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Keeping you updated on what’s happening at CEI


March 25, 2015

CEI's Board of Directors Elects New Leadership

March 24, 2015 – At its 37th Annual Meeting on March 10, 2015, CEI was pleased to announce the election of Ellen Seidman as the new Chair of its Board of Directors, Betsy Biemann as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors, and Chip Newell as a new Member of the Board of Directors.

Ellen Seidman is currently a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, focusing on housing finance and community development. She is also a Research Fellow of the Filene Research Institute. In 2012, she was appointed to the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Ms. Seidman directed the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Thrift Supervision from 1997 to 2001. From 2002 through 2010, Ms. Seidman held various positions at ShoreBank Corporation and its affiliates. Ms. Seidman has also been Senior Counsel to the Democratic Staff, House Financial Services Committee (2001-02), Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy (1993-1997), and has held senior positions at Fannie Mae, the Department of the Treasury and the Department of Transportation. She chairs the board of Aeris Insight , which is the assessment and ratings system for the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) industry, is a founder and a member of the board of the Center for Financial Services Innovation, and is on the Board of City First Bank of DC, a CDFI bank. Ellen graduated with an A.B. from Radcliffe College, a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, and an M.B.A. from George Washington University. She is a resident of Washington, D.C., and Spruce Head, Maine.

Betsy Biemann advises companies, nonprofit organizations, foundations and government agencies on strategies to drive innovation, growth and economic opportunity. She currently leads the Maine Food Cluster Project of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard University. From 2005 to 2012 she served as president of the Maine Technology Institute (MTI). Under her leadership, MTI’s focus shifted from investing in promising technologies to growing technology companies, and its portfolio of investments and grants expanded from $15M to $75M. Betsy joined MTI after serving as an 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 also oversaw Rockefeller’s equity investments in community development venture capital funds and loans to social enterprises. Betsy joined Rockefeller’s staff in 1996, after working in international development, principally in Africa. Betsy serves on the CEI Investment Notes Advisory Board and on the Board of Directors of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and is a member of the Maine Angel network. Betsy graduated with a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.P.A from Princeton University. She lives in Brunswick, Maine, with her husband, Sean Callahan, and two children. Betsy joined the CEI board in 2012.

Chip Newell is a principal in The NewHeight Group, a real estate development and marketing consulting firm. Chip’s 35-year real estate career includes extensive experience from complex mixed-use urban projects to single-family homes. In the spring of 2015, NewHeight is completing development of 118 on Munjoy Hill, a 12-unit condominium building that is bringing a new level of building quality and energy efficiency to Portland, Maine’s multifamily market. Chip graduated with an A.B. from Bowdoin College in Economics and M.B.A in Finance and Accounting from Rutgers University. Chip is currently on the board and is Treasurer of Maine Center for Economic Development. He is also on the board of Community Housing of Maine, on the finance committee for the Boothbay Region Land Trust, and is on the Maine Community Foundation Cumberland County Committee, and the boards of Community Investments of Maine and CEI Investment Notes. Chip is a resident of Portland, Maine.

About CEI
Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), one of the nation’s premier Community Development Corporations (CDCs) and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), specializes in rural business development and financing. Founded in 1977 in Wiscasset, Maine, CEI creates economically and environmentally healthy communities in which all people, especially those with low incomes, can reach their full potential. CEI provides financing and technical assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, natural resource-based industries including the farm, fish and forest sectors, community facilities, renewable energy, commercial real estate and affordable housing. CEI serves communities in Maine, New England, and rural regions throughout the U.S. Find out more at

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