MTI Welcomes Eight New Members To Its Board Of Directors

March 30, 2023 | President’s blog

Brian Whitney MTI President

In this space last month, I referenced Ben Franklin’s adage about change, “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” I noted that the maxim is relevant in most every aspect of life and perhaps most pertinent when considering how best to evolve, improve, and grow organizations.  I used the occasion to note the transition occurring in the make-up of MTI’s Board and to convey my appreciation to a number of long-serving Board members who had reached the end of their terms of service.  I also promised to tell you about their successors in this month’s newsletter.

Again, as a reminder, MTI is a unique public-private partnership.  The organization is governed by a Board made up of 10 private sector and 5 public sector members.  All members of the Board are appointed by the Governor to serve a 3-year term.  A second term is also permitted.

I am delighted to report that in January and February, Governor Mills made eight long-anticipated appointments to the MTI Board of Directors. The slate of new members is incredibly impressive and features leaders in agriculture, forestry, precision manufacturing, environmental, biotechnology, government, finance, and venture capital. The new members include Melissa Lacasse, Co-founder and CEO of Tanbark Molded Fiber Products; Jed Beach, owner of 3 Bug Farm in Lincolnville and operator of FarmSmart Maine; Rob Pierson, most recently the President/CEO of Grover Precision in Oxford; Mike Cassata, Co-founder and Chief Development Officer of Biofine Developments Northeast; Amberlynn Esperanza, Commercial Lending Development Officer at Mascoma Bank; John Pavan, Founder of Altezza Advisors in Brunswick; Scott Kleiman, Director of Policy in the Governor’s Office of Innovation Policy and the Future; and Susan Tapley, Director of Operations at EnviroLogix in Portland.

The new members are joining the Board at an active period of growth and transition at MTI as we continue to deploy and manage millions in funding associated with the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan; launch new initiatives like our soon to be announced State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) equity and loan program;  collaborate with the Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll) program to help under-represented individuals start businesses in Maine; grow promising initiatives like the Maine Entrepreneurial Resource Corps (MERC) and the Federal and State Technology (FAST) Partnership Program; and finish up projects like the federally funded SEAMaine initiative.  So, as you can see, MTI is engaged in ever evolving and consequential work.

We are thrilled to welcome these talented new Board members to the MTI team and look forward to working together to continue to strengthen Maine’s technology-based economy.