UNH Cooperative Extension is pleased to announce that Stephen Meno joined the Community and Economic Development team as a field specialist in Hillsborough County in January. Meno will focus his efforts on stakeholder engagement around a variety of economic development topics, including sustainable tourism, downtown revitalization, the nature economy, business retention and the role of education in workforce development.
“I am really excited to start my role in Hillsborough County,” he said. “As a planner with the Nashua Regional Planning Commission (NRPC), I have already established good working relationships with many of the towns in the county.” When asked what it was about the position that interested him, he said, “Hillsborough County is such a unique area in New Hampshire. Its mix of rural and urban places provides so many opportunities to do innovative and interesting economic development work.”
Over the last three years, Meno served as a regional planner for NRPC, where he worked on land use, economic development and natural resource-related issues. In his role with NPRC, he served as the planning circuit rider for Wilton and helped them update their downtown commercial district ordinance, a project he initiated after having participated in UNH Extension’s Economic Development Academy in 2017. He also completed an economic feasibility study for a riverwalk extension and a collaborative working space in Wilton’s downtown.
Meno’s work extends into the county’s more urban areas, such as in Nashua, where he completed a climate and health adaptation plan focusing on the urban heat island effect and heat-related illness.
He holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University and a master’s degree in regional planning from the University of Massachusetts.
“We are thrilled to have Stephen join our team,” said Charlie French, the Community and Economic Development program leader. Shannon Rogers, chair of the Nature Economy Area of Expertise, noted, “Not only is Stephen familiar with Hillsborough County and its 31 communities, but he understands Extension’s approach to building community capacity. And he has creative ideas for growing the nature economy in the region.”