IF&W and Labor Comissioner Nominees Announced

February 9, 2011

Augusta, Maine – Governor Paul LePage announced today two Cabinet nominees, which include commissioners for the Departments of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Labor.

Chandler Woodcock has been nominated for the top Inland Fisheries and Wildlife post. Woodcock is Executive Director of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association. Since 2009, Woodcock has led the organization, which represents more than 800 horse breeders, owners, trainers, drivers and grooms. Woodcock is responsible for the annual budget, office management and leadership of MHHA.

Prior to Woodcock’s involvement with MHHA he was an English teacher for 27 years. In addition, Woodcock has vast experience in civic and community participation. In 2006, he ran for Governor. He was a three-term Senator, including Assistant Minority Leader (2002-2003), representing Franklin, Kennebec and Somerset Counties for the 120th, 121st and 122nd Maine State Legislatures.

Woodcock is also a former registered Maine guide and member of “Brook Trout Maine.”

Woodcock is from Farmington. He has a B.A. in Language Arts/Secondary Education from University of Maine at Farmington.

Governor LePage has chosen Cheryl Russell, who is from Chester, to lead the Department of Labor. Russell is the former Executive Director of the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson University. In this position, Russell assisted businesses statewide. She has developed programs such as the Connect ME Membership Program, Emerging Markets Initiative, Global LINK-UP, Business Resource Center and Entrepreneurial Information Center.

Russell worked for the American Loggers Council as Executive Director from 1996-2001. She assisted loggers in Maine and nationally to develop a major workforce development initiative, called Master Logger Certification™. This first in the world program offers third-party independent certification of logging companies' harvesting practices.

Russell has also worked as Business Manager with her family business, Hanington Bros. Inc., a third generation family logging company located in Aroostook, Washington, and Penobscot Counties. For 17 years she was responsible for all human resource management, employee safety and incentive programs, budgeting, financial management, licenses, insurances, contract negotiation and bid preparation.

Currently, Russell is owner and president of Competitive Edge Consulting, LLC. She holds a Masters in Administration and Supervision from Antioch University.

Governor LePage also announced today that he is asking the Maine State Board of Education to consider a candidate for the position of education commissioner. Under Maine law, the governor is to forward the name of a candidate for education commissioner to the state board, which is given the opportunity to meet and interview the candidate. The board then crafts a written appraisal of the candidate for governor’s consideration prior to a formal nomination.