President of the New England Outdoor Center
“I’m fortunate to wake up every morning looking across Millinocket Lake at Maine’s most iconic mountain, Katahdin,” says Matthew Polstein, president at the New England Outdoor Center. He founded the resort in 1982 as a whitewater rafting center. Like the region, the center has evolved over the years. The company purchased nearby land and cabins in 1995 and now offers visitors a restaurant and lodging options, including a campground, along with recreational opportunities like canoeing as well as rafting. On any given night, there could be 300 people staying with the New England Outdoor Center, Polstein says. He’s become a champion of efforts to revitalize the economically distressed Katahdin region, which has been dependent on the forest products industry for decades. Polstein supports efforts to designate the 87,500-acre parcel east of Baxter State Park, currently owned by Roxanne Quimby, as a national monument or national park, saying it would jumpstart future growth in the area. “Whether a park or a monument, it brings a level of branding that no one of us, or even the state of Maine, could achieve on our own,” he says. Polstein is also president of the Twin Pines Snowmobile Club and executive director of the Maine Outdoor Education Program and Maine River Trails, both initiatives of the Butler Conservation Fund. He serves on several boards, including the Maine Community Foundation, CEI Capital Management, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway Foundation, and the Maine 4-H Foundation.