FAME celebrated another year of successful business and educational partnerships at its annual meeting and awards event, Showcase Maine, which was held on November 13, 2014, at Portland’s Holiday Inn By The Bay.
The evening featured a reception, including a showcase of exhibits by Maine businesses and educational organizations that partner with FAME; a dinner and awards presentation; and a keynote speech by Bull Moose founder Brett Wickard.
“FAME enjoyed celebrating the successes of the past year with our partners in Maine’s business and higher education communities,” said Bruce Wagner, FAME’s Chief Executive Officer. “We were pleased to recognize key partners with awards and to unveil our future plans for growth as we seek to enhance and expand Maine’s economy.”
2014 Award Recipients :
Business at Work for Maine Award
St. Croix Tissue, Inc. was recognized for its innovation and adaptability over the years, which is particularly noteworthy considering the challenges facing Maine’s historic papermaking industry. In September of this year, FAME and St. Croix Tissue, Inc. finalized a deal to have FAME issue a $7.5 million bond through FAME’s Major Business Expansion Program. The financing, which benefits the mill in Baileyville, as well as the surrounding economy in Washington County, will help St. Croix and a related company, Woodland Pulp, LLC, create and retain approximately 400 Maine jobs.
Education at Work for Maine Award
Harold Alfond® College Challenge: The Harold Alfond College Challenge (HACC) is a first-of-its-kind legacy gift to help Maine families save for and aspire to higher education. The program awards a $500 grant for qualified higher education expenses to eligible Maine children. More than $20 million has been invested for over 40,000 Maine children since the program’s inception. In 2014, the grant became more broadly available, with the Alfond Scholarship Foundation now making the $500 grant (plus any earnings) available to all children born as Maine residents.
Financial Institution of the Year Award
Camden National Bank: Camden National Bank was honored with an award for a fifth time. Over the past year, Camden National partnered with FAME on 67 loans totaling over $13.8 million. This in turn helped to create 209 Maine jobs and retain an additional 657 jobs. The bank also is committed to the communities it serves, supporting a variety of business, community, and non-profit organizations.
Dirigo Legislative Champion Award
Hon. Brian Langley of Hancock County: Langley, a state senator representing Hancock County, is also a chef, entrepreneur, and former educator. He serves on the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs. Sen. Langley has been an active supporter of the Bridge Year Program, a collaborative effort involving the faculty and teamwork of Hermon High School; the United Technologies Center in Bangor; Eastern Maine Community College; and the University of Maine.