People & Business: Aug. 7

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Recognition

The Maine Small Business Development Centers, a statewide program that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses, has selected Christine Long as the 2016 State Star. The annual award recognizes a member of the Maine SBDC staff that has shown exemplary performance and a strong commitment to small business success. Long is an administrative manager at the Maine SBDC at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. She has been with the Maine SBDC for 27 years and coordinates the USM business advising center.

Brunswick-based Ray Labbe and Sons, Inc. owners Peter and Paul Labbe were honored at the Associated General Contractors of Maine outing in early August in Bar Harbor with the Major Achievement in Construction Award. The award is recognition by fellow Maine construction companies that the Labbe family business has excelled and made significant contributions to the industry on a statewide basis. “The Labbe Brothers deserve this award and the recognition within the construction industry, they are hard-working and give back to their community and our state,” AGC Maine President Jon Shaw said.

Laurence W. Gross, executive director of the Southern Maine Agency on Aging, received the first-ever John A. Hartford Foundation Business Innovation Award at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging annual conference. SMAA’s Simply Delivered Program, and Vet to Vet program, also received recognition at the San Diego event.

Independent research firm Best Companies Group, in partnership with the Maine Society for Human Resource Management, has recognized the following businesses as 2016 Best Places to Work in Maine: Portland law firm Bernstein Shur, for the fifth time; ReVision Energy; The Milestone Foundation, a social services organization; and, for the third consecutive year, Systems Engineering, an IT strategy integrator and service provider. Each year, Best Places to Work in Maine recognizes employers whose workplace environments help attract and retain top talent to the state. Companies apply via a rigorous process involving both the employer and employees.

RootMetrics has named Verizon as the top wireless network in Maine, as rated by the new RootScore Report. RootMetrics is an independent mobile analytics firm that uses off-the-shelf consumer smartphones to test the network capabilities of all four major U.S. wireless carriers in six network performance categories across various geographies.

Hires, promotions, appointments

After an extensive national search, Barbara Merson has been hired as the new executive director of the Maine Jewish Film Festival in Portland. Merson previously served as executive director of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Bedford Corners, New York, before moving to North Yarmouth to begin her new role Sept. 1.

South Portland City Councilor Linda Cohen was recently elected vice president of the Maine Municipal Association’s executive committee.

Morgan Stanley announced that Tammy Weston has joined the firm’s wealth management office in Portland as a financial advisor.

Giving Back

The South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Rotary Club recently received a $500 donation from Hobbs Funeral Homes that will be used to help the Rotary Club’s efforts to assist Maine’s homeless veterans in cooperation with Maine Veteran’s Affairs.

Granted

Earlier in the summer, the John T. Gorman Foundation awarded grants to 60 organizations as part of its 2016 Direct Services Grants Program. In total, the Foundation granted $1 million in direct services grants to nonprofits and agencies that serve every Maine county.

Lois and Jonas Klein of OceanView at Falmouth enjoy the bounty at the annual Ocean View Lobster Bake held Aug. 17. The retirement community hosts a lobster bake every year for residents to enjoy, sourced from local lobsterman.

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