Charlotte Mace | Director of Business Development at the Maine Department of Economic + Community Development
For the past five years, Charlotte Mace has been working to grow Maine’s bioeconomy—businesses utilizing the state’s renewable biological resources. “It’s particularly important for me to work on Maine’s rural economy,” she says. “We have many areas of Maine where the per capita income is much lower than the national average.” Mace, who served as the executive director of Biobased Maine for the past four years, has recently taken a position as the director of business development at the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. Her new position helps her to facilitate growth in all business sectors including aquaculture, life sciences, and the forestry and logging industry. Mace sees especially broad potential in Maine’s manufacturing industry. “In a world where consumers and brands are demanding greener products, Maine has a competitive global advantage,” she says. “Thanks to a robust lumber industry, leftover forest residuals can be used to make new eco-friendly products.” For example, Biofine Developments Northeast, a technology company working to develop the first commercial-scale biorefinery in Bucksport, is converting woody biomass into a renewable heating oil substitute. Growing Maine’s bioeconomy is beneficial for a number of reasons, Mace says. By diversifying the forest industry and the types of products offered, Maine can begin to expand its global markets. In addition to diversifying the forest industry, Mace says this innovation has the power to create high-paying jobs in rural Maine, to increase economic and environmental sustainability, and to create a landscape in which Maine families are healthier overall.