Our Power is a group of Maine ratepayers, business leaders, energy experts, conservationists, and others committed to putting the Pine Tree State’s energy future in the hands of Mainers.

Citizen Initiative LEADERS

Six Maine citizens applied to the Secretary of State to circulate a petition for a Citizen Initiative asking voters whether to replace Maine’s two investor-owned corporate utilities, Central Maine Power and Versant, with a new nonprofit consumer-owned utility called the Pine Tree Power Company.

Wayne Jortner, Freeport

Wayne Jortner is a former attorney with Maine’s Office of the Public Advocate. As Senior Counsel, he spent 23 years representing utility consumers in the State of Maine before the Maine Public Utilities Commission, the Maine Supreme Court and the Federal Communications Commission.


Sen. Rick Bennett, Oxford

Senator Rick Bennett of Oxford was the lead Senate sponsor of LD 1708. He has served in the Maine Legislature for 13 years in both the Senate and House, including as Senate President. Sen. Bennett currently serves on the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Government Oversight Committee. He is currently President and CEO of ValueEdge Advisors and has served on the boards of Maine Conservation Voters, Maine Heritage Policy Center, and Hebron Academy. As a business leader, he has directed or helped the turnarounds of several Maine enterprises including GWI and Quoddy. He received his B.A. with honors from Harvard University in 1986 and his M.B.A. from the University of Southern Maine in 2000.


John Clark, Linneus

John Clark is the former General Manager of Houlton Water Company, a capacity he served in for 33 years. He is a recipient of Maine Water Utilities Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and past President of the Northern Maine Independent System Administrator, past President of the Dirigo Electric Cooperative, and past President of the Northeast Public Power Association. He studied engineering at Maine Maritime Academy and business and engineering at Northeastern University, a background that complemented his career in utility operations.


Bill Dunn, Yarmouth

Bill Dunn is a consultant based in Yarmouth with over 50 years of experience in the electricity industry and has advised clients of all utility ownership types (i.e., public, private, local and federal) worldwide (25+ countries) and throughout the US. He specializes in electricity market design and implementation, ancillary services, utility and power pool/market operations, inter-utility coordination, contractual power supply arrangements, and transmission access and pricing.


Rep. Nicole Grohoski, Ellsworth

Representative Nicole Grohoski of Ellsworth is serving her second term in the Maine House and is a member of the Legislature’s Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee as well as cosponsor of LD 1708. She is a GIS specialist and cartographer and holds a degree in environmental studies and chemistry from Middlebury College. Rep. Grohoski sponsored a first-in-the-nation law to shift the burden of managing packaging waste from taxpayers to packaging producers. She is also a newly appointed member of the Science and Technical Subcommittee of the Maine Climate Council and the first graduate of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics to serve in the Maine Legislature.


Ania Wright, Bar Harbor

Ania Wright is a leading figure in youth climate activism in Maine. She serves as the Youth Representative to the Maine Climate Council, works as the Grassroots Climate Organizer for the Sierra Club Chapter of Maine, is a founding member of the youth-led coalition, Maine Youth for Climate Justice, and is a sitting board member of Maine Climate Action Now!. She recently graduated from College of the Atlantic with a B.A. in Human Ecology.


Stephanie Clifford

Stephanie Clifford, Campaign Manager has spent the last two decades managing campaign, public policy, and advocacy projects. She has worked in a high-level capacity for local, state and national candidate campaigns, local and statewide referenda, and public relations projects. Stephanie holds a J.D. from University of Maine School of Law and a B.A. from Duke University.


Andrew Blunt

Andrew Blunt, Field Director is a lifelong Mainer: raised in York County and a graduate from Bowdoin College in 2019. He is a youth climate justice organizer through Maine Youth for Climate Justice, the Sierra Club, and 350 Maine.


Julia Brown

Julia Brown, Finance Director of Brunswick has spent the last five years leading Maine legislative campaigns to success. She raised over $4 million for the Maine Senate Democrats, which flipped the chamber red-to-blue in 2018 and expanded to a historic 22 seat majority in 2020.


Adam Nashban

Adam Nashban

Adam Nashban, National Fundraising Consultant and Managing Partner of Polity Fundraising has been involved and consulting on campaigns and nonprofits since 2001. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Adam graduated from the UW-Madison with a BA in Political Science. He has worked on campaigns in 8 states and Washington, DC. He has worked on races from city to state to federal and presidential. Prior to joining Polity, Adam ran his own consulting firms in Portland, OR, and previously in New York City.


Advisors

Below are some of the many individuals who’ve contributed their expertise to the policy Our Power will bring to Maine voters. These utility experts, policymakers, economists, legal experts, advocates, and business representatives are Maine people committed to a utility power delivery system that meets Maine’s needs.

Steve Weems is the Executive Director of the Solar Energy Association of Maine, a broad coalition of solar energy interests advocating for the development of solar energy projects as a key component of the clean energy infrastructure necessary to decarbonize Maine’s economy. He has committed himself to sustainable economic development
in Maine since 1975, having founded, owned, or managed eight businesses (including three nonprofits) and as a commercial project financier. He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, a veteran, and served on the Brunswick Town Council.

Vaughan Woodruff is the former CEO and founder of Insource Renewables and previously served as the chair of Maine’s solar industry trade group. He serves as an appointed member of the Maine Workforce Board and, in his multiple roles in Maine’s homegrown solar industry, he has been involved extensively in proceedings at the Maine Legislature and Maine Public Utilities Commission to modernize the state’s energy policy.

Dr. Jono Anzalone is Executive Director of The Climate Initiative, working to empower 10 million youth to climate action by 2025. He served as the Head of Disaster and Crisis, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies for the Americas and Caribbean region, and as a Vice President at the American Red Cross overseeing programming in more than 34 countries. He holds an MS in Economics and a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Higher Education from the University of Nebraska.

Kevin J. Mattson is the Managing Partner of Dirigo Capital Advisors. He has overseen the execution and development of several large scale commercial real estate projects totaling more than $200 million, primarily in Northern New England. Kevin was appointed to the Maine Uniform Building Code Task force by Governor King, and was appointed to the Finance Authority of Maine by Governor Baldacci, on which he served as Treasurer. Kevin was awarded a BA in Accounting from Skidmore College and received an MBA from the University of Maine.

Sam May is a former Wall Street analyst with experience in both Silicon Valley and Hong Kong. While at US Bancorp Piper Jaffray, he led the IPO of the maker of Blackberry as well as other major transactions. He also served as a member of the Governor’s Economic Recovery Committee. He lives in Portland and is co-founder of Maine Harvest Federal Credit Union.

Dr. Richard Silkman holds a Yale Ph.D. in economics and is a nationally recognized expert in the regulation of public utilities, the development of competitive energy markets and the development, licensing and operation of power plants, including hydroelectric generating stations. He is the CEO of Competitive Energy Services, a Maine-based energy consulting firm.

Dr. David Vail is Adams Catlin Professor of Economics emeritus and former Director of Environmental Studies at Bowdoin College. He participates in the Citizens’ Climate Lobby as a member of its Economics Policy Network. He also serves on the Solar Energy Association of Maine board and the Coastal Enterprises, Inc (CEI) Policy Committee,
which he formerly chaired. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University.

Hon. Dr. Richard Woodbury is a Program Administrator at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a former Maine State Senator. He has also served as a visiting scholar with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and has written extensively on tax reform in Maine. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.

Hon. John Brautigam is an attorney and consultant with a practice in public policy and legislative advocacy. He has served in the Maine legislature as a member of the Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee, as Assistant Attorney General, and as Director of Efficiency Maine. Mr. Brautigam holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School, an M.A. from Trinity College, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Dr. Gordon Weil was Commissioner of Business Regulation, Director of the Office of Energy Resources, and also served as the first Public Advocate of the State of Maine. He led the negotiations that created the unified New England power grid and has served on numerous regional energy bodies. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in Public Law and Government.

Judy Berk of Northport has been a keen observer of energy issues in Maine since the 1970s when she sold wood-burning stoves and solar collectors in Belfast, wrote the Power Play newspaper column for three Maine weeklies, and co-established Maine’s Energy Extension Service for the Maine Office of Energy Resources. Later, she directed advocacy communications and media relations for the Natural Resources Council of Maine for 28 years, where she helped protect the nature of Maine’s woods, waters, wildlife and climate, through supporting laws to bring more energy efficiency and clean energy to our state.

Representative Seth Berry of Bowdoinham was the lead House sponsor of LD 1708, the Maine bill to create a consumer-owned utility. He is completing his 13th year in the Maine Legislature and his 7th on the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, on which he has served for five years as the House Chair. Rep. Berry is also an award-winning former teacher, business development director for a Maine biotech laboratory, and past Democratic Majority Leader and Assistant Majority Leader of the Maine House of Representatives.

Senator Stacy Brenner of Scarborough is the Senate Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, serving her first term in the Maine Legislature, and a cosponsor of LD 1708. She began her career as a nurse-midwife and is an organic farmer and small business owner of Broadturn Farm. She is a board member of Maine Farmland Trust and Board President of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Organization (MOFGA).

Anne Butterfield is an environmental advocate and former journalist. She worked for 7 years as an energy columnist in Boulder, Colorado, where she bore witness to the city’s efforts to establish a municipal utility. She is also a board member with WildEarth Guardians and served 10 years on the board of Clean Energy Action, two climate and conservation focused nonprofits.

Representative Nathan Carlow of Buxton is serving his first term in the Maine Legislature as a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology. He was a cosponsor of LD 1708 and has focused his work in committee on promoting a clean environment, ensuring affordable rates, and demanding reliable service for Maine people and businesses. He holds the distinction of being the youngest legislator ever elected in Maine history. Rep. Carlow is serving his fourth year on the Bonny Eagle School Board and is a member of the Board’s Policy Committee.

Gary Friedmann serves on the Bar Harbor Town Council, on the steering committee of Maine Climate Action NOW, on the Executive Committee of the Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club, and chairs the Energy Committee of A Climate to Thrive, the grassroots initiative to make Mount Desert Island energy independent by 2030. He was also president of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections and Treasurer of Friends of Baxter State Park.

Jonathan Fulford is a carpenter and lives in Belfast where he serves on the Belfast Energy Committee. He is a member of the Sierra Club Executive Committee, represents Sierra Club on Maine Climate Action Now, and is a former democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in Maine’s second congressional district.

Ed Geis is a web development entrepreneur in Camden. A passionate advocate for renewable energy, Ed designed and installed a residential solar system at his home and works to promote smart, clean, reliable energy.

Sue Inches has worked in public policy for over 25 years. Sue previously served as Deputy Director of the State Planning Office and as a Director at the Department of Marine Resources. Sue now works as a consultant, teacher, and advocate with a focus on broadband connectivity, the environment and climate change. Her book Advocating
for the Environment: How You Can Make a Difference will be released in July 2021. Sue holds a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic and an MBA from the University of New Hampshire.

Emily Rochford is a climate activist and Unity College student pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Sustainable Energy Management. She serves as a core member of the Maine Youth for Climate Justice coalition and has worked with organizations such as the Maine Partnership for Environmental Stewardship, Window Dressers, Efficiency Maine, and ReVision Energy.

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