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New economic development leader has broadband and business background

Mills said, “Heather brings decades worth of private and public sector experience to the Department of Economic and Community Development, all of which will be tremendously beneficial to marketing Maine, attracting and retaining people, growing businesses, and strengthening our economy.

Governor-elect Janet Mills has chosen a woman she wants to take charge of growing more jobs for Maine. On Thursday, Mills named 

 Heather Johnson to become Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. Johnson is currently director of the small Connect ME state agency that helps with broadband expansion. Before that, she ran the Somerset County economic development office and was in senior management jobs at several large companies., including Gateway and Nokia. 

Johnson told reporters she wants to help rural communities increase job opportunities, particularly with better broadband. And says she wants Maine to do as good a job promoting itself for business as it does for tourism.

 “It will be my goal,” said Johnson, “to expand that marketing to include Maine as a business and work destination as well. I want, as the Governor-elect does, to have people travel to Maine, fall in love with the state and find here they will have the opportunity to start a business, have a great job, raise a family and enjoy an unrivaled quality of life.”

 Heather Johnson is the eighth person chosen for the new Governor’s cabinet, which currently includes two men and six women. Her nomination will need to be approved by the Maine Senate.

 There are seven more cabinet appointments yet to be made, and Mills says she still expects to name most of them before next week’s inauguration.

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