People and Business: Aug. 29

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Local nonprofits receive community building grants

PORTLAND — The Maine Community Foundation’s community building grant program recently awarded $33,210 in grants to 12 Cumberland County nonprofits.

Clean Air – Cool Planet was awarded a grant to work with the Greater Portland Council of Governments and within the greater Portland community to gather suggestions for how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and compile the responses into a regional climate plan.

Other grant awards went to the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust in Brunswick to support the final phase of a multi-year organizational development and capacity-building effort; The Center for Grieving Children in Portland to support the children’s survivors of suicide support group; Creative Portland Corporation, of Portland for capacity-building project facilitation and meeting support; Friends of Casco Bay of South Portland for equipment and staff time for training members to monitor coastal waters for pH levels; Independence Association of Brunswick, for the Spindleworks mentoring program “Artist : Artist,”; Let’s Get Ready of Boston, Mass., for the Maine Let’s Get Ready Project to improve college access for low-income high school students by providing free SAT preparation and counseling; Riding to the Top Therapeutic Riding Center of Windham for staffing needs; Seeds of Independence of Freeport to support the organization’s high school mentoring program; Terra Moto of Portland to support PORTLAND WORKS, a two-year, citywide civic arts project; The Community School of Camden for the expanding the Green Project Initiative to Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester; and the Rufus Porter Museum in Bridgton to expand its Cultural Heritage lecture and workshop series.
A volunteer committee of Cumberland County residents and business leaders reviews the applications and makes recommendations for funding. The next deadline for applying is Feb. 15, 2012. Application and guidelines will be available at

Professional Achievements

Michael Swartz, general manager of Tilson Technology Management, recently graduated from Maine Development Foundation’s Leadership Maine program, an intensive, year-long program that provides hands-on opportunities for learning about the Maine economy, and leadership styles used in government, corporate and non-profit sectors.

Wright-Pierce was named a top 500 design firm in the country by the Engineering News Record, a trade publication for the architecture, engineering and construction industry.  This is the second year in a row that Wright-Pierce has been named a top design firm.

Rosemont Market & Bakery
on Brighton Avenue in Portland was one of 10 Maine grocers recently certified as an Environmental Leader by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection for their voluntary efforts to reduce the impact their business has on the environment. Rosement sells organic Maine produce and dairy, locally raised meats and uses environmentally preferable cleaning products. The store also recycles cardboard, metal and glass, donates food to a local soup kitchen, and has eliminated the use of Styrofoam in their to-go containers.

Wright Express Corporation has announced that its call center recently made the Top 100 Call Center list after participating in the 15th annual Call Center Benchmarking Study conducted by BenchmarkPortal and The Center for Customer-Driven Quality.  Wright Express ranked 20th in the smaller centers with fewer than 100 agents category.

Mercy Hospital’s Breast Care Specialists of Maine recently received a full, three-year accreditation by the National Accreditation Program for Breast Centers, recognizing it as one of the leading breast care centers in the country.

Michael Keefe Sedgewick of Portland recently completed a 200-hour intensive yoga teacher training program through Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Mass. He is currently offering outdoor classes by donation in Portland’s public parks. A schedule of classes is available at

Brewster House Bed & Breakfast in Freeport was recently named a member of the Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America. The Select Registry is comprised of 400 inns throughout the U.S. and Canada that have passed an extensive inspection.

The Maine State Employee Health Commission recently named five hospitals throughout the state as a Tier 1 preferred provider. Mercy Hospital was recognized as the preferred hospital in greater Portland and Mid Coast Hospital was selected for the greater Brunswick area. By being named a Tier 1 hospital by the commission, it establishes Mercy and Mid Coast Hospital as a preferred provider for 40,000 state workers and their dependents and recognizes each hospital’s high level of patient quality, safety and experience.

Freeport-based Cold River Vodka, produced by Maine Distilleries was named one of the top five-star spirits in the world in 2011 by F. Paul Pacult in the trade publication Spirit Journal.

Sidebar Elements

Albert N. Vining of Falmouth, is pictured here with his sons, Donald and Clifford, and their wives, Joan and Ann, as he is presented with a legislative sentiment from Rep. Mary Nelson, D-Falmouth, on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Vining, who has remained active all his life, says his life’s motto has been, “you’ve got to keep moving.”

Jean Lamson of Cumberland, on left, receives a certificate for a free oil change at Haley’s Tire & Service Center from Matt Ahonen, of Haley’s Tire’s in Falmouth . Lamson was selected as Haley’s Tire’s Tireless Neighbor for her volunteer work in the food pantry at the Cumberland Congregational Church. Lamson has volunteered 20 or more hours a month at the food pantry since 2005. Congregational Church Senior Minister Diane Bennekamper nominated her for the award.