The Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting Jan. 27. The meeting was conducted via Zoom because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting Margery Jamison announced the annual election results. Joanne Dunlap, who served on the executive board as president in 2020, was reelected to another one-year term as chamber president, according to a news release from the chamber.

Margie Jamison, Linda Dexter and Ken McDavitt, who all served on the executive board in 2020, were reelected to one-year terms on the executive board — Jamison as vice president, Dexter as treasurer and McDavitt as member-at-large. New chamber director Sue Damm of Rangeley Region Sport Shop, was elected to the executive board position of secretary.

Directors Lindsay Richards and Kash Haley were each elected to serve another one-year term on the board.

The board also welcomes three new directors in addition to Damm: Nick Leadley of Nick Leadley Nature Photography; Anna Moog of Allied Realty; and Kelly O’Neil of Lloyd Graphics and Rangeley Vacation Rentals.

Jamison thanked outgoing executive board member Jim Ferrara for his years of dedicated service, including heading up the Events Committee. She also thanked outgoing directors A.J. Ash, Nancy Douglas and David Haley.



Kennebec Valley Council of Governments names new executive director

FAIRFIELD — Ole Amundsen III is the new executive director of the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments. He assumed this new role Jan. 4, according to a news release from its board of directors.

Ole Amundsen Contributed photo

“I am honored to have been selected to lead KVCOG as its next executive director. It is a privilege to have the opportunity to work with the KVCOG team to continue providing high-quality and valuable services to the municipalities of the Kennebec Valley,” said Amundsen. “As an organization, KVCOG focus is to have a positive and meaningful impact for the region and beyond. I am very much looking forward to leading KVCOG in this essential mission.”

Amundsen succeeds Laura Cyr, who left KVCOG to join the University of Maine System in October 2020. Amundsen’s leadership appointment is a product of a rigorous and competitive national search, undertaken by the members of KVCOG’s Search Committee, made up of members of the KVCOG board of directors and local business leaders.

“We are fortunate to have someone of Ole’s caliber and experience in this leadership role for KVCOG,” said Richard LaBelle, president, board of directors. “KVCOG is at a critical moment where renewed leadership will help us to successfully serve our region through, and beyond, the impact of the current pandemic.”


Amundsen is a resident of Waterville and comes to KVCOG with more than 20 years of experience in nonprofits and 10 years of experience in redevelopment and economic development in rural communities. Most recently, Amundsen was a visiting instructor in environmental studies at Colby College. Amundsen also holds a graduate degree in city planning and environmental policy from MIT, and a bachelor’s degree in government from Colby College.

KVCOG is a nonprofit organization serving 62 municipalities in Somerset, Kennebec, and western Waldo counties. It provides a coordinated approach for planning and economic development at the local and regional level.


Dunkin’ in Richmond gifts $2,000 to local food pantry

Local Dunkin’ franchisee Mike Connor recently made a donation of $2,000 to the Richmond Area Food Pantry during the grand reopening of the Dunkin’ at 5 Ridge Road in Richmond. The store received a complete remodel with new digital drive-thru and lobby menu boards, Dunkin’s innovative tap system for cold teas and coffees, new tables and seating for customers, front counter bakery cases, and high-volume coffee brewers.

Also in attendance were Richmond Area Food Pantry Co-director Rae Webster, Dunkin’ employees Nate Heyns, Logan Bickford, Briana Lawrence, Gavin DePalmer, Manager Andrea Veilleux, and Franchisee Mike Connor.



Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce announces new chairperson, board members

Kimberly Nadeau Lindlof, president and CEO of Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, has announced that the organization’s governing board of directors will have a new board chairperson and five new board members for the coming year.

Brandi Meisner Contributed photo

In 2021, Brandi Meisner will serve as board chairperson, assuming the role from Joy McKenna, as her term on the board is complete. Other changes in the slate of officers of the board include Heather MacKenzie Thorne who will become first vice chairwoman and Michelle Joler-Labbe who will serve as second vice chairwoman. Bruce Harrington continues as treasurer and Gary Levesque as director-at-large for the board.

Meisner is a resident of Skowhegan and community banker for Skowhegan Savings Bank, after having spent 15 years in the insurance industry. She serves on the executive boards of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and Main Street Skowhegan. She also chairs several subcommittees of both organizations. A graduate of Skowhegan High School and Thomas College, she has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in business management and administration. She helps to operate family businesses, Maine Cedar Hot Tubs and the Skowhegan Wooden Rule Company.

New board members include Dr. Melik Peter Khoury, Ken Walsh, Linanne Gaunce, Larissa Larrabee and Mark Bradford. Bill Layton also returns for a second term on the board.


Bill Layton Contributed photo

Layton is a resident of Waterville and director of the Office of Grants and Sponsored Programs for Colby College. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Drew University and the IESE Business School, Barcelona, Spain. He serves as a board member director for the Waterville Public Library. He will be in his second term on the board for the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, where he serves on the Public Policy Committee.

Melik Khoury Contributed photo

Khoury is the president and CEO of Unity College. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Maine Fort Kent, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Maine, and a doctorate in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Under his leadership Unity College has successfully launched The Enterprise Model, which offers traditional and adult students educational opportunities through UC: Distance Education; UC: Hybrid Learning; and UC: Sustainable Ventures. In the process, Khoury has begun to break down the traditional barriers associated with higher education — making it more affordable, accessible, flexible and relevant for students locally and around the world.

Walsh is chief executive officer for the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA at the Alfond Youth & Community Center, a position he has held for 29 years. He holds a degree from State University of New York, Cortland BSE Physical Education. Through his leadership, the Alfond Youth & Community Center has expanded programs to serve multiple constituents, including work with area after-school care and food/nutrition programs.

Walsh serves on the YMCA and BGCA State Alliance, Main eSports Legends, and is an assistant baseball coach at Colby College, as well as a planned giving and legacy gifts advisor. He has served on multiple boards including KVCAP, Good Will-Hinckley, Snow Pond Advisory Board.

Gaunce has managed special events and donations for 10 years for Central Maine Motors Auto Group, a family-owned auto dealership based in Waterville.


Linanne Gaunce Patricia Michaud

She was born in the Waterville area and attended Messalonskee High School in Oakland. She then received an associate degree from Thomas College. After having moved away from the area after college, she and her husband returned to Waterville to put down roots in the community and raise their family.

Gaunce is involved as president of the Waterville High School Boosters Association for the golf, baseball, tennis and cross-country teams. She served as co-president of the Waterville Senior High School Project Graduation Committee for 2020, helping to plan a unique graduation ceremony in light of the pandemic. She has served as a member of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards and Super Raffle Committees.

Larrabee is the mill controller for Huhtamaki, where she has been employed for five years. She attended Lawrence High School in Fairfield. She later received a master’s degree from Thomas College. She has participated in the Leadership Development Program, Center for Creative Leadership; University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, Mergers and Acquisitions program; and the Emerging Leader Development Program, Columbia University Graduate School of Business.

Larissa Larrabee Contributed photo

She serves on the Mid-Maine Chamber Public Policy Committee and has served as past board president for the United Way of Tri-Valley. She is a supporter of military families through the Christmas Across Maine program.

Bradford has served as area sales manager for Valley Beverage Distributors for the past 10 years. He was born in the Waterville area and attended Lawrence High School. He then received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Southern Maine.

He has served for seven years as a volunteer coach for P.A.L. football and basketball and is a member of the Augusta Elks. He is a member of both the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce Golf Classic Committee and the Taste of Waterville Committee.



Franklin Savings Bank promotes commercial credit risk officer to vice president

Amy Hebert Photo courtesy of Franklin Savings Bank

Amy Hebert has been promoted to vice president, commercial credit risk officer by Franklin Savings Bank. Since joining the bank in 2020, Hebert has consistently demonstrated, not only a significant command of commercial credit risk management, but also of the most fundamental principles of what it means to be a community banker. Understanding, professionalism and the determination to play a role in supporting the financial success of the people of Maine, according to a news release from the bank.

“Amy has been a great addition to the Franklin Savings Bank family. Since coming aboard, she has effectively lead our administration of the Payroll Protection Program while also providing important insights into other aspects of our commercial business,” said Senior Vice President Director of Commercial Lending Derek Hayes, according to the release. “She aligns perfectly with our FSB culture and has the true makeup of a community banking leader.”

Hebert earned a master’s degree in business ethics and compliance from New England College of Business as well as a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management from the University of Southern Maine. Prior to joining Franklin Savings Bank, she had spent 17  years working for another Maine-based financial institution.

Hebert lives in Southern Maine with her three children.



Waterville resident named board member of Workplace Fairness

Dr. Phoenix Mourning-Star of Waterville has been elected as one of four new board members of Workplace Fairness, based out of Washington, D.C.

Mourning-Star serves on the board of Workplace Fairness to add his expertise in workplace rights research. He is a senior science advisor and founder of Result International Research & Consulting. He is also a visiting professor of mathematics and statistics at Colby College. His efforts in employment fairness began in 2006 as a researcher studying the National Employee Survey investigating disproportionate punishment in the workplace, according to a news release from Workplace Fairness.

Morning-Star holds his doctorate in ecology with chemical and biological engineering and is a multidisciplinary strategist and scholar leveraging his degrees: Bachelor of Science in mathematics, Master of Science in biostatistics, Master of Science in epidemiology, environmental law (Master of Laws) and international science, and technology and space policy.

The other members include Jenni Klock Morel, Justin Sindelar and Eva Zelson.


“The addition of these board members reflects the spirit and mission of Workplace Fairness and brings important and valuable skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to the organization,” said Edgar Ndjatou, executive director of Workplace Fairness, according to the release.


Hannaford donates $100,000 to support after school programs in Waterville and Bangor regions

SCARBOROUGH – Hannaford Supermarkets and the Hannaford Charitable Foundation jointly announced $100,000 in donations to support after-school programs for central Maine families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a news release from Hannaford.

Locally, the donation includes $30,000 to the Alfond Youth and Community Center in Waterville. The organizations will use the funding to support after-school programming in healthy and safe environments for local children.

The Maine funding is one component of an overall $400,000 commitment from Hannaford to support child development with nonprofit organizations providing expanded child care and virtual learning programs for working families across New York and New England.


“As our schedules, commitments and priorities have shifted over the last 10 months, so have the needs of working families in our community,” said Hannaford Charitable Foundation Board Chairman Peter Forester, who also serves as senior vice president of merchandising for the grocery retailer. “The organizations benefiting from this donation provide parents and caregivers with the peace of mind and security that their children are being cared for in a safe, healthy and supportive environment. We applaud these organizations for their ability to pivot their services to meet the needs of families during this challenging time.”

​The Alfond Youth & Community Center will use the funds to provide scholarships for 30 youth in need to attend after school programs for 15 weeks. According to community center, the scholarships will help keep working parents and guardians employed with the security of knowing their kids are in a safe, nurturing, and healthy environment. During the after-school program, youth receive a hot nutritious meal before going home. The community center noted, 60% of the youth in their program report that the meal served during the after-school program is the last meal they receive before going to bed.

“As we shifted services to meet pandemic restrictions and increased need for all-day childcare, meal delivery, virtual wellness, and outreach, we were met with the greatest amount of donor support, volunteering, and grant awards ever experienced,” said Ken Walsh, CEO of the Alfond Youth and Community Center in Waterville, according to the release. “We are grateful to be the center for this community that consistently enables us to provide services to those most in need.”

The Alfond Youth and Community Center’s mission is to inspire and enable all young people and their families to realize their full potential as healthy, productive, responsible and caring citizens.

The Maine organizations are three of 20 organizations benefitting from the grant in Hannaford’s five-state footprint across Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York and Massachusetts.


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