SKOWHEGAN — Longtime community volunteer Davida Barter, a paralegal with the Skowhegan law firm of Mills, Shay, Lexier and Talbot, has been named the 2017 Alton W. Whittemore Award winner by the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce.

The award for outstanding service, known as the chamber’s “most dignified” award, is named for a man who dedicated much of his life in service to the community.

“I was thrilled,” Barter said. “The reason mostly that I was thrilled is that Alton Whittemore was a relative of mine and he used to carry around a sheet of paper of everything he was involved in; and he showed me that sheet one day, and I was just in awe at how much he had accomplished in his lifetime, so I’m very honored.”

Chamber Executive Director Jason Gayne said the award honors Whittemore for his 40 years of support and dedication to the Chamber and 60 years of service to Skowhegan. The award recipients are people “most worthy to bear the name and having displayed similar service” to the Chamber, he said.

Nominees for the award come from Chamber membership and are selected by the Awards and Recognition Committee, which is made up of past winners of the awards.

Barter, 63, is married and has two grown daughters and four grandchildren. She graduated from Skowhegan Area High School in 1972 and studied public administration at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Barter has a long list of achievements and community service, having been a Skowhegan selectwoman, a Coburn Park commissioner, and a member of the Budget and Finance Committee, the Somerset County Budget Committee and the county charter commission. She is a longtime active member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, she is a Somerset Woods trustee, and she was active in the Chamber.

Barter was among the founder members of the group TAPS — Taking Action to Promote Skowhegan — which transformed Skowhegan Log Days from a two-day event to a weeklong celebration of the final log drives down the Kennebec River.

“We started Moonlight Madness, pub night, the Lobster bake and free events at the Municipal Building,” she said. In 1982, when she was president of the Chamber, Barter and others raised more than $70,000 to build a creative playground at the recreation center.

These are past winners of the Whittemore award:

• Katie Ouilette, 2007

• Betty Austin, 2008

• Denise LeBlanc, 2009

• Karen Hart, 2010

• Chris Perkins, 2011

• Greg Dore, 2012

• Mickey Powers, 2013

• Shirley Whittemore, 2014

• Darla Pickett, 2015

• Patricia Dickey, 2016

Other Chamber winners this year to be honored Nov. 16 at the T&B Celebration Center on Madison Avenue are New Balance, Large Business of the Year; Computer Improvements, Small Business of the Year; Derek Rossignol, Volunteer of the Year; Louann Barnes, Community Citizen Impact; Bigelow Brewing Co., Community Business Impact; and Rotary International, Community Organization Impact.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]



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