Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine welcomes Sarah Peabody as the newest member of its Board of Directors. Peabody is a vice president at Bank of America, where she has worked for more than 24 years, serving as a strategies analyst, according to a news release from BBBSMM.

Sarah Peabody Photo courtesy of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid Maine

She has been an active volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine for more than a decade, serving as a school-based program coordinator as well as a Big Sister. She serves on the Board’s Governance Committee and is a longtime volunteer for Bowl for Kids’ Sake, the agency’s largest fundraising event held in midcoast, eastern and central Maine.

Peabody also serves as treasurer and immediate past president of the local, corporate Toastmasters Club, a nonprofit educational organization that teaches leadership skills. She was recognized with the “National Community Service Award” as USA Ambassador Mrs. Maine 2017. As Mrs. Central Maine 2018, she was honored with the “Beauty, Brains and Heart Award” for promoting community service and positive pageantry. As a charity-driven organization that promotes success through leadership, integrity, character and confidence, USA Ambassador has adopted Big Brothers Big Sisters as its national charitable benefactor, according to the release.

In addition to her time promoting the mission of BBBSMM, she is also a volunteer “Wish Granter” with Make-a-Wish Maine. Peabody lives in Washington, with her husband Barry. Together, they have four grown children. In her free time, she enjoys researching genealogy, photography, kayaking, travelling and spending time near the water.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine creates and supports one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth in Androscoggin, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Penobscot, Somerset, and Waldo counties. By partnering with parents, volunteers and organizations, children in the program have higher aspirations, greater confidence, develop better relationships, avoid risky behaviors and achieve educational success.

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, call 236-2227, email [email protected],  or visit bbbsmidmaine.org.

 

Winslow credit union fills backpacks for area schools

Winslow Community Federal Credit Union realizes back to school can be a financially stressful time, so staff recently delivered 50 backpacks filled with school supplies and boxes of teacher goodies to Benton Elementary, Albion Elementary, Clinton Elementary, China Primary and Vassalboro Community schools.

The backpacks for the students were filled with notebooks, pencils, crayons and more. The teacher’s boxes included tissues, wipes, Dunkin’  gift cards, Mid-Maine Chamber Gift Cards and more.

 

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust school supply drive collects 3,500 plus items

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s held its first School Supply Drive from July 22 through Aug.16. A total of more than 3,500 items were collected at branch locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont which included notebooks, folders, glue sticks, pencils and more.

“All donations support students and educators in the communities we call home,” said Joseph Schmitt, SVP/Chief Marketing Officer at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, according to a news release from the bank. “These supplies will help local children actively participate in classroom learning, making the educational experience better for both students and teachers.”

Courtney Yeager is the new executive director at United Way of Kennebec Valley

AUGUSTA — The United Way of Kennebec Valley Board of Directors has named Courtney Yeager as the organization’s executive director. Yeager took the helm on Aug. 10 following the retirement of longtime executive director Rob Gordon, according to a news release from United Way.

Courtney Yeager Photo courtesy of the United Way of Kennebec Valley

Yeager has served as UWKV’s director of resource development and marketing since 2016. In that role, she became responsible for the annual fundraising campaign, increasing the campaign by 19% in three years. As a result, UWKV has had the capacity to partner with six additional nonprofit agencies, bringing the total number of funded programs to 51. More than 30% of the population is now directly impacted by a UWKV-funded program.

“The Board of Directors and I are very pleased to have selected Courtney Yeager as United Way of Kennebec Valley’s executive director,” said Maria Hays, UWKV board chairwoman, according to the release. “Through her existing experience with the United Way, her time working with Rob Gordon, and her strong commitment to the community, she has already helped so many throughout our region. As executive director, Courtney can continue the work she is so passionate about. We feel the future of the United Way will continue to shine in her hands.”

With the support of the board and volunteers, Yeager implemented several initiatives that have attracted new donors, including the Emerging Leaders Society for young professionals, a giving program for small businesses, and a planned giving society. In 2019, Yeager was invited to share the recent growth strategies of United Way of Kennebec Valley with colleagues across the United Way Worldwide network at a conference that highlighted best practices.

“I feel fortunate that my passion, purpose and profession have come together in this way,” Yeager said of her new position, according to the release. “The Kennebec Valley is a tight-knit, generous community, and our region thrives when people band together to help one another. I see United Way as an essential community organizer, responsible for mobilizing local folks so they can make change happen. I look forward to building upon the strong foundation that United Way already has, thanks to the tireless support of our donors, volunteers and staff.”

Yeager is the first female to hold this position at UWKV and brings an extensive background in communications, fundraising, marketing and community involvement to her role. Prior to her career at United Way, Yeager was the public relations and fundraising manager at Crisis & Counseling Centers, a UWKV-funded partner program that treats mental health and substance use disorders. She also worked in communications at the Maine Department of Education, regularly meeting with educators and students statewide to report on cradle-to-career education strategies.

Beyond her work life, Yeager serves on the Board of Directors at Healthy Communities of the Capital Area, teaches literacy to correctional inmates through the College Guild volunteer program, and spent nearly a decade as a youth mentor.

Yeager graduated from Colby College with a bachelor’s degree in English and is completing a Master’s degree in policy, planning and management at the University of Southern Maine. In 2019, Yeager was nominated for the Kennebec Valley Chamber Young Professional Award.

For more information, contact 626-3400 or visit uwkv.org.

 

McTeague Higbee Attorneys Karen Bilodeau, Kevin Noonan again named to the Best Lawyers in America Roster

Karen Bilodeau Photo courtesy of McTeague Higbee

McTeague Higbee law firm  has announced that partner Karen Bilodeau and Kevin Noonan, managing partner, have once again been named to the Best Lawyers in America Roster for 2020. Bilodeau and Noonan are recognized in the field of workers’ compensation, according to a news release from the law firm.

Kevin Noonan Photo courtesy of McTeague Higbee

Bilodeau has earned this distinction each year since 2013 and in the 2020 edition is also honored as “Lawyer of the Year.” Noonan has been named a Best Lawyer each year since 2018. Being named to the Best Lawyers list, which is based entirely on peer review, honors the quality of the representation provided and the results achieved for their clients.

“We are all very proud to be selected by Best Lawyers,” said Noonan, according to the release. “It’s truly an honor for us to not only represent our clients to the very best of our abilities but also to be acknowledged for the work we do on their behalf.”

 

Maine Farms for the Future program now accepting fall applications

The State of Maine, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources offers grants for business plan development (Phase 1) and investment support (Phase 2) to improve “farm vitality” — defined as an increase in long-term, maintainable, farm profitability and net worth — as authorized in the Maine Farms for the Future Program (Title7, MRS Chapter 10-B), according to a news release from the State of Maine, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The current Request for Proposals (RFP#201904076) and Phase 1 and Phase 2 applications for Fall 2019 as well as a Question & Answer Summary and all revisions/amendments related to the RFP can be obtained at the following website: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/bbm/procurementservices/vendors/grants Scroll down to Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry — Maine Farms for the Future Program.

To be eligible for a Phase 1 grant of $6,000 to research and develop a business plan, an applicant must:

• be a private, for-profit company that is owned by individuals, partners or corporations, that grows or produces agricultural products for commercial sale (excluding marijuana farms, except as permitted under 7MRS Ch.406A, Section 2231);

• own and operate a Farm Business that has been producing agricultural products commercially in the State of Maine for at least two years at the time of application;

• have ownership of the land that is being farmed, or be a partner or shareholder in a legal entity that owns the farmland; or if the farmland has been purchased recently, provide evidence of at least two years of experience operating a commercial farm operation elsewhere in Maine; and

• have State of Maine certification or licensure as required for their type of agricultural operation, i.e. Nutrient Management Plan, Commercial Kitchen License, Milk License etc.

To be eligible for a Phase 2 cash grant and/or the low interest rate through the Agricultural Marketing Loan Fund, the Applicant must be a “Selected Farm” which is a farm that was previously selected for and completed Phase 1 between Jan. 1, 2000, and June 24, 2019, and satisfy all other eligibility criteria and match requirements listed in the Phase 2 Application Form.

Applications must be submitted to the State of Maine Division of Procurement Services, via email, to [email protected].

Application submissions must be received no later than Oct. 8 when they will be opened at the Burton M. Cross Office Building, 111 Sewall St. — 4th Floor, Augusta. Applications not submitted to the Division of Procurement Services’ email address of [email protected] will not be considered for contract award.

Future applications can be submitted per the semi-annual submission deadlines noted in the RFP as the second Tuesday of May and October.

 

Marketing group launches SwagCycle

Grossman Marketing Group, parent company of a Manchester Maine-based marketing group, has launched SwagCycle, a startup focused on responsibly managing the lifecycle of branded merchandise, according to a news release from the marketing group.

Ben Grossman, co-president of Grossman Marketing and founding director of the firm’s Green Marketing and Sustainability Practice, said SwagCycle will allow companies to repurpose their unwanted branded items in a responsible, ethical and affordable way.

Branded merchandise, also known as “swag,” includes everything from T-shirts, hats and other textiles to business cards, bags, mugs, pens and event signage.

“When companies rebrand, get acquired, or complete a marketing campaign, unfortunately obsolete branded merchandise may end up in landfills. That’s bad for the environment and it’s bad for a company’s corporate image,” said Grossman, according to the release. “By leveraging our proprietary network of recycling firms and charitable partners, we can turn potentially harmful decisions into helpful alternatives.”

The US Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2015 a mere 15% of textile waste was recycled while 65% ended up in landfills. And according to the Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), clothing and other textiles account for 6.3% of the waste stream in the U.S., or a shocking 81 pounds per person per year.

However, according to Grossman, “the days of tossing loads of unwanted goods into a dumpster are numbered.” In a 2018 Nielsen global online survey, 81% of respondents felt strongly that companies should help improve the environment. Another survey from Stanford University noted that more than 90% of CEOs, and 67% of business school students in the U.S. believe that sustainability is important to a company’s success.

Grossman said SwagCycle offers a simple and efficient 3-step process to address the sustainability challenges that corporations face: (1) Assess the inventory of unwanted items; (2) Confirm brand guidelines to determine if excess items can live on with charitable partners or should be recycled; and (3) Match items with an appropriate charity or one of Grossman’s best-in-class recycling partners.

“While recycling is a good option, donating to a worthy cause is the best choice,” said Grossman, according to the release. He noted that Second Chances (www.secondchances.org), a SwagCycle partner, accepts donations of clothing, shoes and accessories to assist homeless and lower-income people to better their lives and to help minimize the amount of discarded apparel sent to landfills. Other Grossman charitable partners include United Way, Jewish Big Brothers & Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs of Boston and Dress for Success.

For more information,  contact SwagCycle.net, or Alan Eisner at 617-320-3122 or [email protected].


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