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November 2, 2023

Former House speaker Fecteau joins Avesta Housing; Wishchamper president named to board

File photo / Jim Neuger Ryan Fecteau, former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives, has been named senior officer of policy and planning at Avesta Housing, a Portland-based nonprofit.

Ryan Fecteau, former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and a longtime advocate for affordable housing, has joined Portland-based Avesta Housing as a policy adviser. 

At Avesta, New England's largest provider of affordable housing, Fecteau will serve as senior officer of policy and planning, a newly created role.

As a member of Avesta’s real estate development team, Fecteau will support Avesta’s organizational advocacy efforts and work on municipal-level coordination to move new affordable housing developments through key milestones.

"I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves and being part of the more tangible work of bringing housing to fruition in our communities," Fecteau told Mainebiz.

"I’ve had the chance to work on pivotal policy initiatives in Augusta and by joining Avesta Housing I can translate those policy successes into homes for our neighbors.

"We know housing is one the most pressing issues of our time," he added. "By joining Avesta, I will have the opportunity to be on the frontlines of helping our team get projects entitled and building greater public awareness around the importance of housing to thriving and prosperous communities."

Fecteau was honored on the Mainebiz 40 Under 40 list in 2022.

New board member 

Avesta has also appointed Jim Hanley to its board of directors, the nonprofit said in a separate announcement.

Hanley has been president of Portland-based Wishcamper Cos. Inc. since 2021. Wishcamper is a housing developer with more than 7,000 affordable housing units nationwide. It also invests in renewable energy projects. 

Hanley joined the board for a three-year term, effective Nov. 1.

Courtesy / Avesta Housing
Jim Hanley

“I am honored to serve on the board of Avesta Housing, and I believe strongly in their mission to provide safe, quality affordable housing,” said Hanley.

Before joining Wishcamper, Hanley was CEO of a privately held real estate and finance company. Hanley has extensive experience in real estate, finance and taxation. He is a certified public accountant and attorney and has practiced law at Preti Flaherty in Portland and served as a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Hanley earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Notre Dame and a juris doctorate from Boston College Law School. 

He has also served on the board of Southern Maine Big Brothers & Big Sisters and is the past chairman of the Catholic Foundation of Maine.

About Avesta

Avesta Housing, led by President and CEO Rebecca Hatfield, is a nonprofit affordable housing provider with over 50 years of experience leading development and property management in Maine and New Hampshire.

The organization operates over 100 affordable properties, more than 3,000 apartments and two assisted living facilities, providing homes for more than 4,000 people daily.

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