People & Business: April 27

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The Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development announced that 2016 Top Gun Entrepreneur Amanda O’Brien has been selected as the recipient of this year’s Victoria Hilliard Donovan Award. The financial award is given annually in the spring to encourage women entrepreneurs, scientists and engineers. O’Brien is a co-founder of eighteen twenty, which makes wine from locally sourced rhubarb.

Daniel Lambert, film producer/director at the University of New England, has been nominated for two Boston/New England Emmys for his documentary “Max: Surviving the Holocaust.” Lambert produced and directed the film with the support of UNE’s Center for Global Humanities. The film was nominated in two categories: best Historical/Cultural Program/Special and best Editor Program. “Max: Surviving the Holocaust” was born out of Lambert’s interviews with Portland resident and Holocaust survivor Max Slabotzky. The New England Emmy Awards are presented by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Boston/New England chapter. Winners will be announced June 4.

Maine state librarians, who honor children’s books each spring with the Lupine Award, have chosen “Island Birthday” by Matinicus Island author Eva Murray to receive this year’s award. The book was illustrated by Peaks Island’s Jamie Hogan.

Kevin Doran of Topsham, a natural science educator with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, was honored by the Maine Legislature for being selected as a 2016 Outstanding Educator Honoree by Project Learning Tree. Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for educators, parents and community leaders working with youth.

Hires, promotions, appointments

VNA Home Health Hospice announced that Ann Phillips was recently accepted as an advanced professional member of the Aging Life Care Association. Phillips has been practicing as an aging life care professional (also known as a geriatric care manager) since 2014.

Mike Egan has joined the administrative office staff as facilities manager at Maine State Music Theatre in Brunswick.

Acadia Benefits Inc. of Portland has hired Mike Burton as the company’s new vice president of business development.

Norton Insurance Agency announced that Meghan Flynn has joined the company as sales assistant. Prior to Norton, Flynn was in sales for Fairfield Inn Marriott in Scarborough and State Farm Insurance in Portland.

The Front Room has hired Dustin Shockley as the restaurant’s new chef de cuisine. The Front Room has been listed as one of the Best Restaurants in Portland by USA Today’s

Liquid Riot has hired Chef Nick Krunkkala as executive chef at its Resto-Bar in Portland. Krunkkala comes to Liquid Riot from The Thistle Inn in Boothbay Harbor, where he was executive chef. In 2015, he won the top prize in both categories of People’s and Judges’ Choice at the 4th Annual Claw Down – Chef’s Lobster Bite Competition.

Benchmark Residential & Investment Real Estate in Portland has announced the addition of eight new members to its team: Doug Cook, Jon Howard, Shannon Miranda, Nicole Poirier, Amber Purty, Ezra Provost, Rich Robinov and Chris Schmidt.

Country Federal Credit Union of South Portland elected the following officers to the Board of Directors for 2016-17: Jane Torres, membership director with Portland Country Club, chairman; Kevin Powell, retired UNUM claim representative, vice chairman; Paul Chamberlain, former CFO with Alpha One, treasurer; and Josh Fifield, account executive with Clark Insurance Company, secretary.

Giving Back

The Midcoast Charitable Foundation of Maine awarded $12,000 in grants to 12 local organizations, for projects that included a new projector and multimedia system for the Brunswick Naval Museum; construction of new playground at the Family Focus day care facility; up to 10 laptops for middle school students at Seeds of Independence.

Atlantic Sportswear’s outreach affiliate, Maine Unites, presented a check for $10,000 to 317 Main Community Music Center in Yarmouth.

Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution contributed $1,000 to the South Portland High School Dollars for Scholars Jeanne Crocker Futures Award Scholarship.

New Ventures

Hannah Renyi, owner of By Goldenstar in Cumberland, has launched a local business crafting high-end princess gowns and accessories for young children.  Renyi, an alum of L.L. Bean, Gap and other large fashion companies, is completely hands on in creating her garments; the custom gowns require hours of design work and every piece stitched by hand.

Portside Real Estate Group of Falmouth is expanding with a new Portland office at 330 Forest Ave., where an open house will be held 5-7 p.m. April 28.