The Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber (SMMC) will be honoring seven business leaders in March and they would love for you to join them. The SMMC Annual Awards Dinner is a celebration of what our region has accomplished. The ticketed sit-down dinner will be Friday, March 6, from 5-8 p.m. at St. John’s Community Center (43 Pleasant Street, Brunswick).
The dinner is very special as it’s the SMMC’s one night of the year to recognize individual businesses and local leaders for their work. Nominations for award winners began coming into the chamber office in December resulting in the highest documented number of nominees ever. The SMMC’s Awards Recognition committee- which is comprised of past award winners, chamber staff and members- discussed the nominations at length before deciding on a truly outstanding slate of winners. The 2020 SMMC Award winners are:
Harry C. Crooker Lifetime Achievement Award: Jim Howard
Young Professional of the Year: Nick Favreau
Volunteer of the Year: Kevin Clark
Large Business of the Year: The Highlands
Small Business of the Year: One River CPAs
President’s Award: Region 10 Technical High School
Director’s Award: Midcoast Community Alliance
Jim Howard is a longtime supporter of the community giving support to dozens of organizations and projects. Jim is a key contributor to the growth and development of the region, and his contributions with Priority Real Estate Group are numerous. Never one to seek out acclaim, and doing almost as much personal giving anonymously as he does publicly, Jim is the quintessential community leader who is always trying to do the most he can as often as he can- and usually for those that need help the most. A true leader in every sense.
Nick Favreau’s story is that of a homegrown leader who works relentlessly to continue a family legacy of community service. Having been involved in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Race the Runways, the Midcoast Edge young professionals group and numerous chamber activities, Nick is a driving force in our region. Most weeks you can find him globe-trotting as a financial analyst for BerryDunn, but on weekends- and the weeks not on the road- you can find him working at the Woodside Hop House which he launched four years ago with his parents right here in Brunswick.
Kevin Clark is the volunteer of the year as much for what he’s done in the past 12 months, as for what he has done for the past half-dozen years. Kevin has been a steady hand and engaged leader on the chamber board as President, Vice President, golf committee chair, donated wine caretaker and much more in his 7 years of chamber service. When the Chamber needed a few directors to take on a heavier load, Kevin was one of the people who stepped up and gave the time needed to be a leader. Even with his business growing exponentially, Kevin never shirked or even tempered his commitments to the chamber.
The Highlands in Topsham is, and has been, an incredible chamber supporter for years. When the chamber needs volunteer help, they give their time. When an event location is needed, they give their space. When there is a new program needs support, they give their investment. They are quick adopters and loyal supporters, and they run one of the most recognizable regional attraction businesses in the region. Dozens of people relocate to our region annually to live the Highlands lifestyle and be a part of our region, and they are great promoters of all that we have.
The same goes for One River CPAs out of Bath, who literally supported every single chamber initiative in 2019 by being leading sponsors, donating employee time or oftentimes both. Jamie Boulette expanded this branch, formerly known as Perry Fitts Boulette & Fitton CPAs, to our Midcoast region from their base in Waterville several years ago. Since then they have been a consistent contributor to projects throughout the Midcoast, including helping to run several of them. They have quickly integrated themselves with the region and are a shining example of community support.
Region 10 Technical High School in Brunswick is a career technical education (CTE) center that engages the business community to find what is needed and then bringing that training into the classroom. CTE is a needed focus as the numbers of electricians, plumbers, nurses and more is growing with the retirements of many skilled workers. Superintendent Nancy Weed is continually looking for partnerships and has become a great partner to the chamber. Region 10 was instrumental in the success of the 2019 Midcoast Tree Festival.
Midcoast Community Alliance is a Bath-based program in the Bath Indoor Skate Park. Started by Jamie Dorr, the program began as a teen suicide prevention catalyst — but quite literally by the month- is evolving their work to meet the needs of local young adults. When a new need is identified, Jamie and her team are quick to respond with an appropriate solution to make positive opportunities for young adults who otherwise might not find the support they need. It’s a truly outstanding program.
We will be sharing all of these stories in more depth in the coming weeks in these columns. Or join us that evening. Tickets for the event are $75 per person or $550 for a table of 8 tickets. Tickets are available on the SMMC website at www.midcoastmaine.com or call the SMMC office at 725-8797 with questions, inquiries about event sponsorships or to reserve tickets that way.
The agenda is guest arrival between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. with cocktail time. A brief 15-minute welcome will happen at 6 p.m., followed by a 45-minute dinner service, and award presentations beginning at 7PM. The presentations will consist of a speech by the chamber recognizing their accomplishments and award recipients are encouraged, but not forced, to say a few words.
We hope to see you there to celebrate the year with us! FMI 725-8797.
Cory King is the executive director of the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber.