SKOWHEGAN — The Hight Family of Dealerships still planned to host its second annual First Responder Barbecue, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic they were forced to adapt their plan.

“We wanted to find a way to keep the tradition of highlighting the communities’ respect and admiration for our first responders, but because of COVID we had to get creative. We made the decision to do a ‘barbecue-to-go,’” said Sam Hight, according to a news release from the dealerships. “This year, instead of hosting the barbecue at the dealerships, we will deliver BBQ supplies to local first responder agencies so that they can conduct a BBQ safely at their agency.”

Hight decided to pitch the idea to a few local first responder agencies and the response was overwhelmingly supportive. Chief David Bucknam from the Skowhegan Police Department said, “I cannot thank Sam and the Hight family enough for everything they do for the town of Skowhegan. There are no limits to their generosity when it comes to giving back to this great community. You are a true friend to the Skowhegan Police Department and all first responders in Somerset County. We truly appreciate your support,” according to the release.

Sheriff Dale Lancaster from Somerset County Sheriffs Office shared similar a sentiment, “The men and women of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office appreciate the generosity and continued support shown by Sam Hight and the Hight Family of Dealerships. We thank Sam for establishing and coordinating the annual barbecue for first responders.”

The Hight’s appreciation for first responders is what drove them to create this annual event. Last year, the Hights started the tradition of honoring local first responders by hosting a barbecue at their dealerships. “We are glad that we have found a way to host this event safely, while still honoring our local first responders,” said Hight. “We as a community are very fortunate to have such a strong group of first responder agencies. And there’s no time like the present, with everything going on, to support, to celebrate and to thank their efforts in keeping all of us safe. We wish we could reach out to more agencies, because our thanks would be endless. We hope others can share our gratitude for our local first responders and do their part in supporting their noble cause.”

Throughout the week of Oct. 12-17, the Hights delivered barbecue-to-go coolers to 19 agencies in Somerset and Franklin counties. Because of help from George’s Market and the Bankery in Skowhegan, Hight purchased 300 hot dogs, 300 hamburgers, snacks and cupcakes, all to be packed in coolers donated by Damon’s Beverage Mart.

SANY America raises $33,000 in auction for Travis Mills Foundation

SANY America donated $33,000 to the Travis Mills Foundation.

In September, SANY America auctioned off two of its SANY SY215C excavators which were presented at the 2020 Conexpo trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, this past March. Throughout 2020 SANY America has established a great relationship with the Travis Mills Foundation, and SANY gives back to them when possible, according to a news release from the construction equipment supplier based out of Georgia.

With that in mind, SANY decided to auction these two machines to its dealer network. SANY America donated a portion of the sale’s proceeds of one of the excavators, which was wrapped with the American Flag, to the Travis Mills Foundation and presented a check to them Oct. 15 at their facility. The donation was in excess of $33,000.

In attendance from SANY America were Vice President of Sales for Construction Equipment Ben Miller, District Sales Manager Joe Duplessis and Director of Dealer Development Michael Erwood to help commemorate this monumental event.

Blue Marble Geographics CEO Patrick Cunningham honored in Mainebiz 2020 Next List

HALLOWELL — Blue Marble Geographics CEO Patrick Cunningham was recognized in the Mainebiz 2020 Next List as one of eight individuals changing Maine’s economy, according to a news release from the company.

Each year, Mainebiz recognizes a small group of individuals who are making a significant impact in their industry and contributing to Maine’s economy. Cunningham has been at the helm of Blue Marble Geographics, a GIS and mapping software company, since 2004. From its headquarters in Hallowell, Cunningham has led the company through acquisitions, strategic changes and significant growth.

This year, Blue Marble Geographics opened a second office in Brunswick, investing in research and development driven by a focus on 3D mapping tools. The company plans to increase the workforce from 40 to 75, mostly in research and development.

“It is an honor to be recognized on an individual level, but Blue Marble’s success is very much a team effort,” stated Cunningham, according to the release. “We have an excellent management team, industry-leading software developers and dedicated support staff, all of whom have contributed to our growth and success. I think the difference maker is that we truly enjoy what we do and are humbled by our loyal customer base.”

Blue Marble Geographics was named one of the Best Places to Work in Maine this year. The Best Places to Work in Maine program identifies, recognizes and honors the best employment places in Maine, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses.

Cunningham will be recognized in a live virtual event Nov. 16. To learn more about the award reception and to request a ticket, visit

Maine Tourism Association names Tim Gatz its new membership sales manager

Tim Gatz Photo courtesy of the Maine Tourism Association

Tim Gatz has been hired as the Maine Tourism Association’s membership sales manager announced by CEO Tom Cameron. As such, Gatz will be responsible for acquiring new members, assisting all members with their web listings and other marketing opportunities, communicating to members about MTA benefits, and coordinating member networking and educational events, according to a news release from the association.

Cameron said, “Tim will be a terrific addition to the MTA team.”

Gatz has spent the last 30 years carving out a career in sales, sales management and general management, all in local media. Most recently, he served as director of membership for Visit Portland (Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau) supporting Portland’s burgeoning tourism sector. He also served for 13 years as radio group vice president/station manager for the 107.5 FRANK-FM, 99.9 The Wolf, W-BACH and Rock 106.3 group of radio stations.

Gatz grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and, after getting his degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University, moved to Maine almost immediately — and he’s worked hard to stay here. He is recently married and lives in Falmouth with his new wife and (combined) four kids.

Gatz is thrilled to continue the mission of promoting the tourism industry, now on a statewide level. “Everyone should experience Maine. I’m so lucky to live here!” he stated.


Compiled from submitted news releases. For more business briefs, visit

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