Franklin County Chamber hosts annual meeting

The Franklin County Chamber of Commerce celebrated with members and guests at its annual meeting dinner Oct. 26 in the North Dining Hall of the University of Maine at Farmington. The dinner was a sold out event, with 170 tickets purchased.

The annual event is the kick-off for the Gerry Wiles Holiday Food Basket drive. A total of 130 baskets have been pledged, with a goal of providing 250 meals this year. The chamber continues to collect food and monetary donations towards this goal.

The evening continued with chamber president Glenn Kapiloff being recognized for his commitment and service to the chamber. Greg Patterson noted, “Glenn continued the growth started by recent past Chamber presidents, Scott Landry and Mike Blanchet, and has brought the chamber to a new level.” Kapiloff was presented with a W.A Mitchell chair for serving the past two years as chamber president.

The Franklin County Chamber also showed its appreciation to Jodi Cordes, Peter Osborne and Rhonda Irish for their support as board members with a presentation of certificates for their dedicated service.

The chamber’s 2017 Board of Directors will include president Susan Atwood, vice president Ken True, membership chairwoman Shannon Smith, treasurer Pam Dixon, secretary Chrissy St. Laurent and member at large Chuck Ellis. Directors include Heidi Elliot, Tammy Hutchinson, Patty Ladd, Angela LeClair, Greg Patterson and Susi Pearson.

Atwood, the new board president, discussed the efforts of the strategic planning process that was initiated this summer. “The Chamber cannot function in a void,” Atwood said. “Please talk to us about what we are doing well and what we can do better. We are listening.”

The annual Business of the Year awards were presented with the top three nominees in each category recognized for their achievements with a certificate of appreciation, and an overall winner from each category was given a plaque. The Business of the Year nominees and awards were as follows:

Small Business of Year nominees included Expenet Technologies, Senior Planning Center (winner), and Rustic Roots Farm. Anthony Arruda, of Senior Planning Center, and his staff have helped hundreds of seniors navigate through the confusing world of Medicare/Medicaid by answering questions. They were also noted as being very supportive of local community groups.

Medium Business of the Year nominees included Touch of Class (winner), Coca-Cola and Main-land Development Consultants. Touch of Class was recognized for working closely with people who have disabilities and treating them with the respect they deserve. The thrift stores allow the person an opportunity integrate into the community and contribute to society.

Large Business of the Year nominees included Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, Leap Inc. (winner), and University of Maine at Farmington. Leap Inc. was recognized for being a forward thinking leader who strives to create a great workplace atmosphere for their almost 200 employees and create nurturing environments for their clients. Innovative ideas that support their clients and demonstrate a commitment to our communities include Stone Soup Gardens providing accessible gardens and the Fit Trails with workout stations.

The Non-Profit, Group, Civic Organization of the Year nominees included the Farmington Ski Club, Healthy Community Coalition, and Franklin County Children’s Task Force (winner). Franklin County Children’s Task Force was recognized for being a valuable resource to parents of young children through the many programs provided including parenting classes at no cost giving guidance and support to new parents. Also noted was their work to help prevent bullying harassment in our schools through the Anti-Bullying program.

Mark Rosewell, vice president of store operations at Day’s Jewelers announced Friday that Valentin Sierra was selected to manage Day’s new store at The Marketplace at Augusta, according to a press release from the company.

The store is currently under construction and scheduled to open on Nov. 25. The new store in Augusta will be Day’s seventh store.

For the past year, Sierra has managed Day’s Waterville location.

The Augusta store will be opening at the former Gap location. With nearly 100 showcases of jewelry and watches, it will be one of Maine’s largest jewelry stores and will offer full service, including in-store jewelry repairs, custom jewelry design, appraisals and engraving. The store will feature a children’s play area, guest lounge and a goldsmith viewing area where customers are able to watch jewelry being designed and repaired.

The new store will open with approximately 15 employees including jewelry repair and design staff. About half of the staff will be jewelry professionals selected from other Day’s stores with others being hired from the local Augusta community. For more information regarding employment at Day’s, email [email protected]

Day’s is a Maine based family business, founded in Portland in 1914 and employs 140 people in Maine & New Hampshire. Day’s Jewelers, headquartered in Waterville, has seven physical store locations as well as a full e-commerce website, www.daysjewelers.com.

HR group finalist for trade award

The Central Maine Human Resources Association has been selected as a finalist for the 2016 Pinnacle Award, an award given by the national group Society for Human Resources Management, according to a press release from the group.

Winners will be announced at SHRM’s Volunteer Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. CMHRA is a finalist due to its creation of HR Thursdays, a partnership between the Central Maine Human Resource Association, the Maine CareerCenters (America’s Job Center), and the LA Metro Chamber of Commerce. The program was developed to offer employers resources and tools to combat the effects of the labor shortage. Workshops in the HR Thursday series were designed to help businesses create meaningful recruitment, training, and retention strategies.

In addition, the HR Thursdays increased access to programming for the local HR community, hiring managers and business leaders. The three partners worked together to increase visibility of each organization and to raise awareness of critical conversations around recruitment, retention and training. HR Thursdays ensured opportunities for participants to gain information needed to survive the labor shortage while giving tangible, and usable, tools and resources.

ReVision Energy in Liberty launches Solar Salute

In time for Veterans Day, ReVision Energy in Liberty has launched the Solar Salute program to support veterans and service members looking to invest in solar energy and heat pump technology solutions.

As a certified B Corporation that seeks to create positive social change, ReVision Energy values the service and sacrifice that veterans have made to keep our country and communities safe. To help them and their families move toward energy independence, ReVision is offering veterans a five percent discount on any solar or heat pump installation.

Kayla Wernig, a service coordinator and Renewable Energy advisor for ReVision Energy, is the driving force behind the Solar Salute program. “As a veteran and an employee of ReVision Energy, I have received a phenomenal amount of support,” says Wernig. “I believe every veteran should receive that same support as they transition their home’s energy future.”

Through the Solar Salute program, veterans will be eligible for discounts for an existing home or business. To learn more about the Solar Salute program, as well as financing options, visit: www.revisionenergy.com/campaigns/solar-salute-program

ReVision Energy, founded in Liberty, has five locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and has installed more than 5,000 residential, commercial and institutional solar energy systems across northern New England since 2003.

Shaws teams with Sunoco for gas rewards program

Shaw’s, Star Market and Sunoco are teaming up to launch a gas rewards program, according to a press release from the grocery store chain.

The gas rewards program will be offered at 102 Shaw’s locations in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Maine and 23 Star Market locations in Massachusetts. Shaw’s and Star Market customers can get up to $1 off per gallon when redeeming their gas rewards at approximately 150 participating Sunoco stations. Gas rewards can be earned by making qualifying purchases at Shaw’s or Star Market stores.

Customers can register for the gas rewards program at www.shaws.com or by signing up for the Shaw’s or Star Market App on their Android® or iOS™ devices. Reward points are earned when shopping at Shaw’s or Star Markets:

• Customers receive one point per $1 spent on eligible grocery purchases.

• Customers receive one point for every out-of-pocket cost dollar spent on in-store pharmacy, including co-pays.

• Customers can build up points twice as fast by receiving two points per $1 spent on qualifying gift cards. For every 100 reward points earned by shopping at Shaw’s or Star Market, customers receive a 10 cent-per-gallon gas reward. Customers with an existing MyMixx account can start earning and redeeming immediately by using their registered phone number at checkout and at the gas station. The reward points are earned when customers use a registered phone number at checkout. Gas rewards are then redeemed at participating Sunoco stations when using the same registered phone number by entering it at the pump or inside the station before fueling up.

Compiled from contributed releases

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