Who we are

Portland Buy Local is led by the incredible energy of an active Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Executive Director.

Our Board of Directors:


heather1 (1)HEATHER CASTON-TALBOT, Account Executive, Clark Insurance, President, Portland Buy Local

My Portland is Diverse, Collaborative & Growing

How did you get here? I was lucky enough to be born and raised here in Portland. I’ve spent time in other parts of Greater Portland throughout my years and likely will into the future, but I will always consider myself a Portlander.

Why do YOU buy local? I buy local to support my friends, family, neighbors and the community in general. Small business is at the heart of every community and I believe it’s why Portland is the amazing city it is.

unnamed (2)KELLY FERNALD, Owner, Nomads; Vice President, Portland Buy Local
My Portland is: Hearty, salty, sweet
How I got here: I came to Portland in 1982 to finish up my last 2 years of college at USM and have essentially been here ever since. I grew up on an island off the coast about 3 1/2 hours north so it was a big deal to move to Portland. Once I made the move my father’s regular greeting to me became “well hello you sweet gal from the big city.” Yes, Portland was THE big city! It’s going on 22 years now since I opened my first store in Portland and though my current store has gone through several evolutions, I still have many of the same customers. They are my community!
Why I buy local: Towns and cities without a thriving small business community feel bleak and soulless to me. The thought of Portland becoming a generic, “anywhere USA” city terrifies me! Our small businesses are a major part of what gives Portland its character, soul and unique personality. I very much want to support the continued development of Portland’s already great character.

profile picHANNAH WOLKEN, Manager Strategy, WEX; Treasurer, Portland Buy Local

My Portland is Outdoorsy, Scrumptious, Unique

How did you get here?  I spent most of my adulthood in large urban areas because I loved the access to culture, food, diversity, and creativity.  After living in some phenomenal cities around the world, I moved back to NY and after four years in NYC, I hit a wall.  I was spending almost every weekend trying to get out, often more time in the car than at the destination. In 2008 I was visiting one of my best friends and made some comment to the effect of, “Wouldn’t it be nice if I could actually find a job in Portland?”  She responded, “Have you ever even looked?” I went home, got on the internet and four months later had a job in Portland.  Its been love ever since!

Why do YOU Buy Local?  I buy local because I believe in supporting and growing my community in as many ways as possible. Portland is my adopted home and I love being a part of and helping the community grow.  And selfishly, I find shopping local often brings better quality, more interesting products, and I love being able to interact and learn about the people providing my goods, foods, and services.

Anthony Zeli headshot 2016ANTHONY ZELI, Owner, West End News, Secretary, Portland Buy Local 

My Portland is Rugged. Charming. Home.

How did you get here? I attended a small liberal arts college in Vermont and loved living in northern New England. My first job after graduation was with a media company in Portland. The unique character of this seaside town impressed me. I was comfortable here. And I had a lot of fun, too. I knew I was staying. So, I got involved. Got to know my neighbors. And now I get to run a community newspaper! I am very lucky to live and work in such an amazing place.

Why do YOU buy local? I want to positively impact our community with everything I do, and that includes with every purchase I make. I like knowing that my resources are supporting local jobs, creative businesses and good neighbors. I trust our local business people. I buy local to support them and their endeavors. Independent businesses are a big part of what makes Portland awesome!


mecrop (1)ELLEN KANNER, Owner, Dobra Tea, Marketing Committee Chair, Portland Buy Local 
My Portland is Entrepreneurial, Creative, Diverse
How did you get here? I went to UMaine Orono and lived here in the 90s, helped to start MaineToday.com, then moved away for 10 years.. I always talked up Portland every where I went. We moved back in 2010 because I just couldn’t stand being away any longer. We moved here with the intent to open a business, Dobra Tea, live in a creative community in a beautiful area — and the rest is history.
Why do YOU buy local? I buy local as it keeps not only someone’s dream of opening a successful business alive, but it supports the people who work in that business and helps our community thrive.


TOM GANGEWER, Owner, Local Economy

My Portland is lived in, approachable, and welcoming.

How did you get here?  I moved to Portland in 1998. I was working for the Seattle Times when they purchased the Portland Press Herald, and I became Controller of the Press Herald when the purchase was finalized.

Why do YOU buy local?

Because I want my money to stay in my community.

Because I want to support small business owners who take huge risks when they give up employer-paid insurance and regular pay checks to follow their dreams, but in doing so make our city the special place that it is.

Because when I walk into big box stores and see miles and miles of fast-fashion and miscellaneous merchandise it makes me wonder where it came from and where it will end up.



NORMAN PATRY, Owner, Summer Feet Cycling 

My Portland is Unique, Vibrant, Beautiful

How did you get here? I grew up in Lewiston and moved away for college and work. In my early 30’s I decided that I wanted to move back to Maine and settled in Portland.

Why do YOU buy local? Being a small business owner, i think it is important to support other local businesses and keep as money as possible in the local economy.



CAITLIN CAMERON, Urban Planner, City of Portland

My Portland is historical, picturesque and windy

How did you get here?  I came to Portland for an unparalleled career opportunity.

Why do YOU buy local?   I buy local because I believe in quality of life.  Local businesses add character and individuality to Portland.  Local businesses create real economic development and good quality jobs.  Local businesses also allow me to keep my car-free lifestyle by shopping in my own neighborhood.


EMILY BROADBENT, Individual Member, Portland Buy LocalEmily

My Portland is Vibrant, Welcoming, Innovative

How did you get here? I was one of those people that had “live in either Portland” on my bucket list, and after school in Chicago, Maine was closer to my family in PA than the West Coast was. My first job in Portland was at Coffee By Design, so I was introduced to Portland Buy Local early on, and the overwhelming local support for independently owned businesses played a huge role in my growing love for the area. Now, as a board member, I’m excited to learn even more about all that’s happening in Portland.

Why do YOU buy local? I think everyone has a dream of their ideal job, or what they’d do with their time if they could do anything. There are so many people in Portland who turn that dream into a reality by opening their own business, and they’re what make our community the incredible place that it is. Buying local helps these types of businesses to thrive, and helps local people continue to bring their dreams to life.


 Mackenzie Morris, Owner, étaín underthings

Our Advisory Board:

MARY ALLEN LINDEMANN, Co-Owner, Coffee By Design; A Founding Member, Portland Buy Local

JENN THOMPSON, Previous Director, Portland Buy Local

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