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May 14, 2019

Mace named state’s director of business development and innovation

Photo / Tim Greenway Charlotte Mace, formerly executive director of Portland-based Biobased Maine and a member of the Mainebiz 2016 Next List, has been named director of business development and innovation for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. In that role, Mace will assist and work collaboratively with other entities who share the goal of enhancing Maine’s ability to compete in a global and regional marketplace.
Photo / tim greenway James Chittum, director of business development at Grow-Tech LLC, talks with Charlotte Mace, executive director of the trade group Biobased Maine, about her organization’s efforts to create a “road map” for expanding biobased manufacturing in Maine.

Maine Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Heather Johnson announced Monday that Charlotte Mace will lead the department's new Office of Business Development and Innovation.

Mace most recently served as the executive director of Biobased Maine, a nonprofit trade association focused on creating high-paying manufacturing jobs in rural Maine. As director, she led an economic development strategy focused on the diversification of Maine’s natural resource-based industries and also worked to attract outside investment to Maine by developing relationships with investors, technology companies and brands, and matchmaking with industry and rural communities. 

She was a 2016 Mainebiz Next List honoree and was recognized for her advocacy of the emerging biobased manufacturing sector and its potential to create new opportunities for adding value to Maine's vast forest resources in a time of rapid change and transition for the rural communities that have lost their major employer and taxpayer.

“With her wealth of knowledge, commitment to innovation and experience in job creation efforts across rural Maine, Charlotte will be an incredible asset to Maine’s business community and a driving force for economic growth in our state,” Johnson said. “I am excited to welcome her talent and knowledge to the department and I look forward to working with her in the years ahead.”

The Office of Business Development and Innovation provides direct support to Maine businesses to help them expand, innovate, and succeed and works to attract new businesses and investment to Maine.

As director, Mace will assist and work collaboratively with other entities who share the goal of enhancing Maine’s ability to compete in a global and regional marketplace. She will also lead the department’s efforts to ensure accurate and timely information is provided to prospective businesses.

“I am eager to put my business development skills to work for the state of Maine, and I am most excited to help grow our business sectors that are poised for unprecedented growth — aquaculture, life sciences, and the forest industry to name a few, although there are many others,” Mace said. “I am also deeply committed to attracting investment and creating high-paying jobs in rural Maine.”

Mace's efforts to make Maine a world leader in biobased manufacturing got a big boost in the summer of 2016, when the U.S. Economic Development Administration awarded a $519,930 grant to Biobased Maine as part of a three-year $856,549 project in partnership with the University of Maine to develop a “road map” to advance biobased manufacturing in Maine. Grant funds also will be used to market Maine's biobased assets to investors in new technologies and processes and provide technical assistance to help Maine forest products manufacturers and users implement new biobased technologies.

Mace, who became Biobased Maine's first full-time director in September 2014, worked closely with other stakeholders on completing the nine-point road map for rebuilding Maine's rural economy by creating opportunities to make more bio-products, biofuel and biomass power within the state.

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