Show Notes

Air Date: 12/3/2019

About the guest:

Laurie Lachance, President of Thomas College
Laurie Lachance, President of Thomas College

Laurie Lachance is Thomas College’s 5th president and the first female and alumna to lead the college in its 125-year history.

From 2004 to 2012, Laurie served as president and CEO of the Maine Development Foundation. Prior to MDF, Laurie served three governors as the Maine state economist, and before joining state government, she served as the corporate economist at Central Maine Power Company.

A frequent author and speaker on leadership, education and the economy of Maine, she holds an undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College, an MBA from Thomas College and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Laurie was inducted into the Maine Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014 and has been the recipient of several awards, including being recognized by Maine Magazine as one of the 50 Mainers Charting the State’s Future and making the Mainebiz NEXT list as a trailblazer in her industry. In November 2018, Laurie was inducted into the Maine Business Hall of Fame.

Laurie chairs the board of Educare Central Maine, is a trustee of Foxcroft Academy, is a board member of Educate Maine, served on the New England Board of Higher Education’s Commission on Higher Education and Employability, and was elected to the Board of Maine Employers Mutual Insurance Company (MEMIC) in June 2018.

In the episode:

3:10 – Laurie describes how she bought a pair of high heels and a woolen suit, then practiced interviewing before getting a job at Central Maine Power after graduating from Bowdoin College.

5:20 – Nancy mentions how she and Laurie earned their Master’s degrees at the same time at Thomas College.

7:58 – Laurie shares how she became the president of Thomas College.

12:18 – Laurie says that overall she would not do anything differently, but she would have taken better care of herself and suggests that others do that, too.

14:56 – Laurie talks about being the first woman to take on many of the roles she has had throughout her career and how expectations have changed.

17:02 – Laurie shares that her network grew on its own to start but then she began intentionally building her network.

18:16 – Laurie shares how her network helped her keep her appointed position when Angus King was elected.

22:18 – Laurie shares how there were not a lot of women in leadership, proving to be an obstacle with few role models.

24:00 – Nancy and Laurie talk about positioning Thomas College for the future.

30:30 – Laurie talks about attracting students and donors in order to measure success.

33:40 – Nancy mentions how two members of the Marshall Communications team, Whitney Raymond and Emma Dimock, have graduated from Thomas College.

36:09 – Laurie and Nancy talk about the work ethic of Thomas College students and today’s generation of students.

38:02 – Nancy and Laurie discuss the ad for Thomas College describing how graduates got where they are today from their Thomas College experience.

40:03 – Laurie shares how she advanced in her career because of her network.

43:28 – Laurie shares how she loves reading and how that has helped her learn about an industry that she wasn’t familiar with.

48:26 – Laurie shares her parting thought; focusing on the importance of building relationships.


On getting her MBA: “It is not easy, but it gave me a real appreciation for how hard it is to be an adult learner and to put yourself through those paces. But, it’s one of the best investments you can make in yourself.” —  Laurie Lachance, President of Thomas College



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