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Updated: November 15, 2023

FocusMaine co-founder named group's next president

Photo / Courtesy FocusMaine
Andrea Cianchette Maker

Nearly a decade after Andrea Cianchette Maker joined forces with Michael Dubyak to launch FocusMaine, Maker will lead the organization as its next president.

Maker succeeds Dana O'Brien, who served as president for about a year before leaving to establish a boutique consulting firm.

Kimberly Hamilton, FocusMaine's inaugural president who served in that role for five years, stepped down in 2022 and now leads the Island Institute, a Rockland-based nonprofit. 

FoucsMaine is a private sector-led initiative to create Maine jobs in agriculture, aquaculture and biopharmaceuticals. The group employs a staff of five and has an annual operating budget of more than $5 million.

“It’s an exciting time for FocusMaine, as we are seeing our unique approach to economic development for Maine having a real impact on key economic sectors,” Dubyak said in Tuesday's announcement.

“I can’t think of anyone better prepared to lead us into the next phase of our work — or more passionate about our mission — than Andrea.”

In the past five years, FocusMaine has helped generate $176.5 million in sales revenue at Maine businesses, nearly $50 million in earnings and more than 900 jobs across the state, according to the organization.

“I am proud of what FocusMaine has accomplished and excited about what lies ahead," Maker said.

She also noted that the signature industries identified by the group seven years ago "are still vital to Maine's economic growth potential and are ripe for our continued support."
FocusMaine is the major driver behind Maine Career Catalyst, a summer internship program managed by Educate Maine with an emphasis on professional development, social opportunities and networking for experiential learners in Maine's food economy, aquaculture and life sciences sectors.

Maker, who grew up in Pittsfield, previously chaired the government relations practice Pierce Atwood LLP until her retirement from the Portland-based law firm in 2021.

She also co-founded the predecessor to Educate Maine and served on the Commission on Maine’s Future and the Commission on the Future of Maine’s Paper Industry. 

Maker formerly served on the boards of trustees at organizations including Maine Public, Maine Community Foundation, the Susan L Curtis Foundation and the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education. 

She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of New Hampshire's Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and a law degree from the University of Maine School of Law.

Maker was honored as a Mainebiz Woman to Watch in 2016.

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