People & Business: Aug. 10

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All in the family

Randall B. Hobbs, grandson of founders Frank Hobbs Sr., and Elizabeth Hobbs, has joined the staff of the Hobbs Funeral Home as a full-time licensed funeral director.

In related news, Rachael Powers has been named to the staff at the Hobbs Funeral Homes as a full-time apprentice. Her duties will include administration and maintenance functions, attending services and visiting hours, being on call, and learning the technical components of funeral service from family and staff. Powers lives in South Portland.

Hobbs, who also lives in South Portland, recently passed both his state of Maine boards as well as the national certification examinations required to become a funeral director. He also completed a practicum exam and has served as an apprentice at the funeral home. His father, Jeffrey Hobbs, is president and owner. A graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School, Hobbs was an honors student and completed his degree in funeral service at Mount Ida College, with a 4.0 average. Jeffrey Inman, another licensed funeral director at Hobbs, is also a grandson of the founders. Hobbs’ father and funeral home owner Jeffrey Hobbs said, “If Betty and Frank were still alive, they would be thrilled to see two family members of the third generation working in the business.”

With two locations in South Portland and Scarborough, Hobbs Funeral Homes has been family-owned and operated for more than 74 years.

Recognition

The Iris Network has named Bob Wakefield Volunteer of the Year at The Iris Network (formerly Maine Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired) for his work providing recreational opportunities for residents who are blind at Iris Park Apartments in Portland. Wakefield, a former UNUM employee (now coaching in their gym) and a successful lobster shipping business owner, recently moved from Falmouth to Freeport with his wife Trisha. He joined the board of directors of The Iris Network in 2015, and is the chairman of its development and communication committee looking to expand with new members.

Wakefield frequents the Portland Country Club, Toddy Brook, and other golf courses with Charlie Prinn, who lost his sight in his 60s but remains an avid golfer. Here’s what Prinn had to say: “Bob Wakefield is the ideal volunteer, friendly, enthusiastic, and always concerned about me. My particular need is a companion and coach on the golf course, as I do battle with the limitations of age and failing vision. Bob is a graduate of the Titleist Performance Institute, schooled and skilled in the dynamics of the golf swing. We meet weekly as he guides me through improvements in my golf game. More than that, his humor and spirit make every session fun, and I end each lesson pleased and anxious to meet again soon. The Iris Network is fortunate that Bob has taken his talents and personality to those of us who need a friend and companion. My sincere thanks to them and to Bob for our successful partnership.”

Giving Back

Portland Downtown partnered with 20 local retailers in June to raise funds for Portland Trails, a nonprofit land trust that works to make greater Portland a healthier community through trails, active transportation and conservation. During the first summertime Shop for A Cause, participating businesses donated a portion of their sales to collectively raise $3,500.

News from nonprofits

The Merrymeeting Gleaners, part of the Merrymeeting Food Council, have started a farm-to-pantry initiative in Midcoast Maine. Gleaners collect food that will not be sold or harvested to ensure it does not go into the waste stream. Since June 18, the Merrymeeting Gleaners have donated more than 1,300 pounds of fresh produce to area food pantries and soup kitchens. The Merrymeeting Gleaners have collected donations from Goranson Farm and Tarbox Farm following the Bath Farmers Market and have picked produce at Six River Farm in Bowdoinham. They also recently gleaned breads from Borealis Bread and Hootenany Bread at the Bath Farmers Market to donate to Bath Housing.

Hires, promotions, appointments

The Portland Symphony Orchestra announced that Andrew Crust is the new assistant conductor and community liaison for the Portland Symphony Orchestra, working closely with Music Director Robert Moody.

Crust, who earned his doctorate at the University of Colorado Boulder in orchestral conducting in 2016, will conduct Discovery Concerts, Youth Concerts, and occasional Pops Concerts. He will serve as a leader for educational outreach into schools and community centers, and will focus on reaching younger audiences through programs such as the newly created Symphony & Spirits. Crust is the second person to hold the position, created in 2013.

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