ROCKLAND, ME—The Island Institute today announced that it has hired small business owner Briana Warner as its first economic development director. Warner will oversee the organization’s efforts to help Maine’s islands and remote coastal communities strengthen and diversify their economies.
“Briana’s wealth of experience as an economic officer in the U.S. Foreign Service is impressive,” said Shey Conover, the Island Institute’s chief operating officer. “She has also built a successful small business here in Maine, experience that will enable her to hit the ground running in island communities.”
Prior to joining the Island Institute, Warner started Maine Pie Line, a wholesale bakery focused on sweet and savory pies sourced from local ingredients, employing newly resettled refugees. The business received extensive media coverage in the Boston Globe, Portland Press Herald, and other national and local media outlets. In 2014, Warner won the Portland Entreverge Award. She was named one of 50 semi-finalists nationally for the prestigious “Eater Young Guns” award.
Before launching Maine Pie Line, Warner served with the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service officer on missions to Brussels, Belgium, and Conakry, Guinea, and in the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya.