People & Business: May 10

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Longtime conservation advocate honored by MCHT 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has named Barbara Vickery as the recipient of the 2017 Espy Land Heritage Award. Each year MCHT presents the award to an individual, organization, or coalition for exemplary conservation efforts in Maine. The award was presented in April at the annual Maine Land Conservation Conference held at the Mt. Ararat Middle School and Orion Performing Arts Center in Topsham.

“Barbara Vickery set the gold standard for using science to inform conservation work in Maine. Her passion and dedication—in particular to forest conservation—have had an incredibly positive impact on our state’s natural landscapes and local economies,” said MCHT President Tim Glidden.

Vickery recently retired after a distinguished 33-year career at the Maine chapter of the Nature Conservancy, where she held the positions of director of stewardship and director of conservation programs and played an instrumental role in several high profile conservation projects and initiatives.

As a critical driver for developing Maine’s Beginning With Habitat program, Vickery ensured that science is an integral part of the state’s conservation decisions made by land trusts and federal, state and local agencies. She was also a key behind-the-scenes leader of the Maine Forest Biodiversity Project, which resulted in better understanding and cooperative relationships among Maine’s commercial forest landowners, state managers and fisheries and wildlife biologists. Her involvement in land conservation spanned the entire range of Maine, from Mt. Agamenticus in the south, to the St. John River in the north, to Cobscook Bay in the east and the Saco River in the west. All told, the projects she was involved with throughout her career totaled more than 1 million acres of land conservation in Maine.

In honoring past President Jay Espy with the award, MCHT awards $5,000, which the winner can direct to the conservation charity of their choice. Vickery chose the Bath-based Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s environmental education program.

“The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust is doing awesome environmental education work and I know the kids are getting their hands and feet muddy,” Vickery said. “I hope the kids will feel connected to the estuary that is their home.”

Hires, promotions, appointments

Jones Lang LaSalle has hired Falmouth-based industry expert Andrew Couch as the new vice president of its retail lease and debt restructuring team. Couch joins JLL from Boston-based investment firm Gordon Brothers Group, where he served as managing director of real estate and oversaw the firm’s supermarket practice. 

Eric Meyer, president and CEO of Spurwink, a nonprofit that provides behavioral health and educational services, was one of 16 people appointed to Maine’s 21st Century Economy and Workforce Task Force. The task force is charged with determining initiatives that can help Maine strengthen its workforce, particularly in areas most affected by the workforce shortage, including health care.

Upon the retirement of Monsignor Michael J. Henchal, who will retire from active ministry July 1, Monsignor Paul F. Stefanko will be the new pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in Scarborough, St. Bartholomew Parish in Cape Elizabeth, and St. John and Holy Cross Parish in South Portland. 

Falmouth-based Promerica Health has named Jennifer Rancourt as the vice president of Communications and Compliance.

RE/MAX Shoreline in Portland welcomed Dino Spugnardi, founder of Cottage Home Construction, to its Portland office.

Paul Muehle has been named the new maintenance/materials manager of New England Rehabilitation Hospital of Portland.


Resources First Foundation Falmouth has received a $100,000 general operations grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. The grant will help build web-based Land Conservation Assistance platforms for both Texas and Virginia. 

Bangor Savings Bank Foundation’s Community Matters More program awarded more than $100,000 to 40 Maine nonprofit organizations chosen by a public ballot. The top two vote-getters in eight regions of the state each received a $5,000 grant; in Cumberland County, Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals in Windham and the Maine Veterans’ Home of Scarborough were winners. Hospice of Southern Maine in Scarborough and Maternal Health Alliance of Maine in Portland each received $1,000 grant, along with write-in winner Maine State Music Theatre of Brunswick.

U.S. Cellular made a $5,000 donation to the Cumberland County 4-H Club in Portland as part of a $1.3 million donation to clubs across the country and $46,500 in Maine. The grants will provide K-12 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM, educational opportunities.

Marketing mini-grants were awarded by New Ventures to Molly Perry, owner of Go Babe Boutique in Harpswell and Luci Timblim, owner of I’m Amazing LLC in Harpswell.

On the Move

Over 40 business leaders in Portland, including Mayor Ethan Strimling, welcomed Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution to Portland on April 21 during a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The 190-year-old bank, and ninth-oldest in the country, opened their downtown Portland location with a newly designed contemporary space on Commercial Street. 


David Taft, president of the Brunswick Rotary Club, right, presents Joseph Shelton, manager of the Brunswick Lowe’s store, with Rotary’s highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellow, on April 24. The Fellowship was created in memory of the founder of Rotary, to show appreciation for contributions to the foundation’s charitable and educational programs.

Barbara Vickery was the recipient of the 2017 Espy Land Heritage Award given by Maine Coast Heritage Trust for exemplary conservation efforts in Maine. The award was presented in April at the annual Maine Land Conservation Conference. With Vickery are past President Jay Espy and President Tim Glidden.