Show 176: Co-Owner of Rancourt & Co. Shoecrafters Mike Rancourt

Mike Rancourt is a first generation American, born and raised in Lewiston, Maine where his father, a Canadian immigrant, learned to hand-sew loafers and shoes to make a living. When the owner of the factory retired, Rancourt’s father purchased the operation and so began a family tradition of contract manufacturing of hand-sewn shoes made right here in Maine. Continue reading

Show 175: Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association Dick Durost

Dick Durost grew up in the County in Mars Hill on a dairy and potato farm so no one can say he’s not a true Mainer. Durost always knew he wanted to get into education, but looking back on his career he didn’t actually know he would get this involved. He’s been a teacher, a coach, an assistant principal, and athletic director, a principal. Now he’s the Executive Director of the Maine Principals’ Association, a professional organization for Maine’s Principals and Assistant Principals, and a supervisory association for Maine high school athletics and activities. Continue reading

Show 174: President of Envision Maine Alan Caron

Alan Caron has been an entrepreneur and small business advocate for over thirty years. He also writes weekly columns about various “Maine” topics for the Portland Press Herald, Waterville Sentinel, and Augusta Kennebec Journal. His goal is to “unlock the potential of Maine by promoting an economy that is driven by the state’s entrepreneurs, innovators and doer, and that taps into the resourcefulness and tenacity of Maine people.” Caron is the President of Envision Maine where he works daily to achieve his goal and to better Maine’s economy. Continue reading

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