Central Maine business briefs: Gardiner nonprofit welcomes new board members

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Healthy Communities of the Capital Area welcomes new board members

GARDINER — Healthy Communities of the Capital Area has announced that Dr. Salam Al-Omaishi, Patrica Clark, Sara Grant and Colin Webb are joining its Board of Directors.

Salam Al-Omaishi Contributed photo

Al-Omaishi is a PGY-1 Family Medicine Resident at Maine-Dartmouth Family Medicine Residency and holds an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from the College of New Jersey and graduate degrees in engineering management from Duke University and biomedical engineering from University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He has a particular interest in working with the refugee population and partners with nonprofit on tobacco prevention education in collaboration with the Capital Area New Mainers Project.

Patricia Clark Contributed photo

Clark is the director of Early Childhood Studies and a professor at the University of Maine at Augusta, specializing in teaching teachers and social work majors in early childhood, special needs, and family courses. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and journalism, Bachelor of Science degree in education, Master of Science degree in special education, and higher degrees in early intervention and special education and public policy. She connected with nonprofit by borrowing and using the Let’s Go! Story Walk at various sites in Readfield, and by having the nonprofit’s Nan Bell as a guest speaker for her UMA students.

Sara Grant Contributed photo

Grant is the director of the AmeriCorps Senior Companion Program at the University of Maine Center on Aging. She has focused her studies and professional career on working with older adults and community-based initiatives to create lasting social change on many fronts. She has yet to formally partner with the nonprofit, but believes the work of many hands makes challenging tasks that much easier to accomplish and is eager to help with age friendly and livable initiatives that benefit people of all ages and abilities.

Colin Webb Contributed photo

Webb is an overdose prevention specialist in Harm Reduction at MaineGeneral Health’s Prevention and Healthy Living Center. He graduated with a double major in organizational communication and business management from Assumption University in Worcester, Massachusetts. His work supports the nonprofit’s harm reduction efforts in area communities. It is his passion and career goal to serve the people of Maine.

“Our Board of Directors are critical community partners in HCCA’s work,” said Renee Page, executive director, according to a news release from the nonprofit. “Given the current challenges in public health, it has never been more important to bring in the community voice and drive to make change, and we’re thrilled these engaged, passionate community members will join our mission.”

The nonprofit voted in its newest board members at its 2021 annual meeting on May 24. The meeting also brought two board members’ tenure to a close: Dr. Samantha Deming-Berr and Dr. Barbara Moss. The nonprofit is grateful for Moss and Deming-Berr’s contributions during their time on the its Board of Directors.

Hannah Levesque joins Auburn Real Estate team

Hannah Levesque has joined the  Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader team at their Auburn location.

Hannah Levesque Contributed photo

She grew up in Monmouth and attended Monmouth Academy. Her previous experience in the food industry has enriched her customer service skills and allowed her to realize her love of helping people. As a sales agent, Levesque will be able to continue serving the people in her community, while guiding them through the entire real estate process.

Levesque, who resides in Wales, comes to Fontaine with her sales agent license and looks forward to helping both buyers and sellers achieve their real estate goals with the support of the Fontaine Team.

Fontaine Family – The Real Estate Leader is a highly skilled real estate team of licensed professionals dedicated to focusing on the client.  The Fontaine Family Team serves eight counties — Androscoggin, Cumberland, York, Sagadahoc, Oxford, Kennebec, Franklin and Somerset — in two locations, 336 Center St. in Auburn and 432 US Route One in Scarborough.

Trafton Matzen Belleau & Frenette, LLP attorney honored on Super Lawyers List

AUBURN — James E. Belleau from the firm Trafton Matzen Belleau & Frenette has been honored on the 2021 New England Super Lawyers List in the area of General Civil Litigation.

James E. Belleau Contributed photo

Belleau’s practice concentrates on civil and business litigation as well as construction, commercial and municipal law. He also has concentrates in representing professionals in administrative licensing proceedings including physicians, dentists, oral surgeons and licensed social workers.

He is a partner/owner of the law firm Trafton Matzen Belleau & Frenette. He was admitted to the Maine Bar in 1996 and the federal courts in 2000. Attorney Belleau has an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating in the distinguished legal directory, Martindale Hubbell. In 2010 he was selected to the New England Rising Stars list and by Chambers USA/America’s Leading Lawyers for Business in the area of Litigation: Medical Malpractice & Insurance.

Attorney Belleau lives in Lewiston with his wife Rebecca and their four children.

Franklin Savings names new director of board, hires vice president, commercial loan officer

Franklin Savings Bank has welcomed Matt DuBois to the Board of Directors.

He fills a vacancy left when Mary Ellen Carpenter of Skowhegan retired after serving on the Board of Directors for 28 years.

Matt DuBois Contributed photo

DuBois was elected to the Franklin Savings Bank Board of Directors to represent the Skowhegan and Somerset markets. FSB Board Chairman Rick Walker said, “He brings to the Board the important small business owner perspective as well as his great connection to Somerset County.”

DuBois is cofounder of The Bankery, Custom Cakes & Pastries and co-owner of Skowhegan Fleuriste & Formalwear in downtown Skowhegan. The Bankery began as a charming circa 1864 bank in the heart of historic downtown Skowhegan that Matt and his husband and business partner, Michael Hunt, transformed into their dream bakery in 2008.

DuBois is proud to be joining the FSB Board of Directors. “Franklin Savings Bank has been instrumental for the success of our businesses for the past 12-plus years. We feel they are more than a bank, they are a partner,” said DuBois. “I am honored to serve as a director and proud to be FSB.”

After a few years in business, DuBois’ twin brother, Mike, joined the team. “The three of us — with the unending dedication and support of our employees, families and community — have grown our businesses into a local hub of artisanship,” said DuBois.

DuBois is the board president of Main Street Skowhegan, holds a vice chair position for Skowhegan Economic & Community Development and is on the board of directors for Maine Community Foundation. DuBois said, “We feel strongly about playing a role in ensuring the vitality of our community.”

“Matt’s commitment to the community is directly aligned with our mission,” said Tim Thompson, president and CEO of Franklin Savings Bank.

DuBois is a Millinocket native. He graduated from Connecticut Culinary Institute and went on to the Maine State Florists and Growers Association where he earned the Master Floral Designer designation.

Also, Tim Tunney, one of coastal Maine’s most experienced commercial lenders, has joined Franklin Savings Bank as a vice president, commercial loan officer.

Tim Tunney Contributed photo

“Tim has a wealth of knowledge, experience, and connection to the greater Ellsworth community and we’re confident that having him on board will enable us to start writing an exciting new chapter in the growth of our commercial business in eastern Maine,” said Derek Hayes, senior vice president, Director of Commercial Lending.

Tunney has enjoyed his work in commercial banking in Hancock County for the past 15 years and, during that time, has assisted numerous business owners in virtually all industries represented in the area.

He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and his master’s degree from the University of Maine.

Recently, he completed a three-year program at Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Additionally, he has completed the Northern New England School of Banking and American Bankers Association Foundation and advanced Commercial Lending School.

Tunney is inspired to give back to the New England community. He serves as treasurer on the boards of both the Blue Hill Cooperative and the Peninsula Conservation Corporation. He is also an eight-time Boston Marathon finisher.

He enjoys and resides in coastal Maine with his son.

Franklin Savings Bank is a community bank founded in 1868 which serves Maine’s western, central, and Downeast regions of Maine from eight locations.

University of Maine at Augusta Recognized for Outstanding Educational Support to Veterans by Military Times

The University of Maine at Augusta has been recognized by Military Times as Best for Vets, for its exceptional service to veterans, military service members, and their families.

“UMA’s faculty and staff are dedicated to maintaining a welcoming community for all,” stated UMA President Rebecca Wyke, according to a news release from the university. “Receiving this recognition confirms our commitment to providing educational opportunities to military service members and veterans that began in 1965 and continues to this day,” Wyke continued.

Contributed photo

“We are very pleased to receive this recognition by Military Times again this year,” said Amy Line, UMA Director of Military and Veterans’ Services. “Our support for military service members and veterans, and their families begins when they apply and continues until they successfully complete their degree program.”

UMA’s class schedule provides flexibility for students who are employed and/or meeting family obligations and offers a variety of courses modes — in person, online, and high-flex options such as delayed viewing. Additionally, UMA provides many degree areas that military service members and veterans are seeking, including business administration, cybersecurity, computer information systems, and medical fields to name a few.

According to Military Times, “Military Times Best for Vets: Colleges is the largest and most comprehensive rankings of schools for military service members and veterans.” The rankings are “based on survey responses from schools as well as public data about colleges and universities obtained from the Department of Education and Department of Veterans Affairs.”

For the Military Times Best for Vets ranking, institutions were evaluated in four categories: academic and financial aid information, admissions and registration information, and military resources at the institution and tracking student success.

Betsy Sawyer-Manter, President and CEO of SeniorsPlus, receives the 2021 Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award

Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award

LEWISTON — At an annual awards celebration on June 24, the LA Metro Chamber presented Betsy Sawyer-Manter, president and CEO of SeniorsPlus, with the 2021 Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award.

SeniorsPlus is the designated Area Agency on Aging serving Androscoggin, Franklin, and Oxford counties.

Theresa Samson, left, with Betsy Sawyer-Manter, president and CEO of SeniorsPlus, recipient of the 2021 Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award. Photo by Kait Gallagher, GingerSnap Rentals

Sawyer-Manter has been the president and CEO of SeniorsPlus since 2009. During her tenure, the nonprofit’s annual budget has grown from $19 million to $34 million as SeniorsPlus added new services including Fiscal Intermediary services, Veterans Independence Program, Dementia Capable Maine, Money Minders, and enhanced Education Center offerings. Sawyer-Manter is a founding member of the Maine Council on Aging and is active in many committees and work groups at the state level.

The Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award honors a successful woman business owner or primary manager for her business success, career achievements and contributions to the community. Businesses led by women are and will continue to have a noticeable impact on the economy. This annual award helps inspire the continued growth of women leading businesses in our community. The LA Metro Chamber serves the greater Lewiston-Auburn metropolitan area. The Annual Awards Celebration was held at the Poland Spring Resort and was attended by more than 200 people.

Maine Justice Foundation honors three attorneys

HALLOWELL — Three Maine lawyers who are champions of civil legal aid have been recognized by the Board of the Maine Justice Foundation: Charles F. Dingman of Kozak & Gayer in Augusta, Jennifer Bailey of Immigration Legal Advocacy Project, and Sara A. Murphy of Pierce Atwood.

Board President H. Lowell Brown, Esq., said, “We are proud to recognize these attorneys for undertaking public service and practicing law in a way that fulfills the mission of the foundation, which is to make sure that all Maine people have access to our system of justice. These awards shine a light on critical advocacy that too often goes unheralded,” according to a news release from the foundation.

“The work of our awardees to ensure that all Mainers can access the courts and legal representation is indeed extraordinary,” Executive Director Michelle G. Draeger said. “We hope that this recognition rewards their efforts in some small way and inspires members of the Maine Bar to emulate them.”

Howard H. Dana, Jr. Award to Charles F. Dingman, Esq. of Kozak & Gayer, P.A.

The foundation has presented this award annually since 1984 to a Maine lawyer to recognize contributions that enhance access to civil legal assistance for poor and vulnerable Mainers. The award honors Justice Howard H. Dana, Jr., a foundation leader and dedicated advocate for equal justice.

Dingman’s tireless pursuit of increased funding for legal aid has resulted in countless Maine people receiving access to legal representation when they otherwise would not have received it. He is a champion for the critical role of systemic advocacy in increasing access to justice. He has served on the board of Maine Equal Justice for 17 years, as a leader in the Justice Action Group for 11 years, and as a volunteer for the Campaign for Justice since 2007, including as the 2012 Campaign chair. Dingman’s steadfast pursuit of access to justice for all spans two decades and reflects many hundreds of hours devoted to this cause. Dingman embodies the spirit and essence of the Dana Award.

Thomas P. Downing, Jr. Award to Jennifer Bailey, Esq. of Immigration Legal Advocacy Project.

A graduate of Cheverus High School, Brown University, and Georgetown Law, Thomas P. Downing, Jr. was one of the first attorneys hired by Pine Tree Legal Assistance in the late 1960s. He then worked at the Maine Legislature, where he met and married his co-worker Diana Scully. Their son James was born in 1984. In the summer 1985, Downing was diagnosed with brain cancer, and he died that November. His family created the Downing Fund and Award to recognize legal aid staff dedicated to access to civil justice for vulnerable Mainers.

In memory of Downing, the foundation recognizes Jennifer Bailey as this year’s Downing Award recipient. Bailey has worked in legal aid, and particularly for immigrants seeking asylum, for several decades and at ILAP for the last 12 years. Moreover, she has led ILAP’s asylum program during an extremely challenging period. She previously worked for the University of Maine School of Law’s Refugee & Human Rights Clinic, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Human Rights Watch, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Costa Rica, and South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project. Her long career as a legal aid attorney makes her a most deserving recipient of the Downing Award.

New Lawyer Award to Sara A. Murphy, Esq. of Pierce Atwood, LLP.

Since 2011, the foundation has recognized outstanding lawyers, licensed to practice in Maine for fewer than 10 years, who exemplify the ideals of increasing access to justice and make outstanding contributions to the legal profession and public good through pro bono service.

Murphy is a member of the Maine Civil Legal Services Fund Commission and undertakes extensive pro bono work on behalf of guardians ad litem in child protection matters. She also contributed countless hours of pro bono work as lead counsel in a complaint on behalf of a Maine immigrant detainee to block his transfer to another location as part of a routine practice by ICE to detain immigrants in locations with a high risk of COVID-19 infection. Murphy is an associate in the Litigation Practice Group at Pierce Atwood, focusing on complex commercial litigation and class action defense. Sara is worthy recipient of the New Lawyer Award, already having made significant contributions to the Foundation’s mission of ensuring access to justice for all people in Maine.

The Maine Justice Foundation, founded in 1983 as the Maine Bar Foundation, is the state’s leading funder of civil legal aid for poor and vulnerable Mainers.

For more business news, visit CentralMaine.com.

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