Research institute honors Colby for fish choices

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute, which oversees ocean stewardship and economic growth in the Gulf of Maine region, has recognized Colby College in Waterville as the first educational institution to serve 100 percent Gulf of Maine responsibly harvested whitefish.

The institute’s sustainable seafood brand manager, Kyle Foley, officially recognized Colby Dining and Sodexo, which manages College Dining Services, for not only achieving that milestone, but also for using underappreciated species. Those species include whiting, cape shark, Acadian redfish and Atlantic pollock.

“Living in a coastal region, many people might assume that most of the seafood we eat is from the Gulf of Maine’s waters, but in fact, we import a lot of the flaky white fish we eat. So for Colby and UNE to have achieved sourcing 100 percent Gulf of Maine Responsibly Harvested whitefish is extraordinary, and shows a genuine commitment to supporting our region’s fishing communities,” Foley said in a news release.

In a recent ceremony at Dana Dining Hall at Colby, members of the onsite dining team, managed by Sodexo, and members of the Colby College Dining Services Student Dining Committee along with students took part in the lunch celebration, which included a menu of local beer-battered dogfish.

Ibarguen becomes new chairwoman of insurance association board

The Maine Insurance Agents Association, in Hallowell, recently elected Michelle M. Ibarguen chairwoman of its board of directors.

Ibarguen joined Cross Insurance-Augusta as president and branch manager in December 2002. The Augusta branch office includes 20 insurance professionals providing clients with commercial lines, personal lines, surety bonding and employee benefit services. Ibarguen has more than 30 years of surety bonding and commercial insurance experience, having worked at two national insurance companies before pursuing an opportunity with an independent insurance agency.

Ibarguen is a Maine-licensed property/casualty and life/health agent. She earned the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter designation in 1992, the Associate in Fidelity & Surety Bonding designation in 1993, the Certified Risk Manager designation in 2010 and the Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.

In addition to the Maine Independent Insurance Agents Association, Ibarguen is a board member of the Associated General Contractors of Maine and secretary and board member of the Maine Chapter of the Construction Financial Management Association. In Greater Augusta, she also serves on the board and executive committee of the United Way of Kennebec Valley and continues as chairwoman of its communications committee.

Michelle resides in Portland. She has one adult son, Nicholas, of New York City.

Viles Arboretum joins Maine Tourism Association

The Viles Arboretum has joined the Maine Tourism Association to ensure statewide promotion of the sights, trails, interpretive presentations, botanical collections and more on the Arboretum’s 224-acre preserve in Augusta.

The focus on outreach comes from the organization’s Shifting Gears Initiative, which seeks to ensure that the arboretum serves as a gateway to nature learning and appreciation.

Under the initiative, the organization is labeling all botanical specimens, and the first eight interpretive signs now provide information about the arboretum’s collections. Trails have been improved, collections are getting the attention they need, membership is up, visitation numbers are growing and young student participation is the largest it has been in the arboretum’s history.

The arboretum offers a changing selection of exhibits and educational and practical programs for the public and for schools, focusing on interactive, creative and hands-on teaching in botany and natural history. The newly installed Art Trail presents the largest publicly accessible display of outdoor sculpture in Maine.

Woodlands Senior Living of Waterville marks 20 years

Woodlands Senior Living of Waterville celebrated 20 years in business last week. The campus opened on April 15, 1996, offering residential assisted living for senior citizens. Today the campus has expanded to provide memory care and independent apartments called Park Residences, according to a news release from the Woodlands.

According to owner and president Lon Walters, the idea was always to offer additional services beyond assisted living.

“I went to Waterville and realized at the time that there weren’t many facilities to serve this population, so I thought it would be a nice place to build,” Walters said in the release. “When we built, I knew there would be another phase. We designed the first facility with expansion in mind, and within four years we had brought in both Park Residences and the memory care facility.”

Walters’ son, Matthew, is the chief operating officer of Woodlands. Three employees who started with Woodlands on the first day are still with the company in various leadership capacities, the release said, including Linda Johnston, executive director of Woodlands Senior Living of Waterville; Sue Plisga, administrator of Woodlands Memory Care of Waterville; and Jill Sirois, the organization’s corporate director of human resources and risk management.

The company employs 71 people at Woodlands Senior Living of Waterville with 136 residents living on campus.

In addition to Waterville, Woodlands Senior Living has communities in Brewer, Cape Elizabeth, Hallowell, Lewiston and Rockland and is breaking ground this year at a site in Farmington.

Crisis & Counseling gets 3 new board members

Augusta’s Crisis & Counseling Centers’ board of directors recently voted in new members Patricia Harriman, Alanna Luther and Patty Morini.

Harriman is the assistant vice president and banking center manager of Camden National Bank in Augusta. She has more than 17 years of experience in personal and real estate loan development, including large portfolio management, loan consulting and business expansion.

Luther is a mental health rehabilitation technician for Assistance Plus. She is furthering her education in mental health through Kennebec Valley Community College. A Skowhegan native, Luther has spent six years in the mental health field and has managerial and customer service experience.

Morini, manager of the process design department at MaineGeneral Health, has spent nearly 30 years in the mental health and addiction fields. She received a Master of Arts degree in art therapy at The George Washington University and later became a licensed alcohol/drug counselor and licensed clinical professional counselor. Previously Morini spent 23 years at MaineGeneral Counseling, working with its outpatient counseling program, the employee assistance program, intensive outpatient mental health and substance abuse programs, and residential treatment programs in a variety of roles.

Each of the new board members is appointed for a three-year term from 2016 to 2019.

Crisis & Counseling Centers serve people with behavioral health needs, including substance abuse, mental health and co-occurring disorders. The nonprofit agency is the sole provider of crisis services for Kennebec and Somerset counties and administers 24-hour-a-day crisis services to those in need.

Maine Family Planning announces spring soiree

Supporters of Maine Family Planning are invited to attend the organization’s Birds and the Bees Spring Soiree fundraiser to mark the group’s 45th anniversary. The gala will be held May 7 at the Portland Country Club in Falmouth.

At the event, Maine Family Planning will present the Sherry and David Huber Award to Dr. Wendy Wolf, president and CEO of the Maine Health Access Foundation, and the Sue and Buzz Fitzgerald Award to the Knox County Health Clinic in Rockland.

In addition, the evening will feature ’70s music and dancing, a silent auction, a raffle of a trip to Hawaii (air fare included) and door prizes.

Proceeds benefit Maine Family Planning, a statewide provider of vital health care services for more than 20,000 Mainers every year, especially people with limited or no income and no insurance. Founded in 1971, Maine Family Planning seeks to ensure that all Maine residents have access to high-quality, affordable reproductive health care, comprehensive sexual health education, and the right to control their reproductive lives.

To buy raffle tickets, donate an auction item, sponsor the event, or reserve a spot at the soiree, choose “Support and Giving” at or call 248-3919.

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