On Tuesday, September 20, the Maine State Senate confirmed 41 of Governor Mills’ nominees to serve on Maine boards and commissions that oversee education, finance, legal services, housing, economic development, and labor policies for the State of Maine. The Senate also confirmed four of Governor Mills’ nominees to the Maine District Court.
Area appointees include The Honorable Sean Ociepka of Belfast to the Maine District Court. He is an attorney in private practice with a focus on civil litigation, criminal defense, and probate and estate planning. Prior to entering private practice, he served as an attorney for a Maine disability rights organization. Additionally, he has served as the Judge of Probate for Waldo County since 2019.
Paul Shepherd of Belfast was appointed to the Maine State Housing Authority. He is the co-owner of Penobscot Home Performance, a contracting company in Brewer that performs residential energy efficiency upgrades, to the Maine State Housing Authority.
Laura Buxbaum of Waldoboro was also appointed to the Housing Authority. She is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Development at Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a nonprofit community development financial institution dedicated to growing jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises and shared prosperity in Maine and rural regions throughout the U.S.
The nominees and boards to which they have been confirmed by the Maine Senate are as follows:
Daniel Mitchell of Scarborough is co-chair of the Portland-based law firm of Bernstein Shur’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice group. He joined the firm in 1997 after serving as a Law Clerk for former Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice David Roberts. Prior to beginning his legal career, he served on the Legislative staff of U.S. Senator John Chaffee.
The Honorable Jeffrey Moskowitz of Saco has served as a District Court Judge since 2008. Prior to his appointment as a judge he served 20 years as an Assistant District Attorney in York County.
Jennifer A.W. Rush of Portland has been a Senior Trial Attorney for Hanover Insurance Group since 2019. Prior to joining Hanover, she was an attorney at the Portland firm of Norman, Hanson & DeTroy, LLC. She served as a Law Clerk for former Maine Supreme Judicial Court Justice Robert Clifford and in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland.
Jean Hoffman of Peaks Island has been appointed to a seat reserved for a member of the general public. Ms. Hoffman is a retired entrepreneur and former CEO who comes to FAME with experience in the areas of technology, finance and pharmaceuticals.
Renee Ouellette of Hermon has been reappointed to serve a second term on FAME’s Board in the seat reserved for a certified public accountant. She is a Certified Public Accountant and is the current President and CEO of University Credit Union in Orono.
William Tracy of Wales was appointed to a seat reserved for a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces. Mr. Tracy served in the United States Army, the United States Army Reserve and the Maine National Guard from 1984-1992. He is the current President and CEO at Auburn Savings Bank in Auburn, Maine.
The Honorable Richard Trafton, Esquire of Brunswick will begin his second term on FAME’s board of directors and most recently served as FAME’s Vice Chair. He has practiced law since 1977 and is a partner in the firm of Trafton, Matzen, Belleau & Frenette in Auburn, Maine.
The Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) offers a wide array of assistance to Maine’s businesses, including traditional loan insurance, investment tax credits, and taxable and tax-exempt bond financing. FAME also administers Maine’s higher education finance programs.
The Honorable Lynn Bromley of South Portland served four terms in the Maine State Legislature and was the Senate Chair of the economic development committee. She is the founder and Principal of Fintech Advocate, a small business and technology firm in Portland, Maine.
Timothy D. Crowley of Caribou has been reappointed to a second term on the Authority. Mr. Crowley is the current President of Northern Maine Community College where he has worked for over 20 years.
Galen Weibley of Chapman has been reappointed to a second term on the Authority. Mr. Weibley is the current Director of Economic and Community Development for the City of Presque Isle.
Loring Development Authority is responsible for the redevelopment of the former Loring Air Force Base, now the Loring Commerce Centre, a hub of new job creation and economic activity.
The Honorable James R. Handy of Lewiston served more than 16 years in the Maine State Legislature and served on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee during much of his term. He is an Ed Tech in the Lewiston Public School System.
The Honorable Norman Higgins of Sebec served three terms in the Maine State Legislature. He is a lifelong educator, serving thirty-two years in SAD#4 as a teacher, principal, and Superintendent.
Leigh Weisenburger Albert of Lewiston is a 20-year veteran of higher education institutions and currently serves as the President for Enrollment & Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.
The Maine Charter School Commission is responsible for the authorization and oversight of all public charter schools in Maine.
Randall Bates, Esq. of Yarmouth is the representative of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers on the Commission. He founded the Bates Law Firm in Yarmouth in 2012, with a primary focus on indigent legal defense. Additionally, he has served on the Yarmouth Town Council, the Yarmouth School Facilities Committee and the Yarmouth School Department Five-Year Strategic Plan Committee.
The Honorable Michael Cantara of Biddeford served twelve years as a District Court Judge before retiring in 2019. He began his legal career as a general practice attorney in Biddeford and served as the District Attorney of York County. He also served as Commissioner of the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The Honorable Michael Carey of Lewiston is an attorney at the firm of Brann & Isaacson. He served three terms in the Maine State Legislature where he served on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, the Transportation Committee, and the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. He was originally appointed to the Commission in 2019.
The Honorable Roger Katz of Brunswick is a partner in the Augusta firm of Lipman, Katz & Boston where he has worked for more than 40 years. He has also served as Augusta’s mayor and served four terms in the Maine State Senate. During his time in the Senate, he served on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and chaired the Government Oversight Committee. He was originally appointed to the Commission in 2019.
The Honorable Kimberly J. Monaghan of Cape Elizabeth is the Operations Director for Common Dreams news service. She served four terms in the Maine State Legislature and was appointed to the Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Veterans & Legal Affairs.
The Honorable David Soucy of Fort Kent served eleven years as a District Court Judge, primarily in Fort Kent, Caribou, and Madawaska before leaving the bench in 2021. He spent many years as an attorney in private practice in Fort Kent where he represented numerous indigent clients. He has also served six years as a member of the Workers’ Compensation Commission and three years as the Director of the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.
The Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services provides oversight, support, and training to assigned private counsel and to contract counsel representing Maine citizens who are entitled to counsel at state expense under the United States Constitution, the Maine State Constitution or Maine state law.
The Honorable Jean Ginn Marvin of Scarborough has been reappointed to her fourth term on the Maine Community College’s Board of Trustees. Ginn Marvin served in the Maine House of Representatives for three terms and was appointed to the Business and Development Committee, Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee and the Health and Human Services Committee. She is the previous chair of HospitalityMaine and since 2005 has been the innkeeper of the family-owned Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport.
The Honorable Joyce Maker of Calais has been reappointed to serve a second term on the Maine Community Colleges Board of Trustees. She served as a member of the Maine House of Representatives from 2010 to 2016 and the Maine State Senate from 2016-2018. She was appointed to the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee during each of her terms in the Legislature. She previously served on the Board of the Maine Association of Student Financial Aid Directors, including two years as its President. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Finance Authority of Maine, the Calais School Committee, the Maine Municipal Association Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Maine State School Board Association.
The Maine Community College System Board of Trustees is the policy-making authority of the state’s community college system, dedicated to creating an educated, skilled and adaptable labor force responsive to the changing needs of Maine’s economy.
Thomas Douglas, Esq. of Cumberland is the co-founder of Westbrook law firm Douglas, McDaniel and Campo and an adjunct professor at the University of Maine Law School. He serves on the Board of Governors of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association.
Mark Walker, Esq. of Hallowell is the founder and co-owner of Walker & Jennings, a Hallowell law firm. He previously served as Vice-President and as counsel to the Maine Banker’s Association. He is a former City Council member and Mayor of Hallowell.
The Maine Human Rights Commission is responsible for enforcing Maine’s anti-discrimination laws. The Commission investigates and attempts to resolve complaints of unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, education, access to public accommodations, extension of credit, and offensive names.
Ann Freeman, Esq. of Portland is an employment attorney at Bernstein-Shur and has previously served as the Ethics and Compliance Manager for Bath Iron Works, Labor Relations Manager for the University of Southern Maine, and Counsel for the City of Portland.
Michael Miles of Westbrook is a human resources consultant who has served as the Chief Human Resources Officer for four organizations over three decades, most recently the City of Portland.
Alyssa Tibbetts, Esq. of Scarborough is an employment attorney at Jensen, Baird, Gardner & Henry. She previously served as Human Resources Director, Economic Development Director, and Assistant Town Manager for the Town of Cumberland.
The Maine Labor Relations Board administers and enforces the state's laws that govern collective bargaining for public sector employees and employers.
Peter DelGreco of North Yarmouth is the President and CEO of Maine & Company and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the Maine Rural Development Authority.
Steven Levesque of Greenville is the President of SHL Enterprise Solutions, an economic development management consulting firm supporting businesses and governmental organizations throughout the US. In 2021, Mr. Levesque retired as the Executive Director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, where he had spent the last fifteen years of his career.
The Maine Rural Developmental Authority provides financial assistance to communities and their partners to develop commercial and industrial buildings and to develop or redevelop underutilized commercial industrial properties.
Douglas Abbott of Falmouth is the current Chief Financial Officer at Jackson Laboratories. He is a certified public accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and is a member of the American Association of Chemical Engineers. He holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA with an accounting/finance concentration from the Peter T. Paul School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire.
Brent Berwin, Ph.D. of Mt. Desert is the Director of Courses and Conferences in the Education Division of Jackson Laboratories. Prior to arriving at JAX four years ago, Dr. Berwin spent fifteen years as a professor of microbiology and immunology at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Matthew Trey Cox of Portland is a second-year law student at the University of Maine School of Law. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from Champlain College with a minor in Cybersecurity. Mr. Cox is a graduate of MSSM and will serve in the seat reserved for an alum of the school.
David King of Limestone will begin his sixth term on MSSM as the local Limestone resident. Mr. King is a former active-duty military policeman for the United States Air Force whose distinguished career ended at Loring Air Force Base. He serves as the Chair of the MSSM Board Finance Committee and Treasurer of the Board. He has served on the Maine Community Foundation, is a member of the Board of Trustees of County Federal Credit Union, and served on Loring Development Authority from 2010-2014.
Joel Erlon Pike of Jay has been reappointed to his second term on MSSM’s Board of Trustees. He is the current Director of Energy Strategy for ND Paper in Rumford and is the current Chair of the Audit Committee for MSSM. Four of Mr. Pike’s five children have attended MSSM and it is expected that the fifth will attend upon entering high school.
Sadhana Prasad, DMD of North Yarmouth retired from private dental practice in 2015 after specializing in endodontics for over 25 years. Prasad has been appointed to the seat reserved for a parent of a recent graduate of MSSM.
Marian Reagan of Kennebunkport has been reappointed to serve her second term on MSSM’s Board of Trustees. She currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board. She is currently Financial and Administrative Coordinator for the University of New England. Her son graduated from MSSM in 2016.
Paul Stancioff, Ph.D. of Chesterville retired in 2021 after nearly thirty years as a physics professor at the University of Maine at Farmington.
The Maine School of Science and Mathematics Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration of the public residential magnet school, located in Limestone.
Thomas Keller, Ed.D. of Newcastle is a retired educator who served as a classroom teacher, school administrator, scientist, and educational researcher. He is the founding president of STEM Education Strategies, LLC, an organization focused on streamlining the system of science education. Dr. Keller previously served as the Executive Director of the Maine STEM Council and is current a member of the University of Maine at Augusta Board of Visitors.
Edmond Morin of Westbrook spent over forty years as a news producer, reporter, and host for Maine Public. Mr. Morin often reported on educational issues across Maine. He serves an adjunct professor at St. Joseph’s College of Maine.
The Maine State Board of Education acts in an advisory capacity to the Commissioner of Education in matters concerning state education laws and makes education policy recommendations to the legislative and executive branches of state government.
Laura Buxbaum of Waldoboro is the Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Development at Coastal Enterprises, Inc., a nonprofit community development financial institution dedicated to growing jobs, environmentally sustainable enterprises and shared prosperity in Maine and rural regions throughout the U.S.
Deborah Ibonwa, Esq. of Portland is a policy and legal advocate working on affordable housing issues at Maine Equal Justice Partners, a nonprofit civil legal aid and economic justice organization working to increase economic security, opportunity, and equity for people in Maine.
Paul Shepherd of Belfast is the co-owner of Penobscot Home Performance, a contracting company in Brewer that performs residential energy efficiency upgrades.
The Maine State Housing Authority Board of Commissioners oversees the state authority tasked with providing affordable home ownership and rental housing opportunities for Maine people. The Authority also administers a wide variety of federal housing programs on behalf of the state.
Edmund McCann of Portland is the Labor representative to the Commission. He is a former Deputy Commissioner of Labor for the State of Maine. Additionally, he served as Director of the Maine Bureau of Employment Services and as Legislative Director of the Maine AFL-CIO.
Jodi Palmer of Augusta is the Employer Representative to the Commission. She is the former Chief Operating Officer and Minority Owner of Maine Isshinryu Karate Academies, a karate school, after school program, and summer camp with four locations in Central Maine.
The Maine Unemployment Insurance Commission is responsible for the adjudication of disputed claims for unemployment compensation benefits.
Dhivya Singaram of Portland is a second-year law student at the University of Maine School of Law and a Vincent L. McKusick Fellow. She will serve as the Student Trustee of the Board. Ms. Singaram grew up in Oakland and attended the Messalonskee school system. She received her undergraduate degree from Bates College.
The University of Maine System Board of Trustees is the governing and planning body of Maine’s University System.