This fall, Camden National Bank celebrated its Customer Appreciation Week, highlighted by a $10,000 donation to five homeless shelters in Maine. The shelters receiving funds all provide vital support to Maine youth and teens. The bank’s employees also donated more than 625 pounds of toiletry items, collected at the bank’s 2019 Employee Appreciation Night, to local homeless shelters. The unrestricted funding and in-kind donations are part of the bank’s larger [email protected] program which has provided more than $440,000 to homeless shelters in the bank’s service area over the past five years, according to a news release from the Camden-based bank.

“Our [email protected] program has received enthusiastic support from customers and employees since it began in 2015,” said Greg Dufour, president and CEO of Camden National Bank. “These additional donations represent our commitment to this cause as well as the program’s effort to increase awareness for the issue of homeless in our communities.”

The five shelters that received donations for teen and youth services are: Emmaus Homeless Shelter in Orland, Shaw House in Bangor, New Beginnings Inc. in Lewiston, Hospitality House in Rockland, and the Joe Kreisler Teen Shelter at Preble Street in Portland.

“We’re humbled by the continued support the [email protected] program has provided to youth at Preble Street,” said Preble Street Executive Director Mark Swann.

All five shelters will also receive 125 pounds each of assorted toiletry items such as toothbrushes, shampoo, tissues and more, donated by Camden National Bank employees.

To learn more about [email protected], visit camdennational.com.

 

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust collects more than 3,000 food items in annual food drive

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust collected more than 3,000 food items during the bank’s 31st annual “Food for Good” Food Drive. Between Oct. 21 and Nov. 22,  customers and employees dropped off nonperishable food items at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust branches to help neighbors in need. The collected items were then delivered to more than 30 food pantries across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, according to a news release from the Bar Harbor-based bank.

“Thanks to the generosity of our customers, neighbors and employees, the shelves of our local food pantries are a little more stocked for families in need during … the winter months ahead,” said Joseph Schmitt, chief marketing officer at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.

Also, in celebration of Giving Tuesday, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust has announced the year-to-date results of its charitable giving programs. From January through November the bank has donated more than $400,000 to approximately 450 nonprofit organizations throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. This includes more than $40,000 donated through the employee-driven giving program, Casual for a Cause.

“As a community bank, we understand the importance of partnering with nonprofit organizations so our collective efforts can make a significant impact on the communities where we live and work,” said Jack Frost, director of community giving at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust.

The Maine organizations that the bank has donated to during 2019 include: Camp Beech Cliff, Maine Seacoast Mission, Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, Schoodic Arts for All, Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Mid-Maine, Emmaus Homeless Shelter and YWCA MDI.

The bank also facilitates Casual for a Cause, an employee-driven charitable giving program. Bank employees dress casually on Fridays in exchange for a contribution to a pool of funds collected during each quarter. The employees then select and vote on three nonprofits to receive their contributions. Gifts contributed by Bank employees in 2019 totaled just over $40,000.

 

Mantra Maine Massage & Yoga Studio to hold holiday open house Dec. 8

Winter Adams, owner of Mantra Maine Massage & Yoga Studio in Manchester, with her puppy Mollie, who will be an occasional greeter at the newly opened studio. Photo courtesy of Winter Adams

The newly opened Mantra Maine Massage & Yoga Studio at 9 Violette Way, in Manchester, will hold a holiday open house from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Owner Winter Adams will raffle off yoga passes, massages, essential oils and crafts from local businesses.

For more information, contact [email protected], mantramaine.com, 624-1892 or find it on Facebook.

 

OTIS FCU hosting Holiday Angel Tree to benefit six school districts’ lunch programs

OTIS Federal Credit Union in Jay kicked off a new initiative Nov. 29 aimed at combating hunger locally. A Christmas tree, to be displayed in the Credit Union’s teller area, will be decorated with angel ornaments. Each angel will bear the mascot of one of six school districts on its front, and a dollar amount on its back. Individuals will be able to choose an angel representing Regional School Uni 9, RSU 38, RSU 73, RSU 78, Maine School Administrative District 52 or MSAD 58, and will have the option of sponsoring a child’s lunch for one day, one week, two weeks or four weeks. On Dec. 31, the credit union will disburse checks for the total amount donated to each of the six school districts’ lunch programs. Funds will be used to help pay down student lunch debts within the districts, according to a news release from the credit union.

OTIS Federal Credit Union Angel Tree on display at its Jay location. From left are Sarah Hayes, director of Marketing and Communications; Caitlin Lake, loan officer; Kim Turner, president/CEO; and Jasmine Merrill, member specialist. Photo courtesy of OTIS Federal Credit Union

The idea was conceived when Sarah Hayes, director of marketing and communications at OTIS, and Kim Turner, president/CEO of OTIS, visited Spruce Mountain High School for a photo with Food Service Director Laura Lorette following a $200 donation made to RSU 73’s lunch program. As the they discussed how the donation would be used in the district, Hayes and Turner asked to be kept abreast of any further opportunities to help. When the idea of decorating an angel tree with ornaments bearing lunch prices was raised in conversation, the three sprang into action. Lorette proposed the idea at a school board meeting later that evening, where it was unanimously approved. In short order, the remaining five school districts within the credit union’s field of membership were contacted, and all agreed to participate. While logistics were being hammered out, a committee of employees at OTIS got to work creating the ornaments and readying the tree.

“A student who is hungry has a harder time focusing on learning,” said Lorette. “Nutritious foods provide kids the energy to excel in and out of school. RSU 73 provides a nutritionally balanced breakfast for free to each student, and low-cost or free lunches to students each school day. Unfortunately, 1 in 5 children in Maine still struggles with hunger, and many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for public assistance. We are very pleased to participate in this program, and our goal is to reach as many students as we can.”

“We are so excited to be able to do this for the school districts within our field of membership. Food insecurity, particularly within schools, is very real and during this time of giving, we feel that this is a great opportunity to help children that may not have the means to pay for their lunches,” said Turner.

Hayes said, “When we recently made the $200 lunch program donations to these districts to commemorate International Credit Union Day, we were met with so much gratitude—and also confronted with the true magnitude of the lunch debt issue. We really felt called, as an organization, to do more, and we are thrilled to be kicking off this new initiative this year. The holidays are traditionally a time of giving and of spreading joy. What better way to capture the spirit of the season than to serve as a conduit for giving within our own community?”

Credit union members, as well as members of the wider community, are invited to donate.

 

Origin USA appoints Don Miller as chief financial officer

Don Miller, a seasoned financial leader with more than 30 years of financial and operational leadership experience, has been appointed chief financial officer of Origin USA, according to a news release from the Farmington-based business.

​​​​​​​Origin USA, is an emerging leader and innovator in lifestyle athletic wear, apparel, footwear and nutrition with a strong focus on returning the U.S. to its manufacturing roots.

Miller joins Origin USA after having served a nine-year tenure with BackOffice Associates (now “Syniti”), where he served in multiple leadership positions of increasing responsibility, including controller, director of financial operations, and vice president of corporate planning and analysis. He also recently served as interim CFO with Glivinski & Associates for a multi-state firm providing services to disabled individuals. Prior to BackOffice Associates, Miller was an integral member of the financial and operational leadership teams at TDS Telecom and GTE Corporation.​

“Miller is an accomplished financial leader with a proven track record in managing, growing and expanding financial teams and processes,” said Pete Roberts, CEO at Origin USA. “With his strong background in multiple areas of finance, accounting, and operations, Don brings a wealth of experience and proven performance to Origin USA as we continue to position for our future growth. His core values and work ethic also fully align with our deep-seated mission, and we are pleased to have Don join our growing team.”

“I believe Origin USA is well-positioned to become a dominant leader in its current and future markets,” said Miller. “Origin’s combination of entrepreneurial vision, product quality, core values and genuine passion reflects the incredible efforts put forth by the entire Origin team, and I am humbled by the opportunity to help position them for what I believe will be an incredibly bright future.”

​Miller earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Bryant University and an executive MBA from the University of Wisconsin.

 

Bangor Savings Bank Foundation awards $179,000 in grants

The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation recently awarded $179,614 in grants to 19 nonprofit organizations in Maine, according to a news release from the Bangor-based bank.

The foundation awards grants to nonprofits with worthy initiatives that make communities more prosperous, more livable and more vibrant. Grant applications are reviewed quarterly.

Statewide organizations Maine Farmland Trust and Maine Recovery Fund received Bangor Savings Bank Foundation grants. Some of the other organizations to receive grants are:
• Kennebec County: Children’s Discovery Museum in Augusta.
• Penobscot County: Bangor Historical Society, Bangor; Community Health and Counseling Services, Bangor; Hemophilia Alliance of Maine, Brewer; Literacy Volunteers of Bangor, Shaw House Homeless Youth Shelter, Bangor; Eddington Fire Department, and Friends of Baxter State Park.

For more information about the bank’s foundation grants, visit bangor.com.

 

Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers earns 4-star rating from Charity Navigator

The Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers’ strong financial health and commitment to accountability and transparency have earned it a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator. This is the fifth consecutive time that The Maine Children’s Home has earned this top distinction, according to a news release from the Waterville nonprofit agency.

Since 2002, using objective analysis, Charity Navigator has awarded only the most fiscally responsible organizations a 4-star rating. In 2011 Charity Navigator added 17 metrics, focused on governance and ethical practices as well as measures of openness, to its ratings methodology. These accountability and transparency metrics, which account for 50% of a charity’s overall rating, reveal which charities operate in accordance with industry best practices and whether they are open with their donors and stakeholders. On June 1, 2016, Charity Navigator upgraded its methodology for rating each charity’s financial health.

“The Maine Children’s Home’s exceptional 4-star rating sets it apart from its peers and demonstrates its trustworthiness to the public,” according to Michael Thatcher, president & CEO of Charity Navigator. “Only a quarter of charities rated by Charity Navigator receive the distinction of our 4-star rating. This adds The Maine Children’s Home to a preeminent group of charities working to overcome our world’s most pressing challenges. Based on its 4-star rating, people can trust that their donations are going to a financially responsible and ethical charity when they decide to support The Maine Children’s Home.”

“It’s important our donor’s trust that we’re using their donations wisely to accomplish our mission to build and strengthen families and their children, instilling hope for the future and a better quality of life,” said Richard Dorian, executive director of the Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers. “Our 4-star Charity Navigator rating demonstrates to our supporters our good governance and financial accountability.”

The Maine Children’s Home’s rating and other information about charitable giving are available free of charge on CharityNavigator.org.

For more information about The Maine Children’s Home, visit MaineChildrensHome.org.

 

Compiled from submitted news releases

For more business briefs, visit centralmaine.com.

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