CONCORD — The Northern Border Regional Commission has announced the hiring of Andrea Smith as its Program Director. Smith has a long and distinguished record of public service in the State of Maine, most recently serving as the NBRC’s Maine State Program Manager, and Director of Tax Incentive Programs at Maine’s Department of Economy & Community Development. The NBRC is working to build its grant administration capacity in a distributed, virtual environment, and Andrea will remain a Maine resident, working remotely.

“We are thrilled that Andrea is bringing her talents and public service spirit to the NBRC,” said Executive Director Rich Grogan. “After a comprehensive regional search, it was clear that she had the best set of skills and enthusiasm to hit the ground running. And, we’re certainly excited to welcome a Mainer to the team!”

In her new role, Smith will work collaboratively with the Executive Director to develop and executive a vision for the shape and direction of NBRC’s grant programs. She will be responsible for leading continuous improvement efforts among NBRC’s current programs, and for interpreting, shaping, and driving new program development.

“I am elated to have been selected as NBRC’s Program Director and look forward to this exciting and challenging opportunity,” Smith said. “It has been my honor and privilege to serve the State of Maine since 2003, focused on economic and community development, and I look forward to applying this experience and my ambition to make a difference in the world to all four states served by the NBRC.”

The Commission also added a Program Specialist to its staff. Molly Taflas has a track record of success and leadership in a range of organizations in the NBRC region, always with an eye towards community-building.

She joins the Commission after serving for four years in her current role leading the Hannah Grimes Marketplace in Keene, N.H., a business dedicated to supporting local small businesses, and surrounding communities. The NBRC is working to build its grant administration capacity in a distributed, virtual environment, and Taflas will remain in Rindge, N.H., working remotely.

“We are thrilled that Molly has agreed to join our team at the NBRC,” said Executive Director Rich Grogan. “She has a unique combination of skills that will allow us to better serve our communities across the NBRC region.”

In her new role, Taflas will work collaboratively with NBRC staff to speed the efficiency of reimbursement processing. She will be responsible for building critical relationships with grantees across the NBRC region, and for participating in continuous improvement efforts among NBRC’s current programs.

"I am honored to be joining the NBRC team as a Program Specialist,” sais Taflas. “I look forward to establishing lasting relationships with our partners and continuing to improve economic development within the communities we serve."

Created in the 2008 Farm Bill, NBRC is a federal-state partnership with a mission to help alleviate economic distress and encourage private-sector job creation in New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, and New York. Since its inception, the Commission has awarded more than $55 million in grants, which has leveraged more than $142 million to support 248 grants across the four states.

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