Waterville Creates! fills out its staff with Rudy, Nigals, Sugden and Dyer

Waterville Creates!, the community arts and culture organization, has recently filled out its staff with four new members.

Staff includes Nate Rudy, executive director, KiKA Nigals, program manager; Dick Dyer, marking director; Marie Sugden, executive assistant and Nate Rudy, executive director.

Rudy has municipal, management, commercial real estate, finance and business administration experience from his most recent work as economic and community development director for the city of Gardiner.

Nigals comes to the organization with extensive programing and art organization experience, according to a news release from WC, including being founding director of a non-profit gallery and learning center.

Dyer was most recently director of marketing & development for the Waterville Opera House and has more than 34 years in public relations and marketing consultation nationwide.

Sugden is a Waterville native with nonprofit, project management and arts administration experience who previously served as assistant manager of Center for Maine Craft and assistant programs manager for the Maine Crafts Association. She recently earned a masters of art in arts administration from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. She is also chairwoman of the Kennebec Valley Arts Association.

Waterville Creates! is a central Maine arts council and collaborative consortium established to work directly with community arts, creative, and cultural institutions to enhance and strengthen the vitality of Waterville.

The organization generates and coordinates arts programming and cultural collaborations within the community, serves as a vibrant face of Waterville as the city builds its profile as a major site for art and culture in Maine and works to foster greater public awareness of and support for a robust creative economy in Waterville, according to the news release.

Business, sportsmen’s groups form Maine hunting advocacy partnership

A group of local leaders representing sporting organizations, businesses and retailers has announced a new partnership, Hunting Works For Maine, that will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that may have an impact on jobs in the state, according to a news release from the group.

Hunting Works for Maine was formed to highlight the many benefits of hunting and shooting to Maine’s economy, noting that sportsmen and women are crucial drivers of in-state commerce, according to the release. Speakers at a press conference last week pledged a more unified voice in support of Maine’s hunting and shooting heritage through this new partnership.

“As an entrepreneur and a small business owner, I have experienced firsthand the impact of a busy hunting season,” said Belgrade-area Rep. Gary Hilliard, R-District 76, co-chair of Hunting Works for Maine and owner of several Subway franchises, among other businesses. “I am excited to be a co-chair because I love hunting but also because I want to meet and work with other stake holders, so together we can educate the people of Maine about the many benefits hunting and shooting bring to our economy.”

The release cited the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation statistic that each year 181,000 people hunt in Maine. “These hunters are a considerable economic force in the state,” the release said. “Hunters spend about $102 million on lodging, gas and food while on hunting trips and spend over $60 million on equipment.”

Clay Tranten, a third generation owner of grocery stores, a convenience store, a gas station and a laundromat that serves hunters and more in Kingfield and Farmington and co-chairman of Hunting Works for Maine, said, “Like so many businesses across our state, hunters have been a big part of all of our stores, and we can count on them year after year. Our stores opened for business in 1955, and each year our family has known that we can depend on the dollars spent by those who come here to hunt. It’s important that the public hear stories like ours.”

The group has more than 50 partner organizations and will be adding dozens more in the weeks and months to come, the release said.

Hunting Works For Maine will monitor public policy decisions and weigh in on hunting-related issues that impact Maine jobs. Hunting Works For Maine will serve as a vehicle to facilitate important public policy dialogue and to tell the story of how Maine’s hunting heritage positively effects conservation and jobs throughout the state, according to the release.

Gifford’s, ‘North Woods Law’ to hold Skowhegan event

Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream will host a community celebration featuring Maine game wardens in its hometown of Skowhegan to commemorate the 35th anniversary of its first ice cream stand in the town, the company announced Wednesday. Game wardens including Kris MacCabe and Chad Robertson from the Maine Warden Service as featured in ‘North Woods Law,’ the popular Animal Planet documentary television series, will join the celebration as honored guests.

The event is free and open to the public and will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, at Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream Stand, at 307 Madison Ave. The celebration is also a fundraiser for the Somerset Humane Society and Gifford’s plans to donate a percentage of its proceeds from the day up to $500, according to the release.

The wardens will meet the community, sign autographs and share their display of furs and mounts as well as have a law enforcement vehicle on view, according to the release. Morgan, one of their dog partners, will also be at the event.

Gifford’s plans activities including a speed pitch, a beanbag toss, a balloon artist and a drawing contest.

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