2017-01-11 / Business

Ouellette takes helm of Maine Huts

Worked previously as director with Maine Office of Tourism
The Times Record


Maine Huts & Trails, a nonprofit that operates a system of backcountry trails and eco-lodges in Maine’s western mountains, recently announced that Carolann Ouellette has taken over as executive director.

“We are thrilled to welcome Carolann Ouellette to Maine Huts & Trails,” said board chairman Bob Peixotto.

Peixotto said that eight months ago the board set out to find a 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,” said 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 had 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 a Maine restaurant in Jackman and, for a period, managed the Sugarloaf Inn. She has 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,” said Ouellette. “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.”

Ouellette is an avid traveler and lives in Hallowell and Jackman, 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.

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