New Ventures Maine has hired Elaine Thomas as Microenterprise Development Program Manager. In addition to guiding the statewide program team, Elaine will teach and work directly with entrepreneurs in Southern Maine as a small business advisor.
Before joining NVME, she was the project coordinator of a University of Maine research collaborative team that partnered with global non-governmental organizations to adapt curriculum for Haiti and countries in Africa. Elaine earned a B.S. in Business Administration in Management from the University of Maine and has experience starting and operating her own small business, an independent piano studio.
Elaine is passionate about helping people access the training and resources they need to thrive and accomplish their goals. “In addition to my experience teaching students of all ages, I also have a curriculum development background. My UMaine team created culturally competent family strengthening training for caregivers and social workers,” she said. “I enjoy collaborating with others to produce content that is accessible and informative.”
Elaine also brings grant and data reporting experience through internships with Heart of Maine United Way and Partners for Peace. As a volunteer with Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, she helped facilitate community-building events for English Language Learners. And, as a chapter advocate for the American Red Cross of Northern New England, she has worked to increase volunteer leadership and engagement in Piscataquis County.
When asked what drew her to the position, Elaine had a long list, including wanting to give back to communities in Maine, interest in working with agencies and partners across the state, and the opportunity to combine her interests in entrepreneurship, teaching, curriculum building, and project management. “I am looking forward to collaborating with our wonderful staff, meeting and working with partner organizations, and working with Maine entrepreneurs as they create positive change for their families and communities.”
Elaine grew up in Hampden, Maine and now lives in Yarmouth. She enjoys trying new vegetarian recipes, snowshoeing, kayaking, and tenting at Maine’s beautiful state parks.