Economic Development

Rudman Winchell, in affiliation with Starboard Leadership Consulting, is pleased to offer a full range of economic development services to public, for-profit and non-profit entities. We believe that "economic development" is about more than just recruiting new businesses.  While successfully recruiting a new business brings a blitz of media attention, we take a more comprehensive approach to economic development.  The consultants at Starboard work with communities—including multi-community regions—and businesses—to create and utilize programs, plans and alliances that build prosperity and improve the quality of life here in Maine. 

Effective strategic planning ensures that priority issues are addressed and that limited resources are well utilized.  We tailor each planning process to complement, and integrate with, other local planning processes. Each process is adapted to meet the needs of the individual community.

Client services in this area include:

  • Business and financial planning
  • Market research and feasibility analysis
  • Public tax incentives, including elderly and low income housing tax credits, new markets tax credits and historic preservation tax credits
  • Energy grants
  • Municipal tax increment financing (TIF), including downtown and affordable housing TIFs
  • Employment tax increment financing
  • Pine Tree Zone qualification and benefits
  • SBA 7A and 504 programs
  • USDA Rural Development program
  • DECD business assistance programs
  • Grant writing
  • Grant administration
  • Economic development planning
  • Local comprehensive plans

The Rudman Winchell-Starboard Leadership Economic Development Team:

Erik M. Stumpfel - Attorney

Erik has extensive experience in economic development, tax increment financing, business park development, wind farm projects, state and federal development incentives and related matters. Since 1989, Erik has provided legal services to county, municipal and business clients on more than $1 billion of economic development projects that have helped to create more than 2,500 permanent, full-time jobs.

Noreen G. Norton - Economic Development Consultant

Noreen has over 20 years of economic development experience in both the public and private sectors. Her work focuses strongly on tax increment financing, downtown development and economic development strategic planning. Her expertise is also sought regarding organizational structuring, group facilitation, tax impact analysis, marketing and business management.

Noreen holds an MBA and a BS degree in Marketing. Her past projects include site re-use planning following decommissioning of Maine Yankee; Gardiner's Libby Hill Business Park; an update of Somerset County's economic development strategy, and serving as director of Augusta's Capital Riverfront Improvement District. Noreen has gained approval of over 25 TIFs, including five Downtown TIF districts.

C. Jeffery Wahlstrom - President and Managing Director

Jeff brings more than 25 years of hands-on nonprofit leadership experience to his position as President and Managing Director of Starboard Leadership Consulting, including 12 years of fundraising and related work for Kimball Union Academy and Trinity College and 11 years as president of the United Way of Eastern Maine.

Since joining with Rudman Winchell in 2005 to form Starboard Leadership Consulting, Jeff has consulted with dozens of organizations and their leaders on strategic, leadership, and management issues. He has successfully facilitated nonprofit mergers, counseled organizations through executive searches and leadership transitions, led strategic planning processes, and supported the development and implementation of a wide range of efforts, from community assessments to board governance projects.

Jeff has also developed an online board self-assessment for nonprofit boards of directors that is available through the Maine Association of Nonprofits, and he is a frequent presenter and workshop leader on a lengthy list of topics.

Kathryn A. Hunt - Principal and Senior Consultant

Kathryn is in high demand as a facilitator and workshop presenter on a wide range of topics, including board member recruitment, succession planning, organizational assessment, and evaluation.

Stephanie Cotsirilos - Senior Consultant

Stephanie brings over 30 years' combined experience in the performing arts, law, and management consulting to her position as a Senior Consultant at Starboard Leadership Consulting.  She folds her background on and off Broadway, her former New York law practice, and her broad civic and professional engagement in Maine into a multidisciplinary approach to a diverse list of clients.As a consultant, Stephanie has guided organizations through executive transitions, supported planning processes, and helped nonprofit boards strengthen their governance models.  She has also used her analytic skills and her ability to absorb and synthesize new information to develop research-based documents for her clients. The breadth of her experience and training allows her to take on specialized tasks or to provide comprehensive consultation and support to her nonprofit, municipal, and business clients.

Stephanie recently served as a presenter and panelist at the Chicago conference of the National Women and AIDS Collective, the sole national policy advocacy network of its kind.  Examples of her work also include facilitation of the Aroostook Medical Center's strategic planning retreat, analyses for a City of Bangor environmental feasibility study, and training and guidance for the board of a large, human service nonprofit as it navigated its way through an executive transition.  Her clients also include those devoted to the arts and to evidence-based youth substance abuse prevention.

George F. Eaton II - Attorney

Twenty-five years of experience as a business and corporate lawyer representing family owned businesses and nonprofit organizations, together with his hands-on volunteer work as a board member and chairperson of several nonprofit organizations, make George uniquely qualified to serve the needs of Starboard Leadership Consulting's clients.

A 1981 graduate of Bowdoin College, magna cum laude, and a 1984 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, George is a member of the Rudman Winchell law firm, a member of the firm's management committee, and is the coordinator of the firm's corporate practice group. Over the years, George has served on a long list of diverse state and local boards, including the Bangor Public Library, the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Bangor YMCA, the Bangor Superintending School Committee, and the Challenger Learning Center of Maine. Often his board service has included chairing the board of directors, which he has done for the Eastern Maine Medical Center, Bangor Water District, The Hilltop School, Affiliated Healthcare Systems, Rosscare, and the Warren Center for Communication and Learning.

George currently is a member of the board of directors of Bangor Savings Bank and is a member of the Board of Trustees of its mutual holding company corporate parent. He is a past chair of the Eastern Maine Medical Center Board of Trustees and is current chair of Eastern Maine Medical Center's parent Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. He is a Board advisor to a number of family-owned businesses and private charitable family foundations. In these positions, George has been intimately involved with the planning and execution of several successful strategic planning programs and governance modernization initiatives and has served as board chair during a number of critical CEO/executive director transitions.

Although George continues to devote the majority of his time to his law practice at Rudman Winchell, in recent years he has spent an increasing amount of time facilitating strategic planning work and advising family owned businesses and nonprofit organizations on best governance practices, family business transition and succession, board performance issues, and crisis mitigation/avoidance strategies. George also works with families in developing and implementing succession plans for special assets including seasonal homes.