November 10, 2013

Spurwink humanitarian award goes to Maine paper mill hero

John Halle is CEO of Cate Street Capital, which restored 250 jobs at Great Northern Paper in Millinocket.

By Edward D. Murphy
Staff Writer

John Halle, who founded a company that invests in sustainable technologies, was recognized as Spurwink Services’ Humanitarian of the Year on Saturday night.

Halle is president and chief executive officer of Cate Street Capital, which was established four years ago.

The company is probably best known for buying and restarting operations at Great Northern Paper’s paper mill in East Millinocket, restoring 250 jobs. Halle’s firm also formed Thermogen Industries, which will produce wood pellets and lead to the creation of another 100 jobs in Millinocket and Eastport, and has developed a biopower plant in Berlin, N.H., according to Cate Street’s website.

In a news release, Dawn Stiles, the president of Spurwink, said the award recognized Halle’s “commitment to improving the lives of others through economic development and community-building.”

Halle founded Cate Street after working 25 years in the financial industry with entrepreneurial, high-growth financial companies.

He is responsible for the firm’s strategic planning, business assets and overall corporate growth.

The firm, which has offices in Portland; Portsmouth and Exeter, N.H.; and Salida, Colo., says its focus is on financing innovations that “will provide returns for our investors and real change for our planet.”

Spurwink is a Portland-based nonprofit organization founded in 1960 that provides mental health and educational services for children, adolescents, adults and families. At Saturday night’s dinner honoring Halle, the organization said it received a $12 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to “expand innovative practices to improve student achievement.”

Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at:


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