People and Business

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South Portland resident Ashley Soule was honored on the field at Fenway Park prior to the June 8 Boston Red Sox game against Los Angeles. Soule was named the Blood Donor of the Game after recently donating blood at an American Red Cross blood drive.

Merrymeeting Adult Education, a joint effort of School Administrative District 75 and the Brunswick School Department, has been awarded a MARTI Technology Grant. The ConnectME/MARTI project is a community education and professional development initiative being presented through the combined efforts of Maine Adult and Community Education and the ConnectME Authority. MARTI stands for Maine Adult Regional Technology Initiative. The grant will be providing training and laptops to four Merrymeeting academic teachers.

Avesta Housing awarded the 2013 Mike Yandell Award for extraordinary work in the field of affordable housing to John Ryan, president of Wright-Ryan Construction. During a presentation June 10, at Pearl Place II in Portland, Avesta President Dana Totman presented the award to Ryan in recognition of his commitment to making Maine communities better. Portland-based Wright-Ryan has built six projects for Avesta, three of them award-winning.

Good Deeds

People’s United Community Foundation, the philanthropic arm of People’s United Bank, awarded $67,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Maine. Twelve organizations received funding in support of activities that ranged from financial literacy and education programs, to basic needs services and affordable housing initiatives. Recipients included Mainestream Finance, Fair Tide, Genesis Fund, Boys and Girls Clubs of Southern Maine, the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and Wayside Food Programs.

The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation awarded a $30,000 grant to HomeHealth Visiting Nurses to support their compassionate care program. HHVN provides home-based skilled nursing, palliative care, rehabilitative therapies, telehealth, and a full range of community health and wellness services to adults and children throughout York, Cumberland, and southern Oxford counties. Donations, such as that from the Sewall Foundation, enable HHVN to achieve its mission of providing essential health services to the most vulnerable patients throughout southern Maine, regardless of their ability to pay. In caring for this at-risk population, HHVN provided more than $800,000 of compassionate care and uncompensated care last year. The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation was established by Elmina Brewster Sewall, of Kennebunk, in 1982. The foundation strives to enhance the quality of life for those in Maine through the conservation of the natural environment and support for the well being of animals and humans.

New Hires, Promotions and Appointments 

Verrill Dana welcomed Nora Lawrence and Stephen Segal to the firm as summer associates. The summer program is designed to provide an opportunity for second year law students to experience the law practice of a typical associate at the firm. Lawrence and Segal will rotate through several departments and practice groups in the firm’s Portland office over the course of the summer. Lawrence will begin her third year in the fall at Boston College School of Law. She received her undergraduate degree magna cum laude from Amherst College. Segal begins his third year in the fall at the University of Maine School of Law. He earned both a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude and a master’s degree in history from Clark University.

The Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers elected Toby Dilworth as president of the association. Dilworth, a lawyer at Drummond Woodsum, has more than 20 years of trial experience, concentrating in commercial litigation, white collar defense, and internal investigations. He currently represents business owners, lawyers, medical providers, and other professionals who find themselves the subject of federal and state criminal investigations.

Sarah Tracy joined Pierce Atwood as counsel in its energy practice group. She will reside in the firm’s Portland office. Tracy’s practice focuses primarily on electric and natural gas proceedings before state and federal entities, including state public utility commissions and state and federal courts. She counsels and represents her clients on a range of matters that include rate recovery and design, transmission development, long-term contracts for the purchase of energy, capacity and renewable energy credits, Class I new renewable resource certification, and issues relating to competitive electricity providers. She has also represented water utilities before the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Grants and Fellowships

Daniel Sonenberg, an associate professor of music and resident composer at the University of Southern Maine, was awarded the Provost’s Research Fellowship, allowing him to work on the orchestration of his opera “The Summer King.” “The Summer King” details the life of Negro League baseball player Josh Gibson who played from 1930-1946. Gibson, who was known as the “Black Babe Ruth,” died three months before the integration of baseball in the Major Leagues. The USM Provost’s Research Fellowship is designed to allow the recipient, who must be a tenured professor, the opportunity to spend time on activities related to research, creative work and scholarly attainment. Recipients are chosen through a competitive process. Sonenberg was also awarded the Trustee Professorship which is given by the University of Maine System Board of Trustees to reward excellence among faculty members at University of Maine System campuses.


Avesta Housing celebrated the grand opening of Pearl Place II, a 54-apartment affordable housing community in Portland’s Bayside neighborhood. With the opening of Pearl Place II, Avesta marked the culmination of a nearly decade-long plan to build at least 100 new housing units in the Bayside neighborhood at the site of a former plumbing warehouse. Pearl Place II has one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments for households making 50 and 60 percent of the area median income. The property also has a number of green features, including solar panels to heat domestic hot water, high-efficiency condensing boilers and an energy recovery ventilation system.