Maine Women – smarter and better

I couldn’t be more excited about this issue of Maine Women. We took last month off, and spent some time brainstorming and planning, and I think we have come up with some smart new features, and a great list of themes for the rest of this year.

First, in this issue we welcome a few new writers who are joining staff feature writer Faith Gillman and our familiar lineup of columnists: Kayla Collins, who also reports for the weekly Current newspaper, is now a Maine Women feature writer and will also be taking over our Quarterlife Lessons column. We are welcoming back Katie Bell, who aged out of Quarterlife Lessons and will now be bringing us the thirtysomething perspective in a new column called Growing Up. And, we have added a male voice to the ranks. Andrew Rice, our reporter for the weekly American Journal, will be bringing us Man of His Word – what I refer to as the view from the other side. Andrew is a twentysomething who leads a vibrant and full life. In his first column, he clearly demonstrates that he learned at a young age why he has two ears and one mouth – he listens twice as much as he speaks. You can read more about all of our contributing writers below.

This is our Careers, Work and Business-themed issue, and I think you will enjoy every bit of it. We have spotlighted six Maine women who are at the top of their field. Danielle Ripich, the president of the University of New England, particularly inspired me. She talks about her mentor and being encouraged through the many self-doubts that women often have, and advises that we find mentors who understand us. I believe this is so critical in our professional development. Dr. Ripich also refers to women as good multi-taskers and jugglers and believes that this is what it takes to lead complex organizations. I couldn’t agree more. And, she gets her inspiration from her students, “For me, I am always touched by my students. Each one has a story that makes you want to help them. These are wonderful young people. Their optimism keeps me open. Their earnestness keeps me diligent. Their hard work makes me believe they can accomplish whatever they take on and these are the things that give meaning to my work.” You can read more on page 12.

Linda Bean is also featured on page 5. I like that she set out to build a business (a very big and diversified business) that is completely different and separate from the one that her famous grandfather built. Her Maine lobster business has grown into an empire in the last eight years. When she purchased the first 400,000 pounds of lobster (now she sells 9 million pounds), she became an apprentice and learned the business carefully and deliberately over the course of the first year. When asked what the most meaningful part of her work is, she said, “Keeping our coastal fishing families happy on the water with fair daily pay and watching their children and grandchildren eager and able to follow in their footsteps.”

One thing that was apparent in all of the profiles included in this issue is that landing at the top is no accident. It takes hard work, commitment and passion. Many of the women said that you really have to love what you do. I certainly love what I do. Publishing, telling stories, bringing people together, helping people connect and learn – it’s very, very fulfilling. Thank you for being a faithful audience to Maine Women. I think you will be pleased with this issue, and what we’ve got planned for our future issues. Please like us on Facebook, and send us your thoughts, comments and ideas.

– Lee Hews, Publisher

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