People & Business: May 24

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Hospice of So. Me. healthcare workers join state nurses union

In a nearly unanimous turnout, registered nurses and other healthcare workers at Hospice of Southern Maine in Scarborough voted 56 to 40 on May 10 to join the Maine State Nurses Association.

MSNA will represent over 110 RNs, licensed clinical social workers, nurses’ aides, housekeepers and other staff at the facility. They will now join 2,000 other MSNA members as part of National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United.

Key issues in the campaign were, improved staffing, smaller caseloads to improve care, and fair wages.

“We look forward to building a stronger future for Hospice of Southern Maine. With a voice in our workplace we will improve the care we provide to patients and families in our community in Southern Maine,” said Annette Lemek, a licensed clinical social worker at HSM.

MEREDA names top 10 real estate developments

The Maine Real Estate & Development Association presented awards to the top 10 real estate developments in Maine in 2016 at its conference in South Portland on May 18. Each of the 10 projects was selected based on criteria that included environmental sustainability, economic impact, energy efficiency, social impact and job creation.

Local projects include:

• Risbara Properties, LLC, for Blue Spruce Farm Apartments,

• Waterside Apartments and Island View Apartments, all in Westbrook

• Forefront Partners, for Brick North at Thompson’s Point in Portland

• Anew Development’s Meetinghouse Lofts Condominiums in South Portland

• Avesta Housing’s Ridgewood at Village Square in Gorham

• Priority Real Estate Group’s Wayfair at Brunswick Landing


Several people who have worked to improve their communities over the past year were honored by Opportunity Alliance at a special fundraiser May 18. Ardo Mohamed Sharif and Dana Randall, who live in the Portland neighborhoods of Riverton and Parkside, respectively, have volunteered to improve the quality of life in their neighborhoods. Opportunity Alliance also honored Cape Elizabeth businessman Mike Concannon with the Community Partner of the Year award. Concannon owns Port Printing Solutions and C Salt Gourmet Market, and has been “an active and invaluable supporter of The Opportunity Alliance for many years,” according to a press release.

Burgess Advertising & Marketing was recognized at The Ad Club of Maine’s Broderson Awards Ceremony with six awards for digital and print advertising and social media efforts on behalf of multiple clients from 2013-16. 

Preti Flaherty attorney Tim Bryant has been named the Franchise Times magazine Legal Eagle of 2017. Nominated by their peers, the franchise attorneys chosen for this honor are considered “superior attorneys” and are among the most knowledgeable and experienced in the nation.

Hires, promotions, appointments

Ann Kim of Portland has joined the American Red Cross of Maine as its external communications director. Kim was previously the communications director in the House Majority Office of the Maine Legislature and a former journalist. Denise Dryzga of Scarborough has recently been appointed to the organization’s Board of Directors. Dryzga is a 39-year veteran of Hannaford supermarkets. Dryzga’s community service includes helping coordinate the Hannaford Silent Auction to benefit the United Way and as an active member of the Scarborough High School community. 

Monique Gorey of Scarborough was appointed to the Town & Country Federal Credit Union Board of Directors during its 64th annual meeting in early April. She replaces long-time board member Wilfred Couture, who recently retired from the board. During her career, Gorey worked for several local credit unions and is now at the Scarborough School department in the guidance office. 

Sweetser has announced that James Martin joined the organization as vice president of programs May 8. Martin most recently served as the director of Child and Family Services at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. He is a 2017 Fellow within the John T. Gorman Fellowship Program.

Giving Back

Jeff “Gunner” Valkier recently became a Legacy Life Member of Joseph Lamarre Memorial Post 2197 of the VFW in Topsham. Valkier he created an endowment that provides an annual payment to the National VFW, the Department of Maine, and to Post No. 2197 in perpetuity. 

New Ventures

Jade Integrated Health, a Maine-based provider of integrated health and wellness services, has announced it will open a new facility in greater Brunswick to offer acupuncture, physical therapy, massage and yoga classes. Doors will officially open at noon Wednesday, May 31 at Windorf Circle, Brunswick. To celebrate, Jade will offer free yoga classes June 5-9 with 30-minute complimentary consultations.

“We are thrilled to bring Jade’s services to Brunswick,” said Nancy Charlebois, co-founder. “We have always loved Brunswick and we are proud to be serving this vibrant and growing community.”

Save the Date

DevelopME, a new committee formed by MEREDA, will be holding the first of a three-part Lunch and Learn Series on June 6, at the Portland Public Library from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ethan Boxer-Macomber of Anew Development, Lindsay Harris of Gorham Savings Bank, and Al Palmer of Gorrill Palmer Engineers will talk about how to find and analyze a deal, with a single case study broken down by all three. 

Felecia Hatcher, a White House award-winning entrepreneur, will be the keynote speaker during Maine Startup and Create Week, held June 19-23 at various locations in Portland.  The conference is open to growing startups and entrepreneurs, with speakers, workshops and lectures.Hatcher is a bestselling author, globally sought-after speaker and founder of Code Fever and BlackTechWeek. See for tickets and more information.