Kevin Rousseau named deputy director of Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services

Kevin Rousseau, a Coast Guard veteran, has joined the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services as deputy director, according to a news release from the bureau headquartered in Augusta.

Kevin Rousseau Photo courtesy of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services

Rousseau comes to MBVS after working for several years at the Maine Emergency Management Agency where he served as the state’s exercise officer. He has extensive knowledge working in various state agencies and comes to the bureau with more than 20 years of public service experience. In addition to state service, Rousseau serves as a United States Coast Guard Reservist.

“My entire professional career has been comprised of serving not only my country in the Coast Guard, but also my state and local community,” said Rousseau, according to the release. “Having the opportunity to continue that service with the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services is an honor, and I’m looking forward to helping our state’s veteran population.”

Rousseau earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Maine, and holds a graduate diploma from the United States Naval War College. He has served in the United States Coast Guard Reserve for 10 years and currently drills with the Sector Northern New England Enforcement Division out of South Portland. Most recently, Rousseau was selected for lieutenant commander in the USCGR.

“Kevin brings a wealth of personal knowledge and has a passion for helping Maine veterans — both of which will serve him well in this new role,” said David Richmond, director of the Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services, in the release. “As leaders in Maine’s Veteran advocate community, we pride ourselves on the highly skilled and dedicated people that work at the Bureau, and the support they provide Maine’s Veterans. Kevin is a valued member of that team and we’re excited to have him on board.”



Franklin Savings Bank offers business and community forum

Franklin Savings Bank will host 10-Minute Talks, a forum for business and community leaders to share their wisdom and experiences, from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 8, in the Bass Room at Franklin Memorial Hospital, 111 Franklin Health Commons, in Farmington.  The event is free, though registration is required, according to a news release from the bank.

“Whether you are the owner of an established business, an aspiring entrepreneur or have a cause you are passionate about introducing to the world, joining us for 10-Minute Talks will be well worth your time,” said Derek Hayes, senior vice president and director of commercial banking at Franklin Savings Bank, according to the release. “Our four speakers are leaders in their communities and each brings unique perspectives and experiences to the stage. We would love to see a lot of community participation.”

The four speakers are leaders from business, nonprofit and community sectors. The speakers are Kristina Cannon, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, who will talk about revitalizing a downtown; Bob Berry, president and CEO of Main-Land Development Consultants Inc., who talk about finance for small business in “Bringing Home the Bacon”; Erica Emery, owner of Rustic Roots Farm, will talk about building sustainable communities; and Darryl Wood, executive director of LEAP, Inc., will about how to develop teams.

“One of the things I love about community banking is having the opportunity to continually interact with business owners and community leaders. Hearing different perspectives, best practices and paths to success is always a great inspiration to me,” said Hayes, according to the release. “We hope this forum inspires others.”


Refreshments and a light breakfast will be offered. To register, go to or contact Courtney Austin at 779-9245.


Maine’s service commission adopts Volunteer Maine as new identity, unveils new logo and tagline

The Maine Commission for Community Service will now be known as Volunteer Maine. A new logo and branded elements were created in collaboration with Pulse Marketing Agency of Bangor. Additionally, Volunteer Maine commissioners chose “A Stronger Maine Through Volunteerism” as the new tagline for the state service commission, according to a news release from Volunteer Maine.

The new identity unifies the state service commission and its volunteer resource center, also named Volunteer Maine. The recourse center was established in 2002 by the state service commission as a means of creating a “one-stop” service for both citizens who want to volunteer and community groups seeking to address local problems through volunteer-powered solutions.

The goal of the new logo is to visually establish the connection between the state service commission and the various National Service programs established by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Print and web-friendly copies of the new Volunteer Maine logo are available to the media immediately upon request, and will be made available online in the coming weeks.



Applications Now Open for Top Gun Central Maine 2020

The Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at Thomas College in Waterville, in partnership with the Central Maine Growth Council, announced that it will host a “Top Gun” program starting in early 2020 for entrepreneurs in Kennebec and Somerset counties, as well as in the communities of Burnham, Unity, Thorndike, Freedom and Troy, according to a news release from Thomas College.

This program is open to businesses in all industries and sectors. It concentrates on early stage businesses and those that are looking to get to the next level.

The Top Gun program is overseen by the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs and is designed to provide a cohort of eight to 10 businesses with top-level instruction and mentorship over a 15-week duration. Entrepreneurs enrolled in the program will move through a designed curriculum that will bring industry and topic experts into the classroom weekly to assist participating individuals in taking their businesses to the next level.

In addition to the weekly programming and mentoring that the program provides, participating entrepreneurs will also work toward developing a business pitch that they will deliver in a competition within their cohort. Two of the entrepreneur’s business pitches will be selected from each regional program to compete in the state Top Gun Showcase business pitch competition at the end of the program. Prior participants have competed for a cash prize of $25,000, according to the release.


The program is provided to participating businesses for a low fee of $500 through grant assistance that the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs received from the Small Business Administration, along with sponsorship provided by the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation.

Entrepreneurs that are within the geographic area that could benefit from this instruction, should go to to submit an application for selection into the program or for more information. Applications are being accepted until Nov. 20.

For more information or for assistance in applying, interested entrepreneurs can also contact Joshua Devou at the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation at 859-1159 or at [email protected].


Local practice manager earns prestigious veterinary credential

Jessica Parsons

The Veterinary Hospital Managers Association in Waterville has announced its newest group of members who have earned the Certified Veterinary Practice Manager designation. Among the group is local resident, Jessica Parsons, a resident of Benton, who is affiliated with New England Animal Hospital.


There are 500 CVPMs in the U.S. and Canada and Parsons is currently the only one in the state of Maine, according to a news release from the association.

CVPM Certification is achieved by those who demonstrate the knowledge and experience necessary to successfully manage the ever-changing operations of today’s veterinary practices. The CVPM Program is a three-part process based on veterinary practice management experience, achievements and knowledge. The examination tests relevant management knowledge in human resources, law and ethics, marketing, organization of the practice, and finance. Among veterinary practice leaders, the CVPM designation is recognized to represent the highest level of credential.


OTIS Federal Credit Union Joins the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area’s Corporate Champion Circle

OTIS Federal Credit Union in Jay has joined the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area’s Corporate Champion Circle as a Silver Sponsor, pledging $1,500 to the organization. The United Way of the Tri-Valley Area launched its Corporate Champion Circle in the summer of 2018. Circle members partner with the United Way for one year in an effort to support their community and to help improve the lives of residents in Greater Franklin County, according to a news release from the credit union.

On joining the Corporate Champion Circle, Kim Turner, president/CEO of OTIS Federal Credit Union, said that the “United Way does so much for the communities of Franklin County and their dedication and commitment to the success of the people that reside in these communities aligns very well with the culture of OTIS FCU. We absolutely love and appreciate all of the hard work that the employees and volunteers of United Way give to provide our communities and the people within them the tools they need to live, whether it is assisting with tax returns, (referrals for) heating assistance, addressing food insecurities or filling backpacks for kids of less fortunate means — it may seem like a hopeless task at times, but (they) do make such a positive difference and I can’t imagine what life would be like for the families (they) assist if the United Way of the Tri-Valley Area didn’t exist,” according to the release.