Journal, Sentinel staff win annual Maine Press awards

The Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel newspapers received a number of general and individual awards Saturday night at the annual Maine Press Association awards banquet, held at the Doubletree Hilton in South Portland.

Staff at the papers received 31 individual awards for first-, second- and third-place among all daily newspapers in Maine, as decided by out-of-state judges for the annual contest. All told, the papers received 43 awards, including categories for general excellence.

Receiving first-place individual awards were: Morning Sentinel photographer Michael G. Seamans, in the categories of news photo showing authorities removing a body from railroads tracks, and sports photo of Hampden upsetting Skowhegan girls basketball in the A North final; Morning Sentinel photographer David Leaming for a spot news photo of a tanker truck inferno, which also won the “Best of Show in Photography” award; Kennebec Journal editorial page editor Ben Bragdon for an editorial about Mary Mayhew, the former commissioner at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services; and Kennebec Journal sports reporter Travis Barrett for a sports profile on a Unity stock car racing champion.


New Dimensions Federal Credit Union welcomes new financial education coordinator

Carrielyn Reynolds has been named the new financial education coordinator at New Dimensions Federal Credit Union in Waterville, according to a news release from the institution.

Carrielyn Reynolds Photo courtesy of New Dimensions FCU

Reynolds has more than nine years of banking experience including assisting customers with crafting effective household budgets and credit repair sessions, as well as, teaching financial best practices at local community seminars. She is a graduate of Nokomis Regional High School and received her bachelor of science degree from the University of Maine. She is an active member of the Corinna Recreation Board, where she volunteers her time to organize sports clinics, fundraisers, and is often seen staffing the concession stand. Reynolds resides in Plymouth with her two children Dean and Hailey, and their dog Aspen.


In addition to one-on-one sessions with credit union members, Reynolds will teach in classrooms throughout Kennebec and Somerset counties in grades K-12. She will visit colleges as well. She is excited to be working with New Dimensions FCU to help spread the awareness of financial education.

“With my extensive financial services background and my desire to help people reach their personal goals, this position is perfect for me,” she said. “I have always believed that financial education is the stepping stone to financial success. Knowledge is power. The more information individuals have the better prepared they are to make informed financial decisions,” according to the release.

Tanya Verzoni, director of Financial Education, states “Personally, I am thrilled to have Carrielyn on the financial education team! We have seen this program blossom over the last two years as the demand for both one-on-one member sessions and requests for classroom presentations have increased immensely. I am confident that Carrielyn will continue to grow this program even more,” according to the release.


Bert Languet attends investing summit in Boston

Bert Languet Photo courtesy of Golden Pond Wealth Management

Bert Languet, a certified financial planner with Golden Pond Wealth Management in Waterville, attended the 2019 Fearless Investing Summit Oct. 2-4 at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, hosted by Riskalyze.

“The goal of the conference was to gain a better understanding of how to communicate the risk in a portfolio to clients and align the risk with their goals,” said Languet, according to a news release.


Speakers at the conference included Jon Acuff, award-winning author; Horst Schulze, co-founder of the Ritz-Carlton; Bill Walton, basketball legend and motivational speaker; and comedian Tom Cotter.


2019 Best Places to Work in Maine

Kennebec Behavioral Health in Waterville recently was named as one of the 2019 Best Places to Work in Maine in the large business category. The awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of the Society for Human Resource Management — Maine State Council and Best Companies Group. Partners endorsing the program include: Mainebiz, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Department of Labor, the Department of Economic and Community Development and Maine HR Convention. This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Maine, according to a news release from KBH.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Maine, which included an employee survey to measure the employee experience.

Kennebec Behavioral Health’s chief executive officer, Tom McAdam, expressed that the organization’s designation as one of the Best Places to Work in Maine validates the purposeful attention that the agency has made around recruitment and retention. McAdam stated, “we are very pleased that our staff participated in the Best Places survey. They have acknowledged our efforts to create a workplace where people feel valued and enjoy coming to work every day. We also recognize the competitive workforce environment and will continue to do more for our staff around culture, compensation and benefits,” according to the release.



Thomas College announces two new Board of Trustee members

Thomas College in Waterville has announced the addition of two new members to its Board of Trustees: Joseph Moore and Michael D’Appolonia. The addition of these innovative leaders will help move the college forward with its mission of preparing students for success in their personal and professional lives and for leadership and service in their communities, according to a news release from the college.

Joseph Moore Photo courtesy of Thomas College

Moore served as president of Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 2007 until his retirement in 2016. Previously he was president of the State University of New York’s Empire State College from 2000 to 2007. His 35 years in higher education also included serving as provost/vice president for academic affairs at Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, and director of planning and academic affairs in the Office of the Chancellor for the Vermont State Colleges. He has been a member and officer of numerous higher education associations.

Moore earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; his master’s degree at the University of New Hampshire; and his doctoral degree at the University of Vermont. He lives with his wife, Beth Chiquoine, on the central coast of Maine.

Michael D’Appolonia Photo courtesy of Thomas College

D’Appolonia is a retired chief executive officer with more than 40 years of operational, financial and executive management experience encompassing both domestic and international operations. Most recently, D’Appolonia served as president and CEO of Kinetic Systems, and before that as president of Nightingale & Associates. D’Appolonia earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Pennsylvania State University. In addition to his executive management experience, D’Appolonia has served as a member of the board of directors for a number of public and private companies. He lives with his wife, Betsey, on Long Lake in Harrison.

“We are ecstatic to have two such accomplished and strategic individuals join our Board of Trustees,” said Thomas College President Laurie G. Lachance, according to the release. “I have already seen evidence of their deep knowledge in higher education – for Joseph – and in strategic leadership – for Michael. The addition of these two members will only strengthen our existing talented and successful board, and I have no doubt that they will contribute to the growth of our college and our incredible, hard-working students.”



Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley receives $50,000 in honor of community leader Richard ‘Dick’ O’Connor

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley of Gardiner recently received a $50,000 donation from Kennebec Savings Bank in honor of local business leader and philanthropist Richard “Dick” O’Connor. The donation, which is designated to the Great Future of the Club, was presented at an event honoring O’Connor for over four decades of service to the Kennebec Savings Bank’s Board of Directors, according to a news release from the Gardiner club.

“This incredible gift will support our commitment to the children of Kennebec Valley,” stated O’Connor, according to the release.

“Dick O’Connor represents the very best of what this community has to offer,” said Andrew Silsby, president, and CEO of Kennebec Savings Bank, according to the release. “Through this gift in his honor, we hope that we are able to convey our sincere gratitude for his incredible leadership, vision, and dedication to our organization and many more throughout the Kennebec Valley region.”

O’Connor began his career in the auto business when he joined his father and brother in running O’Connor GMC in 1971. During his tenure, the business grew to be among the top 10 Chevrolet dealers in the country. The O’Connor’s have given generously in both volunteer time and charitable donations to numerous local causes, in the Kennebec Valley.


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