There was little question about which Raymond selectman would serve on the committee studying whether the town should withdraw from its school district with Windham.

And when that committee had to choose a chairman two weeks ago, the same name immediately came up again.

“I figured, if anybody’s going to know how to run a meeting, Joe (Bruno) is,” said Teresa Sadak, who serves with him on the Board of Selectmen and the withdrawal committee.

Bruno, 59, the president and chief executive officer of the Augusta-based Community Pharmacies chain, has a concurrent career as a professional board member.

Since he was elected to the Raymond school board in 1989 – his first public office – Bruno has served as a state representative, including two terms as the House Republican leader, and eight years on the select board, with two as chairman and all as parliamentarian.

He was also a trustee for the Cumberland County Civic Center and served as chairman of the building committee during the facility’s renovation into the Cross Insurance Arena.

He was appointed to the board of the former Dirigo Health Agency by Gov. John Baldacci and made chairman by Gov. Paul LePage.

LePage also chose Bruno to lead an advisory committee to consider whether to establish a state health insurance exchange and to serve as a member of a task force to streamline the state budget.

Around the same time he was named Raymond’s withdrawal committee chairman this month, he was reappointed as president of the Maine Board of Pharmacy.

Despite the extent of his involvement, Bruno insists he still has “plenty of time to sit in my chair and nap.”

And he doesn’t take on all that he’s asked to do.

Bruno recently turned down a request to be involved with a statewide board that he wouldn’t name because of the time commitment, and left the Maine Community Foundation’s Cumberland County Committee because he didn’t think it was “a good fit.” In 2007, he resigned as chairman of the Maine Republican Party after a few months on the job, citing an inability to unite the party.

Without a passion for the cause, “I won’t do it,” he said. “I want the passion to be there, so when I’m at the meeting, I’m involved and I’m engaged.”

That passion has led to a flat tax rate in Raymond and updated pharmacy regulations.

“Those kinds of things are so fulfilling,” he said.

Another of his achievements from serving on boards is becoming a better board member.

“You get an insight from serving on each board that you can use,” he said.

All of his colleagues – from the local, county and state levels – describe his style the same way.

“People know you’re going to get the straight answer,” said Sen. Bill Diamond, D-Windham, who beat Bruno in what he called a “real positive” race for state Senate 10 years ago.

“He’s a class act and someone I have a lot of respect for,” Diamond said.

Neal Pratt, who served with Bruno on the Cumberland County Civic Center board of trustees, said he’s hard-working and goal-oriented.

“Joe shifts into gear and does what it takes to get it done. And that’s a very valuable commodity in a board member,” Pratt said.

That’s why he appointed Bruno as chairman of the building committee.

“Joe worked very hard to make sure that process stayed on schedule and on budget. He took his charge very seriously,” Pratt said about the civic center’s transformation into the Cross Insurance Arena.

As a chairman, Bruno is authoritative and efficient and doesn’t hesitate to rein in a meeting that’s getting out of hand.

The idea, Bruno said, is not to waste people’s time – including his own.

From the time he starts checking his email at 5 a.m. until he shuts his computer down at 8 at night, Bruno is working.

He goes to bed early if he can, but there’s the occasional night meeting that keeps him out until 11 p.m.

“Those are the days I drink an extra cup of coffee,” he said. That would be seven cups instead of six.

Asked about his other strategies for juggling so many jobs, Bruno said he makes sure to take time for himself. Mostly, it’s on the golf course.

“That’s kind of my relaxation,” he said.

There was a time when Bruno had more on his plate. The husband and father of two now-grown daughters was once CEO of Goold Health Systems and Sable Oaks Golf Club, at the same time he was starting Community Pharmacies and serving in the Legislature.

Now, aside from his civic work, he only has one full-time job – though when a professor at the University of New England retired a couple of years ago, Bruno agreed to take over a pharmacy law class.

“That’s in my spare time,” he said.


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