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 serves as CEO of CEI, overseeing strategy development, finance and external relations and working closely with CEI’s board and the boards of CEI’s subsidiaries. Prior to succeeding Ron Phillips as the organization’s second CEO, 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. Prior 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 the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. Betsy serves on the board of Opportunity Finance Network, and is board member and treasurer of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.

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

LendingBrunswick/Portlandkristin.blum@ceimaine.org

Kristin Blum

Loan and Investment Officer

LendingBrunswick/Portlandkristin.blum@ceimaine.org
Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5869john.egan@ceimaine.org

John Egan

Chief Investment Officer

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5869john.egan@ceimaine.org

As chief investment officer at CEI, John Egan is responsible for oversight of CEI’s loan and investment group and loan production. Under John’s leadership, CEI has expanded its renewable energy investment portfolio and its impact in community revitalization efforts throughout Maine as a State Historic Tax Credit investor. He also leads CEI Housing as it achieves its mission to provide affordable housing in the CEI marketplace. John has worked in housing development since 1986, mostly at community level with nonprofit agencies as both a developer and manager of a variety of multi-family projects and special needs housing. Prior to CEI, John worked as Manager of Multi-family Programs at the Maine State Housing Authority, and developed HUD, tax credit, and supported housing projects in Alaska. John earned a B.S. in biology from Loyola University, and a graduate certificate in public policy from the University of Maryland.

Lending2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-535-2928mark.jennings@ceimaine.org

Mark Jennings

Loan and Investment Officer

Lending2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-535-2928mark.jennings@ceimaine.org

Mark Jennings is a loan officer at CEI, performing all aspects of lending, including business development, financial analysis, technical assistance, loan closings and portfolio management. His experience includes U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs including micro and 504 loans. Before coming to CEI, Mark had over 15 years’ experience in banking and economic development including positions as a small business loan officer, underwriter and portfolio manager. He earned his B.A. from the University of Maine and his M.B.A. from Rutgers University.

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5856cole.palmer@ceimaine.org

Cole Palmer

Loan and Investment Officer

Lending30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5856cole.palmer@ceimaine.org

Cole Palmer is responsible for all aspects of lending, including business development, financial analysis, technical assistance, loan closings and portfolio management. His previous career highlights include a 21-year commercial banking career as well as serving as chief financial officer of a $9 million social services agency. Former board directorships include: Stillwater Montessori School, Old Town, Maine; The Housing Foundation, Orono; Orono-Old Town Kiwanis; Maine Wood Products Association, Newport; Rutland (Vermont) Region Chamber of Commerce (First Vice President); and Robert Morris Associates/Vermont Chapter. He received a B.S. in finance and a certificate in nonprofit management from the University of Maine.

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

Loan and Investment Officer

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

Daniel Wallace is a loan officer at CEI, responsible for all aspects of lending, including business development, financial analysis, technical assistance, loan closings and portfolio management. Prior to joining the Loans & Investments 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.

CEI Business Advising

Small Business Development CenterMaine SBDC Branch Office
297 Bath Road
Wiscasset, ME 04578
marc.anton@ceimaine.org

Marc Anton

Business Advisor

Small Business Development CenterMaine SBDC Branch Office
297 Bath Road
Wiscasset, ME 04578
marc.anton@ceimaine.org
Food Systems2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-504-5862nick.branchina@ceimaine.org

Nick Branchina

Associate Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture

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

Nick Branchina is the associate director, fisheries & 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.

Small Business Development CenterOne Cumberland Place
Suite 302
Bangor, ME 04401
207-573-5076ashleigh.briggs@ceimaine.org

Ashleigh Briggs

Business Advisor

Small Business Development CenterOne Cumberland Place
Suite 302
Bangor, ME 04401
207-573-5076ashleigh.briggs@ceimaine.org

Ashleigh Briggs is a business advisor with the Maine Small Business Development Center at CEI, providing one-on-one business counseling in the Bangor area. She has a long history of working for, managing, and owning small businesses and has a passion for helping others fulfill their own dreams of owning their own successful business.  Most recently, Ashleigh ran an operations consulting company that focused on helping businesses identify and deploy technology that promotes operational efficiencies and improve bottom lines. She received a B.S. in business administration with a concentration in marketing and minor in political science from the University of Maine.

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

Christa Baade

Program Developer

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.

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

Shannon Byers

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 is a business advisor with the Maine Small Business Development Center at CEI, where she 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.

Women's Business Center7 Ames Way
Machias, ME 04654
 207-255-0983ruth.cash-smith@ceimaine.org

Ruth Cash-Smith

Business Advisor

Women's Business Center7 Ames Way
Machias, ME 04654
 207-255-0983ruth.cash-smith@ceimaine.org

As a business advisor with the Women's Business Center at CEI, Ruth Cash-Smith provides free and confidential individual business advising and training on a full range of business issues, facilitates access to capital, and maintains an extensive referral network with other local and state service providers. Previously, she owned and operated her own writing and evaluation services business in Washington County for 14 years. Ruth has also published a book on effective business writing for small business, taught university business communication classes in Malaysia and Singapore for five years, and served as a mediator with the Maine courts. In 2010 the U. S. Small Business Administration named Ruth the Women in Business Champion in both Maine and in New England. Other awards include the 2012 Champion for Women Award in Washington County from The Commons Eastport, LLC, and the Sunrise County Economic Council Partner of the Year Award in 2009. She received a B.S. from Western Connecticut State College, and a master's in intercultural/interpersonal communication from Fairfield University.

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

Hugh Cowperthwaite

Director, Fisheries Project

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

Hugh Cowperthwaite has a background in commercial fisheries (lobstering) that began in high school. At CEI, Hugh is responsible for CEI’s Fisheries and Waterfront programs, which involve coordinating lending, business counseling and technical assistance with commercial fishermen, shellfish growers and waterfront businesses that maintain commercial fishing access. He currently oversees a $7.75 million state bond-funded program (Working Waterfront Access Protection Program) to preserve important commercial fishing properties. Other recent work includes studying the distribution of Maine seafood and helping to connect seafood with New England wide “food hubs.” Hugh is engaged in state, regional and national working waterfront and commercial fisheries networks to help foster investment into the sector. He is a member of the Maine Technology Institute’s Aquaculture and Marine Technology Board, the Maine Seafood Marketing Network and the National Working Waterfront Network. He has a B.A. in environmental science and policy applied ecology from the University of Southern Maine.

Women's Business Center2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
 207-504-5945kate.curran@ceimaine.org

Kate Curran

Program and Training Developer

Women's Business Center2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
 207-504-5945kate.curran@ceimaine.org

Kate Curran's work with the Women’s Business Center includes the development of a comprehensive program of training, workshops and outreach initiatives specifically designed to support and advance women entrepreneurs looking to start, manage, grow or finance a business. Her endeavors with start-ups and small businesses have taken her from Italy, where she lived for six years, to England to Portland. Kate is a member of the Maine Start-up & Create Week Executive Committee, and actively involved in Maine’s entrepreneurial community. When not in the office, she can be found working on her own start-up or a number of collaborative initiatives to foster growth and opportunity in Maine. Kate earned a B.A. in international business and political science from John Cabot University.

Women's Business CenterFairfield207-778-6529betty.gensel@ceimaine.org

Betty Gensel

Director and Business Advisor, Rural Maine

Women's Business CenterFairfield207-778-6529betty.gensel@ceimaine.org

Betty Gensel provides one-on-one counseling, workshops and networking support to start-ups and existing businesses in western Maine through the Women's Business Center at CEI. Previous experience includes work as an early education and child care consultant, liaison for the community college network in Franklin County, and family child care manager. She earned a B.A. in sociology and business from the University of Maine at Farmington and an M.B.A. from Thomas College.

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 Program Director

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.

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

Jill Lorom

Program Developer, IDA and Financial Capability

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

Jill Lorom is the program developer for the Individual Development Account Program (IDA), responsible for all aspects of Maine’s only Office of Refugee Resettlement-funded IDA matched savings program, including outreach, case management, financial education, data management and reporting. 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.

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.

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

Cynthia Murphy

Senior Program Director

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.

Food Systems30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5881brett.richardson@ceimaine.org

Brett Richardson

Director, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

Food Systems30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5881brett.richardson@ceimaine.org
StartSmart2 Portland Fish Pier
Suite 201
Portland, ME 04101
207-535-2915
207-775-1984
john.scribner@ceimaine.org

John Scribner

Director

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

SVP, 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.

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

Art Stevens

Business Development Officer

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

Center Director, Business Advisor

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

Brad Swanson 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. He 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. He 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.

CEI Housing Counseling

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

Mechelle Given

Housing 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

Housing 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.

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

Jason W. Thomas

Director, Housing Counseling and Education

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

Jason Thomas currently oversees the housing counseling program at CEI and also provides direct counseling services, 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

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886tad.atwell@ceicapitalmgmt.com

Tad Atwell

Chief Investment Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886tad.atwell@ceicapitalmgmt.com

As chief investment officer at CEI Capital Management, Tad Atwell is tasked with focusing on capital sourcing, capital deployment, project sourcing, project underwriting, and investment recommendations, as well as program compliance and the development and maintenance of numerous close relationships with community development organizations, investors, lenders and private development professionals. During his tenure at CEI Capital, Tad has secured investment capital and successfully closed more than $249M in QEIs. Tad has over 16 years of experience in commercial banking. Prior to joining CEI Capital in 2008, he most recently served as a vice president/senior loan officer in commercial and industrial lending at the Bank of Nevada (Western Alliance Bancorp). Tad received his B.A. and M.B.A. from the University of Maine.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886thomas.dolan@ceicapitalmgmt.com

Tom Dolan

Chief Operating Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886thomas.dolan@ceicapitalmgmt.com

As CEI Capital Management's chief operations officer, Tom reports to the CEO and has broad oversight for CEI Capital’s investment team, asset management and program compliance. Tom has over 20 years’ experience in real estate finance, law, and community development. Prior to his work at CEI Capital, Tom served as general counsel for Fannie Mae’s American Communities Fund, the equity arm of the Nation’s largest housing finance company; vice president & associate general counsel for CarrAmerica Realty Corporation, a NYSE real estate investment trust; and in-house counsel for The Peterson Companies L.C., a private real estate development firm located in Fairfax, Virginia. Tom also practiced law at Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker in Stamford, Connecticut and Rogers & Wells in New York City. Tom received his B.A. from Fordham University and his J.D. from the University of Notre Dame Law School.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886david.hays@ceicapitalmgmt.com

David Hays

Chief Financial Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886david.hays@ceicapitalmgmt.com

David Hays 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 CEI Capital and its nearly 100  subsidiaries created by prior New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) transactions. With a team of accounting specialists, his role is key to monitoring and maintaining the integrity of financial reporting for each NMTC transaction over the seven year compliance period and beyond. This is a central role in managing the complex NMTC investor, lender, CDE and QALICB relationship. David has nearly 20 years of accounting and compliance experience. Prior to coming to CEI Capital, he worked as business unit controller for Click Commerce and as manager of financial reporting and accounting for Harmony Health Plan of Illinois, Inc. David has prior accreditation as a certified public accountant and received his B.A. from Lake Forest College.

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886Charles.Spies@ceicapitalmgmt.com

Charlie Spies

Chief Executive Officer

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-772-2886Charles.Spies@ceicapitalmgmt.com

As CEI Capital Management's CEO, Charlie Spies oversees 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, CEI Capital has raised and placed more than $783 million of federal New Markets Tax Credits (NMTCs) in 80 projects nationally. All of the investments incorporate a triple-bottom-line focus that helps create and preserve jobs and improve quality of life in low-income communities. 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. Charlie currently serves on the executive committee of the board 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.

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

Traci Vaine

Chief Compliance Officer

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

As chief compliance officer at CEI Capital Management, Tracy Vaine is responsible for the design, development and management of the organization's New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and Maine New Markets Capital Investment (NMCI) regulatory compliance programs as well as oversight of asset management matters during underwriting, the seven year compliance period, disposition and exit stages. Tracy develops and oversees implementation of federal NMTC and state NMCI programs and policies and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance. Tracy also serves as liaison with federal NMTC and state NMCI regulators and advises management on related developments. Prior to her work at CEI Capital, Ms. Vaine served as operations manager for Fantasy Stock Market Inc.; senior benefits advisor for the Arizona State Retirement System; and as a financial consultant for Smith Barney. Tracy received her B.S. from Arizona State University and is a certified compliance and ethics professional (CCEP).

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
207-535-2903chandler.jones@ceimaine.org

Chandler Jones

Principal

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-535-2903chandler.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@bcc.com

Jesse McKinnell

Chief Operating Officer

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

As a revenue and fund development officer, Jesse McKinnell  is responsible for the day to day operations of CEI Capital’s new product development process, including strategic innovations targeted at revenue enhancement within existing business activities as well as long-term strategic planning for new triple-bottom-line product development.  His responsibilities include the identification and vetting of new product ideas, development of business plans and execution of new product development activities. 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@bcc.com

Niels Zellers

Chief Executive Officer

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

Niels Zellers is responsible for the day-to-day operations of CEI Capital Mangement’s new product development process, including strategic innovations targeted at revenue enhancement within existing business activities as well as long-term strategic planning for new triple-bottom-line product development. His responsibilities include the identification and vetting of new product ideas, development of business plans, and execution of new product development activities. 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. 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. David has over sixteen years of diverse financial sector experience including community development finance, investing banking, microfinance and mobile banking. 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
207-504-5854carla.dickstein@ceimaine.org

Carla Dickstein

SVP, Research and Policy Development

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5854carla.dickstein@ceimaine.org

Carla Dickstein oversees CEI’s state policy work and develops new CEI initiatives, with a current focus on workforce training, early childhood care, and access to broadband. She co-founded the Maine Broadband Coalition, and is on the board of the Environmental Health Strategy Center and the advisory board of the Margaret Chase Smith Center at University of Maine. Prior to coming to CEI, she was on the faculty of West Virginia University’s Regional Research Institute and the West Virginia University Extension Service. She holds a B.A. from Smith College; a master’s degree in planning from the University of Minnesota; and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

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

Amy Winston

Policy Associate

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

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 04011
207-504-5880michelle.smith@ceimaine.org

Michelle Smith

Marketing Manager

30 Federal Street
Brunswick, ME 04011
207-504-5880michelle.smith@ceimaine.org

Michelle Smith manages marketing and communications initiatives at CEI, including media outreach, public relations, event management, and storytelling. She has a background in higher-ed program development, counseling, and recruitment. Michelle studied English at the University of Maine at Augusta and International Development at University College Cork.

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 human resource programs and policies and all aspects of employee development and relations for CEI. Combining an operational and strategic approach to HR, Colleen manages recruitment, organizational staffing and development, new hire onboarding, performance management, benefits and compensation administration, training, safety and workers’ compensation, intern programs, and compliance. Colleen has several years’ of HR generalist and management experience in mid-sized, 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 holds her PHR and SHRM-CP designations and has served on the HRASM Board as vice president of Chapter Communications. Colleen holds a B.A. in biology from Bates College and completed secondary education coursework at the University of Maine at Farmington.