Tuesday, October 4

Central Maine business briefs: Maine State Credit Union raises more than $48,000 to end hunger

Maine State Credit Union Team FeedME5K from left are Mitch Ryan, Jami Lane, Celyna Robbins, Shawn Spedea, Tiffany Lowther, Meredith McGrath, Jennifer Roper, Alex Guiou, Stephen Wallace and Stacey Dow. Submitted photo

AUGUSTA — Maine State Credit Union’s annual FEED ME 5K walk to end hunger in Maine raised more than $48,000 on April 23 to help those in need. It was the first in-person walk since 2019. Maine State Credit Union has held a virtual event for two years, according to a news release from the credit union.

“It was so nice to see everyone in person and the smiles on their faces,” said Stacey Dow, co-chair of Social Responsibility at Maine State Credit Union. “We had over 100 people walk with us in person this year; it is nice to be back after having to make it a virtual event for the past couple of years.”

The in-person Feed ME 5K walk starts a month-long walk event. People can still register online to participate in the virtual portion, which is open until May 31. Everyone who registers will receive a FEED ME 5K walk T-shirt.

The credit union raises money all year long for the ending hunger cause. This year the credit union hopes to raise more than $100,000. Proceeds from the walk and other events go back into our local communities and are used to fund backpack programs, Meals on Wheels, and smaller town-based food pantries.

Sponsors for this year’s walk include Cayer Security, the Element Group, Maine Credit Union League/Synergent, TriCorp Federal Credit Union, WH Demmons, Cross Insurance, GHM Insurance Agency, WGTech, WIPFLI, Charlie’s Motor Mall, Alkami, Pannos Marketing, Glia, Anthem, Insurance Trust, Taylor, McCormack & Frame, Uncle Dean’s, Steven & Day, LLP, Maine General, Harvest Time, ASG Angott, Sarah Dunckel & Associates, Rod’s HVAC, Liberty Mutual, Norman, Hanson, & DeTroy, Korner Store & Deli, Priority Learning, Creative Imaging Group, Sprague & Curtis, and G & E Roofing.

Dirigo Labs hires new projects and innovation network coordinator

WATERVILLE — Dirigo Labs has appointed Jake Conterato the Projects and Innovation Network coordinator. A startup accelerator, Dirigo Labs is committed to regional innovation and entrepreneurial growth. Conterato will be building a network of advisors, investors, entrepreneurs and businesses that align with Dirigo Labs’ vision for the region. As the primary communications coordinator, he will be focused on engaging the local community and cohort members to achieve this goal, as well as developing efficient operational strategies for Dirigo Labs.

“Jake’s passion for entrepreneurship is evident in the help he provides to startup founders and the fresh ideas he brings to the Dirigo team,” said Susan Ruhlin, Dirigo Labs’ managing director. “He’s the perfect liaison between the Colby College community and the accelerator and is a wonderful addition to our staff.”

Prior to joining Dirigo Labs, Conterato was the project coordinator at Tortoise Labs, an incubator based in central Maine where entrepreneurs go from idea to working prototype. At Tortoise Labs, he helped clients in the development stages of their start-ups by connecting them with appropriate resources and building strategies for customer acquisition and retention.

“We worked closely with our clients to help bring their ideas to fruition,” said Conterato. “I am incredibly excited to continue working side by side with entrepreneurs who are passionate about their start-ups and helping them build something of their own here in Maine.”

The position is funded through Colby College, his’s alma mater. “As someone who graduated amidst the pandemic, I feel grateful for the opportunity to be working with Colby College again,” continues Conterato. At Dirigo Labs, Jake will be a liaison to Colby College, working closely with both Colby and Dirigo Labs in order to further the organizations’ shared vision and commitment to growth within central Maine.

State Farm Agents support Boys & Girls Clubs in Maine

State Farm agents recently committed to feeling good while doing good for kids in their local communities. In celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary, State Farm hosted a virtual 5K to benefit the Boys & Girls Club. Agents and employees were encouraged to participate in the event, which they completed anytime, anywhere between April 18 and May 1. Participants could opt to donate and raise funds to benefit their local clubs, according to a news release from State Farm.

Twenty Maine agents came together and decided to run with this idea — literally and figuratively. They set a goal to donate $10,000 to clubs throughout the state. They wound up exceeding expectations and reached $12,000. This funding will be shared amongst four Maine clubs.

Local State Farm Agents included Dennis Keller (Augusta), Janet Slade (Gardiner), Sue Terhune (Farmington) and Mike Lee (Waterville).

Skowhegan Savings hold annual meeting

Skowhegan Savings held its 152nd annual Meeting of the Corporators announcing that the bank had historic financial performance in 2021. Rich St. Pierre, chief financial officer of the bank, presented the bank’s financial condition reporting that the bank far exceeded expectations for financial performance with a record of $163.1 million in originated loans, ending the year with a $6.3 million net profit and a strong capital base of over $103 million.

“The solid position that the bank stands in today is directly attributed to our employees’ overall steadfast commitment to our customers and our communities,” said David Cyr, president and CEO of Skowhegan Savings Bank, in the release. “Not only did the bank see its best financial performance in its 152-year history but we were also recognized by Forbes as the ‘2021 Best Bank in Maine’ and third in the nation, ranking well above average in overall satisfaction and customer service. It’s an honor to be a part of this team that takes pride in making the bank what it is today.”

In 2021, the bank and its foundation made donation commitments to over 60 organizations for over $250,000 as part of its efforts to making our communities a better place to live and work. Skowhegan Savings employees also volunteered over 1,600 hours to various organizations throughout the year.

In other business, the bank elected Sam Hight to its board of directors. Hight is the dealer principal of Hight Ford in Skowhegan and Hight Chevrolet in Farmington, part of the Hight Family of Dealerships. He is on the boards of the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation, Redington Fairview General Hospital, Bloomfield Academy Trustees, Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Skowhegan, Somerset County Jail and the Maine Auto Dealers Association. Originally from the Skowhegan area, Hight is a graduate of Bowdoin College and now resides in Norridgewock with his wife and daughter.

The bank also welcomed five new corporators: Alicia Bell, vice president and owner of Northern Lights Maine; Kristina Cannon, executive director of Main Street Skowhegan; Liz Fontaine, owner of Lakehome Group Real Estate; Suresh Gali, managing member of New Gen Hospitality Management; and Trampus King, town manager of Dexter.

GHM Insurance selected for The Hanover’s President’s Club

GHM Insurance of Waterville recently was appointed to The Hanover Insurance Group’s President’s Club, an elite group of independent insurance agencies from across the country.

The Hanover’s President’s Club agencies are recognized for delivering outstanding value to their customers through their insurance expertise and responsive service.

The Hanover partners with a select group of 2,100 independent agents nationwide and only 5% are recognized with this distinction. This is the 22nd consecutive year that Bill Mitchell of GHM Insurance has been selected and attended as a participant of The Hanover’s President Club, the 2nd longest of any agency in the United States.

“Customer experience is at the core of our business and we proudly partner with GHM Insurance, which shares in this vision of putting customers first,” said Richard W. Lavey, president, Hanover Agency Markets. “With vast insurance knowledge, the agency is a trusted adviser to its clients, helping them to mitigate risk while providing an outstanding customer service experience.”

The agency was formally recognized for its selection as a participant of the company’s President’s Club during a recent national business conference.

“GHM Insurance has strived to deliver exceptional customer service and competitive insurance rates to families and business owners for over 120 years. I am honored and humbled to be selected as a Hanover President’s Club participant for 22 consecutive years” said Bill Mitchell of GHM Insurance. “I am proud to represent Hanover Insurance, an outstanding insurance carrier providing a wide range of personal, business, and specialty lines of insurance.”

For more business news, visit CentralMaine.com.

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