The Team

The Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company is 100% owned, managed, and operated by Passamaquoddy Tribe members.

The Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company provides full-time, year-round, and seasonal jobs for Passamaquoddy Tribe members.

The Team

Darren Paul, General Manager

Darren Paul, General Manager of PWBC, has been with the Company since 2008, in this position since 2009, and is a Member of the Maine Wild Blueberry Commission. Darren oversees all PWBC operations, including farming and the administration of the Company. Darren is an enrolled member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

In his rare free time, Darren enjoys hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

J.D. Newell, Farm Manager

J.D. Newell, Farm Manager, has been with PWBC since the harvest season in 2000 as a seasonal employee. J.D. was farm manager for the 2008 season and assisted the current administration by overseeing farming operations from 2009 until 2014. In 2014, he became the Farm Manager. J.D. is specifically in charge of all farming operations, including but not limited to pruning, fertilizing, and organizing/managing the harvest. J.D. has vast experience in the wild blueberry industry. J.D. is an enrolled member of the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

In his free time, J.D. enjoys hunting, fishing, spending time with his family.

Grace Falzarano, Bookkeeper

Grace Falzarano, Bookkeeper, started with PWBC in 2000. While her title has remained the same, she has taken on various responsibilities beyond bookkeeping during her tenure with the Company. Grace organizes our hand-rakers during the harvest, coordinates our grant reporting, and manages accounts payable and receivable.

As a resident of Columbia Falls, Grace enjoys volunteering and serving on various boards, including the Pleasant River Historical Society. Grace was a recent recipient of the Spirit of America Foundation award honoring her volunteering efforts. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, gardening, and quilting.

Holli Francis, Product Manager

Holli Francis, Product Manager with PWBC, joined the Company in 2021. She is in charge of developing new products and has extensive experience in marketing, sales, and food distribution. Holli’s husband and toddler son are Passamaquoddy Tribe members; because of this, Holli has a vested interest in the success of PWBC and is committed to further grow the customer base, the brand and share the wild blueberry cultural heritage and harvesting tradition of the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

Holli lives in the Portland, Maine area. Her family spends most of their time together exploring the outdoors—golfing, hiking, running, snow-shoeing, and enjoying the beautiful state of Maine.

The Seasonal Crew

Every August, hundreds of Passamaquoddy and Wabanaki people (including members of Maliseet, Micmac, and Penobscot Tribes), as well as non-Tribal rakers, flock to Columbia Falls to participate in the wild blueberry harvest.

Board Members

Brian Altvater, Chairman of the Board

Cyril Francis, Passamaquoddy Tribe Member

Carl Nicholas, Passamaquoddy Tribe Member

Justina Niles, Passamaquoddy Tribe Member

Robert Gips, Independent Board Member