Cianchette takes Cianbro post after stint as U.S. ambassador

Posted July 01, 2009, at 9:47 p.m.

PITTSFIELD, Maine — Peter Cianchette has returned home and is again working for Cianbro.

Cianchette, who ran for governor in 2002, ended his term as the U.S. ambassador to Costa Rica a few weeks ago and has accepted the position of vice president of business development, Cianbro Chairman and CEO Peter Vigue announced Wednesday.

“What I’m most excited about is joining a team where there is such a strong emphasis on integrity and hard work,” Cianchette said by phone from the Pittsfield company’s headquarters Wednesday, his first day on the job.

Cianchette grew up in town and worked in his youth for the company his father, Ival “Bud” Cianchette and his uncles, Ken, Carl and Chuck, founded in 1949. The local company is now employee-owned and is known worldwide as a mover and shaker in the world of construction.

“It’s like I’m getting reacquainted with the company,” he said. “It’s an incredibly impressive company. Their track record of success is truly admirable.”

While a teenager at Maine Central Institute Cianchette spent many hours pushing a broom and washing windows for Cianbro Corp. After graduating with a business administration degree from the University of Maine, he worked in the company’s Dragon Products division.

Those years of honest, hard work taught him a work ethic that is evident in what he has accomplished after leaving the Pittsfield-based company in 1985, Vigue said.

“We believe that Peter Cianchette has the values, experience, network of contacts, and work ethic to help position Cianbro to take advantage of the many opportunities that lie ahead,” he said in a statement. “Peter’s background and experience as an executive in the public and private sector, as well as international settings, uniquely qualify him for this senior level management role.”

Cianchette departed his hometown to be a South Portland businessman and was elected in 1996 to the Maine Legislature, where he served two terms.

He announced his intentions to run for governor in 2001 as the Republican nominee and lost the 2002 election to John Baldacci by 28,683 votes. Two years later, in 2004, he headed the Bush-Cheney campaign in Maine, which was not forgotten by Bush when it came time to pick an ambassador to Costa Rica.

On May 8, 2008, Cianchette was sworn in as Ambassador Cianchette in Washington and spent a year in Costa Rica, living there with his wife, Carolyn, and two children.

“It was a great assignment for me,” Cianchette said. “It was a distinct honor and privilege to serve our county. The people of Costa Rica are really wonderful, wonderful people. We made a lot of good friends in the year we were there, and it was difficult to leave them.”

Throughout his adult life, even while in Costa Rica, Cianchette has kept an eye on the business that his family started 60 years ago.

“I’ve really enjoyed reading about the progress” over the years, he said. “This company is so diverse and interesting. I’m eager to rejoin the company.”

Cianchette added that with his new job, he might even run into his dad. Bud Cianchette is chairman emeritus of the Cianbro Cos. board of directors.

“I think my dad is quite pleased that I’ve taken a position with Cianbro,” he said.

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