Peter DelGreco ’94 keeps an extra pair of dress shoes in the corner of his office and a stack of pressed dress shirts in a desk drawer. He never knows when a visit to a muddy construction site will be followed by an impromptu meeting with a Fortune 1000 executive.
For DelGreco it’s all part of the job. In September, he was named president and CEO of Maine & Company, a Portland-based nonprofit specializing in attracting out-of-state business to Maine. Since joining the staff as a development specialist in 2004, DelGreco has helped convince companies to relocate thousands of jobs to Maine towns from Winslow and Belfast to Wilton and Lewiston.
In his new role DelGreco goes beyond the number crunching and analysis to take a more visible role at Maine & Company. “In my old role, I was deeply involved in the operational side,” he said. “Now, I’m directly competing with organizations across the country for these companies.”
DelGreco, a native of Reading, Mass., who majored in American studies, sees himself as part salesman and part evangelist, pitching the virtues of relocating in Maine to companies from all over the world. He touts an available and dependable workforce, inexpensive real estate, and Maine’s vaunted quality of life to prospective clients. “I just think Maine is a fabulous place to grow a business,” he said.
That’s not to say that DelGreco’s job is easy. He notes that many states and cities around the United States have substantial resources to lure companies across their borders. Not so at Maine & Company, a modest operation with offices in Portland’s Old Port. But DelGreco says its size forces Maine & Company to work smarter and more efficiently to appeal to prospective companies. “It’s given us a certain confidence that we can do the job better than anyone else in the country,” he said.
That also means DelGreco must spend time shuttling between meetings around the state—and time away from the Falmouth home he shares with his 2-year-old son, Henry, and wife, Sally Reis DelGreco ’94, a consultant involved in the redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.
Still, DelGreco is optimistic that Maine & Company can compete on a national stage—and that more companies from away will embrace what Maine has to offer. “We may not have the resources that other organizations have,” he said, “but we know what businesses need to succeed.”
—Taylor Smith ’98