When the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce honors its members Friday at its annual Kenney Awards, a live tweet vote will determine the winners of Kenney Awards in three categories — the Community Service, Cynergy Young Professional and President’s Choice.

The event takes place Friday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Here are the nominees:

Community Service Awards 

• The Augusta Elks Lodge #964 serves its community by helping its members through fundraising, donations and support given through a variety of programs.

Since 1987, the Maine Elks have donated $4.7 million to the Maine Children’s Cancer Program — it’s major program — and expects to reach the $5 million mark this year. Among its other initiatives are music festivals that it has held to benefit organizations, including the Travis Mills Foundation and K9s on the Front Line.

The organization has also extended its support for community youth by sponsoring athletic teams, contributing to the Boys & Girls Club of Augusta, providing supplies to 450 students through a backpack program, and awarding scholarships.

Club members also support a local kinship group for grandparents raising grandchildren and make the lodge available for events and meetings.

Townsquare Media

• Townsquare Media, which owns and operates radio stations 92 Moose and B98.5, has been involved in and supported a wide range of community organizations and charities through fundraising, and providing a platform for messaging to many groups.

While it is a national company, its two radio stations have focused their support in the communities they serve in central Maine.

Organizations they have supported include the United Way of Kennebec County, The Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, the Special Olympics, Spectrum Generations, the Snow Pond Center for the Arts and the Kennebec Valley YMCA.

• Aveda Institute Maine, which is now 20 years old, provides post-secondary education in cosmetology, barbering, esthetics and nail technology, giving its students opportunities for professional development. At the same time, the school offers the community hair care and beauty services performed by trainees at value prices.

In addition to education, the institute supports a wide range of organizations through special activities. Several fashion shows a year benefit the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and as part of Earth Month community outreach, it takes part in the Mill Park Cleanup. It also has hosted Bark Aid to benefit the humane societies in Augusta and Waterville.

Aveda Institute Maine has also raised funds in support of breast cancer research, clean water and to help students and their families who have experienced fires or other disasters.


Cynergy Young Professional Award

• Peter Quigley, a licensed relationship manager at KeyBank, started his career in banking after managing a small grocery store in Randolph. He has worked as a teller, accountant, lead teller and assistant branch manager before taking on his current role.

Peter Quigley

Quigley enjoys helping his clients with their finances and with alleviating financial stress. From his parents, he learned ethics and he wants to leave a legacy of integrity, hard work and honesty.

Outside of banking, Quigley is the co-chairman of Cynergy, a division of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce. He has volunteered with the Kennebec Valley Humane Society, the Augusta Downtown Alliance, the Children’s Center, United Way, and the Bread of Life Ministries.

Natalie Tortorella

• Natalie Tortorella parlayed her experience teaching in Boston through Teach for America and her passion for sales, learned when she began selling insurance for her uncle, into her own business. She launched the Study Hall of Manchester in 2017. The Study Hall offers tutoring for hundreds of students weekly, customized to their individual needs.

For Tortorella, the evidence of her success comes when the children who are tutored no longer need the Study Hall.

Tortorella has volunteered as a board member for Uplift, which provides services for people with developmental disabilities, and Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Center.

Kaleb Pushard

• Kaleb Pushard, who has launched his own business, Sky Box Holiday and Event Lighting, learned business from a young age through his family’s karate school, Maine Isshinryu Karate Academies. He served first as the director of MIKA’s Awesome After School and Summer Camp Program and then worked in marketing and public relations.

Even before that, he was making and selling paper airplanes to parents and kids watching classes at the karate school, and later started his own lawn mowing service.

He has served on a school board, on the board of the Augusta Downtown Alliance, and is the chairman of the Manchester Community Enrichment Committee. He also volunteers to set up the holiday lights in Manchester.


President’s Choice Award

• The Augusta Fuel Co., which has been in business for 130 years, has worked to provide residential and commercial heating solutions with professionalism and reliability.

Augusta Fuel Co.

AFC provides its customers with energy efficient and low-sulfur heating fuels and offers maintenance, repair and installation services, and it actively participates in industry efforts to lower its carbon footprint and reduce its products’ greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

The company credits its success to its staff, many of whom are longtime employees. AFC provides training and continuing education along with cutting-edge technology to help them complete advanced jobs.

AFC contributes to and supports more than 100 community partners and organizations, including the United Way, the Bread of Life Ministries, Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed, the Travis Mills Foundation, the Augusta Food Bank and MaineGeneral Health, among others.

• Cushnoc Brewing Co., which opened its craft beer and wood-fired pizza business on Halloween in 2017, is the result of a partnership among Casey Hynes, Tobias Parkhurst, James Bass and Chris Geerlings. Since then, the partners have sold more than 100,000 pizzas and expanded from supplying to draft lines at the restaurant to being available in more than 630 locations on draft and in cans across the state.

Since then, Cushnoc has grown from a one-barrel brewhouse to one with 10 barrels, with the addition of the Cushnoc Annex on Route 3, where they can beers for distribution. It also opened a Tasting Room on Front Street, to host private parties and sell beer to go. In 2019, the company produced 72,450 gallons of beer, enough beer for every Augusta resident to have 42 beers per year.

Cushnoc has partnered with or supported a number of local nonprofit organizations, including the Colonial Theatre, the Travis Mills Foundation and the Kennebec Valley Humane Society.


• TRC, among Maine’s top engineering firms, develops energy and environmental solutions for businesses and communities across the Northeast, from solar power and microgrids to cutting-edge remediation and compliance programs.

The company, founded in Connecticut in 1969, started as a local presence in Maine with 50 employees as a small engineering and environmental company in Augusta. Since then, it has grown in Maine, employing 280 people in four locations. The company attributes its growth and success in the state over 20 years to its employees.

The company’s mission is to take on the goals of its clients as its own. Additionally, its vision is to solve the challenges of making the planet a better place to live project by project.

Comments are not available on this story.