AUGUSTA — At its annual celebration Friday, the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce chose winners of three awards as the organization returned to a live event at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Kenney Awards recognize the contributions of members of the business community across central Maine.

The Cynergy Professional Award went to on-air personality Matt James of 92 Moose. The award recognizes exemplary leadership and commitment to the betterment of the Kennebec Valley.

“What a room of people to be surrounded by tonight, people who care just as much as I do, as Heather and Michael do about the Kennebec Valley,” James said referring to nominees Heather Allen and Michael Hall. “Everything that everybody in this room does to better the Kennebec Valley is so incredibly important, and I could not be prouder to be surrounded by the people I am surrounded by tonight.”

The Community Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the community, went to Chris Vallee.

“I share this honor with a lot of you tonight,” Vallee said, “the ones that do consistently volunteer, get involved and make a difference in our community. We know volunteers don’t always have the time, but they have the heart.”


He said he’s met some of his best friends through community service, noting that there’s no better way to meet neighbors than to show them how eager you are to improve your own community.”

Carrie Arsenault and Rebecca Pushard were also nominated.

The President’s Circle Award, which recognizes industry leaders, went to American Awards, the Augusta-based business that for more than four decades has been making awards and trophies — including the one it received Friday night — for businesses and organizations in central Maine.

“This is a great community to be a part of,” owner Justin Wing said. “I am truly humbled and thankful that you guys recognize myself and the business as an integral part of the community. I do the best I can to provide you with the awards you all deserve.”

Hershey’s Ice Cream and One River CPAs were also nominated.

All of the nominees were chosen by their peers, and the winners were determined by live-voting at the event.


Three awards were announced at the end of 2022.

Ingrid Stanchfield, chief executive officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley, was named Business Person of the Year. Last fall, the organization opened its new $10 million facility in Gardiner with expanded space for early child care and updated spaces for before- and after-school programs and a Teen Center.

Kennebec Savings Bank, based in Augusta, was named Large Business of the Year. The bank, a mutual organization, is currently the ninth largest bank with headquarters in Maine. Last year, it dedicated $1.2 million to the communities it serves, donating to 300 organizations in 35 communities.

Pickle’s Potions & Lotions, from Winthrop, was named Small Business of the Year. Founder Kristin Mutchler develops skincare products from her production space in Winthrop, which she sells at her Winthrop shop, at fairs around the region and at her popular Etsy shop.

Katie Doherty, the chamber’s president and CEO, was recognized by her board for being named one of Mainebiz’s 40 under 40 and for being named Maine Chamber Professional of the Year by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

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