after-school and summer adventure-based/hands-on programming, Apex offers job readiness training and STEM education, school-based partnerships, and is one of six multi-year Aspirations Incubator Programs statewide funded by the Lerner Foundation. In 2019, Apex served over 700 area boys and girls for less than $500 per youth; the organization leverages volunteers and the great outdoors as a primary program space to keep costs down. Apex is funded through donations, grants, and revenue generated by school contracts and Apex Bike Factory, a youth-run business providing bike repair and sales to the public.

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