Rebecca Swanson Conrad joined the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce in March 2017 as the President & CEO. Previously, Beckie was the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine where she began as a consultant in 2006. She was co-owner with her husband of downtown Auburn, Maine businesses, Austin’s Fine Wines and Foods for 20 years and for 3 years owned and operated Rÿsen Home Garden & Antiques, a retail gallery promoting local art and products that supported international women’s economic development.
Prior to Rÿsen, Conrad’s career spanned 21 years in higher education administration at Bates College, including 1999-2003 when she served as executive director of LA Excels, the college’s non-profit community development partnership in Lewiston-Auburn focused on leadership, arts, educational aspirations and economic revitalization. She served on the Maine Arts Commission for seven years, with four as vice-chair. Other volunteer board roles include past chair of the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice and L/A Arts, vice chair of the Maine Association of Nonprofits and as a board member of Advocates for Children, the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce and Central Maine Community College’s Foundation.
She currently serves with Oxfam’s, Sisters on the Planet, a diverse group of American Women using their influence to fight global poverty, hunger, and injustice, with a particular focus on empowering women and girls worldwide and is an Olympia’s Leader Advisor to five high school girls in rural Maine as part of the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute. She is also on the Board of Visitors for the University of Southern Maine and the Muskie School of Public Service and is a member of the Auburn Lewiston Airport board of directors.
Conrad received her BA in English from Bates College and studied in the New England Studies MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. She lives in Auburn with her husband Austin Conrad, Jr. and her cat, Charles Mingus.
Maureen Aube began her chamber career in 2000, she brings dedication, commitment, and expertise to her role as Vice President/CFO.
Maureen oversees day-to-day operations that support LA Metro Chamber’s bottom line and manages all activities with regards to personnel, purchasing, and administrative operations. Maureen keeps everything and everyone on track to implement the board’s strategic plan.
A devoted member of the Lewiston Auburn community, Maureen served as President of the Lewiston Development Corporation and a trustee of the Ben Hayes Support Fund. Maureen sat on the City of Auburn Zoning Board of Appeals, Lewiston Auburn Transit Committee, Auburn’s Strategic Planning Committee and is an Employer Support of Guard and Reserve (ESGR) volunteer. Her significant community work has been recognized numerous times with awards from the United Way, the Maine Elks Association, the ESGR, and the Lewiston Elks Lodge #371. In 2011, then Congressman Michael Michaud awarded Maureen the Congressional Honor.
A graduate in public administration with a minor in business management and administration, Maureen combines her talents in management and organization with her passion for Lewiston Auburn businesses and community in order to help LA Metro Chamber members succeed.
Scott Benson became the LA Metropolitan Chamber’s first Director of Economic Development in early 2018. As Director, Scott is responsible for providing direct assistance to businesses across a variety of platforms, including entrepreneurial development, commercial lending, international trade, site location services, and referral to and deployment of business resources.
Scott joined the Chamber after it acquired the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council. Scott joined LAEGC in 2015 as Economic and Business Development Director after twenty years supporting Maine development initiatives on the statewide, regional and municipal levels.
Prior to joining LAEGC, Scott served as Senior Program Director for the Midcoast Economic Development District, a federally-designated development district where he oversaw regional strategy development, business lending and established a municipal consulting practice. Scott was previously Development Director for the Town of Lisbon, and Associate Development Director for the City of Augusta, two municipal positions where he focused on business retention, expansion and attraction. His duties included providing direct assistance to businesses, grant and proposal writing, and staff support to various municipal boards and committees. Scott also worked for several years as an economic development consultant with the Eaton Peabody Consulting Group, where he represented both municipal and business clients. At Eaton Peabody, Scott specialized in the design, development and implementation of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Districts to support both private and public investment and job creation. Over his career, Scott has contributed to the establishment of more than 40 TIF districts across Maine.
Scott began his career in his home town of Brunswick, where he was instrumental in the establishment and maturation of the operations and services of the Mid-Coast Council for Business Development and Planning (MCBDP), a public-private non-profit economic and community development corporation serving the Bath-Brunswick-Topsham region.
Scott lives in Augusta with his wife Elizabeth. He is a devoted father of four and doting grandfather to two sets of twins.
Scott is a member of the Economic Development Council of Maine and the Maine Real Estate and Development Association, and he is a certified Community Development Block Grant administrator. He is presently serving his third term on the City of Augusta’s Board of Assessment Review.
Jenny first joined the LA Metro Chamber as an intern in 2003, and never left. Such is her commitment to and passion for the organization. In her impressive tenure, she is perhaps best known as the founder and first member of the Young Professionals of the Lewiston Auburn Area, now Uplift LA, the vibrant LA Metro Chamber group dedicated to supporting, developing, advancing and connecting our area’s rising professionals.
As Director of Marketing and Communications, Jenny promotes LA Metro Chamber’s upcoming events and initiatives. Crafting press releases, managing email marketing, graphic design and creatively executing social media strategy is all part of the job. She manages the organization’s advertising efforts and websites.
Always working to ensure members are aware of the many opportunities available to them, Jennifer connects members with needed resources and is steadfast in her commitment to promoting business and opportunity in the Lewiston Auburn metropolitan area.
An outdoor enthusiast with a busy family life, Jenny loves to work and play in LA Maine.
John was born and raised in Lewiston where he attended and graduated from local schools. After acquiring his Associates degree in Marketing and Business Administration from a junior college in Boston, he began his banking career in 1970 with Fleet Bank in consumer lending and branch management.
In 1976, John joined TD Bank (formerly Peoples Heritage Bank) as a Branch Manager expanding his lending experience in residential mortgage and consumer loans. After completing various commercial lending courses through the American Institute of Banking and the Risk Management Association (RMA), John began his career in commercial lending in 1986.
In January 2000, John was hired by Mechanics Savings Bank to manage and develop a commercial loan department. Responsibilities included business development, meeting with potential clients, originate, underwrite, approve and close commercial transactions.
Upon his retirement in June 2011, John had originated and was managing a commercial loan portfolio of up to $44,000,000.00 in loan volume, consisting of 275 individual and business clients and concluding his 27 years of experience in commercial lending in the Lewiston and Auburn and surrounding communities.
John joined the Chamber after it acquired the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council. John joined LAEGC in 2012, following his retirement, as the Loan Portfolio Manager. As the Loan Portfolio Manager, he is responsible for managing all of the loan programs for the Growth Council and its affiliates. Responsibilities include business development, meeting with potential clients, negotiating transactions, performing loan analyses, closing business transaction, collection and determining the eligibility of applicants as required by USDA and FAME.
Involvement in community organizations, John has been a member of the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club since 1981 serving as Chairman of the International Committee, Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee and past President. He is a former board member and Chairman of the LAEGC Loan Committee. In 2007, John was the recipient of the Small Business Advocate award given by the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.
Rachel Bishop joined the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of commerce with a desire to help others and her community. As the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber’s Membership Services Manager, Rachel organizes chamber events including breakfast, seminars and business after hours and works to maintain and improve membership services.
Born and raised in Lewiston, Rachel has worked in the Lewiston Auburn community since high school. Prior to joining the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber, Rachel spent 12 years dedicated to education as an Education Technician III with the Lewiston School Department in a Special Education classroom.
Driven by her love of learning, Rachel has taken courses in American Sign Language, earned her associate degree in general studies and is continuing work towards her bachelor’s degree. A mother of two grown boys, she enjoys spending time with her family, crafting, reading and soaking up the unique culture Lewiston Auburn has to offer.
Erin Simpson joined the LA Metro Chamber as an Administrative Assistant and is now the Community Outreach Manager. Erin is the first person to greet you whether you’re visiting the LA Metro Chamber offices or giving us a call! She will help answer your questions and direct you to the right staff person or resources to address your needs.
Erin also manages the Auburn Lewiston Sports Hall of Fame, the LA Metro Chamber Foundation, and Uplift LA. Erin supports our social media marketing and makes sure to share our investors events and successes through our social media outlets.
Erin enjoys working at the LA Metro Chamber because she gets to see first-hand businesses growing and succeeding and people working towards encouraging change, growth and prosperity in our communities.
In her free time, Erin enjoys trying out our amazing restaurants and discovering new activities in the LA Metro area. She loves to spend time with her nieces and is an avid baker! (just ask the rest of the staff!)