Team Directory

CEI Leadership

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5695betsy.biemann@ceimaine.org

Betsy Biemann

Chief Executive Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5695betsy.biemann@ceimaine.org

Betsy Biemann joined Coastal Enterprises Inc. in 2016 as its second Chief Executive Officer. Prior to her appointment, Betsy led the Maine Food Cluster Project of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard University and advised businesses, nonprofit organizations and social enterprises in Maine and nationally. From 2005 to 2012 she was president of the Maine Technology Institute, investing in Maine companies and initiatives seeking to grow high-potential sectors of Maine’s economy. Before to her move to Maine, Betsy served as associate director at The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, where she managed a national grant and investment program aiming to increase employment in low-income communities. She joined Rockefeller’s staff in 1996 after working in international development, principally in Africa. She earned her B.A. in biology and the history of science at Harvard University and her M.P.A. at Princeton University’s School of Public & International Affairs. Betsy serves on the board of the Opportunity Finance Network and as board member and treasurer of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.  In May 2020, she was appointed by Governor Janet Mills to Maine’s Economic Recovery Committee, tasked with recommending strategies to stabilize and grow the Maine economy in response to the COVID pandemic.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5695keith.bisson@ceimaine.org

Keith Bisson

President

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5695keith.bisson@ceimaine.org

Keith Bisson is president of CEI, overseeing strategic implementation and CEI’s day-to-day operations. He leads the major operations of the organization and provides essential support to CEI’s subsidiaries in the development of policies and practices required to support program alignment and growth. Prior to assuming leadership of the organization, Keith managed CEI’s small business counseling, natural resources, and workforce development programs. He was also responsible for development and management of the $11 million Northern Heritage Development Fund; monitoring and participating in Federal rural development policy; and managing and developing foundation and investor relations. He holds a B.A. in geography, McGill University in Montreal, and a master’s degree in environmental management from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

CEI Lending & Investing

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5908Molly.Gerencer@ceimaine.org

Molly Gerencer

Loan and Investment Officer

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5908Molly.Gerencer@ceimaine.org

As a Loan and Investment Officer at CEI, Molly Gerencer is involved in all aspects of lending including financial analysis, business development and portfolio management. Molly brings breadth and depth of retail and commercial banking and State of Maine financial expertise to the team. Molly has held a variety of retail banking roles such as Branch Manager and banking officer at Maine National then Fleet Bank, AVP Commercial Loan Officer at Cushnoc Bank and Trust, AVP Key Center Manager at Key Bank, and VP and Senior Relationship Manager for Bangor Savings Bank. Molly moved away from banking on a couple of different occasions during her career. She worked for the Maine State Department of Professional and Financial Regulation as a Senior Insurance Analyst for the Bureau of Insurance; Assistant Securities Specialist and Assistant Securities Administrator for the Office of Securities. Most recently, Molly held the role of Program Fiscal Officer, Division of Program and Fiscal Coordination for DHHS in Augusta. Molly holds a Bachelor of Arts in Financial Economics with a concentration in French from Saint Anslem College. Molly and her family reside in Gardiner.

Ryan Green30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5877Ryan.Green@ceimaine.org

Ryan Green

Loan and Investment Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5877Ryan.Green@ceimaine.org

As a Loan and Investment Officer at CEI, Ryan Green is involved in all aspects of lending including financial analysis, business development and portfolio management. Prior to becoming an Associate Loan and Investment Officer, Ryan worked as an analyst within the credit department performing financial analysis on new and existing customers, as well as focusing on portfolio management and risk analysis. Prior to joining CEI, Ryan worked eight years for Seafax, Inc. holding various positions, including Credit & Senior Portfolio Manager. Focused primarily within the seafood industry, he was responsible for the daily credit department functions of three seafood businesses. Duties included managing accounts receivable, setting credit limits, credit approval and ensuring compliance with credit insurance policies. Ryan holds a B.A. in International Business and Marketing from The University of Maine at Orono

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5853bethany.richards@ceimaine.org

Bethany Richards

Loan Officer and Compliance Manager

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5853bethany.richards@ceimaine.org

Bethany Richards joined CEI in 2014. As loan officer and compliance manager, she markets CEI and its loan products to potential borrowers and partnering organizations. She reviews loan applications to see if they align with CEI's mission of creating quality jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises, and shared prosperity, providing business financing to qualified applicants. She also monitors CEI's existing portfolio to ensure asset quality and customer satisfaction. Bethany has a B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Maine.

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5894tyrell.russell@ceimaine.org

Tyrell Russell

Loan Services Supervisor

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5894tyrell.russell@ceimaine.org

As loan services supervisor, Tyrell Russell is responsible for the daily workflow within the department, ensuring all work is completed and departmental deadlines have been met. She directs and supervises a variety of loan servicing functions in connection with CEI’s commercial loans, and full servicing functions for CEI’s loan portfolio from loan inception through loan pay-off, and works directly with borrowers to ensure customer satisfaction.

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2916daniel.wallace@ceimaine.org

Daniel Wallace

Senior Vice President, Lending and Investment

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2916daniel.wallace@ceimaine.org

Daniel Wallace is CEI's Senior Vice President, Lending and Investments, responsible for all aspects of lending, including business development, financial analysis, technical assistance, loan closings and portfolio management. Prior to joining the Lending and Investment Group, he was associate director of CEI’s sustainable agriculture and food systems program. Former work experience includes residential green building, retail food business and nonprofit management, and artisan baking. Daniel holds a B.A. in history from Williams College, and an M.A. in community development and planning from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine.

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5872Nikki.Yanok@ceimaine.org

Nikki Yanok

Associate Loan and Investment Officer

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5872Nikki.Yanok@ceimaine.org

Nikki Yanok is an Associate Loan and Investment Officer at CEI, performing all aspects of lending, including business development, financial analysis, technical assistance, loan closings and portfolio management.

Nikki brings experience in the financial services sector having held roles as a Consulting Associate at Cambridge and Associates in Boston, Investment Associate at H.M. Payson in Portland and most recently as an Analyst at Harpswell Capital Advisors. During college Nikki interned for Senator Olympia Snowe. Nikki holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government with a concentration in Education from Colby College. At Colby, she was also the President of the Student Alumni Association and a co-founder of the First Generation Students Organization. Nikki is a Brunswick, Maine native and now resides in Freeport.

CEI Business Advising

CEI's Women's Business Center2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-446-1989anna.ackerman@ceimaine.org

Anna Ackerman

Program Developer, CEI's Women's Business Center

CEI's Women's Business Center2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-446-1989anna.ackerman@ceimaine.org

As Program Developer of CEI's Women's Business Center, Anna Ackerman develops and facilitates training and programming specifically targeted to support Maine women to start or grow their own business. Anna's background includes political organizing, human rights advocacy, and culinary diplomacy. Anna researched and consulted on gender and human rights issues in Myanmar for the Athena Consortium, was the Internship Coordinator and Field Organizer for the Angus King for U.S. Senate campaign in 2018 and most recently was the Assistant Director at the Oak Institute for Human Rights at Colby College. Anna is the founder of World To Table, a non-profit dedicated to fostering integration between refugees and host communities through sharing a meal. Anna holds a B.A. in Gender and Women's studies from Bowdoin College and Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. 

Workforce30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5855christa.baade@ceimaine.org

Christa Baade

Program Developer, Workforce

Workforce30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5855christa.baade@ceimaine.org

Christa Baade coordinates and facilitates grant-funded workforce development projects. She works with CEI-financed businesses to assess employment/training needs and potential for low-income people to access newly created jobs; serves as liaison between the business and service-provider networks for job referral and information; and establishes partnerships and links companies with education, training and other resources that address workforce development issues. She is a member of advisory boards for Merrymeeting Adult Education, Midcoast CA$H Coalition, Manufacturing Association of Maine (MAMe) Education Committee, as well as the Coastal Counties Workforce, Inc., Youth Council. Prior to joining CEI, Christa had over 14 years in the employment and training field as manager and regional employer assistance coordinator for the Department of Labor Workforce Development Center administered by Coastal Economic Development. She has a B.A. in psychology from the University of Southern Maine.

Food Systems2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-504-5862nick.branchina@ceimaine.org

Nick Branchina

Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Food Systems2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-504-5862nick.branchina@ceimaine.org

Nick Branchina is the Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture in CEI's natural resources sector program. In this role he contributes to CEI’s lending and business development services supporting sustainable fisheries and aquaculture businesses throughout Maine and beyond. He facilitates growth of the sector via strategy and outreach, fundraising and resource development, and enterprise development. Prior to joining CEI he was engaged with an online lobster retailer in a consultant capacity. Nick also served as director of marketing of Browne Trading Co., a highly renowned seafood company whose legacy ranks among one of Maine’s most prominent brands. His decade-long career there included oversight of all aspects of marketing and advertising, public relations, sales, and product development and promotion. He sits on several committees to advise the commercial value of Maine’s seafood through marketing and production, including the Maine Farmed Shellfish Analysis group. Nick holds a B.A. in political science from Middlebury College, Vermont.

Women's Business CenterFarmington207-241-5593lorri.brown@ceimaine.org

Lorri Brown

Program Director/ Business Advisor

Women's Business CenterFarmington207-241-5593lorri.brown@ceimaine.org

Lorri Brown is a business advisor and program director with CEI Women’s Business Center in Farmington, providing one-on-one counseling and support to women-owned start-ups and existing businesses throughout central and western Maine. She comes to CEI with an extensive knowledge rural community development and passion for helping entrepreneurs leverage digital media to grow their business. She holds a B.A. in history from the University of Maine at Farmington and a M.A. in communications from Southern New Hampshire University.

Small Business Development CenterMaine SBDC Branch Office
210 Main Street
Suite 7
Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-664-2990shannon.byers@ceimaine.org

Shannon Byers

Center Director, Certified Business Advisor

Small Business Development CenterMaine SBDC Branch Office
210 Main Street
Suite 7
Ellsworth, ME 04605
207-664-2990shannon.byers@ceimaine.org

Shannon Byers manages the Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) program at CEI, supporting five ME SBDC Certified Business Advisors at service centers in Bangor, Waterville, Ellsworth and Wiscasset. She develops and implements the regional service delivery plan for two Maine SBDC service centers, Brunswick and Augusta, including provision of small business management counseling and coaching, training and professional development services.  Shannon uses her passion for entrepreneurship to help clients start, grow and transform their businesses. She has extensive experience in the biomedical field managing operations and R&D to develop new products. She founded a mobile dog grooming business and has first-hand experience starting and running a small business. She has a B.S. in animal and veterinary science, an M.S. in animal science from the University of Maine and an M.B.A. from the Maine Business School at the University of Maine.

Food Systems30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
 207-535-2920hugh.cowperthwaite@ceimaine.org

Hugh Cowperthwaite

Senior Program Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Food Systems30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
 207-535-2920hugh.cowperthwaite@ceimaine.org

Hugh is a Maine native and has a background in commercial fisheries (lobstering) that began in high school. At CEI, Hugh is the Senior Program Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture, which involves coordinating lending, business counseling and technical assistance with commercial fishermen, aquaculturists and waterfront businesses that maintain commercial fishing access.  He helped launch and administer the Maine Working Waterfront Access Protection Program, a $7.75 million state bond funded program to preserve important commercial fishing access properties along the Maine coast.  CEI is a partner in the Aquaculture in Shared Waters training program, a 12-week training course for existing and new aquaculturists. Other recent work includes an ongoing effort to introduce commercial scallop farming to Maine growers based on Japanese culture methods. Hugh is a member of the Maine Technology Institute’s Aquaculture and Marine Technology Board, the Maine Fishermen’s Forum Board and the Maine Sea Grant Policy Advisory Committee.

The Women's Business Center at CEI7 Ames Way
Machias, ME 04654
207-241-5592ruth.feldman@ceimaine.org

Ruth Feldman

Program Director, Certified Business Advisor

The Women's Business Center at CEI7 Ames Way
Machias, ME 04654
207-241-5592ruth.feldman@ceimaine.org

As the Program Director, Certified Business Advisor of the Women's Business Center at CEI in rural Maine, Ruth provides technical assistance to new and existing small businesses, with a focus on women-owned businesses. Ruth’s background includes many years in the restaurant business which she then translated into her vast experience in the non-profit sector. She has been an independent consultant and executive director for organizations focused on the environment, community development, education and the arts. Ruth has been a Fulbright Scholar in the Czech Republic, Peace Corps Volunteer in Small Business in the former Soviet Union and holds a B.A. from Hampshire College, Diplome Culinare from New England Culinary Institute and a Masters in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Women's Business Center2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-535-2914sarah.guerette@ceimaine.org

Sarah Guerette

Director and Business Advisor, Southern Maine

Women's Business Center2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-535-2914sarah.guerette@ceimaine.org

As the Director of the Women's Business Center at CEI in southern Maine, Sarah Guerette provides technical assistance to new and existing small businesses in southern Maine, with a focus on women-owned businesses. Services include one-on-one advising, workshop facilitation, and event coordination on a range of topics including: business planning, business financing, and sustainable growth. Originally from Bangor, Maine, Sarah has worked with small business owners both in Boston and in Ecuador, where she lived for nearly five years. Sarah holds a B.S. from the University of Maine and an M.B.A. from Boston University.

Food Systems30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5864gray.harris@ceimaine.org

Gray Harris

Senior Vice President, Food System Strategies

Food Systems30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5864gray.harris@ceimaine.org

Gray Harris is the senior program director of food systems at CEI. She is responsible for the strategy, development and implementation of action-oriented business initiatives in the agriculture, food systems, and aquaculture and fisheries sectors. In her role, Gray assesses sector needs and identifies sources of specialized technical assistance and financing for start-up and expanding food businesses; this includes spearheading the development of funds for sector-specific lending and investing at CEI. Gray is a former director of the Maine Farms for the Future program, a statewide business planning and grants program for Maine farmers. She participates in numerous action-oriented initiatives statewide, including the boards of Wolfe’s Neck Farm and the Maine Harvest Credit Union, and the Tech Board of the Maine Technology Institute. Gray holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and a M.A. from the Muskie School of Public Service at USM.

One Cumberland Place
Suite 302
Bangor, ME 04401
207-573-5076alison.keane@ceimaine.org

Alison Lane

Business Advisor

One Cumberland Place
Suite 302
Bangor, ME 04401
207-573-5076alison.keane@ceimaine.org

As a business advisor with the Small Business Development Center at CEI, Alison provides one-on-one assistance to aspiring and current small business owners in the Greater Bangor region. Alison has first-hand experience with business planning and development, having founded, managed, and sold a start-up restaurant in the City of Brewer. She also has prior experience managing a small business, systemizing customer relations management, marketing efforts, and collections activities. Alison earned an M.B.A. from the University of Maine, preceded with a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship.

Small Business Development CenterOne Cumberland Place
Suite 302
Bangor, ME 04401
207-942-1744ann.mcalhany@ceimaine.org

Ann McAlhany

Business Advisor

Small Business Development CenterOne Cumberland Place
Suite 302
Bangor, ME 04401
207-942-1744ann.mcalhany@ceimaine.org

Ann McAlhany provides one-on-one business counseling at the Small Business Development Center at CEI in Augusta for existing and start-up businesses. She works in all areas of business planning and financial management, including those considering purchasing an existing business or seeking financing. She is also the office resource for technology clients and entrepreneurs applying for MTI or SBIR grants. She has extra training around exporting. Ann has worked in different areas of the food service and restaurant field and has prior experience with inventory management, warehousing and distribution. She has owned her own business, so she knows firsthand what it’s like to be an entrepreneur. Ann has a B.A. in German from Furman University, an M.S. in logistics from Maine Maritime Academy, and an M.A.T in German from the University of Maine.

SBDC30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5899grace.mophillips@ceimaine.org

Grace Mo-Phillips

Business Advisor, Midcoast Region

SBDC30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5899grace.mophillips@ceimaine.org

Grace Mo-Phillips is CEI's Business Advisor for the midcoast region. Grace has 20 years of international business experience in product development, product marketing, and business development. She previously worked in the consumer goods industry, where she developed and marketed trend-right products that were sold in major national retail stores, such as Walmart, Macy’s, and Pottery Barn. She has worked in a variety of business settings, from small companies to large public corporations, including Izzo Systems, Fetco Home Décor, Lifetime Brands. In 2014 Grace started an exporting company- BelleCove, LLC that focuses on selling frozen seafood from the Americas to Asia Pacific countries.  Grace holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Arizona, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and International Business from Minnesota State University. Grace and her family reside in South Portland.

Workforce30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5436cynthia.murphy@ceimaine.org

Cynthia Murphy

Senior Program Director, Workforce

Workforce30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5436cynthia.murphy@ceimaine.org

Cynthia Murphy leads workforce solutions strategy and program delivery at CEI, helping employers create a people strategy that delivers competitive advantage and expanding opportunities for marginalized job seekers. She identifies opportunities to advocate for public policies that encourage quality jobs and amplify the public narrative about how quality jobs strengthen families, businesses and communities. Prior to joining CEI, Cynthia had a 25+ year career in the for-profit sector leading commercial operations for subsidiaries of Thomson Reuters, a global information business. She holds a B.A. from the University of Maine, an M.S. from Simmons College and a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University. She volunteers as a certified SCORE mentor and a Top Gun Mentor.

StartSmart2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-535-2915
207-775-1984
john.scribner@ceimaine.org

John Scribner

Director, StartSmart

StartSmart2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-535-2915
207-775-1984
john.scribner@ceimaine.org

John Scribner is director of StartSmart, a business development program that helps immigrants start or grow businesses. John has over fifteen years experience within the field, starting with his work as a small business advisor in Ecuador. This international experience was an ideal fit for the work John does at CEI, assisting refugees and immigrants who have settled in Maine attain self sufficiency by starting their own business, first as a business advisor and now as the Director of StartSmart. John has an economics degree from Kalamazoo College, where he graduated with Honors, as well as an M.B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University. John was a co-recipient of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Minority Small Business Champion for Maine as well as the Refugee Microenterprise Champion Award for 2015, recognizing his dedicated work with refugee entrepreneurs in the United States.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2905jennifer.sporzynski@ceimaine.org

Jennifer Sporzynski

Senior Vice President, Workforce and Business Development

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2905jennifer.sporzynski@ceimaine.org

Jennifer Sporzynski has worked in community economic development since 1993, working with small business owners in the United States, Guatemala (as a Peace Corps Volunteer) and Paraguay. At CEI, she coordinates the delivery of the microloan program and leads two departments, the Business Development Services department, a team of 12 providing business advising to existing and aspiring businesses and Workforce Solutions, a team of 4 who work directly with both growing businesses and the workforce system to hire low income individuals and create quality jobs. Jennifer serves on the CA$H Coalition of Greater Portland and volunteers as a tax preparer for CA$H, she recently completed two full terms on the board of the Portland Development Corporation (including 2 years as treasurer). She was named co-recipient of the SBA Minority Small Business Champion in Maine. She has a B.S. in business administration, finance, from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree from Harvard University. She is a Leadership Maine alumna (Upsilon Class), an Aspen Institute Fellow of Emerging Leaders in Microenterprise (ELM2), and completed the CDFI Leadership Learning Network with the Annie E Casey Foundation.

Jenn Stein

Business Advisor - Food Systems

jenn.stein@ceimaine.org

Jenn a Business Advisor – Food Systems Specialist with our Small Business Development advising team. In this role, Jenn advises small business owners in the food sector in Maine; facilitating start-up, survival and business expansion.

Jenn began her professional career in the web design and ecommerce space. Out of college, she held roles as a web and graphic designer for companies in southern California. When she moved back east to New York, she was a web producer for The Village Voice and SiriusXM XM radio. From there she worked for the Morgans Hotel Group as their Interactive Marketing Manager and then as their Director of Mobile and e-Commerce. When Jenn moved back to Maine, she took a position as the Director of Marketing Communications at Diversified Communications in Portland.

With her strong marketing background, passion for food and entrepreneurial drive, Jenn started her own food business – Steindry. The business focused on producing locally sourced beer, bourbon, and coffee marinated beef jerky, dried fruit snacks, and dog treats.  She became involved with Food Fork Lab in Portland while she was running her business, and as a result of a chain of events including the decision to exit her food business, she moved into the role as Food Fork’s General Manager in 2018. As GM, she was responsible for their day to day operations and marketing. During her time there she was able to grow membership and sales and helped keep the doors open for future small food entrepreneurs.

Jenn holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Graphic Communications at California Polytechnic State University and is nearly finished with her E-MBA from the Quantic School of Business and Technology. Jenn is originally from Union, Maine.

WorkforceThinkTank Biddeford
Pepperell Mill Campus
40 Main Street
Biddeford, ME 04005
207-805-3835arthur.stevens@ceimaine.org

Art Stevens

Business Development Officer, Workforce

WorkforceThinkTank Biddeford
Pepperell Mill Campus
40 Main Street
Biddeford, ME 04005
207-805-3835arthur.stevens@ceimaine.org

Art Stevens is responsible for all aspects of lending, including business development, financial analysis, technical assistance, loan closings and portfolio management. Employed at CEI since 1992, Art was previously a Project Coordinator/Program Developer with CEI’s  Targeted Opportunities/Workforce Solutions Program. Prior to joining CEI, Art was an Employment Developer with Creative Work Systems. He holds a B.A. in behavioral science from the University of Maine, Presque Isle.

Small Business Development Center30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5886bradshaw.swanson@ceimaine.org

Brad Swanson

Business Advisor

Small Business Development Center30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5886bradshaw.swanson@ceimaine.org

Brad Swanson works directly with small business owners and managers on matters relating to business start-up, expansion and survival, including assessing needs and identifying sources of specialized management assistance and financing for start-up and expanding small businesses. Brad earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Maine at Orono, and an M.B.A. from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. He has also completed 40 hours of post-graduate work in human development at the University of Southern Maine, and is a certified Franklin Covey 7 Habits facilitator, a certified leadership coach, a certified mediator (transformational), and a certified master business advisor.

Small Business Development CenterMaine SBDC Branch Office
Located at Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce
50 Elm StreetWaterville, ME 04901
207-319-4316allison.watson@ceimaine.org

Allison Watson

Business Advisor

Small Business Development CenterMaine SBDC Branch Office
Located at Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce
50 Elm StreetWaterville, ME 04901
207-319-4316allison.watson@ceimaine.org

Allison Watson is a business advisor with the Small Business Development Center at CEI in Waterville, providing one-on-one counseling and support to start-ups and existing businesses in northern Kennebec and Somerset counties. She comes to CEI with a depth and breadth of experience in economic development, education, energy and health care.  She spent several years in the energy industry working with industrial and commercial businesses,teaching business and technology courses. Most recently she was chief financial officer and senior director of operations at a healthcare non-profit. Allison earned her B.S. in business administration from Thomas College in Waterville, Maine, and continued at Thomas to earn both a master’s in computer technology in education and an M.B.A.

Financial Development Services

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5878mechelle.given@ceimaine.org

Mechelle Given

Financial Development Services Counselor

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5878mechelle.given@ceimaine.org

Mechelle Given’s role in the housing counseling and education department at CEI focuses on budget and foreclosure prevention counseling for distressed borrowers and consumers throughout Maine. Mechelle provides HUD-approved and required HECM reverse mortgage counseling for seniors who may be considering a reverse mortgage as an option. In addition, she offers assistance to homeowners in the Maine Foreclosure Diversion Program and is certified to provide financial coaching to Mainers looking to achieve financial sustainability. Mechelle has also completed a certificate course in grant writing from the University of Southern Maine. In addition to her counseling duties, she provides grant-writing and fundraising assistance to the department. Mechelle earned her B.S. in management and political science from Russell Sage College.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5875linda.lajoie@ceimaine.org

Linda LaJoie

Financial Development Services Counselor

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5875linda.lajoie@ceimaine.org

Linda Lajoie has worked in the housing counseling industry for over 20 years. Since beginning her career, she has assisted hundreds of families purchase their first home through programs, such as USDA Rural Development and MaineHousing, in addition to many other first time homebuyer programs. She has been an active member of Maine hoMEworks, providing homebuyer education to potential homebuyers since its inception in 1997. She also taught homebuyer education classes for over 12 years. She was formerly a licensed real estate and designated broker, as well as a HUD-certified Housing Quality Standards Inspector. Linda currently works with homeowners throughout the state, not only helping them to avoid foreclosure but also continuing to assist potential homebuyers through housing, budget, and credit counseling as well. Linda earned an associate’s degree in business administration, Summa Cum Laude, from Kaplan University.

StartSmartPortland, Lewiston207-535-2919jill.lorom@ceimaine.org

Jill Lorom

Financial Development Services Counselor

StartSmartPortland, Lewiston207-535-2919jill.lorom@ceimaine.org

Jill Lorom is a Financial Development Services Counselor at CEI. Jill is a Certified Accredited Financial Counselor through the Association for Financial Counseling, Planning and Education (AFCPE). Jill is a member of the Maine CA$H Coalition, a statewide VITA program, as well as the Maine Financial Literacy Advisory Council, Lewiston Family Self-Sufficiency Committee, and Seven Rivers Habitat for Humanity Family Selection Committee.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5866jason.thomas@ceimaine.org

Jason W. Thomas

Director, Financial Development Services

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5866jason.thomas@ceimaine.org

Jason Thomas currently oversees the financial development services department at CEI, focusing on budget and foreclosure-prevention counseling for distressed borrowers and consumers throughout the state of Maine. In addition to advising clients from first contact until resolution, Jason facilitates informational sessions for Maine’s Foreclosure Diversion Program. Jason provides HUD-approved and required HECM reverse mortgage counseling for seniors who may be considering a reverse mortgage as an option. Prior to joining CEI, Jason worked for Bank of America in various management and analyst roles. He holds a B.S. in communications and a B.S. in business administration from St. Joseph’s College.

CEI Capital

Didier P. Hakizimana

Chief Financial Officer

(207) 253-7706dhakizimana@ceicapitalmgmt.com

Didier Hakizimana is the Chief Financial Officer for CEI Capital Management. In this role, he reports to the CEO and oversees accounting and cash management functions, including all financial and tax reporting for CCML and its nearly 100 subsidiaries created by NMTC transactions. Prior to coming to CCML, he worked as accountant at Midcoast Maine Community Action; before that, he was Senior Accountant and Director of Finance for the National University of Rwanda for six years. Mr. Hakizimana is a CPA, a Certified Fraud Examiner and a Chartered Global Management Accountant. Mr. Hakizimana holds a B.S. in Accounting from the National University of Rwanda; a master’s degree in Management from University of Turin, Italy; and a certificate in Program Management from Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886Traci.Vaine@ceicapitalmgmt.com

Traci Vaine

Chief Executive Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886Traci.Vaine@ceicapitalmgmt.com

Ms. Vaine joined CCML in 2008 and served as CCML’s Chief Compliance Officer for eight years and was responsible for the organization’s NMTC program compliance. She developed and oversaw implementation of programs, policies and procedures to ensure full regulatory compliance at the federal, state and/or local levels. Ms. Vaine also served as primary liaison with regulators and advised management on related developments, with an emphasis on the growing and complex NMTC Program. She led CCML’s asset management team and served as the Ex Officio member of the Asset Management and Compliance Committee.

In her work at CCML, Vaine co-founded the CCML NMTC Roundtable, a forum for practitioners to discuss current topics and industry trends. She is recognized as an industry expert on topics of compliance and asset management. Prior to joining CCML, Vaine was the co-founder and operations manager of Fantasy Stock Market, Inc., an industry-leading e-learning stock market program. She also served as senior benefits advisor for the Arizona State Retirement System and a financial consultant at Smith Barney.

Ms. Vaine received her B.S. in Finance, Magna Cum Laude, from Arizona State University and is a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional.

CEI-Boulos Capital Management

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886Sam.Spencer@ceicapitalmgmt.com

Sam Spencer

CEO and Managing Director

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886Sam.Spencer@ceicapitalmgmt.com

CEI Ventures

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2901thao.duong@ceimaine.org

Thao Duong

Fund Administrator

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2901thao.duong@ceimaine.org

Thao maintains financials for CEI Ventures, Inc. and Coastal Ventures. Her many responsibilities include: budgeting, annual audit preparation, account reconciliations; monthly, quarterly and annual reporting;  monitoring idle cash investments, managing accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll functions, and maintaining the Funds’ portfolios.  Prior to joining CVI, She worked in Workers’ Compensation at University of Maine and Refugee Immigration at Catholics Charities Maine.  She received a B.S. in accounting from the University of Maine.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2904nathaniel.henshaw@ceimaine.org

Nat Henshaw

Managing Director

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2904nathaniel.henshaw@ceimaine.org

Nat Henshaw founded CEI Ventures, a for-profit venture capital subsidiary of CEI in 1993. As president, he directs the investment of community development venture capital into progressive Maine companies. Nat raised $5.5 million for CEI venture’s first venture capital fund; raised $20 million to date for CEI Ventures’s second fund; $10.135 million for the third fund; and $10.2 million for the fouth fund. Nat and his team have completed 58 equity investments in CEI Ventures funds. He serves or has served on served on 32 boards of directors. Previously, Nat worked as a loan and investment officer at CEI. In that capacity, he made loans to over 125 companies. Prior to CEI, Nat worked at Intersouth Partners (NC), Kitty Hawk Capital (NC) and Chemical Venture Capital (NYC). Nat holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Duke University.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2908chandler.jones@ceimaine.org

Chandler Jones

Principal

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2908chandler.jones@ceimaine.org

Chandler Jones joined CEI Ventures in 2012. Prior to CEI Ventures, he worked as a financial associate at a specialized financial services firm in Portland. In addition to his work at CEI Ventures, Chandler assists CEI’s loan department with credit analysis and creative debt/equity financing structures. He earned a B.A. in psychology from Saint Michael’s College, and an M.B.A. in finance from the University of Southern Maine.

Bright Community Capital

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
info@brightcommcap.com

Jesse McKinnell

Chief Operating Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
info@brightcommcap.com

Jesse McKinnell is the Chief Operating Officer of Bright Community Capital. Prior to his current position, Jesse served as an asset and relationship manager for CEI Capital and  as a risk analyst at PowerPay, a credit card processing company, where he monitored the company’s 250 largest accounts. Jesse received his B.A. from the University of Southern Maine and his J.D. from the University of Maine School of Law.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-253-7718info@brightcommcap.com

Niels Zellers

Chief Executive Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-253-7718info@brightcommcap.com

Niels Zellers is the Chief Executive Officer of Bright Community Capital. Prior to his current positon, Niels served as an investment officer for CEI Capital. Niels is a student of the social capital markets and has held a variety of roles in management, finance, strategy and investment consulting, working with small businesses, large financial services companies, foundations and nonprofits. He earned a B.A. in mathematical computer science from Lewis & Clark College, an M.S. in sustainable systems from the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

CEI Finance and Accounting

Accounting30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
rebecca.kirker@ceimaine.org

Rebecca Kirker

Director of Accounting

Accounting30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
rebecca.kirker@ceimaine.org
Accounting30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5874ellen.rodgers@ceimaine.org

Ellen Rodgers

Treasurer

Accounting30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5874ellen.rodgers@ceimaine.org

As CEI's treasurer, Ellen Rodgers is responsible for developing and managing strategies, operations and policies related to cash management, asset liability management, organization of funding sources, and reporting to investors. Prior to joining CEI, Ellen spent many years in Asia, where she was vice president of economic research at JP Morgan in Hong Kong, and associate director for a venture capital company in Hanoi, Vietnam. She also lived in New York, where she was a senior manager in the international tax services group at Ernst & Young. More recently, she launched and operated a retail business in Brunswick and oversaw financial administration at the Brunswick –Topsham Land Trust. Ellen has a B.A. in Chinese and economics from Wellesley College. She has attained the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Society of Maine.

Accounting30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5860david.wedick@ceimaine.org

David Wedick

Chief Financial Officer

Accounting30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5860david.wedick@ceimaine.org

David Wedick is the chief financial officer at CEI, joining the team in 2015. He oversees all finance and accounting operations at CEI and is part of the senior management team that is responsible for formulating and executing strategic organizational goals across the CEI family of organizations. David has over eighteen years of diverse financial sector experience including community development finance, investing banking, microfinance and mobile banking. Prior to joining CEI, David was a director of strategic operations & business development at MicroVest Capital Management, in impact investment fund manager focused on private investments to microfinance banks in emerging markets. For three years, David worked in Tanzania initiating and managing a successful micro-loan and business training program, followed by managing a mobile banking IT start-up. Prior to his time in Tanzania, David spent four years with JP Morgan as an equity research analyst in London. David holds a master's degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Edinburgh. He holds a Chartered Financial Analyst designation and is a member of the Chartered Financial Analysts Society of Maine.

CEI Policy

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5873laura.buxbaum@ceimaine.org

Laura Buxbaum

SVP, Public Policy and Resource Development

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5873laura.buxbaum@ceimaine.org

Laura Buxbaum coordinates federal policy and resource development initiatives at CEI. She also oversees CEI’s housing counseling and education program. Laura has worked in community development and nonprofit administration since 1992. She has worked as a community organizer and planner, a program director, deputy director and executive director. Before moving to Maine in 2007, Laura lived in Massachusetts, where she most recently was principal of a consulting firm specializing in executive assistance to organizations in transition. In this role, she served as interim executive director of the North Shore Housing Trust in 2007 and, from 2004-2006, as executive director of the Coalition for a Better Acre, a community development corporation in Lowell, MA. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, D.C., and of the National Rural Housing Coalition. She is co-chair of the NeighborWorks Rural Advisory Council and serves on KeyBank's National Advisory Council. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Princeton University and a master’s degree in public policy from Tufts University.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
amy.winston@ceimaine.org

Amy Winston

State Policy Director

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
amy.winston@ceimaine.org

As State Policy Director, Amy Winston leads policy initiatives supporting the organization’s strategic objectives to expand economic opportunities, create good jobs and support environmentally sustainable enterprises. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Amy previously conducted ethnographic fieldwork in an eastern Kentucky mining town that was seeking to diversify its economic dependence on coal following mine closures. There, she helped establish a local “action team” dedicated to participatory, sustainable development strategies. Her experience includes working as a legislative analyst at the state level and earning her Maine social work license. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Purdue University and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of New Hampshire.

Communications

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5890elizabeth.rogers@ceimaine.org

Elizabeth Rogers

Chief Communications Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5890elizabeth.rogers@ceimaine.org

Elizabeth Rogers is the chief communications officer at CEI, and oversees the administration of CEI Investment Notes. She leads communications, marketing, and branding to advance the organization’s mission-driven investing, business advising and state and federal policy efforts. Previously, she held consecutive positions including vice president, overseeing communications, advocacy and programming for over 12 years at a national organization dedicated to increasing access to dental care for underserved populations. Elizabeth created and led an award-winning multi-year Campaign for Oral Health Equity with funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which catalyzed state and federal policy changes. Elizabeth began her career as a producer at Chicago Public Radio, and also owned Rogers Public Relations Co. in Chicago. Elizabeth holds a B.A. in history from the University of Virginia; a B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and an M.S. in health policy and management from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. She helps to lead an initiative conducting public opinion and messaging research on climate-related policy solutions for the Maine Climate Table.

30 Federal Street, Brunswick, ME 040112074498464leah.thibault@ceimaine.org

Leah B. Thibault

Marketing Manager

30 Federal Street, Brunswick, ME 040112074498464leah.thibault@ceimaine.org

Leah B. Thibault manages marketing and communications initiatives at CEI, including media outreach, public relations, event management, and storytelling.  Leah previously served as Director of Executive Administration and Special Projects for CEI Capital Management LLC and has experience in small business and the performing arts. She received her B.A. from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and an HR certification from the University of Southern Maine.

Human Resources

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5945colleen.ippolito@ceimaine.org

Colleen Ippolito

Director

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5945colleen.ippolito@ceimaine.org

Colleen Ippolito is responsible for oversight and administration of the human resources department including all aspects of employee development and relations for CEI and its subsidiaries. Combining an operational and strategic approach to HR, Colleen manages full cycle recruitment and talent development, performance,  benefits and compensation administration, safety and workers’ compensation, intern programs, annual reviews, and employment law compliance. Colleen brings broad knowledge and experience as an HR professional in varied private, for-profit industries including Sunday River Ski Resort, Northeast Bank, Pierce Atwood and MaineToday Media. Colleen is a member of the Society for Human Resources Management and is active in its local chapter—the Human Resources Association of Southern Maine. She also serves on the Boards of Maine's Diversity Hiring Coalition and Volunteers of America Northern New England. She holds her PHR and SHRM-CP designations from the Society of Human Resources Management and the HR Certification Institute. Colleen holds a B.A. in biology from Bates College.

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