Susan Gallo new director for Maine Lakes Society

The Maine Lakes Society in Belgrade Lakes, with a mission to protect and preserve the values and benefits of Maine’s lakes, ponds and watersheds for future generations, is under new direction with the addition of Susan Gallo as its executive director.

Gallo, of Cumberland, has spent the past 20 years delivering education and outreach programs, including management various programs, including the statewide Maine Loon Project, Fish Lead Free Project and the Maine Amphibian Monitoring Program at Maine Audubon.

“We can’t be more pleased with what Susan brings to our organization,” said Jen Jespersen, president of Maine Lakes Society. “Her experience and passion for lake conservation, program management, fundraising and collaboration with conservation partners and the public make her a strong and successful leader for the Maine Lakes Society for years to come.”

Gallo’s role as full-time executive director for the Maine Lakes Society began Nov. 5. She will be directly responsible for policy, communication with member lake associations, expansion of the statewide LakeSmart program, and strengthening the society’s education and outreach programs.

“Maine Lakes Society’s advocacy, outreach and conservation efforts over the last 48 years have had an incredibly positive impact on our state, both environmentally and economically,” said Gallo. “I’m excited to help lead the organization at a time when lakes face an onslaught of new challenges from climate change and development. I have long been impressed with Maine Lakes Society’s focus on strong lake protections, innovative education programs, and landowner outreach efforts. I hope to help the organization grow and strengthen that focus so that generations of Maine families can enjoy the many benefits that clean and healthy lakes bring to us all.”

Walter McKee named as New England ‘SuperLawyer’

Attorney Walter McKee has for the seventh year in a row received the prestigious AV Rating from Martindale Hubbell for 2018, has been selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America for 2018, and has been named as a 2018 New England “SuperLawyer,” according to a news release from McKee Law.

McKee’s AV-Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell is considered to be the height of professional excellence and is earned through a strenuous peer review process. Attorneys receive the AV-Preeminent rating only when they have demonstrated a high level of professional excellence for legal knowledge, communication skills and ethical standards, according to the release.

The Best Lawyers in America designation received by McKee is based on an peer-review evaluation.

McKee has also been named a New England SuperLawyer for 2018. SuperLawyer is a national lawyer rating service that rates the country’s top lawyers for their degree of peer review recognition and professional achievement based on independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations.

McKee is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, is the past chairman of the Maine Ethics Commission, and previously served as president of the Maine Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has been a practicing attorney for more than 25 years and is a veteran of more than 185 jury trials, according to the release.

Franklin Savings promotes Baker to collections officer

Sarah Baker, of Chesterville, has been promoted to collections officer at Franklin Savings Bank, according to a news release from the bank.

Baker, who started out as a customer service representative in 2001, has held various positions over the years at the bank in accounting, loans and escrows. She has been committed to advanced training and completed numerous classes, trainings and seminars.

“Since her promotion to collections specialist in January 2017, Sarah has demonstrated a strong ability to troubleshoot and solve problems as well as communicate effectively and professionally in difficult and challenging situations,” said Kelsea Pinkham, hiring and recruiting manager at Franklin Savings Bank, according to the release. “We are always happy when we can find a good outcome and avoid or resolve delinquencies. Sarah has been able to help make that happen.”

With this promotion, Baker will now oversee the collections department.

Baker lives with her husband, Matt, and their daughter, Megan.

Credit union gives $1,320 to historical society

OTIS Federal Credit Union in Jay has donated $1,320 to the Livermore-Livermore Falls Historical Society in Livermore. These funds were used to purchase a new computer tower, a monitor, a backup external drive, a printer, software and a surge protector for the organization, according to a news release.

The Livermore-Livermore Falls Historical Society, which was founded in 1975, is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the local history of the two towns. These efforts have expanded to include diligent cataloging and photographing of the thousands of artifacts and printed documents which comprise its extensive historical collection. Each photo taken is accompanied with detailed notes, which are entered into an Excel spreadsheet; about 500 artifacts have been cataloged so far. The importance of this preservation effort is underscored by a previous loss of artifacts in a fire at the Society’s former location, the Deacon Livermore House, in 1999.

To successfully execute this photography project, the Historical Society was in need of a new computer and equipment. Its previous computer was 17 years old, and lacked both modern Microsoft Office software and an adequate backup system. “[This] new system,” said Ghislaine Bérubé-Hughes, member of the Livermore-Livermore Falls Historical Society in the release, “[will] greatly help us to keep track of textiles, historical printed matter, photographs, and antique tools … The membership has been so diligent and dedicated to the collection, [and] it would be a great loss to the region if we could not continue this excellent work.”

Remarked Kim Turner, President/CEO of OTIS Federal Credit Union, of the donation in the release: “Being able to assist in funding a new computer system was an honor for us; it is a true demonstration of the Cooperative Principle — Concern for Community. The Livermore-Livermore Historical Society plays such an important role in preserving the history of the two towns and having the means of digitally cataloging and preserving both artifacts and documents is vital to their organization.”

Bérubé-Hughes and Livermore-Livermore Falls Historical Society President Muriel Bowerman hope that the cataloging and digitization of the Society’s collection will position the Historical Society as a rich resource for historians, writers, and other museums for years to come.

Compiled from contributed releases.

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