Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative executive director to step down
The Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative (MLMC) announced on 9 February that its director, Matt Jacobson, will be stepping down effective 25 February.
Jacobson, the former CEO of Maine & Company, was hired as the first executive director of the MLMC in 2014.
"On behalf of the entire board, we want to thank Matt for his dedicated service in this role over the past five years," Frank Gotwals, the MLMC board chairman and a fisherman based in Stonington, Maine, said. "Maine's lobster industry is not only an economic powerhouse that sustains so many local fishermen and families, but also a core piece of our state's identity. We offer him our sincerest congratulations as he takes the next step in his career and we look forward to beginning the search for our new Executive Director."
At a meeting on 12 February, the collaborative's board unanimously voted to have Marianne LaCroix, MLMC's marketing director since its inception in 2013, serve as the interim executive director.
"Marianne’s expertise has been invaluable as the MLMC has worked to tell the story of Maine Lobster,” Gotwals said. “She knows this industry inside and out, and we’ll be in capable hands as we search for a permanent executive director.”
The MLMC, established in 2013, is an organization devoted to promoting Maine lobster and increasing demand for lobster products. An industry worth more than USD 1 billion (EUR 885 million) to the state of Maine, Jacobson’s goal was to promote “the core values of the Maine lobster industry” across both the U.S. and the international market.
"Under Matt's leadership, the collaborative established itself as a strategy-driven marketing force, spreading the Maine Lobster story across the globe and managing everything from consumer education, chef events and media relations to issues management and stakeholder support," Luke Holden, MLMC board member and owner of Luke's Lobster and Luke's Lobster Seafood Company, said. "As we look for the next executive director, the board is confident in its ability to continue to drive forward the MLMC's 2019 marketing plan as we approach peak season, ensuring the continued growth of the industry."
Funding for the collaborative is based on a fee structure paid by members of the state’s lobster industry. In April, the state legislature approved a bill extending that fee structure through 2021, which maintains its annual budget of USD 2.2 million (EUR 1.95 million).
According to the collaborative, a formal search process for a replacement has already begun, the details of which will be released at a later date.