Gov. Paul LePage has nominated John Gallagher of Bath to serve as director of the Maine State Housing Authority and Robert Martin of Newcastle as director of Maine Technology Institute. The Legislature's Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development has scheduled reviews of each nominee on Sept. 6. If approved, both Martin and Gallagher would then need confirmation from the Maine Senate.
Gallagher has served as executive director of the Westbrook Housing Authority since 1999. He has also previously served as manager of the development division of MSHA. Prior to that, he co-owned a small real estate and management firm in mid-coast Maine.
Martin has held a number of executive-level positions with businesses across the nation, including managing general partner of The Strategy Group, vice president and general manager of Reichhold Inc., president/CEO of Earthrise Nutritionals, and most recently as managing partner of Strategic Equity Partners LLC.
The Maine State Housing Authority is an independent state agency that bridges public and private housing finance, combining them to benefit Maine's low and moderate-income people. Its mission is to assist Maine people to obtain and maintain decent, safe, affordable housing and services suitable to their unique housing needs. Peter Merrill has been serving as its acting director since March, following the resignation of Dale McCormick who had come under fire by LePage appointees on the MSHA board for the cost of its affordable housing projects and other financial management issues.
Established by the Legislature in 1999, the Maine Technology Institute is an industry-led, publicly funded nonprofit organization that helps Maine businesses in the form of competitive grants, loans and equity investment for the research, development and application of technologies. If confirmed, Martin will be filling the position previously held by Betsy Biemann, who stepped down in July.