Show 162: Executive Director of The Telling Room Heather Davis

Heather Davis moved to Maine because it seemed like a good place to raise a family. The self-declared “bookworm” found her calling while teaching a creative writing class to kids in Harlem. From there she co-founded a writing center in Texas called the Austin Bat Cave. After the birth of her daughter in 2007, she and her husband decided to move back to the east coast to be closer to family and decided Portland would be a suitable place to live. She discovered Portland’s The Telling Room, a non-profit writing center for school-aged children and knew it was the place for her. She has been the Executive Director since 2011 and was crucial to helping the organization win a National Arts & Humanities Youth Program Award along with a grant for $10,000. Continue reading

Show 161: ICELANDx207 Artist Justin Levesque

Have you ever seen the stacks of shipping containers at the end of Commercial Street in Portland and wonder where they came from? So did Maine artist Justin Levesque. After arriving home from an Icelandic vacation, he recognized Eimskip’s Icelandic name and started thinking about why they were here. Levesque holds a BFA from USM where he specialized in the critical analysis of images and their impact on social norms and community expectations. His ICELANDx207 project will ultimately focus on portraits of Icelanders in Maine, the revitalized shipping industry in Portland, Maine and a podcast of Levesque’s journey aboard MV Selfoss from Portland to Reykjavik. Continue reading

Show 160: Co-Owner of American Roots Ben Waxman

What do you do when your locally-made, custom-ordered apparel start-up company needs employees and there’s no one in the area capable to do the work? If you’re Ben Waxman and Whitney Reynolds, you partner with other local companies to recruit and train the workforce you need. American Roots, owned by Waxman and Reynolds, is the sister company to Old Port Wool and Textiles, owned by Waxman’s mother, Dory Waxman. They are a custom-made fleece apparel company based in downtown Portland and their orders are coming in so quickly, they’re fast outgrowing their Danforth Street shop. With business-to-business orders keeping them busy through the summer of 2016, this new Portland business is already looking to grow – and fast. Continue reading

Show 159: Director of the Portland International Jetport Paul Bradbury

It’s been over 100 episodes since Paul Bradbury last joined us on TideSmart Talk and a lot has happened at our favorite jetport. Since the $163 million renovation, Portland International Jetport was named #7 on Condé Nast Traveler’s Best Airports in America. It also had it’s best year with the most annual travelers to date. Bradbury shared all the good news and some other fun facts with us on this visit to the TideSmart Talk studio. Continue reading

Show 157: CEO of Girl Scouts of Maine Joanne Crepeau

Joanne Crepeau has been a Mainer her whole life. She has also been a girl scout her whole life. With a career background in non-profit management, she seemed like the perfect fit to lead the Girl Scouts of Maine when the position became available in 2003. Since then, she has been leading the group of 14,000 members. Continue reading

Show 156: Scout Executive of the Pine Tree Council Eric Tarbox

As a child of a military family, Eric Tarbox is from everywhere. He eventually settled in Kentucky after leaving the military and beginning a career with the Boy Scouts of America. After more than a decade in varying roles, Tarbox was presented with the opportunity to move to Maine and lead the Pine Tree Council. Tarbox and his wife likened Maine to the art of Norman Rockwell. He now oversees a council that serves over one million Mainers in a region that spans from Jackman to Camden and south to Kittery. Continue reading

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