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 is Chief Executive Officer at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a community development financial institution headquartered in Brunswick, Maine, and serves as the Vice Chair of the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) board, Treasurer of the New Growth Innovation Network (NGIN) board, and Chair of the Equity Committee of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation board. 

Prior to joining CEI, Betsy led the Maine Food Cluster Project of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard University and was a consulting advisor to businesses, nonprofit organizations and social enterprises in Maine and nationally. She previously served as president of the Maine Technology Institute, which invests in Maine companies and initiatives seeking to grow high-potential sectors of Maine’s economy. Prior to that, she was an associate director at The Rockefeller Foundation in New York City, where she managed a national grant program and impact investment portfolio aiming to increase employment and economic mobility in low-income communities. 

Betsy graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs.

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

Lending 30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-401-6107Emma.Enoch@ceimaine.org

Emma Enoch

Loan and Investment Officer

Lending 30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-401-6107Emma.Enoch@ceimaine.org

As a Loan and Investment Officer, Emma brings with her a wealth of experiences and a passion for community development. Emma most recently comes from the Vermont Community Loan Fund, where she was a Loan Officer, managing applicant and client relationships. Emma previously held roles as AmeriCorps Member, Project Manager with The Food Rescue Project, Food Bank Manager at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program, and Food Systems Analyst at Sterling College in Vermont. Staying true to her passion for community, she also contributes her time and talents in many organizations serving as a board member, committee chair, and volunteer. Her community engagement includes working with organizations such as Slow Money VT, Center for Women & Enterprise, and Food Solutions New England. Emma is a graduate from Sterling College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sustainable Food Systems.

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 a 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

Lending(207) 504-5876linnea.patterson@ceimaine.org

Linnea Patterson

Environmental Lending Specialist

Lending(207) 504-5876linnea.patterson@ceimaine.org

Linnea Patterson is the Environmental Specialist on the Lending team at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. She provides sector expertise to green business deals and works with the Lending team and other stakeholders to create new financing models and seek market opportunities for renewable energy companies and sustainability-focused businesses. Linnea also works on state policy initiatives related to economic and environmental sustainability and helps direct CEI’s strategic climate work. Previously, Linnea worked for Fidelity Investments on the Product team of an Agency Lending trading desk in Fidelity’s Capital Markets division. She is also a former three-time CEI intern and throughout her sophomore, junior, and senior year in college worked on multiple projects related to food systems, capital access, and business advising in the context of climate change. Linnea is a Bowdoin College graduate, with a degree in both Biology and Environmental Studies.

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
207-504-5872Nikki.Schneider@ceimaine.org

Nikki Schneider

Associate Loan and Investment Officer

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

Nikki Schneider 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.

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

As senior vice president, lending and investment, Daniel Wallace oversees the management and deployment of CEI’s $50 million loan fund, successfully leading a team of 12 as they helped Maine’s small businesses navigate the economic challenges of the pandemic. In his role as senior vice president, Wallace applies a systematic and conscientious approach to business development, financial analysis, and technical assistance, overseeing deployment of $17 million in 73 loans and investments to 71 businesses in 2020 alone. He joined CEI in 2012 as associate director of CEI’s Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program and was promoted to director of lending in 2019. Wallace serves on the steering committee for an Appalachian Community Capital project in central Appalachia and was an advisory board member for Community Vision, supporting their expansion into fisheries financing. Earlier in his career, Wallace managed and owned retail food businesses, developed and built residential green homes, and ran a nonprofit arts organization. He is a professionally trained artisan baker and holds a B.A. from Williams College and an M.A. in community planning and development from the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine.

CEI Business Advising

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.

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 CEI Women’s Business Center Northeast, 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 CEI Women’s Business Centers, Business Advisor

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

As the Director of the CEI Women’s Business Centers, Sarah oversees the strategic direction of the centers, as well as maintaining stakeholder relationships. Additionally, Sarah provides one on one business advising, with a focus on access to capital.  Originally from Bangor, Maine, Sarah has worked with small business owners both in Boston and in Ecuador, where she lived for five+ years. Sarah holds a B.S. from the University of Maine and an M.B.A. from Boston University.

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

Alison Lane

Associate Center Director & Certified Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center at CEI

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

As Associate Center Director & Certified 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.

SBDC at CEI30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5900raynor.large@ceimaine.org

Raynor Large

Certified Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center at CEI

SBDC at CEI30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5900raynor.large@ceimaine.org

As a business advisor with the Small Business Development Center at CEI, Raynor provides one-on-one assistance to aspiring and current small business owners in the Midcoast region. Raynor has most recently been a Small Business Advisor and Center Director for AVCOG, based in Auburn. Prior to AVCOG, Raynor held positions as a financial analyst and broker for Magnusson Balfour Real Estate, and a senior financial analyst for Point to Point Business Specialists. Raynor holds a bachelor’s of arts degree in psychology with a minor in Spanish language with a focus on economics from Gettysburg College. Raynor was born in Florida but raised in Auburn, Maine. Raynor and his family reside in Cumberland.

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

Ann McAlhany

Certified Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center at CEI

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.

WBC2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-504-5899grace.mo-phillips@ceimaine.org

Grace Mo-Phillips

Program Director CEI Women’s Business Center South, Business Advisor

WBC2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-504-5899grace.mo-phillips@ceimaine.org

As Program Director at the CEI Women’s Business Center in Southern Maine, Grace helps entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs start and grow their business, with a special mission to support the ethnically and socially underserved groups.  Grace previously worked in the consumer goods industry, where she was a product developer and marketer of 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.  With a strong background in international trade, Grace started her exporting company in 2014 -- Belle Cove, LLC, which focuses on selling frozen seafood from the Americas to Asia and Europe.  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 has earned the Certified Global Business Professional designation in Maine from North American Small Business International Trade Educators (NASBITE). 

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 competitive advantage by improving the quality of their jobs and expanding opportunities for marginalized job seekers. In addition, Cynthia leads the Child Care Business Lab, a cohort-based program that helps entrepreneurs start child care businesses, integrating small business start-up education, guidance on how to deliver high-quality child care programming and coaching through the licensing process.  Prior to joining CEI, Cynthia had a 25+ year career 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.

Workforce Solutions415 Lisbon Street
Suite 4-LAEGC
Lewiston, ME 04240
207-504-5881Azenaide.Pedro@ceimaine.org

Azenaide Pedro

Program Specialist, Workforce Solutions

Workforce Solutions415 Lisbon Street
Suite 4-LAEGC
Lewiston, ME 04240
207-504-5881Azenaide.Pedro@ceimaine.org

Azenaide Pedro is the CEI’s workforce solutions team’s program specialist.

Originally from Angola, Pedro came to Maine three years ago from Johannesburg, South Africa, where she received a BA in public health from Monash University. In 2020, she was one of the first individuals to apply for the pilot cohort of CEI’s Child Care Business Lab to learn how to help five women, who immigrated to Lewiston from Angola, start a cooperative child care center. The co-op is scheduled to open in May. In her new role at CEI, Pedro will focus on growing additional child care options in Lewiston’s Tree Streets neighborhood, one of the state’s most diverse areas, with the densest population of children in the state. During recent listening sessions in the community, she confirmed the need for culturally appropriate, high quality, affordable child care that is responsive to around-the-clock work schedules. Pedro is pursuing an associate’s degree in business administration and management from Central Maine Community College.

Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at CEI Maine SBDC Branch Office
Located at Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce
50 Elm StreetWaterville, ME 04901
(207) 504-5869Peter.Piconi@ceimaine.org

Peter Piconi

Certified Business Advisor, Small Business Development Center at CEI

Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at CEI Maine SBDC Branch Office
Located at Mid Maine Chamber of Commerce
50 Elm StreetWaterville, ME 04901
(207) 504-5869Peter.Piconi@ceimaine.org

Peter Piconi is part of Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at CEI as the Business Advisor for the Waterville office.

Peter brings a breadth and depth of business advising and business ownership experience to this role. Originally from Southern California, Piconi worked at his family’s winery in Temecula and also started his own retail saltwater fly fishing business in San Diego, which he operated and grew over the course of 15 years. His business experience led him to the Midwest where, he was a key project lead for a recirculating aquaculture (RAS) startup within a budding network of investors. This work allowed him to serve as event manager for Kern and Associates, responsible for planning, managing, and launching large scale agriculture industry education and promotional events. In 2018, he joined the Island Institute as community development officer – business development specialist, and manager for the Aquaculture Business Development Program. This work established key partnerships, built a collaborative network of farmers throughout Maine and is where he first intersected with CEI’s lending and fisheries and aquaculture teams.

Peter holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University.

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 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 BS 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, Small Business Development Center at CEI

jenn.stein@ceimaine.org

Jenn a Business Advisor – Business Advisor, Midcoast Region/Food Systems with our Small Business Development Center at CEI team. In this role, Jenn advises small business owners in the food sector and Midcoast region 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.

Workforce Solutions30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5944Tabin.TangilaMesuKamba@ceimaine.org

Tabin Tangila Mesu Kamba

Program Developer, Workforce Solutions

Workforce Solutions30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5944Tabin.TangilaMesuKamba@ceimaine.org

Tabin Tangila Mesu Kamba is CEI's program developer for workforce solutions. Most recently, Tabin was the human resources coordinator for talent and culture at Maine Public. He brings experience as the former minority outreach program coordinator for the Frannie Peabody Center in Portland and as a program associate for the New Mainer’s Resources Center for Portland Adult Education. Tabin also served as the national technical manager for ACS/AMO, a non-profit health care and advocacy organization in his home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. Tabin holds an Associate of Science degree in business administration from Southern Maine Community College and a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration, finance major, from the University of Southern Maine.

Financial Development Services

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

Mechelle Given

Financial Development Counselor

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

Mechelle Given’s role in CEI’s Financial Development Services focuses on HUD-approved and required HECM reverse mortgage counseling for seniors who may be considering a reverse mortgage as an option. In addition, she is the primary Financial Capability coach for Maine’s Resident-Owned Manufactured Housing Communities, spread throughout Maine from Veazie to Arundel. She assists these clients in developing and reaching goals, connecting them to potential resources, and help them work towards being more financially secure. Mechelle has also completed both a certificate course in grant writing from the University of Southern Maine and a certificate in Non-Profit Management. 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.

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

Jill Lorom

Financial Development Counselor

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

Jill Lorom is FDS’s primary financial capability provider, assisting clients engaged in other CEI business lines. Assisting CEI’s Lending, Business Development Services, and Workforce Group, Jill works with potential applicants in clarifying their goals, developing a plan on how to reach those goals, and ensure that clients are getting as much support from CEI as possible when working towards seeking capital and starting or growing a business. Additionally, Jill provides student loan counseling services and is certified by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC). Jill is also 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 Financial Development Services at CEI and provides direct counseling services, focusing on 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. 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. He also holds a certificate in Homeownership and Residential Lending from NeighborWorks America, certifications in student loan counseling and financial capability, and is a certified reverse mortgage counselor.

CEI Capital

Didier P. Hakizimana

Chief Financial Officer

207-772-2886dhakizimana@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@ceiboulos.com

Sam Spencer

CEO and Managing Director

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886sam.spencer@ceiboulos.com

Sam Spencer is CEO and Managing Director of CEI-Boulos Capital Management, a real estate investment fund management company focused on delivering both competitive financial returns and social impact. The company serves banks, family offices, and other institutional investors, and has a national scope. CEI-Boulos is a joint venture between CEI, a community development finance institution, and The Boulos Company, an integrated commercial real estate firm.

The company’s first Opportunity Zone fund is the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund. The fund invests in high-impact commercial real estate projects across the seventeen-state Community Reinvestment Act footprint of its sole investor, Woodforest National Bank, with the goal of ensuring that these investments benefit the economically distressed communities in which the projects are located. In 2020, the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund was recognized by Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Center as one of the “The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts,” and one of the ten most innovative and impact focused Opportunity Zone funds in the country. In 2021, the fund was the winner in the Societal and Community Impact Innovation category of the Banking Administration Institute (BAI) Global Innovation Awards.

Spencer was previously Senior Vice President for Investments at CEI Capital Management, of the nation’s leading allocator of federal New Markets Tax Credits. Spencer has also been an entrepreneur in the energy field and a real estate developer. He served on the Clinton White House staff for four years, including as Special Assistant to Vice President Al Gore. For eight years he served as Democratic National Committeeman for Maine. He is a board member of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a leading state-wide land trust, where he serves as the Chair of the Public Policy Committee, on the Executive Committee, the Lands Committee, the Governance Committee, the DEIJ Working Group, and on the board of an affiliated LLC. He has also previously served as president of the board of Opportunity Maine, an education policy non-profit, and as president of the Portland Development Corporation, the city’s economic development and loan authority, and on the board of Maine and Company, a non-profit focused on state business attraction. As a high school student, he served as Head Page of the U.S. Senate. He received a BA degree cum laude in government from Harvard College and MBA degree from Harvard Business School.

Dasha White

SVP of Investment

Dasha.White@ceiboulos.com

Dasha White is Senior Vice President of Investment at CEI-Boulos Capital Management, a real estate investment fund management company focused on delivering both competitive financial returns and social impact. The company serves banks, family offices, and other institutional investors, and has a national scope. CEI-Boulos is a joint venture between CEI, a community development finance institution, and The Boulos Company, an integrated commercial real estate firm.

The company’s first Opportunity Zone fund is the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund. The fund invests in high-impact commercial real estate projects across the seventeen-state Community Reinvestment Act footprint of its sole investor, Woodforest National Bank, with the goal of ensuring that these investments benefit the economically distressed communities in which the projects are located. In 2020, the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund was recognized by Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Center as one of the “The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts,” and one of the ten most innovative and impact focused Opportunity Zone funds in the country. In 2021, the fund was the winner in the Societal and Community Impact Innovation category of the Banking Administration Institute (BAI) Global Innovation Awards.

Dasha joined CEI-Boulos with over 15 years of commercial real estate investment experience. She is responsible for managing and expanding the company’s investment funds.  Dasha started her career as an associate at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and a consultant in the – distressed real estate group at Otera Capital in New York. Additionally, she’s held the role of VP of Fixed Income at the Endeavor Real Estate group in Austin, Texas and most recently was the Director of Acquisitions at Paramount Specialty finance based out of Austin.  She has received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Stuart Hean

Vice President of Investment

stuart.hean@ceiboulos.com

Stuart Hean is Vice President of Investment at CEI-Boulos Capital Management, a real estate investment fund management company focused on delivering both competitive financial returns and social impact. The company serves banks, family offices, and other institutional investors, and has a national scope. CEI-Boulos is a joint venture between CEI, a community development finance institution, and The Boulos Company, an integrated commercial real estate firm.

The company’s first Opportunity Zone fund is the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund. The fund invests in high-impact commercial real estate projects across the seventeen-state Community Reinvestment Act footprint of its sole investor, Woodforest National Bank, with the goal of ensuring that these investments benefit the economically distressed communities in which the projects are located. In 2020, the Woodforest CEI-Boulos Opportunity Fund was recognized by Forbes and the Sorenson Impact Center as one of the “The Forbes OZ 20: Top Opportunity Zone Catalysts,” and one of the ten most innovative and impact focused Opportunity Zone funds in the country. In 2021, the fund was the winner in the Societal and Community Impact Innovation category of the Banking Administration Institute (BAI) Global Innovation Awards.

Stuart joined CEI-Boulos with over 10 years of experience at the intersection of impact investing and economic development. He is responsible for managing and expanding the company’s investment funds, with a specific focus on business development and originations.  Stuart started his career with Reinvestment Fund where he supported the implementation of strategic initiatives on behalf of the C-Suite. Additionally, he’s held the role of Director of Leasing & Development for Shift Capital, an impact driven and vertically integrated real estate investment firm, and most recently was Director of Investments at The Collective Investment Group – an impact driven private equity firm with a mission to capitalize Black real estate developers leading impactful projects.  Stuart received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Environmental Studies from Haverford College.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
charles.spies@ceiboulos.com

Charlie Spies

President and Managing Director

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
charles.spies@ceiboulos.com

Charlie Spies is Managing Director of CEI-Boulos Capital Management, LLC, where he focuses on capital raising. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors.

Charlie recently retired as CEO of CEI Capital, where he oversaw all aspects of the organization’s operations including: capital sourcing and deployment; project sourcing and underwriting; investment recommendations; accounting; compliance; asset management; and public relations. Under his leadership, CCML raised and deployed $1.02 billion in federal and state New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) allocation in more than 95 projects across the U.S. without a single year of financial loss, making CCML one of the nation’s leading allocatees of federal NMTCs. Like CEI, CCML’s focus on projects located in underinvested rural communities has helped to create and preserve 8,849 jobs and the firm has entered into Community Benefit Agreements that directed over $12.5 million in additional investments into programs that support people and communities with low incomes.

Prior to joining CEI Capital in 2006, Charlie served as chief operating officer for the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System. Through creative and strategic management, he successfully led the organization through a 73% cut in federal funding by diversifying revenue sources. He grew an individual membership program and secured direct funding from the State of Maine, including a $500,000 emergency appropriation. He has also served as CEO for the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) and president and CEO of the National Association of Seed and Venture Funds. As one example of his capital raising experience, Charlie established and secured funding at FAME for a $150 MM secondary market for student loans. While managing the Small Enterprise Growth Fund at FAME he also raised and invested over $9M in funds for seed-stage venture capital investments from both public and private sources. Until he exited CEI Capital Management in September 2020, Charlie served for ten years on the executive committee of the board of the New Markets Tax Credit Coalition.

He received a B.S. in forest utilization and an M.S. in forest entomology from the University of Maine, and an M.B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University.

Drew Sigfridson

Managing Director

Drew Sigfridson is a co-founder and Managing Director of CEI-Boulos Capital Management, LLC, where he helps source and underwrite qualified Opportunity Zone social impact investments. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors. He has worked in commercial real estate for over 20 years and is Managing Director at The Boulos Company, where he focuses on strategic growth, new business development, brokerage of investment and development projects and operations in Maine and New Hampshire. Drew also works on Class A office leasing, industrial developments and corporate representation on acquisitions and dispositions. He has served as director and past president for the Maine Commercial Association of Realtors, past president of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association, and past chairman of the Avesta Housing Board of Directors. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors Chapter of New England and CIANBRO Construction.  Drew holds real estate commission licenses in Maine and New Hampshire, and holds a dual-certification as an office and industrial specialist in the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). He is a graduate of Bowdoin College, Cum Laude, with a B.A. in government and history.  

Morris Fisher

Managing Director

Morris Fisher is Managing Director of CEI-Boulos Capital Management, LLC, where he helps source and underwrite qualified Opportunity Zone social impact investments. He is also a member of the company’s board of directors. Morris has been President of Boulos Asset Management since 2005. He is responsible for leading a team of property management professionals, developing and implementing company strategy and, with his 30 years of commercial real estate experience, spearheads the company’s commitment to help clients achieve their real estate objectives. Fisher previously served as Controller and Chief Financial Officer and became a Principal of the firm in 1995. Having years of real estate development, operations, leasing and finance experience, his responsibilities include directing the operation of a property management company with 50 employees and real estate projects under management totaling 5 million square feet of commercial space. He also provides strategic real estate advice to the firm’s clients. Fisher has extensive experience in the development, marketing, leasing and sale of major retail, office and industrial properties in both downtown and suburban locations. Fisher is a Trustee of Maine Medical Center and serves on other for profit and not for profit boards. He is a former officer and member of the board of Portland Public Library, The Park Danforth, Catholic Charities of Maine and the Portland Downtown District. Prior to joining Boulos Asset Management's Property Management division, he was a senior accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick.

CEI Ventures

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

Thao Duong

Finance and Fund Administration Manager

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

Thao supervises the tax, accounting and administration of 3 active venture funds and their management company, CEI Ventures Inc. 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 companies in Maine and New England. Under his leadership, CEI Ventures has raised over $67 mission in funds from a mix of impact investors including individuals, foundations, community economic development entities and banks motivated, in part, by Community Reinvestment Act credit. Nat and his team have invested in 67 companies across five funds, helping to create 2,800 new jobs in geographic regions and with demographic populations often overlooked by traditional venture capital investors. He serves or has served on over 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

Managing Director

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.

CEI Finance and Accounting

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 040112074498464leah.thibault@ceimaine.org

Leah B. Thibault

Director of Marketing & Communications

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

Leah B. Thibault works closely with CEI’s leadership team to plan, develop, and implement marketing and communications initiatives at CEI, including media outreach, public relations, social media & website management and storytelling.  Leah previously served as Marketing Manager at CEI and Director of Executive Administration and Special Projects for CEI Capital Management LLC, and has run her own small business as a freelance crafts pattern designer for over a decade. A highly-efficient Jane-of-All-Trades and a skilled writer and creative, Leah's design work and writing has appeared in books, traditional and independent magazines, trade journals and web-based publications.

Leah volunteers extensively with Girl Scouts of Maine and serves as a regional Service Unit Manager, overseeing all troops in Westbrook, Gorham and Scarborough. She received her B.A. in Performance Studies from Willamette University in Salem, Oregon and holds 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

SVP, Human Resources and Office Administration

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

Colleen Ippolito is responsible for people operations and strategy, talent and performance management and HR compliance for CEI and three of its wholly owned subsidiaries. Colleen and her team manage full cycle recruitment efforts, workforce planning, onboarding and talent development, performance management,  benefits and compensation plan administration, safety and workers’ compensation administration, internship programming, and employment law compliance. Colleen is a member of the Operations Leadership and Equity Leadership Teams. Colleen brings broad knowledge and experience as an HR professional in private sector industries including HR management roles at 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 is a member of Maine's Diversity Hiring Coalition and on the Board of Directors for the 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 is active in her local community school, serving as a volunteer Secretary on the Greely High School Girls Volleyball Boosters and the President of the Greely Girls Basketball Boosters. Colleen holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Bates College.