Our Team

Susan Ruhlin

Susan Ruhlin

Managing Director
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Susan Ruhlin is the Managing Director of Dirigo Labs. As the operational lead for the accelerator she works with entrepreneurs, mentors, and stakeholders to ensure the successful execution of the program. Additionally, she provides preliminary startup consultation and facilitates connections between founders and resources such as economic development and investment opportunities. Most recently, Susan was the VP of Operations for Dynamic Grid a software company in Portland, Maine. Previously, she spent eight years working as the Program Manager of Top Gun, Maine’s first startup accelerator at the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs. Under Ruhlin’s management, Top Gun expanded to five locations across the state and has served more than 150 companies. Notable startups included VETRO Fiber Map, CourseStorm, Pika Energy, Bixby, R.E.D.D., and many more.
Garvan Donegan

Garvan Donegan

Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development, Central Maine Growth Council
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Garvan Donegan is the Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development for Central Maine Growth Council. Garvan provides consultations to entrepreneurs on business planning, site selection, and funding, and recruits tech-based firms to the region. Along with advising entrepreneurs, Garvan administers the growth and development of the City of Waterville’s federal U.S. Foreign Trade Zone program (FTZ 186), a regional effort to cultivate global trade and outreach in the State of Maine.
Emalee Couture

Emalee Couture

Program Manager
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Emalee Couture is the Program Manager of Dirigo Labs. Emalee is responsible for developing and managing relationships between statewide startup accelerators, incubators, and startup companies to ensure successful use of the DL platforms and suite of services. Emalee previously served as an Associate Licensing Officer in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Technology Licensing Office, where she assisted stakeholders such as entrepreneurs and venture capitalists in executing on intellectual property agreements that sustained and bolstered business ventures.
Sabrina Jandreau

Sabrina Jandreau

Development Coordinator, Central Maine Growth Council
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Sabrina is the Development Coordinator for Central Maine Growth Council. Sabrina is responsible for implementing the Growth Council and Dirigo Lab’s communications and media strategies, assisting in the creation of workforce development initiatives, and providing outreach to local and regional businesses. Highlighting tech and innovation throughout a range of industries, Sabrina is responsible for organizing Dirigo Labs’ Speaker Series. Hosted the second Thursday of the month from 5-6 pm, DL Speaker Series is a monthly event series designed to convene Maine’s technologists and entrepreneurs to highlight the innovation and technology behind their startups.
Jake Conterato

Jake Conterato

Projects and Innovation Network Coordinator
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Jake is the Projects and Innovation Network Coordinator (PINC) for Dirigo Labs. His responsibilities include the oversight of the accelerator’s daily activities and developing systems for its operational efficiency. Additionally, Jake works with the team to build a robust network of advisors, investors, entrepreneurs, businesses and liaise periodically with Colby College staff. Jake serves as the point person for network events and engages with the public and cohort members to increase the sphere of influence for both the Central Maine Growth Council (CMGC) and Dirigo Labs.
Jeremy Barron

Jeremy Barron

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Jeremy is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence for Dirigo Labs. He was previously the cofounder and Chief Customer Officer at 3Play Media, a Boston-based speech technology and video accessibility company he launched while attending MIT’s Sloan School of Management. Jeremy exited the business with a sale to a growth equity fund, delivering between 15- 30x returns to initial investors. Before starting his company, Barron was a former Senior Analyst for Green Manning & Bunch, a Denver, Colorado-based middle-market investment bank where he prepared valuation analyses, including debt, equity, mergers and acquisitions, and due diligence processes. Most recently, Barron was an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Colby College.

Our Board

Central Maine Growth Council’s Board of Directors is made up of 20 local business and municipal leaders: 17 board members and 3 ex-officio board members, all highly involved in their communities and the central Maine region.


Board Members 2021-2022

Chris Gaunce, Chair – Central Maine Motors Auto Group

Ryan Poulin, Vice-Chair – New Dimensions Federal Credit Union

Beth Gibbs, Treasurer – Thomas College

Brian Clark, Secretary – Colby College

Jennifer Seekins – Bar Harbor Bank and Trust

Erica Lacroix – Town of Winslow

Dave Roy – Kennebec Savings Bank

Elizabeth Fortin – Kennebec Valley Community College

Paul Stein – MaineGeneral Health

Steve Daly – City of Waterville

Ella Bowman – Town of Oakland

Michelle Flewelling – Town of Fairfield

Michael Runser – Valley Beverage

Donald Plourde – Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate

Tom Meucci – Huhtamaki

Liz Menard – Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation

Ex-Officio Board Members:

James Dinkle – KRDA/FirstPark

Joel Greenwood – Kennebec Valley Council of Governments

Christian Savage – Somerset Economic Development Corp.

Our Advisory Committee

The Dirigo Labs Advisory Committee (DLAC) counsels the Dirigo Labs (DL) team on operations, production, and programs of the DL Accelerator. Meeting quarterly, DLAC provides leadership and assistance related to performance, mentor network building, ecosystem growth, venture funding, accerealtor science and technology development, and plans for future DL initiatives.

Supported by DL’s professional staff, DLAC is composed of the following members:

Chris Gaunce – CMGC board chair; Owner, Central Maine Motor Auto Group
Ryan Poulin – CMGC board member; President of New Dimensions Federal Credit Union
RJ Anzelc – Founder & Co-owner of Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space; Bricks Software Developer
Brian Clark – CMGC board member; Vice President of Planning, Colby College
Shane Beckim – Senior Investment Officer, Maine Technology Institute
Mike Duguay – Executive Director of the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation (HAIBI) at Thomas College

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