Johanna Johnston

Economic Development

New Mainer

Where did you move from and what made you make the move to Maine?

I grew up in central Maine but joined the Air Force when I was 17. Went to college in California. Spent 8 years in central Florida, 2 years in New Jersey. My parents decided to retire in Northern Maine and I decided to move to be near them.

How do you spend your time here in Maine?

Besides working and attending whatever community event we have here, I enjoy spending time on my property which is surrounded by the Meduxnekeag River. I love kayaking right from my home to downtown Houlton. I enjoy walking the Riverfront Trail especially with my dogs.

What do you love about working in Maine?

The people I'm surrounded with love their community and are really invest in the success of their community. It truly is a mentality that a rising tide lifts all boats.

What do you love about living in Maine?

There are so many things to love about Maine. Having spent 8 years in Florida where there a gators in every body of fresh water, poisonous spiders and snakes around every corner and weather that also wants to kill you, I'm so happy to be in Maine where I feel safe enjoying my own back yard. We get to experience 4 true seasons. I love that I have space and I'm not too close to my neighbors but the whole community is so close knit that sometimes people know where you live before you even meet them.

Tell us a bit about your story!

I grew up in Fairfield, Maine K-11. I graduated early and immediately joined the Air Force upon turning 17 years old and became one of the youngest Operations Intelligence Analysts. After separation I ended up attending California State University Monterey Bay to obtain my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Still unsure what I wanted to do with my degree I gained administrative experience in a variety of industries in Florida and New Jersey from newspaper, education, real estate, food service, to legal. Upon moving back to Maine I was offered the opportunity to work with the Southern Aroostook Development Corporation's Attraction Committee in planning a festival of events around the Maine Eclipse coming April 8, 2024. The Executive Director position at SADC became available and through my work with the Attraction Committee, I was able to prove my capabilities and was offered the position. I absolutely love my career here marketing the region in an effort to bring new business and generate more jobs. What's even better is being close to my parents who retired here in Houlton 6 years ago. My house, surrounded on three sides by the Meduxnekeag is just across the river from my parents which allows us to visit often and it's a wonderful place for my fur and feathered kids to live.

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