Two Appointments Announced at Department of Economic and Community Development

Commissioner George Gervais of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has announced two new appointments within the department.

Deb Neuman has been named Deputy Commissioner of DECD. In addition to her other responsibilities, Neuman will head up the Governor’s Account Executives Unit within DECD. The Unit will consist of several account executives that will serve as a single point of contact for businesses and be focused on resolving business-related issues and making it easier for job creators to access resources. The team’s primary goal is to see that businesses are successful and have the ability to grow jobs in our State.

Neuman has ten years experience as a small business owner and has most recently served as the Director of the Target Technology Incubator at the University of Maine where she worked with early stage technology companies and innovators to grow successful tech-based businesses. She created and hosts the award winning "Back to Business" radio show and is a regular host on WVOM's "George Hale and Ric Tyler Show".

Neuman also served on the Governor’s Transition Team providing input regarding the needs of small businesses and offering ideas to improve the delivery of services to facilitate business start-ups, expansion and job creation.

A former Business Lender, Coach and Business Development Specialist with the Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Neuman managed the Small Business Administration (SBA) microloan and technical assistance program and developed the Eastern Maine Incubator Without Walls Program.

"We are fortunate to have someone with Deb's background and knowledge join the DECD team," said Commissioner Gervais. "Her experience with business assistance and economic growth, as well as her being a business owner will benefit the entire State."

Neuman will begin her new position on July 25 and will continue to produce her "Back to Business" radio program.

Gervais also announced the appointment of Denise Garland as Director of the Office of Business and Community Development (OBCD).

Prior to joining DECD, Garland served as the Associate Commissioner in the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, providing overall administration and management to the six service centers throughout state government. The centers provide financial and human resource needs to over 12,000 state employees and manage $7.4 billion in funds.

Garland also worked in the Secretary of State’s Office as Director of the Elections Division and then as Deputy Secretary of State providing guidance to the Secretary of State on department initiatives and programs, as well as the financial and legislative activities of the department.

"DECD is very fortunate to have Denise on board. Her extensive knowledge of how state government works combined with her strong desire to position Maine as business friendly makes her an excellent addition to the leadership team at DECD," said Commissioner Gervais.

In addition to overseeing the operations of OBCD, Garland will be leading the project culminating from LD 1 that will provide a streamlined and consolidated online licensing and permitting process for businesses. She will also oversee the Business Answers and Red Tape Hotline programs at DECD.

"I am extremely pleased with the team that is being built at DECD," said Governor Paul LePage. "I am confident in their abilities to carry out our economic development strategies that will encourage businesses to prosper by way of removing red tape, facilitating exploration of opportunities and providing assistance necessary to grow jobs."