The Maine State Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that its new president and chief executive officer is a former energy official who advised Gov. Paul LePage and served as a top Massachusetts energy official.

Patrick Woodcock is the new president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. Previously, he served in the administration of former Gov. Paul LePage as energy czar. Mark J. Ellis photo, provided by the chamber

Patrick Woodcock has served as director of the Maine Energy Office and commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. He resigned from the Maine post in 2016, complaining that lobbyists were too influential in crafting energy policy. He cited an “over-reliance on special interests.”

He will take over from interim president and CEO Linda Caprara, the chamber’s vice president of advocacy.

“The Maine economy is at a critical moment, including encouraging signals from historic population growth and recent state revenues, but it also faces acute challenges such as housing scarcity, labor shortages, and broader competitiveness challenges,” Woodcock said in a news release.

As commissioner of the Massachusetts agency under then-Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, Woodcock was credited by the chamber for overseeing offshore wind procurements, new building codes, solar policies, and other state and regional energy policies.

As director of Maine’s Energy Office from 2013 through 2016 under LePage, Woodcock helped advance heat pump adoption and additional energy efficiency investments in Maine, the chamber said.


The chamber is Maine’s largest business association, representing 5,000 businesses.

Jeff Marks, executive director of ClimateWork Maine, a business group working on energy issues, said Woodcock is “tuned into the business community when making policy decisions on energy issues.”

He praised his “pragmatic approach to public policy” and said he’s been open to strategies that helped Maine businesses, “whether they installed solar panels or delivered heating oil.”

Curtis Picard, president, and CEO of the Retail Association of Maine, said Woodcock seems well qualified for the role, given his deep knowledge of many important issues, especially energy, which is at the forefront of many business owners’ minds. 

The rising cost of doing business continues to be a struggle for Maine businesses and retailers, Picard said. As the state continues to work on improving the economy, it will be a benefit to have someone settled in the chamber role. 

“It’s important for the business community to have a strong chamber,” he said. 


Much of what the chamber of commerce does is related to policy and advocacy, he added, so Woodcock’s political background is promising. 

“One of the most important skills that the head of the chamber needs is an understanding of how government works and I think that’s something he brings to the table,” Picard said.

Caprara, the interim president and CEO, took over for Julia Munsey, who resigned in June.

Munsey, the chamber’s first woman president, was previously the membership and corporate development director for the Maine International Trade Center. Her hiring marked a new chapter for the pro-business organization.

She was hired in February to take over for retiring longtime President Dana Connors, but resigned after only four months, citing personal and family reasons. Connors announced his retirement in April 2022 after almost 30 years.

At the time, Connors said his years with the chamber were a “tremendous honor and pleasure” and that the decision was a difficult one. But after nearly three decades, it was time for a leadership change, he said. 


During his tenure, Connors helped create Maine & Co., a state entity for attracting businesses to Maine; the Making Maine Work series, which encourages economic growth and investment in the state, and the chamber’s Education Foundation.

Connors on Thursday commended Woodcock’s appointment.

“He knows how the system works,” Connors said. “He’s worked in the political arena both here in the state and Massachusetts for different governors with different styles. That experience, as well as that perspective, will serve him well.” 

Connors said Woodcock’s experience with energy issues will be a boon for the chamber, but he stressed that there are many issues affecting the economy and business community.  

“The cost of doing business in Maine has always been a challenge, but the workforce has emerged today as the number one issue” regardless of the size of the business, Connors said. 

But now, “workforce” encompasses any number of issues, including many that weren’t previously considered business issues, such as child care, housing, and broadband, he said.


That’s why a strong leader and someone who will work with the chamber’s team and with people on both sides of the political aisle is important.

“I’m pleased they filled the position,” Connors said. “Patrick will be an excellent choice.” 

His first day is Monday.

Staff Writer Hannah LaClaire contributed to this report. 

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