Having worked in economic development and with many downtown business groups over the years, I can honestly say that the content and context of the educational programs that Friends of Midcoast Maine brings to the table is significant. The quality of speakers, the superb organizational skills of FMM leadership, and impact of their continued community consciousness messages is beyond anything I've seen in twenty-plus years in the field.
I have been involved with this organization since 2003. In that time I have watched them grow and evolve to meet the needs of Maine's midcaost communities. Like many non-profits they have struggled through tough economic times, but FMM has been fortunate to emerge a stronger organization! One area in particular that distinguishes the work of FMM, is their focus on bringing community members to the table and effectively engaging them in the discussion. This ability to build community through the process will become even more critical as we face the many challenges ahead in our effort to build sustainable communities and preserve our quality of place.
FMM is a unique resource to the small communitites along the midcoast of Maine. It is a technically-skilled and objective organization that is bridging the need for combining the technical components of community planning with the social/political decision-making components of managing change. Addressing this mix is critical to successful community consensus building and maintaining a positive local atmosphere.
My town and the surrounding community have been the focus of the Orton grant mentioned in another review. The process is meant to help the entire community determine our future growth. Friends of Midcoast Maine has placed their Director here in town 2 days per week (plus many other times as needed.) She has helped teach & guide all of us through a lengthy, difficult and innovative process. Through all of this she has done a great deal of the
The Orton Family Foundation has been partnering with Friends of Midcoast Maine on a community based project since Autumn 2008. I have found the organization to be a thoughtful, reliable and committed partner. Its staff has a strong knowledge base in planning and a demonstrated willingness to apply cutting edge tools and techniques to improve a community's planning process.