Maine State Chamber of Commerce to host broadband talk Friday

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce plans to host an informational symposium on Maine’s broadband infrastructure from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, Feb. 12, at the Senator Inn & Spa in Augusta, according to a news release from the chamber.

Panel members will give an overview of the U.S. and Maine’s broadband network, as well as the economics of broadband, and will explore in-depth broadband issues being debated by the Legislature. Go to to register, or email Amy Downing at [email protected] for more information.

Bangor Savings Bank Foundation wants Mainers to vote for deserving nonprofits to receive grants

BANGOR — The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation began its annual grant-making initiative, Community Matters More, on Monday. Through this charitable program, Maine residents can weigh in on how to allocate $100,000 the bank has pledged to give to 68 Maine nonprofit organizations across the state.

The voting period lasts until Feb. 29, with winners to be announced in April.

To vote, visit Paper ballots are available at any Bangor Savings Bank branch and at each of the participating nonprofits.

Upper Kennebec Valley Ambulance Service receives Plum Creek grant

The Plum Creek Foundation recently awarded a $6,000 grant to the Upper Kennebec Valley Ambulance Service to help fund the replacement of outdated cardiac monitors and defibrillators.

According to a news release from Donna Dickstein, secretary-treasurer for the agency’s board of directors, Upper Kennebec Valley serves an area of 708 square miles in central Somerset County. Despite this huge geographic size, the service area has a minimal year-round population. Because of this, the replacement of equipment is a considerable burden to the community.

Upper Kennebec Valley describes its mission as providing quality emergency medical care to residents, workers and visitors in their coverage area.

Big Brothers Big Sisters gets $2,500 Skowhegan Savings grant

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine recently was awarded a $2,500 grant from the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Contributions Foundation in support of school-based mentoring programs in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

This donation will help fund activities and healthful snacks for matched pairs at Big Brothers Big Sisters mentoring programs that link students from Skowhegan Area High School (Bigs) with elementary school students (Littles) at Margaret Chase Smith School and Bloomfield Elementary School. It also will support programs in Oakland, matching students from Messalonskee High School with children at Williams Elementary School and Atwood Primary School, and at the agency’s site-based program at the Gardiner Boys and Girls Club, pairing local children with teens from Gardiner Area High School.

Big Brothers Big Sisters CEO Alex Gaeth said the agency’s partnership with Skowhegan Savings is vital in the agency’s work to help more children succeed in Somerset County.

“When businesses like Skowhegan Savings continue to support the mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters, they are making a long-term commitment to children in their community to help change more lives for the better,” Gaeth said in a news release.

Franklin Health medical practices tap into behavioral health services schedule

All four Franklin Health primary care medical practices — Pediatrics, Internal Medicine, Farmington Family Practice and Livermore Falls Family Practice — now have open access to schedule patients to be seen at Franklin Health Behavioral Services. This means that the staff in the primary care setting can schedule appointments directly for their patients needing mental health and behavioral services.

This change enables patients to be seen sooner when it is clinically necessary, or when the primary care provider thinks a patient needs high-quality psychiatric expertise. The staff includes one psychiatrist and two psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.

The clinicians at Behavioral Services — Arthur Dingley, D.O., J.D.; Suzanne Alexis, PMH-NP; and Rebecca Chandler, PMH-NP, C.S. — provide psychiatric evaluation and treatment and are specialists in mental health medication management.

Also, through Alexis, Franklin Health Behavioral Services again is providing mental health treatment for children 5 and older. Alexis offers psychiatric evaluations and expertise in mental health medication management.

According to Alexis, she treats children with depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorders, and mood disorders, among others. Her treatment includes assessments, medication management, and referrals to counseling, case management and other services as needed.

Referrals are being accepted only from Franklin Health primary care practices.

Alexis is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner who received her master’s degree in nursing from the University of Southern Maine. She has more than 15 years of extensive experience working with children and families.

Franklin Health Behavioral Services is in the Mt. Blue Health Center, which is on the Franklin Memorial Hospital campus. A referral from a patient’s primary care provider is needed for appointments. For additional information, call 778-0035.

Fontaine Family — The Real Estate Leader announces new Auburn staff member

Kelly Webb of Monmouth brings her 26 years of real estate experience to the Auburn team.

Webb lives in Monmouth with her fiance, TJ, and her daughter, Abby. She grew up in Monmouth, where she attended Monmouth Academy. After graduation she attended Mid State Business school.

Webb worked as a legal secretary, then started her real estate career in 1990. She spent seven years as the office manager at ERA Webb. Webb is a member of BNI, a worldwide business networking organization, and holds an associate broker’s license.

Great Falls Marketing’s Augusta site seeks to add 40 jobs via open house

AUBURN — Great Falls Marketing, a local company providing national inbound and customer service telemarketing for direct response and retail marketers, seeks to hire double the number of its sales agents at its Augusta site by the end of March.

Continuous growth has afforded Great Falls the opportunity to expand and open multiple call centers throughout southern and central Maine, including its fifth and newest one at 14 Edison Drive in Augusta, the company said in a news release. The Augusta call center has 40 sales agents, and the company’s goal is to hire 40 more.

The company is hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 10, to attract employment candidates.

“The enthusiasm our employees bring to the workplace translates directly to the results our clients see. These clients are asking us to grow and we are now in the position to bring this great opportunity to the State Capital with our fifth location in Maine,” said Shawn Reed, Great Falls Marketing’s vice president of call center development and performance, in the news release.

Great Falls Marketing handles thousands of incoming sales calls each day among their other four call centers in Maine, which are in Auburn, Westbrook, Saco and South Portland.

“We were in Augusta many years ago, and it was one of the best groups of employees we could ask for. Many of those employees are still with us 10 years later and have become part of our core sales management teams. Now they get to bring that back to where they got their start,” Reed said.

More information is available at

Peace Moving Forward holistic wellness center announces new partnership

Kate Kelley, LCPC, owner and outpatient therapist of LL Lotus Healing & Wellness, joins Marylena Chaisson, LCPC, the owner of Peace Moving Forward, at the holistic welnnes center’s location on Main Street in Wilton.

Peace Moving Forward is a shared space for holistic wellness and counseling and has been open in Wilton since May.

Chaisson and Kelley, both providers of Health Affiliates Maine, have worked together intermittently in community mental health for over a decade. This continued collaboration seemed an ideal fit for them.

LL Lotus Healing & Wellness is the result of Kelley’s last decade building clinical skills and techniques to share with others. She is living her dream of creating a healing space that is based on kindness, skill building and compassion, working to help individuals embark on their journey toward a more peaceful sense of self. She will be working with individuals and small groups, adults and adolescents. MaineCare and multiple private insurances are accepted.

Kelley’s first group will be “Enhancing Self Esteem through Self-Care,” an eight-week activities based therapeutic group for women to be held 10-12 a.m. Thursdays beginning March 17. The group is open to a maximum of eight participants.

For more information about services or referrals, visit Referrals are also accepted by fax at 645-2263 or by phone. Chaisson can be reached at 779-7722, Kelley at 860-8521.

One remaining space is available for sublease at Peace Moving Forward. If you are a holistic wellness provider interested in collaborating with Chaisson and Kelley, email [email protected] or call 779-7722.

New human resources director appointed at Franklin Community Health Network

FARMINGTON — Cynthia Cronkhite has been appointed director of human resources at Franklin Community Health Network, according to a news release from the organization’s president and CEO, Rebecca Arsenault.

Cronkhite has 13 years of experience in human resources and leadership excellence.

Before joining Franklin, Cronkhite was manager of human resources operations, prevention and wellness at St. Mary’s Health System in Lewiston, where she was responsible for implementing and sustaining best-practice human resource operations. She also managed benefits administration with a special focus on prevention and employee wellness programming.

Cronkhite received her bachelor’s degree in leadership and organizational studies from the University of Southern Maine, Lewiston/Auburn College, and expects to receive her master’s degree in leadership studies in June from the same school. She is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management, the Central Maine Human Resource Association and the Maine Society for Health and Human Resources. She is a Safe Voices board vice president.

Cronkite lives in Livermore Falls with her husband, Roy.

Camden National Bank supports Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine

CAMDEN — Camden National Bank has renewed its commitment to supporting youth in Maine through its partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine and its sponsorship and involvement with the nonprofit’s annual Bowl For Kids’ Sake fundraiser.

The bank will be a lead sponsor for the spring event again and will coordinate employee bowling teams throughout the five regional locations — Penobscot County, the Midcoast, Kennebec County, Somerset County, and this year, Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties.

“We are so excited to have Camden National Bank as one of our lead sponsors again this year,” Alex Gaeth, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, said in a news release. He called the bank’s support “an incredible asset to our event, our organization, and to the young children we serve each year.”

Each year, Bowl For Kids’ Sake raises about 40 percent of the agency’s operating revenue and supports matches of children and mentors in Knox, Lincoln, Waldo, Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

In 2015, Camden National, with other businesses and local communities, helped Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine host the most successful event in the organization’s 37-year history. The bank’s employees organized close to 30 teams throughout Penobscot County, the Midcoast and the Kennebec valley and raised more than $14,000 to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine.

Across the six counties the organization partnered 787 children with mentors who helped them deal with their challenges, avoid risky behavior and make better decisions

The 2016 Bowl For Kids’ Sake events will kick off at the end of March and continue through the middle of May. Teams are starting to sign up now. Individuals or businesses interested in participating in the fundraiser or learning more about becoming a mentor in their area should visit

Maine Arts Commission director to address creative economy at business breakfast

WATERVILLE — The next monthly business breakfast presented by Thomas College and the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce will feature Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard.

Richard will talk about what the commission is doing to drive arts and culture statewide, as well as specific efforts to enhance the creative economy locally.

The breakfast will be held from 7:15 to 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 11, in the Spann Student Commons Summit Room on Thomas College’s campus at 180 West River Road in Waterville.

Before joining the commission, Richard was president and CEO of the West Valley Arts Council in the West Valley of Phoenix, Arizona.

Richard has extensive experience in development, strategic planning, arts education and organizational development.

Richard earned Bachelor of Science degrees in psychology and music (voice) and a Master of Arts degree in business (arts administration) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Richard is a member of the Vox Nova Chamber Choir. She and her artist husband, Ed Buonvecchio, live in Manchester.

The cost of the Business Breakfast is $19 for late registration (after Friday and before the event) or $25 at the door for the public. Breakfast is included with the reservation. To register, e-mail [email protected] or phone 873-3315.

The sponsors for the Business Breakfast are AT&T; People’s United Bank; Higgins & Bolduc Insurance; Nicholson, Michaud & Company; O’Donnell, Lee, McCowan & Phillips, LLC; Waterville Creates!; the Morning Sentinel, a division of Maine Today Media Inc.; radio sponsor MIX107.9 and TV sponsor Choice Investments.

Compiled from contributed releases

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