People and Business

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New Hires

Chris Friel was recently hired by Winxnet, a Portland-based IT solutions provider, as the senior engineer for the southern New England office. Having recently served VoDaVi Technologies as the president and CEO, Friel brings to Winxnet more than 12 years of experience in the IT industry. 

Catherine Saltz has been named as the new area controller of New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland. Her responsibilities include the financial administration of New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland as well as Health South Rehabilitation Hospital in Concord, N.H. Saltz has more than 25 years of experience in finance and accounting, including 16 years as a chief financial officer for various companies and organizations in Maine. She has worked in a variety of industries, with 11 years of experience in social service organizations primarily focused on residential services for the elderly and disabled. She holds an undergraduate degree from University of Southern Maine, an master’s in business from California State University. She is a certified public accountant.

Recently, the Portland Water District hired two new environmental educators: Carina Brown, of Portland, joins PWD after a summer internship leading salt marsh ecology tours at the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center. She graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a bachelor’s in biology. During school she volunteered at the Marine Animal Rehabilitation Center. Brown is originally from South Paris. Meghan Rounds, of Portland, is back with the Portland Water District for a second year as an environmental educator. She graduated from Keene State College with a degree in English and secondary education certification. After graduating, she worked in a small K-8 school in Vermont, where she offered assistance to classroom teachers, instructed literacy groups, and taught weekly middle school writing classes. An excellent writer, Rounds also authors the Sebago Reflections blog. She is originally from Hinsdale, N.H. The Portland Water District conducts school-based education and provides educational resources through its hydrologics program. The program brings hand-on environmental education to students of all ages in Greater Portland and the Lakes Region. 

Androscoggin Bank recently announced that it hired Deborah Dunlap Avasthi as an assistant vice president, professional services officer. She is a graduate of the University of Vermont and previously was the vice president of surety for Willis of Northern New England. Avasthi has more than 20 years of experience developing and maintaining long-term relationships. She will be a key member of the team delivering the bank’s concierge service for professional services clients.

Murray, Plumb & Murray recently announced the addition of a new associate attorney, Sara Hellstedt, to its Portland firm. Her practice will focus primarily on education, disability, and employment law. Hellstedt received her law degree magna cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law in 2007, where she served as the articles editor of the Maine Law Review. During law school, she served as an intern to First Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Kermit V. Lipez and received a Maine Association of Public Interest fellowship to work at the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association recently appointed long-time executive director Russell Libby to a new position as senior policy advisor. This appointment underscores MOFGA’s commitment to creating innovative public policy that supports organic local agriculture, protects the environment, and illuminates for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices. Libby became MOFGA’s Executive Director in 1995 after more than a decade of service on the organization’s board of directors. Under his leadership, MOFGA has become the country’s largest state-level organic association with members in more than 6,500 households and businesses; 418 certified organic farms and processing operations; a 400-acre, year-round education center; more than 1,500 volunteers; and 32 employees. 

The Iris Network in Portland is a long way from Nicaragua where Amber Mooney worked full-time for two years as a volunteer with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., Mooney holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and is poised to embark on a master’s in vision rehabilitation therapy while starting a new job as the community connections coordinator at the Iris Network. In her role Mooney will lead a collaborative effort to coordinate, organize, publicize and strengthen new and existing community-based therapeutic recreation and leisure activities throughout the state for people who are visually impaired or blind. Mooney will continue to give back in her community of South Portland as a Spanish tutor at South Portland High School, a member of the South Portland Library Advisory Board and as a medical interpreter for the Portland Community Free Clinic.

Sidebar Elements

Former Falmouth resident Mark Robinson won the 2012 Leadership Award from the Maine Town, City and County Management Association during its recent annual gathering in at the Jordan Grand Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Newry. Robinson has been Fayette Town Manager for eight years. He attended Falmouth High School and the University of Maine, and had previously served as Windham Parks and Recreation Director. Robinson, seen here with his parents, Nell and Bob Robinson, of Falmouth, lives in Fayette with his wife, Pam, and sons Brian, Matthew, and Christopher.