Gov. Paul LePage has made two key appointments to the Department of Economic and Community Development — one of whom is a well-known figure in the Bangor-area business world.
Deb Neuman has been named deputy commissioner of DECD. Neuman is currently director of the Target Technology business incubator at the University of Maine, and creator and host of the “Back to Business” radio show. Neuman highlights the state’s small businesses, their stories and the challenges and opportunities before them.
According to a release sent out Wednesday, Neuman has 10 years experience as a small business owner. She was a former business lender, coach and business development specialist with the Eastern Maine Development Corp., and managed the Small Business Administration microloan and technical assistance program and developed the Eastern Maine Incubator Without Walls Program.
The release said Neuman will head up the Governor’s Account Executives Unit within DECD. It will consist of several account executives who will serve as a single point of contact for businesses and be focused on resolving business-related issues and making it easier for job creators to access resources.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Deb’s background and knowledge join the DECD team,” said DECD Commissioner George Gervais in the release. “Her experience with business assistance and economic growth, as well as her being a business owner will benefit the entire state.”
Gervais also announced the appointment of Denise Garland as director of the Office of Business and Community Development. Garland had served as the associate commissioner in the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, providing overall administration and management to the six service centers throughout state government. Garland also worked in the Secretary of State’s Office as director of the elections division and then as deputy secretary of state.
In addition to overseeing the operations of OBCD, Garland will lead the project resulting from LD 1 to streamline online licensing and permitting for businesses.