Governor LePage Nominates Brian Whitney to Lead Maine Technology Institute

February 20, 2015

For Immediate Release: Friday, February 20, 2015
Contact: Adrienne Bennett, Press Secretary, 207-287-2531

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage today nominated Brian Whitney of Augusta to serve as Director of the Maine Technology Institute (MTI). Whitney, the Director of Business Development & Innovation for the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) has been serving as Acting Director of MTI since August 2014.

“I am pleased to nominate Brian Whitney to direct MTI and to lead the organization’s efforts to drive innovation and job growth in Maine,” said Governor LePage. “In addition to his 10 years of experience in economic development at the state and federal level, and his deep knowledge of Maine’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, Brian has had the unique opportunity to manage MTI for the past 6 months. We are looking forward to focusing on helping to create long-term jobs not only through research and development, but also by concentrating on commercialization.”

Since 2012, Whitney has served as the Director of Business Development & Innovation at the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD). In this capacity, he manages the Governor’s Account Executives - Maine’s team of knowledgeable and professional economic development liaisons whose primary responsibility is to work one-on-one with businesses to help them succeed and grow.

In August 2014, Whitney also assumed the role of Acting Director of the Maine Technology Institute. He previously worked as the Director of Outreach and Economic Development for U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), as a Business Development Specialist at the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development, and as Chief of Staff to Maine’s Senate President during the historic power-sharing arrangement in 2002. Whitney serves on the boards of the Maine Venture Fund, Maine Economic Growth Council, Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board, State Workforce Investment Board, and the Economic Development Council of Maine.

The Maine Technology Institute was established by the Maine Legislature in 1999 as a publicly funded non-profit organization tasked with “encouraging, promoting, stimulating and supporting research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products and services in the State's technology-intensive industrial sectors to enhance the competitive position of those sectors and increase the likelihood that one or more of the sectors will support clusters of industrial activity and to create new jobs for Maine people.” A 15-member board of directors representing Maine’s seven targeted technology sectors and several state agency officials governs MTI.

“For the past 6 months, while leading MTI in a part-time capacity, I have been encouraged by many people I admire and respect to seek the Director’s position in a full-time role,” said Brian Whitney. “I am deeply humbled and incredibly honored to be nominated by Governor LePage and I am eager to continue to work with MTI’s exceptional staff and board to more fully leverage MTI's capabilities and vault it and Maine’s innovation economy to grand new heights.”

The Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, and Research & Economic Development will consider the nomination this session and, ultimately, the committee’s recommendation will be advanced to the Maine State Senate for further consideration and confirmation. Following Senate confirmation, the MTI board will also vote to affirm the Governor’s and Legislature’s choice and to name the nominee as President of MTI.