The relationship builder: A city advocate, moving local economy forward

The relationship builder: A city advocate, moving local economy forward

Tanya Pereira



Business development specialist ?for the city of Bangor

In Tanya Pereira’s already robust and diversified career, the 35-year-old has worked in politics, public policy and the private sector.

And ultimately, she was drawn to economic development because, as she noted, “it’s where all three intersect.”

In the past year she’s spent as a business development specialist for Bangor – a new position created by the City Council – her work has indeed been multifaceted. She works to attract, retain and expand businesses and projects in Bangor, does branding and marketing work for the city, helps to negotiate issues that come up on state, local and federal levels, and strives to emphasize Bangor’s reach far beyond its borders throughout northern and eastern Maine.

“I basically see myself as an advocate within the city,” said the mother to 9-year-old Sophia.

One of her main goals is to “increase awareness of the excitement and enthusiasm that exists in Bangor,” she said, noting a “fierce” pride that many have for the community, as well as the success of various waterfront and downtown projects through the past 10 years. “

There are exciting and innovating things going on in Bangor,” said Pereira, who holds a degree in political science from Trinity College in Hartford.

She’s helped to foster those in her tenure so far – but overall, she’s dedicated the past decade to the larger Bangor region. The Hampden native spent five years with the economic development office just across the river in Brewer, and, prior to that, five years with Bangor-based Eastern Maine Development Corp.

One of her career highlights? Helping to establish the Cianbro plant in Brewer, what she called a “once-in-a-lifetime project.” Begun in 2007, the project transformed a rundown paper mill into a factory to construct modules, and restored local manufacturing jobs.

“It’s rewarding to be a part of moving this region forward,” Pereira said.

Still, she stressed, economic development isn’t just about recruiting new businesses and developments – it’s ultimately about relationships. Much of the work she does is with existing businesses, helping them to diversify, handle real estate issues and expand and grow. Overall to her position, she brings what she calls a “customer-focused attitude,” as well as a focus on product development – that is, what’s being offered (and how), and how that can be improved both internally and externally. A larger goal is to also help streamline government processes related to growth and expansion.

“I feel like I have become known as a resource in the community,” Pereira said. “I think that’s the best way I know that I’m making a difference.”

35HampdenBusiness development specialist ?for the city of

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