There is nothing that makes me more proud than telling people I grew up in Maine and attended Maranacook Community High School. As a 20-something working in public relations in New Hampshire, I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to grow up in a place that is so real, raw and refreshing.

Reading that the state chose an out-of-state public relations firm for the Maine Office of Tourism left me sad, angry and confused.

I am sad not only for the woman-owned public relations firm that so passionately supported Vacationland and its brand for 20 years, but for the state as a whole.

Has the government no faith in the talent within Maine or what the state’s brand means? Every Christmas I leave some of my shopping to be done at the Maine Made Shop in Augusta because I’m proud to give a piece of Maine that was made in Maine.

Mainers trust Mainers and know our state best. I also understand the intangible value the relationships the former firm built with writers, editors, inns, resorts and everything in between.

Maine is more than a gem or a treasure to me. It is home. Maine should be appreciated and utilized within its own borders.

Becky Brown

formerly of Manchester

now of Manchester, N.H

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