WATERVILLE — Central Maine Growth Council and KVConnect recently presented their 2020 Emerging Leader of the Year Award to Josh Kim, founder and CEO of The Cubby, (Sklaza LLC). The award was presented at the council’s annual meeting celebration, sponsored by Central Maine Motors, Kennebec Savings Bank, MaineGeneral Health, and New Dimensions Federal Credit Union. As an acknowledgement of his tenacity as an entrepreneur and innovator, Kim, a Colby College junior, is the first college student to receive the Emerging Leader Award, according to a news release by the growth council.

Josh Kim Photo courtesy of Central Maine Growth Council

Kim launched The Cubby, an online marketplace exclusively for college students, at Colby in February while he was a sophomore. In four short months, The Cubby logged more than $10,000 in transactions and registered more than 800 student users. The “marketplace for college students” launched again this past September and is now live at multiple institutions including the University of Maine, Boston College and Northeastern University. Kim has plans to expand into Thomas College, Bates College and Bowdoin College as well.

The Cubby, formerly known as Sklaza, is devoted exclusively to the inexpensive sale of IONS: Items Only Needed by Students. The marketplace tackles overconsumption, encourages recycling and environmental sustainability, and avoids the pitfalls of public marketplaces that, while marketed to college students, allow nonstudent sellers to post items unrelated to student needs. Items that have been advertised and sold include textbooks, furniture, clothing and electronics.

The structure of The Cubby is similar to platforms such as ebay and Etsy, though its target audience is college communities.

In June The Cubby received a software development grant from the Maine Technology Institute, which Kim is using to support expansion across college campuses. In addition, Kim presented on Greenlight Maine’s collegiate entrepreneurship challenge earlier this year. The competition, which offers a $25,000 prize, is a sub-competition of Greenlight Maine, a statewide pitch TV show designed to encourage business development in the state.



Gardiner FCU  committed to financial education for all ages

GARDINER — Gardiner Federal Credit Union has long been committed to financial education for area school children, K-12. This included going into the schools, creating interactive content for students, and teaching them lessons early in life, to help set them up for successful budgeting and saving, according to a news release.

Four years ago, the credit union began holding after hours workshops, for adults, on topics ranging from Basic Budgeting, to Estate Planning, and Avoiding Scams. These free workshops featured local experts on the featured topics.

Because of the pandemic, staff are no longer able to go into the schools to assist with financial education. In an effort to still offer financial education, Gardiner FCU is now offering online content for all ages.

For kindergarten or first grade classes, there is a new YouTube channel called GFCU4kids. There, Kelly Marie, the credit union’s marketing director, has uploaded recorded video classes for the students. Below the link to each video is a list of materials needed or a linked PDF worksheet, to finish the lessons. These can be used by teachers in the classrooms, or by parents in the homes.

“The one positive thing about not being able to go into the classrooms, is that I can now finally be in more than one place at the same time,” Marie said.

On the website, gardinerfcu.org, there have been new links and features added to pages that are targeted for certain age groups. There are interactive games, animated videos and resources to help put youth on firm financial footing. To help replace the workshops previously offered to their adult members, a new page was added to the website. It covers topics from tips and resources for the college-bound and their parents to 10 financial tips for seniors. All of these pages and links are available, under the Products & Services tab on their website.


Gardiner FCU has partnered with ZOGO to make an app available to students, teachers and community members. The app teaches financial education in little snippets, then asks questions. The more correct answers, the more points earned. Points are redeemable for free gift cards to popular places like iTunes and Amazon. It is available in the app store under ZOGO, with access code GARDINER.


Skowhegan Savings welcomes Nate Archibald to the bank

SKOWHEGAN — Skowhegan Savings has announced that Nate Archibald has joined the bank as an assistant vice president and commercial lender. He brings a variety of experience in finance, having served as a branch manager and commercial lender in prior positions. He has a passion for helping businesses with their banking needs and is eager to help businesses grow in the Somerset county region.

Nate Archibald Photo courtesy of Skowhegan Savings

“We’re pleased to welcome Nate to our commercial lending team. His familiarity with our market and passion to help businesses grow through creative solutions are a true asset to our team,” said Steve Thomas, senior vice president and senior commercial lender, according to a news release from the savings bank.

Born and raised in western Maine, Archibald received his bachelor of arts in business psychology from the University of Maine at Farmington and his master’s in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. He is a volunteer for Junior Achievement of Maine and the nonprofit Ca$h Maine, a statewide organization that offers programs to help Maine people achieve financial stability.

Archibald resides in Wilton.



Northeast Bank donates $20,000 to local food pantries

PORTLAND — Northeast Bank recently made a $10,000 donation to local food pantries. This commitment combined with $10,000 previously donated to Maine food banks in 2020, brings the bank’s annual contribution to $20,000. These charitable contributions reinforce the bank’s outreach program and giveback mission to support communities through donations, event sponsorship and employee volunteerism.

“Northeast Bank stands with Maine’s food pantries and their mission to end hunger,” said Robert Banaski, director of community banking at Northeast Bank, according to a news release from the bank. “They are on the frontlines supporting communities affected by COVID-19, while preparing for the expected holiday rush. We are proud to provide both volunteer and monetary support to these organizations and thank them for their service.”

The bank’s $10,000 donation will support the following local food assistance centers as they gear up to help those in need during the holiday season: Bethel Area District Exchange & Food Pantry, Augusta Food Bank, Good Shepherd Food Bank and Preble Street Resource — Portland Food Pantry.


Maine Music Society welcomes new board member

Jane Mitchell, having recently retired as a paralegal from Hardy, Wolf & Downing, P.A., has been named to the Maine Music Society‘s board of directors. She has been active in the performing arts scene for a number of years and brings a range of experiences to help the board meet its goals, according to a news release from the society.


Jane Mitchell Photo courtesy of Maine Music Society

Mitchell is in her seventh season singing with the MMS Chorale and third season with the MMS Chamber Singers. Since 2014 she has been an actor and costumer with the L/A Community Little Theatre where she serves as secretary on the board of directors. She is an actor with the Monmouth Community Players and also serves on its board.

Prior to joining chorale and theater activities, Mitchell studied martial arts for 17 years at Pelletier’s Karate Academy where she earned her fifth degree black belt.

Originally from Massachusetts, she now resides in Greene with her husband, Kevin.


Camden National Bank receives Lender at Work for Maine award

CAMDEN — The Finance Authority of Maine presented Camden National Bank with the “Lender at Work for Maine” award at its Dec. 17 virtual board meeting. The award category is reserved for lenders with assets of $1.5 billion and above, and this is the bank’s 11th time as a FAME awardee. Over the past year, Camden National Bank partnered with FAME on 30 loans totaling approximately $3.8 million, helping to create and retain 408 Maine jobs, according to a news release from the bank.

“We’ve been honored to receive the FAME award for several years in a row,” said Ryan Smith, executive vice president of Commercial Banking at Camden National Bank. “Especially this year, the recognition represents our commitment as a community bank to supporting local businesses, jobs, families and communities — not only throughout the pandemic crisis, but for Maine’s long-term prosperity as well.”

For more business news, visit CentralMaine.com.

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