Former businesswoman Alison Hagerstrom, the executive director of Greater Franklin Development Council in Farmington, will retire from her position after 15 years on Aug. 31.

FARMINGTON – Alison Hagerstrom will retire as executive director of the Greater Franklin Development Council on Aug. 31, ending 15 years at the helm.

The Farmington resident has worked to support businesses and bring new ones to the area and highlight the features of greater Franklin County, including Livermore Falls.

“I really enjoy this job,” she said.

She made a pledge to herself not to commit to anything for at least a year after retiring.

Hagerstrom was no stranger to the business world when she became director on Sept. 1, 2002. Among her experiences was running her own business, MTE Inc., until the building the company was housed in burned in 1998. MTE manufactured wiring harnesses and other electrical sub-assemblies for the electronics industry. It was where the Fairbanks School Meeting House is on Route 4 in Farmington.

Hagerstrom started at MTE as general manager, became president and owned the company for five of its 15 years.

She also did some consulting for Franklin Memorial Hospital.

The council was established in 1998 by a group of local business people in “an effort to strengthen economic development.” It was known for a long time as Greater Franklin Development Corp., which was established at the same time as the council. It had received partial funding from Franklin County government until this year.

Hagerstrom thought the executive director position sounded interesting.

“I like living in Maine and I like living in Franklin County,” she said.

She cited as achievements bringing in the Poland Spring Water Co. bottling plant to Kingfield, Comfort Inn & Suites in Wilton, and NotifyMD, now Stericycle Communication Solutions.

It took years in some cases for the companies to finally open in 2006 and 2007. She has also supported other ventures in different ways either by testifying in favor of them in front of a state agency or partnering with other organizations to help businesses.

The council also partnered in 2015 with Franklin County Chamber of Commerce and Woman’s Business Center of CEI to hold several “successful” Entrepreneurs Connect events that highlighted local entrepreneurs to help inspire others to start or grow their businesses.

“It encourages them to think bold and grow their businesses,” Hagerstrom said.

Hagerstrom has also overseen a committee, along with Franklin County Clerk Julie Magoon, that recommends grants or scholarships, and project applications to Franklin County commissioners for approval. The money comes from a 2008 county tax-increment financing development agreement related to the Kibby wind power energy facility in northern Franklin County. The projects include snowmobile and hiking trail improvements and scholarships for higher education pursuits by residents in the unorganized territory.

She has also given tours of the county to Maine’s congressional delegation to highlight its features.

When Hagerstrom started cleaning out her desk she came across examples of projects that have been done.

It was like looking at a family album, she said.

“I have had a good career here. I have enjoyed it,” she said. “I had a good board of directors.

She looks forward to relaxing and doing other things.

“I want to retire to a simpler life than I have had,” she said. “I am looking forward to spending more time with my grandsons and family. I enjoy perennial gardening and I enjoy cooking.”

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