Franklin Savings Bank names new internal auditor

Franklin Savings Bank has hired Kelli Given, of Jay, as internal auditor. She replaces Lionel Howard, of Skowhegan, who plans to retire in February after 22 years at the bank, according to a news release from the bank.

Given comes to Franklin Savings Bank from the Office of the State Auditor, where she was a senior auditor for the state. She is working to attain certified internal auditor status.

“We are so fortunate to have found someone with Kelli’s background for this position,” said Shelley Deane, senior vice president, human resources and administration at Franklin Savings Bank, in the release. “She brings a keen eye to the workings of our financial institution and a firm understanding of government regulatory process.”

Given will report directly to the bank’s board of directors.

Given earned a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in accounting, both from Thomas College in Waterville.

Attorneys Gleaton and Eccher join Weeks & Hutchins

Area natives Mariah Gleaton and Daniel Eccher have joined the Waterville general practice law firm Weeks & Hutchins, the firm announced.

Gleaton grew up in Palermo and is a graduate of Erskine Academy and the University of Maine, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology. She earned a law degree at the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2014. Gleaton interned with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the Connecticut state’s attorney office and the Connecticut attorney general’s office, according to a news release from the firm.

Before her legal career, she worked with the Maine Health Management Coalition and Maine Medical Association.

Eccher is a Waterville native and Waterivlle High School graduate. He is a graduate of Vassar College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, and earned a master’s degree in public health from Boston University. He graduated form the University of Maine School of Law in 2014. He worked for legal services for the elderly during the summer and after his second year of law school.

Weeks & Hutchins LLC, 2 Park Place, Waterville, a general practice law firm, was established in 1850, according to the release.

New district foresters join Maine Forest Service

AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry’s Maine Forest Service recently hired two new district foresters to serve Washington, Hancock and Penobscot counties. Terri Coolong, of Old Town, and Sandy Walczyk, of Jonesboro, bring a wealth of experience and are expected to contribute to the agency’s efforts to promote active management of Maine’s woodlands, according to the forest service.

Coolong worked 14 years with the department’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, and she had an even longer private-sector career. She most recently worked in the bureau’s Down East district from Amity to Cutler and west to the Machias River. In addition to being licensed foresters, Coolong and her husband, Roger, are both licensed land surveyors and own Coolong Land Surveys Inc. in Lincoln. She graduated with highest distinction in 1983 from the University of Maine with a degree in forest engineering.

Walczyk attended College of the Atlantic for her undergraduate degree, studying wildlife biology and conservation policy. Upon graduation, she worked as a wildlife technician on a variety of research projects for several years. After several years of concentrating on wildlife biology, she began to see forestry as a more direct way to affect natural resources management. Walczyk graduated from UMaine with a master’s degree in forestry in 2012 as a member of Xi Sigma Pi, the Forestry Honor Society. She worked for Seven Islands Land Co. in northern Maine, then returned to work as a consulting forester in Hancock and Washington counties.

Coolong can be contacted at 215-0679, or [email protected] Walczyk can be contacted at 441-4924, or [email protected]

Maine Forest Service District Foresters provide technical assistance, information and education to woodland owners, loggers and foresters; offer workshops on forest-related topics to students from kindergarten through grade 12 and into college; and help people comply with the state’s forestry rules.

“We’re very pleased to be able to place qualified foresters into these positions,” State Forester Doug Denico said. “We look forward to Terri and Sandy providing services to areas that have been underserved for some time.”

Caldwell joins Farmington Family Practice

FARMINGTON — Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice has announced that Dr. Jacqueline Caldwell has joined the practice.

Caldwell received her medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine, then completed her residency at Duke-SRAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program at Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville, N.C. She has a professional interest in women’s health.

The medical practice follows a patient-centered medical home model that designates a primary nurse-provider team to coordinate patient care. Same-day appointments are available as needed, along with around-the-clock access to a provider when the office is closed.

Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice is on the ground floor of the Franklin Health Medical Arts Center on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus. Besides Caldwell, providers include Dr. Kristine Sanden, Dr. Kendra Emery, Dr. Deborah Hamilton, Calli Meader, Linda Seabold and Anna D’Epiro Cushing.

For more information or to make an appointment, call Franklin Health Farmington Family Practice at 778-3326.

Norton Insurance acquires Brennan agency

Norton Insurance announced Wednesday that it has acquired the Brennan Insurance Agency of Winthrop. Locally owned and operated since 1991, Brennan Insurance provides complete personal and commercial insurance to individuals and businesses in Winthrop and the surrounding communities of Belgrade, Monmouth, Mount Vernon and Wayne.

“Over the past several years, Norton Insurance Agency has made a strategic commitment to Kennebec County,” said Jeffory Begin, president of Norton Insurance. In 2013 Norton acquired the Davis Insurance Agency in Monmouth and merged it with its nearby Winthrop affiliate, Fairfield Kilgore Agency. “The Brennan Insurance Agency is a perfect geographic complement to the Davis and Fairfield-Kilgore insurance agencies in nearby Monmouth.”

Norton Insurance is a division of Norton Insurance • Financial, specialists in business insurance and employee benefits, with offices in Maine and Portsmouth, N.H. Norton also has significant personal insurance, business insurance and employee benefits practices that serve individuals and businesses in central Maine.

“By combining with Norton, we are able to continue as an independent insurance agency,” said Michael Brennan, president of Brennan Insurance. “Given Norton’s breadth of carrier relationships, Brennan Insurance is now able to offer individuals and businesses more options to meet their insurance needs.”

As a result of the recent acquisition, the Brennan Insurance Agency is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the Norton Insurance Agency. The Winthrop-based agency will continue to operate from its 168A Main St. location and will market under the Brennan Insurance Agency name. Michael and Patrick Brennan, along with their core team, will continue to serve its local communities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Agricultural development grants announced

AUGUSTA – Commissioner Walter Whitcomb announced 11 Agricultural Development Grant Program awards totaling over $422,855 at the recent Maine Agricultural Trades Show.

The preliminary selections were chosen by a review committee from 47 proposals submitted in response to a formal request for proposals in November. The projects address needs in the agricultural industry for accelerating new market development, adoption of improved technology and promotion of agricultural products produced in Maine.

“The last Census of Agriculture found that the market value of Maine agricultural products has increased 24 percent,” Gov. Paul LePage said in a news release. “The awards announced today will allow Maine agriculture to continue its momentum by helping farmers and producers realize their full economic potential to supply consumers in Maine, New England and beyond. The investments being announced today support job creators and continued growth of our natural resource economy.”

Whitcomb highlighted the efforts of the review committee and its careful selection of projects from dozens of competitive applications.

“Selected proposals incorporated one or more of four priorities: market development for the processing of animals/livestock throughout Maine; improved utilization and profitability of Maine grown grains; market enhancements for nutrition and/or food safety; and projects that focus on alternative markets or diversification,” said Whitcomb. “The selection committee was charged with identifying projects that can start immediately upon acceptance.”

Out of the total 47 proposals received and reviewed by a committee in the competitive review process, 11 projects have been tentatively identified pending approval by the state Purchases Division and the successful completion of a state contract. The local projects have been identified as:

• AgMatters LLC, Vassalboro — food safety education for Maine crop distribution systems,

• Crooked Face Creamery, Norridgewock — market expansion of a national award-winning artisan creamery,

• Maine Agricultural in the Classroom, Augusta — increasing Maine agricultural markets and nutritional awareness of Maine crops through elementary education and

• University of Maine, Monmouth — increasing local plum production for farm market diversification.

In 2014, the Legislature approved department language that improved access to the Agricultural Development Fund. The department identified the agricultural industry need for accelerating new market development, adoption of improved technology and promotion of agricultural products produced in Maine.

The Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry may allocate the grant funds among projects involving market research, market promotion, or a combination of those activities for the purpose of expanding existing markets and developing new markets for agricultural products produced in Maine or for testing and demonstrating new technologies related to the production, storage or processing of state agricultural products.

It is anticipated that another Agricultural Development Fund RFP will be released in the future.

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