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June 8, 2018

Brien Walton named CEO of Acadia Capital Management CDE consortium

Photo / Fred Field
Photo / Fred Field
Brien Walton, director of Husson University's Center for Family Business, has been named chairman and CEO of the Acadia Capital Management consortium of Community Development Entities that are affiliated with Eastern Maine Development Corp. Walton, who was interviewed by Mainebiz in January about the rise of dollar stores in Maine, is pictured here outside a Dollar Tree store in Bangor.

Brien Walton, director of Husson University's Center for Family Business, has been named chairman and CEO of the Acadia Capital Management consortium of Community Development Entities.

His selection comes just two weeks after Eastern Maine Development Corp. announced its three Acadian Capital Management affiliates became certified as CDEs and therefore licensed to issue federal New Markets Tax Credits that stimulate investment and job growth.

"I am excited to be given the opportunity to lead the Acadian Capital Management CDEs at this crucial time," said Walton. "I'm eager to work with community leaders, entrepreneurs and investors to create scalable growth strategies and form collaborations that will enhance and broaden Maine's sustainable industries and deepen our relationships nationwide. I firmly believe we have tremendous growth ahead and I am excited to get started."

The federal New Markets Tax Credit provides investors a total of 39% of the cost of the investment and is claimed over a seven-year period. The CDEs, in turn, use the capital raised to make investments in economically distressed communities. Minimum project size is $5 million, and Walton is already in negotiations with more than a dozen qualifying projects that have the potential to save and create hundreds of jobs throughout Maine, according to an EMDC news release.

Walton's venture capital background

In addition to his duties as director of Husson University's Center for Family Business, which provides financial support and technical assistance to the 30,000 family businesses in Maine, Walton also volunteered several hours each week to facilitate multiple economic development initiatives throughout Central Maine.

Those efforts earned him EMDC's 2017 Horizon Award for transformative community impact.

Before coming to Maine, Walton had distinguished himself as a leading expert in the emotional intelligence of entrepreneurs, which he leveraged into venture capital success. He also was the founding CEO of the Education Design Studio Inc. at the University of Pennsylvania, which was the first venture capital fund in the U.S. affiliated with a graduate school of education.

In addition to having held licenses in law, real estate and banking, Walton is a lifelong learner who has earned five graduate degrees, including degrees from Harvard University, Georgetown University, and the University of Pennsylvania.

"We are extremely fortunate that Brien agreed to take on the pivotal role of leading capital investment in this region, because his quantifiable talents in the field of business development, combined with his strengths as a manager and communicator, make him especially well-suited to Maine," said Micki Sumpter, chair of the EMDC board of directors. "Before he joined us, I knew of Brien's outstanding reputation in the industry and his unique venture selection algorithm, but I have become even more impressed with his versatile skill sets after working with him during the past year. I am confident that as a team, we will attract leading social impact investors and strategic partners to help transform the economic climate statewide."

Those interested in opportunities that can be supported by a CDE may contact Walton at 207-404-5699.

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