Board of Directors

Ellen Seidman (Chair), Washington, DC. Senior Fellow, Urban Institute. Previously Executive Vice President, ShoreBank Corporation and Director, Office of Thrift Supervision. Seidman currently serves as a member of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and as Board Member and Chair, Aeris; and Board Member, City First Bank of DC. A.B. Radcliffe College, J.D. Georgetown University Law Center, M.B.A. George Washington University. Ellen joined CEI’s board in 2007.

Erin Cooperrider (Vice Chair), East Boothbay, ME. Development Director of Community Housing of Maine, a nonprofit affordable housing developer and the state’s largest provider of supportive housing. Formerly co-founder of The Signal Group, a real estate consulting firm, and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of GAMEX Limited Liability Company, an asset management company providing third-party asset, property, and liquidation services for a $250 million portfolio of real estate assets nationwide. Authored a study for an FDIC Dispute Resolution Panel involving a public-private partnership worth $22 billion in mortgage-backed securities, nonperforming notes, and foreclosed real estate. Former board member of the Washington, DC-based Real Estate Capital Resources Association. B.A., Duke University, M.A. Stanford University. University of New Hampshire, Carsey Institute 2007, Policy Leadership Fellow. Erin joined CEI’s board in 2010.

David Bennell, Freeport, ME. Currently, David is Principal, Value Chain Advisors. Previously, he was Director of Corporate Relations at The Trust for Public Land; and CEO of the Textile Exchange, an international corporate-led NGO focused on improving sustainability practices in the textile and apparel industry. Prior to that, David headed an investor-led grantmaking organization focused on responsible management of the world’s forests. His corporate career included management positions at L.L. Bean and also REI and Microsoft. Emeritus Lecturer in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT; advisory board member of Marlboro College M.B.A. program in Managing for Sustainability; and Alumnus of Prince of Wales Business and Environment Programme. Davide has also held board appointments with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Portland Ovations and Center for Sports Innovation at MIT. B.A, Evergreen State College, M.Ed., Pennsylvania State University. He joined CEI’s board in 2008.

Glenn Cummings, Portland. Previously President of the University of Maine at Augusta, Glenn Cummings now serves as President of the University of Southern Maine in Portland. Former Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, he served in the Maine legislature from 2000-2008. President Obama appointed Cummings as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of Education in 2008. He served in that post until returning to Maine in 2010 to form Maine’s first charter school for non-traditional high school students, The Maine Academy of Natural Sciences at Good Will Hinckley in Fairfield. Cummings started his career as a high school history teacher in Gorham, Maine. He holds a Bachelors in history from Ohio Wesleyan University, a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, and a doctorate in management from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined CEI’s board in 2012.

Joshua Davis, Brunswick, is the co-founder and CEO of Gelato Fiasco, which he established when he was 24 years old. Gelato Fiasco operates two stores in Maine and offers its Maine-made, all-natural gelato for sale in thousands of grocery stores across the United States. Josh oversees the company’s targeted growth, including its most recent $2.3 million expansion of its Flavor Foundry in Brunswick, and leads a team of about 50 employees. With his co-founder, he was named as the Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur for New England for 2014. Josh has been quoted by Reuters, MSNBC, and CNN/Money, and Gelato Fiasco has been featured in Bon Appetit, the Boston Globe, and O: The Oprah Magazine.

Karin A. Gregory, JF, MPH, Biddeford, ME and Boston, MA. Karin is a business and intellectual property lawyer focused on life sciences, food, healthcare and nutrition at Furman Gregory LLC, a firm she co-founded. She has been: active in the early stage venture capital and angel investment industries since 2000; a lawyer and partner in a Boston venture capital fund; an angel investor; a Maine Angels member; and past board member at Maine Venture Fund. Ms. Gregory is CEI Ventures’s Board Chair and serves on its parent board, CEI. She is University of New England’s board Vice Chair, is on Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences’s board, serves on the Food and Drug Law Institute’s Food and Nutritional Supplement committee in Washington, DC, and on many community-based commissions and boards. She was recently invited to serve as a Corporator for Eastern Maine Health Systems. She has a B.A. in Biochem-Psychology from Wells College, an M.P.H. in Health Services from Boston University, and a J.D. from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. Karin joined CEI’s board in 2014.

Susan Hammond, Bangor, a Penobscot Nation tribal member, is the long-standing Executive Director of Four Directions Development Corporation, a Native-governed Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) serving the four tribes of Maine. As one of the founders, Ms. Hammond has been involved with FDDC since the earliest planning stages which began in the fall of 2000. Ms. Hammond graduated from the University of Maine at Orono with a BS in Business Administration. She completed training from the National Development Council, Fannie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston. Ms. Hammond is well connected in both the Native American and non-Native communities. Prior to Four Directions, she worked for the Penobscot tribe for ten years in various positions including the Vocation Education Coordinator for the Economic Development Department, the Financial Manager for the Health Department and the Director of the Tribal Housing Authority. She served on the Penobscot Nation Tribal Council from 1996 to 2004. She was president of the Board of Alnabak Corporation, which was the parent company of Olamon Industries, a tribally-affiliated plastic injection molding company. In 2003, Ms. Hammond was awarded the Maine SBA Minority Small Business Advocate of the Year Award. She is the first-ever recipient of the Visionary Leader Award from the Opportunity Finance Network/Oweesta Corporation in 2006 and in 2010 received the Circle of Honor Award from the Opportunity Finance Network / Oweesta Corporation.

Susan Inches, No. Yarmouth, ME. BA College of the Atlantic; MBA, Whittemore School, University of New Hampshire. Red Oak Associates, Business Strategy and Development. Formerly Deputy Director, Maine State Planning Office. Susan has taken the lead on a number of policy issues for the State of Maine including fisheries, working waterfronts, land use, solid waste, building and energy codes and energy efficiency. Also served as Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Maine. Sue joined CEI’s board in 2008.

Scott Kenney, Gray, ME. Senior Vice President, Commercial Banking, Farm Credit East. Scott currently leads the middle market lending efforts in Maine, New Hampshire and Eastern Massachusetts for Farm Credit East’s commercial lending group. He is active in coaching youth sports (soccer, basketball and baseball) in Cumberland County. Scott earned a B.S. and an M.S. at the University of Maine at Orono. He joined CEI’s board in 2014.

Kevin Lewis, Lewiston, is the Chief Executive Officer of Community Health Options (Health Options), a private, non-profit health plan that is partnering with consumers, businesses and health professionals to achieve the Triple Aim. Health Options is a Consumer Operated and Oriented Plan (CO-OP) and offers a range of qualified health plans both on and off the Health Insurance Marketplace for individuals, families and businesses throughout Maine and New Hampshire. Prior to starting Health Options, Kevin was the CEO of the Maine Primary Care Association (MPCA), the statewide organization of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) from 2002 to 2012. From 2000 to 2002, Kevin was the Director of Continuing Care at the Maine Hospital Association. Kevin previously served as the lobbyist and a budget and policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services. Kevin earned his Bachelor’s from Dartmouth College (1991), and a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Michigan (1995). Kevin serves on the Board of HealthInfoNet, the Executive Committee of the National Alliance of State Health CO-OPs, and has served as the Co-Chair of the AHA Central Maine Heart Walk 2014-15. Kevin lives in Winthrop, ME with his wife and daughters.

John Moore, Orono. Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking, CRA Officer Bangor Savings Bank. John serves as the primary institutional liaison for outreach and delivery of community development lending, investment, and service with nonprofit 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. Ed. M. from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, B.A. from LaSalle University in History. John joined CEI’s board in 2013.

Chip Newell, Portland. Chip is a principal in The NewHeight Group, a real estate development and marketing consulting firm. Chip has been on the board of CEI Notes for several years and is currently on the board and Treasurer of The Maine Center of Economic Development. He is also on the board of Community Housing of Maine, on the finance committee for the Boothbay Region Land Trust and is on the Maine Community Foundation Cumberland County Committee. Chip has an A.B. from Bowdoin College in Economics and an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Rutgers University. He joined CEI’s board in 2015.

Regina Phillips, Portland, is the Refugee Services Program Coordinator for the City of Portland. Regina has worked for the city for approximately 19 years, starting her tenure there at the City’s homeless family shelter. Regina supervises a multi-cultural/multi-lingual staff that provides case management, housing, employment, life skills and services to new Americans. Prior to working for the City she ran a Head Start/Child Care center for a CAP agency. She has a BA in Psychology from Curry College, Milton, MA and is currently attending the University of New England’s Masters of Social Work program. She serves on the Board for United Way of Greater Portland and previously served on the Board of Family Crisis Services. She is a long standing member and Executive Committee participant of the Greater Portland Chapter of the NAACP.

Peter Pitegoff, Portland. Peter has been Dean of the University of Maine School of Law since 2005 and previously was a law professor and vice dean at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law. He has taught, worked and written extensively in the areas of business transactions, economic development, labor and industrial organization, corporation law, nonprofit organizations, and legal ethics. Prior to his academic career, Pitegoff was legal counsel for the ICA Group, a Boston firm that assists community economic development initiatives and worker-owned enterprises nationwide. Pitegoff is a 1975 graduate of Brown University and a 1981 graduate of New York University School of Law, where he was a Root-Tilden scholar. Peter joined CEI’s board in 2007.

Cordelia Pitman, R.A., LEED AP, Portland. Cordelia is currently Director of Preconstruction Services at Wright-Ryan Construction in Portland. Prior to that, she was Project Architect at Winton Scott Architects in Portland, Maine. Member & Chair Portland Historic Preservation Board for 11 years, and a member of Greater Portland Landmarks’ Board of Directors. Cordelia joined CEI’s board in 2013.

David Vail, Brunswick, ME. David is Adams-Catlin Professor of Economics emeritus and former director of environmental studies at Bowdoin College. He is a founding board member of the Maine Center for Economic Policy; advisor to the Maine Woods Consortium and to Four Directions Development Corporation’s Wabanaki Cultural Tourism Initiative; and serves on Chewonki Foundation’s board. David is a consultant to the Appalachian Mountain Club and to Maine Woods Discovery, an adventure tourism certification and branding initiative. David’s current research projects, with University of Maine colleagues, investigate consumer preferences for certified tourism quality labels and renewable biomass energy in northern Maine. He holds a B.A. in international affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School and a Ph.D. in economics from Yale. He joined the CEI board in 2010.

Christa Velasquez, Chicago, IL. Christa Velasquez is a recognized leader in the impact investing field. Currently an independent consultant, she advises foundations on impact investing strategies and program design, product development and transactions. In addition to her independent work, Christa is a senior advisor at The Giving Practice, the consulting arm of Philanthropy Northwest. She also lectures at the University of Chicago on the business of nonprofits and the evolving social sector. Christa was Director of Social Investments for nine years at the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she created and managed its $125 million social investment fund. She was also a senior fellow at the Initiative for Responsible Investment at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. B.A. in Latin American studies, University of Chicago; M.B.A., Yale School of Management. Christa joined CEI’s board in 2013.

Ian Yaffe, Ellsworth. Currently Executive Director of Mano en Mano / Hand in Hand and Boatswain’s Mate in U.S. Coast Guard Reserve. Ian joined Mano en Mano’s staff in 2010 shortly after graduating from Bowdoin College, where he founded Food Forward, a student organization that recycles food and educates the community about fighting hunger and its causes. At Mano en Mano, Ian led construction of Maine’s first affordable housing project for farmworkers (Hand in Hand Apartments) and oversees several educational programs across Washington County for migrant workers. He has participated in the Maine Nonprofit Leadership Institute and the Maine Leadership Forum for Sustainable Food Systems. Ian serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Maine at Machias. He joined CEI’s board in 2014.

Michael High (General Counsel)
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