AUGUSTA — For his longtime service to the business community and longtime generosity to the Augusta area in general, Norman Elvin will receive the 2018 Peter G. Thompson Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce.

The award is schedulled to be presented Jan. 26 at the 2018 Kenney Awards gala at the Augusta Civic Center.

“Our committee nominated him as an accomplished businessman and philanthropist, for his dedication and enthusiasm to the community, and he’s just a humble business professional,” said Katie Doherty, president and CEO of the chamber. “He started his company in 1975, and he has given back the entire time.”

In the conference room at G&E Roofing Co., Inc., in Augusta recently, Elvin reflected on why he opted to donate so much of his time and energy to local causes — and now to some not-so-local causes as he helps families in Goa, India, where his daughter is a teacher.

He credits his parents, father Leslie and mother Betty, who were longtime supporters of the Augusta Food Bank, with inspiring his altruism and philanthropy.

“The community has always been here for me,” Elvin said.

Elvin is president and a co-founder of G&E Roofing and the founder and former owner of The China Dine-ah as well as the China Dine-ah Too, a seasonal operation later known as Norm’s Chicken and Seafood in China. He sold the China Dine-ah in 2014 so he could have more time with his family. And in 2016, he donated the other restaurant property, which was on Route 3, to Grace Academy. It is now the Grace Academy Homeschool & Learning Center.

“Fortunately, I’ve been successful; therefore, I have the resources to help other people, and that’s what I do,” Elvin said.

Elvin, of Palermo, labels himself as semi-retired. He turned over the reins of the roofing business 10 years ago to his sister, Jennifer Jacques, the general manager, when he got into the restaurant business. “I have no office, no desk,” he said. “I gave Jennifer my desk.” Now he go into the office a couple times a week, handles larger policy decisions and contributes to the company newsletter.

He is an avid New England Patriots fan, having season tickets to home games for the past few years, and sees the Celtics play a couple times each year because one of his sons is a fan. He and his wife, Teresa Barnard Elvin, have two sons, Derek and Kyle, both of whom are roofing mechanics. His daughter, Leslie Lakhia, lives in Goa with her husband, Abhi, and Elvin’s two grandchildren. He visits them twice a year.

Elvin is forthcoming about the low and high points in his life — the low being 1986, when he was getting divorced, a former partner wanted to buy him out, and his mother was dying.

The high point is “probably today,” he said, citing his pride in family and friends, the successful business and a supportive community. “I think I have it all,” he said.

Elvin is one of three donors who contributed $50,000 or more toward the construction of the new Augusta Food Bank on Mount Vernon Avenue.

He serves on the board of Kennebec Savings Bank, the Augusta Board of Trade, the Boys & Girls Club of Kennebec Valley, the Skating Alliance of Maine, and Grace Academy.

He is a former board president and longtime supporter of the Kennebec Valley YMCA.

In 2013, Elvin praised his assistant, Sue Grenier, when she received the KVCC Community Service Award, and she credited him for making volunteering a part of the company culture.

“Our company is a big supporter of the United Way of Kennebec Valley because of Norm,” said Grenier, who also works in the sales department of the roofing company.

Grenier said in late December that the company has 100 percent participation and is in the Pacesetter category. The firm, which does commercial roofing and contracting, has 70 to 80 employees, depending on the season. Grenier also serves on the board of directors of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Stacey Morrison, who heads the chamber’s board of directors, said she first became aware of Elvin’s community support when she was on the United Way board.

“Not only did he provide employees to help participate, he stored the equipment and materials and mobilized/demobilized for their events such as the Days of Caring,” Morrison said recently in an email. “I am never surprised to learn … Norm Elvin and G&E Roofing have given to a capital campaign, he is a very generous and kind person.”

For more than 40 years, G&E Roofing has been involved with helping to get hospital beds for people who need them. It started when Elvin’s mother was terminally ill and on hospice care. She wanted to come home, but the family had to find a hospital bed for her. Elvin and his father learned that the HealthReach Hospice had one bed available and it was stored at Bill and Margaret Vaughn’s carriage house in Hallowell.

The two Elvins picked it up and brought it home.

The company now stores about a dozen or so beds, and when hospice calls to say one is needed, it is delivered quickly.

“You need a pickup truck and two men and you’ve got to go now,” Elvin said. “You can’t wait. You have to have a company that lets you do it.”

The company also picks up the bed as soon as it learns it is no longer needed.

Elvin became interested in helping people in Goa after he and his daughter met them on the beach. “We’re friends,” he said. “I help them financially. I treat them like human beings. I’m very kind to them and very polite. A lot of people aren’t. They’re very rude.”

He said they range in age from about 3 to 70, and they gather around him and his family when they visit the beach in Goa. He said they were migrant workers from another state in India.

“They come there in the winter to work on the beaches. They sell saris and jewelry and offer foot massages and hand massages, all on the beach, to make a living.”

They call him on his cellphone, too, when he’s back home. Elvin said that luckily one speaks English, so they are able to communicate.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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