WATERVILLE — Volunteering and community service are just a part of life for Tina Chapman.
The development and communications coordinator at Kennebec Behavioral Health, Chapman has been chosen as the 2016 Outstanding Professional of the Year by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. The award will be presented at an April 27 event at Kennebec Valley Community College in Fairfield.
“It’s really an honor, for sure,” she said.
The 48-year-old began working at the health center in 2014 but has been a volunteer at a number of organizations over the years. She’s the president for the Waterville Rotary Club, where she has worked to implement an early childhood literacy program in local schools. She also wrote a successful grant application for a program that helped improve sanitation in Guatemala by building new latrines. She’s president of the board of a group called Revitalizing the Energy in Maine, an organization that focuses on community development.
It doesn’t end there. Chapman is part of the Kennebec Club, an initiative that helps people recovering from substance abuse. She participates in Healthy Northern Kennebec, which identifies health problems and works collaboratively to solve them. She’s also a volunteer at the Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center, covering the hot line service.
“I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without the help of Kennebec Behavioral Health,” she said.
In her role with the health organization, Chapman is in charge of writing grants and fundraising, as well as public relations, marketing and other such charges. She grew up in Augusta and has spent her adult life in Waterville.
“I feel very blessed to be here and be surrounded by such wonderful people” Chapman said.
She was formerly the executive director for United Way of Mid-Maine. Speaking in her office on Eustis Parkway, Chapman said she loves the Waterville community.
It’s where her heart is.
“It’s a close-knit community where people care about each other,” she said.
Kimberly Lindlof, president of the chamber of commerce, said Chapman has a long history of volunteering in the region, which sets her apart. She spoke highly of Chapman’s work with the Rotary Club and her efforts to improve literacy in the area by having Rotarians go into local schools and read to children.
“She is a tireless advocate for early childhood literacy,” Lindlof said, adding Chapman has done a lot to “move the needle” on literacy in the region’s schools.
“She’s just a good person,” Lindlof said. “Her heart’s in the right place.”
Chapman said she volunteers so much of her time because of how close the community is. People know each other here; they recognize each other, she said.
“I like the idea of everybody supporting each other,” she said.
She likes what the area has to offer, too — arts and culture opportunities, a variety of schools, many employment opportunities, chances for recreation and a nice place to raise a family. And as Chapman’s story shows, there is no shortage of volunteer opportunities.
“I’m driven to do whatever I can to help other people,” she said. “I get a lot of enjoyment out of that.”
Colin Ellis — 861-9253