HOLLIS – William Maples doesn’t sugarcoat Poland Spring’s corporate ownership.

On the contrary, he’s proud the Maine brand is owned by Swiss-based multinational Nestle’. He even wears a Nestle’ branded shirt.

“All these people were hired by Nestle’… If it wasn’t for Nestle’ we wouldn’t have invested half a billion dollars in Maine,” he said from a board room at the Hollis bottling plant.

As supply chain director for the firm’s Northeast operations, Maples oversees operations — specifically bottling, production and shipping. He works in partnership with Nestle’s other top executive in Maine, geologist and Natural Resources Manager Tom Brennan.

Walking swiftly through the vast production facility here, Maples, 49, talks at a mile-a-minute pace about the fine details of the different stages of production, from bottle-making to filling, capping, labeling and shipping.

Then he switches gears, explaining the company’s recycling efforts, community giving programs and plastic reduction initiatives, which he said were driven by cost-cutting needs, not pressure from critics.

Irving Ben Severance, a Hollis selectman, called Maples a “great statesman for the company.”

“He’s down to earth. He knows that product in and out,” Severance said.

While Maples handles operations at Nestle’s three bottling plants, Brennan’s charge is to monitor the other side of the business — the springs, aquifiers and the environment.

“I make sure there is enough water for the plant and the community,” Brennan said.

That means collecting data on the health of the aquifers and being “absolutely focused on the stewardship of the resource,” he said.

“You’ve got to keep showing people what you are doing to test the resource (in order to) develop trust.”

Brennan also searches for new places to do business in Maine, and speaks with and educates town officials and concerned citizens.

“It includes a social aspect, dealing with controversies and (developing) strategies for managing those things,” he said.

Brennan, who coaches girls’ soccer and jogs in his free time, has a bachelor’s degree in geology from Bates College.

He’s from Clinton, N.Y., but lives in Yarmouth. Brennan is married and has three kids — 2-year-old Fionnuala, 6-year-old Darby and Isabel, 10.

Maples, who worked for PepsiCo before joining Nestle’ 15 years ago, is also married. He lives in Scarborough and has two children, Tina, 25, and Jackie, 23.

Maples enjoys woodworking and making stained glass.

As for leadership style, Brennan says he empowers his staff to make their own decisions to achieve larger goals.

And Maples calls himself “pretty demanding.”

“People have to live up to their end of the deal,” he said. 

Staff Writer Jonathan Hemmerdinger can be contacted at 791-6316 or: [email protected]