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Maine and the Arctic: Building Bridges to the Future

October 28, 2020 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT

Join the Camden Conference and Portland Press Herald for a virtual panel discussion on Maine’s growing engagement in Arctic affairs and the importance of the Arctic to Maine’s economy on Wednesday, October 28 at 6:30pm on Zoom.


This event is an opportunity to learn more about increasing trade, investment, educational exchanges, and collaborative activity between Maine entities and those of the North Atlantic. The panel will be moderated by Carol Coultas, Business Projects Editor of Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. Panelists include Dana Eidsness, Director of the Maine North Atlantic Development Office (MENADO), Peter Handy, President and CEO of Bristol Seafood, Jon Nass, CEO of the Maine Port Authority, and Holly Parker, Director of the Institute for North Atlantic Studies of the University of New England (UNE North).

This special event is presented by the Camden Conference and the Portland Press Herald in anticipation of the 34th Annual Camden Conference—The Geopolitics of the Arctic: A Region in Peril, livestreamed from the Camden Opera House and around the world, February 20-21, 2021.



Carol Coultas

Business Projects Editor, Portland Press Herald

Carol Coultas, business projects editor at the Portland Press Herald, has been a professional journalist for 40 years. She spent 22 years at the Sun Journal, nine of which as managing editor, followed by more than five years as the editor of Mainebiz. In 2014, she joined the Press Herald, where she oversaw a staff of five reporters who cover wide-ranging business and economic issues, including trade. In January of this year, she created a new position to provide editorial business content for events and oversee an internship program. In 2006, as a fellow with the International Center for Journalists, she traveled to Brazil to write about its emerging paper industry. The piece won a national writing award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. A transplant from Massachusetts who moved to Maine in 1986, Coultas has finally convinced her Bay State family members that living in Maine is not a phase. She is married with two grown children, one of whom is a business journalist with Reuters in New York City, and the other an intelligence analyst in Washington, D.C.


Dana Eidsness 
Director, Maine North Atlantic Development Office

Through her work leading MENADO, Ms. Eidsness leverages Maine’s transportation, economic development, and knowledge resources to build networks that grow the Maine economy through trade in goods, services, and innovation exchanges. Her program interfaces with other Arctic and North Atlantic-focused organizations to ensure that Maine is included in important discussions regarding North Atlantic resources, sustainable development, and climate resilience. Dana served on the U.S. delegation to the Arctic Council’s PAME Working Group during the U.S. Chairmanship and was Chair of the Host Committee that welcomed the Arctic Council in Maine in 2016. She leads the Blue Economy Working Group for the Arctic Economic Council and was recently named to the Arctic Circle Mission Council on Greenland and the Arctic. In prior positions, Dana served as Director of International Business for the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, managing their international programs and Shanghai Office, she was Executive Director of the Forum on Democracy & Trade in Washington, D.C., Vermont Director of International Trade and Executive Director of the Vermont Global Trade Partnership; and she worked as a regional director for the Maine International Trade Center and as an International Project Manager for the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP), a program of the U.S. Department of Commerce and National Institute of Standards and Technology. Earlier in her career, Dana worked in the private sector in a variety of international positions and as an international business development consultant.

Peter Handy
President & CEO, Bristol Seafood

Peter Handy is president & CEO of Bristol Seafood, a processor and distributor known for its uncompromising Maine standards. In addition to his role at Bristol, he serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Maine and Maine Public Radio, the advisory boards of Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and UNE North, and investment committees of the Portland Museum of Art and the University of Maine System. Before joining Bristol, Peter co-founded, a national storage and shipping company for college students. In addition, he held financial services roles in New York at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Sanford Bernstein & Co. in departments ranging from asset management to institutional trading. Peter is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Chartered Financial Analyst. He lives in Yarmouth, Maine with his wife Jocelyn and three daughters.

Jonathan Nass
CEO, Maine Port Authority

Prior to joining the MPA, Jon was Deputy Commissioner at the Maine Department of Transportation. Jon worked as a senior policy advisor in the State of Maine Governor’s Office, collaborating with stakeholders on issues including transportation, education, emergency management, tax policy, and general government services. Jon served for seven years in the U.S. Congress, most recently as Counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security where he worked on restructuring the national intelligence apparatus and reform of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.  He previously advised U.S. Senator Susan Collins on transportation, natural resources, and international trade matters. In 2008, Jon deployed to Iraq to serve on a U.S. Department of State Provincial Reconstruction Team as a field officer embedded in a U.S. Army infantry battalion operating in the city of Baqubah. While in Iraq, Jon also served as a rule of law advisor working with the Iraqi judiciary and the Diyala provincial council before returning to Maine in 2010. Jon received his Juris Doctor from the Catholic University of America where he was a member of the Law Review. He majored in history and government at St. Lawrence University.  

Holly Parker
Director, UNE North: the Institute for North Atlantic Studies

Holly Parker, PhD., is the Director of UNE North – the Institute of North Atlantic Studies at the University of New England. She also serves as the University’s Associate Provost for Strategic Initiatives.  Holly’s interest in sustainable development and Maine’s leadership role in the North Atlantic is grounded in a life spent on and around the Gulf of Maine.  In addition to a 20+ year career in secondary and post-secondary education, Holly has worked in and alongside the maritime industry since she was a teenager.  She sees the potential for Maine to be not only the U.S. front door for thriving economic partnerships with the North Atlantic, but also a leader in research, education and stewardship initiatives that promote resilient communities and healthy environments throughout the region.  Holly holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.Ed. From Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the Muskie School of Public Service at USM.

This special event is presented by the Camden Conference and the Portland Press Herald in anticipation of the 34th Annual Camden Conference—The Geopolitics of the Arctic: A Region in Peril, livestreamed from the Camden Opera House and around the world, February 20-21, 2021.


October 28, 2020
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT
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Camden Conference
(207) 236-1034
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