CARIBOU, Maine — A public-private group that has worked for almost nine years to advance economic development in Aroostook County has begun the new year with a new leader.
During a press conference at the Northern Maine Development Commission offices in Caribou on Wednesday, Aroostook Partnership for Progress introduced Bob Dorsey, a Fort Fairfield native, as its new president and chief executive officer. Kris Doody, chairman of the group, announced the news.
Dorsey is a Fort Fairfield High School graduate who earned a bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He also holds a master’s degree from Golden Gate University. He spent 26 years in the Air Force, including three tours at the Pentagon. He returned to Fort Fairfield in 2001 and is active in the community.
Since its creation, Aroostook Partnership for Progress has undertaken a number of projects to quicken the economic pulse of the region. It has helped attract more than 1,000 new jobs and $140 million in investment to the region. It has introduced business expansion programs and helped institute training and higher education initiatives.
The nonprofit organization is supported by financial commitments from private businesses and other entities.
Doody said that Aroostook Partnership for Progress was excited to have a County native at the helm, saying that the entire organization was impressed with Dorsey’s resume and level of experience.
“He has served in some very dynamic positions of leadership and has a true sense of what it takes to get the job done,” said Doody. “He also understands the importance of a team approach and his values project a County perspective.”
Dorsey credited his career path with helping him learn a great deal about multiple disciplines but said he believes the greatest lesson has been that “it takes a team to achieve success” and that the primary job of someone in a leadership position is to “mentor, encourage and combine the best efforts of the team” to achieve that success.
Dorsey takes the helm from Walt Elish, who was named president and CEO of Northern Colorado Economic Development Corp. in October.