Maine Exporting Future With Cold-Storage Panel


Maine’s Exporting Future Heats Up with Cold-Storage

November 16 @ 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Hannaford Hall, University of Southern Maine, Portland, ME -or- livestream via Zoom

Presented by the Camden Conference

Prospects for a major expansion of Maine’s role in the business of refrigerated cargo will improve dramatically with the anticipated 2024 completion of the Maine International Cold Storage Facility, now under construction on the Portland waterfront. The new facility is expected to meet the refrigerated cargo demand of Icelandic shipping company Eimskip and be large enough to accommodate customers from food, beverage, and bio-pharmaceutical industries in Maine, New England, and beyond.


Carol Coultas

Business Projects Editor, The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

Carol Coultas has been a professional journalist for more than 35years. She spent 22 years at the Sun Journal, nine of which as managing editor, followed by more than five years as the editor of Mainebiz. In 2014, she joined the Press Herald, where she oversees a staff of five reporters who cover wide-ranging business and economic issues, including trade. In 2006, as a fellow with the International Center for Journalists, she traveled to Brazil to write about its emerging paper industry. The piece won a national writing award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers. A transplant from Massachusetts who moved to Maine in 1986, Coultas has finally convinced her Bay State family members that living in Maine is not a phase. She is married with two grown children, one of whom is a business journalist in New York City.


Wade Merritt

President, Maine International Trade Center

In 2017, Wade Merritt was appointed President of Maine International Trade Center and State Director of International Trade within the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development. In this role, he is responsible for the directing the trade and investment policy for the state, including the delivery of international trade services to Maine’s business and academic community. Wade has served Maine’s business community through the creation and development of several major subprograms including the Canada Desk and Invest in Maine, MITC’s investment attraction initiative. He also was the creator of MITC’s StudyMaine consortium, which promotes Maine’s secondary and post-secondary educational institutions to a global audience. During his time with MITC, he has organized multiple trade missions to 15 different markets on 4 continents.

Matthew Burns

Executive Director, Maine Port Authority

urns is a 2004 Maine Maritime Academy graduate who has nearly two decades of marine transportation expertise. He has a strong knowledge of federal and state government funding programs and regulatory requirements for vessels and port facilities. Burns also holds a Second Mate Unlimited U.S. Coast Guard Deck Officer’s License. After spending 13 years as a deck officer on passenger ships, tankers, dredges, and ultra-deep-water drill ships around the world, Burns joined the Maine Department of Transportation in 2017 as Director of Ports and Marine Transportation. In that role, he was responsible for planning, funding, and managing maritime infrastructure projects in Maine’s seaports. He also coordinated the department’s Small Harbor Improvement Program (SHIP) and Boating Infrastructure Grant (BIG) Program. He has twice served as interim Executive Director of the Maine Port Authority.

Briana Warner

President/CEO, Atlantic Sea Farms

Briana has dedicated her life to doing well by doing good. She is passionate about our incredible home state of Maine and working with our partner farmers to help create a more resilient and thriving coast. As the CEO of Atlantic Sea Farms, she and her team have forged a new path for seaweed aquaculture in the US by working with fishermen to grow kelp as a climate change adaptation strategy – and building national demand for that kelp. The ASF team and partner farmers now account for the majority of line-grown kelp grown in the US and are proving that a model that puts farmers, planet, and people first can drive an entirely new way of producing food. Bri has followed a mission-driven path that brought her to kelp – including serving several tours as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, starting and selling a wholesale bakery focused on employing newly resettled refugees, and creating the first Economic Development programming suite at the Maine-based Island Institute.

In addition to the cold storage facility, the panel  discussion will also cover the general outlook for Maine exports and improvements to Maine seaports.

The event is free and open to the public. Join us in person or via Zoom.

This event is held in anticipation of the 34th Annual 2023 Camden Conference “Global Trade and Politics: Managing Turbulence” to be held on the weekend of February 17 – 19 at the Camden Opera House and live-streamed to venues in Portland, Rockland, and Belfast. For more information, visit