Maine’s Governor appoints ten voting directors, eight of whom must be representatives of targeted technologies. The other two directors must have demonstrated significant experience in finance, lending or venture capital. In making the appointments from targeted technologies, the Governor considers recommendations submitted by representatives of targeted technology sectors.
The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development or the commissioner’s designee, the President of the Maine Community College System or the president’s designee and the Chancellor of the University of Maine System or the chancellor’s designee are ex officio voting directors. The Director of the State Planning Office or the director’s designee is an ex officio nonvoting director. The Maine Technology Institute Director is a nonvoting director who is recommended by the MTI Board, appointed by the Governor, confirmed by the Senate, and employed by the Department of Economic and Community Development. Click on the names below to read each Board Member’s biography.
Donna Cassese, Chair
Sector Represented – Advanced Technologies for Forestry and Agriculture
Donna Cassese graduated from UMO with a B.S. in Forest Management and has been with Sappi for 38 years. She has had diverse roles within forestry, operations, and manufacturing. After nearly 15 years as a forester in both Maine and Alabama she transitioned into managerial roles in the Woodyard, Waste Treatment, Pulp Sales and Human Resources at the Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine. Following these roles, Donna held the position of Plant Manager at Sappi’s Allentown Pennsylvania converting facility and then transitioned into the Supply Chain group at the Somerset Mill. In 2006 Donna became the Director of Inside Sales for Sappi’s North American operations. In 2008, Donna assumed responsibility for the Westbrook Mill as Managing Director. In 2015 Donna returned to her forestry roots and is now the Director of Wood Resource Strategy.
Current Board Affiliations – Chairman of the Maine Pulp & Paper Association and Board member of the University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation.
Alexander (Sandy) Spaulding, Vice Chair
Sector Represented – Composite Technology
Mr. Spaulding is the President of Hodgdon Yacht Services and an officer of Hodgdon Group, the parent company. Hodgdon Group is a Maine based, diversified marine company with operations including custom boat building, high end interiors for yachts, planes and buildings, defense composites and yacht service and repair. Sandy also spent eight years at Hinckley Yachts, one of America’s premier builders of semi-custom sail and power yachts, in various roles, including as President of Hinckley Yachts and EVP and CFO of the parent company.
Mr. Spaulding is also the Chairman and Co‐Founder of Barton & Gray Mariners Club BGMC is the leading luxury day boat membership club in the United States. Membership in the Club gives members access to a fleet of Hinckley Picnic Boats along the Eastern seaboard without any ownership obligations. He is a Board Member of Waynflete School, a private elementary and college preparatory school in Portland, Maine. He is also a Board Member and Co‐Founder of Maine Built Boats, Inc., a non‐profit organization focused on promoting the Maine boat building industry; and Chairman of the Board of Portland Community Squash, a Maine non‐profit focused on developing junior squash programs in Maine.
Sector Represented – Aquaculture & Marine Technology
Meredith Mendelson has served as Deputy Commissioner for the Maine Department of Marine Resources since May 2012, with a focus on the interface of state and federal marine resources policy. The agency has a broad mission that includes conservation of marine and estuarine resources, conducting research, and promotion and development of coastal fisheries and aquaculture. In prior work, Meredith staffed Senator Olympia J. Snowe on the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, managed a groundfish sector, and worked for the Community Program at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.
Meredith is a graduate of Bates College and Maine Law, and resides in Camden with her husband and daughter.
Raymond (Chip) Kelley, Treasurer
Sector Represented – Finance/Lending/Venture Capital
Raymond (Chip) Kelley is the Team Leader (RTM) for Commercial Banking of Key’s Maine District, responsible for middle market banking in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He joined Key in 2005 after 13 years at Bank of America in Portland. Chip began his banking career with Shawmut Bank in Boston in 1985. He also spent two years in the early 1990’s with Bank South in Atlanta.
Chip currently serves on the Boards of North Atlantic Venture Capital Corporation, Maine & Company, and The United Way of Greater Portland. He also served on the Mercy Hospital Finance Committee. In the past he has served as a fundraiser on the annual campaigns for Maine Medical Center, The American Heart Association, and the Greater Portland YMCA. Previously he has also served on The Portland Community Chamber of Commerce and as Treasurer for St. Albans Episcopal Church.
Chip is a graduate of Colby College and he lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife and three boys.
Jake Ward, Secretary
University of Maine System Designate
James S. (Jake) Ward IV is the Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at the University of Maine. His office supports economic development by acting as a liaison for business and industry, facilitating technology transfer, and handling patenting, licensing and commercialization activities. The office also supports federal and state government relations for the university’s R&D mission.
Vice President Ward has been the Assistant Vice President for Research, Economic Development and Government Relations since 2006. He has served UMaine in various roles within the Department of Industrial Cooperation and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship since joining the University in 1990.
Prior to joining the University of Maine, Vice President Ward worked in private industry in software development and manufacturing. He is a member of national organizations, including the Association of University Technology Mangers and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He also serves on the boards of many state organizations including the Maine Technology Institute, the Maine Development Foundation and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development. Originally from Saco, he holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering and an M.S. in ocean engineering from the University of New Hampshire.
Sector Represented – Environmental Technology
Sebastian Belle began his career as a commercial fisherman, working his way through university as a mate on offshore lobster boats. Currently, Mr. Belle is the Executive Director of the Maine Aquaculture Association, a private non‐profit association representing Maine shellfish, finfish and sea plant growers. Mr. Belle sits on the National Organics Standards Board Aquaculture Task Force, the Standards Oversight Committee of the Global Aquaculture Alliance and the Boards of Directors for the USDA Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center, the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center, The Maine Technology Institute, The Maine Fishermen’s Forum, and the International Salmon Farmers Association. As a founding member of the Maine Working Waterfront Coalition and The Maine Natural Resources Network. Mr. Belle has a long commitment to the balanced and sustainable use of Maine’s natural resources and working landscapes and waterfronts. Prior to joining the Maine Aquaculture Association, Mr. Belle was the state aquaculture coordinator working for the Maine Department of Marine Resources and managed commercial salmon and tuna farms for over twenty years. Mr. Belle holds degrees in fisheries biology and agricultural economics and has served as a technical consultant and manager on over twenty commercial aquaculture ventures in nine countries. In addition to his role as the Maine Aquaculture Association’s Executive Director, Mr. Belle is President of Econ‐Aqua, a consulting firm specializing in aquaculture project design, operations management, financial due diligence and risk analysis and control.
Sector Represented – Information Technology
Alec Porteous, a native of Falmouth and current resident of Portland, has a history of both state and federal service, as well as a background in the private sector. At the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), he oversees nine bureaus and more than 1,200 employees serving the executive, legislative and judicial branches, all state agencies and the general public. The Department’s broad range of responsibilities for state government are served through the Bureau of the Budget, Bureau of Business Management, Bureau of Human Resources, Division of Financial and Personnel Services, the Office of Information Technology, Bureau of Real Estate Management and the Office of the State Controller. In addition, the Department is responsible for managing Maine Revenue Services and the Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages and Lottery Operations.
In his role as Commissioner, Porteous is responsible for the development of the State of Maine’s biennial budget, guiding state tax policy and overseeing the administration of tax laws, directing technology services and infrastructure, maintenance and investment in the state taxpayer-supported real estate portfolio, state procurement, and the recruitment and retention of one of Maine’s largest and most diverse workforces.
Prior to joining DAFS, Porteous served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). He joined the LePage Administration in 2014 as DHHS Deputy Commissioner of Finance. In these capacities, he oversaw the DHHS budget, accounting, audit and contracting functions and was responsible for developing and managing the Department’s $7 billion biennial budget.
Prior to joining the LePage Administration, Porteous served as a staff member for U.S. Senator Susan Collins. From 2011 to 2013, he was the Senator’s State Office Representative in Portland and was a member of her legislative staff in Washington, DC from 2002 to 2005. In the private sector, Porteous worked as a Policy Advisor for Gibson Dunn in Washington, DC, focusing on financial services issues and congressional investigations, and as an Associate in the Investment Banking Division at Lehman Brothers.
Porteous earned his BA from Colby College and his MBA from Cornell University. He is a trustee of the Portland Museum of Art, where he serves as co-chair of the Contemporaries Steering Committee, and as a member of the museum’s External Affairs and Audit Committees, respectively.
Sector Represented – Precision Manufacturing
Paul Edmonds was the Vice President of Operations at National Semiconductor and the Operations Manager Fairchild Semiconductor until his retirement in 2010. He is an experienced semiconductor professional with 42 years of Wafer Fab engineering, operations management, Greenfield Construction, and global technology transfers. His specialties are Wafer Fab turnarounds to improve cost performance, project management, Wafer Fab construction and start‐up and benchmarking.
Paul currently consults in the semiconductor industry and is an Adjunct professor at USM. He is a SCORE mentor with the Portland Maine chapter. Education: Applied Science, Forestry, BS in Business Management, MBA in Engineering Management, Global Technology Management accelerated MBA from Stanford.
Sector Represented – Finance/Lending/Venture Capital
Richard (Rick) Ganong has more than 25 years of experience in the financial services industry with a focus on venture capital and hedge fund investing. He was a Partner at the Tudor Investment Corporation, an internationally recognized diversified investment management firm, and was a founding General Partner of the Tudor Venture Group which managed a series of funds providing growth capital to private companies in various information technology industries. Most recently, Mr. Ganong was the Senior Vice President of Development and Alumni Relations at Bowdoin College.
Mr. Ganong’s education background includes an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth, 1992 and a BA from Bowdoin College, 1986.
Mr. Ganong has dedicated time and resources to many not-for-profit institutions. He is an emeritus member of the Board of Overseers at The Tuck School at Dartmouth. He is also the Chairman of the Corporation of The Belmont Hill School and is President Emeritus of the Board of Trustees of the Belmont Hill School (2007-2012). From 2008-2012, he was an Overseer at Newton Wellesley Hospital and member of the finance committee. He has recently joined the Board of The Gulf of Maine Institute.
Mr. Ganong and his wife, Kristine are co-founders of Five Pine Farm in Brunswick.
Denise Garland was appointed Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in July 2018. As the state agency, responsible for creating jobs and investment opportunities in Maine through business recruitment, retention and expansion, workforce attraction, and international trade and tourism, Denise has been instrumental in advancing Maine’s economic welfare as Deputy Commissioner for the past seven years.
Denise has worked for Maine State Government for 27 years and held several senior level positions. Her knowledge of the State of Maine through the many community and statewide initiatives and programs has assisted her in guiding and promoting business development and job creation in the State of Maine. Providing direction, guidance and assistance, as well as efficiencies and improved processes have been the trademarks of her career in State Government.
Denise and her husband live in Farmingdale and have two grown children.
Community College Designate
Nina Fisher serves as the representative for the Maine Community College System (MCCS). The mission of MCCS, set forth in Maine statute, is to provide associate degree, and certificate programs directed at the educational and occupational needs of the State’s citizens, and the workforce needs of the State’s employers. The primary goals of the System are to create an educated, skilled and adaptable labor force which is responsive to the changing needs of the economy of the State, and to promote local, regional and statewide economic development through workforce development. MCCS is comprised of seven colleges across the state with six off-campus centers. Over 17,000 students on average are enrolled in credit courses each semester.
Nina serves as the Director of Government Relations for MCCS and is a native of Aroostook County having been born and raised in Madawaska. She lives in the Augusta area with her husband, and three children.
Acting Director of Office of Policy and Management or Director’s designate
Paul Leparulo is Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management. In this role he conducts research and analysis to support major policy and investment decisions.
He previously served as Deputy Director of the Office of Policy and Management, Deputy Director of the State Workforce Board, and as the Director of Workforce Research and Evaluation Studies at the Center for Workforce Research and Information.
Prior to relocating to Maine, Leparulo worked for Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for 11 years where he was responsible for conducting equity research and managing investments in the U.S. technology and consumer sectors. His experience also includes performing buy-side equity research for firms in New York and the surrounding area.
Leparulo holds an MBA from the Simon School of Business at the University of Rochester and a degree in economics from Furman University. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst, a member of the Maine Chartered Financial Analyst Society. Paul lives in Spruce Head with his wife and three children.
Sector Represented – Advanced Technologies for Forestry and Agriculture
With four decades of experience in the forest products industry, Rosaire Pelletier is an expert when it comes to anything related to manufacturing, management, marketing and innovation of forest products. He informs, connects and advises businesses to define goals and create a strategic plan to achieve them. As the Senior Forest Products Advisor for the State of Maine, a position Rosaire has held since 2007, the appointment as Governor’s Account Executive under the LePage administration was a natural extension of his ongoing work to enhance the forest products industry. Rosaire’s specific experience is centered in accounting and financial management of the pulp and paper industry. Employed by Fraser Papers Incorporated from 1966 to 2007, his résumé includes upper management positions like Group Controller of Government Affairs and Business Manager of Pulp and Paper Operations. A Madawaska native, Rosaire is bi-lingual, speaking both French and English fluently.
Stacey Pazar Huth
Sector Represented – Biotechnology
Stacey Pazar Huth is the Director of Molecular Program Management at EnviroLogix, Inc., a subsidiary of Ensign-Bickford Industries. EnviroLogix is a Maine-based biotechnology company developing rapid GMO and mycotoxin detection technology. In her current role, Stacey is charged with partnering across multiple key projects and across key functions to identify and bridge gaps for successful delivery of new products to market.
Stacey has extensive experience in bringing diagnostic products and systems to market. Prior to joining EnviroLogix, she served for 20 years at IDEXX Laboratories in Research & Development as both Technical and Team Leader. Her specialties are developing products in a timely manner and with high quality, mentoring team members, and ensuring clear and concise communication across all levels of an organization for efficient and effective program alignment.
Stacey earned her BS in Chemistry from Simmons College, and her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Maine, Orono. She is also a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She is the sole proprietor of Good Science Bakery, a home-based entrepreneurial adventure providing baklava to local bakeries for resale. Stacey resides in Yarmouth with her teen daughter and a tuxedo cat.
MTI President (non-voting)
Brian Whitney is President of the Maine Technology Institute, a publicly financed, private, nonprofit organization established to stimulate research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products, processes and services in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors.
He has extensive experience in economic development and legislative matters at both the state and federal level and has worked with innumerable companies, private and public sector research organizations, and entrepreneurial leaders throughout the State of Maine during his professional career. He served previously as a private sector manager and in the public sector as Maine’s Director of Business Development & Innovation, the Director of Outreach and Economic Development for U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), a Business Development Specialist for the State of Maine, and as Chief of Staff to Maine’s Senate President.
He has served on, or staffed, a number of statewide boards including the Maine State Workforce Investment Board, the Maine Economic Growth Council, Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board, and the Maine Rural Development Authority. He is currently a board member of the Maine Venture Fund, Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, Maine & Company, and the Economic Development Council of Maine.
Brian is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine (USM) and lives in Augusta with his wife and two daughters.