MEREDA Recognizes Four Outstanding Individuals for Their Contributions to Real Estate Development and Policy in Maine

On January 20, 2022, the Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA) recognized four outstanding individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to real estate development in the State of Maine. The awards were presented in person at this year’s Forecast Conference at the Cross Insurance Arena, which also featured an option to watch the presentations virtually as well.

Paul Peck has been selected for this year’s Robert B. Patterson Jr. Founder’s Award, for his extraordinary commitment and dedication to MEREDA over the years. A problem solver and a leader, Paul has provided many valuable contributions to MEREDA.

An active and enthusiastic member of MEREDA’s Board of Directors since 2010, Paul served as volunteer President from 2016 – 2018, and before that co-chaired MEREDA’s Conference Committee. His contributions were recognized previously in 2012 when he received MEREDA’s President’s Award. He currently serves on MEREDA’s Executive and Public Policy Committees, where MEREDA continues to benefit from Paul’s legal expertise and career experiences

Paul is the founder of LWS Development LLC, a Maine real estate development company that has developed housing, assisted living, and resort communities.  Since 1992, Paul has also practiced law at the firm of Drummond & Drummond, with a concentration on real estate law, business law, and creditors’ rights. 

The President’s Award is given by MEREDA’s current volunteer President in recognition of someone who has made significant contributions on MEREDA’s behalf. This year’s President’s Award goes to a remarkable individual, Andrea Cianchette Maker, for her lasting contributions to MEREDA in her role as Public Policy Counsel.

For the past ten years, Andrea has guided the work of MEREDA’s Public Policy and Local Issues Committee, serving as Public Policy Counsel and a key advisor to the Executive Committee and the Board. In that time, Andrea has helped elevate MEREDA’s public profile as the state’s premier trade association for commercial real estate and development. From her work in Augusta to her annual presentations at the Forecast Conference and everything in between, Andrea takes a thoughtful, collaborative, and effective approach to advocacy work and public policy engagement.

A true servant leader, Andrea has helped build up and provide guidance to MEREDA’s advocacy and engagement approach, helping us ensure a more fair, practical, and predictable landscape for commercial development in Maine. Andrea has been steadfastly vigilant for MEREDA members’ interests, and she has helped ensure that MEREDA’s voice is consistently heard during debates in Augusta and at the local level.  In particular, her work assisting the Public Policy Committee to determine its position or level of engagement on specific bills has been invaluable to maximizing MEREDA’s resources and impact.

Andrea announced her retirement from Pierce Atwood in the fall of 2020. Her leadership and dedication to MEREDA will continue to positively affect our organization long after she leaves. We are grateful for her time, thoughtfulness, passion, and commitment to furthering MEREDA’s interests and helping drive economic development in Maine.

The MEREDA Public Policy Award is presented each year to an individual whose efforts have made a significant impact on public policy changes that benefit responsible real estate development and ownership in Maine. This year we recognize the contributions of Representative Ryan Fecteau, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.

In his role as Speaker, Representative Fecteau has been a model leader for other legislators, working across the aisle and with his own party to seek compromise, consensus, and practical solutions to the real problems faced by Maine people. Despite being the youngest Speaker of the House in the United States, Representative Fecteau has made considerable strides toward improving the lives of Mainers. Of particular importance to MEREDA has been the Speaker’s steadfast efforts to increase affordable housing and improve the economic development landscape in Maine.

In 2020, the Speaker worked to successfully enact a state low income housing tax credit – a longtime goal of affordable housing advocates. Modeled off the federal low income housing tax credit, the state credit has already been impactful to the development and construction of dozens of affordable housing units. Speaker Fecteau’s efforts on the credit were critical to its passage.  Further demonstrating his understanding of the housing and development landscape, Speaker Fecteau worked this past session to establish a Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions. That Commission’s final report contains several recommendations that we hope will be considered by the Second Regular Session of the 130th Legislature. We applaud Speaker Fecteau for taking a critical look at how to address Maine’s affordable housing shortage.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is awarded to those who generously share their time, talents, and energy with MEREDA. This year we honor the contributions of Craig Young, CCIM.

Craig joined the MEREDA Board in 2015 and serves on MEREDA’s Executive Committee as Vice President, and as co-chair of MEREDA’s Conference Committee.  With his can-do attitude, Craig exemplifies a leadership role that is particularly welcomed in a volunteer organization such as MEREDA, and was especially appreciated while we navigated the pandemic together. From emceeing the January 2021 Forecast and Spring Conferences to moderating several of our Morning Menu breakfast events, we are truly grateful for the expertise and time he has shared with our organization this past year. We couldn’t have done the 2021 events without him!

Craig is a Partner and Senior Broker at The Boulos Company, a commercial real estate firm that blends Maine and New Hampshire market knowledge with a global network and is dedicated to serving owners, investors, and tenants.

MEREDA congratulates these four exceptional members, and thanks every volunteer whose contributions of time and talent make the association’s continued success possible.

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