Gretchen Johnson

Gretchen Johnson has been hired as the executive director at The Center for Grieving Children. Johnson has a history with the center, having served as a volunteer facilitator for five years before becoming a member of the board of directors for six years. She currently serves as a trustee for the Portland Symphony Orchestra and as a board member of the Maine Women’s Lobby Education Fund.

Mitchell DeBortoli

Mitchell DeBortoli has been hired as the sustainability coordinator at OceanView at Falmouth. Prior to joining OceanView, DeBortoli spent two years as an environmental scientist for Leidos, an engineering firm and government contractor based in Virginia.

Jenna Wright

Jenna Wright has been hired by the Dufour Tax Group. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in media studies from UMass Amherst.

Emily Carey Perez de Alejo

Lani Defiesta

Defend Our Health has hired two new employees. Emily Carey Perez de Alejo has been hired as the inaugural president and chief executive officer. Perez de Alejo previously served as the program manager/director for community partnerships and strategy at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey’s Cancer Health Equity Center of Excellence. Lani Defiesta has been hired as the director of development and community engagement. Defiesta has a degree in economics and public policy from Western Washington University.

David Dyer has been hired to the Intellectual Property Group at Verrill as an associate resident in the firm’s Portland office. Previously, Dyer worked as a patent attorney at an IP boutique law firm in Minnesota and a general practice firm in Maine. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, his master’s degree from Harvard University, and his law degree from Mitchell Hamline School of Law.



Shawn Walton

Shawn Walton has been promoted to market manager at Saco & Biddeford Savings, Saco branch. Walton joined the bank in 2000 and has held positions ranging from customer relationship associate to assistant branch manager. Walton has volunteered with Saco’s annual Pumpkin Harvest Festival, the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital Camp Week and coaching Biddeford’s minor league baseball teams.


Ron Korstanje

Associate professor Ron Korstanje, Ph.D., has been named the Evnin Family Chair at The Jackson Laboratory. Korstanje has authored more than 110 publications exploring the intersection of kidney function, aging, metabolism and genomics. Additionally, he co-authored studies that discovered new genes previously unassociated with lifespan, and identified therapies that act on these genes to improve kidney function and extend lifespan and health.

Maria Fox

Maria Fox, a partner at Murray Plumb & Murray, is one of 11 nominees named by the governor to begin serving on the Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Authority next month. Fox has practiced employment law for over 25 years and is a frequent presenter on employment law and alternative dispute resolution topics.

Eric Ritchie, left, and Herb Sargent

Eric Ritchie, chief operations officer at Sargent Corp., has been elected president of the corporation’s board of directors, replacing Herb Sargent, who has led the company in that role since 1992. Ritchie joined Sargent in 2018 and has managed the business operations as COO over the past four years.


Haley Ward has hired eight new employees and promoted six across its Bangor and Saco offices. Ann Marceca has been hired as an interior designer; Joe Marceca as a senior project designer; William Seavey Jr. in the company’s Environmental Service Line as a senior project scientist; Charlie Hagan as a field technician in the Environmental Service Line; Susan Bower as a finance specialist; and Kelly Fergola as an administrative assistant and project coordinator in the Environmental Service Line. Jacqueline Keene has rejoined Haley Ward as an accounting specialist. Jason Patterson was promoted to senior project scientist in the Environmental Service Line. Chip Haskell was promoted to senior project manager in the Land Development Service Line. Other promotions include Izabo Emerson to talent acquisition specialist; Jeff Weeks to project manager in the Survey Service Line; Nathan Rice to project manager in the Survey Service Line; and Drew Olehowski to project manager in the Land Development Service Line.

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