PETER G. THOMPSON LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
This award is named for community leader Peter G. Thompson. Like Peter, nominees in this category have been active leaders in the Kennebec Valley region for many years. These business/professional leaders have made a lasting impression on the business climate in our area.
Norman, better known as Norm, worked his way up the ladder from a roofer to the founder and owner of his successful business, G&E Roofing Company. Over the years, G&E has formed a loyal customer base and a reputation for quality. Currently, the company employs 80 individuals with tenure often counted in decades not years. Not only is Norm an accomplished businessman but also a philanthropist who is known for his generosity, dedication, and enthusiasm for his community. Giving back is an extremely important aspect of his life. He says doing so completes the circle and encourages his employees to volunteer. Norm would rather not be remembered for his accomplishments, but for what he has done for others.
LARGE BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Large Business of the Year recipient is a KV Chamber members that has been in business for at least 4 years and has 10 or more employees. Throughout its history in the Kennebec Valley, it has demonstrated revenue growth and job creation. This business is recognized for excellence in its industry through its innovation, unparalleled customer service, staff development, and marketing practices. Its impact on the Kennebec Valley is measured through its community involvement and economic impact.
Lajoie Brothers, Inc.
Currently in its third generation of ownership, Lajoie Brothers is a general contractor specializing in many phases of new and rehabilitation construction services. Lajoie Brothers has seen much growth in its more than fifty years of operation while remaining true to the values the original generation established. Beginning with one truck and a father putting his sons to work, Lajoie Brothers now has a fleet of 25 trucks and 50 employees. As an active member of the community since its founding, Lajoie Brothers gives back through volunteerism along with monetary and time donations.
SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Small Business of the Year recipient is a KV Chamber members that has been in business for at least 4 years and employs 9 or less people. Throughout its history in the Kennebec Valley, it has demonstrated revenue growth and job creation. This business is recognized for excellence in its industry through its innovation, unparalleled customer service, staff development, and marketing practices. Its impact on the Kennebec Valley is measured through its community involvement and economic impact.
Capital Area Staffing Solutions
Since its founding in 2003, Capital Area Staffing Solutions has placed thousands of employees with area businesses, finding a niche in providing permanent staff to its clients and great career opportunities for its Field Employees. Historically, over seventy-five percent of the opportunities that are staffed by Capital Area Staffing Solutions are contract to hire positions. The CASS team’s knowledge of its client base and culture gives it the expertise needed to place the right candidate with the right position with the right employer. Capital Area Staffing Solutions measures its success by providing a solid and experienced workforce to area business and impact people’s lives by helping them achieve career success.
PRESIDENT'S CHOICE AWARD
Nominees in this category are KV Chamber members that have been in business for at least two years. Their impact on the Kennebec Valley is evident through their revenue growth and job creation. They are leaders in their industry and maintain an exemplary business image in our community.
Currently in its fifth generation, Darling’s helps customers with automotive needs and finds solutions that work for each individual. Since opening in Augusta in 2007, Darling’s has doubled its employment and has never lost revenue. A large part of Darling’s success comes from investing in its employees and community, committing to causes that matter to both its employees and its customers. With a recent renovation to the dealership, Darling’s continues to solidify it’s presence in Augusta with plans to continually grow both in size and in involvement in the community.
Marketplace at Augusta
A once empty lot in North Augusta has transformed into Maine’s largest and most successful open-air shopping center. Roger Pomerleau and WS Development have built the Marketplace at Augusta from just two stores in 1992 to 954,000 square feet of leasable space boasting notable stores such as Home Depot, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, and Barnes & Noble. The Marketplace at Augusta is constantly upgrading the shopping center to keep up with the demands of the 29,000 shoppers who visit the shopping center per day.
For nearly 125 years, Thomas College has been a major contributor to the workforce of Central Maine with 75% of graduates staying in Maine, with over half of those staying in the Kennebec Valley region. Thomas offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs ranging from business, entrepreneurship, and technology, to education, criminal justice, and psychology. Money Magazine recently ranked Thomas College 23rd in the nation, for adding the most value to their degrees. Data reported by the New York Times ranks Thomas in the top 15% of all colleges and universities in the U.S. for upward mobility achieved by its graduates.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD
Nominees in this category are active in bettering the Kennebec Valley. They are recognized by their peers for their integrity and performance. Throughout their history, their track record of community leadership is evident.
Ray Fecteau’s dedication to his community is evident in the several awards and recognitions he has received over the years, including being appointed by Ambassador of Goodwill by three different Governor’s, receiving the Le Club Calumet’s La Medaille d’Honneur, and being inducted into the Franco-American Hall of Fame of Maine. Ray is most recently known for his founding of Mill Park Petanque and his mission to foster, encourage, and promote this low impact game.
For Gina LoMonaco and Rick Mansir, community service is at the core of their business. With GEvolution Fitness, they have created a place that is committed to cultivating an empowering strength community where individuals emerge with true beliefs in themselves through physical training and positivity. With the help of their strength community, GEvolution gives back monthly to various organizations and individuals throughout the year.
Cecil Munson is wired to give back and be involved in the community. Not doing so, he says, would be boring. Cecil’s time in the U.S. Army Intelligence Crops sensitized him to the plight of those less fortunate. For eight years, Cecil served on the Augusta City Council where there was a standing joke that if anyone felt they had a problem to call Cecil. Over the years, he has worked with several organizations and on many projects that resonate with his mission to continually improve the community.
CYNERGY YOUNG PROFESSIONAL AWARD
Nominees in this category are Kennebec Valley professionals between the ages of 21 and 40. For at least the past two years, they have shown exemplary leadership throughout our region. These individuals are recognized for their long term commitment to the betterment of the Kennebec Valley.
In his senior year at Bowdoin College, Jac found his passion for retirement and estate planning and obtained the necessary licensing to start his practice. On top of being a successful financial advisor, Jac is also an author with a second book scheduled to hit shelves in March 2018. Jac is committed to his community and is involved with several organizations, including Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed, the Kennebec Historical Society, and the Kennebec Valley YMCA.
Erika Bush credits her parents’ and grandparent’s modeling of selfless generosity and a philanthropic mindset as her inspiration to make giving back a way of life. Erika is passionate about helping others feels connected to the community. She is on the United Way Allocations Committee and on the board for the Children’s Center in Augusta, acts a Kennebec Valley Chamber Membership Ambassador, and is the current Chair of Cynergy. Erika is currently the coordinator of Private Label Marketing at NRF Distributors.
Rachel Merriam is committed to being a positive light in the community and to inspire others. After graduating from Springfield College, Rachel began a career in the rehabilitation and counseling fields and is currently a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor and Transition Counselor where she dedicates her career to heling others. The most important lesson she wishes to teach others is that it is not the materialistic objects that are important but rather the people you are able to touch and lives you impact.