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March 15, 2021 at 4:51 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Virtual Trivia Night to Benefit Student Scholarship Fund SOLD OUT!

MEREDA’s Virtual Trivia Night to Benefit Student Scholarship Fund SOLD OUT!

Thank you to our members for your overwhelming support!  This event has now SOLD OUT! 

If you are still interested in donating to the Scholarship Fund, please contact Shelly Clark at the MEREDA office by emailing info@mereda.org.

Since it still doesn’t seem prudent to host our beloved Strikes for Scholars annual fundraiser, we have decided to host a Virtual Trivia Night, instead!

As with our annual Strikes for Scholars Bowl-a-Thon, all net proceeds will still fund student scholarships, just as we have for the last 8 years. We believe this could be a really fun event for the membership, all while still supporting Maine’s deserving students.

We are looking for sponsors at least 20 teams made up of 8 players. In a nutshell, the event will be run via Zoom, managed by a Host from Trivia Hub throughout the entire event, and a MEREDA representative popping in from time to time! We’ll have three rounds of questions from current events to pop culture, to a “Name that Tune” category!

More information will be provided upon registration. What are you waiting for? We anticipate this will sell out quickly, so reach out to Shelly R. Clark at the MEREDA office at info@mereda.org to secure your team today!

Interested in more exposure for your company? Why not consider participating as a sponsor of this event! Again, all proceeds will benefit Maine students!

Download the Trivia Night Flyer for more information.  

March 8, 2021 at 4:42 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Morning Menu Virtual Event – Senior Housing in Maine: Today, Tomorrow, & Beyond

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Virtual Event – Senior Housing in Maine: Today, Tomorrow, & Beyond

April 8, 2021
8:30 – 9:30 AM

Maine Designers, Developers, Contractors and Business Owners are already working for the AGING BABY BOOMERS!

Older adults are the biggest part of our Maine population, by far, and they need INTELLIGENT AND APPROPRIATE HOUSING SOLUTIONS!

What does it mean to be “Aging in Maine”? What are we doing today and who is making important decisions about the practices, care and future of our housing needs?

Join us on April 8th to hear from three deeply embedded and important contributors to this statewide issue.

Wendy Nowokunski, Co-Founder and President of Northbridge Companies, an organization that developed, owns and operates 18 facilities in New England.

Deb Fournier, Chief Operations Officer of Maine Veterans’ Homes which supports our veterans and spouses of veterans with six facilities here in Maine.

Denise Lord, Senior Director of Communications and Planning from Maine Housing, a financing agency commissioned by the State of Maine, which supports our Mainers that are aging in place with energy assistance programs and home improvement programs.

Craig Young, Partner at The Boulos Company, and Vice President of MEREDA, will moderate the program.

To Learn More and to Register click HERE.

Ticket Prices:
Members: Suggested Donations of $0, $10, $15, or $20
Non-Members: $25 pp

REFUND POLICY:  No refunds will be issued unless the originating stream fails and the program can’t take place.

This event is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank

February 19, 2021 at 3:59 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Morning Menu Virtual Event – Cannabis Industry Update

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Virtual Event – Cannabis Industry Update

March 18, 2021
8:30 – 9:30 AM

The cannabis industry is proving to be a cash crop for the State of Maine.  Join us on the 18th of March, 2021 for a virtual discussion and deep dive into a SNAPSHOT LOOK AT WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW!!

We are thrilled to have Hannah King, Attorney from Drummond Woodsum, speaking to the legal, regulatory and licensing issues.  Her clients span the United States and several tribal nations, and she is an authority on what it takes to move plans through our Maine municipalities .  Tim Gibb, Managing Partner of Tradecraft Farms, will drill into the national trends, highlighting what he sees happening in California, what we can expect to see soon here – and going forward.  Jim Henry, CEO of Sweet Dirt, will speak to the obstacles and challenges of acquiring and managing real estate transactions for the cannabis industry.  Craig Young, Partner at The Boulos Company, and Vice President of MEREDA, will moderate the program.

We are excited to present this timely topic to our members.  Please join us!

To Learn More and to Register click HERE.

Ticket Prices:
Members: Suggested Donations of $0, $10, $15, or $20
Non-Members: $25 pp

REFUND POLICY:  No refunds will be issued unless the originating stream fails and the program can’t take place.

This event is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank

February 5, 2021 at 11:51 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA’s Morning Menu Virtual Event – Cutting Edge Tech: The University of Maine Composites Center

MEREDA’s Morning Menu Virtual Event – Cutting Edge Tech: The University of Maine Composites Center

Dr. Habib Dagher, P.E., founding Executive Director of the Advanced Structures & Composites Center at UMaine to Present at MEREDA Virtual Event

February 24, 2021
8:30 – 9:30 AM

Dr. Habib Dagher, P.E. is the founding Executive Director of the Advanced Structures & Composites Center, a National Science Foundation funded research center housed in an 100,000 ft2 laboratory with more than 220 full and part-time personnel. The UMaine Composites Center is a world leader in the development of low-cost, high-performance structural composites for construction. The Center has served more than 500 clients worldwide, and has received top national awards for its research.

On February 24th, join Dr. Habib Dagher and architect Caleb Johnson of Caleb Johnson Studio in a discussion with Shannon Richards, Vice President of MEREDA, about new and developing building and energy technologies HERE IN MAINE! 

How can we make our projects COST LESSAND – have the greatest POSITIVE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS? Is it possible that MAINE could be a LEADER IN NEW AND EMERGING TECHNIQUES that are market ready and relevant for developers, architects, builders NOW and our active project pipeline?

Learn how can we create enough demand for these locally generated technologies and materials to DRIVE DOWN THE BOTTOM LINE!

Dr. Dagher is leading a team of 260 engineers at the University of Maine Orono on a number of exciting projects, and already working with the private marketplace to land his products and materials into the hands of businesses that are putting them to use. The two greatest ways we can positively influence our environment is through improvements to our housing and the way we energize our community. His research in OFF-SHORE WIND TURBINES and CROSS LAMINATED TIMBER, as well as 3-D PRINTING WOOD BASED BUILDING MATERIALS can change the way we choose to make and energize our buildings here in Maine.

To Learn More and to Register:  www.mereda.org

Ticket Prices:
Members: Suggested Donations of $0, $10, $15, or $20
Non-Members: $25 pp

REFUND POLICY:  No refunds will be issued unless the originating stream fails and the program can’t take place.

This event is sponsored by Norway Savings Bank

February 2, 2021 at 7:00 am · · Comments Off on A Fantastic Group of Five: MEREDA Honors Leaders in Real Estate and Development at Recent Forecast Conference 

A Fantastic Group of Five: MEREDA Honors Leaders in Real Estate and Development at Recent Forecast Conference 

On January 21, 2021, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) recognized five exceptional individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to real estate development in the state of Maine.  The awards were presented via a video presentation at this year’s annual Forecast Conference.

William Shanahan of Scarborough was selected for the Robert B. Patterson Jr. Founders’ Award, for his extraordinary commitment and dedication to MEREDA over the years, as well as for his role as a valued liaison between MEREDA and the affordable housing community.  This is his second Founders’ Award.

In addition to serving on MEREDA’s board and its executive committee, Bill served as Treasurer for 15 years, and Assistant Treasurer for 1 year. He was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award in 2009, was one of two recipients of the President’s Award presented in 2010, and received his first Founders’ Award in 2016 for his instrumental role in the organization.

A founding Co-President of Evernorth, Bill leads his team in investing, finance, and acquisitions.  Evernorth, a nonprofit organization serving low- and moderate-income people in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, was formed by joining together Northern New England Housing Investment Fund and Housing Vermont.  Bill joined Northern New England Housing Investment Fund in 2000 as Vice President/CFO and was named president in 2011.  Prior to this, Bill spent over ten years as Director of Development and CFO for Realty Resources Chartered, a Maine-based for-profit developer of affordable housing.  An active member of the affordable  housing community, Bill also serves as President of the National Association of State and Local Equity Funds, is the Board Chair of the Genesis Community Loan Fund, has chaired and continues to serve on the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition Board, and is on the Governing Board of Housing Action New Hampshire.

This year’s President’s Award went to two outstanding individuals — Elizabeth Frazier of Portland and Tom Schoening of Kennebunk — for their significant contributions on MEREDA’s behalf.

Having lent their leadership to develop the newly inaugurated Local Issues Committee, both Elizabeth and Tom have gone above and beyond to bring this Committee and local issues to the forefront for MEREDA and its membership.

An associate at Pierce Atwood, Elizabeth authored MEREDA’s Developer’s Toolkit and was involved in the tireless advocacy work on MEREDA’s behalf around the recent City of Portland referenda.  Engaging with commercial real estate and development matters at both the local and state level, Elizabeth has worked on land use referenda campaigns and ordinance proposals at the municipal level, statewide zoning policies, and public financing for development projects.  She focuses her practice on government relations, lobbying, business advocacy, and environmental and land use policy.

An associate at Drummond & Drummond, Tom’s recent advocacy work on the potential moratorium on development in South Portland was instrumental, and he serves as chair of MEREDA’s Local Issues Committee.  Practicing law in the corporate and commercial real estate group, Tom’s work focuses on commercial real estate and business transactions, helping clients cure title issues and navigate real estate disputes.

Kevin Sutherland of Saco received this year’s Public Policy Award for his significant impact on public policy changes to benefit responsible real estate development and ownership in Maine.

As a member of MEREDA’s Public Policy and Local Issues Committees, Kevin stepped up to volunteer his time and energy to work on issues that matter to MEREDA. From helping craft MEREDAʹs response to the Maine Climate Council draft report, to representing MEREDA before the  Portland and South Portland City Councils, Kevin has proven to be an invaluable asset to MEREDA.

The Director of Business Development at Hardypond Construction, Kevin’s goal is to help Hardypond be a part of community development projects that propel southern Maine forward.  Previously, Kevin has worked in municipal government roles including Chief of Staff for the city of Ithaca, New York and as City Administrator for Saco, Maine.

Mark Stasium of Portland received this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award for generously sharing his time, talents, and energy with MEREDA.

Mark serves on the MEREDA board as Treasurer and this year he meticulously built an entirely new format for MEREDA’s budget–no easy task during a pandemic–a document that will serve the organization well into the future.  Always willing to step up on other initiatives when needed, Mark also volunteers his time on MEREDA’s Conference and Seminar Committee and on MEREDA’s Executive Committee.

With over 30 years of commercial lending and commercial credit experience, Mark is Senior Vice President in the Commercial Real Estate Lending Division at Camden National Bank.  He manages banking relationships with commercial real estate investors and developers and is primarily responsible for originating commercial real estate loan transactions in northern New England and eastern Massachusetts.

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

L to R: Tom Schoening, Elizabeth Frazier, Kevin Sutherland, Mark Stasium, William Shanahan


January 26, 2021 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on Focusing on the Adaptability and Resiliency of Maine, MEREDA Brings Real Estate Experts Together to Forecast the Future

Focusing on the Adaptability and Resiliency of Maine, MEREDA Brings Real Estate Experts Together to Forecast the Future

On Thursday, January 21, over 500 of Maine’s real estate and development professionals gathered virtually to learn about the latest insights on the real estate economy at the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) annual Forecast Conference and Member Showcase. “This is an event people look forward to every January.  You learn a lot and you make important connections.  This year, we connected in new ways and heard about the incredible work that is being done throughout our state to move Maine forward, and to begin to recover from the pandemic economy,” says Josh Fifield, MEREDA President.

From James Marple, a Senior Economist at TD Bank who provided an economic outlook; to Hannah Pingree, Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy Innovation and the Future who spoke about the Maine Climate Council; to an impressive lineup of industry leaders; speakers were brought together for a virtual conference produced at O’Maine studios following Covid safety protocols.  MEREDA streamed the conference with hosts Shannon Richards of Hay Runner and Craig Young of The Boulos Company providing commentary and connectivity throughout the day.

Reflecting on a challenging year, presenters were tasked with looking ahead and reporting on the trends impacting their sectors.  In navigating the uncertainty of our current times, it seemed everyone was looking for bright spots.  Perhaps one of the hardest hit sectors in Maine has been the hospitality industry.  Sean Riley of the Maine Course Hospitality Group spoke about how they’ve had to adapt this past year, providing rooms for medical professionals and extended stay options for construction workers.  While it has been a devastating year, Riley predicts that Maine hotels will rebound faster than the projected 5-year national recovery scenario laid out by Smith Travel Research.  “Everybody is tired of staying home.  We think Maine is teed-up big time.”  With optimism and heart at the center of his presentation, Riley ended by encouraging collaboration and camaraderie: “We have to spend our time lifting each other up.”

Reporting on the retail industry, another sector hard hit by the pandemic, Peter Harrington of Malone Commercial Brokers outlined some of the surprise success stories in retail: from hardware stores to take-out restaurants to athleisure-wear retailers to furniture companies.  While Maine will likely continue to feel impacts of the pandemic through 2021, Harrington saw hope for brick-and-mortar retail to rebound: “We haven’t evolved to be people who sit at home in isolation.  We need physical connection to each other and many of the products we use.”

On the other side of the spectrum was the residential real estate market, which had an incredible year.  Dava Davin of the Portside Real Estate Group reported a record 13.8% increase in Maine home prices and $7 billion in total sales.  While a lot of activity continues to be centered in Portland, Westbrook saw its largest home sale ever in 2020 with a $1,000,000 single family home.  With 33% of buyers from away, Davin questioned how long these new residents will stay in Maine, and how many winters they can weather.  It is something she plans to keep her eye on for the future.

Areas outside of Portland, like Biddeford, Saco, and Brunswick saw growth in 2020 as well and are predicted to continue to see development in 2021.  Dave Holman gave a report on the Midcoast market, highlighting Brunswick Landing, a former Navy Base.  This site has been an incredible driver of innovation and growth for the area, having created some 2,200 jobs for the region and attracted both residential and commercial future development projects.  While low industrial inventory and construction costs present some challenges to development in the Bangor area, Bev Uhlenhake of Epstein Commercial Real Estate echoed that there are also opportunities that exist in this new landscape: as more and more people work from home, why not decide to work from a beautiful place like Maine.

Justin Lamontagne of NAI The Dunham Group reflected in his Industrial Forecast, “There is no larger barrier to commercial real estate than uncertainty.”  While the uncertainty of the past year was a barrier and challenge for many Mainers, there were pockets of opportunity throughout the state.  Lamontagne saw hope for the industrial sector as Maine-based companies pivoted to produce life-saving equipment and companies like IDEXX, Puritan, and Abbott Labs demonstrated the future possibilities of Life Science companies and manufacturing in Maine.  It was also another example of how Maine businesses showcased adaptability and resilience in the face of a devastating economy and pandemic.  While there is still much work to be done, MEREDA and its members have their sleeves rolled up to work together and build Maine’s brighter future.

January 7, 2021 at 2:29 pm · · Comments Off on Maine’s Leading Real Estate Experts Look to the Future with a Virtual Conference on January 21, 2021

Maine’s Leading Real Estate Experts Look to the Future with a Virtual Conference on January 21, 2021

PORTLAND, Maine–On Thursday, January 21, 2021, leaders from Maine’s real estate industry will take part in a virtual presentation of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) Annual Forecast Conference and Member Showcase, sponsored by TD Bank.  As we begin a new year, recovering from a devastating 2020 is on the forefront of everyone’s mind.  The real estate industry, a significant driver of the Maine economy, is a bright spot with future growth potential.  The MEREDA Forecast Conference provides an opportunity for industry leaders to share their insights on what trends and challenges have been impacting real estate in Maine, and what economic opportunities exist for Maine to begin to rebuild its economy.

“I continue to be impressed by MEREDA members and the work they do in our communities to propel Maine forward,” said Josh Fifield, President of MEREDA and a Senior Account Executive at Clark Insurance.

“I can’t think of a better way to begin a dialogue about the future of the Maine economy than by having some of the best minds in real estate share their perspectives on the industry.  Although we cannot be together in the same room, the Forecast Conference is an event where important conversations like these can still take place,”  continued Fifield.

MEREDA’s Annual Forecast Conference is geared towards builders, developers, brokers, attorneys, architects, engineers, municipal leaders, bankers, and accountants, to name a few.  Continuing Education credits are available for brokers and attorneys.

According to Shelly R. Clark, MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, MEREDA’s Forecast Conference will be produced at O’Maine Studios following strict CDC health and safety guidelines and will be streamed on January 21 from 9am to 4pm.  Registration is available at https://mereda.ticketspice.com/2021-annual-forecast-conference-virtual 


December 3, 2020 at 2:08 pm · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Names DevelopME Committee Co-Chair

Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Names DevelopME Committee Co-Chair

PORTLAND, Maine (January 8, 2021) The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) is pleased to announce that Portland resident Benjamin Brennan, Sales Executive for KONE Elevators, has been named as co-chair of its DevelopME Committee.  Since 2017, the DevelopME Committee has worked to engage the membership and create professional development opportunities within MEREDA for the next generation of industry professionals.

As a Sales Executive for KONE Elevators, located in Westbrook, ME, Ben is responsible for new equipment business development & project management and partners with stakeholders of new and existing real estate developments.   From providing AIA continuing education, design assistance and pre-construction services to ensuring smooth transition through all stages of project execution, Ben is involved throughout a project’s life cycle.

A graduate of the University of Maine, Ben was hired in 2013 by KONE to deliver energy efficient elevator solutions to the Northern New England market.  As a green energy advocate, Ben’s interests lie in finding a medium between green technology & affordability. Ben also serves on MEREDA’s relatively new Local Issues Committee.

“Ben brings a lot of enthusiasm and energy to the committee,” says Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA.   “We are excited to have Ben step into this role and serve alongside co-chair Cameron Woodford of LIHC Investment Group, and we look forward to working with them in the coming year.”

November 12, 2020 at 8:53 am · · Comments Off on Join MEREDA at its next Virtual Event – Maine Medical Center – An Update: Managing an Expansion During COVID 19

Join MEREDA at its next Virtual Event – Maine Medical Center – An Update: Managing an Expansion During COVID 19

Virtual Event
Thursday, December 17, 2020
8:30 – 9:30 AM

About the Event:


In Spring 2018, MEREDA welcomed then Executive Vice President and COO of Maine Medical Center, Jeff Sanders, to speak to MEREDA members about Maine’s largest hospital project, ever. Its purpose was to expand and modernize the hospital to provide the best possible patient care.

Two years later, and in the middle of a global pandemic, we invite you to join us for a construction update on the status of Maine Medical Center’s historic expansion while also managing Covid-19 patients, medical personnel and construction workers.

Moderated by Gary D. Vogel, Attorney at Drummond Woodsum

Our presenters include:

Jeff Sanders, President, MMC

Jennifer McCarthy, COO MMC

Dominic Gagnon, VP Facilities, MMC

Register Here

November 3, 2020 at 6:30 am · · Comments Off on MEREDA Conference Focuses on the Dynamic History and Future Potential of Maine’s Economy

MEREDA Conference Focuses on the Dynamic History and Future Potential of Maine’s Economy

On October 15th, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) hosted its virtual 2020 Fall Conference.  In challenging economic times, the event brought together industry leaders to contemplate Maine’s past while building a vision for Maine’s future.  MEREDA and its members are committed to having conversations that promote responsible development in Maine and to bringing great people together to work for that common goal.

“In planning our Fall Conference, we were inspired by a speech Joshua Chamberlain gave in 1876 that laid out his economic vision for the state,” says Josh Fifield, MEREDA President.  “Maine has a rich economic history; a history of resilience.  That felt like a good starting point for a conversation with our members about the economic challenges that lie ahead for us,” Fifield continues.

The conference included a keynote address from U.S. Senator Angus King, I-Maine.  In a pre-recorded video presentation, King shared insights on Joshua Chamberlain, one of his heroes.  In reviewing Chamberlain’s speech and progressive vision from 1876, Senator King drew out the parallels to our times on matters such as education, diversity of industry, infrastructure, and immigration.  For example, while Chamberlain spoke of the need for infrastructure such as roads to promote Maine’s great resources, today the need is for broadband.  “That’s the key piece of missing infrastructure right now and I believe if we can fill that gap there’s no stopping Maine,” said Senator King.  “I believe Maine has a huge potential because it’s a wonderful place to live, once we get the infrastructure, particularly the broadband, and if we’re sensible enough to maintain our quality of place, which is what brings people here.  If you can do your work from anywhere, why not do it from a beautiful place like Maine,” Senator King concluded.

Following Senator King were presentations by University of Southern Maine President Glenn Cummings; State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.; Economist Charles Colgan, and President of FocusMaine, Kimberly Hamilton.  From Dr. Cummings’ presentation on USM’s expansion and the need for strong public universities to move regional economies to the next level, to Mr. Shettleworth’s overview of Mainers who lived and worked in the first 50 years of Maine’s statehood, to Dr. Colgan’s economic overview: “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” to Dr. Hamilton’s outline of three sectors in Maine’s economy that are primed for global growth, the presentations painted a kinetic picture of Maine’s economy, its strengths and its challenges.  Looking ahead, with the virus playing a huge role in how and when Maine’s economy will begin to recover, Dr. Colgan outlined some of the questions this will pose for the real estate industry, such as  “Are we going back to the office?  Are we going back to a different office?  Do we need the same amount of space or more space for a socially distanced world?”

The event concluded with a panel discussion with individuals from four Maine business that have experienced growth during the pandemic economy: Scott Wellman, CFO of Puritan Medical Products; Amber Lambke, founder and CEO of Maine Grains; Seth Webber, principal with BerryDunn; and Briana Warner, CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms.  The panel was moderated by Andrea C. Maker, MEREDA’s Legislative Counsel and an attorney at Pierce Atwood.  Says Maker, “These four very different businesses from different regions of our state demonstrate that dynamic opportunities exist today across Maine.  It was uplifting to hear from each of the panelists…how they have built their businesses based on Maine resources, seized growth opportunities and built resiliency into their plans.”  Each of the panelists spoke about how the combination of natural resources, quality of people, and the quality of life in Maine contribute to the success of their businesses.  While they’ve all benefited from the resilient workforce present in Maine, they stressed the need for programs to retain and attract more people to the state so businesses can continue to grow, expand, and compete nationally and globally.

In describing the success of Atlantic Sea Farms, Warner talked about the importance of “figuring out your strengths and amplifying them.”  The MEREDA Fall Conference highlighted several of Maine’s strengths – such as its natural resources and beauty, its hard-working citizens, its innovative business community, and its commitment to education.  Amplifying these strengths will be key to rebuilding the economy.  While there is much uncertainty in the years ahead, the MEREDA event highlighted that, as Joshua Chamberlain said, “Brighter days are in store for Maine.”  MEREDA and its members are proud to be part of the conversation and the effort to achieve those brighter days.