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2015 Annual MEREDA Spring Conference -
Maine's Growing Food Economy & Its Impact On Real Estate

November 30, 1999 - 7:00AM
to 12:00PM

Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, ME

Registration for this event is no longer available online. Please contact the MEREDA office at 874-0801 for more information.

Approved for 3.00 hours of Broker, Appraiser, Architect, & Legal Continuing Education Credits.

About the Event:

Food and real estate are inextricably connected in many more ways than just seed and soil, and MEREDA’s Spring Conference will feature leaders in food/beverage industries. Coffee, beer, organic produce, sea and freshwater products and an exploding foodie culture here and outside of Maine mean there is growing need for production facilities, enhanced supply chains, specialty storage and many other real property infrastructure assets, old and new.  Maine’s organic and specialty foods industry is growing and a supply line of food products leads from Maine to the rest of the world, while a steady supply of customers come here to eat and drink, and underneath it all is real estate.  

Attendees at MEREDA’s Spring Conference will learn what’s new, what’s old and now new again, what opportunities exist and what challenges and hurdles that stand in the way of making Maine even more of a food and beverage resource and thus create more development and redevelopment opportunities.
MEREDA’s panel of experts will dig into the growing opportunities that exist for Maine and its closely related industries of food and real estate.  And as always risks and rewards follow opportunity, so please accept this invitation to MEREDA’s Spring Conference and come harvest some knowledge and plant some seeds of your own with your colleagues and friends.

Approved for 3.00 hours of Broker, Appraiser, Architect, & Legal Continuing Education Credits.


7:00 AM 8:00 AM   Registration | Breakfast | Exhibitors   
8:00 AM 8:10 AM   Introductory Remarks
Michael O’Reilly, MEREDA president
8:10 AM 8:30 AM   Betsy Biemann directs the Maine Food Cluster Project at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and serves on the boards of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. and the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation.  As our moderator, Betsy will outline trends in Maine’s food and agriculture industries and strategic perspectives on the sector's impact on commercial real estate.
8:30 AM 8:55 AM  

John Piotti, executive director of Maine Farmland Trust will bring us up to speed on what is happening in Maine farming.  Many people are surprised to find that farming in Maine has been rebounding. That’s in part, because of innovations in marketing, finance, farming techniques and new products made from Maine-grown ingredients. Piotti says, despite what some may think, not all farming innovations are in the past.  He will update us on this growing sector.

8:55 AM 9:20 AM   Jen Faigel, Interim Executive Director, Crop Circle Kitchen is a successful developer from Boston, Jen will share her experience redeveloping small (36K sq. ft.) and large (150K sq. ft.) spaces into multi-tenant business centers focused around food and beverage production, retail spaces and professional services.
9:20 AM 9:50 AM   Scheduled Break  - One-on-One with our Exhibitors
9:50 AM 10:10 AM   MEREDA Index
We will unveil the latest Index number.
10:10 AM 10:30 AM   2014 Notable Project Awards
MEREDA Celebrates Real Estate Development in Maine.  The 2014 Top 7 Notable Projects have been chosen and will be recognized at this event.
10:30 AM 11:10 AM  

Moderated Panel Discussion
Our panel is made up of five experienced entrepreneurs with a particular focus on the impact commercial real estate has on their business.   

Panelists Include:  

  • Moderator, Betsy Biemann, Maine Food Cluster Project, Harvard Kennedy School
  • Chris Hallweaver, General Manager, Northern Girl
  • Dan Kleban, Founder, Maine Beer Company
  • Sam Hayward, Chef/Partner, Fore Street
  • Mary Allen Lindemann, Owner, Coffee by Design
  • Erik Hayward, Vice President, Libra Foundation
11:10 AM 12:00 PM   Moderated Q&A with Participants & Wrap up
A facilitated question and answer session with the audience.  

Continuing Education Credits:

Approved for 3.00 hours of Broker, Appraiser, Architect, & Legal Continuing Education Credits.

News About This Event:

05/22/2015   Real Estate Organization Awards Top 7 Notable Projects of 2014   Release
05/14/2015   Maine's Growing Food Economy & Its Impact on Real Estate   Release
04/14/2015   MEREDA will Host its Annual Real Estate Spring Conference on May 12 in Portland   Release
Materials Related To This Event:

Sponsorship & Exhibitor Opportunities Information   PDF
Event Mailer   PDF
2014 Notable Project Recipients Named   PDF
Maine Food Cluster Project 2015   Presentation
Betsy Biemann, Harvard Kennedy School of Government    
CommonWealth Kitchen   Presentation
Jen Faigel, CommonWealth Kitchen    
Maine Farming: Renaissance in Progress   Presentation
John Piotti, Maine Farmland Trust    

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