Two local participants join Leadership program

     PRESQUE ISLE — The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce has announced two new participants in the Leadership Maine Program.


Kristen Wells

 Kristen Wells, advancement director for Aspirations Aroostook, and Deborah Roark, executive director of advancement at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, have received scholarships to assist with the cost of tuition to this program

     At the beginning of 2016, the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce added the Caribou Chamber businesses to their service area, taking a step toward providing a more comprehensive voice for central Aroostook County. 

     Now, the CACC board is working toward having that voice heard at the state level through a pilot program called “Help ME Lead”.

     The goal of “Help ME Lead” is to help alleviate the financial burden to County participants by sponsoring a student and covering their tuition to the program. 

     The tuition assistance will reduce the overall cost of attendance by roughly 70 percent, allowing them to focus solely on the associated travel and lodging costs. 

     Most of the sessions are from Augusta, south.

     “This program allows us to reinvest in our members,” said Theresa Fowler, CACC executive director. “We have been looking for an impactful, creative way to stimulate future leaders in central Aroostook County. 

     “After some of our board members attended the education session held a few weeks ago we immediately started working toward this program being the way to make this reinvestment which will hopefully have long term implications,” Fowler said.

     Leadership Maine is designed to build talented, statewide leaders that help shape the future of Maine. The program educates participants in what drives Maine’s economy, discusses critical issues facing the state and allows behind-the-scenes access to some of the key community and business leaders from Fort Kent to South Portland. The educational program takes place over 14 days throughout the year beginning in June and concluding the following May with sessions held throughout the state.



Dr. Deborah Roark

 There have been more than 1,000 community and business leaders that have attended this program throughout its two-decade existence, with less than 30 of them being from Aroostook during that time.

     Maine Development Foundation (MDF) has worked with Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce to make this opportunity available to chamber members.


     “We are very appreciative of the MDF’s support and assistance in this project. We are very pleased that we had two applicants willing to commit their time and energy to become stronger leaders in our region,” said Fowler.