Like most non-profits, MCED operates with a lean staff and a large team of volunteers - board members, mentors, speakers - and leverages resources of key partners.

Tom Rainey - Executive Director

Prior to MCED, Thomas was President of Rainey & Associates; a consultancy specialized in planning and implementing innovation-based development initiatives. Mr. Rainey brings 25 years of experience in building and managing successful business incubators and accelerators for start-up companies in seven states. Mr. Rainey’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, Mr. Rainey 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 Mr. Rainey 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 Mr. Rainey 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. Mr. Rainey developed business accelerator plans for the Cities of Goodyear and Sierra Vista, two rural communities in Arizona affected by major defense industry downsizing.

Mr. Rainey 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. 


Lee Cheever - Operations Manager

Lee manages all of MCED's operations. Lee joined MCED in 2012, after seven years at the Small Business Development Center. An engineer by training, Lee is an expert in grant writing and program management.

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Laurie Johnson — Program Manager

Laurie is manager of the Maine Mentor Network and is responsible for MCED's workshop programs, Lunch and Learn and Table Talk. 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.

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Susan Ruhlin — Program Manager

Since 2009 Susan has managed the Top Gun program as well as the sales and marketing efforts for MCED. Prior to joining MCED, Susan was the Director of Business Development at Beacon Occupational Health in So. Portland, ME. She also spent several years working in sales and marketing at Matsinc., a commercial flooring manufacturer located in Stoughton, MA. A member of the entrepreneur's club herself, she worked for a Portland based software startup in the 1990's and co-owned a formal wear business in Gorham. A lifelong Mainer, she attended the University of Maine and later the University of New England, ('92 Animal Science). She now lives in Cornish with her family and is active in many community organizations.

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