Tom Rainey

Tom Rainey

Executive Director

Prior to MCE, Tom was President of Rainey & Associates; a consultancy specialized in planning and implementing innovation-based development initiatives. Tom brings 25 years of experience in building and managing successful business incubators and accelerators for start-up companies in seven states. Tom’s experience in rural business development, international trade, aerospace, defense and life sciences combined with a broad national and international business network provides unique capabilities.

Since 1990, Tom has been involved in a number of pioneering Defense Adjustment programs including the decommissioning of a military port in in a rural area of California; launching new export assistance programs through the World Trade Center he managed in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties, and serving as Director of Business Development for the Defense Adjustment Program in St. Louis in 1993. In 1998 Tom was recruited by the State of Florida and Kennedy Space Center to establish a network of six NASA-funded incubators to assist laid-off aerospace workers in the wake of the Challenger disaster. From 2001-2012 Tom developed a biotechnology strategy for New Hampshire; plans for a Health Care Institute for Wisconsin and award-winning incubators at the University of Vermont, Dartmouth College, Northern Arizona University, and the BioInspire accelerator in Phoenix. Tom developed business accelerator plans for the Cities of Goodyear and Sierra Vista, two rural communities in Arizona affected by major defense industry downsizing.

Tom holds a Master's Degree in Science and Technology Policy (March 1988) from Lund University, Sweden; a Graduate Degree in Social Sciences, (June 1986) from the University of Stockholm, Sweden; and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science (August 1985) from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Tom can be reached by email at tomrainey@mced.biz

Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Top Gun Program Manager

Laurie is the manager of the Top Gun Program and is responsible for MCE’s workshop series. Laurie grew up in Maine working in a family-owned small business where she served as company treasurer for a number of years until the company was sold in 2003. She is a graduate of Mt. Ida College in Boston, MA and Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY where she received degrees for an Associates program in Graphic Design and a Bachelors program in Commercial Photography respectively. She lives in Westbrook with her husband and children and is active in many community organizations.

Laurie can be reached by email at ljohnson@mced.biz

Sue Hanson

Sue Hanson

Cultivator Program Manager

As Program Manager for the Cultivator Food & Beverage Accelerator, Sue is responsible for launching and managing all operations of the program which focuses on providing the necessary skills and resources to food, beverage and agriculture producers looking to successfully scale-up their companies. Sue has over 20 years experience in the food business starting with Barber Foods in Portland, Maine and expanding into other operations in Ohio, Oklahoma, and the Carolinas through the acquisition of Barber by AdvancePierre Foods in 2011. She previously held the position of Continuous Improvement Director at AdvancePierre partnering with ten manufacturing facilities to deploy Lean Manufacturing and build best practices to deliver $10+ million year over year productivity savings. Sue also has experience, and been responsible for, Strategic Planning, Project Management, Marketing, and Phase Gate Product Development throughout her career.

Sue graduated from the University of Maine with a BS degree in Business Administration. She lives with her husband and children in Brunswick and is a volunteer for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Northern New England Chapter.

Sue can be reached by email at shanson@mced.biz

Janine Bisaillon-Cary

Janine Bisaillon-Cary

MarketShare Program Manager

Janine serves as Program Manager of MCE’s MarketShare Food & Beverage Sales Accelerator – helping more mature and established Maine food and beverage companies gain market share in regional and national retail and foodservice channels. Janine and MarketShare technical assistance mentors help companies access and navigate consumer and market data, identify best market prospects, and strategically grow their sales and distribution networks.

Janine has over 27 years of experience working with Maine’s food, agricultural, aquaculture and seafood producers to develop national and international markets in the HRI and retail sectors. In her previous positions as President of the Maine International Trade Center (MITC) and as a Senior Trade Advisor, Janine worked closely with food industry leaders with market development strategies, led B2B matchmaking between Maine suppliers and international buyers/distributors, and coordinated business attraction events in the U.S., European, Canadian, Latin American and Asian markets. She has coordinated Maine food and beverage pavilions, educational events, and matchmaking activities with buyers at various trade shows including the Natural Products Expo East, the West Coast Fancy Food Show, National Restaurant Association Show and Seafood Expo North America. She also served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Resource Trading Company- a Maine seafood processing and trading company with multiple seafood processing and co-packing operations, where she developed a robust domestic and export sales network in the retail and hotel/restaurant/institutional sectors.

Janine is President of Montserrat Group, LLC – a business consulting company, and is currently on the board of the U.S. Department of Commerce District Export Council, New England Canada Business Council, and Bristol Seafood of Maine. She also served on the boards of the Maine Port Authority, the Eastern Trade Council, and the International Business and Logistics Industry Advisory Board at Maine Maritime Academy. She holds a B.A. in Economics and French from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst; a Certificate of French History and Literature from the Sorbonne University, and a Global Leaders Executive Education Certificate from Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business.

Janine can be reached by email at jbcary@mced.biz

Emily Lane

Emily Lane

Seafood and Aquaculture Specialist

As the Seafood and Aquaculture Specialist for MCE's Food Accelerator programs, Emily works to support the growing number of clients within this industry. She has lived on the island of Vinalhaven since 1971 and understands the varied Maine marine industries and how they sustain the economics of coastal communities.

She has a first-hand understanding of the challenges of dealing with diverse groups of stakeholders, potential investment opportunities, resource networking, and the barriers and opportunities in international markets.

Emily has extensive background in all aspects of the Maine seafood industry, including aquaculture, since the mid 1980’s. Her marketing focus has been export for almost thirty years. Emily has successfully executed networking, partnering and consensus building across segments of the marine industry in Maine on both State and Federal levels. Working in sales and marketing for four seafood processing companies she has managed multi-stakeholders and complex initiatives. Emily has strong communication and organizational skills as well as a knowledge of Maine’s economy and workforce opportunities and challenges. Emily has served on the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative, Maine Lobster Dealers Association, GMRI’s seafood sustainability project, and the Aquaculture Focus Group and as company representative to the Maine International Trade Center, Food Export USA Northeast and the US Global Leadership Coalition.

Emily possesses the depth of knowledge and ability to partner with public and private entities throughout the marine industry regionally, nationally and globally. She holds a B.A. in English Literature from the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Emily can be reached by email at elane@mced.biz

Terry Johnson

Terry Johnson

Maine Mentor Network Manager

Terry manages the Maine Mentor Network and is responsible for ensuring that the network has the skills and experience needed to support companies and entrepreneurs in all the MCE programs. Terry over 30 years experience in product design, technology development, customer support and enabling new product line growth at Texas Instruments, Fairchild Semiconductor, and National Semiconductor. Terry is an experienced manager, consultant, and product and technology development professional. He is experienced in all aspects of design - product, program, process, and organizations. Terry’s current focus is to assist growing companies in transition to improved profitability and larger scales. He brings a business process and systems perspective to tie the needs of the business and needs of the customer to appropriate systems and methods ensuring high productivity and cost effective solutions.

Terry graduated from Montana State University with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and a minor in Philosophy. He and his wife Karen live in Cape Elizabeth where they are active supporters of Special Olympics, Goodwill Industries, and all causes concerning adults with disabilities.

Terry can be reached by email at tjohnson@mced.biz

Tara Murphy

Tara Murphy

Operations Manager

As MCE's Operations Manager, Tara supports the Executive Director and program managers in all things financial and organizational. An attorney by trade, Tara started her solo practice, Neon Esquire, LLC, in Minneapolis, Minnesota with the goal to provide creatives and small businesses with the specific legal services they need and the respect they deserve. Through her work, Tara amassed a clientele of social media influencers, photographers, artists, academics, chief-marketing officers, filmmakers, advertisers, and designers of everything from graphic art to luxury goods. She's helped take companies from an idea to a successful business by forming entities, drafting contracts, negotiating with vendors and talent to resolving disputes, handling tough negotiations, and protecting intellectual property rights.

Before starting her law firm, Tara worked in the fashion merchandising industry for iconic brands like Kate Spade, Talbot's, Neiman Marcus, and Bailey, Banks, & Biddle.

Tara has also performed thousands of hours of pro bono work. She has primarily represented survivors of domestic abuse in their OFP and HRO evidentiary hearings through Tubman/Chrysalis and the Domestic Abuse Legal Advocacy Center. Tara also assisted the Advocates for Human Rights by helping those affected by the travel ban at the airport, aiding undocumented persons with designations of parental authority, and representing clients at their immigration bond hearings. Tara also worked with Wills for Heroes, which provides free wills, healthcare directives, and power of attorney documents to first responders and their families.

Tara lives with her husband and two big dogs in Harpswell. During her spare time, she enjoys knitting, exploring the Maine coastline, searching for the penultimate lobster roll, and watching "Parks and Rec" reruns.

Tara can be reached by email at operationsmced@mced.biz

Jason Mitchell

Jason Mitchell

FoodTech Maine Program Manager

Jason Mitchell is an operations management executive, entrepreneur, and consultant with a passion for leading in complex environments. Most recently, Jason is Principal Consultant and Owner of Steamboat Road Consulting, an operations management consulting firm offering services to improve and integrate people, processes, and technology in the maritime, aquaculture, and manufacturing industries. Jason is also Co-Founder of Norfolk Green Ventures (NGV), an investment company focused on helping the seaweed industry reach its potential.  

Jason has experience in the food value chain and associated technology and innovation. Engaging in the seaweed industry has given him experience in food production, harvesting, processing, and consumer product goods (CPG). He is also an investor and supporter of a grain company called Einkorn Revival, currently focused on the California market with intentions of coming to the east coast next year. Additionally, mentor roles in MCE’s Top Gun and Cultivator programs have widened Jason’s Maine small business network in working with companies such as Aurora Farm and Mills, Aphrodite Oyster, Islesboro Marine, and Survue / Tidal Bore.

Jason can be reached by email at jmitchell@mced.biz

Lydia Swann

Lydia Swann

FoodTech Maine Project Manager

Lydia Swann is a seasoned project manager with a decade of experience leading successful cross-functional projects across various industries including higher education, financial services, and nonprofits. She has led the development of multiple business development, education, and networking programs within Maine’s business and nonprofit communities. Her strategic planning experience, implementation skills, and collaborative approach to stakeholder engagement ensure consistent achievement of timely and effective project completion.  

Lydia recently earned her M.S. in Project Management at the Roux Institute at Northeastern University, where she gained additional skills and expertise to deliver complex and innovative projects on time and within budget.

Lydia can be reached by email at lswann@mced.biz

Val Kratzman

Val Authur Kratzman

BioStartup Program Manager

Val Kratzman is an international business strategist with a system focus and operational solution sets, he has over 40 years of experience working with start-ups through Fortune 100 companies in the international marketplace. He has worked on both the client and agency sides of the business equation having established US operations for foreign companies; launched new consumer, medical, and scientific products; and has been active in M&A and IP transactions.

Val is currently Director of Healthcare for the Americas for Business Finland where he works with startups and SMEs to clinically validate new healthcare technologies and globally grow those companies. Val’s work with Finland started in 1994 when he was appointed Trade Commissioner to the United States. He served as the head of the Finland Trade Center in Washington, D.C. sitting on the Ambassador’s commercial staff. He co-developed Business Finland’s Foresight practice and Finland’s “Kasvu” accelerated market entry program for start-ups. He is the architect of the Nordic AMPlify Accelerated Market Entry program designed for Nordic digital health companies entering the US that were launched in 2020 in Winston-Salem.

Prior to Business Finland, Val led the KPMG team that created the international management consulting company BearingPoint. He was Vice President and Global Director of Economic Development for Burson-Marsteller acting as a foreign direct investment advisor to several prime ministers. Val’s commercial career in healthcare started with the Australian government assessing new medical technologies and therapies. Val is a graduate of the Wharton Business School and the Pennsylvania State University. He further completed graduate studies in Health Care Administration at George Washington University. He is a mentor and judge at the Yale CBIT Healthcare Hackathon and a mentor at MIT Hacking Medicine. Val is a published author and a guest lecturer at Aalto and New York Universities. He resides in South Thomaston, Maine with his wife, an environmental educator.

Val can be reached by email at vkratzman@mced.biz