Harold "Trey" Stewart III '18 (MBA) serves in Maine House of Representatives

When he’s not studying for his MBA, Harold “Trey” Stewart III ’18 is helping to run the government.

Stewart, who is earning his degree through the Maine Business School’s online MBA program, is serving his first term in the Maine House of Representatives for District 147, which encompasses most of Presque Isle.

A University of Maine alumnus who graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology and a minor in business administration and legal studies, Stewart was elected to the Legislature in November 2016. He serves on the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee and the Task Force to Address the Opioid Crisis in the state. The youngest member of the 128th Legislature, Stewart, 23, says his legislative duties and MBA studies complement each other.

“The concepts I am learning in my business classes enable me to understand the issues I am voting on, whether they involve tax policies or the implications of government regulations on Maine’s businesses.”

“Each of my classes has given me a better understanding of the overlap that exists between business and government. I have a great opportunity to help craft laws that benefit business and result in job growth and economic expansion.”

A native of Presque Isle, Stewart raised his political profile while at UMaine. He served in the student senate, as president and vice president of the student body, and as chair of the College Republicans. He decided to run for the Legislature when he was a senior, spending every weekend in Presque Isle, knocking on doors and attending public events.

“Aroostook County needs legislators focused on restoring the area’s voice and relevancy in Augusta,” he says. “For too long our representation has been weak and unorganized and Aroostook County and northern Maine have suffered for it. We need representatives who are committed to revitalizing this part of Maine and figuring out how Aroostook County can adapt to the demands of the 21st century.”

The convenience of the online MBA program has made it possible for him to continue his education, says Stewart, who typically completes his schoolwork in his hotel when the Legislature is over for the day.

He sponsored three bills that passed during the last legislative session, including one that made capital improvements to Loring Commerce Center—formerly Loring Air Force Base.

Stewart’s interest in politics was piqued in high school when he worked as an intern for U.S. Representative Bruce Poliquin. That led to Stewart’s participation in Dirigo Boys State and in Maine Youth and Government, experiential programs that teach leadership, the value of public service and the responsibility of the individual voice and vote. Those lessons stayed with him. When he came to UMaine he joined Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, a leadership and service-based organization.

Stewart hasn’t finalized his post-graduation plans but is considering opening his own consulting business where he would focus on digital marketing.

“My e-commerce class with Professor Nory Jones gave me a ton of ideas for ways to help businesses in Aroostook County that struggle to have an online presence,” he says.