PRESQUE ISLE — A Houlton businessman will again chair the Aroostook Partnership Board of Directors. Chris Anderson, President of F.A. Peabody, was reappointed to serve as chairman at the organization’s annual meeting Wednesday, Nov. 16 at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle.
Also, approved to serve as officers in 2017 were Jason House of TD Bank as vice chair, Bob Clark of Northern Maine Development Commission as public vice chair, Matt McHatten of MMG Insurance as secretary and Jennifer Curran of Tempo as treasurer.
After a welcome to NMCC by Sue Bernard, Dean of Development at the College, AP board chairman Anderson conducted the official business of approving the officers for 2017. He also addressed the more than 45 attendees on progress the organization has made since the merger of LEADers Encouraging Aroostook Development and Aroostook Partnership for Progress and what makes AP different.
“We are the only County-wide organization speaking with one voice on issues affecting Aroostook’s survival, growth and prosperity,” said Anderson.
Partnership President and CEO Bob Dorsey outlined some of the challenges facing the region, but also highlighted the positives.
“I wanted to stress the success the Partnership has had for the year, specifically emphasizing the legislative wins for the Forest Cluster, the Virtual Job Shadow purchase for all County high schools and Business/Teacher socials we’ve started to increase career awareness in the County,” said Dorsey. “Although 2016 wasn’t a huge year investment wise, we still had around $75-million of new investment and more than 50 new jobs created in the region.”
Dorsey also used the opportunity to thank the folks giving their time, talent and treasury to better Aroostook.
“It is critically important to thank our investors and board members, for without them, we’d have no Partnership, no Clusters and Working Groups to spearhead economic progress and a lot less coordination and collaboration across the County,” he added.
To wrap up the annual meeting, Yellow Light Breen, CEO and President of the Maine Development Foundation (MDF), provided the keynote address. MDF is a private, non-partisan membership organization that drives sustainable, long-term economic growth for the State of Maine.
Breen said his organization has three core principles of leadership, trusted research and creative cross-sector partnerships.
“Maine’s economic context requires brutal honesty and unquenchable optimism,” he said.
Breen also advocated for a quality economic plan for Maine.
“Let's make sure the plan is driven by the data, instead of driven by our biases or our assumptions," he added.
Photos: Upper right, Aroostook Partnership Chairman Chris Anderson. Lower left, MDF CEO Yellow Light Breen.