40 Under 40 Awards Magazine 2016

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A glimpse of LA’s future through the actions of 40

There can be no doubt that the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Area is home to numerous

rising stars that are shaping our future. Whether through creating new businesses, assisting or

creating philanthropic endeavors, or being actively engaged in our communities today’s professionals

are actively working for a brighter future.

They lead organizations and businesses or are employees, customers and residents that flow

through and support the region’s communities, creating links to each other and our future. As

members of the LA Metro area, they are working together building a brighter future with increased

economic activity, more jobs, increased population, better schools and infrastructure.

We are a community of choice— people choose to live, work, learn and entertain themselves

here. New generations of young adults are choosing to stay or move back to LA. We should continue

to be a community of choice where there is place for all people and for businesses of all

size and interest. The LA Metro area is building a

bright future and we are currently on the cusp of

realizing our full potential as a community.

Now is the time to embrace our future as a

larger community; embrace the opportunities that

we are on the brink of and explore our future as a

collective community that attracts visitors, investors

and industry — together.




I am sure with the high quality of people

highlighted within this magazine that we will

achieve everything above and more.

Congratulations to this year’s Uplift LA 40

under 40 award winners! Continue to make us



Matt J. Leonard

President & CEO





Lewiston Auburn is on the verge of

greatness. With its many bright spots,

people are taking notice.

by Shanna Cox



Lewiston’s Trinity Jubilee Center

makes a difference every day.

by Erin Reed



Tree Street Youth leads by example

for our area youth.

by Julia Sleeper

Read all about the 2016 Class of

40 Under 40 with 4 winners in each

of 10 categories:













First glimpse of Uplift LA’s Inaugural 40 Under 40.

This top notch, classy group of emerging leaders left to right:

Sadie Landry, Joseph Philippon & Karley Eretzian

Message from the Chair:

Congratulations 40 Under 40 Winners!

Uplift LA is pleased to honor the 40 individuals from across diverse backgrounds

as the 2016 recipients of Uplift LA’s 40 Under 40! The rising professionals represented

throughout this program highlight every aspect of our community that we know and

love. They are individuals who give countless hours of volunteer time toward the continuous

improvement of LA Maine, who are successful and unique entrepreneurs, and

who have stepped into leadership roles both in their professional and personal lives. I

personally would like to congratulate each and every one on the tremendous honor of

representing LA Maine’s emerging professional group!

The year 2016 has proven to be a very special year for Uplift LA! Over the past ten

years, our organization has developed into the voice for local young professionals. From

promoting career, social, and community development and strengthening the vibrant

emerging professional community, to advocating for the strategic revitalization of the

LA downtown as The Young Professionals of the Lewiston-Auburn Area (YPLAA), we

have emerged as the forum for engaged talented professionals. Today, we are proud to

present you with the collaborative efforts of hundreds of individuals before us –

thousands of hours of volunteered time among them – with the next generation of

support for the rising professionals of Lewiston Auburn: Uplift LA.

Uplift LA is the platform for rising professionals in our community. From monthly

personal and professional development seminars to business networking opportunities,

the forum for promoting the needs and careers of emerging professionals has been

solidified. The annual Y-Not? Challenge, a two week scavenger hunt style community

service and civic engagement challenge – designed to educate, motivate, and recruit

the next generation of community leaders, is a staple within the LA community. Y-Not?

has been the spark for many past participants to pursue civic responsibilities in both our

local governments and public schools, to join boards of local non-profit organizations,

and to becoming more involved with the rising

professional movement by shaping the programming of

Uplift LA. We look forward to a future of collaboration and

great partnerships with the rising professionals and

businesses throughout LA Maine!

Best regards,

Dr. Ashlee Vandiver

Uplift LA Chair


Mommy, daughter moment

building LA

Chantel Pettengill

Owner & Director, Pettengill Academy

It was her own struggle to find childcare

that aligned with her philosophies

about early childhood development that led

Chantel to start her own early learning

child care business in her home three years

ago. Today, Chantel is the proud founder

and owner of Pettengill Academy with her

husband, Zachary. Chantel’s family has a

long history of living and doing business in

Lewiston, and opening Pettengill Academy

was her way of carrying on the tradition.

As a business owner, Chantel is responsible

for daily operations, increasing enrollment,

managing employees, and other administrative

duties for the Academy. She loves

her job because it allows her to interact with

many different families, help children grow

and learn, mentor her teachers and, most

importantly, soak up the daily baby cuddles.

Chantel’s favorite thing about LA is the

sense of community. She loves living in

Lewiston, with the local grocery store

nearby and many things to do with her children;

Chantel feels Lewiston is a safe and

diverse place to raise her family. Some of

her favorite places to

eat in LA include Mac’s

Grill, Gritty’s and

DaVinci’s for family date

nights and Fish Bones

and Marche for date

nights with her husband.

Her favorite breakfast

spots include Forage

Market and Hurricane’s

Café & Deli. During her

free time, Chantel loves

spending time with her

family walking and

snowshoeing on the numerous

trails that LA has

to offer and enjoying the

festivals and art walks in


Chantel is a member

of the Joint City Charter

Commission, an organization looking to

combine LA in efforts to strengthen both

cities. She also participates on the board of

directors for the Maine Association of Educating

Young Children. Apart from her

board activities, Chantel does her best to

give back through her business whenever

possible. One of the biggest challenges

Chantel sees facing LA is what she calls the

“it always has been” attitude. She hopes to

see changes in city ordinances to better attract

and facilitate growth in business. Another

important piece to the puzzle for

Chantel is to get rid of negative attitudes in

our community and encourage our youth to

find their voice and get involved.

In ten years, Chantel will be the parent

of two teenagers. She and her husband

hope to have established five or more locations

for Pettengill Academy in both Maine

and in other states. They also aspire to diversify

their business and to continue creating

and executing new development

projects. Chantel plans to work together

with her husband to make Lewiston more

business friendly and to encourage growth

for LA.

Beautiful day for apple picking All dressed up







MARS Special Event Marketing


Jim Marston


An annual list of 40 people who have achieved success

in their professional pursuit before turning 40.

Nearly 500 nominations were submitted for approximately

180 individuals. Uplift LA received almost 5,000

final votes for the 40 individuals represented as the

Uplift LA 40 Under 40 honorees.

Who is eligible?

Anyone living or working in the Lewiston Auburn

Metropolitan area that is under the age of 40 as of

May 13, 2016; the publication date.

Who are we looking for?

Local business and professional leaders who have

achieved success and excelled in their field before the

age of 40. We're looking for people who have demonstrated

leadership, initiative and dedication in pursuing

their careers, and who are likely to continue to achieve

in the future.

What are the nomination categories?

Building LA, Creative Geniuses, Economic Development,

Education, Emerging Leaders, Entrepreneurs,

Government, Health & Wellness, Local Heroes, and



Matt Leonard



Jim Marston

Matt Leonard

Tim Rucker


Jim Marston

Matt Leonard


Melissa Donahue

Ashlee Vandiver

Erin Reed

Julia Sleeper

Matt Leonard

Shanna Cox


40 Under 40 Winners, Emmie Jones Photography

Beautiful LA, Daniel Marquis Photography


Maureen Aube


Penmor Lithographers

How do I submit a nomination?

We will open the nominations for Uplift LA 40 under

40 in late fall / early winter for the 2017 class.

uilding LA

Erin Reed

Executive Director, Trinity Jubilee Center

Erin’s official title at the Trinity Jubilee

Center is Executive Director and Food

Pantry Coordinator, but if you ask her, she

will tell you that everyone at the Center

carries several job titles. She describes her

daily work as a “whirlwind” of various

different tasks, from handing out food to

helping people with job applications, in

addition to her administrative duties. Serving

more than 1,000 people every week

through its meals program, food pantry,

day shelter, resource center, and refugee integration

program, the Center is always


Erin began volunteering at the Jubilee

Center when she was a teenager. In 2010,

she found an opportunity to return to the

Center working through AmeriCorps. At

the end of her year with AmeriCorps, Erin

was hired for her current position when

another staff member retired. Her favorite

part about her job is that it is always

changing. One day she may be running

food pantry distribution, the next she

could be writing a grant, or helping someone

apply for their green card. Erin also

loves hearing from people who have gotten

jobs or found places to live with the assistance

of the Center, people she describes

as “determined and grateful.”

Growing up in a suburb just outside

of Boston, Erin saw people move in, raise

their children, and move out. There was

no sense of a collective history or of

community. Her favorite

thing about LA is that it

is a real community

where many people

come to, raise their families,

and stay. She loves

that people in LA have a

sense of responsibility to

their neighbors, like the

Lewiston police officer

who taught her how to

shoot, her mechanic who

volunteers to hang up

posters for the Center

fundraisers, or the

friendly strangers who

help unload her truck at

the Center after hours.

She is proud to have a

job that is all about giving

back to the wonderful

community she lives

in. Beyond her work at the Center, Erin

serves on the board of directors for Community

Concepts, another local organization

that provides a myriad of services to

our citizens who need it.

One of the biggest challenges Erin sees

facing LA is the need for more jobs.

Through the Jubilee Center, Erin has

helped more than two hundred people

apply for work over the last six months. A

lot of people were hired, she says, but

many still need work. Many of the people

who rely on the Center for their meals and

other necessities would much rather be

working and providing for themselves,

and Erin wants to help them realize their

goals. The Career Center and Adult Education

programs have done a great job providing

job training and the Center is seeing

more manufacturing and agricultural

jobs opening up. She has her fingers

crossed that the job climate in LA will

continue to improve.

Erin hard at work t the Jubilee Center

Jerry DerBoghosian poses with Erin

Aba Abu, Jamila Jama, Kim Wettlaufer with Erin



uilding LA

Gabrielle Russell

Architect, Platz & Associates

Gabrielle was encouraged by her parents

to pursue architecture from a young

age. Though it was a tough program, she

persevered and earned her bachelor’s and

master’s degrees in architecture from Tulane

University. Before she went to work

for Platz & Associates as

an architect in 2014,

Gabrielle was a founding

member and President

of the Board of Directors

for Grow L+A, a local organization

with a mission

to promote a vibrant

urban landscape and access

to sustainable living

resources throughout the

LA area. Through Grow

L+A the idea for the

Bates Mill No. 5 project

was born: studies were

conducted and plans

were made to utilize the

space to create access to

good, local food. As an

architect for Platz & Associates,

Gabrielle feels

fortunate to be involved

in the final execution of

the project.

Previous projects that

Gabrielle was involved

in through Grow L+A include

the “Art Walk

Window,” with Grow

L+A sponsoring a space

during the final Friday

Art Walk each year

where children can go to make art during

the event. Grow L+A also contributed to

the Downtown Auburn Transportation

Center project as well as a project known

as “Friends of Pettingill,” which worked to

create a two acre park in the place of the

old Pettingill School in Lewiston.

Growing up in downtown Auburn,

Gabrielle has always appreciated the people,

the history, and the accessibility that

LA has to offer. When she returned to

Maine after college, she was happy to find

a local internship that offered an opportunity

to get involved in her community and

to make a positive impact. In her spare

time she enjoys many of LA’s excellent

restaurants, with some favorites including

Fuel, Rails, Marche, DaVinci’s, Guthrie’s,

and many more. She likes to spend time

with her family and friends and travels

whenever she can. Gabrielle remains active

with Grow L+A, --and is also involved

with the YMCA and the Auburn Business

Development Corporation. Other passions

of hers include building preservation and

urban space integration, animals, the arts,

and healthy living. Currently, Gabrielle’s

primary focus and interest lie with the

Bates Mill No. 5 project.

In the next ten years, Gabrielle plans

to continue her efforts to preserve history

and architecture in LA while still working

to bring more activity and liveliness to the

area. She hopes to see Bates Mill No. 5 become

a regional destination and for the LA

community as a whole to thrive. In order

to achieve these goals, Gabrielle feels it is

important for those working to better LA

to improve communication and learn to

collaborate more effectively to avoid the

challenges of disconnect. Through her

work at Platz & Associates, Grow L+A and

other local organizations, Gabrielle will continue

to be an integral part of building LA.

Gabby’s family on vacation

2001 Maine Cherry Blossom Princess

Graduation day at Tulane University


uilding LA

Marc Gosselin

Executive Director of Sport Tourism

& Manager of the Norway Savings Bank Arena

Marc’s career in sports business

began with the Lewiston Maineiacs

hockey team, where he worked for four

seasons. After the Maineiacs, Marc

moved on first to the Portland Pirates,

and then for the Maine Red Claws, while

also doing development work for Central

Maine Community College. Two of

his fondest memories

from that time are planning

and managing the

2010 AHL All-Star

Game and being a part

of the Lewiston

Maineiacs team that

won the 2007 President’s

Cup. Last summer,

Marc was hired by

the City of Auburn as

General Manager of the

Norway Savings Bank

Arena and Executive

Director of Sports

Tourism for the City of

Auburn. As general

manager, Marc is in

charge of the overall operation

of the Arena. In

his role as Executive Director

of Sports

Tourism, he assists the

City of Auburn and surrounding

areas with

marketing and development

efforts aimed at

making LA a choice destination

for recreational

and sporting events.

Born and raised in LA,

Marc moved away for

short periods in the past but always

seemed to find his way back here. He is

drawn to the LA community because of

its people, who he feels truly value the

opportunities that the area has to offer.

In a smaller and more tight-knit community

like LA, Marc appreciates the relative

ease with which a positive impact

can be made. He is blessed to have a job

he loves and to live

and work in the community where he

grew up. When he is not working, Marc

enjoys attending sporting events, playing

golf and hockey, and visiting some of his

favorite LA eateries which include

Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, Wei-Li Restaurant,

Gritty’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Beyond the world of sports, Marc is

passionate about helping children. He

participates in the Camp Sunshine Annual

Benefit Golf Tournament to support

the Camp Sunshine mission of providing

a retreat for children with life threatening

illnesses and their families. When time allows,

he volunteers at various local functions

and events and enjoys offering his

professional skills to friends and colleagues

in a combined effort to make positive

impacts on the LA community.

According to Marc, one of the greatest

challenges facing LA today is the need

for community revitalization. He would

like to see a wider range of revitalization

initiatives, including more programs,

events and functions designed to promote

economic development and improve

the physical, social and service

environments in Lewiston and Auburn.

Marc plans to utilize his position as Executive

Director of Sports Tourism to attract

more business and prosperity to LA.

Overlooking one of the two rinks at the arena

Marc interviews Sébastien Piché

On ice at the Winter Classic


creative genius

Colby Michaud

Owner, Praxis Production Studios

Colby co-founded Praxis Production

Studios in 2010 with then-partner, Chad

Sylvester. The original vision for the company

was to start a real estate reality TV

series, however, the two partners soon realized

that they could use their love of

video production to promote the many

different opportunities and services the

LA community has to offer. Last year,

Colby assumed full ownership of Praxis

and Chad moved on to pursue a new business

endeavor. Today, the Studio “exists

to help companies promote themselves by

giving life to their stories and brands

through high quality corporate and promotional

videos.” Beyond the pride and

joy he takes in running his own company,

Colby enjoys the meaningful relationships

his work has enabled him to forge as well

as the satisfaction of his clients when he

delivers a video that successfully captures

the stories and emotions that bring their

own companies to life.

Born at Loring Air Force Base in

Northern Maine, Colby spent much of his

childhood living in different places. His

family’s lifestyle exposed him to various

new cultural experiences as well as a few

“once in a lifetime” opportunities. After

his father retired from the Air Force, the

family resettled in Maine to be near other

relatives. As an adult, Colby chose to stay

in Maine because of its

people, its beautiful

scenery and its diverse

recreational opportunities.

His favorite thing

about the LA community

is its tremendous sense

of community. Like the

two bridges that connect

our cities, Colby finds

that a collective sense of

pride and ownership

bring the people of

Lewiston and Auburn

together. As a local business

owner, a strong

community is key in his

efforts to build deep and

meaningful relationships

and to make positive impacts

that go beyond the

clients he serves directly.

In his free time, Colby enjoys writing,

watching movies and composing music.

He loves outdoor activities, and can be

found skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating

in the wintertime or visiting one of

Maine’s many beautiful state parks when

the weather is warm. Some of his local

restaurants of choice include DaVinci’s,

Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli and Jasmine Café.

Colby has always maintained an interest

in culture and the arts and is particularly

passionate about The Public Theatre in

Lewiston, an organization which he feels

brings truly outstanding art to our community.

He proudly serves on the board of

directors for the Theatre and supports its

mission through marketing and aiming to

bridge the gap between young professionals

and professional theater here in LA.

He is also involved with the LA community

through the Young Professionals of

Lewiston Auburn (YPLAA) and the LA

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

In the future, Colby sees himself creating

jobs and job security for the people

of LA, promoting great local businesses

and strengthening our artistic community

through professional and creative video


Genevieve Hering & Colby Michaud

The Michauds: Colby, Debra, Britni & Ray

Dogs: Pippin, Katie, Jack

Colby, with his sister, in front of Air Force 1



creative genius

Karly Eretzian

Creative Strategist, Rinck Advertising

As Vice President of Creative Services

for Rinck Advertising in Auburn, Karly is

responsible for “all things creative” at the

agency. She collaborates with her amazing

team to conceptualize methods for effectively

communicating brand messages for

their clients. Her work requires exploration

of the optimal ways to engage with a

brand’s audience as well as how to best inspire,

entice and intrigue them. Karly believes

the most important part of her job is

figuring out new ways to make people

think. She is excited to be part of a business

that is “moving, shaking, growing and

making things happen.”

Prior to joining Rinck Advertising in

2003, Karly majored in advertising design

at the Syracuse University College of Visual

and Performing Arts. With access to professors

working full-time in the industry as

owners, creative directors, and the like, she

credits her time at Syracuse with teaching

her how to truly think. She stresses the importance

of not only learning how to design

and create art, but also cultivating a strong

focus on strategy in messaging, communication

effectiveness and audience perceptions.

Karly’s vision is to use her work to

reach people in Maine and beyond.

Among Karly’s favorite aspects of LA

are its strong sense of community and the

opportunity living here affords to strike a

balance between work, family, health and

fun. She is motivated by the respect, loyalty,

compassion, commitment,

and drive of local citizens

and businesses alike.

With its close proximity

to many of Maine’s beautiful

mountains and

beaches, and to the City

of Portland, living in LA

provides Karly with access

to all the things she

loves. One of her favorite

LA restaurants is Fish

Bones, where she wrote

her vows and did the majority

of her wedding

planning. Other top spots

include local familyfriendly

restaurants like

Pat’s Pizza, Gipper’s

Sports Grill and Mac’s

Grill, who always welcome

her, her husband

and their boisterous two-year-old daughter

with a smile.

Though most of her free time nowadays

is spent running around after her

daughter, Stella, Karly loves to go skiing

whenever she can. She participated in a

weekly ski racing league at Lost Valley this

season and hopes to return to the mountains

next winter. In the summertime, Karly

and her family enjoy camping, canoeing,

hiking, and simply hanging out by the

water. Local causes she is passionate about

include the Maine Cancer Foundation and

the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer

Hope and Healing, Museum LA, The Public

Theatre, Auburn Firefighters Local 797 and

the Androscoggin Humane Society. She has

served on the boards of directors for various

LA nonprofits and played a role in the

creation of Young Professionals of Lewiston

Auburn (YPLAA).

In the future, Karly plans to continue

living and working here in LA and hopes to

make a greater impact on the community.

Her main career goal is to “put LA on the

map” by showing the world that it is a creative

place filled with energy and talent.

Creative Team at Rinck

Karly, with her family: Hubby, Calvin Hunter;

daughter, Stella; and dog, Angus

Stella & Karly painting the town blue




creative genius

Melanie Therrien

Owner, Wicked Illustrations

As owner and operator of Wicked Illustrations

Studio & Gallery in Lewiston,

Melanie consistently finds herself doing

something different. She creates lesson plans

for art classes and paintings for art parties,

works on commissions and illustrations for

clients, represents various featured artists in

her gallery and plans events like local art

and sewing camps. In her managerial role,

she maintains an inventory of art supplies

and works on marketing, advertising and accounting

for the business. Apart from getting

to do what she loves each day, Melanie’s favorite

thing about her career is the opportunity

it provides to share her passion for art

with others and to use that passion to make

a positive impact on the LA community.

Melanie’s career in the arts began when

she acquired an interest in creating murals at

the age of fifteen. Wicked Illustrations was

born in 2007 when she began illustrating the

award-winning children’s book series

known as “ElsBeth Adventures,” and grew

into the studio and art gallery it is today beginning

in 2010. Melanie continues to illustrate

for the “ElsBeth” series, among others,

and takes commissions for her

murals and other projects.

To date, her portfolio

boasts over one hundred

paintings. Some of her

main influences are Frida

Kahlo and Dahlov Ipcar,

as well as the Surrealist

and Art Nouveau Movements.

First LA Art Walk in Wicked's new location on

Canal St. in Lewiston

Born and raised in

Lewiston, the history and

sense of community in LA

are among the top reasons

Melanie and her husband

decided to build a life

here. She loves her neighbors,

and presently resides

in the very same

neighborhood where she and her husband

grew up. Some of her favorite local places to

eat include Mac’s Grill, Fish Bones, Simones’

Hot Dog Stand, and Orchid. In her free time,

Melanie enjoys painting and reading for fun,

hanging out with her husband, family and

friends, and snuggling with her pets. In the

summertime, she loves sitting

by the fire outdoors and

playing in her garden.

Melanie is passionate about

using her interest in the arts

to help local causes, donating

paintings, gift certificates,

time and money

whenever she can. She is

also involved with LA

Arts, an organization

dedicated to “engaging

and inspiring a vibrant community through

arts and culture,” as well as the Union of

Maine Visual Artists.

Melanie is very happy and appreciative

to be where she is today. Looking ahead, she

plans to continue serving her community

through her love of art and helping to make

a difference for years to come.

Glenn & Melanie, on their wedding day,

May 19, 2002

“Last Supper” – our last day at Captive Elements Art House



creative genius

Vincent Ratsovong

Artistic Director, Community Little Theatre

As artistic director for Community

Little Theatre in Auburn, Vincent works

closely with other theater leaders to create

a “main stage season” with three musicals

and two plays, as well as

fundraising events and a one-act play festival

submission. Once the upcoming season

has been established, he plays a

supportive role to

his fellow directors in their

production efforts. He acts

as a sounding board, resource,

and liaison. Being

part of the artistic team involves

working with the

Director’s Apprentice Program,

a training opportunity

for local citizens who

are interested in theater

leadership roles. Vincent

also directs the Summer

Youth Theatre Project and

Teen Musical Theater

Showcase, serving young

artists throughout the State

of Maine. Some of the high

points of his career have

been performing for famous

composer, Alan

Menken, performing at the

Kennedy Center, and winning

first place at the

Boston NATS Song Festival.

He is also proud to be

a two-time Irene Ryan

nominee and semi-finalist.

Vincent began his artistic

journey as a ballet dancer,

spending a few years with

The Maine State Ballet as

well as the Portland Ballet.

After graduating from the

University of the Arts in Philadelphia as

a dance major, he went on to dance with

The Philadelphia Ballet. When it came

time to launch his career in musical theater,

it made sense for him to return to

Community Little Theatre and give back

to the place that ignited his passion as a

child. He loves the sense of community in

LA, and feels humbled watching local citizens

from all walks of life work together

to create art they can be proud of. Much

like our community itself, the success of

the Theatre is driven by the investments

of each of its members.

A traveler in his free time, Vincent

feels that so much of his work is based on

studying people and their behaviors.

Exploring different places around the

world enables him to do just that. Locally,

he may be found enjoying a meal at his

favorite LA eateries including Fuel, Fish

Bones, Sea40 and Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli.

Beyond his work with the Theatre, Vincent

gives back to LA by volunteering as

much of his time as possible with local

organizations. He views any time devoted

to community outreach and volunteerism

as time well spent. Some of the causes he

is most passionate about include the Make

a Wish Foundation, the Children’s Miracle

Network and the AIDS Foundation.

Looking to the future, Vincent hopes

to be directing a major equity company

and ensuring that the local artistic community

continues to flourish for future


Professional Actor's Headshot

Vincent with Derrick Lacasse at Epcot Disney

Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival




by Shanna Cox


Shanna Cox is the founder of Project

Tipping Point, whose mission is to create,

connect and engage a robust community

network for positive change within Lewiston

Auburn. She chose to buy a house, live in

and raise her three boys in Lewiston, because

she believes in the possibilities of our communities'



e don’t need cheer

leaders, we need change

leaders. Lewiston Auburn

is on the edge of something great. After

years of decline from its manufacturing

heyday, one can see the bright spots

breaking through. It can be seen in the

new shops and restaurants, the self-organization

of entrepreneurs and artisans

to promote our downtowns, the

return of the real estate market, and the

young leaders stepping up to helm organizations

and businesses.

This change is being ushered in by a

new group of leaders. These young

professionals simultaneously embrace

the rich heritage and history of their

communities, and rebel against the

often touted reasoning of “because that

is the way we always have done it”.

While these leaders might be some of

the people cheering mostly loudly for

Lewiston and Auburn’s renaissance,

they aren’t the cheerleaders. They

know that standing on the sidelines

and talking about the future and touting

our growth metrics isn’t enough.

These people are change leaders, they

know that to really grab ahold of a

bright future, we must act.

For every one

of our leaders

getting recognized,

there are

another two

working silently,

all of whom are

pushing Lewiston


towards a new

future. And they

all have something

in common

they challenge

the status quo.


they know something about our current

state is a barrier to the future. They can

see and feel where change in our communities

is occurring faster than the

structures, policies and governance

will support. They know things aren’t

working the way they are, and without

pause, they take action.

They are stepping into their leadership


Each of these leaders have different

approaches. When you talk to them,

they might focus on different aspects of

our future. Some will speak of the importance

of education, while others

will talk of the need to increase the

number of employers and jobs. Some

will talk about the need to change our

physical environment- improving

cityscapes and welcoming new demographics

who live, work and play

downtown. Still others will talk about

the need to expand transportation offerings

and connect to other employment

centers, capturing the opportunity of

Portland’s fast growth rate and restricted

real estate market.

All of these approaches challenge the

status quo, require change, and embrace

new ways of thinking about old

problems. While some of these methods

compete with each other, we know

that competition spurs innovation. Innovation

is needed to overcome our

collective community challenges.

Within our differences, there is a commonality.

Each leader is working towards

a universal vision with a

singular belief- Lewiston and Auburn’s

promising future is within our reach.

We need these change leaders to forge

ahead on their march to a brighter future.

More importantly, they need us to

get off the sidelines, and join them in

the pursuit. Lewiston Auburn needs

change leaders, not cheer leaders.



Proud to be part of the

Lewiston Auburn


economic development

Emmie Jones

Owner, Emmie Jones Photography

Emmie Jones’ professional journey

did not begin with photography. As a

first semester nursing student, she

quickly realized that her true passion was

to someday own her own business. A native

of Greene, Emmie decided to move

out of state after she finished her schooling.

It didn’t take long for Emmie to

grow homesick, as she missed her family

and friends and decided the LA community

was the only place where she could

imagine raising a family of her own.

Shortly after her children were born,

Emmie found herself spending more and

more time behind the camera. In 2010,

she opened her first photography studio

in Lewiston, Maine.

Running her own photography studio

requires Emmie to be versatile and to possess

a varied set of skills. Like many sole

proprietors, Emmie is not only a photographer

but is also charged with marketing,

community outreach and public

relations, bookkeeping and administrative

work, as well as staying up-to-date

with the wonderful and constantly evolving

world of digital photography.

Outside the studio, Emmie spends a

large portion of her “free time” with her

family. Emmie and her husband, Shawn,

can often be found with their children

enjoying many of the

numerous free community

activities and festivals

that LA has to offer.

Emmie and her family

love that every season

in LA offers new things

to do both indoors and

outdoors. They enjoy

skiing in the winter and

hiking, biking and

swimming in the summer.

Some of Emmie’s

favorite local places to

eat include Forage Market,

Fuel, Rails, and

Margaritas, her “ultimate

guilty pleasure.”

Emmie’s passion

for photography introduced

her to the idea of giving back to her

community by supporting homeless and

at-risk students in their efforts to stay in

school. Through the Lewiston STEP Program,

Emmie takes senior pictures for

students who are on track to graduate but

cannot afford professional photos on their

own. She is also involved with a national

nonprofit called “Now I lay Me Down to

Sleep,” taking bereavement photographs

for families facing the loss of an infant

child. Emmie feels it is important for her

to give back to those in her community

and beyond to give thanks for the

blessings in her life.

In the future, Emmie hopes to still be

doing photography and aspires to launch

her own photo project designed to boost

self-esteem in children. Emmie would

like to see continued efforts to improve

the image of our community and plans to

pitch in however she can. She supports

LA by not only running a thriving local

business, but also by investing in its future

helping local high school seniors


Emmie’s children, Mason & Kendra

Shawn & Emmie Jones in Aruba

On a family vacation in Aruba



economic development

Jenny Ziebart

Director of Marketing & Communications,

LA Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

Jenny Ziebart, a familiar

and friendly face to

many in the LA community,

began her career at

the LA Metropolitan

Chamber of Commerce as

an intern in 2003. She was

just half a dozen credits

away from earning her

degree in Public Administration

when she was offered

a full-time, paid

position with the chamber.

For Jenny, there was

no question that she had

found the right fit.

Today, as Director of Marketing

and Communications,

Jenny generates

press releases, plans and

executes social media

strategies, manages advertising

and email marketing,

and more, all in

the interest of promoting

the chamber and connecting

its members to the

valuable resources and

opportunities they need.

She also assists local efforts

to coordinate job

fairs and facilitate scholarships

for high school students

and adults alike.

Jenny attributes much of

her success with the chamber to her coworkers

and peers, whom she admires for their

motivation and strong work ethic.

Jenny’s efforts to improve the LA community

are heavily supported by its citizens,

whom she refers to as “wonderful

people devoted to making the LA Metro

area a great place.” Her own devotion to

LA extends beyond office hours, as Jenny

and her family patronize the many local

restaurants and businesses that are members

of the chamber. When she isn’t

working, Jenny loves spending time outdoors.

Some of her favorite outdoor activities

include hiking, swimming, skiing and

snowshoeing. As a parent, her primary personal

goal is “to raise two well-adjusted future

adults.” She particularly enjoys

volunteering at her daughter’s school whenever

she can.

Jenny’s daughter has Alopecia, an autoimmune

disorder that leads to extensive hair

loss. Accordingly, Jenny finds herself most

passionate about a nonprofit organization

known as the Children’s Alopecia Project,

which she says has been a huge help to her

family. With no cure for Alopecia to date, the

organization focuses on supporting children

and their families with building confidence.

For Jenny and her family, the Children’s

Alopecia Project has been “a lifesaver.”

Our community has Jenny to thank for

the well-known local institution known as

“Young Professionals of the Lewiston

Auburn Area,” better known as “YPLAA.”

As its founder and first member, Jenny laid

the groundwork for an organization dedicated

to supporting LA’s young professionals.

Today, YPLAA is responsible for

numerous networking events, education opportunities,

and activities designed to better

connect our young professionals to their

community. Jenny’s efforts through YPLAA

are an invaluable asset to our economic development,

particularly at a time when the

LA area is striving to attract and retain young


Looking to the future, Jenny sees herself continuing

her efforts to improve upon the greatness

of the LA area. As many members of our

community are aware, local citizens and business

owners alike are working to improve

upon the perception of Lewiston Auburn.

Jenny believes the first step is to change our

negative perceptions from within and show

the world outside LA what a wonderful place

it is to live, work and play.

Nick, Mya, Jenny & Conner Ziebart

at “Alopeciapalooza” an annual event put

on by the Children’s Alopecia Project,

in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina.


Alison Robenstine (sister), Jenny & Nick Ziebart, Vicky & Kevin

Moulton (parents)

Mya & Griffin Ziebart at the lake


to our own



One of LA’s





Two of Our Emerging Leaders

Misty Parker

Economic Development

Joe Philippon

Local Hero

For Being Recognized as one of the 40 Under 40


For Being a Positive Force in LA

The Next Generation is Coming On!

economic development

Misty Parker

Economic Development Specialist, City of Lewiston

As the Economic Development Specialist

for the City of Lewiston, Misty

works to attract new businesses to the LA

area and to assist existing businesses with

their efforts to grow and improve. She

helps local developers and businesses to

bring their projects to fruition, often employing

her problem solving skills to navigate

through the regulatory and

permitting processes. Her particular areas

of focus presently include the revitalization

of downtown Lewiston, development

of the riverfront island area and general

workforce development in LA.

Misty recognized from a young age

that she had a passion for helping to build

and sustain strong communities. Over

time she learned she could do so in many

ways, whether by strengthening a community’s

tax base, assisting local start-up

businesses and entrepreneurs, or simply

by helping those who want to contribute

find their voices. She attributes her success

in these efforts in part to her graduate

work, which focused on community development,

civic engagement and land use

planning. Misty was drawn to the LA community

in particular because of its potential

for growth and the desire of its people

to realize that potential. She felt that LA

was “a community that wanted to grow

and a place that would value her skill set,”

and happily acknowledges that she made

the right choice.

Misty believes that

the greatest thing about

LA is its people. “Our

tight-knit community

makes LA a place where

people can live, work,

and achieve their goals

with the support of their

fellow citizens.” Having

previously spent some

time working in Midcoast

Maine, Misty appreciates

that this type of

community support for

the individual is unique.

As she puts it, “It doesn’t

matter the cause, if you

need help, this community

has your back.”

Apart from the people, Misty is passionate

about supporting the numerous local

restaurants that LA has to offer, with some

of her favorites including Marche, Orchid,

and Rails in Lewiston and 84 Court and

Gritty’s in Auburn. When she isn’t out and

about in LA enjoying the local cuisine,

Misty can be found at home working in

the garden or tending to one of many

farming projects with her husband. She

is passionate about food security and

the restoration of local fisheries, and

feels that any healthy community

needs access to healthy food and


Looking forward, Misty envisions

herself continuing her work

with the City of Lewiston.

To Misty, the primary obstacle to future

progress and prosperity in LA is a lack

of consensus as to how we might achieve

these goals. Through open dialogue and

collaboration, Misty believes we can work

together to build a strong economy and

make LA a desirable place for all to thrive.

Their wedding day

In Quebec

Molnlycke Groundbreaking Ceremony



Sheri with her husband, Stanley Hollenbeck

economic development

Sheri Withers

Owner, Downtown Homemade & Vintage

Sheri and her family returned to LA

after being away for a number of years.

She presently resides on Lisbon Street in

Lewiston, which is also the newest location

of her business, Downtown Homemade

& Vintage. Sheri describes her

work as “creating concepts for tee shirts

for a city that she loves.”

She considers herself

lucky to be able to create,

sew and draw for

her business while also

spending time at home

with her children. In addition

to her design

work, Sheri spends her

time planning social

events around town that

allow LA citizens to

practice arts and crafts

and display their work

in local venues.

On “Shop Local Saturday”

in 2012, Sheri

and a friend hosted an

indie craft fair at Callahan

Hall in the Lewiston

Public Library. The

enthusiasm and positive

feedback she received

from the event soon motivated

her to open

Downtown Homemade

& Vintage. DH&V

started as a place for

local artists to sell and

promote their work.

The following year,

Sheri launched her first

line of “I Love Lewiston”

screen printed tee shirts, with the

initial concept designed to support the

victims of the Bartlett Street fires. Sheri

contributed a portion of her tee shirt sales

to the YWCA. Following that project,

Sheri began creating numerous new designs

for wholesale to local businesses.

Presently, DH&V boasts seven different

tee shirt lines and is developing a concept

for children’s shirts. Last fall, Sheri

founded “The Hive-Artisan Collective.”

She describes The Hive as “a safe space

[for area artists] to create and promote

their art in a positive environment.”

Sheri’s favorite thing about LA is its

strong sense of community. She is inspired

by the citizens of LA and their investment

in the economic and social

growth of the area. Being part of a community

where the people are passionate

about local creations is key to Sheri’s success.

When she is not at work, Sheri can

be found enjoying the perks of living in

downtown Lewiston. She and her family

and friends often engage in “drink and

appetizer hops,” traveling from one local

restaurant to another to sample all the

different types of food and drink. Other

times, they will get takeout and head to

the tap room at Baxter Brewing Company

where Sheri’s husband works.

To give back to her community, Sheri

participates in the Union of Maine Visual

Artists, LA Chapter. The organization,

much like Sheri herself, works to create

opportunities for the promotion of local

art. She is currently working with members

of Lewiston’s City Council to establish

the first “creative crosswalk,” a

project which she hopes will ensure public

safety and boost our local economy.

Sheri hopes her efforts to support the arts

in LA will entice more of our youth to

stay in the area when it comes time to

start their own careers.

Sheri with her mom, Bonita Kenny

With their children, Issaic & Azilee



Deanna Etienne

As a Pre-Kindergarten teacher for

Walton Elementary School in Auburn,

Deanna is dedicated to making a difference

in the lives of her students. Learning

through play, her classroom is a place for

young children to grow academically,

socially and emotionally.

She originally came to

Lewiston in 2007 to

teach at Farwell Elementary

School and has been

living in LA ever since.

Pre-K Teacher, Walton Elementary School, Auburn

Deanna always

wanted to be a teacher.

She focused her studies

on Early Childhood Education

while in college

and took a job at a private

preschool after

graduation. Some of

Deanna’s favorite aspects

of teaching include

playing an instrumental

role in the growth and

development of her students

and working with

the diverse families in

LA who have helped

her improve both as

an educator and as an

individual. In addition

to the students

and their families,

Deanna feels fortunate

to be surrounded

by a group

of talented, dedicated,

and loving

colleagues. She is

honored to be part of

the work all the wonderful teachers of

LA do each day to make a positive difference

in the lives of their students.

Living in LA allows Deanna to

be close to all the people and things

that she loves. She is never too far

away from her family in Scarborough,

or the numerous beaches and

snowy mountains of Maine. One of her favorite

things about the area is that it provides

a “big city” atmosphere with a

tight-knit community feel. Some of her

preferred places to eat in LA include

Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli and Jasmine Café.

She loves to stay active and spends much

of her free time working out at WolfPack

Fitness in Auburn. At home, Deanna enjoys

quality time playing and laughing

with her husband and their son. When the

weather allows, she likes to spend time

near the ocean or going for long walks on

Spring Road in Auburn.

Looking to the future, Deanna

envisions herself continuing her career in

early childhood education. She plans to

use her passion in the classroom to make

the most positive impact she can on the

LA community.

Deanna and her husband

Deanna’s Classroom

Deanna’s baby boy



Alexandra Hood

Olin Arts Center Operations Supervisor, Bates College

While working toward her undergraduate

degree, Alexandra knew that she

wanted to be part of the fields of art and

higher education. When she was offered a

job as operations supervisor for the Olin

Arts Center at Bates College, she saw it as

the perfect opportunity to be involved

with an esteemed liberal arts college, surround

herself with creative students, and

take a leadership role in the arts. She manages

staff, security and communications

for the Center and plays a key role in the

development and support of Center programs

and procedures in collaboration

with the Departments of Art and Visual

Culture and Music, as well as the Bates

College Museum. Alexandra loves to see

passionate students working to further

their own art careers each and every day.

A Lewiston native, Alexandra returned

to LA after attending college in

New York. She wanted to give back to her

home community by helping it grow and

encouraging its youth to do the same. Her

favorite thing about the LA community is

the strength, perseverance and diversity of

its people. She feels honored to be part of

a group of strong individuals who work

hard to make LA a better place, and to witness

the growth that results from their efforts.

In particular, Alexandra is passionate

about developing the LA art scene, which

she says has “a passionate spark that you

can’t find just anywhere.” She utilizes her

interests to give back to

her community by assisting

the Gypsy Lew Theater

with graphic design

projects, supporting the

Union of Maine Visual

Artists, Lewiston Auburn

Chapter, displaying art

and acting as a live artist

for LA Art Walks in the

summer, and offering

private art lessons to local

adults of all ages.

Alexandra is a big

fan of Mother India,

where the food is delicious,

the service is beyond

exceptional and

the proprietor is a local

family that is passionate

about both the food and the customers.

Other local favorites include Forage Market,

Marché and Wei-Li. She spends most

of her free time creating new works of art,

with a focus on realistic oil paintings and

graphite portraits, as well as exploring the

subjects of lust, human connection, emotional

transparency, and expressions of

power and love.

In the next ten years, Alexandra hopes

to be teaching art professionally, either by

expanding her private lesson offerings or

as a professor in higher education. She believes

that one of the biggest

challenges facing LA today is

the need to attract more ambitious

youth to the community and plans to

help meet the challenge by increasing the

availability of traditional art education for

young adults in the area.

Olin Arts Center

An original painting by Alex titled

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World”

Alex in her senior undergraduate studio




Derrick Lacasse

Music & Chorus Teacher, St. Dominic Academy

Derrick’s favorite thing about his

work is watching his students experience

what he calls “aha” moments, where all

the hard work they’ve dedicated to learning

to play a new instrument, or to sing a

difficult song, comes to fruition. As the

music and chorus teacher for St. Dominic

Academy, the never ending opportunities

to share in the excitement of these accomplishments

are Derrick’s primary source

of motivation. He is also presently serving

as co-moderator to the school’s Drama

Club and will be directing its production

of James and the Giant Peach this spring.

Derrick grew up in LA and attended

Edward Little High School in Auburn. He

headed to New York for college, obtaining

his degree in Music Education at SUNY

Potsdam. When he graduated, Derrick returned

to LA to be near his family and

start his career. When not at work, he may

be found delighting in his favorite sushi

roll at Bua Thai in Lewiston. In the summertime,

he loves to get outdoors and explore

local areas like Thorncraig Bird

Sanctuary, and is also a fan of playing tennis.

Skiing is one of his favorite activities

during the winter months. Naturally, his

hobbies also include singing and playing

the piano.

Beyond his career at

St. Dom’s, Derrick utilizes

his talents to give back to

the LA community. He

works with Community

Little Theater, a volunteer

organization and one of

the oldest continuous

community theaters in

the State of Maine. The

mission of Community

Little Theater is to provide

education and exposure

to the art of live

entertainment by putting

on both musicals and

non-musical productions.

As a CLT volunteer,

Derrick participates in

various shows and often

acts as musical director when needed. He

started working with CLT when he was in

high school and hopes to expand his involvement

in the future. He also volunteers

with local summer youth theater

camps with fellow 40 Under 40 winner,

Vincent Ratsavong. For Derrick, witnessing

the growth of these summer programs

over the last few years has been “an

amazing experience.” He is also a private

voice coach for local students from

many different schools in the LA area and

loves to see his students sharing new musical

talents with their peers and motivating

them to excel.

Next year, Derrick is headed to Cambridge,

Massachusetts, to obtain his master’s

degree in Music Therapy at Lesley

University. Once he earns his master’s, he

plans to begin a career as a music therapist.

He’s not sure where he ultimately

will land, but he is excited for the journey.

With his mom, Robin Robbins

On the CLT stage in Little Shop of Horrors

Derrick with Vincent Ratsavong




Jen Hogan

President & CEO, Community Credit Union

Jen began her career at Community

Credit Union as the director of marketing

and business development. Finding the

culture, people, ethics and energy of CCU

to be contagious, she soon realized her

passion for working in the world of local

banking. She began actively exposing herself

to other departments and was promoted

to Executive Vice President in May

of 2012. As the newly appointed President

and CEO of CCU, Jen is responsible for

directing overall operations, ensuring financial

stability, establishing short and

long-term objectives, plans and policies

and representing CCU in its relationships

with members, government agencies, and

the local community. Jen’s favorite thing

about her work is the opportunity it affords

to interact with the people of LA on

a regular basis. She is proud to be part of

a local institution that not only deals in

money but is actively involved in community

projects that truly make a difference.

Growing up, Jen lived in several different

states along the East Coast, moving

with her family every two or three years

each time her father was transferred to a

new station by the Navy. Ultimately settling

in Lisbon Falls, she attended college

in Bangor and moved back to LA after

graduation. Today, Jen and her husband

share a home in Turner and spend their

free time having fun in the LA area.

She devotes as much

time as possible to her

husband and daughter,

often engaging in activities

like mini golf, going

to the movies and enjoying

local cuisine. Some of

her favorite places to eat

in LA include DaVinci’s,

Buffalo Wild Wings,

Chick-a-Dee of Lewiston

and Wei Li.

What Jen loves most

about our community is

the plethora of opportunities

it offers. She has

seen incredible growth in

LA over the last fifteen

years and believes that our very best days

lie ahead. With a passion for volunteering,

some of the most important causes to Jen

involve education. She serves as co-chair

of the LA Metro Chamber Education and

Workforce Development Committee and

teaches classes for Junior Achievement of

Maine as well as literary courses through

CMCC. Whenever possible, she includes

her daughter in her volunteer work in an

effort to teach her valuable life lessons

about helping those in need and giving

back to her community. Jen is also a passionate

supporter of the LA Chamber, Androscoggin

United Way and the Greater

Androscoggin Humane Society.

Ten years from now, Jen hopes to be

exactly where she is today—living in a

community that she believes in, working

for an organization she loves and giving

back to those who have given so much to


Chase with her furbuddies, Raistlin & Oreo

The Hogan’s: Nick, Chase & Jen

L to R: Jen, April Savio, Michelle Simard

& Kelly Sutton. Photo bombing is

Nick Hogan & Steve Sutton



emerging leader

Aimee Labbe

Manager of Special Events & Development for the Patrick

Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing

Aimee & Chris with their furbabies, Molly & Jack

Aimee’s career in

fundraising for nonprofits

began by accident.

Needing part-time work

to support herself in college,

Aimee took a job

with the Student Union,

a meeting and event

venue for student groups

on campus. After participating

in planning for

several student events

and activities through the

Student Union, she spent

nearly four years working

for Bates College in

the Alumni and Parent

Programs Department.

Through her experience

in college and working at

Bates, Aimee built a solid

foundation in the areas of

fundraising and event

planning. Today, she is

the Manager of Special

Events and Development

for the Patrick Dempsey

Center for Cancer Hope

and Healing.

Born and raised in

Lewiston, like many of

her peers Aimee wanted

to go away for college

and make a life for herself

in one of the “big cities.” Attending college

in downtown Boston, it didn’t take

long for her to grow homesick. She missed

the strong sense of self and the feeling of

belonging that she so enjoyed in LA. Once

she graduated from college, Aimee returned

home and has remained in the

area ever since. When she isn’t working,

she frequents many of LA’s popular

food establishments like Marche, Fuel,

DaVinci’s, and more. She loves the outdoors,

whether she is snowshoeing in

the winter or hiking and kayaking in

the summer.

Aimee and her husband share a passion for

good food and drink and spend much of

their free time exploring local breweries and

restaurants. At home, Aimee’s hobbies include

spending time with her two dogs,

Molly and Jack, as well as cooking, writing

and binge-watching her favorite TV shows.

What Aimee likes most about LA is its

history. She loves to connect with family

and friends by sharing stories of the local

people and places from her childhood. Like

many others, Aimee is excited by all the

positive energy around her and loves to see

the progress it brings to our community.

She is an ardent supporter of the Greater

Androscoggin Humane Society and is also

involved with the Hope Haven Gospel Mission

and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice.

Aimee believes that with good fortune

comes a responsibility to help those in need.

In the future, Aimee envisions herself

raising a family in LA while continuing the

work she is most passionate about. She

finds her work with the Dempsey Center to

be extremely rewarding and is motivated

by being part of a collaborative effort to improve

the lives of people in the LA area who

have been affected by cancer. Aimee believes

that the positive energy and hard

work of our citizens will continue to bring

progress and success to the LA community.

Aerial view of the Dempsey Challenge

On their wedding day


emerging leaders

Ben Chin

Political Engagement Director, Maine People’s Alliance

When Ben came to LA to attend

college at Bates, he planned to complete

his studies and move on to a seminary to

become a pastor. Plans changed when a

construction project known as the “Heritage

Initiative” threatened to displace

hundreds of families in the LA area.

Ben joined the efforts of

The Visible Community

to stop the project and

quickly discovered his

passion for community

organizing. As Political

Engagement Director for

Maine People’s Alliance,

Ben presently leads a

team of community organizers

and volunteers

to raise Maine’s minimum

wage and to fully

fund public education in

our state from Pre-K

through Grade 12.

A love of community

organizing work was not

all Ben discovered while

in college. He also

learned the joys of living

in a “real community”

like Lewiston, where

neighbors know one another

and you can never

go too long without running

into a familiar face

around town. While the

world around us is continuously

dividing along lines of race,

class, religion, and the like, Ben appreciates

that LA is a diverse but tight-knit

community where working class families

can successfully coexist.

Some of his favorite places to grab

a bite in LA include Guthrie’s or

Gridiron for a quick stop or to

wind down from the week, and

Mother India, Marche or Fuel

for date nights with his

wife, Nicola. He spends much of his free

time running and biking and is currently

training to participate in the Ironman

Triathlon later this year. He also takes part

in swimming workouts hosted by fellow

Bates grad, Vanessa Williamson, whose

weekly classes he characterizes as “one of

the secret gems of LA.” Most importantly,

Ben devotes as much time as possible to

his wife and their adorable baby girl, Anjali.

Beyond his work with Maine People’s

Alliance, Ben gives back to his community

by serving on the boards of directors for

Trinity Church and the Jubilee Center, as

well as running for office in an effort to

craft a vision for LA based on the aspirations

of his neighbors. No matter what he

is doing for his community, Ben’s goal is

always the same: “to create a world where

everyone has what they need, contributes

what they can, and no one gets left out.”

Through the Jubilee Center, he works to

prevent hunger and homelessness and to

help recent immigrants integrate into the

LA community. With Maine People’s Alliance,

he works against the root causes of

issues facing local people in need. When

the work gets tough, and it often does, Ben

finds his faith restored each Sunday at

Trinity Church.

Ben plans to continue his life in

LA with his wife and daughter, where

he can do the work he believes in for a

community that he loves.

Nicola & Ben Chin

Ben’s campaign launch

Nicola, Ben and baby, Anjali


Emily, volunteer firefighter

emerging leader

Emily Butterfield

Student Navigator at Central Maine Community College

Emily joined the LA community as a

freshman living on campus at Central

Maine Community College in 2008.

Through her studies and extracurricular

activities Emily became a strong leader, a

key trait for her present occupation as Student

Navigator for the “Maine is IT!”

grant at CMCC. As Student Navigator,

Emily focuses on recruitment and success

by assisting with college and

career fairs, providing

academic support, and

helping students plan

their futures beyond the


Apart from her career

at CMCC, Emily is a

proud volunteer firefighter

for the Town of

Turner, Maine. She attributes

her interest in

volunteer firefighting to

the large number of firefighters

in her family.

For Emily, fire service is

about honor, integrity,

family, duty, courage,

leadership, and strength.

She hopes to continue

volunteering and finding

more ways to serve

and support her community

in the future.

Currently, Emily gives

back to her community

by supporting local charity

events like “Stuff the

Bus” and the “Rancourt

5k Run,” teaching fire

prevention and awareness

in our schools, and

volunteering at her

church, Pathway Vineyard in Lewiston,

among others. One day, you may even

find Emily representing the City of

Auburn in the world of local politics.

Emily presently resides in Auburn

with her fiancé, Lance Robinson. The two

thoroughly enjoy outdoor activities, particularly

on the Androscoggin River,

which Emily affectionately calls “Androscoggin’s

hidden secret.” She loves

swimming, kayaking and boating on the

River and hopes someday to see new activities

like white water rafting, as well as

shops, introduced to the area. When she

isn’t being active with her fiancé outdoors

or in the gym, Emily loves spending time

with her family and with her dogs. For

fun, she likes to visit some of her favorite

LA restaurants, which include Firehouse

Grille, Mac’s Grill, DaVinci’s, and Jasmine

Café. In the wintertime, she can be found

snowboarding at Lost Valley, snowshoeing,

snowmobiling or ice fishing.

A lifelong learner, Emily is currently

pursuing her Master’s Degree in Leadership

at the University of Southern Maine

LA, an accolade that she hopes will prepare

her to take on new and challenging

leadership roles in the future. In ten years,

Emily sees herself married and raising a

family here in LA with Lance, advancing

her career at CMCC, and maintaining her

passion for physical activity by participating

in local sports and recreational programs.

She plans to continue serving as a

volunteer firefighter and aims to complete

her Firefighter I & II Certifications. Emily

wants to help improve the LA community’s

image by fostering support for our

local police and fire departments in their

efforts to improve safety and quality of life

and increasing the presence of local businesses

to provide more jobs and combat

poverty in Lewiston and Auburn.

Emily with her fiancé, Lance Robinson

Emily at work, pictured with current students:

Wally Morris (brother) & Anna Quinlan

Photo: LAD Photography


emerging leaders

Melissa Simones

Policy Director for Senate President, Michael Thibodeau

Melissa has worked in federal and

state government offices for most of her career.

She began her journey handling administrative

and legislative work for

Senator Susan Collins in

Washington, DC. After

several years on Capitol

Hill, she returned to

Maine to work for an

Augusta law firm as its

government relations liaison.

Just one year later,

she was asked to join the

staff of then newly

elected Senate President

Michael Thibodeau. As

Policy Director for Senator

Thibodeau, Melissa

provides legislative research

on bills, attends

various meetings, public

hearings and work sessions,

answers committee

questions about

legislation, and monitors

the budgeting process.

She loves her work for its

challenging, fast-paced,

social and demanding


A native of Lewiston,

there was never a question

for Melissa that she

would return to LA after

college. She loves the

people here, which include

her family and

many friends, as well as

all the activities available. Some of her favorite

things to do in LA include participating

in trivia nights at Pedro O’Hara’s,

attending art walks in the summer, enjoying

the numerous walking trails in the area

and attending events at Bates College. She

is also a fan of golfing and kayaking when

the weather is nice.

When it comes to local cuisine,

Melissa loves the food and the atmosphere

at Fuel, where she can often be found enjoying

conversations with the “regulars”

on Friday nights. Rails, Mother India, Orchid,

and Sea 40 are among other favorites.

Last but certainly not least, some of

Melissa’s favorite food adventures involve

“socializing over a chili dog” at her family’s

restaurant, Simones’ Hot Dog Stand

in Lewiston.

Outside her work in Senator Thibodeau’s

office, Melissa is passionate

about her home parish, Holy Trinity Greek

Orthodox Church, presently serving on the

Parish Council and the Ladies Society.

Through these groups, Melissa and fellow

members work to develop ways to support

the Church, which includes assisting with

various spiritual needs and organizing

fundraisers. She also enjoys participating

in functions that benefit LA whenever she


Looking to the future, Melissa sees

herself working on economic development

projects for the LA area. She believes that

the number one challenge facing LA today

is its stigma and the negative impact it has

on our community. According to Melissa,

this challenge can be overcome by continuing

to promote the positive and showcasing

our local assets, working on the areas

where we struggle, and speaking up when

others speak negatively about LA. With

this type of devotion, she says, “our best

days are ahead.”

Melissa with her niece

Melissa at the Courthouse

Trivia Finale



Abdikadir Negeye

Co-founder, Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services

Abdikadir always knew he wanted to

be a teacher, a social worker, and a leader.

In the past, he served as a local youth soccer

coach, taught English as a second language,

and worked for L.L. Bean as a

learning specialist. He was also employed

with the Lewiston school system as a language

facilitator, all the while working toward

his degree in Social and Behavioral

Science through the University of Southern

Maine, Lewiston-Auburn. In 2008, he

co-founded Maine Immigrant & Refugee

Services (MIRS) and currently serves as its

human resources director. His responsibilities

include regularly interacting with employees,

clients and community members

and attracting and retaining talent for the

organization, as well as doing case management

and closely collaborating with

fellow award winner and executive director,

Rilwan Osman.

Born in Somalia, Abdikadir lived in

two different refugee camps for roughly

fourteen years before he and his family

were relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. Like

many others who share a similar history of

immigration, he loves living in LA primarily

because it is a safe community with a

“small town” atmosphere where he feels

comfortable raising a family of his own.

For Abdikadir, living in LA is a privilege

after enduring the difficulty, violence and

hardships of both his home country and

the refugee camps. His

favorite thing about LA

is its sense of community—he

is amazed by

the accessibility of our

teachers, government

leaders, and the like. He

is also a huge fan of the

annual LA festival and

frequently enjoys meals

with his family at local

restaurants like Applebee’s,


Denny’s and Mother

India. The family consciously

chooses to eat at

places that are known

for supporting LA by

participating in fundraising

for local nonprofits

and schools.

In his free time, Abdikadir enjoys

being with his family, reading, playing

soccer and running. He is passionate about

local organizations that serve immigrants

and refugees, as well as both the elder and

youth populations. He serves on the

boards of directors for some local nonprofits

and lends a hand to his community as

a volunteer whenever he can.

Abdikadir is proud of all he has

accomplished in his career. He feels fortunate

to meet great people through his

work and is motivated by the love and

support he receives from them. One of his

most treasured achievements was witnessing

the Lewiston High School soccer team

win the State Championship, having

coached and mentored nearly half of the

players through a community sports program

sponsored by MIRS. He hopes to

continue his service to our community

through MIRS and his personal efforts and

to maintain a happy and sustainable life in

LA with his family.

The Negeye’s

Abdikadir with his mom

At a recent speaking engagement



Luke and his boy, Everett


Luke Livingston

Founder & CEO, Baxter Brewing Company

Luke has maintained a passion for

craft beer and brewing since his twentyfirst

birthday, when he received his first

homebrewing kit as a gift. Shortly after

graduating college, he created a beer blog

and learned about “west coast

styles” of beer and marketing as

well as the then-revolutionary

idea of canning

craft beer. After losing

his mother to breast cancer

in January, 2009,

Luke quit his day job to

write a business plan for

his own canned craft

brewery. As founder and

CEO of Baxter Brewing

Company, he is most

heavily involved in sales

and marketing and is

particularly focused on

building and maintaining

the brewery’s chain

sales channel. His favorite

part of his job is

having the privilege

every day of getting to

make and sell beer for a

living. Also, he says, “it’s

always great to see your

friends at the bar!”

A 2003 graduate of Edward

Little High School

in Auburn, Luke traveled

away for college and ultimately

settled in South

Portland with his wife

and their two-year-old

son, Everett. When it

came to a location for the

brewery, however, he says there was no

other option than LA. Having grown up

locally, most of his business

connections were here and he was excited

at the idea of breathing some life back into

the mills he watched sit vacant for many

years before. There was also a competitive

advantage to doing business in LA, as for

some time Baxter Brewing Company was

the only production brewery in the area.

Luke’s favorite thing about LA is its

small town vibe. He enjoys enormous support

from the LA community and especially

the municipality itself, which he

says has always far exceeded the support

he could get in a larger, more crowded

market. He loves his “mill-mates,”

DaVinci’s and Fish Bones, as well as the

restaurants on Lisbon Street like Forage,

Marché and Orchid. Though most of his

time off work is spent chasing his twoyear-old

around, when he can Luke likes

to play disc sports. He also juggles, is a

huge baseball fan, and spends as much

time as possible outside exploring Maine.

The two causes Luke is most passionate

about relate to animals and the environment.

He gives back to his community

through his involvement with the Androscoggin

Hospice House and the Androscoggin

Humane Society.

In the future, Luke plans to still be living

and working in Maine, making beer

and continuing to learn new things in his


Luke enjoys a Baxter

Baxter on tap


• Real Estate Loans

• Home Equity Loans

• New/Used Vehicle,

Motorcycle, Boat,

Camper or RV Loans

• Lifestyle Line of Credit

• Personal Loans

• Fuel Loans

• Technology Loans

• Business Loans


Marlo Hewitt

Founder & Operator, Hair Station

Marlo is a third generation hairstylist,

growing up with a mother and grandmother

who both worked cutting and styling hair in

their home-based salons. As a highly artistic

person, she quickly realized her natural talent

for hairstyling and decided to begin her

journey by pursuing a business degree.

She earned her bachelor’s

degree from the University

of Southern Maine.

During her first semester

as an MBA student, Marlo

decided she could no

longer sit behind a desk

and set out to make her

passion for hairdressing a

reality. Last year, she

opened Hair Station Hair

Salon on Turner Street in

Auburn. She is responsible

for overseeing the

daily operations of the

salon, but her primary

focus is customer satisfaction.

Marlo describes her

work “behind the chair”

as “transforming art onto

living canvases, making

people look and feel their

very best.”

Growing up in Mechanic

Falls, Marlo and

her family frequently

traveled to LA for shopping,

dining, and most

other activities. When it

came time to buy her first

home, she found Auburn

to be the perfect fit

with its close proximity

to her family and

potential to support her new business

venture. She feels she has “the best of both

worlds” living on a dead-end street in

Auburn where she enjoys a private backyard

and is just minutes away

from the city. Her favorite things about LA

are its sense of community and its size. As

she says, “the cities are large enough to serve

you but small enough to know you!” You

may find her at Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli enjoying

a quick meal. For a night out, she frequents

Mac’s Grill, Gritty’s, Orchid, and


Marlo loves spending time with her

family and friends. She’s fond of relaxing

nights at home with her many “fur babies,”

and is just as happy going out on the town

to dance, dine and enjoy life. Beyond her

work at the Salon, she explores her passions

for interior decorating and the arts. As a vegetarian

and an animal lover, Marlo supports

the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to

Animals (SPCA). Another cause close to her

heart is breast cancer awareness, as the disease

took her grandmother a short time ago.

To give back to her community, Marlo works

through her business to raise money to help

LA families in need during the holidays and

is an avid supporter of local animal charities.

Marlo is extremely happy with the life

she’s building for herself and plans to continue

her work in LA. She aspires to eventually

expand her business and hopes one day

to settle down with a family of her own.

Marlo at the Hair Station

Hair Station "pit crew": Brittany, Devin, Jamie, Katy & Marlo

The Hewitt’s: Ken, Alex, Marlo & Terry



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No event too BIG or SMALL... We cater it ALL!

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“Where the locals eat!”

1052 Minot Avenue, Auburn 207-783-6885




by Erin Reed


Erin Reed is the Executive Director of the Trinity

Jubilee Center in Lewiston. A center dedicated to

advocacy for those in need in Lewiston Auburn,

serving an average of 1,000 people per week.


ach day Lewiston's Trinity Jubilee

Center is packed full of

Androscoggin County residents

seeking help. For 25 years this

community center’s programs have helped

people survive difficult situations and improve

their lives. Today the Center’s operates

five programs. The Meals Program

serves 100 meals each day (about 3,000

meals every month) to people struggling

with mental illness, physical and developmental

disabilities, and homelessness. The

Food Pantry distribute thousands of pounds

of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as diapers,

to more than 300 low-income families

every week. The Day Shelter provides

warmth, bathrooms, and a place to rest for

the homeless. The Resource Center offers a

free medical clinic, phone, fax, and internet

access, a mailing address for those without

a home, clothing and household goods, an

AA meeting, and connections to outreach

workers and resources at partner agencies.

The Refugee Integration Program is the

county’s largest immigrant integration

program, helping

people access employment,

housing, and education. Every

week more than 1,000 people

receive services through the Jubilee


Daily life at the Center is

a whirlwind. Dozens of neighborhood

volunteers prepare

the day’s lunch, sweep floors,

and wash dishes. Volunteers in

the Center’s Food Rescue Project,

which partners with local

stores and cafeterias to accept

donations of leftover or aboutto-expire

foods, arrive with deliveries.

A daily sign-in sheet

for people requesting help

writing their resume and

searching for job openings

often passes 30 people, each patiently waiting

their turn. At lunchtime the smell of

fresh coffee, savory meat, and spices fills the

air and every seat in the lunchroom is full.

Once a week a doctor donates time to treat

those in need and the office fills with medical

charts and nurses. On Thursdays the

Food Pantry line begins forming at 6:00

AM. Every day the phone is in constant use

as people call to follow up on job applications,

call Togus, and call family members.

Comprehensive support is key to the

Jubilee Center’s anti-poverty work. Almost

all clients participate in multiple programs

and can access support both meeting their

immediate needs and building a stronger future.

Hundreds of people have found jobs,

hundreds of children have been connected

with athletic programs, hundreds of

thousands of pounds of food has been

distributed, and thousands of people know

that the Center’s programs and staff will

be there for them if they are in need.

This year the Trinity Jubilee Center marks

25 years of caring for and empowering our




Nicholas Benoit

Principal: Benoit’s Bakery, Orchard & Pretentious Pie Co.

Members of the Benoit family have

proudly owned and operated businesses in

the LA area since the opening of US Steam

Laundry in the 1930s. For Nick, becoming

an entrepreneur in LA was in his blood.

Returning to Lewiston after prep school,

he had no idea what he wanted to do. He

tested the waters with various different

jobs but couldn’t find work that excited

him. His true career began when he

opened a small farm stand in Lisbon that

soon transformed into a full baking facility

boasting up to twenty employees.

Benoit’s Farm Stand came about by

happenstance—not yet knowing what he

would do with the space, Nick formed a

habit of leaving apples from his family’s

orchard outside the building for convenient

pick-up by local markets and farm

stands. When passers-by began taking the

apples and leaving money in their place,

he was inspired to open his own stand and

quickly got to work. After just three years,

he opened Benoit’s Bakery and Wine Cellar

in the same location. Today, as the

owner and operator of multiple businesses

in LA, Nick is always facing new challenges

and views himself primarily as a

creator of solutions.

with the “amazing” people

of LA. It is important

to Nick to patronize LA

area restaurants and

businesses to return the

support he receives for

his own. In his free time,

he likes playing golf and

being out on the water

whenever possible. He

also maintains a hobby

collecting antique automobiles,

but finds his

greatest pleasure derives

from helping others in

the LA community to

thrive and live their

dreams. A big fan of supporting

our youth, some

of the causes Nick is

most passionate about include the Special

Olympics, the Ronald McDonald House

and Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. He

does a lot of mentoring and working with

children in local schools. Having been

given many chances to succeed in his own

life, Nick feels strongly about providing

LA youth with opportunities to show the

world what they can do.

Nick is a firm believer that tomorrow is

never promised to anyone and focuses on

living for today. He sets personal goals for

himself in both the long and short-term,

but ultimately just wants to be happy in his

life and in his work and contributing to the

growing success of LA.

Naturally, one of Nick’s favorite

things about the LA area is its plethora of

restaurants. He also enjoys access to local

sporting events and loves interacting

Nick out & about

Nick posing next to a cannon

Nick on the mic



Jama ready to get to work


Jama Mohamed

Program Director, Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services

When they were relocated to the

United States, Jama and many fellow Somali

Bantu refugees first lived in larger

cities like Denver and Chicago. These

locations proved to be quite an adjustment

from the small villages Jama

and his peers grew up in. Many decided

to move to LA, viewing it as a

smaller community and a safe

place to raise their families.

When Jama and his

family arrived in Lewiston,

however, they soon

discovered a gap in

services to support assimilation

into the local

culture and saw many

Somali Bantu youth

dropping out of school

as a result. To address

this urgent need, he cofounded

the Somali

Bantu Youth Association.

Today, Jama works

with Maine Immigrant

and Refugee Services

(MIRS) as Program Director

for Youth Literacy

and Citizenship Services.

His job responsibilities

include program

development, education

and management of the

organization’s numerous

volunteers. He finds

his career most rewarding

because it enables

him to help others build

promising futures for

themselves and their


Jama’s favorite thing about living

in LA is the wealth of friendship he has

found here—friends who support him in

achieving his goals through teaching and

encouragement. He is a big fan of local

cuisine, often stopping at 84 Court Pizza

& Restaurante for some “amazing” bruschetta

or enjoying a family meal at Applebee’s.

He spends most of his free time

with his lovely wife and their children

and often hosts large get-togethers with

extended family members. Some of the

local organizations he is most passionate

about include the Trinity Jubilee Center,

Lewiston Public Schools and the Sustainable

Livelihoods Relief Organization

(SLRO). The SLRO uses farming as a

means of helping immigrants, refugees

and asylum-seekers alike build sustainable

livelihoods by growing and selling


Having served on the Lewiston

School Committee, Jama is honored to be

the first African-born elected official in

Lewiston. With the Committee, he helped

establish new policies in efforts to ensure

that our local schools are providing the

best education possible to their students.

He gives back to LA through his work

with MIRS, helping immigrants gain

their citizenships and teaching them the

importance of being involved in the community.

While he prefers to focus on what

he can do to help LA thrive in the present,

Jama plans to continue building relationships

within the community in the future

and hopes to see more of its people coming

together across lines of diversity and

enjoying each other’s company. With

more communal conversations,

he believes the people of LA can

work and learn together to build

something great.

Steven Aden, Kristen Cloutier & Jama Mohamed

Jama with Linda Scott



Eric Brakey

Maine State Senator, District 20

As a State Senator, Eric is an impassioned

servant of Maine’s people. Believing

that our citizens prosper most when they

are free to make their own life choices, too

often he saw “big government” treating

adults like children by encouraging dependency,

strangling innovation and dictating

personal decisions. In 2014, Eric

decided to run for office to advocate for

personal freedom and responsibility. In his

role as a Maine senator, he is responsible

for fostering an environment where companies

can grow and thrive. As chairman of

the Health and Human Services Committee,

he oversees over $3 billion in funding

each year. Eric is grateful for the opportunity

to lead growing efforts for welfare reform,

saving money for Maine workers

while still providing services for those who

need it most. His favorite things about

being a Maine senator are using his own

perspective to solve the statewide challenges

and passing major reform to decrease

the role of the government in the

lives of individuals.

Born and raised in New Gloucester,

Eric worked for several years as a professional

actor in New York City. He eventually

returned home to Maine to be closer to

his relatives and to work in the family business.

Wanting to live in an area with a tightknit

community that offered the

accessibility of a larger city, he chose to settle

in Auburn. When thinking about what

he most enjoys about the LA area, Eric feels

that the little things make the biggest difference.

Some examples of

the “little things” he

loves about LA include:

seeing citizens work to

transform a giant snowbank

into a sled hill for

local children, enjoying a

first-rate musical production

at the volunteer-driven

Community Little

Theater, and witnessing

community members

picking up litter along

the side of the road in efforts

to beautify our

neighborhoods. He can

often be found enjoying

breakfast at Rolly’s

Diner, enjoying conversation

with a friendly face.

In the past, Eric spent a lot of his free

time performing through Community Little

Theatre, playing various roles including

Felix Unger from “The Odd Couple,” Mortimer

Brewster in “Arsenic and Old Lace”

and several small parts in a production of

“Monty Python’s Spamalot.” His work as a

senator prevents him from having the time

to participate on stage, so he remains active

with the Theatre as a member of its board

of directors. In addition to the Theatre, he

is passionate about “Big Brothers, Big Sisters”

an organization that enables local

adults to make a positive impact on youth

facing adversity in Maine through community

and school-based mentoring programs.

As a “Big Brother,” Eric most enjoys outdoor

activities with his “Little Brother” like

hiking Mount Appetite and walking the LA

Riverwalk. The two also enjoy the occasional

movie at Flagship Cinemas in


Eric hopes to continue making his efforts,

whether through the public or private

sector, to strengthen the liberties of Maine’s

people and empower them to create their

own opportunities to live, work and play.

Eric on the campaign trail

Eric on the senate floor

Eric & Roger Philippon as Oscar & Felix in

The Odd Couple at CLT



Nate, Andrea and their son


Nate Libby

Maine State Senator, District 21

Nate credits his time at Bates College

with playing a significant role in shaping

his career. Through the study of history

and economics, he refined his skills in research,

communication, organization and

critical thinking. Whether he is working

on securing financing for a start-up company

or shepherding a major piece of legislation

through the public process, the

experience he gained in college plays an

important part in his success. As a representative

of the City of Lewiston in the

Maine State Senate, Nate

works on enacting public

policy, providing

oversight for the activities

and spending of the

State government, and

assisting Lewiston residents

in accessing programs

and services. In

his second job as an economic

development consultant,

he focuses on

helping local governments

connect with businesses

to establish, grow

and create jobs. His favorite

thing about the

work he does is that it requires

taking a complex

problem and collaborating

with others to work

out a solution.

Growing up in a small

town just outside of Waterville,

Nate was the

first in his family to attend

college. He moved

to Lewiston at the age of

eighteen when he was

offered a substantial needs-based scholarship

to attend Bates College. He immediately

fell in love with the community

because of its welcoming and diverse citizenry.

Deciding to remain in Lewiston

after earning his degree, he has been living

and working in the LA area ever since.

When he has the time, Nate engages in

hobbies like carpentry, gardening and

landscaping, and enjoys going on outdoor

excursions with his wife, Andrea, their son

and two dogs.

As a state senator, Nate is an ardent

supporter of the vast array of nonprofit organizations

that serve the LA community.

He is especially passionate about early education

and services for children with special

needs, serving on the board of

directors for Androscoggin Head Start and

as chairman of Lewiston’s Universally Accessible

Playground Committee. Through

the Playground Committee, he supports

ongoing efforts to raise funds to build the

first playground in Maine where children

can play together regardless of their cognitive

and developmental abilities. Nate

also serves on the board of the Lewiston

Auburn Economic Growth Council


In the long term, Nate hopes to be

working in economic development on a

professional level and giving of his time

for public service. He is motivated by the

progress he sees in LA and enjoys taking

part in the continuous growth and redevelopment

happening here. He is excited

to see what the future holds for our


Nate in the Senate

Nate addresses the Lewiston High School state champion soccer team



Jared Golden

Maine State Legislator, City of Lewiston

Jared’s started his career in politics

working for Senator Susan Collins on the

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental

Affairs Committee. He has a passion

for finding solutions for the issues

and challenges that face the City of Lewiston

and the State of Maine, and loves attending

community events to meet new

people and learn about the great work

they are doing. Today, he represents the

City of Lewiston in the Maine State Legislature

and serves on the Transportation

Committee and the Committee for Veterans

and Legal Affairs.

Moving back to Maine after four

years of active duty with the U.S.

Marines, Jared attended Bates College

and earned his degree in politics. He is

happy to be living in LA, where exciting

and inspiring revitalization efforts are

being made all the time. He also likes

being close to his friends and family and

met his wife, Isobel, in Lewiston. Some of

his favorite things about LA include the

character of its people, the strong architecture

and the beautiful

skyline. Access to entertainment

and other

downtown activities,

coupled with close proximity

to great locations

for hiking, fishing and

exploring the coast, are

among others.

When it comes to

local cuisine, you may

find Jared enjoying a

meal at Fuel, Marche,

George’s Pizza, or Bear

Bones. In his free time

he enjoys hanging out

with his wife and their

cats, as well as hiking,

exercising, brewing beer

and reading. This coming summer, the

couple is looking forward to working in

their garden and completing a variety of

home improvement projects. With his

background in the military, which included

deployments to both

Afghanistan and Iraq, Jared is most

passionate about supporting his fellow

veterans through his legislative

work. He also maintains an interest in

working to increase access to

multiple different forms of

transportation for the LA

community. Dedicated to

improving the lives of his

constituents, he participates in numerous

meetings at both the local and state levels

and has served on the boards of several

neighborhood organizations.

Jared and his wife are excited to build

a life together in LA. Although he believes

that life has a way of leading you in unexpected

directions, Jared envisions himself

continuing his work as an activist for

our community far into the future.

Isobel & Jared Golden

Jared representing Lewiston

Jared discussing ideas




Dr. Ashlee Vandiver!

We appreciate all you do at

Sandcastle & L/A Hearing Center and within our community!

health & wellness

Ashlee H. Vandiver, Au.D.

Audiologist, L/A Hearing Center

As an audiologist for L/A Hearing

Center, Ashlee evaluates, diagnoses and

treats people with hearing loss and balance

disorders. She sees a wide range of

people, from newborns to geriatrics, helping

patients and their families better understand

the nature and impact of hearing

loss and providing custom treatment options

to suit individual listening needs. For

the children she treats, Ashlee collaborates

with early intervention providers, educators

and other school professionals to ensure

access to language in the classroom.

She is honored to have the opportunity to

witness so many life-changing moments

and is passionate about helping her patients

regain their hearing independence

so they can play a part in important conversations

with family, friends and colleagues.

Midway through her undergraduate

career, Ashlee decided she wanted to pursue

a specialty in the medical field. She

was studying biology and enrolled in premed

when she enrolled in an “Intro to Audiology”

course by chance. Ashlee knew

audiology was her calling and hasn’t

looked back since. She often recalls a special

moment from the beginning of her

professional career when she witnessed a

child she’d fit with hearing aids hear her

own footsteps for the first time. It is the

connection to her patients and their families

that drives Ashlee in her work each


Ashlee and her family

love living in the LA

community because it is

close to so many important

people and things in

their lives. The family

visits with nearby relatives,

enjoys trips to

Maine beaches and

mountains, and spends

time exploring local cuisine.

Some favorite

places to grab a bite include

Fuel, Fish Bones,

Orchid and Gritty’s.

Ashlee is an ardent

supporter of hearing loss

education and often joins

forces with different local and national

agencies to provide educational seminars

for those who could benefit from a greater

understanding of ear and hearing disorders.

She particularly enjoys collaborating

with SeniorsPlus in Lewiston, tapping into

some of the tremendous educational opportunities

for our community’s elders.

Over the past three years, Ashlee has been

heavily involved with Young Professionals

of Lewiston Auburn (YPLAA) and

presently serves as chair of the organization

as well as co-chair of the Y-Not

Committee. She feels lucky to be able to

work with local young professionals and

learning why they have chosen the LA

area as their home.

With a family history of heart disease,

Ashlee also supports The American Heart

Association as a member of the executive

leadership team for the annual Central

Maine Heart Walk.

Ten years from now, Ashlee plans to

be living in the LA community continuing

to do the work she loves. She cannot imagine

living or practicing anywhere else!

Enjoying a Patriot’s game

with friends at Gritty’s

Ashlee’s children



health & wellness

Sara Goodrich

Massage Therapist, Renew You! Massage & Yoga

As a self-employed massage therapist

and instructor of yoga and meditation,

Sara’s job is to help people who are sore

and stressed and who want to improve

upon their physical and emotional wellbeing.

She discovered her interest in massage

therapy while working in an office

that offered massage to its employees as

part of a generous health benefit program.

Bored and unmotivated

in her work, the therapeutic

office massages

started Sara on the path

to her present profession.

She would later incorporate

yoga and

meditation, a decision

she says was largely

driven by her love for

Kundalini Yoga, commonly

known as the

“Yoga of Awareness.”

Sara is fond of the

challenges of self-employment,

which she

finds often test her and

keep her on her toes. She

has learned a lot over the

years and has seen herself

grow strong and

confident in areas where

she was felt weak. Her

passion lies in helping

people. A self-identified

idealist, she believes we

all share a responsibility

to make the world a better

place. For Sara, it all

begins with improving

your own mind, body

and life. Her goal is to

employ massage therapy, yoga and meditation

to support local individuals in their

efforts to heal themselves and the world

around them. A strong proponent of

integrity, Sara feels fortunate to have

the power to run her own business in

a fashion that best reflects her own

personal values.

Sara moved to LA when her husband

got a job making furniture in the area. She

loves that the LA community boasts a

unique combination of an “urban feel” in

the downtown area and easy access to natural

resources both in the mountains and

along the coast. She also finds a wealth of

opportunity in LA for a young person to

“make their mark.” Sara believes that if

you “roll up your sleeves and dig in,”

you’ll see that your work is appreciated

and find enormous potential to make a

positive impact. With a strong interest in

urban development, Sara was part of the

group that started Grow L+A, a volunteer

organization that has been a driving force

behind the redevelopment of Bates Mill

No. 5 in Lewiston. She ascribes to a philosophy

known as “New Urbanism,” which

examines the history of a community with

downtown areas and neighborhoods that

were once prosperous, connected and

lively and asks the question, “what were

they doing right?”

Outside her career and community

work, Sara enjoys gardening, hiking, reading

and traveling. Some of her favorite

local eateries include Marche, Boba, Thai

Dish and Forage Market. Looking to the

future, she plans to continue working to

fully develop her business so it can flourish.

Beyond that, she finds it important to

leave a little room for serendipity.

members of Grow L+A

Sara with her sister, Frannie

vacationing in Yellowstone


health & wellness

Rosemarie G. Sheline, DDS

Dentist, Center Street Dental

Commonly known in the LA community

as “Dr. Rose,” Dr. Rosemarie Sheline,

DDS, is a dentist and owner of

Center Street Dental in Auburn. A native

of the Philippines, Dr. Rose graduated

from the University of Baguio in 2001.

When she met her husband, Carl, she decided

to immigrate and continue pursuing

her dental career in the United States.

After passing her dental exams, she attended

Loma Linda University in California

and graduated in 2005. Her current

services include treating cavities and oral

infections as well as providing cosmetic

and family services with implants, veneers,

crowns and routine wellness

checkups. She is passionate about helping

her patients feel good about themselves

so they can start smiling and

enjoying their lives again.

Dr. Rose and her husband wanted to

live in Maine because of its natural

beauty and sense of community. They

were happy to find a practice in Auburn

and a place to live in Lewiston that they

enjoy. Her favorite things about living in

LA are all the great local people and the

availability of a wide variety

of activities. She truly

appreciates the opportunity

to work with her

wonderful staff that

plays a key role in her

efforts to improve the

lives of her patients. Dr.

Rose feels that by providing

great oral health

care for our community,

she can contribute to the

overall wellbeing and

happiness of its people.

When she isn’t

working at Center Street

Dental, Dr. Rose can be

found spending time

with her husband and

their two beautiful children,

John and Danika. A big music fan,

she is currently taking piano lessons as

well as voice lessons to improve upon her

skills. She also loves to exercise, with a

particular passion for hiking. She supports

the LA community through her

business, providing numerous dental

health bags to local elementary schools

and at various community

events. Center Street Dental also

supports several events and nonprofits

in the LA area through

sponsorships and participation

in fundraisers.

Through its own wellness program, Center

Street Dental staff often take part in

local 5K races and do their best to promote

overall health and wellness in LA.

Dr. Rose is particularly interested in the

efforts of The Auburn PAL Center, The

Dempsey Center and Tree Street Youth,

all local organizations that provide valuable

services and resources to those who

need support and compassion.

Looking ahead, Dr. Rose plans to

continue her life and her practice in LA

and has no doubt that the place she calls

“home” will continue to grow and thrive

in the future.

Carl & Dr. Rose Sheline

at the Great Falls Balloon Festival

with her children, Danika & John



health & wellness

Sadie Landry

Sensei and Owner, Pelletier’s Karate

As a sensei at Pelletier’s Karate in

Lewiston, Sadie teaches a variety of classes

including yoga, “yogalates,” cardio kickboxing,

and self-defense. As an owner, she

focuses on marketing, community involvement

and special events for the dojo. It is

Sadie’s philosophy that the most important

part of her role as a teacher is her duty

to act as a positive role model to all of her

students and to provide them with the necessary

tools to be successful members of


Sadie started practicing karate when

she was thirteen years old as a means of

exercise. Over the years she grew to love

the art of the sport, developing a passion

for teaching and competition. She is proud

to have been the number one female competitor

in the State of Maine in her late

teens, but her favorite moment in her

karate career was earning her black belt.

Now that she has been teaching karate in

the LA community for over fifteen years,

one of the most rewarding aspects of her

work is seeing former students return to

the dojo to enroll their children and grandchildren.

She loves to see her students become

more confident, stronger and

happier in their lives through the practice

of martial arts, yoga and general fitness.

Sadie has grown to love the state

of Maine since she moved here from

the Midwest with her family as a

child. Her favorite things about LA

include the diversity

of its people, the

widespread energy to

improve and grow, and

the strong sense of community.

She spends

much of her free time

with her family and

friends playing indoor

and outdoor activities.

She enjoys camping and

white water rafting and

is a proud “hockey

mom.” Local places

where Sadie likes to grab

a bite to eat include

Dubois Café and Rolly’s

Diner for breakfast, Pure

Thai, Guthrie’s and Forage

for lunch and Pat’s

Pizza, Jasmine Café, and

Fish Bones for dinner.

To support her community, Sadie is

actively involved in Montello and Geiger

Elementary Schools by teaching karate,

going on field trips and planning local festivals

and events. She also serves as President

of the Auburn Lewiston Exchange

Club, an organization she feels provides

many great opportunities to give back to

the LA area. Other causes she supports include

the local Boys and Girls Club,

Tree Street Youth and the Community Little

Theater. In general, Sadie and her family

are very active in a wide variety of

community events.

Looking to the future, Sadie plans to

remain active in teaching health and wellness.

She hopes to become more involved

in the LA community, which she calls “the

world’s best kept secret,” and to be a role

model for all.

Sadie & Jason Landry

Summer fun

Sadie with her children,

Rocco, Cecilia & Fiona



The Board, Staff and Veterans of Veterans Inc.

congratulate Alley Smith on being selected to the 2016

Lewiston Auburn’s inaugural class of 40 Under 40.

We salute the entire

group of 40 Under 40


Offices Located In: ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, CT



local heroes

Alley Smith

Supportive Services for Military Veterans, Veterans, Inc.

Alley began her career in veterans’

advocacy after serving ten years’ active

duty in the military, which service included

being deployed to combat in

Afghanistan. Her love for working with

the service members and their families

led her to her current position at Veterans,

Inc., an organization dedicated to

ending homelessness among veterans.

At Veterans, Inc., Alley is responsible for

grant programs like “Supportive Services

for Military Veterans and their Families”

and the “Homeless Veteran Reintegration

Program.” She also supervises the day-today

operations and works together with

her incredible team to assist homeless, atrisk

and transitioning veterans with

housing, employment, training and benefits

assistance. As a Marine, Alley was

taught to know her fellow Marines and to

look out for their welfare. Her work with

Veterans, Inc. is her way of maintaining

that spirit as a civilian.

Apart from her work with Veterans,

Inc., Alley gives back to her community

through her work with the Maine Military

& Community Network Regional

Committee, Healthy Androscoggin,

Catholic Charities of

Maine’s Path Program

and the Lewiston Career

Center, among others.

She also volunteers her

time to local food

pantries and churches,

and is part of both the

American Legion and

Maine Army National

Guard as a Chaplain

and Chaplain’s Assistant,


Causes she is most passionate

about include

AmeriCorps, Community

Anti-Drug Coalitions

of America, IAVA:

Iraq and Afghanistan

Veterans of America,

Maine Team RWB, Internity, and Sexual

Assault Prevention & Response Services.

In her free time, Alley likes to stop at

Guthrie’s and Pop Shoppe Diner for a

good bite to eat. She is a big fan of staying

active, often working out at Orange Circuit

Fitness or going for a run at Thorncraig

Bird Sanctuary.

In the future, Alley sees herself continuing

her work with Veterans, Inc. and

completing her Master’s Degree in Biblical

Counseling. In ten years, she hopes

to retire from the military reserve. She

believes the greatest

challenge facing the LA community

today is the need to build resilience. To

Alley, this challenge can be overcome by

boosting personal accountability and responsibility,

positive mentoring and role

modeling, peer to peer support and individual


Alley in Afghanistan

Sporting Moxie t-shirts in Afghanistan

Dynamic Dirt Challenge



local heroes

Joel Furrow

Director, Root Cellar in Lewiston

right path by equipping

them with the life skills

for a successful future, to

the Friends and Neighbors

Network (“FANN”),

a collective designed to

facilitate and promote LA

neighbors in need providing

food for one another.

Joel feels honored

to be able to work alongside

the “small army” of

volunteers at The Cellar.

He characterizes those he

works with as a diverse

group of people, all sharing

a common goal of engaging,

equipping and

empowering LA citizens

in need through high

quality programs and

services. Joel feels humbled

by the love, dedication,

and faith of those he

works with.

offered his current position at The Root Cellar

in 2012, Joel saw it as a new and exciting

opportunity to learn how to engage, equip

and empower others to be better neighbors.

The job offer came just before he and his

wife, Hilary, welcomed their first daughter,

and they both felt that the time was right to

“put down some roots” and see what God

had planned for them in LA.

One of Joel’s favorite things about LA

is its central location in the State of Maine;

he and his family love being close to both

the mountains and the coast. When he isn’t

working, Joel spends as much time as he

can with his beautiful wife and their two

adorable daughters, Annaleigh and Jane.

The family is fond of outdoor activities,

spending time at local lakes whenever possible.

Joel also enjoys fishing, playing basketball,

and watching the Red Sox. For a

bite to eat, his favorites include The Italian

Bakery, Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream, Forage

Market, and Boba.

As Director of The Root Cellar, Joel’s

job carries with it numerous responsibilities.

On a typical day, he may be writing or

designing a newsletter, leading a teen

group, updating the Cellar’s website, working

alongside volunteers in the various programs

offered to adults, teens and children

by the organization, or planning a fundraising

event. The Root Cellar boasts programs

for local citizens of all ages, from “Project

Rooted,” a program designed to engage

at-risk youth and get them on the

Joel’s work is

motivated primarily

by his

faith in God.

During college,

he became interested

in learning to live out the

teachings of Jesus—“to love our

neighbor, love our enemies, care

for the needy and welcome the

stranger.” His pursuit led him to

work with refugees in Jordan and

Atlanta, before spending nearly

five years in Boston working

with at-risk youth. When he was

Ice cream at the Fielder’s Choice

Joel & Hilary Furrow

Joel with his daughters: Annaleigh & Jane


local heroes

Joseph Philippon

Lewiston Police Officer

Joe joined the Lewiston Police Department

in the summer of 2005 after graduating

from the University of Maine in Augusta

with his bachelor’s degree in Administration

of Justice. Raised in Lewiston, he stayed connected

to LA during college through his

work as a security officer for St. Mary’s Hospital

and Bates. Joe has always found LA to

be welcoming, safe, and rich with history,

which is why he decided to stay here with

his wife, Katie, to raise their growing family.

The couple resides in Lewiston together with

Joe’s stepson, Isaha, and their exciting new

addition due to arrive in the fall.

As a Community Resource Officer for

Lewiston PD, Joe focuses on outreach by participating

in community meetings and developing

positive relationships with LA

citizens. He is responsible for education, recruitment,

and grant management, as well as

developing initiatives for long-term solutions

to community problems and emphasizing

the importance of community policing

and relationship building. Joe also oversees

the Lewiston Project Lifesaver Program, a

program that aims to provide timely responses

for those affected by Alzheimer’s

disease and similar conditions that cause

them to wander. Individuals enrolled in the

Program wear a transmitter and can be

found more quickly, which means

more lives are saved and

many potential injuries

may be avoided.

Outside of his career,

Joe has a passion for all

things relating to education.

He gives back to his

community by serving on

the board of directors for

the Androscoggin Head

Start Program, and is

signed up to be an assistant

coach for the upcoming

eighth grade Lewiston

Middle School baseball

team. In the past, he

served as President of the

Elliott Ave. Little League

and has been an assistant

coach for several little league teams in the

area. Based on his life experiences, Joe believes

that an accessible and quality education

plays a significant part in ensuring

success for the future of LA’s youth.

Joe’s favorite thing about LA is its sense

of community. He is motivated

by growing local efforts

to effect positive change and

continued development in the

area. When he is not at work

or volunteering his time, Joe

can be found enjoying a bite

to eat at Fuel Restaurant,

where his wife is general

manager. He enjoys traveling,

eating out, playing

hockey, and watching his

stepson’s baseball and

hockey games.

Looking forward, Joe hopes to play a

more significant role in the continued

growth and development of the LA community

through public service. He believes that

we all must advocate for the community

where we live, work, and raise our families.

birth announcement (l to r): Joe’s stepson Isaha L’Heureux,

wife Katie Palmer & Joe Philippon

(l to r): Joe, wife Katie Palmer, stepson Isaha L’Heureux, Rep, Mike Michaud,

mother Celeste Philippon, and father Roger Philippon

with Rep. Mike Michaud in Washington D.C.

Joe at the


Trunk or Treat event in Lewiston with an

officer in



local heroes

Julia Sleeper

Executive Director, Tree Street Youth Center

Julia found her passion working with

Lewiston’s youth population while she was

an undergraduate at Bates College. She fell

in love with the LA community and decided

to stay in Lewiston after graduation

to continue her work with LA youth by cultivating

opportunities through the development

and creation of the Tree Street Youth

Center. As Executive Director, she oversees

the daily operations of Tree Street, supervises

its staff, collaborates

with the

board of directors and

maintains the ever-growing

vision of the agency.

Her favorite thing about

her work with Tree Street

is seeing local youth and

their families challenging

themselves to try new

things. To Julia, it is a

privilege to witness these

powerful moments.

Some of the projects

Julia is involved in

through Tree Street include

the “StreetLeaders”

program, through which

high-achieving LA high

school students serve as

role models and tutors

for younger children, and

the “B.R.A.N.C.H.E.S.”

program that focuses on

increasing overall graduation,

college acceptance

and college retention

rates for at-risk

youth in LA.

Tree Street further

offers after

school programs

and summer

youth programming,

as well as

arts and athletics.

Julia is highly motivated by

the LA youth population and

finds their energy, pride, and

drive to lead improvement efforts

in their community to be

“very unique and powerful.” She is passionate

about all the LA area agencies that

work so hard to support our youth and

families in need. She is proud to be a part of

the “huge web of support” these agencies

provide. For Julia, the greatest challenge

facing LA today is the need for its citizens

to come together and cross all lines drawn

by their differences. With time, patience,

and a collective willingness to learn, listen

and keep an open mind, she believes this

challenge can be overcome.

In her free time, Julia is happy to stay

home and watch a movie, enjoy the outdoors

by camping or going for a hike, and

engaging in the various fun activities LA

has to offer with her family. For a bite to eat,

Julia favors many of the delicious restaurants

that downtown Lewiston has to offer.

She has a special interest in supporting local

youth sports programs, particularly the

teams her children play for. Julia plans to

continue raising her family in LA while

working to make The Tree Street Youth Center

even greater and more sustainable.

Julia congratulates a graduate

at Tree Street Youth Center

Julia poses with her campers




by Julia Sleeper


Juvenile Justice Initiative, and many collaborative

school partnerships. Each year Tree

Street also hosts a group of 10-12 post-graduate

or college interns through the Intercultural

Community Exchange experience.

These young people commit an academic

year or summer of service to Tree Street and

the Lewiston community while living and

learning as a cohort immersed in the surrounding

Downtown Lewiston-Tree Street


Julia Sleeper is the Co-Founder and Executive Director

of Tree Street Youth Center. Born and

raised in the Bangor area, she initially moved to

Lewiston as an undergraduate at Bates College.

That’s when she began connecting to the Downtown

Lewiston community.


ree Street Youth supports the

youth of Lewiston-Auburn,

Maine through academics, the

arts and athletics. We provide Lewiston-

Auburn youth with a safe space that encourages

healthy physical, social, emotional, and

academic development while building unity

across lines of difference.

Founded in 2011, Tree Street Youth grew its

roots from a local homework help program.

Thanks to the continued support of the

local community, individual donors, and

foundation grants, Tree Street is able to offer

all of the programming at

no cost to families. We

strive to eliminate economic

barriers by providing

a space of equal

opportunity and advancement.

At Tree Street, we believe

that true empowerment begins with the

self, but then transcends it to create a

greater, collective harmony. Our holistic approach

to youth development integrates a

restorative justice model that demonstrates

leadership, accountability, and life skills,

both strengthening youth and bringing

them together. We aim to empower the individual

self, as well as the

collective whole. We

blend the focus on the individual

with an equally

important emphasis on

building unity by creating

bridges across lines of difference.

We believe in

this model because we ultimately

believe that the

most important thing

that our youth learn is

acceptance – of themselves

and of each other.

Tree Street serves 120-

150 youth grades Pre-K through 12 daily

through its various programs which include

the After school Academic Enrichment program,

StreetLeader Teen Leadership Program,

Arts and Cultural Enrichment

Classes, BRANCHES College Prep, Sequoia

In Autumn 2014, the organization purchased

the entire building which housed the

center thereby gaining an additional 5,424

square feet of space for future growth. Tree

Street has raised approximately $800,000 towards

its $1.3 million building renovation

which will include a logistically sound layout,

a large multi-purpose space complete

with stage and kitchenette as well as a new

suite of classrooms for older youth.

For the last 2 years running Tree Street’s

BRANCHES College Prep has boast a

100% high school graduation rate with the

class of 2015 having a 95% college acceptance





to all of the

40 Under 40 winners!

Roux Insurance is Excited

about its Under 40 Staff

Safe Voices is proud to be part of the L/A

community for over 38 years!







PO Box 713, Auburn • 207-795-6744

24 hour helpline: 1-800-559-2927 • www.SafeVoices.org

185 Webster Street, Lewiston • 207-784-9358



Elise Johansen

Executive Director, Safe Voices

Elise believes the path to leadership is

not a straight line, but rather a winding

road that, if you are willing, open and positive,

will be worth every twist and turn.

She avoids limiting her aspirations and

keeps an open mind when it comes to trying

new methods of achieving her goals. It

was her positive “just say yes” attitude that

led Elise to her current position as Executive

Director of Safe Voices. By being clear

about her vision and not afraid to ask for

help, she was able to turn a department of

three staff members into a robust program

that boasts up to twenty-four staff members

with numerous new sources of funding.

She views her primary duty as

carrying out the mission of Safe Voices in

working to end domestic violence. Her regular

responsibilities include serving as

spokesperson, setting the leadership model

for the agency and ensuring that all agency

activities are held to the highest possible


Apart from her work with Safe Voices,

Elise’s favorite thing about LA is enjoying

the view on her daily commute to work.

Seeing birds of prey and turkeys, along

with other wildlife along the river is a wonderful

way to begin her day.

A huge coffee fan, she

often sets meetings at

Forage Market so she can

indulge in their delicious

brews. For lunches and

other events at Safe

Voices, Lewiston House

of Pizza is always a hit.

Personally, she favors

Marche and DaVinci’s

and recently became a

fan of Margarita’s after

enjoying their food at a

benefit for Safe Voices.

Elise is a lover of animals

and nature, and often

spends the weekends

hiking, gardening, or exploring

the tidal pools at

the beach with her wife.

Indoors, she is a self-proclaimed

“major book nerd” and enjoys

watching reality TV. Elise and her wife are

also committed to supporting local businesses,

purchasing many goods from local

farmers and artisans.

In the next ten years, Elise envisions

herself running a large, successful nonprofit,

being a best-selling author, or both!

Causes she is most passionate about include

fighting for the rights of women, animals,

the LGBTQ community, and the


She has worked hard throughout her career

to collaborate with community stakeholders

to create new services and enhance existing

ones and to ensure that all people are

treated fairly and holistically. She plans to

continue her efforts to create a culture of

kindness and empowerment in the LA

area. For Elise, the keys to success are to

dream big and say “yes.”

Elise enjoys a summer day

live on the set

Elise & Shaun




Matthew Shaw

Business Development Officer, Community Credit Union

As the Business Development Officer

for Community Credit Union, Matt’s job

is to improve the Credit Union’s competitive

position through business development

functions and working closely with

local dealers and realtors to help secure

lending for various projects in LA. He is

also closely involved with LA area

schools, facilitating financial literacy

courses for students of all ages, and serves

as a representative of CCU at local

fundraisers and community events.

Born and raised in Lewiston, Matt enrolled

in accounting and technology

courses in high school and worked for a

local bank while attending college at St.

Joseph’s. Envisioning a future for himself

helping others and giving back to his community,

he built a strong foundation in

marketing and business ethics and eventually

earned his bachelor’s degree in

Business Administration. Prior to joining

CCU, Matt worked with United Way of

Androscoggin County as Director of Campaign

and Marketing. When he was offered

the job at CCU, Matt saw an ideal

opportunity to combine his commitment

to and admiration for our community

with his passion for building relationships.

He feels fortunate to live and work

in LA with its rich history and beautiful architecture.

agent, banquet bartender

and manager on

duty. When he’s not at

work, he loves to be out

and about in the community.

Whether he’s attending

Business After

Hours around town,

tasting new foods at locally

owned restaurants,

volunteering for events

or participating in local

fundraising efforts, Matt

finds it “engaging and

rewarding” to be a part

of building LA by helping

his fellow citizens

whenever possible. He is

an active presence in

both the LA Metropolitan

Chamber of Commerce and Uplift LA

and loves that so many local businesses

are members of the Chamber and consistently

contribute to efforts to draw more

people to the LA area to live, work and


Some of Matt’s favorite places to eat in LA

include Marche, Jasmine Café, Sea40 and

DaVinci’s. Outside his community work,

he has an interest in taking scenic photographs,

traveling and sitting by the ocean,

and spending time on Sebago Lake with

family and friends. In the future, he sees

himself continuing to build the LA community

as well as the surrounding area.

He hopes to be able to make lasting positive

impacts and maintains an attitude

that “when you help one, you help


Beyond his career with CCU, Matt

works for the Hilton Garden Inn in

Auburn as a guest services

Matthew Shaw, Deborah Carroll,

Maureen Aube & Jenny Ziebart

Like Family... Jonathan Ogden, Kayleigh Jameyson, Annette Jo &

Matthew Shaw at Sea 40

Richard "Pete" Shaw, Dad; Greg Begin, Brother-In-Law;

Cassandra "KC" Begin, Sister; Karen Shaw, Mom




Maura Moody

Public Relations Coordinator, LAEGC

She characterizes her job

as a fast-paced, multifaceted

position. She is

responsible for marketing

LA and the efforts of

the Council locally and

nationally, planning and

organizing local events

like the Business to Business

Trade Show, and

supporting efforts to

publicize new and existing

businesses in the


“mom and pop” restaurants to enjoy. She

believes it is important not to get so caught

up in her career that she forgets to enjoy

all the rest that life has to offer. To give

back to her community, Maura volunteers

her time helping those in need. Her greatest

passion lies with the local homeless

community and she commends the New

Beginnings Youth Shelter for its efforts to

lead our youth down the path of positivity

and determination. Volunteerism is extremely

important to Maura, whose basic

philosophy is “you can never go wrong

being nice.”

Maura began her academic career in

Auburn and quickly returned to LA after

college. A self-proclaimed “true and

through ‘Mainah,’” her favorite thing

about LA is the plethora of community

events that are always going on. It is inspiring

for Maura to live in a city that is

constantly working to get more citizens involved

on all different levels. Almost a

year ago, she was hired by the Lewiston

Auburn Economic Growth Council as its

Office Manager and Public Relations


Opportunities for

community involvement

and consistent exposure

to new endeavors and

challenges are Maura’s

favorite aspects of her

work with the LAEGC.

She also feels fortunate

to live and work in an

environment where familiar

faces are found almost

everywhere she

goes. Maura finds marketing

LA to be a fun

venture, motivating her

peers to see the growth

and development in the area by encouraging

them to attend local events.

Outside of her job, Maura loves to

experience new places. She spends

much of her free time exploring, whether

it be hiking, traveling someplace new in

Maine, or searching for undiscovered

For the future, Maura sees herself

working hands-on in the LA community

to advocate for our youth, and is presently

in the process of applying to get her master’s

degree in Social Work. Whether it be

in the school systems or through our local

shelters, she wants to be reaching out and

making a difference.

Maura on the coast of Maine

Maura loves making new friends

Kevin Morin, Joe Philippon, Sandy Marquis & Maura Moody



to all of the

40 Under 40




Auburn & Norway




Rilwan Osman

Executive Director, Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services

Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services

was built upon a shared vision to educate,

support and empower immigrant and

refugee youth in the LA area. The first step

that Rilwan, co-founder and executive director

of MIRS, and his colleagues took

was to establish monthly meetings for

local youth to discuss problems they were

facing and work together to generate positive


The monthly meetings

became so popular that

MIRS expanded its services

to include soccer

programs, academic

support, cultural programs

and tradition

counseling. Today, MIRS

not only serves immigrant

and refugee youth

in LA, but also offers a

myriad of services to

their parents. The Citizenship

Program, which

helps immigrant and

refugee parents study for

the literacy portion of

their naturalization

exams, boasts an impressive

success rate and has

become so popular that

people are traveling

from other parts of the

State to be a part of it.

Other services for parents


courses on job

searching, parenting

and advanced


writing and oral


As Executive Director,

Rilwan oversees all day-to-day

activities of the agency. He helps

facilitate English as a Second

Language courses, juvenile

justice programs, after school

programming, mental health

services, and more. He started MIRS as a

group of volunteers and has seen it

quickly grow into an agency that employs

over thirty people.

Born in Somalia and raised in a

refugee camp, Rilwan had never lived in a

big city when he and his family relocated

to Atlanta, Georgia. Not finding Atlanta to

be a great fit, Rilwan and his family moved

to LA after hearing from other family and

friends that it was a small and safe place

to live and raise children. His favorite

thing about the LA community is the availability

of a support system for those who

need it. Some of his favorite places to eat

include Dunkin’ Donuts and local Somali

restaurants. When he isn’t working, Rilwan

enjoys being with his family and volunteering

his time and money to help

others when he can. Looking to the future,

he plans to work toward more integration,

offering increased multicultural activities

to connect Maine citizens, old and new.

Rilwan’s children

Rilwan with his daughter, Qamar

Abdikadir, Jama, Rilwan & Fatuma



Congrats to all the

40 Under 40 Winners

You make Lewiston Auburn Proud!




to the






Maine Immigrant

& Refugee Services



Manager at Patrick

Dempsey Center for

Cancer Hope & Healing



Olin Arts Center


Bates College



Supportive Services for

Military Veterans

Veterans, Inc.

Dr. Ashlee

Vandiver, Au.D.


L/A Hearing Center



Political Director

Maine People’s Alliance



Owner & Director

Pettengill Academy




Praxis Production Studios



Pre-K Teacher

Walton Elementary




Music & Chorus Teacher

St. Dominic Academy

Dr. Rose

Sheline, DDS


Center Street Dental



Executive Director

Safe Voices



Student Navigator

Central Maine

Community College




Emmie Jones Photography



Maine State Senator

District 20



Executive Director

Trinity Jubilee Center




Platz & Associates



Program Director

Maine Immigrant &

Refugee Services



State Legislator

City of Lewiston



President & CEO

Community Credit Union



Director of Marketing

LA Metro Chamber



Police Officer

City of Lewiston




Root Cellar



Executive Director

Tree Street Youth Center



Creative Strategist

Rinck Advertising



Founder & CEO

Baxter Brewing Company




Norway Savings Bank




Founder & Operator

Hair Station Hair Salon



Business Development


Community Credit Union



Public Relations





Owner & Operator

Wicked Illustrations



Policy Director

for Senate President,

Michael Thibodeau



Economic Development


City of Lewiston



Maine State Senator

District 21




Benoit’s Bakery



Executive Director

Maine Immigrant &

Refugee Services



Sensei & Owner

Pelletier’s Karate



Massage Therapist

Renew You! Massage

& Yoga




Downtown Homemade

& Vintage



Creative Director

Community Little Theatre


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