Get to Know the DOE Team: Meet Maryalice Crofton

Maine DOE Team member Maryalice Crofton from Volunteer Maine is being highlighted this week as part of the Get to Know the Maine DOE Campaign. Learn a little more about Maryalice in the brief question and answer below.

What are your roles with DOE?

My job for the last 26 years has been with the Maine Commission for Community Service – 25 years as Executive Director. In July 2012, the Commission’s fiscal agent changed to the Department of Education so that’s the start of my internal connection to the business people. As one might expect, the role of Executive Director is multi-faceted. There are 24 Commissioners who are very involved in our work – we couldn’t do as much without them. Then there is the facet that is managing federal and state legislative as well as intergovernmental relationships. Our oversight committee is State and Local Government but our budget flows through DOE so we have a new relationship with education and cultural services. Then, there are the partnerships, public education, keeping everyone focused on our strategic plan, and supporting the team. I serve on the national public policy committee as well as a couple of work groups.

What do you like best about your job?

I’ve always said I would leave when I got bored. That hasn’t happened yet and it’s what keeps me engaged in the work. That, plus knowing the important role of service in community health and resiliency. It’s been such a relief to have more and more research published for our field.

How or why did you decide on this career?

That presumes I decided! I have to say that my career path has not been deliberate but accidental and it’s been an adventure. I came to the Commission after 15 years of leading mentoring nonprofits and before that I worked in youth development for UConn Cooperative Extension. Here I was the Grants Officer first – I told folks I didn’t want to be in charge for a while. Well, that lasted 4 months! Then the Exec Director retired and had me appointed interim. From there, it’s history.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

I’m an avid gardener, landscaper, singer, and thinker. If I say “I’ve been thinking” to either my husband or my work colleagues, they all get this pained expression that goes with “Oh, no. Now what?” Then they laugh and say how shocked they are.