Show Notes

Air Date: 3/24/2020

Carolann Ouellette

Carolann Ouellette joined the Maine Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) in September 2018 to lead the newly created Office of Outdoor Recreation.

Before her current position, she was the Executive Director of Maine Huts & Trails, a non-profit that operates a hut-to-hut system of four year-round back-country ecolodges and 80 miles of trails that are open to the public, year-round, for hiking, biking, paddling, skiing & snowshoeing.

Prior to her time at Maine Huts & Trails, Carolann was Director of the Maine Office of Tourism at DECD. Under her leadership, Maine benefited from multiple years of consistent growth in tourism.

A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Ouellette was the chef/owner of an award-winning Maine restaurant. She has a strong background in outdoor recreation as a former Whitewater Guide and operations manager for New England Outdoor Center, and lodging manager at Sugarloaf Resort.

In 2015, she was named by Maine Magazine as one of “50 Mainers Boldly Leading Our State.” Carolann has been involved in many organizations in board or advisory member capacity over the years including U.S. Travel Association, Maine Woods Consortium, Discover New England, Maine Tourism Association and University of Southern Maine School of Tourism & Hospitality.

She is a ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, hike and paddle enthusiast. She is also working on her mountain biking, fishing and hunting skills, and loves the exploration and discovery of travel.


In the episode:

3:04 – Carolann talks about how her career started, from visiting Maine as a child and going to college for hospitality to how her network has helped her career.

6:10 – Carolann shares what interesting and impactful work is being done throughout Maine that many may not know about.

8:43 – Based on her extensive tourism experience, Carolann describes how public relations helps the tourism industry and businesses, including how Instagram helps attract visitors.

14:56 – To measure success, Carolann tells what she looks at, whether it is the number of followers or engagement.

16:32 – Carolann explains how outdoor recreation impacts Maine’s economy.

18:50 – Carolann describes the benefits of outdoor recreation to tourism in Maine.

26:19 – Nancy shares a listener line question.

27:40 – Although it was not a conscious effort, Carolann shares how she has built her network.

32:19 – Even though she didn’t think she would like it, Carolann has found LinkedIn to be a useful resource as well as Slack and Zoom.

37:25 – Carolann emphasizes Maine’s heritage and connection to the outdoors.



We often think of outdoor recreation as needing to be really active, but it’s really about being in the outdoors and enjoying what you love to do.” – Carolann Ouellette, director of the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation



Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation

CAN-AM Crown International Sled Dog Races

AMC Lodge-to-lodge Skiing

Trek Across Maine

Peaks to Portland

Maine’s Bicentennial

L.L. Bean


Via Advertising

Teens To Trails


Sail Maine

Outdoor Sport Institute

Maine Summer Camps

Blaze Partners

Outdoor Retailer

Live and Work in Maine

Maine & Co.

Maine International Trade Center

Maine Huts and Trails

Carrabassett Valley Academy

The Portland Pod

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko


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