February 8, 2019, 12:30 PM to 6:00 PM

The Westin Portland Harborview

157 High Street
PortlandME 04101

Directions via Google

Join the Island Institute for the third annual Waypoints Forum, an afternoon of discussions focused on the future of our coastal and island communities and the challenges facing Maine's rapidly changing coast.

"Intersections and Impacts—Collaborating for Maine's Changing Coast" will highlight the defining issues impacting our working waterfronts, our workforce and economy, and our coastal communities preparing for threats from sea level rise and climate shifts. We invite you to listen to and collaborate with community changemakers from Maine and beyond to better understand how to build a more resilient coast.

Featured panelists announced!

Xavier Botana
Superintendent, Portland Public Schools (Portland, ME)

Xavier Botana is the superintendent of the Portland Public Schools since July of 2016. During his tenure, Mr. Botana has spearheaded a successful update of the district’s Comprehensive Plan, The Portland Promise; worked with school and city officials, families and the community to obtain council approval for a proposal for critical renovations at four elementary schools; and aided in the process of developing a new family partnership policy for the district. Prior to coming to Portland, Mr. Botana served as Associate Superintendent of the Michigan City Area Schools in Indiana for six years. He held a variety of educational positions before that time, including serving as Chief Academic Officer for the Portland Public Schools in Oregon, and working as an administrator and teacher in the Chicago area.

Michael Chorske
Executive Managing Director, Whole Oceans 

Michael Chorske is a Founder and the Executive Managing Director of Whole Oceans, LLC, a Maine company that is developing a land-based aquaculture facility in Bucksport. He is also Managing Director of Emergent Holdings, LLC, a holding company focused on the development and financing of aquaculture assets across geographies and species, and throughout the value chain. With expertise in land-based aquaculture production, services and byproduct businesses, Mike’s prior experience includes a 25-year career in private equity and venture capital as a principal at Brae Capital Corporation, Victory Capital LP, Victory Ventures LP, East River Ventures LP, and Cryder Partners LLC. His operating experience includes senior financial management, business and corporate development roles with public and private companies.

Chris Thompson
Principal, Thompson's Point Development Company

Chris Thompson is a principal, together with his partner Jed Troubh, of the development company that owns and operates Thompson’s Point, a 30 acre mixed-use project in Portland, ME. He has nearly fifteen years of experience developing complex mixed-use real estate projects, all with a focus on energy efficiency, sustainability, creative place-making, and community building. He is also president of Northern Hospitality, a management company that provides oversight management for real estate assets focusing on hospitality, events, mixed-use and multi-tenanted spaces.

Sandra Stone
Chair Emerita, Maine Angels

Sandra Stone is Chair Emerita of Maine Angels, Maine’s angel investor network of local accredited investors, providing  capital, expertise and guidance to early stage entrepreneurs in Maine and New England, and a co-founder of the Northern New England Women’s Investor Network, a collaboration between Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to activate more financially accredited women as angel investors in our tristate area through training, networking, and mentoring. In addition, Sandra serves on the Board of Directors of CEI Ventures, Inc, a socially responsible venture capital fund, and on the advisory board of MxG (Maine Accelerates Growth). She was also a founding member of the MaineCanDo.org coalition, propelling a public pledge of workplace actions and policies to foster inclusive harassment-free workplaces, and offering an informative collated website resource for Maine’s new businesses, investors, nonprofits, volunteers, and boards. 

Alton Ballance
Community Leader and Author, Ocracoke Island, NC 

Alton Ballance grew up on the North Carolina Outer Banks island of Ocracoke, and his island ancestors on both sides of the family stretch back to the 1700s. Alton began his career as a teacher, teaching off the island for two years before returning home to teach English and journalism at the island’s K-12 school, where he was also the assistant principal. From 1984-1992, he served as Ocracoke’s representative on the Hyde County Board of Commissioners, where he introduced the island’s first building ordinance, created a hurricane response plan involving federal, state, and local partners, and helped secure funding for a school/community library. Alton also served on the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission between 1996 and 2002. In 2003, he started working at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT), where he designed and conducted programs for North Carolina public school teachers. Since retiring from NCCAT in 2018, Alton continues to lead seminars and is also the owner of Crews Inn Bed & Breakfast, an old island home that has been hosting guests to the island since 1985.

Special multimedia presentations

  • The premiere of "Sea Level Rise in Maine"—an animated short by O'Chang Comics of Rockland, Maine.
  • Audio shorts by Galen Koch of The First Coast, a mobile studio/exhibition space that travels to year-round coastal communities in Maine during the off-season. Through collaborations and workshops, residents engage in conversation about their community’s working maritime identity and personal perspective of place.

Register now to reserve your seat!

Look for new announcements coming soon! 
Please check back regularly for the latest information.


Event Details

February 8, 2019
12:30 PM - 6:00 PM
The Westin Portland Harborview

Forum: 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Eastland Grand Ballroom

Cocktail Reception: 4:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Forum & Cocktail Reception
$20 event / $15 members

Includes the afternoon symposium, refreshments, and a catered networking reception offering music by The Extension Chords from Midcoast Music Academy and an open bar featuring Maine oysters from Shuck Station, local beer, and spirits.

Event valet parking is $15, local parking garages charge by the hour. 



Email events@islandinstitute.org with any questions about the event.