KINGFIELD, Maine – Maine Huts & Trails, a non-profit that operates an acclaimed system of backcountry trails and eco-lodges in Maine’s western mountains, today announced that Carolann Ouellette will take over as executive director in January 2017.
“We are thrilled to welcome Carolann Ouellette to Maine Huts & Trails,” said Chairman of the Board Bob Peixotto.
Peixotto explained that eight months ago the board set out to find an exceptional leader to continue their track record of success, to broaden their impact, and to guide future expansion.
“Carolann was recruited as part of an exhaustive selection process. I couldn’t be more pleased to say we found exactly what we were looking for in Carolann,” added Peixotto.
As executive director, Ouellette will be the organization’s chief executive officer and will provide overall leadership and management of Maine Huts & Trails, balancing excellence in operations and development of trails, huts, organization, people and programming with financial and human resources.
Ouellette will join Maine Huts & Trails from her most recent role as director of the Maine Office of Tourism, a position she has held since 2011. Under her leadership, Maine has benefited from multiple years of consistent growth in tourism. A graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, Ouellette was chef/owner of an award-winning Maine restaurant in Jackman and, for a period, managed the Sugarloaf Inn. She has a strong background in outdoor recreation as a Registered Maine Guide and former operations manager for New England Outdoor Center. In 2015, she was named by Maine Magazine as one of “50 Mainers Boldly Leading Our State.”
“I have had the incredible privilege of leading the Maine Office of Tourism for nearly six years working with a supportive administration, strong staff and exceptional tourism industry. The opportunity to join Maine Huts & Trails was especially appealing to me on both personal and professional levels. I am looking forward to building upon the start of a nationally significant outdoor recreation resource in the state I love, and stimulating economic development in western Maine. It’s a position where the goals of the organization closely align with my personal and professional goals, and I am excited to be joining a team that shares my passion for Maine,” said Ouellette.
Ouellette is an avid traveler and resides in Hallowell and Jackman, Maine, where she enjoys skiing, fishing, hiking and paddling.
“I cannot imagine any person on earth as uniquely well qualified for this role, at this moment, than Carolann. In her, we found a seasoned leader with a lifetime of experience in all aspects of nature-based tourism. With a passion for western Maine, she has long been committed to contributing to the economy of the region by drawing visitors and providing them with high-quality experiences. Her deep experience marketing Maine to the rest of the country and the world will be invaluable as we move forward and work with like-minded organizations to promote inland Maine. We look forward to her continuing her life’s work through Maine Huts & Trails,” said Peixotto.