Show 173: Executive Director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Steve Levesque

Steve Levesque was born and raised in the Lewiston-Auburn area and joined the Marine Corps after high school. That’s how he got out of Maine. While enlisted he was able to get his degree in Urban and Regional Planning which he used in a few communities in California. He, like many Mainers, wanted to return home to settle down so he sold his business and picked up a jobs with the cities of Lewiston and Portland before taking a position with the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development. He is now the Executive Director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, a “quasi-state run organization” tasked with finding new, resourceful, innovative ways to bring business back to the old Brunswick Naval Air Station, now known as Brunswick Landing. Continue reading

Show 172: Co-Founder of Cold River Vodka Don Thibodeau

Don Thibodeau is a Mainer in every sense of the word. He was born and raised in “the county” and moved to Fryeburg in 1977 with his wife to farm potatoes. He inherited the land from his father, a salesman who wanted to farm the land with a friend. When Thibodeau’s father’s friend passed way, his father lost interest in the land , leaving Thibodeau to take over. Now, Green Thumb Farms has 300+ acres of heirloom beans and thousands of acres of potatoes. Not only do the potatoes from Green Thumb Farms end up on our dinner tables in Maine, but also our vodka: Thibodeau is a co-founder of Cold River Vodka, distilled from potatoes grown at Green Thumb Farms. Continue reading

Show 171: Executive Director of The Ecology School Drew Dumsch

Drew Dumsch is from “the palm” of Michigan and graduated from college with a degree in English so he’s not exactly the type of person you would think would found a supplementary educational school focused on sustainability and ecology on the beaches of Maine. Twelve years ago when the school based at Ferry Beach in Saco was at risk of going away, Dumsch took it over and re-branded it as “The Ecology School at Ferry Beach” and it’s grown and expanded every year since. As of 2016 they have officially outgrown their campus and have official plans to move inland to an old farm property in Saco. Continue reading

Show 170: Author of APPALACHIAN ODYSSEY Jeff Ryan

Writing is not Jeff Ryan’s day job. For most of his career, the life-long Falmouth resident was a copywriter for L.L. Bean catalogs. Like many Mainers, Ryan grew up with a love for the outdoors. When he started his career copywriting, he had the opportunity to test out new apparel and gear to best write the descriptions. This connection worked out well when he and a college friend hike the Pacific Coast Trail while testing Bean’s new Gore-Tex and Polartec products. He recalls that when a pack he was testing broke in Oregon, Bean’s first tested shipping with FedEx and got his replacement pack to him within days. Continue reading

Show 169: Author of Widowmaker Paul Doiron

Local author Paul Doiron joined us in the studio for an update on Mike Bowditch and to talk about the upcoming release of the 7th novel in the series, Widowmaker. In this installment, Bowditch finds himself in the middle of a search for a missing professional skier who may or may not be his half brother on Doiron’s fictional ski mountain, Widowmaker. Doiron chose the name “Widowmaker” after an old logging term for a dead branch that is likely to fall and hurt someone. He uses this as an allusion to an attack of Bowditch in this most recent novel. In this interview Doiron also talks about what it’s like to get over 90,000 words written in one year and how to keep his character’s details straight. Continue reading

Show 168: CEO of MaineToday Media & Publisher of Portland Press Herald Lisa DeSisto

Lisa DeSisto was last on our show in 2014, so she joined us recently to update us on the goings-on at MaineToday Media and the Portland Press Herald. She had been in Boston before moving to Maine, but found that lifestyle to be “soul crushing” and it was sucking the joy out of her life with her husband. When the opportunity presented itself to move to Maine and help run the Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, she jumped on it and hasn’t looked back since. She’s helped build the brand to be better focused on communications with subscribers and to create an online presence that has helped to keep the paper current. Continue reading

Show 167: Brigadier General of Maine National Guard Doug Farnham

Brewer native Doug Farnham never had dreams of serving his country, he just wanted to get out of Maine for awhile. It’s not an uncommon motive for many young Mainers. So Farnham joined the US Air Force. He had no real interest in aviation or the military, but he wanted to be challenged and he wanted a new opportunity. Farnham always knew he wanted to come back to Maine, though. He wanted to be a part of the 4th generation to run his family business, Getchell Brothers, Inc. Continue reading

Show 165: Peter Bissell of Bissell Brothers Brewing

Running out of beer is one of those “good problems” for a brewery to have. Bissell Brothers Brewing, known for it’s 3-B’s logo and hop-filled IPAs, officially opened it’s doors on December 7th, 2013 and hasn’t been able to turn out enough beer since. While Peter joined us in-studio to talk business, it was Noah Bissell’s goal to start the brewery. He started home-brewing while in college and realized the potential of a craft brewery in Portland while staying with Peter in the summer of 2010. The following fall, Noah shared a new home brew with the family. Peter remembers it tasting distinctly like “licking an ashtray,” but many of Noah’s other recipes had been good and in 2012 Noah and Peter really started considering the possibility of owning and operating their own brewery. Continue reading

Show 164: GrandyOats Chief Granola Officer Aaron Anker

GrandyOat’s Aaron Anker came to Maine in 1998. Originally from upstate New York, Anker attended the University of New Hampshire where he met classmate Nat Pierce. The rest of the GrandyOats story isn’t exactly “happily ever after,” but it’s close enough. Continue reading

Show 163: Medical Researcher Dr. Leif Oxburgh

Growing up, Leif Oxburgh split his time between Scotland, where he went to high school and Sweden, where he got his Ph. D. In 1999, he received an opportunity to study in a lab at Harvard and moved to the states. He studied the influenza virus until 2004 when he was ready for a new endeavor. In 2004, when Maine Medical Center’s Research Institute was still in it’s infancy, Dr. Oxburgh accepted a position as a Faculty Scientist and began his research on nephrology and stem cells and the possibilities of growing or assembling a lab-created kidney. Continue reading