Show 155: Founder & Executive Director of Grahamtastic Connection Leslie Morissette

With a great idea born from an unfortunate experience, Leslie Morissette founded Grahamtastic Connection after her son, Graham, lost his batter with cancer. She and over 70 volunteers now help to provide technology to children who are sick and hospitalized with no internet connection. With her help, these children are able to attend classes with their peers, communicate with family, and research support groups. Continue reading

Show 154: Executive Director of Preble Street Mark Swann & President/CEO of Avesta Housing Dana Totman

This week on TideSmart Talk, we focused on housing and homelessness in Maine. In this two-part show, Mark Swann from Preble Street joined us to describe what he, the staff, and over 6,000 volunteers do to help 600,000 people combat homelessness and poverty annually. Dana Totman of Avesta Housing described how over 3,000 seniors in Maine are seeking affordable housing, but Avesta is only able to help ~300. Continue reading

Show 153: Executive Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra Carolyn Nishon

The Portland Symphony Orchestra’s (PSO) Executive Director, Carolyn Nishon was an in-house hire after an extensive nationwide search. She has been with the PSO since 2008 and became the Executive Director earlier this year. She joined us recently to discuss the ins and outs of the PSO and to share this season’s calendar highlights which include classical performances, educational shows for children, and collaborations with the Portland Ballet. Continue reading

Show 152: Director of Baxter State Park Jensen Bissell

Baxter State Park’s director, Jensen Bissell, is responsible for managing and maintaining the park’s over 200,000 acres in accordance to former Governor Percival Baxter’s wishes. Baxter worked unsuccessfully to establish a state park during his time in office. He then purchased a series of land tracts and donated them to the state in the 1960′s as a trust with a specific set of rules and a fund to maintain the park. Jensen Bissell has been the director of the park since 2005 and was recently the center of a controversy with Appalachian through-hiker and world record setter, Scott Jurek. Continue reading

Show 151: Chairman of the Maine Public Utilities Commission Mark Vannoy

Mark Vannoy became a Mainer like many of our other guests “from away”: For the love of a woman. He is a Pennsylvania native and a Naval Academy graduate who went into Ocean Engineering. After a career in engineering at Cianbro and Wright Pierce, Vannoy was appointed to the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in 2012 and became chairman at the end of 2014. His focus now is regulating “electric, natural gas, telecommunications and water utilities to ensure that Maine consumers enjoy safe, adequate and reliable services at rates that are just and reasonable for both consumers and utilities.” Continue reading

Show 150: Portland City Manager Jon Jennings & President/Co-Founder of Shipyard Brewing Fred Forsley

Jon Jennings has done a lot with his career so far and he’s dabbled in many different industries. He’s been a basketball coach in the NBA, worked with Senator John Kerry in the White House, co-owned a professional sports team, opened a Red Mango franchise, and now he’s running Maine’s biggest city. His experiences in these different industries have prepared him to take on his newest role as Portland City Manager.

Fred Forsley is no stranger to the TideSmart Talk studio. He stopped by recently to promote Shipyard’s fall brews and to talk about the micro-brew industry in Portland. With the temperatures starting to drop and the leaves starting to change, we all know it’s Pumpkinhead season in Maine. Continue reading

Show 149: CEO Rapport IO & Founder of The SOAP Group John Rooks

John Rooks is an author, a TEDx speaker, a blogger, and the CEO of Rapport IO/Founder of The SOAP Group. He has been sustainability focused since his childhood and now helps other companies become more “authentically” sustainable. A Massachusetts native, he ended up in Maine for the same reason as many others: lifestyle change. He and his young family moved to Maine, Rooks re-focused his sustainability interests and created The SOAP Group (Sustainable Organization Advocacy Partners). Continue reading

Show 148: WCSH 6 Meteorologist Todd Gutner

Although he was born and raised in Connecticut, WCSH’s Todd Gutner knows that Maine is the way life should be. After following his dream and studying meteorology, changing his career path to focus on on-air media, and grinding out an internship in California, he found himself in television market #77: Portland, Maine. And while he believes that “variety is the spice of life,” Gutner has no plans on switching careers; Meteorology (and Portland, Maine) is where he wants to be. Continue reading

Show 147: President & CEO of Maine Innkeepers and Maine Restaurant Associations Greg Dugal

Greg Dugal is a Maine native, a graduate of a Maine college, and has been working in Maine his whole life. He has a Political Science degree, but ended up in the hospitality/tourism field since his graduation. He spent 16 years at the Samoset Resort in Rockport where he worked his way up to become the Director of Group Sales until 1999. He is now the President and CEO of both the Maine Innkeepers Association and the Maine Restaurant Association where he facilitates a partnership between the two groups to provide a united front on many issues they both share. Continue reading

Show 146: Director of Athletics at the University of New England Jack McDonald

After more than 30 years in athletics, Jack McDonald was planning his retirement party when he saw a press release from the University of New England that they were planning on adding women’s rugby and football by 2017. After inquiring about the programs, he was asked for advice by President Ripich and when the school posted the Director of Athletics position, McDonald couldn’t resist. He’s now the Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at the University of New England where Division III teams and life on the beach aren’t slowing him down. Continue reading