McGraw named Realtor of the Year by the Mountains Council of Realtors

Gloria McGraw, of County Seat Realty in Farmington, was named Realtor of the Year by the Mountains Council of Realtors, which includes Franklin County and adjacent areas.

The announcment was made at a meeting of the council held at Saddleback Mountain, attended by about 50 Realtors.

Juanita Bean made the presentation to McGraw, who was selected by a committee of previous nominees. She is now also a nomineed for state Realtor of the Year, which will be named at the state convention in October, according to a news release from the council.

McGraw is owner/designated broker at County Seat Realty and president of the Mountains Council, which she helped to form. She has served on realty committees as well as been active in the community.

She earned a Realtor license in 1988, and sold real estate part time while working full time as a special education director, principal and teacher, in area school systems. She became a full-time Realtor in 1996.


She worked as broker in the Belgrade Lakes area, first for an agency, and then as owner of her own agency, Long Pond Realty. She also worked in the Brunswick area for several years before returning to Farmington to open her own office. County Seat Realty was started four years ago and has some of the top producers in total sales in the area, according to the release. Becky Maxim, Angela Gordon, Pam Barker and Larry Karno have supported McGraw’s efforts in the real estate fields and in the community, according to the release.

The Realtor of the Year award is based on service to the industry as well as community service efforts. McGraw is a member of the Farmington Planning Board and the Farmington Tax Abatement committee. She is active in Farmington Rotary and a member of Farmington Historical Society. She is also involved in Farmington DownTown Association, helping with downtown festivals, clean up activities on Earth Day, beautification efforts, concerts and various fundraising activities. She is a supporter of most community fundraisers for families or children in need, gives to United Way and to the Ecumenical Heat funds, gives to the Food Pantry and the Homeless Shelter, the release said.

She is married to Richard McGraw, a retired optometrist, and they have five children, 11 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Toast Masters’ Heath facilitates class for Kennebec County jail inmates

Brian Heath, President of the Kennebec Valley Toast Masters, recently facilitated the 50th CARA class for inmates at the Kennebec County jail. Toast Masters International is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people become better at communicating. The local chapter meets twice a month at the Augusta City Center.

CARA is a pilot program, developed by Sherriff Randall Liberty and Crisis & Counseling Centers of Augusta, designed to teach social skills to inmates battling addiction, according to a news release from Toast Masters. Speechcraft classes, developed by Toast Masters International, are part of the CARA curriculum and focus on teaching inmates how to communicate thoughts and ideas more effectively. The CARA program, an intensive five-week module, is credited with greatly reducing recidivism rates among inmates in Kennebec County, according to the release.


Heath also manages the Employee Benefits division of Combined Benefits United in Hallowell, an employee and financial benefits provider. He resides in Hallowell.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce to hold employers forum on American With Disabilities Act

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce will host a forum for employers on Tuesday, June 16 at Bangor Savings Bank in Augusta on accommodating employees with disabilities in the workplace, and understanding the intricacies of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The interactive session will feature special guest Beth Loy, Ph.D., of the Job Accommodation Network. The event, which begins at 9:30 a.m., is free. Space is limited. Please contact Amy Downing to register at [email protected].

Glass Art Contest winners announced by Stained Glass Express

Stained Glass Express announced the winners of its annual Just for Fun Glass Art Contest last week.

The contest is held in April as part of the Manchester business’ celebration of National Stained Glass month, according to a press release from Stained Glass Express.


Prizes were awarded by popular vote to winners in each of three categories at Stained Glass Express’s special Invite Night. Categories included Cold Glass (for stained glass pieces); Hot/Warm Glass (for lampworked and fused pieces); and Mosaics. The contest received more than 60 entries this year from glass artists throughout Maine. First place winners received a $100 gift certificate; $75, second place. All entries were on display at the Manchester location throughout the month of April.

In the Cold Glass category, First Place was awarded to Carol Ann Coffin, of Falmouth, for her colorful abstract piece incorporating both stained and fused glass elements. Second place was awarded to Betty Ann Hart, of Harmony, for her bold “Tiger Face” stained glass work.

Winners in the Hot/Warm glass category were Rachel Campbell, of Turner, for her fused and painted glass diorama “Good Morning, Spring!” in first place; Second place went to Coffin, for her garden-inspired “Flowers & Vegetables” fused glass piece.

In the Mosaics category, First Place was awarded to Beth Froman, of Fairfield, for her vividly detailed mosaic “Dragon.” Second place was awarded to Andrea Spaulding, of Waldoboro, for her 3-D mosaic work “Guitar.”

“We’ve been thrilled with the quality and number of entries this year,” said Janet Parkhurst, owner of Stained Glass Express, in the news release. “These entries reflect the state of the art here in Maine in each of the categories. It’s very exciting to see the wide variety of work glass artists are producing in their homes and studios.”

Compiled from contributed releases

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