Steve Marchand founded One Portsmouth in 2015 as a way to help focus the passion, talent, and love of Portsmouth he sees in the community every day into getting more great people into civic life.
In his time doing public, private, and non-profit sector work, Steve travels the state, and keeps coming back to the sheer amount of talent present in our small city. Relative to much larger communities, the level of creativity, entrepreneurism, pride, cultural opportunity, history, education, philanthropy – you name it – is remarkable.
This is due, in no small part, to the combination of residents with deep, historic roots in our community, mixed with an unmatched amount of talent and energy (both young and experienced) constantly seeking to join the community. The rest of the state (and beyond) recognizes the unique dynamism of Portsmouth, but what needs to be done to keep our community moving forward, embracing both old and new?
For Steve, with a background in both local politics and public policy, three keys to answering that question included:
1) Motivating more of the talented people he was meeting every day to get involved in civic life, including local elected office;
2) Engaging the community by discussing the “virtuous triangle” that most communities desire, but few truly have (high-quality public services, a dynamic local economy, and tax,spending and growth policies that keep residential property tax increases at or below inflation);
3) Celebrating and promoting strong leadership that focuses on collaboration, competence, courtesy, and the common good to achieve defined outcomes that matter most to our community.
Talking to many members of the community informally over the past several years motivated Steve to create a place in the community where we can discuss, pursue, and achieve the goal of making our community and its leadership the best it can be. And that’s how One Portsmouth came to be.
Although One Portsmouth is new, Steve’s been around for a while.
A New Hampshire native, Steve and his wife, Sandi Hennequin, moved to Portsmouth in late 2000. Sandi had grown up a Navy brat, and Steve, a Manchester native, had loved visiting the Seacoast.
In 2003, having just bought their first home, and pregnant with their first daughter, Steve decided to use his background (first, as an auditor of city, county, and state governments, then as a gubernatorial campaign manager and strategist) to get involved in Portsmouth’s civic life, running for City Council.
He was elected that year, then re-elected to the role of mayor at the age of 31 in 2005. Since leaving office in 2008, Steve has remained active in Portsmouth civic life. He’s served on the boards of the United Way of the Greater Seacoast, Seacoast Repertory Theatre, the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, and Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS), and co-chaired a successful capital campaign on behalf of Prescott Park Arts Festival. Steve was a candidate for Governor of New Hampshire in 2016, and is again for the 2018 election cycle. Professionally, he has his own consulting firm, SRM Consulting. His work includes performance audits of municipal, county and state government departments around the country, as well as consulting and advisory work for local, state, and national private and non-profit organizations.
Steve and his wife, Sandi, have two daughters (Abbi attends Portsmouth High School, and Maggie attends Portsmouth Middle School). The family also has two corgis, Thatcher and Gorby, who pretty much run the house.