LEWISTON, Maine — Henry “Hank” Schmelzer, a veteran leader of some of Maine’s highest profile nonprofit institutions and a former financial services executive and attorney, recently was named chairman of MPBN’s Board of Directors.
Schmelzer is a former president and CEO of Maine Community Foundation, where he managed the foundation with assets of more than $250 million. MCF provides grants to Maine-based nonprofits, with a focus in the areas of education, community economic development, the environment and civic engagement. Schmelzer ran MCF for nine years before retiring at the end of 2008.
He also was instrumental in the development of the Maine Compact for Higher Education and was actively involved in raising support for “Charting Maine’s Future,” the recent Brookings Institution report, which was sponsored by GrowSmart Maine and that charts a path for sustainable prosperity in the state. He also helped MCF launch Common Good Ventures and the Environmental Funders Network.
Before getting involved in philanthropy, Schmelzer spent more than 25 years in the legal and financial services industry in Boston. A corporate and securities lawyer, he became vice president and counsel for the New England Mutual Life Insurance Co. and president and CEO of the former New England Funds, an $8 billion mutual fund group.
Schmelzer was elected as a public trustee for MPBN in 2008 and currently lives in Somesville with his wife, Cynthia Livingston. Schmelzer is also on the board of overseers of the University of Maine and the board of trustees at the College of the Atlantic.
With a new president and CEO to be chosen at MPBN before the end of the year to replace Jim Dowe, who last spring announced his intention to retire at the end of 2011, MPBN will have new leaders in both the chair and CEO positions for the first time in more than six years.