People & Business: Oct. 21

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Local food innovators honored by MHS

Three local food innovators were recognized when the Maine Historical Society held its annual Maine History Maker Award Ceremony on Nov. 13.

A press release from the Historical Society called Portland-based Barber Foods and members of the Barber family have been “prominent civic leaders and economic catalysts of the Maine community.” Through its stewardship efforts, the company has also provided hundreds of local jobs, including many now held by Maine’s new immigrants. 

Fore St. owner Sam Hayward, a James Beard award-winner and former Maine Restaurant Association Chef of the Year, was honored for his commitment to local foods and partnership with Maine providers and producers and his “immense impact on Maine’s restaurant scene.”

Brewer David L. Geary’s vision and hard work “helped create an industry where once there was virtually none.” He was recognized as well for mentoring a new generation of passionate brewers who are reshaping Maine.

Each year, the Maine Historical Society presents its Maine History Maker Award to one trailblazer who has made significant contributions to the Maine community. In what it called “a creative adaptation for 2018,” MHS honored five innovators in Maine’s food industry.

“Our Maine History Maker Award recognizes innovation and leadership that have defined Maine throughout its history,” said Steve Bromage of MHS. “Our honorees have helped reimagine the food industry, creating new products and markets to revitalize Maine’s economy and enrich Maine’s sense of place.”

Women to watch announced by Maine society of CPAs

Three Maine CPAs who are leaders in their field have been named 2018 Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants Women to Watch. The awards are given to accomplished women in the accounting profession who also give back through mentorship and community service.

Karla Brannen, Jodie Heal and Patricia Hodgdon were honored at an awards ceremony Nov. 16, at the University of Southern Maine.

Brannen, tax manager at Albin, Randall & Bennett in Portland, is board president of the Maine Society of Certified Public Accountants and volunteers with Boys & Girls Club, Buddy Up Animal Society, and the Maine Lab Rescue.

Heal, founder of Heal Accounting in the Mid-Coast area, is treasurer of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Maine Women’s Network Midcoast Chapter. She also is an adviser for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute and a Make-A-Wish wish-granter.

Hodgdon, director of fiduciary services for Dawson, Smith, Purvis & Bassett, P.A. in Portland, gives lectures and leads interactive learning sessions with the firm’s professional staff. She is a longtime volunteer at her church, and her interest in animals led to her involvement in the Coastal Humane Society.


Victoria Mansion was recently awarded a $132,050 matching grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service through the Save America’s Treasures program. The funding will finance in part the conservation of the original decoration of the mansion’s extraordinary parlor, allowing conservators to remove over 150 years of soot, grime, and overpaint to reveal the room’s original 1860s aesthetic.

Open for business

Duluth Trading Co. celebrated the grand opening of its 45th U.S. retail location and first in Maine with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 8. Duluth offers men’s and women’s casual wear, work wear, apothecary and accessories. The new store is located at 55 Maine Mall Road in South Portland. 

John Bjork of Phippsburg announced the grand opening of the Phippsburg Rock Shop on Nov. 10 at 192 Main Road. The shop will offer minerals, fossils, cut stone and other lapidary (cut stone) work. Bjork promised there is something for everyone in the shop, including hermitite spheres for kids, precious jewelry, fossils, and “any kind of rock imaginable.”


Advantage Chiropractic reached a milestone on Nov. 3, when the practice marked 15 years in its South Portland location at 894 Broadway. The private practice was the dream of Dr. Mark Allen, who began his career apprenticing in chiropractic offices in Michigan and Ohio. Relocating to South Portland in October 2003, Allen and his family transformed a former cafe into office space. 

Giving Back

Androscoggin Bank’s MainStreet Foundation announced two Portland organizations that help address a need for at-risk kids in Maine have received $1,000 impact grants. Kids First Center of Portland will use its award to support Kids First For Kids! workshops, conducted to help children whose parents have been separated or divorced. ROiL DBA Maine Inside Out received a grant to form a leadership council. Maine Inside Out participants are young people who have experienced incarceration.

Hires, promotions, appointments

Jewett Construction Company, a New England regional design-build construction management firm in Scarborough recently hired Tom MacKenzie of Biddeford as an estimator and project manager.

Portland-based flyte new media has hired Jeff Cobbett to join its website development team.

Greater Portland Council of Governments announced the hiring of former longtime Portland Press Herald reporter Tom Bell. Most recently Bell was an independent consultant at Tom Bell Media, where he has worked on policy and political campaigns.

BrannenThe American Cancer Society recently presented Theresa Huck of Portland with a Sandra C. Labaree Volunteer Values Award. The award is the most honored accolade by the Society in New England, and it recognizes Huck’s accomplishments in support of the Society’s mission to celebrate lives, to save lives and to lead the fight for a world without cancer. A more than seven-year volunteer, Huck is the event lead for Relay For Life of Greater Portland and has volunteered with other programs and events, including Making Stride Against Breast Cancer of Greater Portland, Amazing Place Adventure Race, Fire & Ice, Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5K, along with helping out at other Relay For Life events around the state. Huck works at Mercy Hospital in Portland.


Kim Ruby of CHANS Home Health & Hospice in Brunwick, at left, receives Caregiver of the Year award from the Home Care & Hospice Alliance of Maine at the annual Blaine House Tea on Nov. 1 in Augusta. Ruby was nominated for the award by her supervisor, Deborah Siegel, director of Hospice at CHANS Home Health & Hospice, who said, “Kim makes sure to take time to develop a special and trusting relationship with her hospice patients. She comes to work every day with a smile and a positive attitude.”