Julia Munsey Credit: Courtesy Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Julia Munsey, who has been involved in many of the largest economic development efforts in the Bangor area in the past 20 years, will take over as president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce in March, succeeding its longtime president, Dana Connors.

Connors, who led the state chamber for 29 years, announced last year he would retire in 2023. A native of Aroostook County, Connors previously served as town manager for Presque Isle, as well as transportation commissioner for the state under governors John McKernan and Joseph Brennan.

Munsey, who attended Orono High School and graduated from the University of Maine in 2002, has been a fixture in the Bangor area economic development scene for more than 20 years.

She comes to the state chamber from the Maine International Trade Center, where she was membership and corporate development director. Prior to that, she held positions with Dougherty Project Management in Bangor and with Oxford Networks, now known as FirstLight.

Munsey has lived and worked all over the state, but has called Bangor home for most of her professional career. She said the lessons she learned from being involved in organizations and community efforts in Bangor have given her the tools she needed to take on a statewide leadership position.

“I wanted to be in Bangor because I wanted to be part of a community where we could build something and create opportunities,” she said. “It’s a testament to what happens when you pull a community together and make something happen. Chambers play a role like that in cities across the state, because they convene business communities and work on their behalf.”

In Bangor, Munsey was part of the committee that successfully lobbied for the construction of the Cross Insurance Center to replace the aging Bangor Auditorium and Civic Center, a project that voters approved in 2011, with the arena opening in 2013.

Munsey has also served on the boards of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Cancer Foundation and the American Folk Festival. She is chairperson of both the University of Maine Alumni Association board and the Girl Scouts of Maine board.

In 2017, Munsey helped create the Maine Troop Greeters Museum at Bangor International Airport, honoring the Mainers who since 1991 have gathered to say hello or goodbye to every flight full of service members returning to or leaving the United States.

Munsey, who will begin her new position on March 6, said she will continue to live in Bangor, even as she travels all over the state engaging with chambers in all areas of Maine.

“Maine is one big small town in a lot of ways, so I am really looking forward to continuing to work with the organizations I’ve already forged relationships with, and listening to and working for the state chamber and for many new partners,” she said. “At the end of the day, I am here to advocate for Maine businesses, and I’m incredibly excited to get started.”

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Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.