Former Waterville City Manager Michael Roy, shown in 2019 at City Hall, will receive the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will hold its annual award ceremony Thursday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — Michael Roy, who was the city manager of Waterville for 16 years, will be recognized Thursday with the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s top honor during its 58th annual awards ceremony.

Roy, who retired at the end of 2020 but stayed on with the city part-time until June to help with the city’s downtown revitalization project, will receive the chamber’s 2020 Distinguished Community Service Award. The ceremony will be held at Enchanted Gables in Oakland.

The award is given to a person who meets several criteria, including demonstrating community leadership and being involved in the betterment of the city for at least 10 years.

Nine businesses and people also will be honored during the ceremony, to be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $55 a person and may be reserved at www.midmainechamber.com or by calling the chamber at 873-3315. All attendees are required to wear masks.

Roy was Waterville’s first city manager, as the city’s top management position prior to 2004 was that of city administrator. During his tenure, Roy saw the sale of the former C.F. Hathaway Co. building that was transformed into offices, retail and high-end apartments overlooking the Kennebec River.

He helped to secure property for what would become the Quarry Road Recreation Area and helped raise money to develop the $1.5 million RiverWalk at Head of Falls. He also worked with partners, including Colby College, to launch the $11.2 million downtown revitalization project and saw other projects through, including renovations to City Hall, the Waterville Opera House and Waterville Public Library, as well as construction of the police station and Trafton Road interchange.

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Roy said he was surprised to learn of the chamber’s recognition.

“When I look at the names of people who have received it previously, I am very, very humbled and honored to also be in their company,” he said. “I’m just so pleased to be part of that company.”

Roy said he believes people must be involved in a community, whether by serving on a board or committee or volunteering in some other capacity. The real heroes, he said, are those who do small things every day without expecting recognition or compensation.

“I think that our form of government fares best when people participate, even if it just means voting,” he said. “People need to get involved. They need to play some role.”

Kimberly N. Lindlof, president and CEO of the chamber, said Roy’s faith in a regional approach to his work life and volunteerism has been pivotal in the advancement of several initiatives.

“His collaborative efforts with First Park/Kennebec Regional Development Authority, High Hopes Clubhouse, Waterville Rotary, Central Maine Growth Council and Central Maine Youth Hockey, just to name a few, have not only advanced Waterville and its residents,” she said, “but those of the entire region. Mid-Maine Chamber was pleased to select Mike for its greatest honor and were delighted that he was nominated by more than one person.”

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Roy, a Colby graduate, supported a plan by the Alfond Youth & Community Center and Central Maine Youth Hockey to build an indoor community ice skating rink on city-owned property on North Street. He vowed to continue helping with the community ice rink effort after he retired. 

Roy has been involved for many years with Waterville Rotary, High Hopes, the youth hockey program, United Way of Mid-Maine, Friends of Quarry Road, the Growth Council, Maine Municipal Association and Maine Development Foundation, among other groups and organizations.

His municipal career started in Fairfield, where he was community development director for seven years. He became Vassalboro town manager in 1984 and Oakland town manager in 1994. While in Oakland, he helped form FirstPark and the Kennebec Regional Development Authority, which developed the technology park off Kennedy Memorial Drive. He also was instrumental in developing the Central Maine Growth Council.

Roy and his wife, Schari, have two daughters, Caroline and Molly, as well as two grandchildren.

The Distinguished Community Service Award is one of several that will be handed out Thursday:

LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

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New Dimensions Federal Credit Union, which is 65 years old and led by CEO Ryan Poulin, built a state-of-the-art main office last year at 94 Silver St. in Waterville where it employs 35 people. It renovated its previous location on Grove Street into an operations and call center that fields more than 350 calls a day. The award is given to a business with more than 50 employees that exemplifies commitment to growth within the community through an expansion of workforce or major renovation, and which has contributed to the overall well-being of the community.

SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR

Selah Tea Cafe on Main Street in downtown Waterville was opened in 2011 by Rachel and Bobby McGee. The family business serves loose leaf tea, specialty coffee, pastries, breakfast food and lunch. The award is given to a business with fewer than 50 employees that exemplifies commitment to growth within the community through an expansion of workforce or major renovation, and which has contributed to the overall well-being of the community.

MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR

Jean Poulin was bookkeeper for the town of Vassalboro for 16 years before retiring July 2. In addition to her bookkeeping responsibilities, she helped at the front counter when needed. The award is given to someone who displays leadership in supporting the positive direction of a municipality, goes above and beyond in her assignment or in project fulfillment, and demonstrates positive support of business initiatives.

OUTSTANDING PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

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Kristina Cannon is executive director of Main Street Skowhegan, where she is the central coordinator of strategic projects, manages and fundraises for the Run of River whitewater recreation area, manages the Skowhegan Outdoors AmeriCorps Program, and leads efforts to increase business support and bolster Skowhegan’s entrepreneurial efforts through a new initiative called Scale Up Skowhegan. The award is given to a person who demonstrates leadership and excellence in their profession and gives back to the community.

CUSTOMER SERVICE STARDOM 

Josh Hamel is creative director at Mix Maine Media, where for the last nine years he has shared his knowledge and experience with many local businesses, organizations, political candidates and nonprofits. He has conceived, written and produced radio commercials for more than 1,300 clients and done hundreds of audio recordings with local business people. The award is given to someone who illustrates pride in his job and demonstrates exceptional customer service, and is not a business owner or a member of top management.

ELIAS A. JOSEPH AWARD

Lynn Fish, Becky Getchell and Diane Joseph were chosen for the award in honor of Elias A. Joseph for his dedication of more than 28 years of volunteer service to the Mid-Maine Chamber and for professional achievement and unselfish devotion to his community. He volunteered more than 10,000 hours to the chamber.

RISING STAR OF THE YEAR AWARD

Samantha Burdick works for the Hight Family of Dealerships where she has worked to better brand its products, develop a social media program, coordinate with Bigelow Brewing on the Hight’s Tin Can Sailor brew, and help raise more than $5,000 for various organizations, while also bolstering a partnership with Saddleback Mountain. She is chairwoman of the Waterville Planning Board and president of the Waterville Sunrise Rotary Club, among other positions. The award is given to a person younger than 40 in a management or other leadership capacity who displays a combination of business success and community involvement.

EXCEPTIONAL VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR

Scott McAdoo is president of Kennebec Messalonskee Trails, co-chairs the Healthy Northern Kennebec Coalition’s Central Maine Gleaners Group, serves on the 4th of July Board of Directors and volunteers for the chamber’s Business to Business Showcase and the Taste of Waterville. He is secretary and a founding member of the Waterville Community Land Trust, a member of the South End Neighborhood Association and volunteers with the Parade of Lights and Kringleville. The award is given to a person who volunteers with at least one chamber member organization and exemplifies service above self in support of the organization’s mission and the community.

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