ORONO – The board of directors of Four Directions Development Corporation unanimously voted to elevate Director of Operations Charlene Virgilio into the role of executive director. She will succeed Susan Hammond, who helped found the nonprofit organization 20 years ago and will be leaving her position this fall.

Virgilio joined FDDC at the start of 2019. Her responsibilities expanded rapidly in keeping with the organization’s growth as one of the preeminent Native American Community Development Financial Institutions in the nation. In addition to developing and overseeing operational systems to optimize efficiency, she currently manages FDDC’s diverse lending and community and business development programs in service to the Wabanaki tribes. Virgilio co-chairs the Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Committee of the United South and Eastern Tribes, and she recently concluded two consecutive terms as a tribal councilwoman of the Penobscot Nation. Earlier, she built a long and distinguished career at IBM, where she held various program and operational management roles.

“We are always pleased and proud when a tribal citizen returns to serve our community, and Charlene has brought a wealth of talent,” said Board Chairperson Stan Meader. “Susan Hammond set the bar high in leading the FDDC so capably since its inception, and the board is excited to have identified a successor who can meet that standard of excellence. Charlene is ideally suited to preserve Susan’s legacy and help realize our shared vision for the four tribes in Maine.”

Virgilio stated that “Susan has been a tremendous FDDC leader who has accomplished so much for our native communities. I am honored to continue her legacy of leading this amazing organization with the same passion and dedication to further increase our impact and positive results.”

Virgilio will assume her new role as executive director in October, coinciding with Four Directions’ 20th anniversary celebration.

FDDC is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to improve the social and economic conditions of the Wabanaki tribes in Maine – the Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot – through education and investment in affordable housing, tribal business ventures and Native entrepreneurship.