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New Leaders Council - Maine
Featuring: Marshall Archer
By Mae Krieg
THIS WEEK’S Alumni Spotlight features the tenacious Marshall Archer, a 2015 Fellow who has transitioned into New Leaders Council - Maine’s second year as the Selections Director. A man with a lot of history and a lot to say, Marshall adds a crucial element to our team. With one sentence, he explains his love for NLC: “It’s about progress through collaboration.”
I met Marshall for coffee in downtown Portland just after Bernie Sanders left the State Theater. The vibrancy was more than apparent-- it was infectious. Seeing local progressives unite over a common goal felt like the perfect time to meet and discuss NLC.
Marshall began his politically active career in a rather tactile manner, so to speak, by serving in the U.S. Marines from 2001 - 2005. He was deployed to Iraq twice and provided security in the Anbar Province. Upon his return, he helped develop a state law, L.D. 1488, that would allow Maine’s veterans complimentary access to Maine’s State Parks. This law went into effect in 2009, and during this process led him to Alex Cornell du Houx, then a State Representative. Their relationship blossomed quickly, namely through the Truman National Security Project where Alex was a consultant and had been recruiting a class of veterans. This developed into a discussion of New Leaders Council, this time with Emily Cramer as well, especially as the founder of NLC was connected to the Truman project. Conversations regarding NLC - Maine began in 2012, “roughly,” Marshall states, then in 2014 they created the first board.
I wonder what the first class had been like for Marshall, having been so involved with its inception? “We were very vocal,” he replies, smiling. “It was almost easy because we were progressives who all knew each other.” But this time, instead of acting independently, they were coming together under one hub. I ask him what he learned from a group of progressives that already knew each other, and what changes were enacted in this second year’s selection of Fellows.
Like last year, he wanted an engaged class to develop long-term relationships. “However, this year included more diversity in demographics and professions-- we have a scientist even!” He says, grinning over his coffee. This is because the purpose of New Leaders Council is to enhance progressive leaders, but this objective does not have to be so narrow. “Many have different goals. Or, many have common values, such as the environment, but different perspectives. One person could work in health and another in conservation, but their overarching intention is the same,” He explains. With this sundry mentality, New Leaders Council - Maine moves forward into its second year, fortunate to have Marshall Archer on the team.
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