Meet Jessica Estes. She's a bad-ass in a powerful industry. As the president of a large firm with a multi-state presence, she's at the helm of complex decisions every day. But one of my favorite things about her is her appreciation of the simple things, like the strong work ethic that Mainers share and the pure natural beauty of our home state. Jess and I have a lot in common. We’re both lifelong Mainers with unconventional life paths. Not only is she raising standards and overcoming obstacles in a male-dominated profession, she's an incredible friend and mom.
Here she is in her own words:
My name is Jessica Estes. I'm the President and a Partner at The Boulos Company, a large commercial real estate firm serving investors, owners, and tenants throughout Maine and New Hampshire. I'm proud of being known for having thick skin and going after what I want. But in addition to breaking barriers, I love having fun and being unconventional.
When I think of Portland and Maine, the first word that comes to mind is HOME.
The Mainer who most inspires me is Olympia Snowe. Beyond her trailblazing legacy in the Senate, she now operates a Women's Leadership Institute that is groundbreaking in its work with girls in Maine. Her impact on the State of Maine (and many other places) will be felt for generations to come.
Right now, the biggest challenge in Portland and in Maine is our demographics. We need more creative solutions to economic growth, housing, and our aging population.
Our greatest asset is our quality of life. The hardworking, honest citizens and residents. The incredible blend of our fantastic restaurant scene and cultural enterprises even though Portland is in fact a very small town. We punch above our weight in several categories.
Five years from now, I'd like to see more housing being built in Portland. I'd like to see that our communities are willing to embrace new Mainers and housing stock. We need continued investment in our schools.
What's your favorite local restaurant, brewery, or store? There are too many to name! For Italian, Leeward is the best... for tacos, Bird & Co. For sushi, Yosaku... and for pizza, Tipo. For beer, Goodfire Brewery can't be beat. And for shopping, you really can't top LL Bean.
My favorite outdoor spot is any trail in Maine that features running water or a waterfall somewhere.
What are your thoughts on what makes women's leadership unique? Everyone has a unique leadership style. There are both men and women who have very effective leadership qualities. I believe Maine women do work together to create impact, and one of the best things about being a Mainer is that you're surrounded by people who are real and have a strong work ethic.
Maine is home to me by birth and choice! I was born here and, honestly, couldn't wait to go somewhere else when I was in high school. I ended up in Florida for most of my twenties, but I wanted to come back home to Maine to start a family. I am so glad to be here raising my daughter!