Nancy E. Smith
Executive director of GrowSmart Maine
Before joining GrowSmart Maine six years ago, Nancy E. Smith served as a state representative, a forester, and a farmer at Snafu Acres Farm in Monmouth. She says those experiences- from chairing the legislature’s economic development committee to overseeing timber harvests to raising livestock and poultry -all inform her work at GrowSmart Maine, where she works with communities as they seek economic growth that doesn’t sacrifice quality of life. “We share a vision for Maine as a place with lively downtowns from villages to cities, healthy open space, and productive farms, fisheries, and forest, bound together by strong communities,” Smith says. “In my work at GrowSmart Maine, I am part of bringing that vision to life.” In 2012, GrowSmart Maine published an update to the influential report “Charting Maine’s Future,” written in collaboration with the Brookings institution. One of the lessons learned since the original report is that the government is not always the most effective leader of change. Instead, initiatives with grassroots community support are most likely to be successful, the report says. GrowSmart Maine is now advancing that idea with its community engagement program, Making Headway in Your Community, a series of community events focusing on single easy, visible projects designed to draw support for those things that matter most to a particular community.