March 7, 2013

Alan Caron: Grateful for Maine and those who toil to make it better


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I wish we could have them all back but take some solace in knowing they inspired many others who are now among us, continuing the work.

Add to that list someone who is very much still at the peak of his work and helping to reshape Maine every day. That man, whom I heard speaking that day, is Ron Phillips. A tireless advocate for rural development and economic justice in Maine since the 1970s, he has built Coastal Enterprises into a regional and national force.

Ron is often compared, with great affection, with the slightly unraveled detective Columbo. He's brilliant and passionate but also lovably disorganized. He's already left his mark on Maine and continues to do so every day.

These four are among the many thousands of heroes in Maine, both past and present, who touch us with their work to help people, build businesses, protect the environment, revitalize towns, educate and protect kids, expand the arts and make Maine a better place.

I'm grateful, every day, for these many saints among us.

Alan Caron is a principal of the Caron & Egan Consulting Group, which works with companies, governments and nonprofits to plan and achieve goals and to more effectively collaborate. He also serves as the president of Envision Maine, a nonpartisan organization that promotes Maine's next economy. He can be reached at

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