Meet Our Team

Lee Umphrey

Lee Umphrey

President & CEO |

Following decades of professional experience connecting people and communities with programs and resources at local, state, federal and international levels of government, Lee Umphrey joined Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) as President and CEO in October of 2018.

With additional experience in program and financial management at private non-profit organizations, Lee most recently led a financial turnaround of the Harrington Family Health Center, a Federally Qualified Health Center in Downeast Maine.

Lee began his career in Washington, D.C. at the Library of Congress. While employed at the institution’s Congressional Research Service, he learned the value of research and gained an appreciation for the consequential role of information dissemination in creating opportunities. As a staffer for several subsequent years with U.S. Senator Claiborne Pell, Lee developed the foundation for what would become a career-long emphasis on successful interactions with Capitol Hill, federal agencies and international entities.

Throughout his career, Lee has focused on education, healthcare and workforce needs as well as community and economic development, to create, reinvigorate and promote sustainable initiatives through legislative action and access to state and federal programs. As Vice President and Interim Executive Director of Math for America, he directed a congressional process establishing a national math and science corps that became public law.

Lee has excelled in creating communication and public relations strategies in many roles including Director of Communications for Maine Governor John Baldacci and Community Liaison for Senator George Mitchell in his capacity leading the Northern Ireland peace negotiations. In concert with the start of the Peace Talks in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Lee organized an education and workforce conference with participants from East and West Belfast, Republic of Ireland and the United States. He later spent several years building US-Northern Ireland partnerships and helped launch education programs in Ghana, Africa.

Lee resides in Bangor. His two children, Hunter and Ellen, returned to Maine after graduating from College and Law School. They have five children.

Jon Farley

Jon Farley

Vice President of Operations |

As Vice President of Operations at EMDC, Jon developed the strategic framework and service delivery systems that created a holistic approach for EMDC’s community, business and workforce development services. This strategy, “Blueprint for Success: A New Architecture for Business and Workforce” launched in the fall of 2009, is designed to integrate previously separate services for businesses and workforce. Jon has over 40 years of experience in program management, planning and evaluation in the public and nonprofit sectors in Maine and Virginia. He has performed consulting assignments with workforce and economic development organizations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Maine with a BA in Political Science.

Ken Bloch

Ken Bloch

Director of Maine PTAC |

Ken joined EMDC in September 2015 as the statewide Program Manager of the Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), part of a national program that helps small businesses sell to all levels of the government. He has used his almost thirty years of experience in defense procurement and program management to steadily grow that program, tripling the number of full-time counselors supporting Maine businesses. He is a twice elected member of the board of directors of the national PTAC association as well as a member of the Bangor Area Recovery Network (BARN) board of directors. He was born in Maine, but grew up in the Boston area, and lived and worked all over the world, before finally moving back to Maine in 2007.

Erin Benson

Erin Benson

Senior Director of Workforce Services |

As Director of Workforce Services at EMDC, Erin brings her knowledge of the workforce program from her previous position with the Aroostook County Action Program where she oversaw Workforce Development and the Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). She began working at ACAP in December 2017, training women for direct employment or an apprenticeship in non-traditional occupations. Previously, she worked at the University of Maine at Presque Isle for 24 years and was in radio prior to that. She is a past member of Kiwanis, was President of Presque Isle Youth Hockey and Music Boosters, and has served on several community boards. She is the mother of two adult children.

Patti Saarinen

Patti Saarinen

Deputy Director of Workforce Services |

Patti is the Deputy Director of Workforce Services overseeing the operation of EMDC job training programs throughout the Central/Western Maine region.  She has worked in the 5-County area for 40+ years, previously as the Manager of Job Training for Western Maine Community Action, which has helped her build many community partnerships.  She has been an employment specialist, supervisor and project manager where she advanced the model of employer-driven training.  Patti is a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington with a BS in Rehabilitation.  She is a Maine native known for her sense of humor, organizational skills, and collaborating spirit.

Vicki Rusbult

Vicki Rusbult

Director of Administration, Compliance & Development |

Vicki joined the organization in 2010, and has more than 38 years’ experience in project and grants development and management in the fields of transportation, economic development, community planning, cancer research, primary care research, and healthcare. Vicki oversees community and regional economic activities and provides technical assistance for comprehensive planning, community development, writing and publication of the regional Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), and infrastructure planning and development.  She has a Doctorate of Education/Educational and Transformative Leadership from the University of New England and a Masters’ in Public Administration from the University of Maine, and recently served as the President of the Maine Multicultural Center.

Workforce Team

Community & Business Services Team

Lending Team

Procurement Team

Administrative Team

Join us today

Newsletter Sign Up

Select list(s) to subscribe to

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact