Scott Vonnegut
Scott is an architect who has been championing progressive causes in the Portland area since he moved here in 2008. Working with Maine People’s Alliance and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections made him aware of important issues needing to be worked on, chief among them being the lack of affordable housing in the region.

Steve Perazone
Stephen is semi-retired and works part-time for the Maine Locker Project, a non-profit that collects donated fresh produce and non-perishables then distributes them to the greater Portland area public schools and community centers. He has been an activist for progressive causes for almost 50 years.

Grace Braley
Grace is a retired civic leader who worked at the anti-poverty agency and was director of various county food programs.  She was appointed as Yonkers de-segregation Fair Housing Director and later organized a neighborhood in buying and rehabilitating apartment buildings.

Michael Belleau

Michael grew up on Main Street in Orono Maine playing basketball, eating Pat’s pizza, and sneaking into the UMO field house. Later, as a fisherman on a dragger out of Cape Cod, he developed a love of entanglement with the natural world and it’s rhythms. After studying architecture in Boston and London, Michael returned to work in Maine where he designed, among other projects, the award winning fire station at Bangor International Airport. He opened his own office in Portland for a time before joining long established Maine residential design-build firm Knickerbocker Group’s Portland office.

Michael teaches theory at the University of Maine Augusta and has taught building , urban, and sustainable design at the college level. He has published many articles in the Portland Press Herald on urban design in Maine. Michael is a Certified Passive House Designer, the world’s most adopted non mechanical-dependent low energy use standard.

A fourth generation Mainer, he is committed to moving Maine forward by designing buildings expressing regional materials, contemporary space, and sustainable science as well as enhancing our village atmosphere through walkable centers. Community land trusts are an important tool in allowing Mainers to live a walkable village life. His family lives and works in Portland.

See here for more on Michael’s “Poetry of Place” approach.

Jonah Fertig
Jonah is the coordinator of Cooperative Fermentation, a consultant with the Cooperative Development Institute, a peer advisor with the Democracy at Work Network and cooperative designer and facilitator with the Resilience Hub. He is on the board of Crown of Maine Organic Cooperative and the Eat Local Foods Coalition. He co-founded Local Sprouts Cooperative, People’s Free Space, Meg Perry Center and Burdock Gathering.

Tim Wells
A native Mainer, Tim is a past U.S. Army Officer, Fortune 50 business executive and entrepreneur. He has lived and conducted business around the globe and currently is working on several property development projects in Portland and other areas of Maine.

Rob Korobkin
Rob is a community organizer and project manager with extensive training in non-profit leadership.  He has played an active role in mobilizing progressive community-based initiatives in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Maine and is dedicated to engaging diverse groups of people in efforts to strengthen their communities in meaningful ways.

Greg Plimpton
Greg is an experienced builder who has been developing innovative projects since the early eighties.  His work has included a wide variety of residential projects as well as art studios and commercial spaces.  At present, he leads a small firm specializing in the design and construction of unique Accessory Dwelling Units for customers throughout New England.

Jim Devine
Jim is a retired master electrician and licensed carpenter. He serves as an Advocate for Homeless Voices for Justice and collaborates with local housing organizations to gain a better understanding of potential solutions for housing opportunities for all. He is a Board Member of Pine Tree Legal.

Past Participants