Normand Charest grew up in Berlin, New Hampshire, where his father and grandfather worked in paper mills. Charest worked one summer in the Bermaco mill and decided he would not continue in the industry. He was self-employed, then, for 30 years: he ran a Radio Shack, did freelance photography, consulted for renewable energy, and managed rock and roll bands. Since 1991, Charest has worked as an economic development director for Berlin, facilitating new business or business expansion.
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Pfeiffer, Mariah, "Charest, Norman oral history interview" (2006). Androscoggin River Oral History Collection. 2.