People & Business: May 23

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Woman-owned business recognized at awards gala

Hardypond Construction of Portland received the Maddy Corson Small Business Award at the 19th annual Maine Family Business Awards gala, held May 15 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland, with a record attendance of more than 400 guests. The award is presented to an exemplary business with fewer than 25 employees.

“In a male-dominated industry, this woman-owned business stands out for its commitment to its employees and practices that keep people working, including employing 33 percent women — more than six times the industry average,” according to a release from Maine Family Business Awards.

The company is known for its artful transformations of challenging projects, including the historic Humpty Dumpty potato chip factory in Scarborough.

New chef at The Brunswick has ‘spirit’

A Maine Restaurant Week favorite is the new executive chef at The Brunswick Hotel & Tavern.

After attending Southern Maine Community College for culinary arts, Chef Christian Bassett perfected his style during stints as executive chef for Rustler’s Steakhouse in Windham, Bon Appetit at St. Joseph’s College and, most recently, Timber Steakhouse & Rotisserie in Portland. He was crowned Spirit Quest winner in 2017 at Maine Restaurant Week and was a runner-up in 2018 and 2016. An advocate for giving back to the community, Bassett has volunteered his time by performing guest chef stints at The Ronald McDonald House and Cooking Matters.

“I’m thrilled to be leading the team at The Brunswick Hotel & Tavern and to introduce fusion techniques and full ‘from scratch’ philosophy to the menu,” said Bassett.

Strong showing by mussel farmer in Top Gun pitch

A Casco Bay mussel farmer was one of two aquaculture entrepreneurs chosen by a panel of business experts at a first-of-its-kind aquaculture business accelerator pitch-off held the second week in May. At the pitch-off, each of the 10 aquaculture businesses had five minutes to give a presentation to be scored on presentation, feasibility, scalability and innovation. Mathew Moretti of Bangs Island Mussels, a family operated mussel farm specializing in environmentally friendly growing methods, plans to leverage his $5,000 in winnings for infrastructure capital. He will join Jonathan Turcotte of Glidden Point Oyster Farms in the Damariscotta River at the statewide Top Gun Pitch-Off.

Other local winners of the 2018 Top Gun program’s semi-final regional pitch event included Meghan Carey of co-amplify and Erica Schmitz of MyBodyModel, both based in Portland. 


Local organizations were among recipients of grants from National Endowment for the Arts during the most recent cycle. Maine College of Art was awarded $40,000 to support the exhibition “Traces, Tracks, & Pathways: Making Migration Visible.” In collaboration with Colby College and the Institute for Contemporary Art at MECA, the exhibit will examine ways to understand displacement, exile, and mobility by presenting artwork and stories. Portland Ovations was awarded $25,000 for a series of multidisciplinary performing arts presentations, many of which will take place in site-specific locations throughout Portland. The Telling Room will use its $15,00o grant to support the Young Writers and Leaders Program. 

Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program in Brunswick and Southern Maine Agency on Aging in Scarborough each received one of five Volunteer Generation Fund grants awarded by the Maine Commission for Community Service and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The grants provide support to volunteer programs providing service in three focus areas: aging in place, transportation services, and food security and assistance. 

Hires, promotions, appointments

The MEMIC Group has promoted Karen Flaherty to director, Financial Operations. Flaherty, a resident of Portland, first joined MEMIC in 1995 as a financial accountant and was promoted in 2015 from senior accountant to manager of Financial Accounting Operations. 

Jody Hamilton was recently named vice president, Retail Regional Manager for Camden National Bank’s southern Maine market, which includes nine banking centers from York to Bath. Originally from Portland, Hamilton now lives in Gorham and brings over 20 years’ experience in the financial services industry.


The Maine Real Estate & Development Association presented awards to the top 10 real estate developments in Maine for 2017, at its conference in Portland on May 16. Area recipients include Anew Development’s 65 Munjoy Street in Portland; Tedlum Associates’ Aura in Portland; Portland Housing Authority and Avesta Housing’s Bayside Anchor in Portland; The Szanton Company’s Huse School Apartments in Bath; Avesta Housing’s Huston Commons in Portland; NewHeight Group’s Luminato in Portland; and Zachau Construction for the Tyler Technologies expansion in Yarmouth.

The  Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association recognized the contributions of more than 300 supporters on April 17, including the Fritts family of Portland, who received the Collaborative Spirit Award. In addition, the third-place award for the 2017 Maine Walk to End Alzheimer’s Business Team was given to Legacy Legs at OceanView in Falmouth. 


Deirdre Wadsworth and Bob Gaudreau, of Hardypond Construction in Portland, accepting the Maddy Corson Small Business Award at the 19th annual Maine Family Business Awards gala.

Chef Christian Bassett has been hired to lead the kitchen at The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern at 4 Noble St.