People and Business: Aug. 3

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Yarmouth businesses recently gathered to honor area employees for excellence in the workplace at the 11th annual Spirit of Excellence Awards luncheon. The Spirit of Excellence Award recognizes non-managerial employees for their superior service. Each honoree is nominated by a supervisor. Brian Ericson of Yarmouth, clinical lead nurse at the Mercy Hospital Emergency Department, was recognized for his work as a role model, mentor and teacher. Other awardees include Katharine Bachman, Broadreach Public Relations; Laurie Brigham, Yarmouth School Department; Jane Daniels, Casco Bay Home Care; Teresa Eaton, Terri Wright State Farm Insurance; Aimee Gallant-Bruns, Bath Savings Institution; Larry Lachance and Shirley Theriault, Casco Bay Ford; Donna Polley, Hannaford; John Romasco, Bay Square at Yarmouth; Sally Steinhagen, Peoples United Bank. The Spirit of Excellence Awards luncheon was launched in 2000 and is hosted by the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Yarmouth.

Baystate Financial Services awarded Jon Hiltz of Topsham the company’s 2010 Rick Larsen Award, which honors an individual who has demonstrated exceptional integrity, ethics, community service and agency spirit. The award includes a $500 donation to be made in his name to a non-profit community organization of his choosing. Hiltz, who works out of the company’s Falmouth office, volunteers with several local organizations including Maine Handicapped Skiing, where he teaches adaptive sports activities to people with disabilities. Hiltz also serves on the United Way’s Success by 6 Council, which helps families with young children improve school readiness and early literacy. Hiltz decided to split the $500 donation between the two organizations.

Stanley T. Bennett II, the former president and CEO of one of Maine’s premier dairies, was honored posthumously with the Maine Forest Service’s Project Canopy Community Forest Award. The family of Stanley T. Bennett II accepted the award on his behalf during an Arbor Day celebration and awards ceremony held by the Maine Forest Service. Bennett was known for his support of the Portland Tree Trust and the Yarmouth Tree Trust. He also established the Oakhurst ReLeaf Fund for the replanting of trees that were lost during a 1998 ice storm that devastated Maine. Oakhurst donated $100,000 to the effort, which enabled the Maine Forest Service to leverage 4 to 1 for federal dollars for the project. Also present for the award ceremony was Frank Knight, the 102-year-old former Yarmouth tree warden and guardian of “Herbie,” the iconic Yarmouth elm tree that was cut down last year. In 2010 the community forest award was named in Knight’s Honor and is now called the Frank Knight Community Forestry Excellence Award.

Todd Grove of Portland was recently named the nation’s “top producer” by LTC Financial Partners LLC, distinguishing himself as one of the top 10 long-term care insurance specialists, for the last 18 years in a row, by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Donations, Grants Received

Berlin City Auto Group, and its Drive for Education foundation, recently named two Portland schools as recipients in its Drive for Education program. Ocean Avenue Elementary School and Lyseth Elementary School were among 12 New England schools that received a donation of up to $3,500. Berlin City awarded a total of $40,276 to schools in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont in honor of National Teacher Day.

Pine Tree Legal Assistance
was awarded a three-year Fair Housing Initiatives Project grant totaling $975,000 from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to continue enforcement of federal and state fair housing laws. The grant will support three staff positions and allow Pine Tree Legal to continue its statewide fair housing project.

Broadturn Farm
of Scarborough was one of 13 farms in the state to receive a grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture. A total of $518,700 was awarded for agriculture water source development cost share grants for 2011. The grants are designed to help farmers build new water storage units and drill wells. Farmers who received the grants are required to match the investment, which ranged from $5,812 to $80,000 per farm, depending on the size of the project.

Girl Scouts of Maine
received a $4,000 economic security initiative grant from the Maine Women’s Fund. The grant will help support Girls Scouts of Maine programs that teach financial literacy skills, such as its CentsAbility and the Penny Project, the Dollars and Sense Interest Project Award, and its well-known entrepreneurial business program, the Girl Scout cookie sale activity.  

Southern Maine Community College recently received a $14,000 gift from The Grainger Foundation aimed at supporting growth in the school’s trade and technical programs and providing scholarships for students. Since 2009, the Grainger Foundation has donated a total of $32,000 to the SMCC Foundation to support these programs.

Dress for Success Southern Maine is launching a training program for job preparation for unemployed women, with funds from a $2 million donation given to Dress for Success Worldwide from the Walmart Foundation. The money allows Dress for Success 60 affiliate locations, including the Dress for Success Southern Maine affiliate in Portland, to expand its Going Places Network programs across the country.

The Foundation for Maine’s Community Colleges
received a $25,000 gift from Lafayette Hotels/Holiday Inn By the Bay Scholarship Fund. The scholarship fund will support second year students studying lodging and restaurant management and culinary arts at SMCC. The scholarship was established in honor of Gus Tillman, long-time general manager of the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, and Peter Daigle, Chief Operating Officer of Lafayette Hotels.

The Mid Coast Hospital Auxiliary’s
annual “Grand and Glorious Yard Sale,” raised $59,000 over the three-day sale held at the old Bookland location at Cook’s Corner Mall. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Auxiliary’s health career scholarships fund and support the Auxiliary’s new pledge of $150,000 to help furnish and equip the new Mid Coast Medical Group Primary Care practice and Mid Coast Walk-In Clinic.

The Finance Authority of Maine recently announced the recipients of $975,000 in food processing grants to be used for Maine fishing and agricultural enterprises. Local grant recipients are Portland Shellfish Co. Inc., for seafood processing and distribution; and The Gelato Fiasco Inc., of Brunswick, for gelati manufacturing and sales.

Sidebar Elements

Members of the Merry Meeting Girl Scout Service Unit received the President’s Award for outstanding volunteer service at the Girl Scouts of Maine annual meeting.  Service Unit members pictured here, from left, are Deb Frizzle, Dawn Grimes, Tami Fisher, Cynthia Crawford, Sally Lafond, Gladys Szabo, Heather Cameron, Girl Scouts of Maine membership manager, and Tina Anna. Merry Meeting services the towns of Brunswick, Topsham, Harpswell, Cundy’s Harbor, Orr’s Island, Bowdoin and Bowdoinham.