Board of Directors
Authority for the Maine Venture Fund resides with an eleven member Board of Directors, the Small Enterprise Growth Board (SEGB). The board members have relevant experience and background in early-stage investing, managing high-growth small businesses, development of technological innovation, commercial lending, and securities law. The Board works closely with prospective and current portfolio companies to provide invaluable advice, resources, and support.
Blaine S. Grimes, Board Chair, currently serves as the Gulf of Maine Research Institute’s Chief Development Officer. At GMRI, her primary responsibility is leading the organization’s strategic fundraising initiatives to put in place the resources to maximize its impact and achieve its ambitious program goals in the coming years. She is also responsible for GMRI’s marketing and public relations efforts.
Before joining GMRI in 2005, she held senior management positions at IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. and The VIA Group. She has more than twenty eight years of business development, leadership and strategic marketing experience in a wide range of industries, with career concentration in the fields of marine science, healthcare, and biotechnology.
Blaine received her undergraduate BA from Amherst College and her M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard Business School.
Timothy P. Agnew, Board Vice Chair, is a Principal at Masthead Venture Partners, a venture capital firm located in Cambridge and Portland. Prior to joining Masthead, Mr. Agnew was the Chief Executive Officer of the Finance Authority of Maine from 1988 to 1999. He is an officer of the Board of the Portland Development Corporation and is a member of the Maine Angels. He is a past Chair of the Maine Technology Institute. Mr. Agnew is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Vassar College.
Theresa Hodge, Board Treasurer, is Senior Vice President and Senior Commercial Lender at Bath Savings Institution. She began her banking career in 1986 and has been with Bath Savings since 2004. In addition to working at commercial banks, she spent ten years during the 1990’s as a senior lender in the public sector with the Finance Authority of Maine and Coastal Enterprises, Inc. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine, with a BS in Business Administration and later earned her MBA from Thomas College.
Theresa is a board member of Maine Real Estate and Development Association (MEREDA). She also serves as chairperson of the Eligibility Committee of United Way of Mid Coast Maine and is a senior advisory member of Risk Management Association, Maine Chapter. She lives in Topsham with her husband, John and has three children that have flown the nest.
Daniel E. Boxer has had a varied legal and business career. He was a senior partner in Pierce Atwood, Maine’s largest law firm where his 25 years of practice involved representation of major corporations in a range of natural resource, business, transactional and regulatory matters. In the mid 90’s Dan left Pierce Atwood to join CitiCorp Venture Capital (CVC) and a management investor group in the $500M LBO of Fairchild Semiconductor from National Semiconductor. Dan became Chief Administrative Officer of Fairchild which grew to a $2B Fortune 1000, NYSE global company with over 10,000 employees. He had wide responsibilities and involvement, including, legal, M&A, compliance, human resources, procurement, communications, environmental, import-export and logistics. His duties involved frequent work in Asia and Europe. He retired from active Fairchild involvement in 2005, but retains an advisory role for the Board and CEO.
Dan’s major current activity includes board member of Backyard Farms, a 200+employee high-tech agricultural business in Central Maine which he helped found, board member and investor of XNG Energy of Boston, New England’s largest trucked natural gas provider, Adjunct Professor of Corporate Governance, Ethics and Sustainability at the University of Maine School of Law and very selective consulting on governance and business ethics matters for public, private and nonprofit corporations as well as private equity and venture capital firms. Dan is a graduate of Bowdoin College and Cornell Law School.
Claire Deselle is currently the Director of Innovation Development at Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. She is leading the design, development and implementation of a structured Innovation Research & Development framework tasked with positively impact care delivery. Previously, she has had a number of leadership roles including the Executive Director of the Bioscience Association of Maine which is a trade association for biotech, medical device and related industries, Chief Operating Officer for the Maine Institute for Human Genetics and Health, a non-profit research entity, President and CEO of CS-Keys Inc., a biotech company developing cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, and more than 14 years with Eli Lilly and Company in various management assignments. She earned a BSc from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Thomas J. Dunne spent a large part of his career as a partner at management consulting firm, Accenture, retiring in 2003. Since his retirement, Tom has served as an advisor to several Maine businesses ranging from start-ups to mature mid-size and was one of the start-up founders of Maine Seafood Ventures, a lobster processing enterprise. Tom currently serves as a volunteer/consultant to several non-profit organizations on a range of initiatives such as strategic planning, sales and marking improvements, business expansion, executive succession and merger assessments. Tom is a member of Hub Angels, a Boston based investment group as well as the Maine Angels, a Portland based investment group.
Corson “Corky” Ellis was founder of Kepware Technologies (www.kepware.com), a Portland company that writes industrial communications software for the factory, Smart Grid, building automation and oil and gas sector. He served as the Company’s CEO and Chairman until its acquisition in 2016 by PTC, Inc. of Needham, MA (Nasdaq: PTC). Mr. Ellis is very involved in technology economic development in Maine. He is a board member of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. Mr. Ellis graduated from Amherst College and received a Masters in Business Policy degree from Columbia University.
John P. Murray is Director of Sales & Marketing at Progress Engineering in Manchester, Maine, an electrical engineering company and systems integrator of advanced manufacturing control systems. Previously he held several senior management roles in sales and operations management within the industrial automation and controls industry. John has been involved in several startup companies, including a .com and his own company, PID Inc., an industrial controls supplier, which he formed in 1984 and sold in 1999. Mr. Murray is a graduate of the University of Dayton (B.S. Business Administration) and Southern New Hampshire University (M.B.A.).
Christopher S. Pizey has held various management positions, over the past 20 years, involving computing technologies, interactive media and new business development. While at Andrews McMeel Universal, Mr. Pizey led corporate new media ventures, including the founding of uclick LLC. While CEO of uclick he engineered new business initiatives including digital content syndication, web publishing, wireless content licensing and distribution deals with over 300 of the Web’s premier publishers, portals and mobile phone networks. Mr. Pizey recently returned home to Maine where he is assisting his family’s business, Hissong Development Corp., to grow their real estate development and construction businesses to include heavy construction materials and services, such as ready-mix concrete and aggregates.
Brian Whitney, the Fund’s DECD ex officio board member, is President of the Maine Technology Institute, a publicly financed, private, nonprofit organization established to stimulate research and development activity leading to the commercialization of new products, processes and services in the state’s seven targeted technology sectors.
He has extensive experience in economic development and legislative matters at both the state and federal level and has worked with innumerable companies, private and public sector research organizations, and entrepreneurial leaders throughout the State of Maine during his professional career. He served previously as a private sector manager and in the public sector as Maine’s Director of Business Development & Innovation, the Director of Outreach and Economic Development for U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine), a Business Development Specialist for the State of Maine, and as Chief of Staff to Maine’s Senate President.
He has served on, or staffed, a number of statewide boards including the Maine State Workforce Investment Board, the Maine Economic Growth Council, Maine Innovation Economy Advisory Board, and the Maine Rural Development Authority. In addition to the Maine Venture Fund, he is currently a board member of the Economic Development Council of Maine.
Brian is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine (USM) and lives in Augusta with his wife and two daughters.