People and Business

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Hires, Promotions, Appointments

Portland law firm Verrill Dana recently named Susan E. Bryant as counsel in its Business & Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions and Securities Law groups. Previously, Bryant practiced at her own boutique law firm, and also headed the Oklahoma Department of Securities. She earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma School of Law and her undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Wellesley College.

Kenneth Ross, of South Portland, was recently elected chairman of the board of directors of Clark Insurance, a Portland-based insurance agency serving Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Ross joined the agency in 1989 and has served as its president since 2010. G. Jeffrey Shaw, previously executive vice president and sales manager, was named president. Jeffrey Lind was elected executive vice president after serving as vice president and treasurer.

The Portland Symphony Orchestra has selected Carolyn Nishon, previously the PSO’s general manager, as its new executive director. Chosen after a nationwide search, she replaces outgoing executive director Lisa Dixon French. Nishon joined the PSO in 2008, and has served as its artistic administrator and orchestra manager, director of artistic operations, interim executive director and general manager. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and psychology from the University of Michigan, where she served as publicity director and executive director for the University of Michigan Pops Orchestra.

Trinity Episcopal Church, of Portland, has hired Thew Elliott as music director. He previously served as artist in residence and later director of music for Dumbarton United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., and also was a private music instructor. Elliott attended Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, Spring Arbor University and Western Michigan University.

Sarah Plimpton has joined Waynflete, a private school in Portland, as director of development. She previously served as a vice president at CCS, an international fundraising consulting firm, and was a campaign consultant to Waynflete. Plimpton is a graduate of Bates College, and lives in Portland.

The MEMIC Group, a workers’ compensation insurer headquartered in Portland, has promoted Rebecca LeClair to information technology director of application development. LeClair joined MEMIC in 1999, and most recently served as director of information technology operations. Steve Hughes, previously a network operations manager, has been promoted to LeClair’s former position.

Mike Sullivan, of Yarmouth, has joined the American Red Cross in Maine as a major gifts officer. He previously was director of external relations for Volunteers of America Northern New England, and served in leadership roles at two Boston-area nonprofit groups. Sullivan holds an undergraduate degree in public health and epidemiology from the University of Maine at Farmington, and a master’s degree in nonprofit management and global development from Northeastern University.


John Watson, chief financial officer of The Cedars retirement community in Portland, has received the 2015 Outstanding Advocacy Award from LeadingAge, a national association representing 6,000 nonprofit aging-services organizations throughout the United States. The award recognizes Watson’s advocacy in educating state legislators, officials in the governor’s office and others about senior care reimbursement issues. Watson has served with The Cedars since 1987. He will accept the award at a conference in November in Boston.

New Beginnings

Style Me Portland, a high-end women’s clothing boutique and beauty bar, last week opened for business at 29 Wharf St., in Portland’s Old Port district. Style Me Portland is owned by Erin Ovalle, a news anchor on WMTW-TV 8, and Dr. Christine Blake, a family physician. Ovalle and Blake will continue in their jobs, but have launched the business to offer “a luxury experience that’s local and affordable,” according to a press release.