Maine’s been getting a lot of attention from the travel industry lately, but the biggest splash has gone unreported.

Last week, Fodor’s gave the state a shout-out in its annual “Go” list, a compilation of 25 destinations it recommends that travelers check out in 2016. On Monday, TripAdvisor included Portland in its Top 10 U.S. destinations for 2016.

But unless you’ve flown on Delta Air Lines recently, you might not be aware that Maine was profiled in its Sky magazine – an upbeat, 10-page spread that covered the state’s business scene and tourist destinations and included a Q&A with Gov. Paul LePage.

Among the companies mentioned in the profile are Idexx, Vet’s First Choice, WEX, The Jackson Laboratory, Tyler Technologies and Eimskip. Economic development players such as George Gervais, the state’s commissioner of economic development, and Peter DelGreco, chief executive of the business recruitment firm Maine & Co., also lent their voices to the piece.

The in-flight magazine has a reach of 5.4 million readers every month, according to its website. It also says the typical reader has a household median income of $108,707, 84 percent have a college education, and 23 percent have a post-graduate degree. Additionally, 46 percent are managers or hold some other professional business title.

That’s a pretty attractive audience. So how did the piece come about?

“Our Profile features look closely at cities and states that offer exceptional (or surprising) economic development opportunities, strong workforce development, good quality of life and beautiful tourism assets,” wrote Marsha Hedlund, part of the editorial team at Sky magazine who oversees the profiles and responded to my inquiry. “Maine fits that to a tee and we had long been interested in covering your state in our Profile features. I reached out to Governor LePage and his team in early 2015 regarding the opportunity and they really drove the piece forward.”

The piece describes at length the logistics and technology sectors in the state, as well as workforce challenges.

A surprising takeaway? LePage’s description of a perfect day:

“Breakfast in Belfast overlooking Sears Island, Searsport, and then lunch at Jordan’s Restaurant in Bar Harbor. Try the haddock burger! Finish off the day with golf at the Samoset Resort in Rockport and have dinner at their restaurant.”

Shining a light on girls

Can you imagine a middle school teacher telling a class that the children of adoptive parents can’t be loved as much as children of “natural” parents?

There was a gasp in the room as NBC journalist Cynthia McFadden recounted her story in front of more than 600 people at the Holiday Inn by the Bay who had gathered Tuesday for the first Olympia Snowe’s Women’s Leadership Institute luncheon.

McFadden, a graduate of Edward Little High School in Auburn and Bowdoin College, was the keynote speaker at the event, a kickoff for the institute founded last year by the former U.S. senator to increase confidence and leadership skills among Maine girls.

Adopted as an infant, McFadden told the story of her early years, including the declaration by her teacher when she was a student at Webster Middle School. McFadden, to her credit, challenged the teacher, telling him that she was adopted and she was certain her parents loved her as much as any parents possibly could.

She offered that story and several others of overcoming fear and judgment – experiences that helped form a core of confidence that helped propel her to her post as the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News. McFadden previously was an anchor for ABC News and co-anchored “Nightline” for several years.

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made,” she told the audience. “If you want to be one, you can, too.”

The institute’s inaugural class of 50 “Olympia leaders” were at the lunch, scattered among a wide array of businesswomen, civic leaders and academics. The girls, mostly sophomores, were selected from seven Androscoggin County high schools. Over the next three years, they will get monthly instruction and support from volunteer advisers to develop their values, voices and vision. Information about the institute can be found at

Snowe, who was orphaned at age 9 and widowed at 26, introduced McFadden, who worked on the longtime lawmaker’s first legislative campaign when she was 15. The two have remained friends ever since.

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