CEI Staff

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John Scribner

Director, StartSmart

About John

John Scribner is the Director of StartSmart at Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), a Maine-based community development financial institution with a mission to build just, vibrant and climate-resilient futures for people and communities in Maine and rural regions by integrating finance, business expertise and policy solutions in ways that make the economy work more equitably.

As CEI’s Director of StartSmart he provides overall program management and business advising to Maine’s growing immigrant population.  StartSmart has assisted people from over 100 countries start and grow their businesses.  John is passionate about this work and has received both the SBA Minority Small business co-champion award and the ORR refugee microenterprise champion award.  He co-authored a chapter of the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis’s Investing in Rural Prosperity.

John has over 20 years’ experience within the economic development field including work in Maine and internationally while living in Ecuador, and studying in Poland, Germany, and England.   John can often be seen watching, coaching, or helping out with his kid’s soccer, tennis or track practices.  In his spare time, you might find him in the mountains or boating Merrymeeting Bay and the Kennebec River with his wife and two kids. 


  • Southern New Hampshire University, M.B.A.
  • Kalamazoo College, B.A. Economics
Get To Know John
What is unique about the town you grew up in?

Wilton, Maine where both Bass Shoe and Forster toothpicks got their start!

What was your first job?

Not quite first, but most fun: park ranger in the Boston city parks.

If you had unlimited resources, where would you travel to?


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