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January 17, 2018

Gardiner Main Street seeks executive director to succeed Patrick Wright

Photo / Tim Greenway
Photo / Tim Greenway
Patrick Wright, Gardiner's economic development director, announced that he's resigned as executive director of Gardiner Main Street, a nonprofit supporting the city's downtown historic district. Wright had served as its director for nearly seven years. He's also stepping down as Gardiner's economic development director, citing a desire to spend more time with his family.

Gardiner Main Street, a nonprofit group devoted to supporting the city's downtown historic district, is seeking an executive director to lead "the most exciting redevelopment effort in the State of Maine."

The organization, one of 2,000 Main Street community revitalization groups and 10 in Maine, posted the ad online following the resignation of Patrick Wright, who had served in that position for nearly seven years. He is also stepping down from his post as Gardiner's economic development director.s

"The main reason I have chosen to move on is that I need to spend time with my family," he said in an interview with The Kennebec Journal. "I look back to where my kids were seven years ago, and in seven years from now they will essentially be out of the house. I am calling this my kid-life crisis."

Mayor Thom Harnett praised Wright as "one of the finest people I have ever worked with in my life," while Gardiner Main Street board president Robert Abbey said what whoever hires Wright "will be extremely fortunate."

Gardiner Main Street is looking to hire a successor by May 1, and will take applications until Feb. 28. The job posting says the organization "is committed to finding a highly professional director who believes in the value of shared leadership, and who is willing to take productive risks and seize creative opportunities." Gardiner Main Street relies funding from the city of Gardiner, and gets the rest of its operating budget from business and personal donations and from foundation support.

In an interview with Mainebiz last year, Wright said that he took the job with Gardiner Main Street because he saw "a ton of potential and a beautiful downtown, in a community starting to turn a corner."

He also expressed determination to reverse Gardiner's population decline, saying, "I think we can accomplish that by focusing on community development and quality of life."

Gardiner saw its population drop from 6,685 in 1970 to 5,675 in 2014.

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