Between the hot spots of Portland and Bangor, commercial real estate in central Maine is less flashy but no less important to the local economy. Kennebec Journal business reporter Jessica Lowell will lead a conversation with local experts who will weigh in on the impact of investment in central Maine commercial real estate and how those investments will shape the economy and affect business growth in years to come.

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and networking until 8:00 a.m. when program begins. Program ends at 9 a.m.

Parking on-site is free.

About the moderator:

Jessica Lowell covers business and economic development and general news in the Gardiner area. A University of Maine graduate, she has worked for newspapers in New Hampshire, upstate New York and Wyoming, where she has won awards for investigative and explanatory journalism. She’s a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources.

About the panelists:

Kevin Mattson, President, Dirigo Capital Advisors, started working in commercial real estate in 1997 where, at Harper’s Development and Mattson Development he oversaw the development of several large-scale projects, primarily in northern New England, totaling more than $200 million. He has served on the Maine Uniform Building Code Task Force, the Finance Authority of Maine, and the board of the Maine Children’s Home.

His awards include the Outstanding Historic Preservation Project from the Maine Downtown Center in 2010, the Notable Project of the Year from the Maine Real Estate Developers Association in 2011.

Recently, Dirigo Capital Advisors has partnered with Capital Area Properties on an Opportunity Zone project in downtown Augusta.

Bill Mitchell, CEO, GHM Insurance, began his career in insurance in the 1980s while studying for his business administration degree at the University of Maine. In addition to his work at GHM Insurance Agency, Mitchell owns and manages 120,000 square feet of commercial real estate throughout Waterville. He is also an owner of The Proper Pig in downtown Waterville. Mitchell has been involved with numerous community and business organizations and has received several awards including being named Business Person of the Year by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Honorable Mention for Family Business of the Year, and the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence.

Andrew Silsby, President & CEO, Kennebec Savings Bank, Silsby had secured his first job in banking at what was North Star Bank even before he graduated from the University of Maine. In 1993, Silsby was hired at Kennebec Savings Bank as a loan officer and worked his way to executive positions at the bank including treasurer, chief operating officer and president of the $1 billion state-chartered community bank. He is currently the chairman of the bank’s Commercial Loan Committee. He has served on the boards of a number of community organizations, including Old Fort Western, United Way of Kennebec Valley, the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Travis Mills Foundation, among others.

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