Maine Forest Bioeconomy Summit 2021

FOR/Maine Summit 2021 – Forwarding The Future Of Maine’s Forest Bioeconomy

Thank you to the over 300 people from around the country and on two continents that participated in the summit!.

FOR/Maine Summit 2021 – Opening Video and Agenda
FOR/Maine Summit 2021 – Intermission video, Comments by Dana Eidsness, SXSW Video for Maine/Finland partnership

Exploring The Opportunities In Maine

Join us for a series of interactive discussions with industry representatives, forest economy community members, state government officials, and university experts, featuring an address from Maine Governor Janet Mills

Summit Panels & Presentations

Forest Products Industry Workforce Development

Presented By:
Dr. Ryan Wallace. Director, Maine Center for Business and Economic Research, Muskie School of Public Service

Presentation Overview:
With an ambitious plan for growth, Maine’s forest economy must be prepared to support existing and emerging businesses with a skilled and available workforce, while addressing the challenges of changing workforce demographics in the state. In this session, participants will engage with Dr. Ryan Wallace from USM’s Center for Business and Economic Research on new industry-focused research that profiles workforce demand, labor availability, and recruitment and training efforts in Maine’s forest industry. Recommendations from Dr. Wallace’s team provide insight into what the industry can do to attract, train, and retain talent.

Ryan Wallace

Dr. Ryan Wallace: Ryan is a regional economist and director of the Maine Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) at the University of Southern Maine (USM). Under Ryan’s leadership, CBER prepares economic forecasts for the state of Maine and provides research, technical assistance, and expertise to private and public sector organizations across the state addressing economic development and workforce challenges. He has authored over 60 studies on the Maine and New England economies. He serves on the advisory board of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s New England Public Policy Center and earned a PhD in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) and has a BS in finance from Bentley University

Small Woodland Owner Outreach & Engagement

Presented By:
Dr. Purnima Chawla, Founder and Director, Center for Nonprofit Strategies

Presentation Overview:
Engaging small woodland owners is a perennial challenge for many in the forest industry. Understanding landowner values and desires is key to building relationships that can increase engagement of woodland owners with their land, and the volume of timber harvested from these lands. In this session, Purnnima Chawla will share the work of the Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively (TELE) project, which through using landowner profiles and extensive research, is advising Maine’s forest industry on how to improve engagement and outreach to select small woodland owners in the state. Purnima will share early information about landowner profiles, and early results from her research in Maine.

Dr. Purnima Chawla: Purnima is the founder of the Center for Nonprofit Strategies and co-leader of the Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively (or TELE) program. She is a recognized expert in developing and implementing strategies that help organizations advance their missions and accomplish their goals. Over the last two decades, she has provided organizational, programmatic and marketing counsel to a wide variety of nonprofits, foundations, social businesses and government agencies, especially in the areas of environment and public health. As part of the TELE team, she has trained more than 1,500 natural resource professionals and helped more than 50 programs to engage more landowners in conservation and stewardship programs. Purnima has a PhD in Psychology from Columbia University, and enjoys hiking, biking and yoga

Strategic Investment Attraction In The Forest Economy

Presented By:
Jeffrey Hatcher, Managing Director, Indufor North America, Ashley Pringle, Vice President of Operations at Maine & Co.

Presentation Overview:
Maine’s position in the global forest products economy relies heavily on the mix of products manufactured in the state, and our ability to diversify our forest products economy. In this session, participants will engage with Jeffrey Hatcher from Indufor, a global forest consultancy working with FOR/Maine, to understand the mix of products in which Maine can be most competitive, and the current efforts underway to attract investment in these product areas. Jeffrey will share recently developed reports and tools, including a Stocktaking Report assessing Maine’s business development activities, and an Interactive Site Database. Jeffrey will be joined by Ashley Pringle, who will discuss how the business attraction expertise of Maine & Co is being leveraged to support FOR/Maine’s goals.

Jeffrey Hatcher: Jeffrey is the Managing Director of Indufor North America, which provides sustainability and investment consulting services to public and private clients. The projects he leads focus on sustainable investments in natural resources with clients including public-private partnerships, impact investors, trade associations, international development agencies, and leading conservation organizations. He has led Indufor’s work with For/Maine and other North American clients. Prior to joining Indufor he worked for the Rights and Resources Group and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. He holds an MBA with a focus on finance from INSEAD, an MA in Development Studies from the University of Pavia, and a BA in International Relations from the College of William and Mary.

Ashley Pringle: Ashley is the Vice President of Operations at Maine & Co., a private non-profit organization that provides free and confidential consulting services to businesses looking to relocate to Maine or expand within Maine. She works closely with executives within high growth companies looking to expand workforce and leverage Maine’s ecosystem of cost-effective workspace, skilled labor, and much-improved quality of life. As a strategic planner, she works across several disciplines including relationship development, real estate site searches, data collection and analysis, incentives identification and valuation, site visit coordination, workforce analysis, and financing coordination. Before joining Maine & Co. in 2014, she served as an active duty officer in the United States Army. Ashley holds a BA in Political Science from Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont, and she earned her MBA from the University of Southern Maine in Portland, Maine.

Maine’s Sustainably Managed Forest & Climate Change

Presented By:
Peter Triandafillou, Retired Vice President of Woodlands, Huber Resources Corp
Adam Daigneault, Assistant Professor of Forest, Conservation, and Recreation Policy at the University of Maine
Brian Soeurs, Owner, and President, Treeline Inc.

Moderated By
Aaron Weiskittel, Professor of Forest Biometrics and Modeling Irving Chair of Forest Ecosystem Management at the University of Maine.

Presentation Overview:
In this session, we will explore intersections of forest management and the forest’s role in combating climate change. We will review results from FOR/Maine’s Wood Supply analysis which modeled sustainable harvest vs. current consumption for spruce/fir, hardwood, and other softwood, learn about how Maine’s Master Loggers are working to ensure sustainable harvest, and explore findings from the Maine Natural Climate Solutions Initiative.

Peter Triandafillou: Peter recently retired as Vice President of Woodlands for Huber Resources Corp. HRC is a timberland management firm based in Old Town Maine. HRC manages approximately 800,000 acres of timberland in Maine and five other states. Peter has been involved in several state-wide wood supply modeling projects for the state of Maine and has modeled client timberlands over three decades. Peter serves on the boards of MFPC, Farm Credit East, ACA, and Farm Credit Council. Peter holds a BA in biology from Columbia College, and MS in Forestry from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry and is a Licensed Maine Forester.

Adam Daigneault: Dr. Adam Daigneault joined the SFR faculty in 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Forest, Recreation, and Conservation Policy and head of the UMaine Forest Policy and Economics Lab. He received a PhD in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from Ohio State University in 2006, and has spent the past decade developing quantitative models to assess the socio-economic impacts of environmental policy on the natural resource sectors. His research has focused on a wide range of issues, including freshwater management, climate change mitigation and adaptation, invasive species control, and valuing ecosystem services. Prior to joining SFR, Dr. Daigneault was a Senior Economist at Landcare Research, New Zealand’s leading institute on terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity research and an Economist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he worked extensively on policy analysis relating to climate change, biofuels, and land use change.

Brian Souers:

Brian Souers is the owner and President of Treeline, Inc.. Brian started the
business in 1981 with a chainsaw and a horse. Since then, the company has grown to a high of 90 employees, over 200 trucks, trailers, service vehicles and heavy equipment, three large maintenance shops, a small sawmill, a concentration wood yard, and a supply store.

Before Brian started Treeline, he worked as a forester for International Paper
Company. He studied forestry at the New York State School of Forestry, spending one year at Syracuse University and a second year at the New York State Ranger School, focused on technical training. Since then Brian has kept his passion for Forest Management, leading Treeline to become, and remain Master Logger Certified since 2002. Treeline offers a wide range of forest-based products and services to the surrounding towns and communities that it serves.

Progress In Maine’s Forest Economy Communities

Presented By:
Paul Towle, President, and CEO, Aroostook Partnership
George O’Keefe Jr, Economic Development Director, Rumford, Maine
Dan Sullivan, President, Downeast Broadband Utility

Presentation Overview:
This session focuses on the challenges in and prospects for Maine’s forest-economy communities. Insights from three diverse geographies and phases of economic reemergence will be discussed. Lessons learned and visions for the future are the takeaways from our panelists.

Paul Towle: Paul is the President and CEO of the Aroostook Partnership. Paul will discuss the challenges and optimism that now exist in forestry in Maine’s northernmost county. Aroostook Partnership is a private/public partnership speaking with one voice and engaging private-sector leadership, talents, and resources in the region to ensure the economic survival and growth of The County. The Aroostook Partnership is a non-profit organization supported by the financial commitments of over 20 private businesses. These organizations and their leadership are committed to moving forward on a regional agenda and promoting the region as a destination for business relocation and expansion.

George O’Keefe, Jr: George is the Economic Development Director at the Town of Rumford. In western Maine, Rumford is a “classic” paper mill town. It is fortunate for Rumford to have retained an operating mill, but the community faces many challenges as it supports the mill and looks to create economic diversification that both enhance historic economic drivers and creates new industries for job creation and a stable tax base.

Dan Sullivan: Dan is president of the Downeast Broadband Utility. The Washington County towns of Baileyville and Calais have built one of the most advanced and affordable fiber-optic internet networks in the country — and they did it by collaboration, smart planning, and local financing. Dan will tell us how they pulled it off, why it works, and what it has meant for the communities.

Communicating The Opportunity Of Maine’s Forest

Presented By:
Cary Weston, President and Chief Marketing Officer, Sutherland Weston

Presentation Overview:
It’s time for Maine’s forest industry to tell the story of how its efforts are integral to the economic and environmental future of the state. In this session, participants will hear from Cary Weston of Sutherland Weston about the media and PR campaign currently underway within FOR/Maine, and how members of the industry can, and should, share the news of progress in Maine’s forest economy. The session will cover recent highlights from a public survey on industry perceptions, and provide suggestions about how to shift the narrative around forest products in the state.

Cary Weston: Cary is President and Chief Marketing Office for Sutherland Weston, a Bangor-based advertising and public relations firm. Founded in 2005 with partner Elizabeth Sutherland, the 18 person firm specializes in working with organizations that wish to grow in, grow beyond, or expand to Maine. Cary is active on several community boards and causes has served as a multi-term city councilor and is a former Mayor of his hometown Bangor. He can juggle, make wine, can say the alphabet backward, thinks A1 is a national treasure, and once took home a trophy in a stand-up comedy competition. But the role he loves best is being blessed to serve as a proud husband and dad to a happy and healthy family. He lives in Bangor with his wife Tori and three children.

Keynote Panel: Forwarding Maine’s Forest Bioeconomy

Presented By:
Hannah Pingree, Ryan Bushey, Jake Ward, Heather Johnson, moderated by Steve Schley

Presentation Overview:
This keynote panel will illuminate the efforts of State agencies, academia, and industry to forward the future of Maine’s forest bioeconomy. We will hear about how the State’s Economic Plan and Climate Plan support the forest economy, how the University of Maine’s research into new products is expanding our awareness of what is possible with wood, and how industry reinvestment in the state is creating a strong foundation for future growth and prosperity.

Heather Johnson: Heather grew up in Skowhegan and graduated from the University of Maine. She began her career by building a diverse background in the private technology sector including sales, operations and general management roles at Nokia, Gateway and Toshiba. With continually expanding roles she created startup operations inside large companies, developed new products for new markets, and ran a $1.2 billion retail business. After leaving the private sector, Heather had the opportunity to concentrate on rural economic development at Somerset Economic Development Corporation. During her time as the Executive Director she focused on key economic drivers such as; connectivity, workforce participation, and potential growth markets. While serving as the Director of ConnectME Heather was responsible for managing a small grant program, mapping key assets, working with communities and businesses to help them identify needs and opportunities to utilize connectivity to enable their goals. Heather was able to able to make changes that positions the ConnectME to move forward into the connectivity space.

Hannah Pingree: Hannah was appointed to lead Governor Mills’ Office of Policy Innovation and the Future in January 2019. Hannah previously served as Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives from 2008 to 2010. She also served as the Maine House Majority Leader, Chair of the Committee on Health and Human Services, and as a member of the Committee on Appropriations and Financial Affairs during her terms in Maine Legislature from 2002 – 2010. Hannah spearheaded successful legislation on energy, broadband, housing, environmental health, and health care during her time in office. Hannah has worked for a technology start-up in New York City; managed several family small businesses; led the development of rural housing, energy efficiency, and eldercare projects for a coalition of community non-profits; chaired her local school board; and served on numerous state and community non-profit boards.

Jake Ward IV: Jake 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 for the University of Maine. The office also supports federal and state government relations for the university’s Innovation and Economic Development 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 and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development. Originally from Saco, Maine, he holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and an M.S. in Ocean Engineering from the University of New Hampshire.

Ryan Bushey: Ryan is the Human Resource Manager for Louisiana Pacific Corporation in New Limerick where he is in charge of recruiting, training, public relations and benefits administration. He also works with the corporate HR office on strategic planning and training at LP plants in North America. Before that, Bushey was the Continuing Education Coordinator at Northern Maine Community College where he managed course offerings and sold customized training to businesses in Aroostook.