Authority for the SEGF resides with an eleven member Board of Directors. The SEGF Board members have relevant experience and background in early-stage investing, managing high-growth small businesses, development of technological innovation, commercial lending, and securities law. The board works closely with prospective and current portfolio companies to provide invaluable advice, resources, and support.
Collectively, the SEGB has 115 years of experience as direct investors in companies, has 173 years of experience in management positions in companies, has been involved in over 170 merger, acquisitions or company sales and has been a direct investor in over 120 companies!
Matthew A. Hoffner, SEGB Chair, came to Maine in 1987 after 10 years as an engineer and manager for Exxon Corp. He was one of the original managers for Wright Express Corp. and was the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for 10 years. He was then the founder of Integra Associates, a sales and marketing outsourcing company based in Westbrook, Maine with clients throughout the US. In 2000, he joined two other partners to start JobsInTheUS.com (JiUS), the parent company for JobsInME.com and fifteen other state-specific job boards. As President and CEO of JiUS, the company grew to become the largest job board in the Northeast and was sold to the Journal Register Corp. in 2006. While president, JiUS was selected as a top finisher in the “Best Places to Work” competition sponsored by the state HR association. Mr. Hoffner stayed on as President until July 2007. In October 2008, Mr. Hoffner joined with a partner in the UK to start Jobg8, Inc. an online marketplace for job boards worldwide. Mr. Hoffner was the president of North American operations headquartered in South Portland ME until May of 2013 and is now on the executive board and acts as a consultant for the parent company, Aspire media.
Stephen R. Goldberg, SEGB Vice Chair, is currently the Principal at Stephen Goldberg Consulting, an establishment that provides Strategic Consulting for the Retail Food Industry including retailers, as well as manufacturers and vendors specializing in Natural, Organic, Specialty and Prepared Foods. Previously, Stephen served with Whole Foods Market from 1988 until 2007, ending his tenure there as Regional Vice President, UK. Before his position as Regional Vice President, Mr. Goldberg served as the Prepared Foods Director for the North Atlantic Region. Stephen has over 20 years of experience in the industry and is an accomplished chef and avid food enthusiast.
Kimberley A. Niles, CPA, SEGB Treasurer,, is currently the Chief Financial Officer of North Atlantic Capital. North Atlantic Capital is a Maine based venture firm investing in technology oriented companies, primarily on the east coast. Prior to joining North Atlantic, Ms. Niles held various roles in public accounting and private industry. Ms. Niles has a BS from the University of New Hampshire and is an active committee member for the Whittemore School of Business and Economics Alumni Association. She is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the State of Maine.
Timothy P. Agnew is a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners, a venture capital firm with offices in Cambridge and Portland. Prior to joining Masthead, Mr. Agnew was the Chief Executive Officer of the Finance Authority of Maine from 1988 to 1999. He serves on the board of CEI Community Ventures Fund and is a member of the Interagency Review Panel and the Maine Angels. He is a past Chair of the Maine Technology Institute. Mr. Agnew is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Vassar College.
Corson “Corky” Ellis is Chairman and Founder of Kepware Technologies (www.kepware.com), a Portland company that writes industrial communications software for the factory, Smart Grid, building automation in oil and gas sector. Mr. Ellis is very involved in technology economic development in Maine. He is a board member of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Mr. Ellis graduated from Amherst College and received a Masters in Business Policy degree from Columbia University.
Blaine S. Grimes currently serves as the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Chief Development Officer. At GMRI, her primary responsibility is leading the organization’s strategic fundraising initiatives to put in place the resources to maximize its impact and achieve its ambitious program goals in the coming years. She is also responsible for GMRI's marketing and public relations efforts.
Before joining GMRI in 2005, she held senior management positions at IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. and The VIA Group. She has more than twenty eight years of business development, leadership and strategic marketing experience in a wide range of industries, with career concentration in the fields of marine science, healthcare, and biotechnology.
Blaine received her undergraduate BA from Amherst College and her M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard Business School.
Mark D. Kaplan, CFA, is CEO of the New Hampshire Innovation Commercialization Center, an incubator serving the seacoast of NH. Prior to joining the NH-ICC in March 2013 he spent more than ten years as a Maine based venture capitalist. Mark also has significant executive, financial and investment industry experience spanning more than twenty-five years. He has served on the boards of numerous private, early stage companies and is active in community service, currently serving as a board member of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, a Portland based incubator. A Charter Financial Analyst (CFA), Mark earned a BA from the University of Michigan-Flint and MBA from Boston University Graduate School of Management. He also graduated from the NVCA-NASBIC Venture Capital Institute Certificate and Graduate Programs.
Samuel A. Ladd, III, President of People’s United Bank for Southern Maine. Mr. Ladd co-founded Maine Bank & Trust in 1991 and served as the President of that bank beginning in 2001. Formerly Mr. Ladd was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Maine Bank & Trust. He has been in banking since the mid-1960's. He has served as a Director of Maine Bank & Trust and Maine National Bank. Mr. Ladd joined Maine National Bank after spending one year with the Aetna Life Insurance Company and two years in the U.S. Army as a First Lieutenant.
He has been a Trustee of Bowdoin College and the Portland Symphony Orchestra where he served as Treasurer. He is the past Chairman of the Maine Maritime Museum. He has also served as the Chair of the Investment Committee for the Maine Historical Society. He is a board member of the Maine Bankers Association. He is also a Corporator of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Portland and of the Maine Medical Center. Mr. Ladd has also been President of the Maine Bankers Association and Chair of the Maine Chamber of Commerce. He ran the Capital Campaign for the Greater Portland United Way. He currently serves on the Government Relations Council of the American Bankers Association. He was the Finance Chair for the recent re-election of U.S. Senator Susan Collins. He is a recent recipient of the Portland Regional Chamber's Henri Benoit Award for Leadership. He was the 2007 Distinguished Citizen of the Boy Scouts of America, and was admitted to the Business Hall of Fame by Junior Achievements. Mr. Ladd graduated with a bachelor's degree from Bowdoin College in 1963. He also serves as Treasurer of the Maine Angels and has investments in a number of companies in Maine.
Christopher S. Pizey has held various management positions, over the past 20 years, involving computing technologies, interactive media and new business development. While at Andrews McMeel Universal, Mr. Pizey led corporate new media ventures, including the founding of uclick LLC. While CEO of uclick he engineered new business initiatives including digital content syndication, web publishing, wireless content licensing and distribution deals with over 300 of the Web’s premier publishers, portals and mobile phone networks. Mr. Pizey recently returned home to Maine where he is assisting his family’s business, Hissong Development Corp., to grow their real estate development and construction businesses to include heavy construction materials and services, such as ready-mix concrete and aggregates.
Brian Whitney, the SEGB's Department of Economic and Community Development ("DECD") ex officio board member, joined DECD as Director of Business Development & Innovation in October 2012. In this capacity, he manages the Governor’s Account Executives - - Maine’s team of experienced, knowledgeable and professional economic development liaisons whose primary responsibility is to work one-on-one with businesses to help them succeed and grow.
Mr. Whitney has extensive experience in economic development and legislative matters at both the state and federal level. From 2005 - 2012, he served as the Director of Outreach and Economic Development for U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe where he worked as a senior-level staffer and liaison between the Senator and officials from federal, state, county and municipal government, private and public economic development entities, and top management of corporations, in an effort to help foster economic development in Maine. Prior to joining Senator Snowe’s office, Mr. Whitney worked as a Business Development Specialist at the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development and, preceding that, as a staff member in the Maine Legislature. During his tenure there, he served as Chief of Staff to Maine’s Senate President during the historic power-sharing arrangement in 2002.