WATERVILLE — When Daniel Bernier was told he was being recognized for his work in the community, he said it was a nice surprise.

“I was pleased,” Bernier said. “I was surprised but pleased.”

Bernier, 53, was named the 2018 Outstanding Professional by the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, which is given to a person who holds a certification in his or her profession and gives back to the community. Bernier was born and raised in Waterville and has been practicing law since 1993.

“My father was a lawyer here in town,” Bernier said, adding that it led to him becoming an attorney himself. His father, Albert Bernier, was also a former mayor of the city.

Bernier said he toyed with other ideas while in college and for a few years afterward, but ultimately he decided to follow suit and become a lawyer. Today he owns his practice, mostly doing state and business work. He said he was proud to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a lawyer.

Bernier, who received his bachelor’s degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and his law degree from the New England School of Law in Boston, is an active community member. He’s a leader with local Boy Scout and Cub Scout groups. He is on the board of directors and is the chairman of Public Policy with the Chamber. He is a member of the local Knights of Columbus and has been on local housing boards.

“The Scouting work I’m quite proud of,” Bernier said, “but I’m proud of all of them.”

From 1998 to 2000, he volunteered his time to prosecute cases with the Kennebec County District Attorney’s Office.

“That’s something I’m proud of,” he said.

Bernier received the 2009 J. Putnam Stevens Award for his contributions to insurance law in the state. The Maine Legislature joined the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors-Maine in recognizing Bernier’s achievements in insurance regulation.

In 2014 Gov. Paul LePage appointed Bernier a dedimus justice, a lifetime appointment that empowers him to administer the oath of office to elected and appointed officials.

Bernier has taught continuing legal education seminars for the National Business Institute, the Maine State Bar Association, and the Institute for Paralegal Studies. He has taught seminars on insurance law for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors Maine Chapter. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, he taught real estate and probate law at Thomas College.

Kimberly Lindlof, president and chief executive officer of the Mid-Maine Chamber, said the chamber was “lucky to have him as a leader on our team.”

“Dan works tirelessly for his clients and is committed to the areas in which he specializes,” Lindlof said. “He is fun to watch in action; his passion shines through.”

“It’s an honor to receive the award,” Bernier said in his downtown office Tuesday morning.

Bernier, who lives in Waterville with his family, said the award was special because it came from the chamber and from peers recognizing his work. He also said there were a number of deserving professionals in the community.

“It’s nice after 25 years to get recognition in the community that way,” he said. “It’s coming from people who know me.”

Bernier is a member of the Maine State Bar Association and a member and past president of the Waterville Bar Association. He is on the Maine State Board for the Certification of Geologists and Soil Scientists and also serves on the Waterville Housing Authority Board. He served previously on the Maine State Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices.

The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce awards ceremony is scheduled for 5 to 7:30 p.m. April 26 in the Carter Hall Gymnasium at Kennebec Valley Community College on Western Avenue in Fairfield.

Colin Ellis — 861-9253

[email protected]

Twitter: @colinoellis

 

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