Senior Policy Advisor, State Government Affairs
The Nature Conservancy
Tom Abello is The Nature Conservancy’s Senior Policy Advisor for State Government Affairs. In that role he leads and implements the Conservancy’s public policy and public funding initiatives at the state and local level. He works to build relationships with state legislators, policy makers and a variety of external partners in an effort to increase awareness and support for conservation activities. Aside from the Conservancy in Maine, Tom served as Campaign Advisor for The Nature Conservancy’s Conservation Campaign Team working with states across the country on securing public funding through ballot measures and legislative initiatives, such as Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and others. Before joining the Conservancy in 1999, Tom was a journalist for news organizations in New York and Maine. Tom received B.A. in Communications from Fordham University, Bronx, New York in 1996.
President and CEO
Smart Growth America
Recently named by Partnership for Sustainable Communities as “One of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Sustainable Community Planning and Development,” Geoff came to his current position after eight years heading the Smart Growth Program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Geoff is a leader in the smart growth movement, and one of the authors of the foundational ten smart growth principles. With an extensive list of publications, Geoff has served as an expert witness in front of the U.S. Congress, has been interviewed and cited by the New York Times, Newsweek, the Washington Post, Fox News, NPR, and numerous other outlets and publications. As a regular conference speaker, Geoff has provided assistance to numerous communities across the country including in-depth work in Cheyenne, WY, Prince George’s County, MD, and the flagship smart growth project Atlantic Station in Atlanta, GA. Geoff received his master’s degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment with a concentration in Resource Economics and Policy.
Chief Executive Officer, Principal
Jonathan Arnold is responsible for strategy, vision and capital structure for the Arnold Development Group, a certified B Corporation that is dedicated to creating socially and environmentally sustainable places. He holds a degree in architecture from Cornell University and a masters degree in real estate development from Columbia University. In addition to Arnold Development, Jonathan founded Arnold Imaging, a visual communications firm that dedicated to promoting smart growth development.
President and CEO
Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Michael serves as the President and CEO of Eastern Maine Development Corporation. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations and fiscal management of the organization. Prior to joining EMDC, Michael served as the State Director for USDA’s Rural Development Services in Maine, a post he held for eight years. He also served as the Economic Development Representative for the US Department of Commerce for Maine, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, the Maine Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, and the Director of the Maine Quality Centers program. He has also been very active in civic organizations including service on the Bangor City Council (including the position of Mayor), Vice Chairman of the Maine Municipal Association, President of the National Association of Development Organizations, President of the Economic Development Council of Maine, and Chairman of the Maine Technical College System Board of Trustees. Mike holds Bachelor and Master Degrees from Boston College.
Office Manager/Outreach Director
GrowSmart Maine/Project Canopy
Kimberly Ballard, Outreach Director for Project Canopy and Office Manager for GrowSmart Maine, joined GrowSmart Maine in July 2010 and Project Canopy in July 2011. She grew up in Liberty, Maine and is a graduate of College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. Though she has traveled all over the country, she keeps coming home and is constantly amazed by the beauty and strength of this state. She recently moved to a beautiful old home in Gorham with her boyfriend and two cats and is looking forward to revitalizing the house and gardens in her spare time.
Kat Beaudoin Consulting LLC Dba Integrated Planning Solutions
Kat Beaudoin has 28 years in planning; 13 years in municipal land use planning, 13 years in Transportation Planning and 2 in private practice. She has been a certified member of the American Institute of Certified Planners since 1990. She served as Chief of Planning for MaineDOT between November 2007 and January 2011 when she retired from public service. During her tenure at MaineDOT, she served in 5 different capacities (Regional Planner, Policy Specialist, Assistant Director of Planning and Director of Environment, Chief of Planning) and was instrumental in the Department’s adoption of a statewide access management program along with an incentive program, based in rule, allowing DOT to promote the integration of land use and transportation decision-making. She also championed the Department’s efforts to institutionalize Context Sensitive Solutions approaches to planning and project development. She created the vision for and managed the Gateway 1 Corridor Action Plan process; this approach to corridor planning is being used in two other ongoing MaineDOT corridor planning studies. The EPA honored the Gateway 1 Plan by giving it a national award for Rural Smart Growth in 2010. She has received several awards from the Maine Association of Planners, the Northern New England of the American Planning Association and the Northeast Section of Institute of Transportation Engineers.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maine at Orono. She is a graduate of several Leadership Programs; and is a member of the Maine Association of Planners, and of the American Planning Association. She is currently pursuing a diploma in landscape design and has also launched a business called Intentional Garden Designs (www.intentionalgardens.com).
Northland Enterprises, LLC.
Josh joined Northland in October 2008. Made partner in October 2009, Josh shares responsibility for negotiating, modeling and sourcing deals with Rex. Previously, Josh held positions for both the Eagle Point Companies and Headwater Capital Management, specializing in acquisition of affordable housing and leased industrial properties respectively. Josh is a national champion off-road rally co-driver and graduated from Colgate University with a B.A. in Philosophy in 2001.
Standish Planning Board
Since 2003, Carol has been chair of the Standish Comprehensive Plan and Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committees. She has served on the Standish Corner Village Master Plan and the Village Implementation Committee. Currently she serves on the Sebago Lake Village Master Plan Committee. Carol has been directly involved in the growth planning process since 2003 with the Comprehensive Plan and all that has followed since. She has served on the Planning Board (creating, interpreting and upholding our ordinances) since 1992. All of this has included direct interface with the public as the towns people forged the town's vision and worked to gain support for the changes called for in their community.
Town of Gouldsboro
Consultant for the Association of Governing Boards. Former general secretary of American Association of University Professors (AAUP). President of SUNY New Paltz, which he held from 1996 to 2001. Professor of government at Colby College in Maine from 1978 to 1991 and served as vice president for academic affairs at Hollins College in Virginia from 1992 to 1996. In addition, Bowen is the author of numerous articles and essays and of book-length studies on contemporary Japan.
Maine Development Foundation
Ed joined MDF in 2007 as the program director for the Maine Economic Growth Council. Ed also works with the Capitol Riverfront Investment District (CRID), the Policy Leaders Academy, and various research projects. Prior to joining MDF, Ed worked as a policy analyst and researcher in Maine public policy forums. Additionally, Ed has worked in the private sector as a manager for sales and manufacturing companies. Ed received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and his Master’s from the University of Maine.
Northern Maine Development Corporation
Bob Clark is the Executive Director of the Northern Maine Development Commission, Inc., the regional planning and economic development organization for Aroostook and Washington Counties. Prior to this position Bob was the Director of the Office of Economic and Community Development for the City of Caribou and Executive Director of the Caribou Development Corporation from 1988 to 1990 and from 1978 to 1988 Bob was the Community Development Director for the Town of Fort Fairfield and held several municipal positions including Town Clerk, General Assistance Administrator, Code Enforcement Officer, Housing Rehabilitation Specialist, and Certified Tax Assessor. Bob graduated from Husson University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and from Northern Maine Community College with an Associate of Science degree in Computer Programming. Bob has served as President, CEO and Chairman of, the Boards of Patriot Mutual Insurance and Patriot Life Insurance Companies, and on the Board of Maine BlueCross BlueShield. He is President of the Northern Maine Finance Corporation, Vice-Chairman of the Aroostook Partnership for Progress, Trustee and Vice Chair of the Maine Community College System, Chairman of the Patriot Educational Scholarship Fund, on the Board and Treasurer of the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, and Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development to name a few. Bob belongs to several state and national economic development organizations and has received the Developer of the Year Award from the Economic Development Council of Maine, the Economic Developer of the Year Award from the Finance Authority of Maine, The Spirit of Aroostook Award from Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development, and Champion of Economic Development Award from the Finance Authority of Maine. Bob has been a Congressional Subcommittee witness for testimony on economic development.
Vice President of Operations
Through her work at the Island Institute, Shey works to support leaders in Maine’s island and working waterfront communities to ensure they remain vibrant places to live, work, and educate children. She oversees organizational budget management, and works closely with program directors to ensure effectively delivery of programs, projects, and services to address needs related to community sustainability. Shey’s background is in using participatory mapping to engage stakeholders to identify and protect working waterfront access, traditional fishing grounds, and community human and natural resources. Shey is also an active member of the Islesboro community where she has lived for the past 10 years.
Community Housing of Maine (CHOM)
Erin Cooperrider is the Development Director for Community Housing of Maine (“CHOM”), a 19-year old non-profit housing developer, working statewide in Maine. During her tenure, Ms. Cooperrider has help to grow CHOM’s asset base from 7 to more than 60 million. Ms. Cooperrider has advised the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on implementation of affordable housing policy and has testified before the Thrift Depositor Protection Oversight Board. She served on the Board of Directors of the Washington-based Real Estate Capital Resources Association from 1994 to 1996, and is a current member of the Boothbay Region YMCA Board of Trustees, Coastal Enterprises Inc. (“CEI”) Board of Directors, and is Vice President of the Genesis Community Loan Fund Board of Directors. She was a member of the Town of Edgecomb Planning Board for 7 years and Chairman for 3 years. Ms. Cooperrider received her undergraduate degree from Duke University and her graduate degree from Stanford University.
Owner and CEO
Ms. Corbett is the owner and CEO of Axiom Technologies, a telecommunications company headquartered in Machias, Maine that has been creating and developing solutions for rural broadband deployment since 2005. The recipient of four State of Maine ConnectME grant awards totaling $825,000.00, Axiom has brought high-speed Internet service to Washington County with over 90 Access Points, creating an umbrella over 2,500 square miles. The company is the only Information Technology Company in Washington County, employing fourteen, much sought technical positions. Additionally, Ms. Corbett owns a medical billing and practice management company, Morning Glory Enterprises, which provides services throughout New England and employs a staff of ten. She has managed many businesses throughout her 35-year career, mostly in healthcare and has a 25 year background in office nursing and medical practice administration and has consulted in over 250 medical practices and businesses. She has been a public speaker throughout Washington County and Maine advocating for rural broadband and is dedicated to the mission of bringing broadband to every resident and business. Ms. Corbett is a 2010 MaineBiz Women to Watch awardee recognized for her dedication in rural broadband development in the State of Maine.
Dennis S Damon
Maine State Senator
Senator Dennis S. Damon, D-Hancock, was elected to the Maine Senate in 2002 and ended his service there in 2010 when he was unable to continue due to term limits.
While in the Senate, he has served as the Senate Chair of two Joint Standing Committees; Marine Resources for four terms and the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation for three terms. He has also chosen to chair numerous Joint Select Committees including; Regionalization and Community Cooperation and Maine’s Future Prosperity. Prior to the start of major legislative business in the 122nd Maine Legislature, Damon was asked to serve as the Senate Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Property Tax Reform. He was recognized by Governor John Baldacci and Republican and Democratic lawmakers as being a key figure to the success in the passage of Maine’s most historic tax reform in 30 years.
Economic development and Maine’s economic future are his central focus. He is committed to advancing the dialog and policies that will define and develop Maine’s economy. Other areas of interest include promoting and strengthening Maine’s foundation for growth, education, transportation, energy, information, technology, the environment and tax reform.
Prior to being elected to the Senate, Damon served for ten years on the board of County Commissioners of Hancock County, the Governor's Intergovernmental Restructuring Task Force, the Brewer to Calais Railroad Study Commission, and the Maine Ferry Service Advisory Committee. He also chaired the Maine Rural Development Council.
He has worked as a schoolteacher, coach, entrepreneur, and small business owner. Damon is a fourth-generation commercial fisherman with extensive experience in many fisheries including ground fish, shrimp, scallops, lobsters, and herring. While in the Legislature he was Maine’s legislative appointee to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in Washington, DC.
Site Director – Wiscasset USA at Molnlycke Health Care
Chair, Maine Technology Institute
Past President/CEO at Rynel Inc.
VP Operations at Osmonics Inc.
Education Dartmouth College – The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
Assistant Government Relations Manager
Maine Turnpike Authority
Sara is a Planner and Agency Liaison for the Maine Turnpike Authority in Portland, Maine. Sara has over 5 years of experience in transportation and land use planning having worked at both the Maine Turnpike and for the Town of Freeport, Maine. Sara is Study Manager for the Maine Turnpike Authority for both the Gorham East-West Corridor Study and the Central York County Connections Study. She attended the Muskie School of Public Service.
Tom graduated from the University of Maine with degrees in Forest Management and Wildlife Management. He has been a Licensed Professional Forester for 30 years. Early in his career he worked as a forester and land manager on Maine’s state owned forestland working for the Bureau of Public Lands (BPL). He became Director of the Maine Forest Service in 1999 and served in that capacity for nearly four years. Tom joined SWOAM in April 2004.
Washington County Council of Governments
Judy East is Executive Director for the Washington County Council of Governments. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Economics, a Masters of Science in Planning, and 22 years of professional planning experience throughout New York and New England. She has a particular interest and expertise working with rural communities as they balance land and resource conservation with economic development.
Senior Program Director
Maine Development Foundation
Roxanne joined MDF in 2009 first as Program Director for the Maine Downtown Network and now as Senior Program Director for the Maine Downtown Center. She served as Executive Director of Maine Preservation for ten years and, prior, worked extensively in downtown revitalization and historic preservation in the public and private sectors and through her consulting business. Roxanne is a member of the Rho class of Leadership Maine and serves on the Executive Committee of Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission and Communities for Maine’s Future Selection Panel. She has a Master’s in Urban Planning and Historic Preservation from the University of America and is a Certified International Tour Manager.
Peter Eichleay is the founder and President of several aviation-related ventures, the most notable of which is the FlightLevel family of companies which own, operate, and manage FBOs at airports along the East coast. FlightLevel's focus has been exclusively on the development of general aviation airports (as opposed to commercial airports) where they build and lease hangars, sell and administer aviation fuels, as well as provide jet and piston aircraft maintenance. FlightLevel's most recent addition was the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, now Brunswick Executive Airport. They commenced operations at Brunswick in the Spring of 2011 and, over the course of less than two years, have helped grow traffic at a rate of nearly 60% annually. Peter also owns an aircraft leasing company and does FBO- and airport-related aviation consulting. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 2004 and has a home in West Bath.
Senior Commercial Loan Officer
Charlie Emmons is FAME's Senior Commercial Loan Officer. Charlie moved to Maine in 2002 from Baltimore, MD and joined the FAME staff in October 2003. Charlie is responsible for a designated portfolio of existing and new customers. He works with two loan officers to manage and develop FAME’s relationships with Maine Financial Institutions and other interest groups such as accountants, lawyers, etc. Charlie is instrumental in helping to market FAME within the State of Maine and works as the point person for governmental agencies such as the Department of Agriculture (for which FAME provides loan underwriting and administrative services) and the Department of Economic and Community Development. Charlie works in conjunction with the Manager of Credit to oversee the Business Division of FAME including budgeting and strategic planning. Charlie most enjoys the challenges of helping Maine companies retain and/or create jobs as well as helping ensure the overall sustainability of many Maine companies.
Director of Research and Development
Tex Tech Industries
David F. Erb Jr is currently the Director of Research and Development at Tex Tech Industries Inc. Tex Tech supplies numerous products to the Aviation industry including Thermal and Acoustic insulations, Aircraft Seat Fireblocking, Duct insulations, Carpet underlayment and Burnthrough resistant materials designed to meet stringent new FAA requirements. Mr. Erb served 4 yrs as an aircraft machinist and welder for the US Air Force. He then moved to industry where he specialized in the design and development of equipment used in the production of Advanced Materials. As R&D Director for Tex Tech his focus has included the generation of more than 2 Million dollars of R&D funding through US Government and collaborative university R&D. Mr. Erb holds an MBA and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Technology. Additional work includes an Associate Degree in Metallurgy & Chemistry. He holds 6 US and international Patents in numerous life saving technologies related to aviation.
Hon. Ken Fletcher
Governor’s Energy Office for the State of Maine
Ken Fletcher is Director of the Governor’s Energy office for the State of Maine and a Town Councilor for Winslow, Maine. He also boasts 35 years experience in the Pulp & Paper Industry in various technical and managerial positions, including 25 years with Scott Paper Co. in Winslow and Pulp and Paper Consultant throughout the U.S. Fletcher served four terms in the Maine House of representatives representing district 54 and holds a BS in Forestry and Fifth Year Certificate in Pulp and Paper Management from the University of Maine-Orono.
Tides Institute and Museum of Art
Hugh French is director of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art located in Eastport, Maine. Since its founding in 2002, the institute has worked to develop a series of related alliances, interests and programs to create critical mass, synergy, and connectedness in a rural region and that extends into Canada. This year, the institute's efforts were recognized by a major grant from the nationally based ArtPlace initiative – the first and only grant made by ArtPlace to a Maine institution.
John Gallagher is Director of Maine State Housing Authority. He was appointed by Governor Paul LePage and confirmed by the Maine Legislature in early fall 2012.
Since 1999, Mr. Gallagher served as executive director of Westbrook Housing Authority and president of Westbrook Development Corporation. The two agencies develop and manage affordable and low-income housing in the Westbrook and Greater Portland areas. Before his tenure at Westbrook Housing Authority, Mr. Gallagher served as program manager for the Development Division at MaineHousing. He also has more than 20 years of experience in residential real estate.
Mr. Gallagher is certified and trained in public housing management, multi-family housing development finance, and housing credit underwriting. He’s held seats on the boards of the Maine Association of Public Housing Directors, Residential Initiatives for Maine, the Southern Maine Affordable Rental Housing Coalition, the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, the Northern New England Housing Investment Fund, and Avesta Housing.
He currently is vice president for professional development for the New England Regional Council of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials, and is a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Advisory Council, and the Board of the Genesis Foundation and its investment committee.
Four Directions Development Corporation
Susan Hammond, executive director of Four Directions Development Corporation, is no stranger to travel. As a child she lived in Okinawa, Japan, and Fairbanks, Alaska, where her father was stationed during his Air Force career. Susan also joined the Air Force, and after her military service she returned to her Penobscot parents’ homeland, Indian Island, Maine. She attended the University of Maine in Business Administration and started working for the tribe in the areas of economic development, vocational education, finance, and housing. She co-founded Four Directions, the first Native-governed community development corporation in Northern New England.
Mary Ann Hayes
Maine Rural Partners
Mary Ann has over 30 years of Maine-based experience in community engagement, policy development, advocacy and planning. She was just recognized nationally by Partners for Rural America as the 2012 winner of the Ron Shaffer Award for Collaborative Leadership.
Mary Ann has served as the executive director of Maine Rural Partners, Maine’s federally recognized state rural development council, since 2004. In this capacity she has spearheaded a number of multi-sector collaborations including the Farm Energy Partners network and Realizing Maine’s Worth community investment initiative. Selectively active in the legislative arena, Mary Ann co-led the campaign to enact the state’s innovative Community-Based Renewable Energy Pilot Program in 2009. She currently serves on the Maine Woods Consortium Coordinating Team, Slow Money Maine Steering Committee and co-chairs the Engagement Team of the Maine Food Strategy Initiative for the Muskie School of Public Service.
From 1989-2004, Mary Ann worked directly in the growth management field, as a regional, state and community planner. During her 6 years at the State Planning Office, Mary Ann led regional initiatives, natural resource based industry concerns, land use and transportation linkages and the formation of the Maine Geo-Library. Prior to her work in growth management, Mary Ann worked as a community and citizen action organizer. She founded the Maine People’s Alliance in 1982 and Maine People’s Resource Center in 1984.
Mary Ann has a BA degree in Rural Development from Middlebury College and MA in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine. She is also a graduate of Leadership Maine. She lives with her partner Larry Ward and 160 Holsteins on a 400 acre dairy farm in Thorndike, where she co-led development of a new energy efficient town office heated with wood pellets.
Director Economic & Community Development Office
Town of Skowhegan
Lives in Skowhegan Maine
Projects worked on, Downtown Revitalization, Renaissance Center, Number of Facade Projects, multi Industrial building constructions, New Southgate Industrial park, Housing Rehab. Projects, plus many other projects over the years.
Certified CDBG Program Administrator
Maine Tree Foundation
Sherry Huber is the Executive Director of the Maine TREE Foundation. She worked previously as the Executive Director of the Maine Waste Management Agency and as a consultant to private nonprofit organizations on fundraising and development issues. She served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1976-1982. Sherry is on the boards of the Forest Society of Maine and Maine Conservation Voters, and is a director of the Land Trust Alliance. She serves on the University of Maine School of Law Board of Visitors and the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies Leadership Council. She is a graduate of Smith College.
Graduate Research Fellow, Maine's Sustainability Solutions Institute
University of Maine
Karen is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Communication and Journalism and a Graduate Research Fellow with Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative at the University of Maine. As a member of SSI’s Knowledge-to-Action Collaborative, she is leading a statewide survey of municipal officials to identify the most urgent problems facing Maine communities and to find more effective ways to work together to solve them. Her research is focused on community-university partnerships, engaged research, and public participation in environmental conflicts. Prior to beginning her PhD, Karen worked as an advisor at Plymouth State University in NH and York County Community College in ME.
Economic Development Specialist
Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments (AVCOG)
Dina Jackson has been working in the field of tourism and business development for the past 23 years. During her tenure with the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development, she was responsible for the coordination and management of the State’s $1 million business attraction campaign, the management and promotion of the Maine Products Marketing Program, and the implementation of the State’s tourism marketing programs domestically and abroad.
Dina joined the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments in August of 1999 and is putting her experience to work for the regional planning agency serving the tri-county area of Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties. Specifically, Ms. Jackson is responsible for coordinating the efforts of the Maine’s Lakes and Tourism Council to promote Western Maine as a desirable vacation destination via advertising, media relations, trade show participation and product development. She also provides marketing technical assistance to businesses in the tri-county region and assists area communities with the creation and implementation of their local economic development strategies.
Tim Johnston P.E.
Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer
Mr. Johnston serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Summit Utilities, Inc., the parent company of Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc. Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Johnston was president of TJ Engineering, Inc., which provided contract engineering services to the natural gas industry. Mr. Johnston was with Atmos Energy and the Greeley Gas Company for ten years prior to forming TJ Engineering. Mr. Johnston was the Manager of Engineering for Atmos Energy in Colorado and Kansas and the manager of the engineering department for Greeley Gas which is located in Greeley, Colorado. Prior to joining Greeley Gas, Mr. Johnston was with MAPCO Inc., an oil and gas production company. Mr. Johnston has a Bachelor of Science degree from the Colorado School of Mines and his MBA from CSU and is a registered Professional Engineer in Colorado.
Director of Environmental Sciences
Steve Kahl has been involved in research and policy on lakes for more than 30 years. He is a former staffer in the Department of Environmental Protection Lakes Division, founding director of the UMaine Environmental Chemistry Laboratory and Senator George Mitchell Center, and founding director of the Center for the Environment in the University of New Hampshire System.
His board service includes Friends of Acadia, founding director of the Maine Volunteer Lake Monitoring program, President of the Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Association, and Vice-Chair of the New Hampshire Lakes Association. He was co-founder of PEARL, the on-line lake database that served searchable GIS maps starting in 1997 (now replaced by www.LakesofMaine.org), and co-founder of the Maine Water Conference, now in its 18th year.
Steve’s lake and water quality experience includes appointment to the Great Pond Task Force by Governor McKernan, appointment as co-chair of the Council of Environmental Monitoring and Assessment by Governor King, northeast coordinator of the EPA acid rain lake monitoring program since 1983, and co-founder of the Lake Winnipesaukee Watershed Management Plan (www.winnigateway.org). He is a former LURC commissioner and served as President of the National Institutes of Water Research in Washington DC.
John Karp is interim director of the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, an organization geared toward supporting small- and medium-sized manufacturing businesses. Karp also is CEO of Lewiston-based Bourgeois Guitars, which crafts high-end guitars.
Vice President and Director
Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program
Bruce Katz is a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, which aims to provide decision makers in the public, corporate and civic sectors with policy ideas for improving the health and prosperity of cities and metropolitans areas. Bruce regularly advises federal, state, regional and municipal leaders on policy reforms that advance the competitiveness of metropolitan areas in topics critical to the next economy, including fostering innovation, taking advantage of the clean economy, growing exports, and creating broad-based opportunity. He counsels on shifting demographic and market trends as well as on policies that are critical to metropolitan prosperity and new forms of metropolitan governance. Katz is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School.
Kennebec Land Trust
Theresa Kerchner is the Executive Director of the 800-member Kennebec Land Trust (KLT). KLT conserves land permanently, offers opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy the natural world, and works with partners to support sustainable forestry and farming.
In 2009, KLT and the Maine Forest Service founded the Kennebec Woodland Partnership, which now includes thirteen Partners. KLT’s latest project with the Maine Forest Service is a research paper focused on the potential for developing, encouraging, and supporting markets for local wood in Kennebec County.
Theresa earned a Master's degree in Ecology and Environmental Science from the University of Maine in 2002 where her research focused on land use history.
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Stuart Kestenbaum has been the director of the internationally renowned Haystack Mountain School of Crafts since 1988. He is an honorary fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award from the James Renwick Alliance. He written often and spoken widely about craft and creative process and is the author of three books of poems, most recently Prayers and Run-on Sentences (Deerbrook Editions 2007) and a collection of essays about craft, community and creativity, The View from Here (Brynmorgen Press, 2012).
Androscoggin Land Trust
Jonathan LaBonte earned a full scholarship to the University of Maine in Orono, graduating in 2002 with a B.S. in chemical engineering.
His first position after college was in the Boston area, working as a consulting engineer. Before leaving in the summer of 2004, he had been promoted to rotating management of the Project Services Department for clients with locations within the northeastern United States overseeing 2 – 3 field engineers completing client project review.
In December of 2005, he accepted a role with the Maine Turnpike Authority (MTA) working with appointed and elected government officials regarding public policy and planning, as well as serve liaison to communities along the MTA corridor.
He served briefly in a consulting role by developing an inventory of current joint ventures between the Cities of Lewiston and Auburn, Maine for the Mayor’s Commission on Joint Services through an analysis of benefits received to the Cities through increased quality of life, efficiencies in service delivery and/or additional tax revenues. He compared and contrasted the current structure of regionalized services and Interlocal Agreements in Lewiston and Auburn to propose opportunities for additional partnerships or synergies in existing partnerships, including an assessment of models of regionalization from across the United States for applicability to current systems in place and public opinion in region.
At present, he is the Executive of the Androscoggin Land Trust, a land conservation organization serving 19 towns and cities, spanning all or part of four counties, within the Androscoggin River watershed.
His past community involvement include serving as Chair of the Young Professional of the Lewiston Auburn Area, GrowSmart Maine’s Education Committee, with the Maine Land Trust Network Steering Committee of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Vice President of the Franco-American Heritage Center (Lewiston) – Vice President of Board of Directors, and the Board of Directors of the University of Maine Alumni Association (Orono).
Executive Director, Friends of Midcoast Maine
Heart & Soul Coordinator for Damariscotta, Maine
Jane is the Executive Director of Friends of Midcoast Maine (FMM), a regional smart growth organization working primarily with small towns with populations under 10,000. FMM provides assistance with community building, city and town planning, smart growth and public engagement throughout the Midcoast and Maine, including Damariscotta, Searsmont, Lincolnville, Belfast, Islesboro, Bar Harbor, Thomaston, Boothbay Harbor, Newcastle, Camden, Rockland and Rockport, Maine. She has served as a speaker at the American Planning Association, the Maine Association of Planners, the Northern New England Chapter of APA and the Southern New England Chapter of APA, New Partners for Smart Growth, The Juice Conference and Community Matters 2010, to name a few.
In 2008, Jane and FMM partnered with the Town of Damariscotta, Maine and the Orton Family Foundation in a Heart & Soul Community Planning project. Jane worked as project coordinator from the values based visioning to the implementation of multiple community building strategies including development of a community directed form based code, using innovative public engagement tools. Jane has been a City Planner since 1981, working for cities and towns in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. She received her Masters’ Degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University.
Amber Lambke is the president of the Somerset Grist Mill, LLC, executive director of the Maine Grain Alliance, host of the annual KNEADING Conference, board member of Main Street Skowhegan and the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, an avid supporter of the Skowhegan Farmer’s Market, a mom, wife, potter, former speech-language pathologist, home baker and gardener.
Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority
Steven Levesque possesses over 32 years of experience in land use planning, community and economic development, environmental services and business management in both the private and public sectors.
Mr. Levesque is the Executive Director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority which is charged with the responsibility to redevelop the former Naval Air Station Brunswick (NASB), which was closed in 2011. He was previously the Executive Director of the Brunswick Local Redevelopment Authority, where he was charged with overseeing the successful completion of the reuse master plan for NASB.
Prior to his current engagement in 2006, Mr. Levesque was President of SHL Enterprise Solutions, a management consulting firm based in Hallowell, Maine, focusing on resource management and development strategies for business and governmental organizations throughout the U.S.
From 1998 through 2003, Mr. Levesque served as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, where he implemented the King Administration’s economic development program. In this cabinet post, he oversaw the business development, community development, tourism, technology commercialization and trade initiatives of the State of Maine.
During his public sector career, Mr. Levesque also has served in the capacities of Director of Business Development for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, Director of Development for the City of Lewiston, Maine, and as Chief Planner for the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission. In his private sector career, Mr. Levesque has worked for and owned several environmental management and community and economic development consulting firms.
Mr. Levesque holds a BA in Political Science and an MS in Environmental Studies (concentration in Urban and Regional Planning) both from California State University, Fullerton.
Mr. Levesque is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps.
Port Clyde Fresh Catch
Glen Libby is a second-generation fisherman from Port Clyde, Maine who is currently Chairman of the Midcoast Fishermen’s Association and President of the Midcoast Fishermen’s Cooperative, which started the nation’s first community-supported fishery, Port Clyde Fresh Catch. He also serves on the Maine Marine Resources Advisory Council.
Maine Summer Camps
After spending nearly every summer from 1974-1989 at Camp Winnebago in Fayette, Andy left Winnebago for other pastures. In the years that followed, Andy worked for Outward Bound, served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, obtained his masters in International Development, and subsequently focused on sustainable development projects in Central America, the Caribbean and domestically as an AmeriCorps staff member. In September 2000, he returned to Winnebago and after three years of transitioning with his father Phil, Andy became the Director in 2003.
Among other volunteer positions, Andy has chaired a national committee for the American Camping Association (ACA), served as an elected board member to both the Association of Independent Camps (AIC) and Maine Summer Camps, of which he is currently President-Elect.
Phil Lindley is currently the Executive Director of the ConnectME Authority, an independent state agency. He began that position January 2008, with the tasks of continuing and enhancing the operation of the Authority and managing the grant funding process.
Phil was previously a Utilities Analyst in the Finance Division of the Maine Public Utilities Commission for fifteen years. And before that an analyst at the Washington State Utilities Commission. Having met his future wife (from the Maine PUC) in Lansing Michigan, he moved to Maine in 1993. With two golden retrievers (Pete and Huck), all now live in Hallowell, Maine – with broadband.
Phil holds undergraduate degrees in Economics and Anthropology and a Master's Degree in Business Administration.
Maine Land Use Planning Commission
Prior to being appointed director of the LUPC in August, Livesay was an attorney with Pierce Atwood LLP of Portland, practicing as a member of the firm’s Environmental and Land Use Practice Group. In that capacity, he has worked extensively on permitting, rule making, project development, conservation and environmental matters, with clients ranging from small and large landowners, value-added processors, energy suppliers and conservation groups.
Livesay worked previously as an environmental specialist with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and as a research analyst with the environmental consulting firm, Industrial Economics Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.
He holds a Doctor of Law degree from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Bowdoin College.
Vice President and Director
Conservation Law Foundation
Sean Mahoney is Vice President and Director of CLF’s Maine Advocacy Center. Prior to joining CLF in 2007, Sean practiced environmental law in San Francisco and Portland, ME for 15 years, where he represented a variety of commercial and non-governmental entities in all aspects of state and federal environmental litigation and permitting.
At CLF, Mahoney focuses on marine conservation and sustainability, climate change and restoring and protecting Maine’s rivers and coastal watersheds.
Mahoney, a resident of Falmouth, received his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College. He was a Judicial Law Clerk for the Honorable Fred I. Parker, U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont and served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sri Lanka. Mahoney has been recognized as a leading lawyer in his field by a number of organizations, including the respected legal research and publishing firm, Chamber & Partners. He has served on a number of boards, including GrowSmart Maine (chair), Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Konbit Sante and the Falmouth Land Trust.
Economic Development Director
City of Brewer
D’arcy Main-Boyington joined the City of Brewer in 2004 as Deputy Director of Economic Development. She was promoted to Economic Development Director in 2006, and leads the City’s efforts to attract, retain, and grow its business base. Prior to joining the City staff, D’arcy was a Business Development Specialist for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, responsible for covering six counties in Eastern Maine.
Her recent career highlights include a 2009 award, in which D’arcy led the team that won the Environmental Protection Agency’s acclaimed Phoenix Award for the Brewer’s Eastern Fine Paper/Cianbro redevelopment project. In 2006, she was chosen as one of the “Ten People Shaping the Future of Maine’s Economy,” on MaineBiz magazine’s NEXT list.
She is a member of several key professional organizations, including Economic Development Council of Maine, Business Retention and Expansion International, Bangor Regional Development Alliance, and Northeast Developers Association. She also serves on numerous boards and committees.
A Maine native, D’arcy graduated from the University of Maine with highest distinction in her field of International Affairs, and spent a year abroad in Montreal at McGill University. She completed a Master’s degree in International Political and Economic Development at Fordham University in New York City, where she was awarded the Matteo Ricci Award for academic excellence.
Chair of the Damariscotta Planning Advisory Committee
Robin served as a member (2008-09) and chair (2009-11) of the Damariscotta Planning Advisory Committee a committee of the Town of Damariscotta, a committee to lead a community-driven visioning process. She served on Damariscotta’s Comprehensive Plan Update Steering Committee until she was elected as Selectman in June 2012. Robin is the principal at Mayer & Associates, specializing in strategic communications and public relations, and is a contributor to the Lincoln County News and Coastal Journal newspapers. Prior to moving to Maine in 2006, Robin served as the Director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Consumer Information Division, where she was responsible for the overseeing the development of the agency's marketing and communications programs, including Click It or Ticket, and Drunk Driving. Over the Limit. Under Arrest. She retains her interest in traffic safety, serving as a member of the International Road Federation's Driver Behavior, Education and Training Committee.
PE, AICP, Vice President
Smart Growth America
Roger Millar is a Vice President of Smart Growth America, Director of the Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute, which provides technical assistance programs for state and local government, and Director of the National Complete Streets Coalition. He has held leadership positions in the public and private sectors, most recently as Director of the Missoula, Montana Office of Planning and Grants. Projects in which Roger played a leadership role, particularly the development of Portland, Oregon’s Pearl District and the Portland Streetcar, are seen as national models. He has also managed or participated in signature projects for rural, resort and gateway communities throughout the American West.
Roger is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and a Certified Floodplain Manager. He is a member of the ASCE Committee for America’s Infrastructure, which produces the Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. He is also Past President of the Oregon Section of ASCE and of the Montana Association of Planners. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1982.
Sen. Peter Mills
Maine State Senator
Peter Mills was born in Farmington in 1943 and grew up in Maine. After graduating from Harvard College in 1965, he served five years on Navy destroyers with several duty tours to the Vietnam gun line for which he was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal. He later conducted intelligence missions against the Soviets for which he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal.
Since graduating with honors from Maine Law School in 1973, he has devoted 32 years to resolving legal problems for Maine people. For 23 years, he has owned Wright & Mills in Skowhegan. He is a founding member of the Somerset Economic Development Corporation and a founding member of FirstPark, a successful business enterprise that is bringing over 700 jobs to central Maine.
During 16 years in the Legislature, he has served as a Republican lead on Tax, Labor, Judiciary and Appropriations Committees. He is outspoken in advocating for sensible change in tax and school funding systems. He has worked with both parties to pass significant reforms in health care and education. Republicans and Democrats know him as a coalition builder with practical and independent views and a business-like approach to state finances.
Economic Development Director
City of Portland
Greg Mitchell has more than twenty years of experience working with municipalities and businesses to support community economic growth. Most recently, he served as Economic Development Consultant at Eaton Peabody Consulting Group. While with Eaton Peabody, he forged public-private partnerships associated with downtown mill redevelopment projects in Augusta, Biddeford and Waterville, business park projects, large scale wind farm projects and served on a consultant team to prepare the Brunswick Naval Air Station Base Reuse Master Plan.
Prior to joining Eaton Peabody, Mitchell served as Assistant City Administrator for Economic Development, for the City of Lewiston and as the Executive Director of the Mid-Coast Council for Business Development in Brunswick. During his tenure, he is credited with attracting the Wal-Mart Grocery Distribution Center to Lewiston, Lewiston’s Southern Gateway development project which includes Oxford Network’s headquarters and the Bates Mill redevelopment project which is the centerpiece of the city’s downtown revitalization.
Mitchell earned his Bachelors in Business Administration from Norwich University and Bachelors of Arts in economics from the Florida Atlantic University as well as completed course work for a Master of Arts in economics from the same university. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Economic Development Council of Maine and the Maine Real Estate and Development Association.
Maine Forest Service
Morten Moesswilde is Maine Forest Service District Forester for the Midcoast District, including Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, and Kennebec counties. As District Forester he provides forest management and conservation information and assistance to a wide audience, including landowners, loggers, foresters, municipalities, non-profits, schools, and others interested in the diverse forests of Maine’s midcoast. He has worked for Maine Forest Service since 1999, previously serving Landowner Outreach Forester and Water Resources Forester. Morten is Maine Licensed Forester #3230. His background includes several years as a consulting forester in the Midcoast, as well as work with the US Forest Service, Cooperative Extension, and in environmental and outdoor education. He holds a Master’s degree in Forestry from the University of Maine, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Williams College. He also studied forestry for two years in Freiburg, Germany. He lives in Belfast with his family.
Senior Vice President
Bangor Savings Bank
John A. Moore, Senior Vice President, Bangor Savings Bank. Since 1989 he has served in various positions including: Community Development Banking, CRA Officer, Marketing Director, Retail and Mortgage Lending Manager.
He holds an Ed. M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from LaSalle University in History.
He serves as the primary institutional liaison for outreach and delivery of community development lending, investment, and service with non-profit organizations and governmental agencies particularly those engaged in affordable housing and economic development activities in Maine. He also coordinates the Bank’s public sector lending and tax exempt bond financing program as well as leading the Bank’s Community Reinvestment Act compliance program.
Bangor Savings Bank, a mutual savings bank founded in 1852, is Maine’s largest locally owned and managed community bank with more than $2.5 billion in assets and operates from 56 branch locations statewide and on the web at www.bangor.com. In its three most recent FDIC Community Reinvestment Act Public Performance Evaluations, the Bank received the highest possible “Outstanding” rating.
With 25 years of experience in communications, including public outreach, facilitation and media relations, Carol Morris heads up Morris Communications, a firm that specializes in bringing a clear message to diverse audiences and managing the inevitable conflict around change. The company’s strength is in building strategic outcomes, connecting with a wide range of people, and translating technical language into messages easily understood by stakeholders. Morris provides a well-developed communications strategy, expert meeting facilitation and outreach and an experienced media interface. The firm also provides the tools that are integral to a good communications program: web site, Internet and social media communications, easy staff access and clearly written collateral materials.
Morris has an extensive background in regional and local transportation projects: bridge, roadway, rail, aviation and multimodal. Over the past ten years she has managed public outreach and communications for a variety of projects – include the EPA award winning Gateway 1, the Gorham East-West Corridor Study, and now Sustain Southern Maine – where all forms of mobility and quality of life issues were key concerns for the community.
James F. Nimon
Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council
Jim Nimon is the Executive Director of the Sanford Regional Economic Growth Council (SREGC). He assumed the young organization’s leadership position in March 2011. As Executive Director, Jim works with a seven-member board of directors and staff to improve the regional economy by helping existing companies grow and improving attraction efforts so new companies will set up shop in Sanford. For more information on SREGC plans and activities please visit www.sanfordgrowth.com. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Nimon served as the Governor’s senior economic policy advisor handling all economic development issues ranging from the redevelopment of the Brunswick Naval Air Station to the operation of the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Mr. Nimon has also held senior-level posts in the last four administrations, including: program director/loan officer with the Finance Authority of Maine; workforce development director with the Maine Department of Labor; and business development/tax incentive director at DECD. These experiences have kept Mr. Nimon successfully engaged over the past thirty years with hundreds of companies and communities as they addressed economic development, workforce development, business finance and tax incentive matters. Mr. Nimon is a graduate of the University of Maine with a degree in political science and resides in Springvale.
Frank O'Hara specializes in strategic planning, community and economic development, labor policy, and public communication. Frank has worked as a planner and policy advisor at the local, regional and state levels. He was a speechwriter and special assistant for the Governor of Maine and has written an award-winning biweekly column for the Maine Times. Frank is a faculty member at the Muskie School of Public Policy at the University of Southern Maine and has published dozens of handbooks, studies, pamphlets, and strategic plans.
In his role as Executive Director, Mark Ouellette facilitates regional activities to create economic strategies and opportunities that move regions forward. Before this he was the Director of the Office of Business Development for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, and in another life he was the Chief of Staff for Congressman Tom Allen.
Community and Business Development Specialist
Greater Portland Council of Governments
As business development specialist for the Greater Portland Council of Governments, Caroline serves as the agency’s point person for business and economic development in the Greater Portland area, helping businesses and municipalities access State and Federal resources for business retention and expansion.
As a community development specialist, Caroline also works with municipalities in Cumberland County to develop strategies addressing local and regional needs, including research and analysis, plan and policy development, public outreach, grant applications, and other services. Prior to joining GPCOG, Caroline was a planner with the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, where she specialized in downtown revitalization, business retention and expansion, comprehensive planning, tourism development, and bicycle/pedestrian planning. Prior to becoming a planner, Caroline worked as an educational consultant, cultivating her skills in grant writing, policy development, partnership building, training and facilitation.
Caroline graduated with honors from the University of California, San Diego with degrees in Political Science and Communication. She has also completed graduate coursework in Community Planning and Development at the University of Southern Maine’s Muskie School of Public Service. In addition, she has served on the boards of the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, Greater Portland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Threshold to Maine Resource Conservation and Development District, LA Trails, and Gray Planning Board.
Chief Operating Officer
From world class skateboarder to a leading area businessperson, this 33 year old is bent upon reviving the grandeur of downtown Augusta, one building at a time. Tobias earned his BA at the University of Hartford, and for 10 years has traveled the world as a professional skateboarder. He currently serves as Chief Operating Officer at Oakes & Parkhurst Glass. Since returning to Maine in 2009 he has bought and refurbished two Water St. historical buildings and enticed others to invest in the area, spurring a renewed interest in downtown Augusta. He received the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce's Young Professional Award in 2011 for his efforts. Tobias, who designed and championed the drive for a major skatepark in Augusta, credits business and city leaders with helping him bring exciting new residential and retail life to an architecturally beautiful historic Capital downtown. Tobias is also a United Way volunteer, a Rotarian, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Bath Youth Meetinghouse and the Augusta Boys and Girls Club.
Greg Paxton joined Maine Preservation in 2008. He serves on the Maine Downtown Center Advisory Council and served in 2011 on the Community for Maine’s Future funding panel allocating state downtown revitalization bonds. He was formerly on the Board of Directors of CEI Capital Management LLC. Greg was a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and founding chair of its affiliate, Statewide and Local Partners. He is past chair of the Board of the national lobbying organization Preservation Action. He was CEO of The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation from 1981 – 2008, Preservation Administrator for Historic Charleston Foundation from 1977 – 1981 and site manager at the Revolutionary War fort Mount Independence in Orwell, Vermont from 1973-1976. He is a graduate of Williams College in Massachusetts with a MA in historic preservation from the University of Vermont. He is married to Dr. Lynne Werner, whose family is from Saco, and has a seventeen-year-old son, Burke.
Director of Economic & Workforce Development
Northern Maine Development Corporation
Director of Economic & Workforce Development at Northern Maine Development Commission
Town Manager at Town of St. Agatha
Hon. John F. Piotti
is a self-described "community junkie". He chairs the Planning Board and Comprehensive Plan Committee in Unity. He also serves as volunteer Executive Director of Unity Barn Raisers, a local community improvement organization that won the 2003 Noyce Award for Non-Profit Excellence. John is the Executive Director of Maine Farmland Trust. Prior to that, John served as Director of the Maine Farms Project, a program of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a statewide community development corporation with a national reputation for innovation and effectiveness. John is also a state legislator representing eight towns in western Waldo County. John has served in leadership positions on numerous boards, including time spent as President of the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments and Chair of RTAC 4. He holds three degrees from M.I.T., in engineering, public policy, and management.
Heart of Biddeford
Delilah has served as the executive director of the Heart of Biddeford since March of 2011. With a B.A. from Middlebury College and a Master of Arts from the University of Vermont in Higher Education Administration, Delilah worked for 14 years in the college and university setting, focusing on community building and equity. After this, Delilah consulted with non-profits and educational institutions on strategic planning and organizational change. She also teaches songwriting classes and is a performing singer/songwriter and mother. Heart of Biddeford was proud to receive the Outstanding Main Street of the Year from the Maine Downtown Center in 2012.
Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority
As executive director of NNEPRA, Quinn is a widely recognized expert on developing passenger trains in rural markets. Despite coming into this business with zero industry experience, Quinn has made a profound, lasting impact on Maine's transportation infrastructure and economy.
Quinn grew up in Norwich, Conn., and graduated from Eastern Connecticut State University, then worked in the hotel business for seven years, eventually becoming general manager for the DoubleTree hotel in Portland.
Sen. Chris Rector
State Senator, Senate District 22
Chris Rector is serving his second term in the Maine Senate, having served three terms in the House of Representatives. He serves as Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development, and also serves on the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology. He is also a member of the Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Reform and the Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform convened in 2011. He serves on the Community Preservation Advisory Committee and the Maine Economic Growth Council. He helped to develop the Midcoast Leadership Academy which is currently offering a class in leadership development. He was appointed to and has served on the Joint Select Committee on Research, Development and the Innovation Economy in the summer of 2006 the Joint Select Committee on Prosperity in the summer of 2007, and the Joint Select Committee on Maine's Energy Future in the winter of 2009.
Associate Research Professor
Muskie School of Public Service
Evan Richert is associate research professor in the Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine. In this capacity he directs the Gulf of Maine Program of the Census of Marine Life, teaches graduate courses in land use planning, and is a consultant to state and local governments. From 1995 to 2002, Evan served as Director of the Maine State Planning Office under Governor Angus S. King. Evan also chaired the cabinet-level Land and Water Resources Council, the Land for Maine's Future Board, and represented Maine on the international Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment, which he chaired for two years. Prior to his appointment to the State Planning Office, Evan was co-owner and president of Market Decisions, Inc., a planning consulting firm, and was Planning Director for the City of South Portland, Maine. He is the founding president of the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System and is on the boards of directors of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the New England Forestry Foundation, and GrowSmart Maine. Evan has a Master of Regional Planning degree from Syracuse University and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Town of Topsham
Rich is a 1984 graduate of the University of New Hampshire, with a BS in Community Development. Rich has also completed the course of study for an MS in Public Policy and Management from the USM Muskie School. Professionally, Rich has worked as a Planner in Maine since 1988, with 12 years in Saco and the last ten years in Topsham. These two planning positions were separated by two-years as Town Manager for Frye Island. Prior to moving to Maine, Rich spent two years serving as a Senior Environmental Planner for a County Planning agency in New Jersey.
In addition to his duties as Planning Director in Topsham, Rich served as the Base Redevelopment Manager for the Topsham Annex from April of 2006 until December 2007.
Associate State Director
The Nature Conservancy in Maine
Tom has been with The Nature Conservancy since 1995, working progressively in land management, land conservation, and now as Associate State Director. He participated in the recent LURC Reform Commission that resulted in revisions to the enabling statutes to increase regional participation in land use planning, while retaining the statewide focus of the new Land Use Planning Commission. He was a founding board member of Grow Smart Maine, served on the Freeport Town Council, and for many years on the Freeport Planning Board. A licensed Maine forester, he began his career with the Maine Forest Service (nine years), then worked for seven years in the organics recycling industry, before joining The Nature Conservancy.
Tom was born and raised in the city of Burlington on the Mississippi River in southeastern Iowa. The youngest of ten children, he had no shortage of playmates growing up. He attended Beloit College for three years, before moving to New England where he later completed his undergraduate degree in Forestry at the University of Massachusetts, followed by a Masters in Forestry at Yale. He lives in Brunswick.
Founder and Executive Director
Community Financial Literacy
Claude Rwaganje, Founder and Executive Director of Community Financial literacy was born in the Democratic Rep of the Congo. He became a refugee in Central Africa in the early 1990s.
Prior to coming to the United States he worked with The United Nations as an employee of World Food Program and was for many years an activist fighting for human right of Congolese Citizens.
He formed Community Financial Literacy (CFL) late 2008 with the mission to enhance the lives of refugee and new immigrant communities in Maine by teaching them financial literacy skills for a better future.
He was motivated to start CFL because he saw that refugee and new immigrant communities were being taken advantage off by predatory lenders and other sales people because these new comers don’t know the basics of the American financial system. Some came from countries where the financial institutions were not functioning or even nonexistent. Some refugees still have the same bad image of a bank or other financial institution and have decided not to even open a bank account and prefer to keep their money in their homes.
Assistant Community Planner / Project Coordinator
City of Gardiner
Jarita is the Assistant Community Planner and Orton Family Foundation Heart & Soul Project Coordinator. Ms. Sadler has Masters degrees from UMass Amherst in both Regional Planning and Landscape Architecture, and has experience as an AmeriCorps coordinator and working with middle-school age students in South Korea. Ms. Sadler joined Gardiner with high recommendations from peers, and has worked as a research assistant and land planning and design intern. She also has experience with environmental modeling, GIS and mapping, and has a wealth of other valuable skills.
Southern Maine Regional Planning Commission
Paul Schumacher has been the Executive Director at SMRPC since 1996. Prior to that he worked as a Town Planner in several southern Maine towns and also at a consulting firm on Cape Cod. Paul has a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's Degree in Urban/Environmental Policy from Tufts University. His professional interests revolve around creating healthy communities and including all relevant interest groups from social service organizations to economic developers to environmentalists in the discussion of what that community should be.
Lynne Seeley is a land use planner with experience in community land use planning, environmental assessment of transportation projects, and public participation. Lynne graduated from Colby College with a B.A. in Human Development, and then got her M.A. in Urban and Environmental Policy at Tufts University. She has worked as a land use planning consultant since 1984, first in Boston, and then in Maine, where she opened and ran an office for the Boston consulting firm, Wallace, Floyd, Associates. She has provided land use consulting services for the engineering firm, Sebago Technics. She is currently providing project management services on a project for GrowSmart Maine. In addition to her consulting work she served on the MDOT's Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (RTAC) for the Portland area for 6 years; she chaired the committee in 1995. She also served on MDOT's Sensible Transportation Policy Act Study Committee. Lynne has served on the boards of GrowSmart Maine, Maine Audubon, and Maine Philanthropy Center. She is currently on the boards of the Maine Association of Planners and Maine Conservation Alliance.
Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative
Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative helps nonprofits with a wide variety of missions collaborate on projects in order to decrease competition for resources and increase efficiency and effectiveness of programs. Prior to this, Jessie was Program Coordinator at the Androscoggin River Watershed Council and Tour Coordinator at the Northern Forest Center. Ms Perkins holds a BA from Dartmouth College.
Landowner Outreach Forester
Maine Forest Service
Mr. Shultz graduated University of Maine, Orono, in 1976, with an Associate Degree in Forest Management. First job out of college was lumber grader in a small sawmill. Soon after that began a twenty-five year career with International Paper Company, marking timber and working with logging contractors to manage company lands in Maine and the Adirondacks; served as field contact for wood procurement across central Maine; delivered on-the-ground assistance to family woodland owners through IP’s Landowner Assistance Program. Next worked as self-employed consultant, working with family woodland owners and harvesting companies on small non-industrial lands in Central/Southern Maine. Other activities included performing field verifications for the Master Logger Certification program and developing and presenting workshops on Best Management Practices for water quality, aesthetics, and harvest planning for the Maine State Implementation Committee of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. In April 2007 joined the Maine Forest Service as Landowner Outreach Forester, where I assist woodland owners with forestry questions ranging from boundary lines to Tree Growth Tax Law to how to get started managing a woodlot. I also administer the WoodsWISE Incentives program, which provides cost-share assistance to woodland owners for working with licensed foresters to develop forest management plans.
Linda Silka, PhD, directs the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and is a professor in the School of Economics. Prior to moving to the University of Maine, Dr. Silka was a faculty member for three decades at the University of Massachusetts Lowell where she directed the Center for Family, Work, Community and served as the Special Assistant to the UML Provost for Community Outreach and Partnerships. A social and community psychologist by training, much of her work has focused on building community-university research partnerships. Recent partnerships she has facilitated include the NIEHS-funded Southeast Asian Environmental Justice Partnership and the New Ventures Partnership, the HUD-funded Community Outreach Partnership Center and Diverse Healthy Homes Initiative, and the Center for Immigrant and Refugee Community Leadership and Empowerment. She has been principal investigator on over $16 million of federal grants from the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Education. Silka has written extensively on the challenges and opportunities of building research partnerships with diverse groups and has consulted internationally on how to build community-university research partnerships.
City of Eastport
Jon Southern earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from colleges in England and majored in management and technology.
He has been a reserve police officer for Pleasant Point and Machias, and managed a technology call center in Machias.
Senior Program Manager at Occam Solutions
Program Manager at Superlative Technologies Inc.
Community & Health Planner at Pleasant Point Passamaquoddy Tribal Government
Chief Executive Officer
CEI Capital Management LLC
In the past, Mr. Spies has served as COO of the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System, and CEO of the Finance Authority of Maine. He holds a BS, an MS, and a MBA in Forestry and Business from UMaine and the Univ. Southern NH.
Coastal Community Development Extension Associate
Natalie Springuel is a marine extension associate with Maine Sea Grant based at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor. Maine Sea Grant is a U.Maine – NOAA partnership that works with communities to foster the sustainable use of our ocean and coastal resources through outreach, education and research. Natalie's programs address working waterfronts and coastal access, maritime heritage, and sustainable tourism planning, She is the coordinator of the Downeast Fisheries Trail, a founder of the National Working Waterfront Network, and has been active with Maine's Working Waterfront coalition since its inception.
Maine Forest Products Council
Patrick Strauch received his BS degree in Forest management and his MS in Silviculture from the University of Maine. He began his career as a forester for St. Regis Paper Co. and U.S. Gypsum Company in Maine. In the 90’s Patrick migrated from the woods to the recycling industry where he eventually became the vice president and director of a regional recycling organization.
In 2001, he returned to the forest industry as the Director of the Maine Sustainable Forestry Initiative.
In January of 2004 Patrick became the Executive Director of the Maine Forest Products Council representing over 400 members and advocating for issues relating to the working forests of Maine.
President and CEO
Dana Totman is President and CEO of Avesta Housing, was the Deputy Director of Maine State Housing from 1994 to 2000, and was Executive Director of the Coastal Economic Development Corporation from 1984 to 1994. Mr. Totman has a BA in Public Management from the University of Maine and an MBA from Southern New Hampshire University. His current and past community service includes Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Board (Vice Chair), Brunswick Planning Board, Federal HomeLoan Bank Advisory Council, Maine Real Estate and Development Association (Board Vice President), Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (Chairman), Interagency Task Force on Homelessness (Chairman), Northern New England Housing Investment Fund (Board), Midcoast Geriatrics Corporation (Board Chair), Bath Chamber of Commerce (Board Chair), Maine Community Action Association (President), Maine Association of Realtors Foundation (Board), Tedford Shelter (Board Treasurer), and Midcoast Health Services (Board).
Assistant Vice President for Research, Economic Development, and Governmental Relations
University of Maine
Jake actively supports economic development projects at the University of Maine and in partnerships with many state and non-profit programs. Originally from Saco, Maine, he holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Ocean Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. Prior to his current position at the University of Maine, Jake worked at the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and in private industry both in software and manufacturing.
Maine Public Utilities Commission
Tom Welch was appointed to the Maine Public Utilities Commission as Chair in April 2011. He had previously served as Chair of the Commission from 1993-2005. Between his Commission appointments, Commissioner Welch worked for PJM Interconnection, a Pennsylvania-based Regional Transmission Organization, and for five years was an attorney at Pierce Atwood, LLP, in Portland, Maine, specializing in energy and utility law. Before moving to Maine in 1993, he served as Chief Deputy Attorney General for Antitrust in the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, in-house counsel for Bell Atlantic, and Assistant Professor at Villanova University School of Law. Commissioner Welch graduated from Stanford University in 1972 and received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1975. His term on the Commission expires March 2017.
Sutherland Weston Marketing & Communications
Cary is Bangor born and raised, graduated from Bangor High School in 1990 and received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from the University of Maine in 1994. Cary is active with a number of community boards and organizations and currently serves as Mayor of Bangor as Chair of the Bangor City Council.
Cary is the founding chair of Fusion:Bangor , an organization born to empower young professionals to have a voice and make an impact in community affairs. He is a 2004 graduate of the Bangor Region Leadership Institute.
Over the past 10 years, Cary has worked with hundreds of local businesses, non-profits and community organizations helping to shape the focus of their branding and marketing strategy.
Cumberland County Assistant Manager
Bill Whitten has been the Assistant County Manager for Cumberland Government for the past eight years. In his position, he is responsible for lobbying for the county and the region, in Augusta and Washington, assists with the annual budget, is responsible for county PR and information, and assists with the management of the county’s 400 plus employees. Prior to joining “the County, Bill was with several radio and television stations around the state of Maine, as manager and sales manager. He is a part time martial arts instructor for fun.
Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce
Recently, Robin has been a member of Keeping Maine's Forests Implementation Committee – A network of businesses and organizations who are interested in developing new partnerships to ensure the continued health of Maine's forests and the Maine forest products economy. She has also served on the Quality of Place Council and the Maine Tourism Commission.