BVIS Portland Agenda Updates

1:00 p.m. Maine, A Case Study in Supporting and Growing a Blue Economy Ecosystem

Moderator: Blaine Grimes, Chief Ventures Officer, Gulf of Maine Ventures
Chandler Jones, CEI Ventures

Chandler is Managing Director of CEI Ventures, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Brunswick, Maine based Community Development Finance Institution, Coastal Enterprises, Inc (CEI).CEI Ventures finances high impact, growth-oriented companies located in targeted communities in Maine and the Northeast, investing in a variety of sectors and stages. Since 1996, CEI Ventures has raised five venture capital funds and invested in over 70high growth companies. In addition to his work at CEI Ventures, Chandler assists CEI’s Sustainable Food Systems Program with investing in early-stage, high impact food systems businesses. Chandler received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from St. Michael’s College and an MBA from the University of Southern Maine with a concentration in finance.

Nina Scheepers, Maine Venture Fund

Nina is a Principal at Maine Venture Fund. Prior to joining MVF in 2021, she held a variety of roles at Unum leading work to transform technology and operations. She is a Bowdoin (BA) and Tuck (MBA) graduate, and volunteers with Junior Achievement

Jeff Frank, Island Institute

In his role as Senior Community Development Officer at Island Institute, Jeff is part of the Center for Marine Economy, and provides leadership for our work in creating a more resilient coastal economy. Jeff joined Island Institute after working as CEO at an innovative medical device company, advising investment strategy in renewable energy companies at Elemental Excelerator, serving as press secretary and foreign policy advisor to U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, and co-founding, building, and selling his first start up, Jeff spent two years in the U.S. Peace Corps helping Maya villagers in Belize start businesses, and he brings his passion for community development to our team. Jeff is a third-generation Mainer with a family history embedded in Maine’s coastal communities. His grandfather was a lighthouse keeper on Wood Island, Owls Head, and Portland Head Light, and he grew up exploring tide pools along the coast. Jeff holds a M.S. in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont and undergraduate degrees in both economics and political science from the University of Maine.

Patrick Arnold, New England Ocean Cluster

Patrick Arnold has been an entrepreneur – creating, managing, and consulting on complex ocean related projects for 20 years. He has provided operations & marketing management consulting for ports and transportation companies throughout North America, Central America, and Europe. Patrick was instrumental in transitioning Icelandic steamship line Eimskip to homeport in Portland, Maine in 2013 kicking off a decade of strengthened ties with Portland, Maine acting as a gateway for arctic and high north Atlantic business and trade. He cofounded the New England Ocean Cluster with the Iceland Ocean Cluster in 2014. Patrick’s focus on the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) is apparent in every company and product NEOC works with.