Central Maine Business Notes: Maine State Credit Union Raises Over $48,000 to End Hunger

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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. Photo submitted

AUGUSTA — The 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 been hosting a virtual event for two years, according to a press 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 accountability at Maine State Credit Union. “We’ve had over 100 people walk with us in person this year; it’s nice to be back after having to make this a virtual event for the past two years.

The Feed ME 5K In-Person Walk kicks off a month-long walking event. People can still register online to participate in the virtual part, which is open until May 31. Everyone who registers will receive a FEED ME 5K walk t-shirt.

The credit union raises funds throughout the year for the cause of ending hunger. This year, the credit union hopes to raise over $100,000. Proceeds from the walk and other events go back into our local communities and are used to fund backpacking programs, meals on wheels and small town food pantries.

Sponsors for this year’s walk include Cayer Security, 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 coordinator of the Projects and Innovation network. A startup accelerator, Dirigo Labs is committed to regional innovation and entrepreneurial growth. Conterato will create a network of advisors, investors, entrepreneurs and businesses that align with Dirigo Labs’ vision for the region. As Senior Communications Coordinator, he will focus on engaging the local community and cohort members to achieve this goal, as well as developing effective operational strategies for Dirigo Labs.

“Jake’s passion for entrepreneurship is evident in helping startup founders and bringing new ideas to the Dirigo team,” said Susan Ruhlin, CEO of Dirigo Labs. “He is 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 a project coordinator at Tortoise Labs, a central Maine-based incubator where entrepreneurs go from idea to working prototype. At Tortoise Labs, he has helped clients through the development stages of their start-ups by connecting them to the right resources and building customer acquisition and retention strategies.

“We have worked closely with our clients to help bring their ideas to life,” Conterato said. “I’m 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 right here in Maine.”

The position is funded by Colby College, his alma mater. “As a graduate in the midst of the pandemic, I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with Colby College again,” continues Conterato. At Dirigo Labs, Jake will be a liaison with Colby College, working closely with Colby and Dirigo Labs to promote the organizations shared vision and commitment to growth in Central Maine.

State Farm Officers Support Boys and Girls Clubs of Maine

State Farm officers recently pledged to feel good while doing good for children in their local communities. To celebrate the company’s 100th anniversary, State Farm held a virtual 5K to benefit the Boys & Girls Club. Officers and employees were encouraged to participate in the event, which they completed anytime, anywhere between April 18 and May 1. Participants could choose to donate and raise funds to benefit their local clubs, according to a press release from State Farm.

Twenty agents from Maine got together and decided to run with this idea – literally and figuratively. They have set a goal of donating $10,000 to clubs across the state. They ended up exceeding expectations and reaching $12,000. This funding will be shared among four clubs in Maine.

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

Skowhegan Savings holds its annual meeting

Skowhegan Savings held its 152nd annual meeting of corporators announcing that the bank had historic financial performance in 2021. Rich St. Pierre, the bank’s chief financial officer, presented the bank’s financial situation indicating that the bank far exceeded expectations in financial performance with a record $163.1 million in loans disbursed, ending the year with net income of $6.3 million and a strong capital base of over $103 million.

“The strong position the bank is in today is directly attributed to the overall unwavering commitment of our employees to our customers and our communities,” said David Cyr, President and CEO of Skowhegan Savings Bank, in the press release. “Not only has the bank recorded its best financial performance in its 152-year history, but we have also been recognized by Forbes as Maine’s ‘Best Bank of 2021’ and third in the nation, ranking well above- above average in terms of overall satisfaction and customer service. It is an honor to be part of this team that is proud to make the bank what it is today.

In 2021, the bank and its foundation have pledged to donate to more than 60 organizations for more than $250,000 as part of their efforts to make 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 matters, the bank elected Sam Hight to its board of directors. Hight is the main dealership for Hight Ford in Skowhegan and Hight Chevrolet in Farmington, part of the Hight family of dealerships. He serves on the boards of the Skowhegan Savings Charitable Foundation, Redington Fairview General Hospital, Trustees of Bloomfield Academy, Skowhegan Regional Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Skowhegan, County Jail of Somerset and Maine Auto Dealers Association. Originally from the Skowhegan area, Hight graduated from 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, City Manager of Dexter.

GHM Insurance selected for the Hannover President’s Club

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

Hannover President’s Club agencies are known for delivering exceptional value to their clients through their insurance expertise and responsive service.

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 participated as a participant in Hanover’s President’s Club, the 2nd longest of any agency in the United States.

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

The agency was officially recognized for being selected as a participant in the Company President’s Club at a recent national business conference.

“GHM Insurance has been striving to provide exceptional customer service and competitive insurance rates to families and business owners for over 120 years. I am humbled and honored to have been selected as a participant in the Hanover President’s Club for 22 consecutive years,” said Bill Mitchell of GHM Insurance. “I am proud to represent Hanover Insurance, an exceptional insurance company offering a wide range of personal, business and specialty insurance.”

For more business news, visit CentralMaine.com.

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