People & Business: May 16

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Bath woman shows she cares

Bath’s Linda Hjortland, who has served as a volunteer with Catholic Charities Maine’s SEARCH program for more than a decade, was recently named one of seven finalists from around the country for the 2018 Catholic Charities USA Volunteer of the Year Award.

The SEARCH program, short for Seek Elderly Alone, Renew Courage and Hope, connects seniors with community volunteers who provide companionship and help with a variety of daily tasks, such as shopping and appointments. 

“She’s very gentle with her clients and respectful of their problems. She’s just one of those very calming people that people who are isolated tend to really warm up to,” said Christine Szalay, SEARCH’s program coordinator. “She’s just a lovely lady.”

Though Hjortland was not named the winner of the national competition, her impact locally is treasured.

“She is one of the best examples of our community of the type of work done by Catholic Charities volunteers and proudly represents us in the Mid-Coast Maine area,” said Wendy Russell, program director for SEARCH.

Name change reflects growth and prosperity

Community Financial Literacy has rebranded itself as ProsperityME: The Center for Financial Education.

The new name – pronounced Prosperity Maine – reflects the broader scope of services the organization provides to immigrants, refugees and asylees. At its inception the nonprofit provided financial literacy courses, one-on-one financial counseling and coaching. It has added support for higher education, career development, a matching savings program, and job skills training in partnership with Portland Adult Education. Services now include a scholarship fund for asylum-seekers and loans for secure housing and small business startup support and development. The service area has also expanded beyond Portland to include Lewiston and Auburn and will soon expand to York County.

ProsperityME has also established a college scholarship fund, seeded with a  $75,000 matching gift from an anonymous donor. The donor will match ProsperityME’s fundraising dollar for dollar up to $75,000 to create a fund for Maine students that are seeking asylum who don’t qualify for any federal or state aid to receive tuition and fees.

Grammy nominee to lead USM Voice Department 

Grammy-nominated soprano Malinda Haslett will join University of Southern Maine’s School of Music as division leader of the Voice Department, beginning in fall 2018. A former staff member at the Metropolitan Opera, Haslett is vocal division director of the Silicon Valley Chamber Music Festival. Haslett has served on the vocal faculties of University of Pennsylvania, Stony Brook University, and Towson University and is a William J. Fulbright Scholar semi-finalist.

She earned her Doctor of Music in Arts degree at Stony Brook University. Hazlett also earned degrees from Loyola University, Temple University and Accademia Internazionale delle Arti in Rome.

In addition, Haslett has a culinary degree from The Institute of Culinary Education in New York and has run two New York City Marathons.

New ventures

Portland-based auction house Barridoff Galleries, established in 1978 by Robert and Annette Elowich, has been sold to a local group of art professionals and moved into a new 5,000-square-foot space at 312 Gannett Drive in South Portland.

The Bicycle Coalition of Maine launched a new, web-based search tool called Where To Ride tomorrow that lets cyclists search a growing number of curated routes to find their perfect ride – for free – at bikemaine.org/wheretoride.

Center for Diagnostic Imaging has opened a new outpatient-based advanced diagnostic imaging center at 2 Admiral Fitch Ave. in Brunswick that provides a full range of diagnostic imaging services, including high-field MRI, CT and X-ray.

News from nonprofits

The Harraseeket Grange in Freeport was awarded a $2,800 grant from Coffee by Design that was used to repair the stage at the Grange. Members are now working on a grant through USA Today Crowdrise to use towards more building improvements, including updates to the wiring and changing to LED lighting.

Southern Maine Agency on Aging has received a $16,000 grant from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation to provide monthly caregiver support classes over the next 12 months throughout Cumberland and York Counties, beginning in June.

Hires, promotions, appointments

Androscoggin Bank announced several recent new hires and promotions. Gregory Dauphinee joins the team in Portland as Vice President, Senior Mortgage Loan Officer. Amy Torrey is based out of the Bank’s Scarborough location and joins as assistant vice president, Mortgage Loan Officer. Maureen Van Uden joins the Commercial Lending Team as senior vice president, Lead Commercial Loan Officer and will supervise the Commercial Lenders in Portland and Brunswick.

Save the Date

The nonprofit Maine Technology Users Group invites IT professionals, managers and technology enthusiasts from all industries and sectors to the 31st annual Information Technology Summit and Tradeshow from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St., Portland.

Pre-register at https://www.mtug.org/summit.

The summit is Maine’s largest business technology conference, with 15 educational sessions and 59 vendors. Workshops include Cloud, IT Career Development, IT Infrastructure, Security, and “Tech Sandbox” (hands-on tech demonstrations). 

Keynote speaker Dr. Rafael Grossmann, trauma/general surgeon and health technology innovator, will present, “Mixed Reality & Beyond: The Smart Use of Technology Without Limits!” Grossmann will explore current trends and the future of the smart application of augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality technologies in health care and education.

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