Benjamin Pollard of Portland publicly announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate on Thursday, January 19. He is currently serving as the president of Pollard Builders, an ecologically sustainable construction company based in Portland, which he founded in June of 2005.
Mr. Pollard grew up in Blue Hill and was the salutatorian at George Stevens Academy. He received a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University, focusing his studies on environmental policy and Latin America. While at Stanford, Mr. Pollard was a member of the varsity sailing team and was a reporter and the opinions editor of the Stanford Daily.
After graduating from Stanford, Mr. Pollard returned to Blue Hill where he worked as a reporter at the Weekly Packet newspaper, and then went on to become the news editor of the Castine Patriot. While living in Blue Hill, he was appointed to the Comprehensive Planning Committee at the age of 25, and was elected to the Blue Hill Planning Board the following year.
Mr. Pollard then took a position as the program associate at The Wilderness Society’s Northeast Regional Office in Boston and worked on Maine Woods conservation issues. He went on to attend the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, with the initial idea of returning to Maine to found an environmental education organization after completing his studies.
Through conversations with friends and reflection, he decided instead to work in the private sector, and found a for-profit enterprise that would use market forces to benefit the natural environment and generate profits that could be contributed to educational and advocacy organizations.
After learning about the tremendous impact of the built environment on the natural environment and receiving his masters’ degree in environmental management from Yale, Mr. Pollard decided to found an environmentally sustainable construction company. He moved to the Portland area after graduation and began working as an independent carpenter, first on projects led by other builders, and then running his own projects.