GrowSmart Maine Expands Staff With Two New Hires

For immediate release: January 10, 2024

GrowSmart Maine expands staff with two new hires

GrowSmart Maine, a nonprofit helping Maine communities navigate change in alignment with smart growth, announces the addition of two new members to its team, Joe Oliva, Outreach & Communications Director, and Dayea Shim, Program Coordinator.

Learn more about us

OUTREACH AND COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Joe Oliva joined GrowSmart in January 2024, moving from the Maine Broadband Coalition. He is originally from Yarmouth, Maine and now lives in Portland. In 2019, he graduated from Colby College with a Bachelor’s degree in Government. In addition to his recent experience with leading outreach at the Maine Broadband Coalition, Joe has spent time behind a deli counter, pouring beers at a brewery, volunteering with the Resilience Corps and organizing on a political campaign.

Joe’s role at the Maine Broadband Coalition (MBC) encompassed a variety of different initiatives, but at the core of his work was creating and maintaining a set of communications and outreach channels that MBC membership could use to stay up to date, learn more about broadband writ large, and become confident advocates for the communities they call home. 

In joining GrowSmart Maine as Outreach & Communication Director, Oliva will continue that work, albeit with a new mission and the principles of smart growth in mind. Along with being responsible for GrowSmart’s website, social media, and newsletters, he will work with the board and staff to create impactful events, and manage advocacy outreach with the goal of carrying the organization’s programming to a growing audience.

PROGRAM COORDINATOR: Dayea Shim joined GrowSmart in January 2024 as a part-time Program Coordinator. In her role, Dayea provides technical assistance related to land use and development, engages stakeholders and the community, and supports workshops, meetings, and events. She focuses on key programs such as the Community Resilience Partnership, Housing Opportunity Program, Building Community Strength, and initiatives related to saving farmland and building local food systems.

Dayea holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, complemented by a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and Psychology. Bringing her expertise in land use planning and community engagement, Dayea has been actively involved in connecting with diverse community members on planning issues since she relocated to Maine in 2023. She will be a resident of Bangor.

Dayea also contributes to the American Planning Association Northern New England Chapter as a Professional Development Officer. Additionally, she dedicates her time to volunteering at the American Red Cross Northern New England Region.

Nancy Smith, Chief Executive Officer, is thrilled with this expansion of GrowSmart’s team. Smith says, “For GrowSmart Maine, adding Joe and Dayea to our team means we have greater capacity and a broader set of perspectives to inform our statewide work. I’m excited to see them dig into their roles, already seeing their enthusiasm and commitment.”

Oliva and Shim join Harald Bredesen, Program Director for Planning for Ag; Hildie Lipson, Program Director for Kennebec Broadband Partnership; and Amanda Vermillion, Development and Operations Associate.