Rick Bennett was elected Chairman of the Maine Republican Party in July 2013 and re-elected unanimously on February 14, 2015. As Chairman he also served as a member of the Republican National Committee. During his tenure, the Maine GOP made history: re-electing Governor Paul LePage with the most votes of any Governor in Maine history, delivering a Presidential Elector to the GOP nominee for the first time since 1988, re-electing a Republican congressman for the first time since 1992, re-electing a Republican State Senate for the first time since 1980, and adding Republican seats to the Maine House of Representatives in three consecutive years. On December 19, 2016, Rick personally served as Presidential Elector for Donald J. Trump, the only Republican Elector in New England.
Rick Bennett has a long and dedicated history in the Maine GOP, including roles as Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and Executive Director. From May 2008 to September 2012 he served as Maine’s Republican National Committeeman. He has twice served as Chairman of the Maine Republican State Convention, and he has worked on numerous campaigns beginning with President Reagan’s re-election in 1984 to many others at the state and local levels.
Rick Bennett, a Maine native, has family roots in Oxford County going back over two centuries. He is currently President and CEO of ValueEdge Advisors, a firm he formed in summer 2014 to help institutional investors engage with their portfolio companies. Earlier he was CEO and then Chairman of GMI Ratings and its predecessor, The Corporate Library, a globally recognized investment research firm headquartered in Portland, Maine, with offices in New York, San Diego and London. Under Rick’s leadership from 2006, the firm grew from a money-losing start-up to a profitable global enterprise employing approximately 50 people in its Maine offices.
A serial entrepreneur, Rick has founded and owned several businesses. Also for the last 14 years, Rick has served on the board of directors of GWI, the 60-plus-person telecom company and internet service provider based in Biddeford, Maine, where he has helped that business adapt and grow in a volatile, fast-moving market.
Throughout his earlier 12 years of public service, Rick was a reformer and staunch advocate for fiscal discipline, balanced budgets, term limits, and governmental accountability. Rick represented western Maine for four terms in the Maine Senate, from 1996 to 2004. In 2000 with a partisan tie in the Maine Senate, he was unanimously elected as President of the Senate in a unique power-sharing agreement. From 1990 to 1994 he served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives. In 1994 he won a four-way primary to become the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in Maine’s second district.
As a business leader, Rick has received many recognitions from around the globe. In December 2010 Rick Bennett was named by Global Proxy Watch as one of the “10 people around the world who had the most impact of corporate governance in the previous year”. And since 2008 he has been recognized repeatedly by Directorship magazine in its list of the 100 "most influential people in corporate governance and the boardroom." Rick’s work has been cited in numerous publications including Business Week, USA Today, Fortune, The Daily Deal, Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal. Rick has spoken publicly about corporate accountability issues at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Columbia University, the USC Marshall School of Business and The Conference Board, among other institutions. Additionally, Rick was a non-executive director of Trucost plc, an environmental data firm from 2004 to 2016, and from 2009 through 2014 he was annually elected to the Board of Governors of the International Corporate Governance Network.
Since completing his public service, Rick served for several years on the boards of the Maine Heritage Policy Center and the Maine Conservation Voters. Since 2010 Rick has been a trustee of Hebron Academy. In 2005 Rick was appointed by President Bush to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, on which he served until 2009. He is a fellow with the U.S.-Japan Leadership Program, was delegate to the 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Republican National Conventions, and participated as an observer to the national election in Macedonia in 2002.
Rick received his B.A. with honors from Harvard University in 1986 and his M.B.A. from the University of Southern Maine in 2000. At home, he farms Christmas trees, and enjoys long-distance running, having completed ten marathons and two ultramarathons. He lives in Oxford, Maine, with his wife Karen and two college-aged children, Abby and Nathaniel.