During this time of continued challenges associated with a global pandemic that seems intent on resisting and thwarting our best efforts to contain and eliminate it, it is especially important to reflect upon and appreciate the many good things in our lives. There is a great quote by legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden that says, “If we magnified blessings as much as we magnify disappointments, we would all be much happier.”
While I try to do a good job of expressing gratitude on a regular basis, what better time to proclaim it much more officially and publicly than around our annual Thanksgiving holiday. So, in an effort to magnify some of the many blessings and people that contributed this past year to the success of the Maine Technology Institute, I will use this month’s blog to convey thanks and gratitude.
You probably noticed, as a regular reader of the MTI monthly newsletter, that a little over a year ago we started to put a spotlight on MTI’s impressive staff. Each month, you got an opportunity to read a different profile about one of our employees. For those who missed them, you can find back issues of MTI newsletters here and can learn more about the MTI team. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of the MTI staff members by name for their incredible efforts over the past year. So, a well-deserved thanks goes out to MTI Director of Finance & Administration, Greg Lee; Senior Investment Officers Amy Leshure, Lou Simms, Scott Bursey and Shane Beckim; Director of Business Development, Joe Migliaccio; Investment Officers Bianca Kowal and Tom Kittredge, Lending & Grant Associate, Barb Ford; and Administrative Assistant, Wanda McNeil. They are a small but mighty team that, despite adversity, helped ensure another strong year of MTI investment, deploying over $9 million in innovation funding. I am so thankful for their many contributions to, and passion for, MTI and its mission.
MTI’s Board of Directors, led by Donna Cassese, have been incredibly responsive to the needs of entrepreneurs and technology-based organizations during the pandemic. Their leadership and commitment to MTI has had meaningful impacts on preserving and growing Maine jobs and companies. My gratitude goes out to each member of the MTI Board for giving so freely of their time and talents. In addition to Donna Cassese, I want to thank members Sandy Spaulding, Chip Kelley, Jake Ward, Heather Johnson, Dan Belyea, Sarah Curran, Sebastian Belle, Meredith Mendelson, Ian Swanberg, Rosaire Pelletier, and Rick Ganong.
I also want to recognize and thank the amazing contractors that assist MTI and its portfolio companies. The talented contractors include Krystal Williams and her work on MTI’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives; our talented E-Residents Matt Hoffner, John Pavan, John Eldredge and John Karp; and our amazing technical assistance team including Karen West Morgan, Suzanne Hamlin, Stan Gavitt, Jo Anne Goodnight, Jan Knight, and Jocelyn Sheppard, that help Maine companies and entrepreneurs develop competitive federal funding proposals. It’s an impressive group that serves as a tremendous resource for Maine entrepreneurs and innovators.
Without question, 2021 has been another challenging year. However, in the face of all the adversity, it’s important that we magnify the blessings and appreciate the contributions that Mainers have been making to help us persevere and overcome. From the individuals and organizations mentioned previously, to Maine’s remarkable and inspiring dreamers and doers, to the many essential frontline healthcare, public safety, manufacturing, retail, transportation, and food producing workers, we are deeply grateful for your efforts.