50 Mainers Boldly Leading Our State
Maine gives a lot. The shifting seasons give writers inspiration and artists changing scenes. The expansive wilderness and preserved coastline provide companies resources and researchers discoveries. The entrepreneurial culture gives business owners courage for innovation and teachers and students a different approach to education. These 50 Mainers philanthropists and visionaries are giving back. This group of doctors, teachers, business leaders, and artists wake up every day and volunteer, create, innovate, and work towards a great Maine.
Dr. Jim Dlugos
President of Saint Josephs College
Dr. Jim Dlugos is the president of Saint Josephs College in Standish. In his time as president, Dlugos has passed a strategic plan called Sustaining the Promise. In the plan are goals to propel the college forward, but also to look at the campus and the education system in a new wayincluding seeking new, business opportunities that promote intergenerational learning. This year the college will begin a campus-wide expansion plan, which includes renovation of a 150-year-old stone barn to create space for weddings and conferences. This project has inspired a new hospitality program as well as a culture of entrepreneurship at the school. Dlugos believes the higher education world is currently focused on lowering costs and also on technology. While these are all important issues and need to be discussed, the most fundamental change is much more basicwe need to transition higher education from being institutionally focused to being person- and learner-centered. Dlugos sees St. Josephs as being a school for lifelong learning. The curriculum incorporates courses for undergraduates, graduate students, online and continuing education, as well as summer sessions. Dlugos currently serves as the chair of the Presidents Council of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference and is a member of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations.
Architect at Platz Associates
Gabrielle Russell, an architect with Platz Associates, saw great potential in some of Lewiston-Auburns run- down buildings. Her visions may have come in part from being an architect, and in part from her love of her hometown. After college, Russell moved
back to the Lewiston- Auburn area, where she became outspoken about the need to revitalize the community. My perception of Lewiston-Auburns urban development was that it seemed to lack honor and respect for history, aesthetics, the environment, and the hard work it took to build these beautiful cities. She addressed the concern by speaking up at city council meetings. With the pending demolition of Bates Mill No. 5, she stepped up. In 2012 Russell, along with community members, founded Grow L+A, a nonprofit formed to pursue a plan for Bates Mill No. 5. The group succeeded, and the building will be redeveloped as a result of a grassroots initiative. Right now there are plans for a medically integrated aquatic and fitness center, a co-op style grocery store and emporium of local food, and community space. In 2014, Bates Mill No. 5 received a 100 Year Award for Design Excellence from AIA Maine.
Vice President of Development, in North America for SunEdison
Matt Kearns believes Maine has a lot of clean energy potential, but he also sees the importance of protecting the states striking landscape. Kearns is the vice president of development in North America for SunEdison and former vice president of business development for First Wind in Portland. As a society we are coming to grips with the fact that we have to take responsibility for how our energy is produced, says Kearns. In addition to the health and environmental reasons to build wind projects, the lasting economic benefits to Maine are enormous. Kearnss company is on its seventh wind project in Maine and will have invested around $1.3 billion in the state. One project is the wind farm on Mars Hill, which produces up to 42 megawatts of powerenough to power 20,000 homes in Maine. SunEdison estimates the hill results in a reduction of approximately 65,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Kearns also worked with the Appalachian Mountain Club to create a $700,000 conservation fund, which was used in part to complete the Crocker Mountain and Orbeton Stream conservation projects while leaving a $550,000 fund available for seed money to purchase additional conservation lands. Kearns assisted with the capital campaign and annual auctions for Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and he is involved with the Maine Audubon Corporate Partners program, which makes nature more accessible for a lot of people and plays an important role in education and advocacy.
State Director of International Trade and President of the Maine International Trade Center
?Janine Bisaillon-Cary has always been passionate about foreign language, business, and travel, but didnt know how they would fit together in a career. While studying in Paris, she toured the economic department of the United States Embassy and had an aha moment. Bisaillon-Cary went on to work for an Italian import company in marketing and sales, then years later she and her husband moved to Brunswick. After spending time working for a seafood export company on the Portland waterfront, she joined the Maine International Trade Center, where currently she is state director of international trade and president. I love the economic development aspect to my job and knowing what I do truly has an impact on Maines economy, she says. Bisaillon-Cary is involved with the Maine Maritime Academys Loeb Sullivan School, Growing Portland committee, Green Crab Council, and export development projects with the Eastern Trade Council. She also works with Maine Center for Creativity and Maine Port Authority. Many of the outside activities I have been involved in are targeted toward working on building a vibrant community here in Maine, one that attracts more young people to come, stay, play, and engage in this wonderful place I have been privileged to call home.
Jan Anderson Kearce
Executive Director at Lift360
When asked about the work she does in and for Maine, Jan Anderson Kearce quoted founder of Outward Bound Kurt Hahn: There is more in you than you think. She added, There is more in me than I know today. There is more in all of us working together than we can possibly imagine. Kearce is the executive director of Lift360, a Portland-based organization that offers consulting services to nonprofits to help drive their missions and impact forward. The organization has worked with more than 200 nonprofits that in one year serve 50,000 people in Maine and New Hampshire. Lift360 also facilitates leadership programs to help all businessespublic and private. Kearce became the executive director of the Institute for Civic Leadership and maintained that role when the nonprofit merged with Common Good Ventures to form Lift360. Her work has included partnering with the Portland Public Library on the Choose Civility Initiative, a platform to discuss societal change and to position the library as a community center, and TEDxDirigo to produce Engage, a conference designed to highlight the contributions of Mainers to their own communities.
Vice President of Louis Berger and Partner at Lexden Capital New England
George Campbell has worked and served in business, government, and nonprofit organizations, including two cabinet positions in Maine government. Campbell was the mayor of Portland when the city passed Maines first ban against smoking in restaurants and he led the negotiation for Governor Joseph Brennan to bring the Bath Iron Works (BIW) dry dock repair facility to Portland in the 1980s. In the late 1990s he was the lead consultant working with BIW to create a public-private investment that led to the companys new launch facility. Both projects have been critical to BIWs success and account for saving and growing thousands of quality Maine jobs, says Campbell. With Don Perkins, CEO of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and an exceptional leadership team, Campbell headed the capital campaign to construct the institute. Along with Leon Gorman, he created the Nature Conservancys Corporate Conservation Council of Maine, which provides business expertise and financial support to the Nature Conservancy. Currently, he is vice president at Louis Berger and a partner at Lexden Capital New England. He is on the Lunder Dineen Advisory Board and is a trustee for the Institute for Doctoral Studies for the Visual Arts. He serves on numerous boards, including Martins Point Health Care, and Friends of the Eastern Promenade.
Eugenia L. OBrien
Founder of Portland Ballet
When Eugenia OBrien moved to Maine, she found a city that had theater productions, symphonies, and a museum of art, but felt it was one art form short: ballet. She founded Portland Ballet, a community of professional dancers, and also Portland School of Ballet, where dancers as young as three years old are trained in the fundamentals of ballet. Before moving to Maine, OBrien was a professional dancer, and she wanted the program in Portland to encourage aspiring dancers to pursue their passions as careers. She worked with Portland High School to create CORPS, a program in which students are granted early release to participate in a pre-professional, three-hour-a-day immersion program. The program has been highly successful. Students have left the school to join Dance Theatre of Harlem, New York City Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. OBrien also collaborates with other arts organizations, including the Choral Art Society at Merrill Auditorium, as well as with the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
President of The Bob Crewe Foundation
After spending some time in Maine when I was younger, in 1991 my family and I moved to Maine believing that our lives could and would be more enriching and fulfilling, says Dan Crewe. What Crewe didnt realize is that he would make Maine a more culturally rich place. In 1992 he cofounded the internationally acclaimed Gateway Mastering Studios with Bob Ludwig and made Portland, Maine, a prime destination for the music- business elite. Years later, he became the president of the Bob Crewe Foundation, named for his late brother, a distinguished songwriter. The foundations mission is to help aspiring musicians find fulfilling careers. The Bob Crewe Foundation recently gave $3 million to the Maine College of Art to create the Bob Crewe Program for Music and Art. Crewe is currently overseeing the creation and construction of the program. In 1996, Crewes 11-year-old daughter, Jessie Bullens-Crewe, died from complications from fourth-stage Hodgkins disease. Crewe created the Jessie B-C Fund to raise funds for the Maine Childrens Cancer Program to support their efforts in childhood cancer research, psychological and social work for families, and quality care. The fund has contributed over $500,000 for the program. Crewe also created the Jessie Bullens-Crewe Nature Preserve in Cumberland21 acres of land, which is now owned by Breakwater School and used for science and nature studies. I have always found pleasure and satisfaction in the challenge of fixing a problem where it exists, improving upon the status quo, and making better any situation in which I can be of service, says Crewe.
Founder of Tri for a Cure
Julie Marcheses mother was diagnosed with cancer. Then years later, Marchese received her own diagnosisshe had cancer, too. A year after the news, Marchese decided she would race in a triathlon. Her motivated spirit propelled Marchese to present an idea to the Maine Cancer Foundation: an all-womens triathlon in Maine. They thought I was kidding, she says. But they soon realized that I was not. That first year Tri for a Cure sold out in six weeks, with 500 women who raised $275,000. Since then the event has grown, and in seven years has raised close to $5.5 million. Marchese grew up in Maine. She worked for years in the family business, Jordans Meats, with her father, Joseph Chet Jordan. She left the state for college but soon returned to where her roots are, in Maine. After competing in her first triathlon, she realized her real passion raising money to find a cure for cancer. She is currently the chief inspirational officer at Inspired Events, an event- planning company, and co-owner and managing partner of sheJAMs, LLC, a fitness training program for women. Marchese has been awarded Maine Cancer Foundations Founders Award and Spirit of Life Award.
Through a childs eyes, the world is full of love, hope, and joy, and artist Ashley Bryan encourages that spirit to stay alive throughout life. Bryan, an author, illustrator, puppet maker, and storyteller lives on Little Cranberry Island. Bryan attended art school at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1946 and fell in love with Maine. He spent much of his career instructing at universities across the country. When he retired from the art department at Dartmouth College in 1988, he moved to the Cranberry Isles, but never ceased teaching. His influence in Maine island schools was honored by renaming the school on Little Cranberry Island the Ashley Bryan School. Much of Bryans work is dedicated to retelling African folktales and African-American spirituals. He has written and illustrated over 50 books, including three that received the Coretta Scott Kind Award: Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum (1981), Beautiful Blackbird (2004), and Let it Shine: Three Favorite Spirituals (2008). For the now-91-year-old, more books and works are on the waySail Away will be released this year.
Entrepreneur-In-Residence with Maine Venture Fund
As in life, everything is a work in progress, says Des FitzGerald. We are all ultimately both expendable and precious, and how we choose to challenge ourselves with continuously improving is what makes a difference between the excellent and the mundane. FitzGerald is the entrepreneur-in- residence at Maine Venture Fund. FitzGerald has founded companies of his own, including Ducktrap
River of Maine and BlueMarvel Inc. He was the CEO of ContiSea and vice president of development for Principle Power Inc. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Maine Business School. FitzGerald uses his experience in business to assist local nonprofits. Nonprofits suffer or soar from the same issues as for-profit companies. Being able to occasionally help mission-driven organizations do better has been very rewarding, he says. He has served on numerous boards, including the Natural Resources Council of Maine and the Camden International Film Festival. Like many of us here in Maine, I worry that our state does not yet offer enough opportunities for young people to stay in our state or to move here with positive prospects. We have to collectively change this, says FitzGerald.
President of Maine Lobstermens Association
David Cousens has been the president of the Maine Lobstermens Association (MLA) for 24 years. Cousens led the organization through the 1990s, which saw numerous drastic changes in the regulation of the Maine lobster industry. All of these changes were very controversial and didnt happen without a lot of meetings and negotiations from the harvesters to the legislature, says Cousens. Cousens brought together Maine lobstermen and scientists at meetings so that they could listen to one anothers perspectives. In the early 1990s fishermen and scientists were not on the same page, and the biggest reason was lack of respect from both sides. So one of the things that the MLA and I did was to have scientists and fishermen work together. This fostered mutual respect for each other, says Cousens. Cousens was a driving force behind conservation laws that included limits on lobster size, v-notch protection, vent size increases, and a prohibition on dragging for lobsters.
Columnist at the Portland Press Herald
Bill Nemitz is a columnist for the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram. One of the most important accomplishments of his column is lending a voice to those Mainers who might not otherwise have one. Nemitzs dedication to storytelling has inspired trips to Iraq and Afghanistan five times in the last 11 years to report on the Maine Army National Guard. He has also traveled to the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. He covered the Good Friday Agreement brokered by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell in Northern Ireland. I love to write, I love to tell stories, and I love to meet and get to know as wide an array of people as possible, says Nemitz, who came to Maine in 1977 after college. I instantly fell in love with its natural beauty and its peoplein the 38 years since then, that attachment has only grown stronger. Nemitz was awarded Maine Press Association Journalist of the Year in 2004, New England Newspaper and Press Association Distinguished Service Award in 2007, and Shalom House Hope Award in 2007. He is also involved in the community he writes about. He is a former board of trustees chair for the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies, former board president for Maine Press Association, and is currently an adjunct faculty member at St. Josephs College of Maine.
I write because I love to tell stories, and I cant think of a more amazing job than to sit at my desk and listen to fictional characters having conversations, says Tess Gerritsen, author of 26 published novels,including the Rizzoli and Isles crime series, which is the basis for the TNT television show. Maine, shes certain, with its seasons, solitude, and stillness, brings out her best creative instincts and her greatest stories. Winter, in particular, inspires her to sit at her desk. After the first snowfall, when the color bleeds out of the world, my imaginary world blooms to life, she says. Gerritsen won the RITA Award, the most prominent romance fiction award, for The Surgeon, and the Nero Award, which honors excellence in mystery novels, for Vanish. Still, her greatest accomplishments are when she creates flawless characters such as homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, and when she writes about new subjects that, before research, she didnt know much about, like the space program in Gravity. Gerritsens personal charity work revolves around Alzheimers disease, which afflicted her father. She is on her second fund drive to benefit the Scripps Research Institutes biomedical research into Alzheimers treatment. Her first fund drive raised over $50,000, which went directly to Alzheimers researchers.
Director of Horticulture and Plant Curator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Rodney Eason describes the artistic vibe of Maine as similar to a John Coltrane saxophone solo: free-flowing, unexpected, and beautiful. Eason is the director of horticulture and plant curator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. I love the people in Maine. When I was in design school, I felt at home because I was surrounded by people who never turned off their creative switches. I feel that vibe again in Maine, he says. Formerly a landscape architect, Eason followed his passion into the field of gardening and horticulture, and previously was display leader at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, and gardens curator at Airlie Gardens and at Plant Delights Nursery, both in North Carolina. Eason moved to Maine and was part of the team that helped guide the 20-year plan of the garden, which is on 270 acres of tidal shoreland and welcomes 100,000 guests throughout the year. The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens plan is to protect and preserve Maines botanical heritage and natural landscape. Eason is on the program selection committee for the American Public Gardens Association, the premiere organization for public gardens through which professionals can share information, network, and build awareness.
Paul W. Weldner, M.D.
Chief Minimally Invasive Valve Surgery at Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute
Paul W. Weldner, M.D., was always interested in how things worked. At a young age he would take things apart just to put them back together again. I guess it was natural, then, to choose a surgical career after completing medical school, says Weldner. Weldner excelled in the demanding technical requirements of heart surgery, and a yearlong fellowship in baby heart surgery in London led ultimately to his subspecialty of pediatric heart surgery and later a job in Portland. Now, 20 years later, Weldner has moved his practice to Lewiston, so that he can provide a more personal experience for his patients in a relaxed environment. Weldner wants Mainers to have access to the best medicine rather than needing to drive to larger cities. This is why he brought minimally invasive heart surgery and percutaneous valve technology to the state both types of surgeries allow for efficiency and less pain. Currently he is chief of the division of minimally invasive valve surgery at Central Maine Heart and Vascular Institute. He is also on the medical advisory board for minimally invasive valve surgery at the Edwards Lifesciences Corporation.
Presidential Inaugural Poet
Its said that a poet spends his or her entire life writing one single poem, says Richard Blanco. Figuratively, of course, this means that a poets entire body of work usually circles around a single question. For me, that question is: What is home? Home to Blanco means family, community, history, cultural identity, heritage, and much more, and writing poetry allows him to discover and define his place in the world. He asks questions and writes in Maine because the presence of nature is tremendous and unable to be ignored. Nature, in a way, is the universal home where we all belong, says Blanco. Maine grounds me in the eternal and transcendent power of its natural beauty. Blancos ties to Maine have brought national attention to the state as one that allows and inspires artists to create. In 2013, Blanco was asked to write and deliver a poem at President Barack Obamas second inauguration, making him the fifth presidential inaugural poet. He wrote One Today, a poem that Blanco described to NPR as a unique snapshot of where we are as a country at that moment. He wove in difficult tragedies that happened through the year and he zoomed out and gazed at what the United States continues to represent. Blanco also wrote a poem, Boston Strong, which he performed at the TD Boston Garden benefit concert and at a Boston Red Sox game at Fenway Park after the marathon bombings. In 2014 Blanco collaborated with Bethels Gould Academy to establish the Richard Blanco Visiting Writers Program and Retreat, where aspiring writers go for inspiration.
Christopher J. McCormick
President and CEO of L.L.Bean
In 2001 Christopher J. McCormick became president and CEO of L.L.Bean the first non-family member to hold the position. To follow in Leon Gormans footsteps was a privilege as well as a challenge I was looking forward to meeting, says McCormick. McCormick has worked at L.L.Bean for over 30 years. In his time as president, Forbes magazine named the Freeport-based company one of Americas best employers for 2015ranking fifth overall on a list of 1,200 companies. L.L.Bean was also named by Fortune magazine one of the top 100 companies to work for. McCormick launched the companys international business, spearheaded the development of the L.L.Bean VISA credit card program, and in 1995, he led the way into e-commerce. McCormick serves on the board of trustees of the Maine Community College System and is a member of Fairfield Universitys advisory board. He formerly served as co-chair of the Nature Conservancys Corporate Conservation Council, board member of the Nature Conservancy, and member of the campaign cabinet for the United Way of Greater Portland. He is also a board member of the National Retail Federation.
Senior Land Asset Manager at Plum Creek
Luke Muzzy has deep ties and affection for the Moosehead Lake regionhis children are the fifth generation of his family to grow up there. Im proud of maintaining the legacy of my familys connection to Moosehead Lake, says Muzzy. Its pretty special to walk in the same footprints as my ancestors and to know that my wife and I are doing our part as stewards and keeping the legacy intact. Muzzy is the senior land asset manager for Plum Creek and he served as the first and only project manager of the Moosehead Lake concept plan. The plan permanently conserved 400,000 acres for public access in perpetuity. While Muzzy feels strongly about preserving the gorgeous Moosehead region and feels connected to its history, he also hopes to bring economic vitality to the area. He is the president and a founding member of the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corporation, formed as a nonprofit in 2013 with the mission to grow and sustain local businesses, attract and create new jobs, and enhance the economy of the Moosehead Lake Region. Muzzy is also president of the Moosehead Marine Museum, which operates the 100-year-old steamship Katahdin as a living museum for the benefit of the community, region, and future generations.
Director of Maine Office of Tourism
Her passion for the outdoors is what drew Carolann Ouellette to Maine, where hiking trails, canoe trips, and campsites abound. Now Ouellette is the director of the Maine Office of Tourism and her job is to inspire others to follow in her footsteps, whether for a visit or to live. The work I do is a natural extension of why I live heretelling the story to others, expressing the deep sense of being that is Maineits uniqueness and the special people and places that make it such a great state, says Ouellette. Ouellette has always been an active participant in her community. She has served on numerous boards throughout the state, including Kennebec Valley Tourism Council, Old Canada Road Scenic Byway, and U.S. Travel Association, and is the former chair of the Maine Tourism Association Board. She is currently the board chair of Discover New England. Ouellette clearly understands what it means to build a healthy tourism environment; in 2014 the industry had an impact of $8 billion in the state. In 2004, Ouellette was presented with the Maine Tourism Association Hall of Fame Award.
Casco Baykeeper at Friends of Casco Bay
As Casco Baykeeper, Joe Payne made a career out of his greatest passionthe ocean. He spent summers on Peaks Island where he and his siblings collected sea treasures, fished, and swam. As I became aware of pollution and other threats, I felt I had to do something to improve and protect the bay I cherished, says Payne. I knew Casco Bay as a productive place that provided food and income for hundreds of people and also as a beautiful place that provided recreation, relaxation, and peace to thousands. Payne was the first-ever baykeeper for Casco Bay to be appointed; he served for 24 years. During his time, along with the Friends of Casco Bay, he helped close a pulp mill that was polluting the bay. Casco Bay was designated as a No Discharge Area so cruise ships couldnt dump wastewater into the bay. Another project that captured the publics interest was moving 35,000 lobsters out of the way of the federal dredge of Portland Harbor, says Payne. All projects were both environmental and economic successes. But, the best things weve done over the past 25 years are keeping the bays health in the public eye and growing an energetic organization that people trust to speak out and fight for the bays, thus the communitys, health.
Donato J. Tramuto
CEO and Chairman of the Board of Physicians Interactive
Donato Tramuto and his partner, Jeffrey Porter, run Five-O Shore Road and the Inn on Shore Road in Ogunquit. In 2001, Tramuto was supposed to be with his friends on United Airlines flight 175, the second plane to hit the World Trade Center on September 11. In tribute to them, I created the Tramuto Foundation, which has provided grants to support a number of nonprofits in Maine, says Tramuto. In 2016, the foundation will have reached several milestonesthe fifteenth anniversary and the goal of distributing one million dollars in total contributions. Tramuto is the CEO and chairman of the board of Physicians Interactive, an international mobile medical technology company. After the Haiti earthquake in 2010, Tramuto wanted to help communities that have limited access to health care, vaccines, and clean water. Using his resources at Physicians Interactive, Tramuto brought high-quality medical technology to Haiti and then Kenya and Uganda. A new venture has him providing this same technology to medical professionals in rural Maine. Tramuto was the recipient of the Robert F. Kennedy Ripple of Hope Award for his work with the Tramuto Foundation and Health eVillages, along with Hillary Clinton, Robert De Niro, and Tony Bennett.
Catherine H. Cloudman
Principal and Chief Financial Officer at Apothecary By Design
Last year Apothecary by Design was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest growing privately held businesses in Maine. At Apothecary by Design our role is to champion for patients as they navigate their health care journey, says Catherine Cloudman, principal and chief financial officer. Most people dont think of their pharmacy in the role of patient advocate, but it is central to our mission. In 2014, the organization accessed approximately $4 million in patient assistance funds and in many cases patients were able to receive lifesaving treatments. Cloudman attributes Apothecary by Design’s success to the companys talented team, and also a strong local health care community, the pharmacy schools at the University of New England and Husson University, and the economic development support from the City of Portland and the State of Maine. Now in its seventh year, Apothecary has created 85 new jobs in Portland.
President and CEO of Hussey Seating Company
Tim Hussey is the CEO of Hussey Seating Company, which has been a family-run business for 180 years and through six generations. We are one of the 50 oldest family businesses in the country, and are determined to keep it going to the next generation, and let them have their turn at it, says Hussey. The company has developed seating for classrooms, gymnasiums, arenas, and stadiums around the continent. Hussey Seating has received numerous awards, including Maine Family Business of the Year and Maine Exporter of the Year. Hussey himself is involved with organizations that are focused on the long-term health of the Maine economy and our communities, such as Maine Development Foundation and the Maine Economic Growth Council. Hussey is an advocate for stronger education in the state. My dream is that Maine students are among the most educated and best prepared young people in the world, he says. Hussey was the chair of Educate Maine and a board member of RSU 21 School District in Kennebunk. He has received the Kenneth M. Curtis Leadership Award from the Maine Development Foundation, the Joel Stevens Community Spirit Award from the Kennebunk- Kennebunkport-Arundel Chamber of Commerce, and he was inducted as a member of the Junior Achievement Maine Business Hall of Fame.
Founder and CEO of Treehouse Institute and Director of TEDxDirigo
I believe that making connections between people, places, and ideas can foster the growth of resilient and prosperous communities. I believe in hard work rooted in values. And I think creative confidence and new perspectives are what we need today to make tomorrow awesome, says Adam Burk, director of TEDxDirigo and founder and CEO of the Treehouse Institute. Burk gathers inspiring, forward-thinking individuals and starts conversations about growth and change in Maine and beyond. In 2012, Burk worked with high school students and educators to launch TEDxDirigoYouth, which empowers young leaders to follow their passion and speak up on important topics. By 2013 he had added another venture, the Treehouse Institute, an experimental nonprofit that produces TEDxDirigo and has a fellowship program for young innovators. Now Burk is looking forward to the future with a new workshop that uses collaboration and design thinking to find solutions to problems that affect society.
Seth Wescott moved home to Maine from Colorado for a postgraduate semester at Carrabassett Valley Academy (CVA) to pursue his goal of becoming a professional snowboarder. There, Wescott worked with a talented, ambitious group of athletes. Twenty years later Wescott has two Olympic gold medals, over 50 professional, four world championships, nine X Games medals, and four national titles. I know that athletically I made the right decision. However, the Maine businesses I have partnered with and the relationships I have formed have truly been the most rewarding part of coming home to Maine, says Wescott. Beyond snowboarding, Wescott has created a home in Carrabassett Valley and participates in community organizations, including the Sugarloaf 2020 visioning team, Sugarloaf Greens Committee, Carrabassett Valley Academy board of trustees, WinterKids, and the Special Olympics of Maine board of directors. He built a restaurant and barthe Rackwith partners Jeff Strunk and Chase McKendry. Since it was built, the restaurant has become a central meeting place for the Sugarloaf community and has hosted fundraisers, benefits, and proms for CVA. Currently, Wescott is working with L.L.Bean on a lifestyle and active wear line targeted at a younger demographic, as well as a specific snow-sports line that he tested in Antarctica.
Yellow Light Breen
Chief Strategic Officer at Bangor Savings Bank
Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president and chief strategic officer at Bangor Savings Bank, says, You are only as good as your constant drive to be even better. During Breen’s tenure, the bank has earned a Best Places to Work in Maine six times and, in 2013, recognition by J.D. Power and Associates for highest customer satisfaction in retail banking for New England. In 2006, Breen led the You Matter More rebranding campaign for the company. He also helped create the banks annual Community Matters More program, in which voters decide where to invest $100,000 of grant money. This year 68 Maine-based nonprofits, such as libraries and educational foundations, received awards. Outside of Bangor Savings Bank, Breen helped launch the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, which brought technology to 30,000 middle school students in every part of Maine. He was also on the steering committee in 2004 that developed the Realize Maine Network, a statewide young- professionals network that helps aspiring leaders and has resulted in regional counterparts all over the state, such as Fusion:Bangor, Midcoast Magnet, Young Professionals of the Lewiston Auburn Area, and Cynergy in Augusta. My passion is to bring opportunity to the whole state and to enable equal opportunity for success in life without regard to geography or income.
Executive Director of Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce
Robin Zinchuk moved north from New Jersey in 1979 to find herself and made her way to Bethel, Maine in 1984. What I found were communities of resourceful, hard-working people, who really care about and look out for each other. I found what I was looking for: a place where I could share my passions and energy to make a difference in the lives of the people around me, says Zinchuk. She is currently the executive director of the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce and former owner of Chapman Inn Bed and Breakfast. Zinchuk began working at the chamber at the age of 30. When she started there was no staff and a $5,000 budget. With the help of a fantastic group of volunteers and coworkers, we have become a well-respected, extremely active organization that is helping to create prosperity in the Bethel area and western Maine, says Zinchuk. After realizing the number of nonprofit organizations in the area, Zinchuk helped create the Bethel Area Nonprofit Collaborative, a network of over 30 organizations in Oxford County. Zinchuk is on the advisory board for Maine Woods Consortium, the board of trustees for Western Maine Health/Stephens Memorial Hospital, and the board of directors for GrowSmart Maine. She is president-elect of the Bethel Rotary Club. She was also appointed by Governor John Baldacci to the Northern Forest Sustainable Economy Initiative, a gathering of leaders from the four northern forest states, organized by the Northern Forest Center.
Executive and Artistic Director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival
To Louise Rosen film is the powerful medium through which artists present ideas and topics both controversial and entertaining. She works to bring audiences new experiences through movies and to enhance professional development opportunities for emerging and established media makers. As the executive and artistic director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival, she has worked with the Holocaust and Human Rights Center of Maine in Augusta to produce an annual public conference and film screening. Last years event, The Role of Archive in Restoring and Conserving Identity, covered topics of cultural preservation, including how records contribute to helping displaced persons reclaim their heritage and identity. Rosen helped finance and release Henry Hamptons iconic series Eyes on the Prize, which won major awards and reached millions. She is the founding director of the Points North Documentary Forum at the Camden International Film Festival, a trustee of the Maine Media Workshops, on the advisory committee of the Maine Film and Video Association, and cofounder of Movies in the Park.
President of College of the Atlantic
Darron Collins is an alumnus of College of the Atlantic and is now the schools president. The college offers one degree human ecologybut students apply that perspective to a wide variety of interests across the humanities, the environmental sciences, and arts. An important part of the schools pedagogy is applied learning, so many students are greatly involved in the surrounding communities. Two years ago Collins partnered with the Island Institute to lead an innovative educational and sustainability project thats worked to bring the energy innovations from Samsø Island, Denmark, to islands off the coast of Maine. Collins is not only trying to localize his efforts at the school to improve the surrounding community, he is also trying to attract national attention to this unique college. Collins has his doctorate in cultural anthropology and prior to his role at the Mount Desert Island college, he worked as managing director at World Wildlife Fund, where he helped lead a project to save the largest member of the salmon family, the Mongolian taimen, from the brink of extinction. He was recognized as a Barry Goldwater Scholar and was a Thomas J. Watson Fellow and a Wenner- Gren Anthropological Fellow.
Paul Andrew Mayewski
Director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine
Paul Andrew Mayewski is the director of the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine in Orono. For more than four decades, his research has involved traveling to Antarctica (55 times) and also to the Arctic, Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, Tierra del Fuego, and the Andes with students and other scientists to research ice loss and to document changes in atmospheric chemistry produced naturally and by humans. Mayewskis life research is about understanding why and how the climate is changing so that society can be prepared for adaptation and sustainability. He has received numerous awards for his research, including the inaugural International Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research awarded by the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research and the International Glaciological Society Seligman Crystal. Mayewski Peak in Antarctica is named after him. He has been published in more than 350 scientific journals and two of his most popular books include The Ice Chronicles (written with Frank White) and Journey Into Climate: Adventure, Exploration, and the Unmasking of Human Innocence.
Mary L. Bonauto
Civil Rights Project Director for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Mary Bonauto has worked as the civil rights project director at Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders for 25 years, where she is dedicated to providing equal rights for the LGBT population and HIV patients. I believe in the Constitutions promises of equality and liberty for all, and the power of law to set standards and transform our understandings of what those promises must mean in day-to-day life, says Bonauto. In 1999 Bonauto and two Vermont co-counsels won in Baker v. State of Vermont, which led to the nations first civil union law in 2000. Bonauto was also involved in a case that brought second-parent adoption to Maine, which she believes makes the state a secure and welcoming place for children whose parents are same-sex couples. This year, Bonauto argued before the Supreme Court in a case with the potential to overturn all state bans on same-sex marriage. For her accomplishments, Bonauto was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2014 and Equality Maines Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. Bonauto continues to take on cases for this issue and hopes that the changes she has helped make to New England policies will set an example for other states across the country.
Maine President of Bank of America
Bill Williamson is Maine state president and senior client manager of global commercial banking at Bank of America. While Bank of America is a national company, the Maine branch is getting involved at the community level, and as a Maine native and someone with a genuine love of the states culture, Williamson is fully behind that effort. In 2014 the bank and its Maine associates provided over $800,000 of charitable support and 37,000 volunteer hours to nonprofits in Maine. In 2013, Williamson was the chair of United Way of Greater Portland. Williamson is currently a board member for the Alfond Scholarship Fund and he serves on the board for Educate Maine. He is also on the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and advocates for public policies that encourage an environment of economic and business growth in the state. Williamson is actively involved in finding a solution to childhood hunger in the state, and he was awarded the 2015 JoAnn Pike Humanitarian of the Year Award by the Good Shepherd Food Bank.
Director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts
Stuart Kestenbaum has been the director of Haystack Mountain School of Crafts for 27 years. The Deer Isle-based school began in 1950 as a place to teach fine craftsmanship and carry out research and development with crafts. Today students of all levels come from around the world to develop their skills and push their art to the next level. Haystack may be best known for its intensive summer workshops, which attract a national and international audience, but we offer many programs in Maine, and Mainethe creative and ingenious spirit of Maineinforms all of the work that we do, says Kestenbaum. Kestenbaum is a poet and he has been greatly influenced by the Pine Tree States strong sense of place as well as the writers who also call Maine home. He has integrated poetry into Haystacks curriculum. He also developed programs with other institutions, like the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the veterans-run art group the Combat Paper Project, which Kestenbaum says expands the scope of how craft and Haystack can look at creativity. Most recently the school has developed a digital fabrication studio, or fab lab, which is a partnership with the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT. Kestenbaum is currently the chair of the American Craft Council. This year will mark Kestenbaums last year as director, but he will continue to teach writing workshops at art schools and help nonprofit organizations develop projects.
Paul Coulombe was born in Lewiston, and thats where he inherited his fathers liquor business, White Rock Distilleries. Coulombes business grew from three employees to over 200 employees and became one of the 25 largest businesses in Maine in 2012 with revenues that exceeded 200 million dollars per year. When he retired, he got involved in the Southport community. Coulombe advocated to save an historic building that since 1777 has been a town hall, general store, and restaurant, and also Cuckolds Lighthouse, which marks the entrance to Boothbay Harbor. Now the historic building is Olivers Restaurant and Cuckolds Lighthouse is an inn. Coulombe also purchased Boothbay Harbor Country Club golf course and renovated the property, which is now one of the top five golf courses in Maine. My overall goal is to make Boothbay more economically viable and to create more job opportunities for the people of Boothbay, says Coulombe.
In 2011 Tanja Hollander set out on a journey to visit her 626 Facebook friends in their homes. Hollander set up in-person meetings, mostly in living rooms, and traveled all over the country and internationally to photograph her friends. Her now well-known series Are you really my friend? explores the effects social media can have on relationships and personal and private space. Hollander has been working on the project for three years and the final installation, which will include photographs, videos, sound, and data, will open in 2017 at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. Another venture Hollander has started grew from her desire to democratize art, and make buying and collecting and appreciating art more accessible to all people. On Act Fast Friday she posts an image that is available for free; Hollander just asks that those who can donate to the specified cause related to the photograph. Maine is home to Hollander and here in the state she has worked with Protect Portland Parks, Youth Alternatives, Rippleffect, and Boys to Men. She founded and co-directed the Bakery Photo Collective, a space in Westbrook that serves the fine art and commercial photographic community by offering state-of-the- art facilities and equipment for use.
Founder of Maine Center for Creativity and Senior Director of Development at Saint Josephs College
Jean Maginnis founded the Maine Center for Creativity (MCC) to promote and guide partnerships between the arts and industry. These sometimes unexpected partnerships support innovative approaches to economic and community development, which can be so important to Maines overall economic vitality and cultural vibrancy, says Maginnis. Along Route 295 is her most visible project, Art All Around®, for which the nonprofit ran a competition and selected artist Jaime Gili to paint the oil tanks on the edge of the Portland harbor. The project is still underway, but six tanks are covered in abstract designs and are seen by over a quarter of a million people daily on their commutesomething that was once an industrial sight has become a work of art. Maginnis with the MCC board of directors initiated the Maine Creative Industries Award, which recognizes individuals who show a successful result when art and business work together. Last year the event celebrated The Jackson Laboratory and Patrick Dempsey for his work at the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing. Maginnis is on the board of directors for the Maine Tourism Association. She is currently senior director of development at Saint Josephs College, where she hopes to help young people and online students from around the world understand that Maine is a place where caring, creative, achieving people live, work, and play.
Andrew + Briana Volk
Owners of Portland Hunt and Alpine Club
Andrew and Briana Volk were living in Portland, Oregonhe was working in a cocktail bar and she was in the advertising worldwhen they decided it was time for a change. Briana trusted her husbands love of Portland, Maine, and they moved east and opened Portland Hunt and Alpine Club. The couple felt they were able to direct their efforts and create a place that plays an important role in the community. We both strive to give back as much as possible to the community we love, says Briana. The couple participates in Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine, United States Bartenders Guild, Symphony and Spirits with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and Maine Start Up and Create Week, for which Briana is the co-chair of the food innovation track. Their commitment and focus has resulted in a number of awards. In 2015 the bar was a James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for Outstanding Bar Program; in 2014 it was one of Bon Appetits 5 Best New Cocktail Bars in America and Food and Wines Peoples Best New Bars, and that same year, Andrew was awarded Star Chefss rising star award.
Matthew Siegel, M.D.
Director, Developmental Disorders Program, Maine Behavioral Healthcare, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Tufts University School of Medicine, and Clinician Scientist, Maine Medical Center Research Institute
The Developmental Disorders Program at Maine Behavioral Healthcare is one of the only specialized hospital program in the country for children with autism and other developmental disorders who are experiencing emotional or behavioral crisis, and Dr. Matthew Siegel is the programs director. Each day Siegel is driven by his desire to understand and help children with serious developmental challenges. Most recently, Siegel received the support of the Harold Alfond Foundation and the Glickman family to open the Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders in South Portland, which offers a multi- disciplinary treatment clinic and day treatment program for children in the community. Siegel is leading a national research study of children severely affected by autism and he coauthored the national guidelines for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry on the assessment and treatment of children with autism. He also led the construction of Maines first playground designed for children with developmental challenges, located at Spring Harbor Hospital.
Founder of the Center for Teaching and Learning
In 2015, Nancie Atwell was the inaugural recipient of the Global Teacher Prize, referred to as the Nobel Prize for teaching. The award, given by the London-based Varkey Foundation, highlights the impact great teachers have on their students and their profession. The winning teacher is given $1 million. Atwell donated the money to the school she founded in 1990, the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb, Maine. An English teacher since 1973, Atwell has written 13 books about education, including Lessons That Change Writers, Naming the World: A Year of Poems and Lessons, and Systems to Transform Your Classroom and School. She proudest, however, of In the Middle, which has sold over half a million copies and provides teachers with a set of blueprints for her signature writing- reading workshop, where students choose the books they read and develop their own ideas as writers. CTL is a nonprofit, low-tuition, demonstration school that teaches students grades kindergarten through eighth grade and classroom teachers from across the country. Students also learn about and support local nonprofits and global initiatives from the Boothbay Food Pantry and Lincoln County Humane Society to Safe Passage, the Nature Conservancy, and Maines Model United Nations Conference.
President of Circus Conservatory of America
Peter Nielsens son told him he wanted to go to circus school. Skeptical at first, Nielsen began investigating this performing arts culture. What he found were incredibly talented young people who were athletic and innovative, with career options such as touring with ensembles like Cirque du Soleil and teaching in schools worldwide. Inspired by his sons unique talents and armed with a background in arts management, Nielsen began the planning for the Circus Conservatory of America. Currently, the program offers performing arts courses, but Nielsens ultimate goal is to create a circus college on Thompsons Point in Portland. Maine has a creative economy of national distinction. One of the important things about the creative economy here is that its value is recognized and supported by the traditional economy, making key partnerships possible here that would be difficult to create in less creative places, says Nielsen. Just like visual arts, he knows performing arts can blossom. In his time in Portland Nielsen has initiated Circus in the Streets, free public circus performances in downtown Portland, and ILAP CeleSoiree, where members of the conservatory performed a benefit show for the Immigration Legal Advocacy Project. They also turned Whole Foods Market into a circus by rigging the vaulted ceiling for aerial performances during busy shopping hours.
Chris & Paige Gould
Owners of Central Provisions
Chris and Paige Gould, the husband and wife team that operates Central Provisions in Portland, started working in restaurants at the age of 15 and both knew right away it was what they wanted to do forever. It is a very challenging industry, says Paige. But when you have a customer pull you aside and say things such as That was the best meal I have ever eaten or You made me realize that I have been eating wrong my whole lifethats what it is all about. Chris was formerly the sous chef at Coppa and the chef de cuisine at Uni Sashimi Bar, and Paige was a cook at Clio and Toro, all in Boston. Chris grew up in Bethel and the couple had been visiting Portlands thriving food scene for years, so moving north seemed like the right fit. In the winter of 2014, they opened Central Provisions in the heart of the Old Port. In their first year, they were hugely successful. They were warmly greeted by the neighborhood, busy every night and, to the couples surprise, they were nominated by the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant. We never dreamed that we would be so well received, says Paige. Chris and Paige are hard at work in their restaurant, but still participate in charity events that support the community that welcomed them, such as Good Shepherd Food Bank, Cooking Matters Maine, and the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
Founder of Allagash Brewing Company
From the first day I set foot in a brewery 22 years ago, I knew I wanted to spend my life as a brewer, says Allagash Brewing Company founder Rob Tod. I loved everything about itthe hard work, creativity, and collaboration. Tod and his team collaborated to build a traditional coolship to brew spontaneously fermented beers at the brewery in Portland. Because of this beer, his team was invited to special festivals in Belgium, where Allagash was the only non-Belgian brewer, to celebrate these beers made in Maine. Allagash produces a Tribute Series, which sends one dollar from every 750ml bottle and 25 cents from every pint poured to a specific philanthropic recipient in Portland: Victoria Ale benefits Victoria Mansion, Victor Ale donates to the St. Lawrence Arts Center, Hugh Malone benefits Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association, and Fluxus Ale gives to Barbara Bush Childrens Hospital at Maine Medical Center. The company also has a philanthropy program, through which it donates $100,000 a year to Greater Portlands philanthropic organizations that are making a positive impact in Maine. In 2014, the brewery donated a total of $240,000 to local causes. Allagash is also committed to sustainability. Ninety-two percent of the companys electricity use comes from renewable energy credits from First Winds Lackawanna, New York, wind farm. Brewing uses 57 tons of barley and wheat per week but most of this is left over as nutrient-dense spent grain. Allagash donates this spent grain to local farmers to help reduce their feed costs. In recognition of these greener efforts, Allagash received the Governors Award for Environmental Excellence.
Peter W. Bates
Senior Vice President of Maine Medical Center
Peter W. Bates is senior vice president, chief medical officer, and academic dean at Maine Medical Center. He was instrumental in the creation of the Maine Track medical school partnership between Maine Medical Center and the Tufts University School of Medicine. The program provides access for qualified Maine students to a high-quality and affordable medical education, and it has engaged over 40 Maine health care organizations in the educational process. In 2015, the third class of physicians will graduate from the program, and while there are measureable results, the program has also sparked energy and innovation at Maine Medical Center and in the health care community. Education can be a unifying and uplifting experience for learner and teacher, as well as facilitating needed transformation in health care and society in general, says Bates. Id like to see the state of Maine benefit more from these kind of opportunities. Bates has been honored with the Maine Chapter of the American College of Physicians Laureate Award in 2010 and Maine Medical Associations Presidents Award for Distinguished Service in 2011. My goal is simply to try to make a difference both in the health of Maine citizens and the health care they receive, says Bates. Theres lots of opportunity to do so and I enjoy working with colleagues who imagine and work towards a time when everyone in Maine has access to the very best health care.”
United States National Team Athlete and Director of Julia Clukeys Camp for Girls
After training for 12 years, Julia Clukey realized her dream and was accepted on to the United States Olympic Luge Team. In 2012 she was the national luge champion. She has now refocused her perseverance and motivation to help young girls in the state of Maine achieve their own dreams. I want all kids in Maine to know they can set big goals, and that as long as they are willing to work really hard, there is no limit to what they can accomplish, says Clukey. Clukey experienced the hard loss of her younger sister to suicide. Her death, as well as understanding the lack of self-esteem of many young girls, inspired her to start Julia Clukeys Camp for Girls. Through her camp and also through her experience as a spokesperson for the Maine Beer and Wine Distributors Association, Clukey has reached 12,000 students across the state and talks about setting goals and making good decisions. Her work has earned a Golden Arrow Award by the Maine Public Relations Council.
Scott Nash, author, illustrator, and instigator, illustrated the Flat Stanley books written by Jeff Brown, and designed the logos for Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Nick Jr., and Comedy Central. He wrote and illustrated The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate as well as Tuff Fluff: The Case of Duckies Missing Brain. Ten years ago he founded the illustration program at Maine College of Art. The program is now the largest department in the school. Nash attends many workshops and schools to teach students how to realize the value of creativity in their lives. All too often children abandon drawing and painting because they believe they are no good at art, as if creating only exists in the realm of those we define as artists, says Nash. I teach kids that creativity is open to everyone and hope to inspire them to write and draw throughout their lives. Nash also runs NASHBOX, a graphic design and illustration company, with his wife, Nancy. Nash moved from Boston to Maine years ago to focus on making things daily, specifically to focus on his art, design, and childrens books.
Executive Director of Bigelow Laboratory
Graham Shimmield has conducted research in oceans all over the worldatolls in the Pacific impacted by El Nino, polar regions to study the consequences of melting sea ice, and offshore oil installations to monitor their impact on local environment. He came to Maine to lead the Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences. His goal was and continues to be to help propel the lab forward with new infrastructure, to bring relevance to its science in Maine, and to raise awareness of its research mission nationally and internationally. Since he has served as executive director and president, Shimmield has achieved the design, construction, and completion of the new Bigelow Laboratory in East Boothbay, a critical element in attracting top talent to the state. Shimmield is the recipient of the Society for Underwater Technologys Presidents Award in recognition of his contributions to oceanography. Through his work on nonprofits, Shimmield advocates for research and education in the marine environmental sciences. He serves on the Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board, Maine Space Grant and Maine Sea Grant, and the advisory boards for Maine Maritime Academy and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.
Peter E. Chalke
President and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare
Peter E. Chalke is the president and CEO of Central Maine Healthcare, the parent organization that oversees Central Maine Medical Center, Bridgton Hospital, Rumford Hospital, Central Maine Medical Group, and Maine College of Health Professions. Chalke explains that people are attracted to Maine life because of its rural communities and expansive geography, but those factors coupled with a diverse socio-economic population makes for unique and potentially problematic medical needs. What is also unique, however, is that generally, Maine residents, employees, and clinicians possess a creative tenacity, an ability to think outside of the box and see things through for the greater good of their communities, says Chalke. Chalke, along with others at Central Maine Healthcare, Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, and physician leaders statewide, helped form LifeFlight of Maine, an emergency critical care helicopter transport service. Since its inception, LifeFlight has logged 18,500 safe flights and saved thousands of lives across the state.