How the new Presque Isle city manager plans to build community trust

2 months ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The new Presque Isle city manager has brought his life experiences into a role that began on Feb. 7.

City Manager Tyler Brown, a former operations manager at Delta Airlines, will be heavily involved with the city’s department heads during the new $30 million airport terminal project at Presque Isle International Airport.

Among the things that have translated from his career at Delta to Presque Isle are working alongside police and fire departments and negotiating with the Teamsters union representatives who represent public works officials at Presque Isle City Hall.

He vowed to be a visible leader who prioritizes clear communication between the city and residents.

“I view myself as a leader and not a manager,” Brown said. “I am someone that puts a lot of trust in my team, and I work with them to collaborate, guide, and help them think differently about any sort of project.”

Brown’s top agenda items include increasing affordable housing in the community and bringing entertainment events back to The Forum at the Northern Maine Fairgrounds, which doubles as the ice arena, to draw people back into the Presque Isle area, Brown said.

“Nothing is confirmed as of yet, but ensuring we have entertainment options is a big priority,” Brown said.

Brown grew up in Ludlow, Vermont, where his grandfather worked as a town manager. He learned valuable lessons about leadership by watching his grandfather taking time to listen to citizens’ concerns and answer questions with clarity.

He moved around roughly 35 times because his stepfather worked with American Airlines. When he was 7 years old, his family left Vermont for New York state. After that, he lived in New Hampshire before settling into the area around Albany, New York, for high school.

Brown developed an interest in working for airlines because of his stepfather. He never went to college, and he said others with a high school diploma need to work on themselves professionally.

“You are going to have to raise your hand for quite a bit, so that you can develop your own personal skills and be noticed,” Brown said. 

He began working at Delta Airlines at Albany International Airport in 2008 as a frontline agent and 18 months later was promoted as a team manager. Brown worked his way into various departments at Delta in the finance, employee relations, marketing, and finally operational management before retiring on January 1, 2023.

“Going from bottom to top gives you a holistic picture of role and responsibility,” Brown said.

Brown hopes to make Presque Isle his permanent home and looks forward to engaging with the residents as more projects come down the road for the city.