BANGOR, Maine — The Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine will host the 2011 Maine Chinese Conference later this month, and Eliot Cutler, a Maine businessman and former independent candidate for governor, will be the keynote speaker.

The conference is set for Oct. 28-29 at the Dyke Center for Family Business at Husson University in Bangor.

The conference will be hosted by the Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine and the Bangor Chinese School in collaboration with the Maine Department of Education, the University of Maine’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Maine International Trade Center, the city of Bangor, Husson University, and Orono High School. Sponsors for the event include Lee Academy, the Hanban/Consulate General of China in New York City, and John Bapst Memorial High School.

Cutler will speak on the topic “How Maine and China may Come Together.” The conference’s theme is “Creating cooperative opportunities in education and business between the U.S. and China through promoting Chinese language teaching in Maine and establishing a local business partnership between the peoples of these two global powers.”

The primary audience for the conference will be school administrators, school board members, teachers, parents, members of institutions of higher education, students, politicians and entrepreneurs.

Several educational representatives will also be on hand, including Lee Academy Headmaster Bruce Lindburg, John Bapst Head of School Mel MacKay, and Orono High School Principal Jim Chasse. Zhongxuan Jie, a council member of the Nagang District in Harbin, China, will attend, along with Tessa Roscoe of Nanning University and Orpheus Allison of Sun Yat-Sen University.

Other speakers and participants include Bangor City Councilor Gerry Palmer; Habib Dagher, director of Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine; Michael Riedel, director of the U.S. Agricultural Affairs Office at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing; and Dr. Howard Jones of Waldo County Regional Hospital.

The conference will offer several attractions for educators, students and parents, according to a press release from Jing Zhang, executive director of the Chinese Language and Culture Center of Maine. The topics to be discussed will include building a partnership with schools, colleges and cities in China; teaching and learning the Chinese language and English as a Second Language efficiently in American classrooms; how to recruit Chinese students for Maine schools with the active education market in China; and how to provide good programs and a comfortable life for the students.

The press release also says that politicians, business people and entrepreneurs will benefit from learning about the experiences of Mainers doing business in China. Tips about doing business in China and about the Chinese business culture also will be discussed.

To register for the conference, visit and fill out a registration form. Early-bird registration lasts through Saturday, Oct. 15. The registration fee includes all conference materials, snacks, two meals and materials. Forms and payments should be mailed to Maine Chinese Conference, 53 Cumberland Street, Bangor 04401. For information, contact Zhang at 990-0710 or

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Ryan McLaughlin

BDN sports freelancer Ryan McLaughlin grew up in Brewer and is a lifelong fan of the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics and Boston Bruins.