Case Studies

Angela Pinkham – Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. 

Laying a foundation for Maine’s growth 

Time was when the demand for paper made the Central Maine town of Jay an essential locale on the industrial map. Its Androscoggin Mill was the region’s economic epicenter, employing more than a thousand and being the go-to for newsprint and other products. 

Angela Pinkham | SVP of Administration |  Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. 

Angela Pinkham | SVP of Administration |  Main-Land Development Consultants Inc.

Then, as newspapers and magazines retrenched, so did the mill’s operations. In 2006, International Paper sold the massive but underutilized facility to Verso Holdings, which laid off hundreds after filing for bankruptcy protection in 2017. Three years later, new owner Pixelle Specialty Solutions bought what was left of the mill, but with demand for its products still low and no rebound anticipated, it ceased production in March 2023. 

But, as the locals say, once a mill town, always a mill town, and that old plant is due to be revitalized, what with a joint venture known as JGT2 Redevelopment LLC has acquired the assets and Maine-based Godfrey Forest Products intent on manufacturing plywood substitute. 

It’ll take some doing to get the new pieces in place by 2026, with all kinds of contractors and vendors immersed in some kind of project. However, before much of anything can commence, another Maine company, Main-Land Development Consultants Inc., will lay the groundwork. 

It all starts here 

“It’s what we do best,” says Angela Pinkham, the senior vice president of administration who recently celebrated her 30th anniversary at Main-Land. “Our vision is to help people add value to their land.” 

Much Maine land is already worth a pretty penny, which makes it all the more important to prepare it for maximum use. This Main-Land can accomplish in any number of ways, Pinkham says, explaining how the company undertakes the civil engineering, permitting, surveying, environmental sciences and essentially doing everything except the ground-up.  

Angela Pinkham | SVP of Administration |  Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. 

As the need for site planning and prep grows, so do Main-Land’s offerings. Based in Livermore Falls, a town just south of Jay, the company recently purchased Maine Mapping Survey Co., a one-man operation with much to offer through its drone, GIS and laser services. With the state’s construction industry enjoying a post-pandemic boom, Main-Land is opening branches in Falmouth, near Portland, and the northern town of Newport.  

The company’s also on a hiring spree, soliciting applications from civil engineers, land surveyors and interns. According to Pinkham, there’s much to do throughout the Pine Tree State, and Main-Land is among the choicest employers. 

“While it’s hard to find middle- to senior-level civil engineers, once they’re here, they’ll want to stay,” she says. “What distinguishes this company is its work-life balance. If someone is still here at 6 p.m., the boss comes by and says, ‘Hey, it’s dinner time, so head home.’ And we’ve got clients waiting for us to start projects.” 

Housing front busy 

As is the case with other desirable locales, Maine has a housing shortage, and while the supply is increasing, it’s still falling short of demand. While Main-Land serves residential, commercial, industrial and public-sector clients, Pinkham says just the former would be enough to keep the company busy. Throughout the state, municipalities are fielding petitions for subdivisions. 

Angela Pinkham | SVP of Administration |  Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. 

“One of our specialties is doing concept plans for large tracts,” she says. “Maybe we can do five 10-acre lots or 20 smaller lots. It depends on the client’s goal. We’ll look at the plan, research the deed and topography to see if it’s feasible and do everything until the builders arrive. There might be a lot of options that an owner doesn’t realize.” 

Pinkham defers to Godfrey Forest Products for details about the Jay project. But she does point to an impressive portfolio Main-Land has created for a diverse Maine clientele.  

There’s the Oxford Casino which faced much community opposition prior to its 2012 opening. Main-Land having been charged with the conceptual planning, other vendors followed through with retention ponds, a parking lot, and hotel that have made this a four-season destination. 

Main-Land’s also been a partner to the ski industry, its planning essential for some of the lodging establishments and condominium villages around Sugarloaf USA, Sunday River, Saddleback and Black Mountain. Some of the public infrastructure around those mountains having been damaged during last winter’s storms, Main-Land has factored in its restoration. Its site-matter experts assess the damage and assist cities and counties in bid packages for contractors. 

‘Spirit Animal’ 

For Pinkham, arranging for these services is part of her greater responsibilities as a senior vice president or, as her boss  likes to say, Main-Land’s “tone setter” or as others might say “spirit animal”—roles that grew from her 1994 hiring as administrative assistant. And unconventional as her hiring was, it seemed prescient for the family atmosphere for which she says the company is noted. 

Angela Pinkham | SVP of Administration |  Main-Land Development Consultants Inc. 

Pinkham recalls that she was 20 and waitressing at a Livermore Falls joint where then-Main-Land owner Darryl Brown came in for coffee. A personable type, Brown asked Pinkham about her goals and was impressed when she didn’t intend to make a career out of waiting on tables. He asked her to temp for the woman who usually answered calls and several months later offered a permanent job though she lacked a college degree that typically was expected. 

In due time, Pinkham completed business courses and payroll and human resources training through various organizations. During the next 30 years, she ascended the company ladder, garnered membership in Central Maine Human Resources and the Society for Human Resources Management and proudly exclaimed she’s Main-Land’s longest-tenured employee. 

“I honestly can’t imagine working anywhere else,” she says. “We’re dedicated to the professional growth and development of our team members and providing opportunities for learning and advancement. Whether you’re an experienced professional or recent graduate eager to make your mark, there’s a place for you at Main-Land.” 

The company prospered under Bob Berry, who bought out the late Brown in 2011. Like Pinkham, Berry has been part of the operation since 2004, starting off as a senior engineer and growing on the job. It’s still a relatively modest company with 20 employees, but that number will increase with the Newport and Falmouth branches and so many projects pending statewide.  

While that’ll keep Pinkham busy, she’ll still find time for extracurricular activities that include volunteering with the Tri Valley United Way and the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center, advocating for victims of sexual abuse. Homelife in Farmington also fulfills, with her husband, Glenn Pinkham, owning and operating Randy Keach Auto in New Sharon. The couple has three sons, and they all enjoy the many outdoor activities Maine offers, with Moosehead Lake a favored getaway. 

But she never seems to stay away from the office for long. Cliché as it may be, she says it never feels like work when you love your job. Especially when it suits a higher need, which is the case with Jay 

“Hundreds of jobs were lost when it closed last year,” she says. “We’re helping to restore not just a mill but a mill town.”    

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