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Maine Development Foundation


Anne Ball – Project Director, Grants to Green; Program Coordinator, Healthy Maine Streets – 207.512-4906
Anne joined the Foundation in 2012 as a consultant to coordinates the Maine Downtown Center's newest initiatives - a three-year CDC Community Transformation Grant known as Healthy Maine Streets (HMS) and Grants to Green Maine, in partnership with Maine Community Foundation and Efficiency Maine. Anne has worked in Maine on other multi–sector projects including serving as the Cultural and Heritage Tourism Coordinator for DECD for 6 years. In addition, Anne has served as a consultant to many organizations in Maine including: Maine Preservation, Maine Humanities Council, Maine State Museum and private architecture firms and communities. Anne has a BS from St. Lawrence University and an MA in Historic Preservation from Boston University.

Yellow Light Breen - President & CEO - 207.626.3112
Yellow’s passion is promoting economic and educational opportunity for all Mainers regardless of geography or background. He became CEO in August 2015, where he develops strategic direction, integration, and partnerships across MDF’s mission and programs. Yellow is a sought-after public speaker with a diverse background in business, public policy, and law. He spent twelve years as an executive with Bangor Savings Bank, overseeing strategic planning, marketing, online banking, community development, and charitable activities. Prior, he was a senior official at the Maine Department of Education and an advisor to Independent Governor Angus King. Yellow was born and raised in rural, central Maine, a product of Maine public schools, and earned undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University. He has been an active volunteer in many education and economic development efforts, including the boards of the Maine Community Foundation and Educate Maine. He previously served on the MDF Board and chaired Realize Maine, an ongoing initiative to attract, retain, and support young professionals. Yellow lives in Holden and loves to hike, swim, and ski with his wife and children.

Lorain Francis – Senior Program Director – 207.626.3117
Lorain joined the Foundation in 2013. Lorain is responsible for the Maine Downtown Center and serves as Maine’s State Coordinator to the National Main Street Center. She was the founding Executive Director and Main Street Manager of Rockland Main Street, Inc. A skilled community collaborator she brings Chamber of Commerce experience to the position. Lorain is a native of Fairport, New York where she owned a successful small business on Main Street. She worked on the team to bring the downtown revitalization program, The Fairport Village Partnership to the community while serving as President of the Fairport/ Perinton Merchant’s Association. Her corporate sales experience is in the semiconductor industry. Lorain is a graduate of Maine’s MidCoast Leadership Academy and the Upsilon class of Leadership Maine.

Dianne Heino – Executive Assistant – 207.626.3120
Dianne rejoined the Foundation in 1998. Dianne supports the Leadership Maine recruitment and alumni program, Maine Employers' Initiative, the Alfond Scholarship Foundation,and is the office database specialist. Dianne previously worked for MDF for a total of ten years as bookkeeper and an administrative assistant. She has an Associates Degree from the University of Maine at Augusta.

Amanda Hesseltine – Program Assistant II/Technology Manager – 207.626.3121
Amanda re-joined the Foundation in 2003. Amanda works with the Realize Maine Network and supports the Maine Downtown Center, Leadership Maine, Policy Leaders Academy, and oversees the website and social media. Amanda also designs promotional materials and manages the office's technology. She previously worked for the Foundation for a total of three years as an administrative assistant and served in the Maine Army National Guard and the Army. Amanda lives in Washington with her husband Larry and three of their children, Gage, Zech, and Reese.

Michael Higgins – Program & Special Projects Manager – 207.520.0427
Mike joined the Foundation in October 2015 as a consultant to assist with Policy Leaders Academy, our experiential learning program for Maine Legislators, and our Adult Learner and Workforce Initiatives. Mike has spent his career working in Maine’s public and nonprofit sectors. He served as nonpartisan staff to the Maine Legislature for 6 years, as a senior official at the Maine Department of Education, and as a senior executive at Spurwink Services in Portland for nearly 15 years. He is an experienced executive, policy analyst and fundraiser. Mike was raised in rural Maine and educated in the University of Maine System, from which he holds an undergraduate degree in English from USM and a graduate degree in Public Policy and Management from the Muskie School of Public Service. Mike has served on a number of local and statewide boards, including the Coalition for Excellence in Education, the Maine Compact for Higher Education, and the Institute for Civic Leadership. Mike lives in Raymond with his wife, Judy Ryan.

Ryan Neale – Program Director – 207.626.3119
Ryan joined MDF in 2010 and oversees the Foundation's economic research and reporting. He is Program Director for the Maine Economic Growth Council, oversees the Making Maine Work report series, and is co-director of the Policy Leaders Academy. Prior to joining MDF, Ryan worked in Washington, D.C. for Senator Olympia Snowe. Ryan received his Bachelors Degree in Political Science from the University of Maine, and his Masters Degree in Community Planning and Development from the Muskie School of Public Policy at the University of Southern Maine.

Amertah Perman - Chief Operating Officer - 207.626.3113
Amertah’s background is in interdisciplinary programming, adult learning, and program design, delivery, and evaluation. She has over eight years of program design, event coordination, project management, and operations experience. Amertah spent six years working within higher education in NY, CA, and, most recently, Maine. Her higher education experience focused on adult learners in the continuing education/professional development realm, connecting academic and noncredit programming to community need as well as working within online program design, faculty development, and community outreach. Amertah leads MDF’s Next Step Maine Employers’ Initiative and Adult Learner Resources ( and works across MDF programming applying her project management and operations experience to support organizational effectiveness. Focused on promoting learning at the participant, staff, program, and organizational levels, she brings a learning lens to the conversation. Amertah is a graduate of Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, ME and received her BA in Interpersonal Intercultural Communication from SUNY New Paltz and her MA in International Education & Administration from SIT Graduate Institute.

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