WATERVILLE — Though he retired the signature yellow and blue superhero costume belonging to the Big Book Man years ago, Gary Poulin says many people still call him “Bookie,” a nickname derived from his role as the mascot for the telephone directory service EZ to Use.

As a sales representative for EZ to Use, now EZtoUse.com, Poulin was the first superhero mascot for the company’s Fairfield office. He was in commercials and parades and wore the costume to deliver EZ to Use phone books around the community.

He no longer wears the costume, but the company motto, “We’re in print, online and on the go,” is one he still takes to heart. As an active member of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Poulin has logged hundreds of hours of community service and is the recipient of this year’s Elias A. Joseph Award. The award is given out by the chamber in recognition of a business person who best exemplifies the dedication of Joseph, a former chamber member and volunteer of 28 years.

Whether it’s at the many annual events the chamber hosts each year or serving on several different committees in Waterville and at the chamber, Poulin really is everywhere and is always on the go.

“My typical day is, I wake up in the morning and I say ‘What can I do to help somebody today?'” said Poulin, 61. “That’s basically my mentality, so whether it’s doing stuff for the chamber, the Opera House, Waterville Main Street or with the book, I’m out there trying to help.”

Born in Waterville and raised in Benton, Poulin graduated from Lawrence High School and briefly worked in construction before moving to Florida to help his mother grow a home health care business. The family eventually sold the business and Poulin moved back to Maine in 2001 after marrying his wife, Jean. Today they live in Clinton.

Poulin started working at EZ to Read, a telephone directory service in Fairfield, and assumed the role of the Big Book Man in 2002 after the company was bought out by EZ to Use Big Book.

“I was the Big Book Man,” Poulin said. “My manager wanted somebody to do it and I just said, ‘That’s my style.'”

Poulin first became involved in the chamber’s Taste of Waterville and chaired the Taste Committee for five years, helping vendors set up early in the morning, overseeing trash pickup and shuttling elderly and handicap attendees to the event.

He also helped launch the chamber’s Business to Business Showcase in 2006. He is currently a member of the Membership Services Committee and the Business Expansion and Retention Committee and served seven years on the board of directors and Executive Committee.

“Gary blows us away year after year,” said Christian Savage, program director at the chamber. “His tireless dedication and commitment not just to the Taste of Waterville but all the events and committees is truly amazing. He’s in our office nearly every day and always asks if we need anything and if he can help.”

Outside of the chamber, Poulin is well known for his help at many other community organizations, both formally and informally. He served on the board of the Waterville Opera House for six years and helped with the $4.5 million renovation that was completed in 2013.

Last year, when a local pet supply store collected about 10,000 pounds of pet food for area humane societies but was struggling to get it all delivered, Poulin volunteered to load the pet food into a delivery truck he was already using to ship phone books.

“It was a huge, huge help,” said Heidi Neal, owner of Loyal Biscuit pet supply store. “It was huge for him to donate his time and the help of his crew for us.”

He’s also served on the board of directors for Waterville Main Street and has helped organize the Kringleville program, which hosts Santa Claus downtown each year.

“Wherever they need me, I’m there,” Poulin said. “This is just a great community. It’s a great place to live.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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