First-Ever Forum Set on Maine’s Status as Last Place for Business

Expert to join business, municipal and real estate professionals to discuss how to catapult Maine from last to first on Forbes Magazine’s “Best States to Do Business” list      

PORTLAND, Maine – Heads rolled recently when Forbes Magazine listed Maine as the worst state in which to do business. But, until now, public and private leaders from the business, real estate, and municipal realms had yet to meet or collaborate on the topic. Today, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) announced that it will host a forum on May 20th, in Portland, to discuss this very issue. The event will be a gathering of Maine’s top professionals and will focus on the ingredients of creating a successful economic development plan.

“Maine’s economy is showing signs of growth, but we want to build on current momentum and ensure it is sustainable and more robust,” said Drew Sigfridson, president of MEREDA in making the event announcement. “Attendees will gain new insights and have a unique opportunity to take part in ongoing dialogue that MEREDA is having with policymakers to build a successful economic plan for the state.”

Renowned economist Alan Hall will serve as keynote, while well-known Mainer Andrea Cianchette Maker will facilitate a conversation with panelists and attendees on how Maine might be able to catapult to the top of the list.

Hall is a business leader from Utah, which is the state that Forbes ranked at the top of its list, completely opposite from Maine’s ranked status. Hall will discuss the similarities and differences between Maine and Utah, as well as provide suggestions on how Maine can advance its ranking.

A panel of Maine leaders will seek to synthesize Hall’s advice, identify Maine’s strengths and opportunities and provide ideas to advance its economy. Maker will encourage audience participation, and has been tapped with bringing feedback to Maine’s top elected and appointed officials.

Panelists include:
Peter DelGreco, president and CEO of Maine & Company
Kent Peterson, president and CEO of Fluid Imaging Technologies
Josh Benthien, real estate developer of Northland Enterprises
John Fitzsimmons, president of Maine Community College System
John Everets, chairman and CEO of The Bank of Maine
Petur J. Petersen, station manager of Eimskip in Portland

What: 50th to 1st: Ingredients of a Successful Economic Development Plan
Exclusive Forum on Maine’s status as worst place to do business hosted by the Maine Real Estate & Development Association

When: Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 8 am to 12 noon

Where: Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland, Maine

Who: Maine’s top real estate developers, municipal and planning officials, elected representatives, real estate brokers, architects, economic development professionals, engineers, business leaders and students are expected to gather for the state’s first forum on this topic.

Why:  Maine needs an economic development plan if it is going to compete for business nationally and make progress from its last place ranking on Forbes Magazine’s list of best places to do business. The event will be a gathering of the state’s top professionals from the public and private sectors and will focus on the ingredients of a successful economic development plan.

“Registration is open for this exclusive event,” said Shelly Clark of MEREDA. “This is a hot topic and seats will go quickly.”

Discount admission available for many. Click here to register for the event.

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