40 Under 40 Awards Magazine 2016

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.



A glimpse of LA’s future through the actions of <strong>40</strong><br />

There can be no doubt that the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Area is home to numerous<br />

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

creating philanthropic endeavors, or being actively engaged in our communities today’s professionals<br />

are actively working for a brighter future.<br />

They lead organizations and businesses or are employees, customers and residents that flow<br />

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

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

economic activity, more jobs, increased population, better schools and infrastructure.<br />

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

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

to be a community of choice where there is place for all people and for businesses of all<br />

size and interest. The LA Metro area is building a<br />

bright future and we are currently on the cusp of<br />

realizing our full potential as a community.<br />

Now is the time to embrace our future as a<br />

larger community; embrace the opportunities that<br />

we are on the brink of and explore our future as a<br />

collective community that attracts visitors, investors<br />

and industry — together.<br />

MARS<br />



I am sure with the high quality of people<br />

highlighted within this magazine that we will<br />

achieve everything above and more.<br />

Congratulations to this year’s Uplift LA <strong>40</strong><br />

under <strong>40</strong> award winners! Continue to make us<br />

proud!<br />

Best,<br />

Matt J. Leonard<br />

President & CEO<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


19<br />


Lewiston Auburn is on the verge of<br />

greatness. With its many bright spots,<br />

people are taking notice.<br />

by Shanna Cox<br />

48<br />


Lewiston’s Trinity Jubilee Center<br />

makes a difference every day.<br />

by Erin Reed<br />

65<br />


Tree Street Youth leads by example<br />

for our area youth.<br />

by Julia Sleeper<br />

Read all about the <strong>2016</strong> Class of<br />

<strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> with 4 winners in each<br />

of 10 categories:<br />

BUILDING LA page 5<br />

CREATIVE GENIUS page 12<br />


EDUCATION page 28<br />

EMERGING LEADERS page 34<br />

ENTREPRENEURS page 43<br />

GOVERNMENT page 50<br />

HEALTH & WELLNESS page 55<br />

LOCAL HEROES page 61<br />

VOLUNTEERS page 67<br />

___________________________________<br />


First glimpse of Uplift LA’s Inaugural <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong>.<br />

This top notch, classy group of emerging leaders left to right:<br />

Sadie Landry, Joseph Philippon & Karley Eretzian<br />

Message from the Chair:<br />

Congratulations <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> Winners!<br />

Uplift LA is pleased to honor the <strong>40</strong> individuals from across diverse backgrounds<br />

as the <strong>2016</strong> recipients of Uplift LA’s <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong>! The rising professionals represented<br />

throughout this program highlight every aspect of our community that we know and<br />

love. They are individuals who give countless hours of volunteer time toward the continuous<br />

improvement of LA Maine, who are successful and unique entrepreneurs, and<br />

who have stepped into leadership roles both in their professional and personal lives. I<br />

personally would like to congratulate each and every one on the tremendous honor of<br />

representing LA Maine’s emerging professional group!<br />

The year <strong>2016</strong> has proven to be a very special year for Uplift LA! Over the past ten<br />

years, our organization has developed into the voice for local young professionals. From<br />

promoting career, social, and community development and strengthening the vibrant<br />

emerging professional community, to advocating for the strategic revitalization of the<br />

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

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

present you with the collaborative efforts of hundreds of individuals before us –<br />

thousands of hours of volunteered time among them – with the next generation of<br />

support for the rising professionals of Lewiston Auburn: Uplift LA.<br />

Uplift LA is the platform for rising professionals in our community. From monthly<br />

personal and professional development seminars to business networking opportunities,<br />

the forum for promoting the needs and careers of emerging professionals has been<br />

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

service and civic engagement challenge – designed to educate, motivate, and recruit<br />

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

has been the spark for many past participants to pursue civic responsibilities in both our<br />

local governments and public schools, to join boards of local non-profit organizations,<br />

and to becoming more involved with the rising<br />

professional movement by shaping the programming of<br />

Uplift LA. We look forward to a future of collaboration and<br />

great partnerships with the rising professionals and<br />

businesses throughout LA Maine!<br />

Best regards,<br />

Dr. Ashlee Vandiver<br />

Uplift LA Chair<br />

4 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

Mommy, daughter moment<br />

building LA<br />

Chantel Pettengill<br />

Owner & Director, Pettengill Academy<br />

It was her own struggle to find childcare<br />

that aligned with her philosophies<br />

about early childhood development that led<br />

Chantel to start her own early learning<br />

child care business in her home three years<br />

ago. Today, Chantel is the proud founder<br />

and owner of Pettengill Academy with her<br />

husband, Zachary. Chantel’s family has a<br />

long history of living and doing business in<br />

Lewiston, and opening Pettengill Academy<br />

was her way of carrying on the tradition.<br />

As a business owner, Chantel is responsible<br />

for daily operations, increasing enrollment,<br />

managing employees, and other administrative<br />

duties for the Academy. She loves<br />

her job because it allows her to interact with<br />

many different families, help children grow<br />

and learn, mentor her teachers and, most<br />

importantly, soak up the daily baby cuddles.<br />

Chantel’s favorite thing about LA is the<br />

sense of community. She loves living in<br />

Lewiston, with the local grocery store<br />

nearby and many things to do with her children;<br />

Chantel feels Lewiston is a safe and<br />

diverse place to raise her family. Some of<br />

her favorite places to<br />

eat in LA include Mac’s<br />

Grill, Gritty’s and<br />

DaVinci’s for family date<br />

nights and Fish Bones<br />

and Marche for date<br />

nights with her husband.<br />

Her favorite breakfast<br />

spots include Forage<br />

Market and Hurricane’s<br />

Café & Deli. During her<br />

free time, Chantel loves<br />

spending time with her<br />

family walking and<br />

snowshoeing on the numerous<br />

trails that LA has<br />

to offer and enjoying the<br />

festivals and art walks in<br />

Lewiston.<br />

Chantel is a member<br />

of the Joint City Charter<br />

Commission, an organization looking to<br />

combine LA in efforts to strengthen both<br />

cities. She also participates on the board of<br />

directors for the Maine Association of Educating<br />

Young Children. Apart from her<br />

board activities, Chantel does her best to<br />

give back through her business whenever<br />

possible. One of the biggest challenges<br />

Chantel sees facing LA is what she calls the<br />

“it always has been” attitude. She hopes to<br />

see changes in city ordinances to better attract<br />

and facilitate growth in business. Another<br />

important piece to the puzzle for<br />

Chantel is to get rid of negative attitudes in<br />

our community and encourage our youth to<br />

find their voice and get involved.<br />

In ten years, Chantel will be the parent<br />

of two teenagers. She and her husband<br />

hope to have established five or more locations<br />

for Pettengill Academy in both Maine<br />

and in other states. They also aspire to diversify<br />

their business and to continue creating<br />

and executing new development<br />

projects. Chantel plans to work together<br />

with her husband to make Lewiston more<br />

business friendly and to encourage growth<br />

for LA.<br />

Beautiful day for apple picking All dressed up<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


Judging<br />

Process<br />

<strong>2016</strong> AWARDS MAGAZINE<br />


MARS Special Event Marketing<br />


Jim Marston<br />

MARSmarketing<strong>2016</strong>@gmail.com<br />

An annual list of <strong>40</strong> people who have achieved success<br />

in their professional pursuit before turning <strong>40</strong>.<br />

Nearly 500 nominations were submitted for approximately<br />

180 individuals. Uplift LA received almost 5,000<br />

final votes for the <strong>40</strong> individuals represented as the<br />

Uplift LA <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> honorees.<br />

Who is eligible?<br />

Anyone living or working in the Lewiston Auburn<br />

Metropolitan area that is under the age of <strong>40</strong> as of<br />

May 13, <strong>2016</strong>; the publication date.<br />

Who are we looking for?<br />

Local business and professional leaders who have<br />

achieved success and excelled in their field before the<br />

age of <strong>40</strong>. We're looking for people who have demonstrated<br />

leadership, initiative and dedication in pursuing<br />

their careers, and who are likely to continue to achieve<br />

in the future.<br />

What are the nomination categories?<br />

Building LA, Creative Geniuses, Economic Development,<br />

Education, Emerging Leaders, Entrepreneurs,<br />

Government, Health & Wellness, Local Heroes, and<br />

Volunteers.<br />


Matt Leonard<br />

matt@LAMetroChamber.com<br />


Jim Marston<br />

Matt Leonard<br />

Tim Rucker<br />


Jim Marston<br />

Matt Leonard<br />


Melissa Donahue<br />

Ashlee Vandiver<br />

Erin Reed<br />

Julia Sleeper<br />

Matt Leonard<br />

Shanna Cox<br />


<strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> Winners, Emmie Jones Photography<br />

Beautiful LA, Daniel Marquis Photography<br />


Maureen Aube<br />

Anchour<br />

Penmor Lithographers<br />

How do I submit a nomination?<br />

We will open the nominations for Uplift LA <strong>40</strong> under<br />

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

uilding LA<br />

Erin Reed<br />

Executive Director, Trinity Jubilee Center<br />

Erin’s official title at the Trinity Jubilee<br />

Center is Executive Director and Food<br />

Pantry Coordinator, but if you ask her, she<br />

will tell you that everyone at the Center<br />

carries several job titles. She describes her<br />

daily work as a “whirlwind” of various<br />

different tasks, from handing out food to<br />

helping people with job applications, in<br />

addition to her administrative duties. Serving<br />

more than 1,000 people every week<br />

through its meals program, food pantry,<br />

day shelter, resource center, and refugee integration<br />

program, the Center is always<br />

busy.<br />

Erin began volunteering at the Jubilee<br />

Center when she was a teenager. In 2010,<br />

she found an opportunity to return to the<br />

Center working through AmeriCorps. At<br />

the end of her year with AmeriCorps, Erin<br />

was hired for her current position when<br />

another staff member retired. Her favorite<br />

part about her job is that it is always<br />

changing. One day she may be running<br />

food pantry distribution, the next she<br />

could be writing a grant, or helping someone<br />

apply for their green card. Erin also<br />

loves hearing from people who have gotten<br />

jobs or found places to live with the assistance<br />

of the Center, people she describes<br />

as “determined and grateful.”<br />

Growing up in a suburb just outside<br />

of Boston, Erin saw people move in, raise<br />

their children, and move out. There was<br />

no sense of a collective history or of<br />

community. Her favorite<br />

thing about LA is that it<br />

is a real community<br />

where many people<br />

come to, raise their families,<br />

and stay. She loves<br />

that people in LA have a<br />

sense of responsibility to<br />

their neighbors, like the<br />

Lewiston police officer<br />

who taught her how to<br />

shoot, her mechanic who<br />

volunteers to hang up<br />

posters for the Center<br />

fundraisers, or the<br />

friendly strangers who<br />

help unload her truck at<br />

the Center after hours.<br />

She is proud to have a<br />

job that is all about giving<br />

back to the wonderful<br />

community she lives<br />

in. Beyond her work at the Center, Erin<br />

serves on the board of directors for Community<br />

Concepts, another local organization<br />

that provides a myriad of services to<br />

our citizens who need it.<br />

One of the biggest challenges Erin sees<br />

facing LA is the need for more jobs.<br />

Through the Jubilee Center, Erin has<br />

helped more than two hundred people<br />

apply for work over the last six months. A<br />

lot of people were hired, she says, but<br />

many still need work. Many of the people<br />

who rely on the Center for their meals and<br />

other necessities would much rather be<br />

working and providing for themselves,<br />

and Erin wants to help them realize their<br />

goals. The Career Center and Adult Education<br />

programs have done a great job providing<br />

job training and the Center is seeing<br />

more manufacturing and agricultural<br />

jobs opening up. She has her fingers<br />

crossed that the job climate in LA will<br />

continue to improve.<br />

Erin hard at work t the Jubilee Center<br />

Jerry DerBoghosian poses with Erin<br />

Aba Abu, Jamila Jama, Kim Wettlaufer with Erin<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


uilding LA<br />

Gabrielle Russell<br />

Architect, Platz & Associates<br />

Gabrielle was encouraged by her parents<br />

to pursue architecture from a young<br />

age. Though it was a tough program, she<br />

persevered and earned her bachelor’s and<br />

master’s degrees in architecture from Tulane<br />

University. Before she went to work<br />

for Platz & Associates as<br />

an architect in 2014,<br />

Gabrielle was a founding<br />

member and President<br />

of the Board of Directors<br />

for Grow L+A, a local organization<br />

with a mission<br />

to promote a vibrant<br />

urban landscape and access<br />

to sustainable living<br />

resources throughout the<br />

LA area. Through Grow<br />

L+A the idea for the<br />

Bates Mill No. 5 project<br />

was born: studies were<br />

conducted and plans<br />

were made to utilize the<br />

space to create access to<br />

good, local food. As an<br />

architect for Platz & Associates,<br />

Gabrielle feels<br />

fortunate to be involved<br />

in the final execution of<br />

the project.<br />

Previous projects that<br />

Gabrielle was involved<br />

in through Grow L+A include<br />

the “Art Walk<br />

Window,” with Grow<br />

L+A sponsoring a space<br />

during the final Friday<br />

Art Walk each year<br />

where children can go to make art during<br />

the event. Grow L+A also contributed to<br />

the Downtown Auburn Transportation<br />

Center project as well as a project known<br />

as “Friends of Pettingill,” which worked to<br />

create a two acre park in the place of the<br />

old Pettingill School in Lewiston.<br />

Growing up in downtown Auburn,<br />

Gabrielle has always appreciated the people,<br />

the history, and the accessibility that<br />

LA has to offer. When she returned to<br />

Maine after college, she was happy to find<br />

a local internship that offered an opportunity<br />

to get involved in her community and<br />

to make a positive impact. In her spare<br />

time she enjoys many of LA’s excellent<br />

restaurants, with some favorites including<br />

Fuel, Rails, Marche, DaVinci’s, Guthrie’s,<br />

and many more. She likes to spend time<br />

with her family and friends and travels<br />

whenever she can. Gabrielle remains active<br />

with Grow L+A, --and is also involved<br />

with the YMCA and the Auburn Business<br />

Development Corporation. Other passions<br />

of hers include building preservation and<br />

urban space integration, animals, the arts,<br />

and healthy living. Currently, Gabrielle’s<br />

primary focus and interest lie with the<br />

Bates Mill No. 5 project.<br />

In the next ten years, Gabrielle plans<br />

to continue her efforts to preserve history<br />

and architecture in LA while still working<br />

to bring more activity and liveliness to the<br />

area. She hopes to see Bates Mill No. 5 become<br />

a regional destination and for the LA<br />

community as a whole to thrive. In order<br />

to achieve these goals, Gabrielle feels it is<br />

important for those working to better LA<br />

to improve communication and learn to<br />

collaborate more effectively to avoid the<br />

challenges of disconnect. Through her<br />

work at Platz & Associates, Grow L+A and<br />

other local organizations, Gabrielle will continue<br />

to be an integral part of building LA.<br />

Gabby’s family on vacation<br />

2001 Maine Cherry Blossom Princess<br />

Graduation day at Tulane University<br />

8 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

uilding LA<br />

Marc Gosselin<br />

Executive Director of Sport Tourism<br />

& Manager of the Norway Savings Bank Arena<br />

Marc’s career in sports business<br />

began with the Lewiston Maineiacs<br />

hockey team, where he worked for four<br />

seasons. After the Maineiacs, Marc<br />

moved on first to the Portland Pirates,<br />

and then for the Maine Red Claws, while<br />

also doing development work for Central<br />

Maine Community College. Two of<br />

his fondest memories<br />

from that time are planning<br />

and managing the<br />

2010 AHL All-Star<br />

Game and being a part<br />

of the Lewiston<br />

Maineiacs team that<br />

won the 2007 President’s<br />

Cup. Last summer,<br />

Marc was hired by<br />

the City of Auburn as<br />

General Manager of the<br />

Norway Savings Bank<br />

Arena and Executive<br />

Director of Sports<br />

Tourism for the City of<br />

Auburn. As general<br />

manager, Marc is in<br />

charge of the overall operation<br />

of the Arena. In<br />

his role as Executive Director<br />

of Sports<br />

Tourism, he assists the<br />

City of Auburn and surrounding<br />

areas with<br />

marketing and development<br />

efforts aimed at<br />

making LA a choice destination<br />

for recreational<br />

and sporting events.<br />

Born and raised in LA,<br />

Marc moved away for<br />

short periods in the past but always<br />

seemed to find his way back here. He is<br />

drawn to the LA community because of<br />

its people, who he feels truly value the<br />

opportunities that the area has to offer.<br />

In a smaller and more tight-knit community<br />

like LA, Marc appreciates the relative<br />

ease with which a positive impact<br />

can be made. He is blessed to have a job<br />

he loves and to live<br />

and work in the community where he<br />

grew up. When he is not working, Marc<br />

enjoys attending sporting events, playing<br />

golf and hockey, and visiting some of his<br />

favorite LA eateries which include<br />

Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, Wei-Li Restaurant,<br />

Gritty’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.<br />

Beyond the world of sports, Marc is<br />

passionate about helping children. He<br />

participates in the Camp Sunshine Annual<br />

Benefit Golf Tournament to support<br />

the Camp Sunshine mission of providing<br />

a retreat for children with life threatening<br />

illnesses and their families. When time allows,<br />

he volunteers at various local functions<br />

and events and enjoys offering his<br />

professional skills to friends and colleagues<br />

in a combined effort to make positive<br />

impacts on the LA community.<br />

According to Marc, one of the greatest<br />

challenges facing LA today is the need<br />

for community revitalization. He would<br />

like to see a wider range of revitalization<br />

initiatives, including more programs,<br />

events and functions designed to promote<br />

economic development and improve<br />

the physical, social and service<br />

environments in Lewiston and Auburn.<br />

Marc plans to utilize his position as Executive<br />

Director of Sports Tourism to attract<br />

more business and prosperity to LA.<br />

Overlooking one of the two rinks at the arena<br />

Marc interviews Sébastien Piché<br />

On ice at the Winter Classic<br />

10 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

creative genius<br />

Colby Michaud<br />

Owner, Praxis Production Studios<br />

Colby co-founded Praxis Production<br />

Studios in 2010 with then-partner, Chad<br />

Sylvester. The original vision for the company<br />

was to start a real estate reality TV<br />

series, however, the two partners soon realized<br />

that they could use their love of<br />

video production to promote the many<br />

different opportunities and services the<br />

LA community has to offer. Last year,<br />

Colby assumed full ownership of Praxis<br />

and Chad moved on to pursue a new business<br />

endeavor. Today, the Studio “exists<br />

to help companies promote themselves by<br />

giving life to their stories and brands<br />

through high quality corporate and promotional<br />

videos.” Beyond the pride and<br />

joy he takes in running his own company,<br />

Colby enjoys the meaningful relationships<br />

his work has enabled him to forge as well<br />

as the satisfaction of his clients when he<br />

delivers a video that successfully captures<br />

the stories and emotions that bring their<br />

own companies to life.<br />

Born at Loring Air Force Base in<br />

Northern Maine, Colby spent much of his<br />

childhood living in different places. His<br />

family’s lifestyle exposed him to various<br />

new cultural experiences as well as a few<br />

“once in a lifetime” opportunities. After<br />

his father retired from the Air Force, the<br />

family resettled in Maine to be near other<br />

relatives. As an adult, Colby chose to stay<br />

in Maine because of its<br />

people, its beautiful<br />

scenery and its diverse<br />

recreational opportunities.<br />

His favorite thing<br />

about the LA community<br />

is its tremendous sense<br />

of community. Like the<br />

two bridges that connect<br />

our cities, Colby finds<br />

that a collective sense of<br />

pride and ownership<br />

bring the people of<br />

Lewiston and Auburn<br />

together. As a local business<br />

owner, a strong<br />

community is key in his<br />

efforts to build deep and<br />

meaningful relationships<br />

and to make positive impacts<br />

that go beyond the<br />

clients he serves directly.<br />

In his free time, Colby enjoys writing,<br />

watching movies and composing music.<br />

He loves outdoor activities, and can be<br />

found skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating<br />

in the wintertime or visiting one of<br />

Maine’s many beautiful state parks when<br />

the weather is warm. Some of his local<br />

restaurants of choice include DaVinci’s,<br />

Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli and Jasmine Café.<br />

Colby has always maintained an interest<br />

in culture and the arts and is particularly<br />

passionate about The Public Theatre in<br />

Lewiston, an organization which he feels<br />

brings truly outstanding art to our community.<br />

He proudly serves on the board of<br />

directors for the Theatre and supports its<br />

mission through marketing and aiming to<br />

bridge the gap between young professionals<br />

and professional theater here in LA.<br />

He is also involved with the LA community<br />

through the Young Professionals of<br />

Lewiston Auburn (YPLAA) and the LA<br />

Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.<br />

In the future, Colby sees himself creating<br />

jobs and job security for the people<br />

of LA, promoting great local businesses<br />

and strengthening our artistic community<br />

through professional and creative video<br />

production.<br />

Genevieve Hering & Colby Michaud<br />

The Michauds: Colby, Debra, Britni & Ray<br />

Dogs: Pippin, Katie, Jack<br />

Colby, with his sister, in front of Air Force 1<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


creative genius<br />

Karly Eretzian<br />

Creative Strategist, Rinck Advertising<br />

As Vice President of Creative Services<br />

for Rinck Advertising in Auburn, Karly is<br />

responsible for “all things creative” at the<br />

agency. She collaborates with her amazing<br />

team to conceptualize methods for effectively<br />

communicating brand messages for<br />

their clients. Her work requires exploration<br />

of the optimal ways to engage with a<br />

brand’s audience as well as how to best inspire,<br />

entice and intrigue them. Karly believes<br />

the most important part of her job is<br />

figuring out new ways to make people<br />

think. She is excited to be part of a business<br />

that is “moving, shaking, growing and<br />

making things happen.”<br />

Prior to joining Rinck Advertising in<br />

2003, Karly majored in advertising design<br />

at the Syracuse University College of Visual<br />

and Performing Arts. With access to professors<br />

working full-time in the industry as<br />

owners, creative directors, and the like, she<br />

credits her time at Syracuse with teaching<br />

her how to truly think. She stresses the importance<br />

of not only learning how to design<br />

and create art, but also cultivating a strong<br />

focus on strategy in messaging, communication<br />

effectiveness and audience perceptions.<br />

Karly’s vision is to use her work to<br />

reach people in Maine and beyond.<br />

Among Karly’s favorite aspects of LA<br />

are its strong sense of community and the<br />

opportunity living here affords to strike a<br />

balance between work, family, health and<br />

fun. She is motivated by the respect, loyalty,<br />

compassion, commitment,<br />

and drive of local citizens<br />

and businesses alike.<br />

With its close proximity<br />

to many of Maine’s beautiful<br />

mountains and<br />

beaches, and to the City<br />

of Portland, living in LA<br />

provides Karly with access<br />

to all the things she<br />

loves. One of her favorite<br />

LA restaurants is Fish<br />

Bones, where she wrote<br />

her vows and did the majority<br />

of her wedding<br />

planning. Other top spots<br />

include local familyfriendly<br />

restaurants like<br />

Pat’s Pizza, Gipper’s<br />

Sports Grill and Mac’s<br />

Grill, who always welcome<br />

her, her husband<br />

and their boisterous two-year-old daughter<br />

with a smile.<br />

Though most of her free time nowadays<br />

is spent running around after her<br />

daughter, Stella, Karly loves to go skiing<br />

whenever she can. She participated in a<br />

weekly ski racing league at Lost Valley this<br />

season and hopes to return to the mountains<br />

next winter. In the summertime, Karly<br />

and her family enjoy camping, canoeing,<br />

hiking, and simply hanging out by the<br />

water. Local causes she is passionate about<br />

include the Maine Cancer Foundation and<br />

the Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer<br />

Hope and Healing, Museum LA, The Public<br />

Theatre, Auburn Firefighters Local 797 and<br />

the Androscoggin Humane Society. She has<br />

served on the boards of directors for various<br />

LA nonprofits and played a role in the<br />

creation of Young Professionals of Lewiston<br />

Auburn (YPLAA).<br />

In the future, Karly plans to continue<br />

living and working here in LA and hopes to<br />

make a greater impact on the community.<br />

Her main career goal is to “put LA on the<br />

map” by showing the world that it is a creative<br />

place filled with energy and talent.<br />

Creative Team at Rinck<br />

Karly, with her family: Hubby, Calvin Hunter;<br />

daughter, Stella; and dog, Angus<br />

Stella & Karly painting the town blue<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


16 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

creative genius<br />

Melanie Therrien<br />

Owner, Wicked Illustrations<br />

As owner and operator of Wicked Illustrations<br />

Studio & Gallery in Lewiston,<br />

Melanie consistently finds herself doing<br />

something different. She creates lesson plans<br />

for art classes and paintings for art parties,<br />

works on commissions and illustrations for<br />

clients, represents various featured artists in<br />

her gallery and plans events like local art<br />

and sewing camps. In her managerial role,<br />

she maintains an inventory of art supplies<br />

and works on marketing, advertising and accounting<br />

for the business. Apart from getting<br />

to do what she loves each day, Melanie’s favorite<br />

thing about her career is the opportunity<br />

it provides to share her passion for art<br />

with others and to use that passion to make<br />

a positive impact on the LA community.<br />

Melanie’s career in the arts began when<br />

she acquired an interest in creating murals at<br />

the age of fifteen. Wicked Illustrations was<br />

born in 2007 when she began illustrating the<br />

award-winning children’s book series<br />

known as “ElsBeth Adventures,” and grew<br />

into the studio and art gallery it is today beginning<br />

in 2010. Melanie continues to illustrate<br />

for the “ElsBeth” series, among others,<br />

and takes commissions for her<br />

murals and other projects.<br />

To date, her portfolio<br />

boasts over one hundred<br />

paintings. Some of her<br />

main influences are Frida<br />

Kahlo and Dahlov Ipcar,<br />

as well as the Surrealist<br />

and Art Nouveau Movements.<br />

First LA Art Walk in Wicked's new location on<br />

Canal St. in Lewiston<br />

Born and raised in<br />

Lewiston, the history and<br />

sense of community in LA<br />

are among the top reasons<br />

Melanie and her husband<br />

decided to build a life<br />

here. She loves her neighbors,<br />

and presently resides<br />

in the very same<br />

neighborhood where she and her husband<br />

grew up. Some of her favorite local places to<br />

eat include Mac’s Grill, Fish Bones, Simones’<br />

Hot Dog Stand, and Orchid. In her free time,<br />

Melanie enjoys painting and reading for fun,<br />

hanging out with her husband, family and<br />

friends, and snuggling with her pets. In the<br />

summertime, she loves sitting<br />

by the fire outdoors and<br />

playing in her garden.<br />

Melanie is passionate about<br />

using her interest in the arts<br />

to help local causes, donating<br />

paintings, gift certificates,<br />

time and money<br />

whenever she can. She is<br />

also involved with LA<br />

Arts, an organization<br />

dedicated to “engaging<br />

and inspiring a vibrant community through<br />

arts and culture,” as well as the Union of<br />

Maine Visual Artists.<br />

Melanie is very happy and appreciative<br />

to be where she is today. Looking ahead, she<br />

plans to continue serving her community<br />

through her love of art and helping to make<br />

a difference for years to come.<br />

Glenn & Melanie, on their wedding day,<br />

May 19, 2002<br />

“Last Supper” – our last day at Captive Elements Art House<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


creative genius<br />

Vincent Ratsovong<br />

Artistic Director, Community Little Theatre<br />

As artistic director for Community<br />

Little Theatre in Auburn, Vincent works<br />

closely with other theater leaders to create<br />

a “main stage season” with three musicals<br />

and two plays, as well as<br />

fundraising events and a one-act play festival<br />

submission. Once the upcoming season<br />

has been established, he plays a<br />

supportive role to<br />

his fellow directors in their<br />

production efforts. He acts<br />

as a sounding board, resource,<br />

and liaison. Being<br />

part of the artistic team involves<br />

working with the<br />

Director’s Apprentice Program,<br />

a training opportunity<br />

for local citizens who<br />

are interested in theater<br />

leadership roles. Vincent<br />

also directs the Summer<br />

Youth Theatre Project and<br />

Teen Musical Theater<br />

Showcase, serving young<br />

artists throughout the State<br />

of Maine. Some of the high<br />

points of his career have<br />

been performing for famous<br />

composer, Alan<br />

Menken, performing at the<br />

Kennedy Center, and winning<br />

first place at the<br />

Boston NATS Song Festival.<br />

He is also proud to be<br />

a two-time Irene Ryan<br />

nominee and semi-finalist.<br />

Vincent began his artistic<br />

journey as a ballet dancer,<br />

spending a few years with<br />

The Maine State Ballet as<br />

well as the Portland Ballet.<br />

After graduating from the<br />

University of the Arts in Philadelphia as<br />

a dance major, he went on to dance with<br />

The Philadelphia Ballet. When it came<br />

time to launch his career in musical theater,<br />

it made sense for him to return to<br />

Community Little Theatre and give back<br />

to the place that ignited his passion as a<br />

child. He loves the sense of community in<br />

LA, and feels humbled watching local citizens<br />

from all walks of life work together<br />

to create art they can be proud of. Much<br />

like our community itself, the success of<br />

the Theatre is driven by the investments<br />

of each of its members.<br />

A traveler in his free time, Vincent<br />

feels that so much of his work is based on<br />

studying people and their behaviors.<br />

Exploring different places around the<br />

world enables him to do just that. Locally,<br />

he may be found enjoying a meal at his<br />

favorite LA eateries including Fuel, Fish<br />

Bones, Sea<strong>40</strong> and Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli.<br />

Beyond his work with the Theatre, Vincent<br />

gives back to LA by volunteering as<br />

much of his time as possible with local<br />

organizations. He views any time devoted<br />

to community outreach and volunteerism<br />

as time well spent. Some of the causes he<br />

is most passionate about include the Make<br />

a Wish Foundation, the Children’s Miracle<br />

Network and the AIDS Foundation.<br />

Looking to the future, Vincent hopes<br />

to be directing a major equity company<br />

and ensuring that the local artistic community<br />

continues to flourish for future<br />

generations.<br />

Professional Actor's Headshot<br />

Vincent with Derrick Lacasse at Epcot Disney<br />

Caldwell B. Cladwell in Urinetown for The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival<br />

18 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

CHANGE<br />


by Shanna Cox<br />

shanna@gotippingpoint.com<br />

Shanna Cox is the founder of Project<br />

Tipping Point, whose mission is to create,<br />

connect and engage a robust community<br />

network for positive change within Lewiston<br />

Auburn. She chose to buy a house, live in<br />

and raise her three boys in Lewiston, because<br />

she believes in the possibilities of our communities'<br />

future.<br />

W<br />

e don’t need cheer<br />

leaders, we need change<br />

leaders. Lewiston Auburn<br />

is on the edge of something great. After<br />

years of decline from its manufacturing<br />

heyday, one can see the bright spots<br />

breaking through. It can be seen in the<br />

new shops and restaurants, the self-organization<br />

of entrepreneurs and artisans<br />

to promote our downtowns, the<br />

return of the real estate market, and the<br />

young leaders stepping up to helm organizations<br />

and businesses.<br />

This change is being ushered in by a<br />

new group of leaders. These young<br />

professionals simultaneously embrace<br />

the rich heritage and history of their<br />

communities, and rebel against the<br />

often touted reasoning of “because that<br />

is the way we always have done it”.<br />

While these leaders might be some of<br />

the people cheering mostly loudly for<br />

Lewiston and Auburn’s renaissance,<br />

they aren’t the cheerleaders. They<br />

know that standing on the sidelines<br />

and talking about the future and touting<br />

our growth metrics isn’t enough.<br />

These people are change leaders, they<br />

know that to really grab ahold of a<br />

bright future, we must act.<br />

For every one<br />

of our leaders<br />

getting recognized,<br />

there are<br />

another two<br />

working silently,<br />

all of whom are<br />

pushing Lewiston<br />

Auburn<br />

towards a new<br />

future. And they<br />

all have something<br />

in common<br />

they challenge<br />

the status quo.<br />

Instinctively,<br />

they know something about our current<br />

state is a barrier to the future. They can<br />

see and feel where change in our communities<br />

is occurring faster than the<br />

structures, policies and governance<br />

will support. They know things aren’t<br />

working the way they are, and without<br />

pause, they take action.<br />

They are stepping into their leadership<br />

potential.<br />

Each of these leaders have different<br />

approaches. When you talk to them,<br />

they might focus on different aspects of<br />

our future. Some will speak of the importance<br />

of education, while others<br />

will talk of the need to increase the<br />

number of employers and jobs. Some<br />

will talk about the need to change our<br />

physical environment- improving<br />

cityscapes and welcoming new demographics<br />

who live, work and play<br />

downtown. Still others will talk about<br />

the need to expand transportation offerings<br />

and connect to other employment<br />

centers, capturing the opportunity of<br />

Portland’s fast growth rate and restricted<br />

real estate market.<br />

All of these approaches challenge the<br />

status quo, require change, and embrace<br />

new ways of thinking about old<br />

problems. While some of these methods<br />

compete with each other, we know<br />

that competition spurs innovation. Innovation<br />

is needed to overcome our<br />

collective community challenges.<br />

Within our differences, there is a commonality.<br />

Each leader is working towards<br />

a universal vision with a<br />

singular belief- Lewiston and Auburn’s<br />

promising future is within our reach.<br />

We need these change leaders to forge<br />

ahead on their march to a brighter future.<br />

More importantly, they need us to<br />

get off the sidelines, and join them in<br />

the pursuit. Lewiston Auburn needs<br />

change leaders, not cheer leaders.<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


Proud to be part of the<br />

Lewiston Auburn<br />


economic development<br />

Emmie Jones<br />

Owner, Emmie Jones Photography<br />

Emmie Jones’ professional journey<br />

did not begin with photography. As a<br />

first semester nursing student, she<br />

quickly realized that her true passion was<br />

to someday own her own business. A native<br />

of Greene, Emmie decided to move<br />

out of state after she finished her schooling.<br />

It didn’t take long for Emmie to<br />

grow homesick, as she missed her family<br />

and friends and decided the LA community<br />

was the only place where she could<br />

imagine raising a family of her own.<br />

Shortly after her children were born,<br />

Emmie found herself spending more and<br />

more time behind the camera. In 2010,<br />

she opened her first photography studio<br />

in Lewiston, Maine.<br />

Running her own photography studio<br />

requires Emmie to be versatile and to possess<br />

a varied set of skills. Like many sole<br />

proprietors, Emmie is not only a photographer<br />

but is also charged with marketing,<br />

community outreach and public<br />

relations, bookkeeping and administrative<br />

work, as well as staying up-to-date<br />

with the wonderful and constantly evolving<br />

world of digital photography.<br />

Outside the studio, Emmie spends a<br />

large portion of her “free time” with her<br />

family. Emmie and her husband, Shawn,<br />

can often be found with their children<br />

enjoying many of the<br />

numerous free community<br />

activities and festivals<br />

that LA has to offer.<br />

Emmie and her family<br />

love that every season<br />

in LA offers new things<br />

to do both indoors and<br />

outdoors. They enjoy<br />

skiing in the winter and<br />

hiking, biking and<br />

swimming in the summer.<br />

Some of Emmie’s<br />

favorite local places to<br />

eat include Forage Market,<br />

Fuel, Rails, and<br />

Margaritas, her “ultimate<br />

guilty pleasure.”<br />

Emmie’s passion<br />

for photography introduced<br />

her to the idea of giving back to her<br />

community by supporting homeless and<br />

at-risk students in their efforts to stay in<br />

school. Through the Lewiston STEP Program,<br />

Emmie takes senior pictures for<br />

students who are on track to graduate but<br />

cannot afford professional photos on their<br />

own. She is also involved with a national<br />

nonprofit called “Now I lay Me Down to<br />

Sleep,” taking bereavement photographs<br />

for families facing the loss of an infant<br />

child. Emmie feels it is important for her<br />

to give back to those in her community<br />

and beyond to give thanks for the<br />

blessings in her life.<br />

In the future, Emmie hopes to still be<br />

doing photography and aspires to launch<br />

her own photo project designed to boost<br />

self-esteem in children. Emmie would<br />

like to see continued efforts to improve<br />

the image of our community and plans to<br />

pitch in however she can. She supports<br />

LA by not only running a thriving local<br />

business, but also by investing in its future<br />

helping local high school seniors<br />

succeed.<br />

Emmie’s children, Mason & Kendra<br />

Shawn & Emmie Jones in Aruba<br />

On a family vacation in Aruba<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


economic development<br />

Jenny Ziebart<br />

Director of Marketing & Communications,<br />

LA Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce<br />

Jenny Ziebart, a familiar<br />

and friendly face to<br />

many in the LA community,<br />

began her career at<br />

the LA Metropolitan<br />

Chamber of Commerce as<br />

an intern in 2003. She was<br />

just half a dozen credits<br />

away from earning her<br />

degree in Public Administration<br />

when she was offered<br />

a full-time, paid<br />

position with the chamber.<br />

For Jenny, there was<br />

no question that she had<br />

found the right fit.<br />

Today, as Director of Marketing<br />

and Communications,<br />

Jenny generates<br />

press releases, plans and<br />

executes social media<br />

strategies, manages advertising<br />

and email marketing,<br />

and more, all in<br />

the interest of promoting<br />

the chamber and connecting<br />

its members to the<br />

valuable resources and<br />

opportunities they need.<br />

She also assists local efforts<br />

to coordinate job<br />

fairs and facilitate scholarships<br />

for high school students<br />

and adults alike.<br />

Jenny attributes much of<br />

her success with the chamber to her coworkers<br />

and peers, whom she admires for their<br />

motivation and strong work ethic.<br />

Jenny’s efforts to improve the LA community<br />

are heavily supported by its citizens,<br />

whom she refers to as “wonderful<br />

people devoted to making the LA Metro<br />

area a great place.” Her own devotion to<br />

LA extends beyond office hours, as Jenny<br />

and her family patronize the many local<br />

restaurants and businesses that are members<br />

of the chamber. When she isn’t<br />

working, Jenny loves spending time outdoors.<br />

Some of her favorite outdoor activities<br />

include hiking, swimming, skiing and<br />

snowshoeing. As a parent, her primary personal<br />

goal is “to raise two well-adjusted future<br />

adults.” She particularly enjoys<br />

volunteering at her daughter’s school whenever<br />

she can.<br />

Jenny’s daughter has Alopecia, an autoimmune<br />

disorder that leads to extensive hair<br />

loss. Accordingly, Jenny finds herself most<br />

passionate about a nonprofit organization<br />

known as the Children’s Alopecia Project,<br />

which she says has been a huge help to her<br />

family. With no cure for Alopecia to date, the<br />

organization focuses on supporting children<br />

and their families with building confidence.<br />

For Jenny and her family, the Children’s<br />

Alopecia Project has been “a lifesaver.”<br />

Our community has Jenny to thank for<br />

the well-known local institution known as<br />

“Young Professionals of the Lewiston<br />

Auburn Area,” better known as “YPLAA.”<br />

As its founder and first member, Jenny laid<br />

the groundwork for an organization dedicated<br />

to supporting LA’s young professionals.<br />

Today, YPLAA is responsible for<br />

numerous networking events, education opportunities,<br />

and activities designed to better<br />

connect our young professionals to their<br />

community. Jenny’s efforts through YPLAA<br />

are an invaluable asset to our economic development,<br />

particularly at a time when the<br />

LA area is striving to attract and retain young<br />

professionals.<br />

Looking to the future, Jenny sees herself continuing<br />

her efforts to improve upon the greatness<br />

of the LA area. As many members of our<br />

community are aware, local citizens and business<br />

owners alike are working to improve<br />

upon the perception of Lewiston Auburn.<br />

Jenny believes the first step is to change our<br />

negative perceptions from within and show<br />

the world outside LA what a wonderful place<br />

it is to live, work and play.<br />

Nick, Mya, Jenny & Conner Ziebart<br />

at “Alopeciapalooza” an annual event put<br />

on by the Children’s Alopecia Project,<br />

in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina.<br />

22 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />

Alison Robenstine (sister), Jenny & Nick Ziebart, Vicky & Kevin<br />

Moulton (parents)<br />

Mya & Griffin Ziebart at the lake


to our own<br />

Jenny<br />

Ziebart<br />

One of LA’s<br />

<strong>40</strong><br />

UNDER<br />



Two of Our Emerging Leaders<br />

Misty Parker<br />

Economic Development<br />

Joe Philippon<br />

Local Hero<br />

For Being Recognized as one of the <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong><br />

&<br />

For Being a Positive Force in LA<br />

The Next Generation is Coming On!

economic development<br />

Misty Parker<br />

Economic Development Specialist, City of Lewiston<br />

As the Economic Development Specialist<br />

for the City of Lewiston, Misty<br />

works to attract new businesses to the LA<br />

area and to assist existing businesses with<br />

their efforts to grow and improve. She<br />

helps local developers and businesses to<br />

bring their projects to fruition, often employing<br />

her problem solving skills to navigate<br />

through the regulatory and<br />

permitting processes. Her particular areas<br />

of focus presently include the revitalization<br />

of downtown Lewiston, development<br />

of the riverfront island area and general<br />

workforce development in LA.<br />

Misty recognized from a young age<br />

that she had a passion for helping to build<br />

and sustain strong communities. Over<br />

time she learned she could do so in many<br />

ways, whether by strengthening a community’s<br />

tax base, assisting local start-up<br />

businesses and entrepreneurs, or simply<br />

by helping those who want to contribute<br />

find their voices. She attributes her success<br />

in these efforts in part to her graduate<br />

work, which focused on community development,<br />

civic engagement and land use<br />

planning. Misty was drawn to the LA community<br />

in particular because of its potential<br />

for growth and the desire of its people<br />

to realize that potential. She felt that LA<br />

was “a community that wanted to grow<br />

and a place that would value her skill set,”<br />

and happily acknowledges that she made<br />

the right choice.<br />

Misty believes that<br />

the greatest thing about<br />

LA is its people. “Our<br />

tight-knit community<br />

makes LA a place where<br />

people can live, work,<br />

and achieve their goals<br />

with the support of their<br />

fellow citizens.” Having<br />

previously spent some<br />

time working in Midcoast<br />

Maine, Misty appreciates<br />

that this type of<br />

community support for<br />

the individual is unique.<br />

As she puts it, “It doesn’t<br />

matter the cause, if you<br />

need help, this community<br />

has your back.”<br />

Apart from the people, Misty is passionate<br />

about supporting the numerous local<br />

restaurants that LA has to offer, with some<br />

of her favorites including Marche, Orchid,<br />

and Rails in Lewiston and 84 Court and<br />

Gritty’s in Auburn. When she isn’t out and<br />

about in LA enjoying the local cuisine,<br />

Misty can be found at home working in<br />

the garden or tending to one of many<br />

farming projects with her husband. She<br />

is passionate about food security and<br />

the restoration of local fisheries, and<br />

feels that any healthy community<br />

needs access to healthy food and<br />

ecosystems.<br />

Looking forward, Misty envisions<br />

herself continuing her work<br />

with the City of Lewiston.<br />

To Misty, the primary obstacle to future<br />

progress and prosperity in LA is a lack<br />

of consensus as to how we might achieve<br />

these goals. Through open dialogue and<br />

collaboration, Misty believes we can work<br />

together to build a strong economy and<br />

make LA a desirable place for all to thrive.<br />

Their wedding day<br />

In Quebec<br />

Molnlycke Groundbreaking Ceremony<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


Sheri with her husband, Stanley Hollenbeck<br />

economic development<br />

Sheri Withers<br />

Owner, Downtown Homemade & Vintage<br />

Sheri and her family returned to LA<br />

after being away for a number of years.<br />

She presently resides on Lisbon Street in<br />

Lewiston, which is also the newest location<br />

of her business, Downtown Homemade<br />

& Vintage. Sheri describes her<br />

work as “creating concepts for tee shirts<br />

for a city that she loves.”<br />

She considers herself<br />

lucky to be able to create,<br />

sew and draw for<br />

her business while also<br />

spending time at home<br />

with her children. In addition<br />

to her design<br />

work, Sheri spends her<br />

time planning social<br />

events around town that<br />

allow LA citizens to<br />

practice arts and crafts<br />

and display their work<br />

in local venues.<br />

On “Shop Local Saturday”<br />

in 2012, Sheri<br />

and a friend hosted an<br />

indie craft fair at Callahan<br />

Hall in the Lewiston<br />

Public Library. The<br />

enthusiasm and positive<br />

feedback she received<br />

from the event soon motivated<br />

her to open<br />

Downtown Homemade<br />

& Vintage. DH&V<br />

started as a place for<br />

local artists to sell and<br />

promote their work.<br />

The following year,<br />

Sheri launched her first<br />

line of “I Love Lewiston”<br />

screen printed tee shirts, with the<br />

initial concept designed to support the<br />

victims of the Bartlett Street fires. Sheri<br />

contributed a portion of her tee shirt sales<br />

to the YWCA. Following that project,<br />

Sheri began creating numerous new designs<br />

for wholesale to local businesses.<br />

Presently, DH&V boasts seven different<br />

tee shirt lines and is developing a concept<br />

for children’s shirts. Last fall, Sheri<br />

founded “The Hive-Artisan Collective.”<br />

She describes The Hive as “a safe space<br />

[for area artists] to create and promote<br />

their art in a positive environment.”<br />

Sheri’s favorite thing about LA is its<br />

strong sense of community. She is inspired<br />

by the citizens of LA and their investment<br />

in the economic and social<br />

growth of the area. Being part of a community<br />

where the people are passionate<br />

about local creations is key to Sheri’s success.<br />

When she is not at work, Sheri can<br />

be found enjoying the perks of living in<br />

downtown Lewiston. She and her family<br />

and friends often engage in “drink and<br />

appetizer hops,” traveling from one local<br />

restaurant to another to sample all the<br />

different types of food and drink. Other<br />

times, they will get takeout and head to<br />

the tap room at Baxter Brewing Company<br />

where Sheri’s husband works.<br />

To give back to her community, Sheri<br />

participates in the Union of Maine Visual<br />

Artists, LA Chapter. The organization,<br />

much like Sheri herself, works to create<br />

opportunities for the promotion of local<br />

art. She is currently working with members<br />

of Lewiston’s City Council to establish<br />

the first “creative crosswalk,” a<br />

project which she hopes will ensure public<br />

safety and boost our local economy.<br />

Sheri hopes her efforts to support the arts<br />

in LA will entice more of our youth to<br />

stay in the area when it comes time to<br />

start their own careers.<br />

Sheri with her mom, Bonita Kenny<br />

With their children, Issaic & Azilee<br />

26 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

education<br />

Deanna Etienne<br />

As a Pre-Kindergarten teacher for<br />

Walton Elementary School in Auburn,<br />

Deanna is dedicated to making a difference<br />

in the lives of her students. Learning<br />

through play, her classroom is a place for<br />

young children to grow academically,<br />

socially and emotionally.<br />

She originally came to<br />

Lewiston in 2007 to<br />

teach at Farwell Elementary<br />

School and has been<br />

living in LA ever since.<br />

Pre-K Teacher, Walton Elementary School, Auburn<br />

Deanna always<br />

wanted to be a teacher.<br />

She focused her studies<br />

on Early Childhood Education<br />

while in college<br />

and took a job at a private<br />

preschool after<br />

graduation. Some of<br />

Deanna’s favorite aspects<br />

of teaching include<br />

playing an instrumental<br />

role in the growth and<br />

development of her students<br />

and working with<br />

the diverse families in<br />

LA who have helped<br />

her improve both as<br />

an educator and as an<br />

individual. In addition<br />

to the students<br />

and their families,<br />

Deanna feels fortunate<br />

to be surrounded<br />

by a group<br />

of talented, dedicated,<br />

and loving<br />

colleagues. She is<br />

honored to be part of<br />

the work all the wonderful teachers of<br />

LA do each day to make a positive difference<br />

in the lives of their students.<br />

Living in LA allows Deanna to<br />

be close to all the people and things<br />

that she loves. She is never too far<br />

away from her family in Scarborough,<br />

or the numerous beaches and<br />

snowy mountains of Maine. One of her favorite<br />

things about the area is that it provides<br />

a “big city” atmosphere with a<br />

tight-knit community feel. Some of her<br />

preferred places to eat in LA include<br />

Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli and Jasmine Café.<br />

She loves to stay active and spends much<br />

of her free time working out at WolfPack<br />

Fitness in Auburn. At home, Deanna enjoys<br />

quality time playing and laughing<br />

with her husband and their son. When the<br />

weather allows, she likes to spend time<br />

near the ocean or going for long walks on<br />

Spring Road in Auburn.<br />

Looking to the future, Deanna<br />

envisions herself continuing her career in<br />

early childhood education. She plans to<br />

use her passion in the classroom to make<br />

the most positive impact she can on the<br />

LA community.<br />

Deanna and her husband<br />

Deanna’s Classroom<br />

Deanna’s baby boy<br />

28 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

education<br />

Alexandra Hood<br />

Olin Arts Center Operations Supervisor, Bates College<br />

While working toward her undergraduate<br />

degree, Alexandra knew that she<br />

wanted to be part of the fields of art and<br />

higher education. When she was offered a<br />

job as operations supervisor for the Olin<br />

Arts Center at Bates College, she saw it as<br />

the perfect opportunity to be involved<br />

with an esteemed liberal arts college, surround<br />

herself with creative students, and<br />

take a leadership role in the arts. She manages<br />

staff, security and communications<br />

for the Center and plays a key role in the<br />

development and support of Center programs<br />

and procedures in collaboration<br />

with the Departments of Art and Visual<br />

Culture and Music, as well as the Bates<br />

College Museum. Alexandra loves to see<br />

passionate students working to further<br />

their own art careers each and every day.<br />

A Lewiston native, Alexandra returned<br />

to LA after attending college in<br />

New York. She wanted to give back to her<br />

home community by helping it grow and<br />

encouraging its youth to do the same. Her<br />

favorite thing about the LA community is<br />

the strength, perseverance and diversity of<br />

its people. She feels honored to be part of<br />

a group of strong individuals who work<br />

hard to make LA a better place, and to witness<br />

the growth that results from their efforts.<br />

In particular, Alexandra is passionate<br />

about developing the LA art scene, which<br />

she says has “a passionate spark that you<br />

can’t find just anywhere.” She utilizes her<br />

interests to give back to<br />

her community by assisting<br />

the Gypsy Lew Theater<br />

with graphic design<br />

projects, supporting the<br />

Union of Maine Visual<br />

Artists, Lewiston Auburn<br />

Chapter, displaying art<br />

and acting as a live artist<br />

for LA Art Walks in the<br />

summer, and offering<br />

private art lessons to local<br />

adults of all ages.<br />

Alexandra is a big<br />

fan of Mother India,<br />

where the food is delicious,<br />

the service is beyond<br />

exceptional and<br />

the proprietor is a local<br />

family that is passionate<br />

about both the food and the customers.<br />

Other local favorites include Forage Market,<br />

Marché and Wei-Li. She spends most<br />

of her free time creating new works of art,<br />

with a focus on realistic oil paintings and<br />

graphite portraits, as well as exploring the<br />

subjects of lust, human connection, emotional<br />

transparency, and expressions of<br />

power and love.<br />

In the next ten years, Alexandra hopes<br />

to be teaching art professionally, either by<br />

expanding her private lesson offerings or<br />

as a professor in higher education. She believes<br />

that one of the biggest<br />

challenges facing LA today is<br />

the need to attract more ambitious<br />

youth to the community and plans to<br />

help meet the challenge by increasing the<br />

availability of traditional art education for<br />

young adults in the area.<br />

Olin Arts Center<br />

An original painting by Alex titled<br />

“Everybody Wants to Rule the World”<br />

Alex in her senior undergraduate studio<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


education<br />

Derrick Lacasse<br />

Music & Chorus Teacher, St. Dominic Academy<br />

Derrick’s favorite thing about his<br />

work is watching his students experience<br />

what he calls “aha” moments, where all<br />

the hard work they’ve dedicated to learning<br />

to play a new instrument, or to sing a<br />

difficult song, comes to fruition. As the<br />

music and chorus teacher for St. Dominic<br />

Academy, the never ending opportunities<br />

to share in the excitement of these accomplishments<br />

are Derrick’s primary source<br />

of motivation. He is also presently serving<br />

as co-moderator to the school’s Drama<br />

Club and will be directing its production<br />

of James and the Giant Peach this spring.<br />

Derrick grew up in LA and attended<br />

Edward Little High School in Auburn. He<br />

headed to New York for college, obtaining<br />

his degree in Music Education at SUNY<br />

Potsdam. When he graduated, Derrick returned<br />

to LA to be near his family and<br />

start his career. When not at work, he may<br />

be found delighting in his favorite sushi<br />

roll at Bua Thai in Lewiston. In the summertime,<br />

he loves to get outdoors and explore<br />

local areas like Thorncraig Bird<br />

Sanctuary, and is also a fan of playing tennis.<br />

Skiing is one of his favorite activities<br />

during the winter months. Naturally, his<br />

hobbies also include singing and playing<br />

the piano.<br />

Beyond his career at<br />

St. Dom’s, Derrick utilizes<br />

his talents to give back to<br />

the LA community. He<br />

works with Community<br />

Little Theater, a volunteer<br />

organization and one of<br />

the oldest continuous<br />

community theaters in<br />

the State of Maine. The<br />

mission of Community<br />

Little Theater is to provide<br />

education and exposure<br />

to the art of live<br />

entertainment by putting<br />

on both musicals and<br />

non-musical productions.<br />

As a CLT volunteer,<br />

Derrick participates in<br />

various shows and often<br />

acts as musical director when needed. He<br />

started working with CLT when he was in<br />

high school and hopes to expand his involvement<br />

in the future. He also volunteers<br />

with local summer youth theater<br />

camps with fellow <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> winner,<br />

Vincent Ratsavong. For Derrick, witnessing<br />

the growth of these summer programs<br />

over the last few years has been “an<br />

amazing experience.” He is also a private<br />

voice coach for local students from<br />

many different schools in the LA area and<br />

loves to see his students sharing new musical<br />

talents with their peers and motivating<br />

them to excel.<br />

Next year, Derrick is headed to Cambridge,<br />

Massachusetts, to obtain his master’s<br />

degree in Music Therapy at Lesley<br />

University. Once he earns his master’s, he<br />

plans to begin a career as a music therapist.<br />

He’s not sure where he ultimately<br />

will land, but he is excited for the journey.<br />

With his mom, Robin Robbins<br />

On the CLT stage in Little Shop of Horrors<br />

Derrick with Vincent Ratsavong<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


education<br />

Jen Hogan<br />

President & CEO, Community Credit Union<br />

Jen began her career at Community<br />

Credit Union as the director of marketing<br />

and business development. Finding the<br />

culture, people, ethics and energy of CCU<br />

to be contagious, she soon realized her<br />

passion for working in the world of local<br />

banking. She began actively exposing herself<br />

to other departments and was promoted<br />

to Executive Vice President in May<br />

of 2012. As the newly appointed President<br />

and CEO of CCU, Jen is responsible for<br />

directing overall operations, ensuring financial<br />

stability, establishing short and<br />

long-term objectives, plans and policies<br />

and representing CCU in its relationships<br />

with members, government agencies, and<br />

the local community. Jen’s favorite thing<br />

about her work is the opportunity it affords<br />

to interact with the people of LA on<br />

a regular basis. She is proud to be part of<br />

a local institution that not only deals in<br />

money but is actively involved in community<br />

projects that truly make a difference.<br />

Growing up, Jen lived in several different<br />

states along the East Coast, moving<br />

with her family every two or three years<br />

each time her father was transferred to a<br />

new station by the Navy. Ultimately settling<br />

in Lisbon Falls, she attended college<br />

in Bangor and moved back to LA after<br />

graduation. Today, Jen and her husband<br />

share a home in Turner and spend their<br />

free time having fun in the LA area.<br />

She devotes as much<br />

time as possible to her<br />

husband and daughter,<br />

often engaging in activities<br />

like mini golf, going<br />

to the movies and enjoying<br />

local cuisine. Some of<br />

her favorite places to eat<br />

in LA include DaVinci’s,<br />

Buffalo Wild Wings,<br />

Chick-a-Dee of Lewiston<br />

and Wei Li.<br />

What Jen loves most<br />

about our community is<br />

the plethora of opportunities<br />

it offers. She has<br />

seen incredible growth in<br />

LA over the last fifteen<br />

years and believes that our very best days<br />

lie ahead. With a passion for volunteering,<br />

some of the most important causes to Jen<br />

involve education. She serves as co-chair<br />

of the LA Metro Chamber Education and<br />

Workforce Development Committee and<br />

teaches classes for Junior Achievement of<br />

Maine as well as literary courses through<br />

CMCC. Whenever possible, she includes<br />

her daughter in her volunteer work in an<br />

effort to teach her valuable life lessons<br />

about helping those in need and giving<br />

back to her community. Jen is also a passionate<br />

supporter of the LA Chamber, Androscoggin<br />

United Way and the Greater<br />

Androscoggin Humane Society.<br />

Ten years from now, Jen hopes to be<br />

exactly where she is today—living in a<br />

community that she believes in, working<br />

for an organization she loves and giving<br />

back to those who have given so much to<br />

her.<br />

Chase with her furbuddies, Raistlin & Oreo<br />

The Hogan’s: Nick, Chase & Jen<br />

L to R: Jen, April Savio, Michelle Simard<br />

& Kelly Sutton. Photo bombing is<br />

Nick Hogan & Steve Sutton<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


emerging leader<br />

Aimee Labbe<br />

Manager of Special Events & Development for the Patrick<br />

Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope and Healing<br />

Aimee & Chris with their furbabies, Molly & Jack<br />

Aimee’s career in<br />

fundraising for nonprofits<br />

began by accident.<br />

Needing part-time work<br />

to support herself in college,<br />

Aimee took a job<br />

with the Student Union,<br />

a meeting and event<br />

venue for student groups<br />

on campus. After participating<br />

in planning for<br />

several student events<br />

and activities through the<br />

Student Union, she spent<br />

nearly four years working<br />

for Bates College in<br />

the Alumni and Parent<br />

Programs Department.<br />

Through her experience<br />

in college and working at<br />

Bates, Aimee built a solid<br />

foundation in the areas of<br />

fundraising and event<br />

planning. Today, she is<br />

the Manager of Special<br />

Events and Development<br />

for the Patrick Dempsey<br />

Center for Cancer Hope<br />

and Healing.<br />

Born and raised in<br />

Lewiston, like many of<br />

her peers Aimee wanted<br />

to go away for college<br />

and make a life for herself<br />

in one of the “big cities.” Attending college<br />

in downtown Boston, it didn’t take<br />

long for her to grow homesick. She missed<br />

the strong sense of self and the feeling of<br />

belonging that she so enjoyed in LA. Once<br />

she graduated from college, Aimee returned<br />

home and has remained in the<br />

area ever since. When she isn’t working,<br />

she frequents many of LA’s popular<br />

food establishments like Marche, Fuel,<br />

DaVinci’s, and more. She loves the outdoors,<br />

whether she is snowshoeing in<br />

the winter or hiking and kayaking in<br />

the summer.<br />

Aimee and her husband share a passion for<br />

good food and drink and spend much of<br />

their free time exploring local breweries and<br />

restaurants. At home, Aimee’s hobbies include<br />

spending time with her two dogs,<br />

Molly and Jack, as well as cooking, writing<br />

and binge-watching her favorite TV shows.<br />

What Aimee likes most about LA is its<br />

history. She loves to connect with family<br />

and friends by sharing stories of the local<br />

people and places from her childhood. Like<br />

many others, Aimee is excited by all the<br />

positive energy around her and loves to see<br />

the progress it brings to our community.<br />

She is an ardent supporter of the Greater<br />

Androscoggin Humane Society and is also<br />

involved with the Hope Haven Gospel Mission<br />

and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice.<br />

Aimee believes that with good fortune<br />

comes a responsibility to help those in need.<br />

In the future, Aimee envisions herself<br />

raising a family in LA while continuing the<br />

work she is most passionate about. She<br />

finds her work with the Dempsey Center to<br />

be extremely rewarding and is motivated<br />

by being part of a collaborative effort to improve<br />

the lives of people in the LA area who<br />

have been affected by cancer. Aimee believes<br />

that the positive energy and hard<br />

work of our citizens will continue to bring<br />

progress and success to the LA community.<br />

Aerial view of the Dempsey Challenge<br />

On their wedding day<br />

34 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

emerging leaders<br />

Ben Chin<br />

Political Engagement Director, Maine People’s Alliance<br />

When Ben came to LA to attend<br />

college at Bates, he planned to complete<br />

his studies and move on to a seminary to<br />

become a pastor. Plans changed when a<br />

construction project known as the “Heritage<br />

Initiative” threatened to displace<br />

hundreds of families in the LA area.<br />

Ben joined the efforts of<br />

The Visible Community<br />

to stop the project and<br />

quickly discovered his<br />

passion for community<br />

organizing. As Political<br />

Engagement Director for<br />

Maine People’s Alliance,<br />

Ben presently leads a<br />

team of community organizers<br />

and volunteers<br />

to raise Maine’s minimum<br />

wage and to fully<br />

fund public education in<br />

our state from Pre-K<br />

through Grade 12.<br />

A love of community<br />

organizing work was not<br />

all Ben discovered while<br />

in college. He also<br />

learned the joys of living<br />

in a “real community”<br />

like Lewiston, where<br />

neighbors know one another<br />

and you can never<br />

go too long without running<br />

into a familiar face<br />

around town. While the<br />

world around us is continuously<br />

dividing along lines of race,<br />

class, religion, and the like, Ben appreciates<br />

that LA is a diverse but tight-knit<br />

community where working class families<br />

can successfully coexist.<br />

Some of his favorite places to grab<br />

a bite in LA include Guthrie’s or<br />

Gridiron for a quick stop or to<br />

wind down from the week, and<br />

Mother India, Marche or Fuel<br />

for date nights with his<br />

wife, Nicola. He spends much of his free<br />

time running and biking and is currently<br />

training to participate in the Ironman<br />

Triathlon later this year. He also takes part<br />

in swimming workouts hosted by fellow<br />

Bates grad, Vanessa Williamson, whose<br />

weekly classes he characterizes as “one of<br />

the secret gems of LA.” Most importantly,<br />

Ben devotes as much time as possible to<br />

his wife and their adorable baby girl, Anjali.<br />

Beyond his work with Maine People’s<br />

Alliance, Ben gives back to his community<br />

by serving on the boards of directors for<br />

Trinity Church and the Jubilee Center, as<br />

well as running for office in an effort to<br />

craft a vision for LA based on the aspirations<br />

of his neighbors. No matter what he<br />

is doing for his community, Ben’s goal is<br />

always the same: “to create a world where<br />

everyone has what they need, contributes<br />

what they can, and no one gets left out.”<br />

Through the Jubilee Center, he works to<br />

prevent hunger and homelessness and to<br />

help recent immigrants integrate into the<br />

LA community. With Maine People’s Alliance,<br />

he works against the root causes of<br />

issues facing local people in need. When<br />

the work gets tough, and it often does, Ben<br />

finds his faith restored each Sunday at<br />

Trinity Church.<br />

Ben plans to continue his life in<br />

LA with his wife and daughter, where<br />

he can do the work he believes in for a<br />

community that he loves.<br />

Nicola & Ben Chin<br />

Ben’s campaign launch<br />

Nicola, Ben and baby, Anjali<br />

36 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

Emily, volunteer firefighter<br />

emerging leader<br />

Emily Butterfield<br />

Student Navigator at Central Maine Community College<br />

Emily joined the LA community as a<br />

freshman living on campus at Central<br />

Maine Community College in 2008.<br />

Through her studies and extracurricular<br />

activities Emily became a strong leader, a<br />

key trait for her present occupation as Student<br />

Navigator for the “Maine is IT!”<br />

grant at CMCC. As Student Navigator,<br />

Emily focuses on recruitment and success<br />

by assisting with college and<br />

career fairs, providing<br />

academic support, and<br />

helping students plan<br />

their futures beyond the<br />

classroom.<br />

Apart from her career<br />

at CMCC, Emily is a<br />

proud volunteer firefighter<br />

for the Town of<br />

Turner, Maine. She attributes<br />

her interest in<br />

volunteer firefighting to<br />

the large number of firefighters<br />

in her family.<br />

For Emily, fire service is<br />

about honor, integrity,<br />

family, duty, courage,<br />

leadership, and strength.<br />

She hopes to continue<br />

volunteering and finding<br />

more ways to serve<br />

and support her community<br />

in the future.<br />

Currently, Emily gives<br />

back to her community<br />

by supporting local charity<br />

events like “Stuff the<br />

Bus” and the “Rancourt<br />

5k Run,” teaching fire<br />

prevention and awareness<br />

in our schools, and<br />

volunteering at her<br />

church, Pathway Vineyard in Lewiston,<br />

among others. One day, you may even<br />

find Emily representing the City of<br />

Auburn in the world of local politics.<br />

Emily presently resides in Auburn<br />

with her fiancé, Lance Robinson. The two<br />

thoroughly enjoy outdoor activities, particularly<br />

on the Androscoggin River,<br />

which Emily affectionately calls “Androscoggin’s<br />

hidden secret.” She loves<br />

swimming, kayaking and boating on the<br />

River and hopes someday to see new activities<br />

like white water rafting, as well as<br />

shops, introduced to the area. When she<br />

isn’t being active with her fiancé outdoors<br />

or in the gym, Emily loves spending time<br />

with her family and with her dogs. For<br />

fun, she likes to visit some of her favorite<br />

LA restaurants, which include Firehouse<br />

Grille, Mac’s Grill, DaVinci’s, and Jasmine<br />

Café. In the wintertime, she can be found<br />

snowboarding at Lost Valley, snowshoeing,<br />

snowmobiling or ice fishing.<br />

A lifelong learner, Emily is currently<br />

pursuing her Master’s Degree in Leadership<br />

at the University of Southern Maine<br />

LA, an accolade that she hopes will prepare<br />

her to take on new and challenging<br />

leadership roles in the future. In ten years,<br />

Emily sees herself married and raising a<br />

family here in LA with Lance, advancing<br />

her career at CMCC, and maintaining her<br />

passion for physical activity by participating<br />

in local sports and recreational programs.<br />

She plans to continue serving as a<br />

volunteer firefighter and aims to complete<br />

her Firefighter I & II Certifications. Emily<br />

wants to help improve the LA community’s<br />

image by fostering support for our<br />

local police and fire departments in their<br />

efforts to improve safety and quality of life<br />

and increasing the presence of local businesses<br />

to provide more jobs and combat<br />

poverty in Lewiston and Auburn.<br />

Emily with her fiancé, Lance Robinson<br />

Emily at work, pictured with current students:<br />

Wally Morris (brother) & Anna Quinlan<br />

Photo: LAD Photography<br />

38 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

emerging leaders<br />

Melissa Simones<br />

Policy Director for Senate President, Michael Thibodeau<br />

Melissa has worked in federal and<br />

state government offices for most of her career.<br />

She began her journey handling administrative<br />

and legislative work for<br />

Senator Susan Collins in<br />

Washington, DC. After<br />

several years on Capitol<br />

Hill, she returned to<br />

Maine to work for an<br />

Augusta law firm as its<br />

government relations liaison.<br />

Just one year later,<br />

she was asked to join the<br />

staff of then newly<br />

elected Senate President<br />

Michael Thibodeau. As<br />

Policy Director for Senator<br />

Thibodeau, Melissa<br />

provides legislative research<br />

on bills, attends<br />

various meetings, public<br />

hearings and work sessions,<br />

answers committee<br />

questions about<br />

legislation, and monitors<br />

the budgeting process.<br />

She loves her work for its<br />

challenging, fast-paced,<br />

social and demanding<br />

nature.<br />

A native of Lewiston,<br />

there was never a question<br />

for Melissa that she<br />

would return to LA after<br />

college. She loves the<br />

people here, which include<br />

her family and<br />

many friends, as well as<br />

all the activities available. Some of her favorite<br />

things to do in LA include participating<br />

in trivia nights at Pedro O’Hara’s,<br />

attending art walks in the summer, enjoying<br />

the numerous walking trails in the area<br />

and attending events at Bates College. She<br />

is also a fan of golfing and kayaking when<br />

the weather is nice.<br />

When it comes to local cuisine,<br />

Melissa loves the food and the atmosphere<br />

at Fuel, where she can often be found enjoying<br />

conversations with the “regulars”<br />

on Friday nights. Rails, Mother India, Orchid,<br />

and Sea <strong>40</strong> are among other favorites.<br />

Last but certainly not least, some of<br />

Melissa’s favorite food adventures involve<br />

“socializing over a chili dog” at her family’s<br />

restaurant, Simones’ Hot Dog Stand<br />

in Lewiston.<br />

Outside her work in Senator Thibodeau’s<br />

office, Melissa is passionate<br />

about her home parish, Holy Trinity Greek<br />

Orthodox Church, presently serving on the<br />

Parish Council and the Ladies Society.<br />

Through these groups, Melissa and fellow<br />

members work to develop ways to support<br />

the Church, which includes assisting with<br />

various spiritual needs and organizing<br />

fundraisers. She also enjoys participating<br />

in functions that benefit LA whenever she<br />

can.<br />

Looking to the future, Melissa sees<br />

herself working on economic development<br />

projects for the LA area. She believes that<br />

the number one challenge facing LA today<br />

is its stigma and the negative impact it has<br />

on our community. According to Melissa,<br />

this challenge can be overcome by continuing<br />

to promote the positive and showcasing<br />

our local assets, working on the areas<br />

where we struggle, and speaking up when<br />

others speak negatively about LA. With<br />

this type of devotion, she says, “our best<br />

days are ahead.”<br />

Melissa with her niece<br />

Melissa at the Courthouse<br />

Trivia Finale<br />

<strong>40</strong> UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

entrepreneur<br />

Abdikadir Negeye<br />

Co-founder, Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services<br />

Abdikadir always knew he wanted to<br />

be a teacher, a social worker, and a leader.<br />

In the past, he served as a local youth soccer<br />

coach, taught English as a second language,<br />

and worked for L.L. Bean as a<br />

learning specialist. He was also employed<br />

with the Lewiston school system as a language<br />

facilitator, all the while working toward<br />

his degree in Social and Behavioral<br />

Science through the University of Southern<br />

Maine, Lewiston-Auburn. In 2008, he<br />

co-founded Maine Immigrant & Refugee<br />

Services (MIRS) and currently serves as its<br />

human resources director. His responsibilities<br />

include regularly interacting with employees,<br />

clients and community members<br />

and attracting and retaining talent for the<br />

organization, as well as doing case management<br />

and closely collaborating with<br />

fellow award winner and executive director,<br />

Rilwan Osman.<br />

Born in Somalia, Abdikadir lived in<br />

two different refugee camps for roughly<br />

fourteen years before he and his family<br />

were relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. Like<br />

many others who share a similar history of<br />

immigration, he loves living in LA primarily<br />

because it is a safe community with a<br />

“small town” atmosphere where he feels<br />

comfortable raising a family of his own.<br />

For Abdikadir, living in LA is a privilege<br />

after enduring the difficulty, violence and<br />

hardships of both his home country and<br />

the refugee camps. His<br />

favorite thing about LA<br />

is its sense of community—he<br />

is amazed by<br />

the accessibility of our<br />

teachers, government<br />

leaders, and the like. He<br />

is also a huge fan of the<br />

annual LA festival and<br />

frequently enjoys meals<br />

with his family at local<br />

restaurants like Applebee’s,<br />

Margaritas,<br />

Denny’s and Mother<br />

India. The family consciously<br />

chooses to eat at<br />

places that are known<br />

for supporting LA by<br />

participating in fundraising<br />

for local nonprofits<br />

and schools.<br />

In his free time, Abdikadir enjoys<br />

being with his family, reading, playing<br />

soccer and running. He is passionate about<br />

local organizations that serve immigrants<br />

and refugees, as well as both the elder and<br />

youth populations. He serves on the<br />

boards of directors for some local nonprofits<br />

and lends a hand to his community as<br />

a volunteer whenever he can.<br />

Abdikadir is proud of all he has<br />

accomplished in his career. He feels fortunate<br />

to meet great people through his<br />

work and is motivated by the love and<br />

support he receives from them. One of his<br />

most treasured achievements was witnessing<br />

the Lewiston High School soccer team<br />

win the State Championship, having<br />

coached and mentored nearly half of the<br />

players through a community sports program<br />

sponsored by MIRS. He hopes to<br />

continue his service to our community<br />

through MIRS and his personal efforts and<br />

to maintain a happy and sustainable life in<br />

LA with his family.<br />

The Negeye’s<br />

Abdikadir with his mom<br />

At a recent speaking engagement<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


Luke and his boy, Everett<br />

entrepreneur<br />

Luke Livingston<br />

Founder & CEO, Baxter Brewing Company<br />

Luke has maintained a passion for<br />

craft beer and brewing since his twentyfirst<br />

birthday, when he received his first<br />

homebrewing kit as a gift. Shortly after<br />

graduating college, he created a beer blog<br />

and learned about “west coast<br />

styles” of beer and marketing as<br />

well as the then-revolutionary<br />

idea of canning<br />

craft beer. After losing<br />

his mother to breast cancer<br />

in January, 2009,<br />

Luke quit his day job to<br />

write a business plan for<br />

his own canned craft<br />

brewery. As founder and<br />

CEO of Baxter Brewing<br />

Company, he is most<br />

heavily involved in sales<br />

and marketing and is<br />

particularly focused on<br />

building and maintaining<br />

the brewery’s chain<br />

sales channel. His favorite<br />

part of his job is<br />

having the privilege<br />

every day of getting to<br />

make and sell beer for a<br />

living. Also, he says, “it’s<br />

always great to see your<br />

friends at the bar!”<br />

A 2003 graduate of Edward<br />

Little High School<br />

in Auburn, Luke traveled<br />

away for college and ultimately<br />

settled in South<br />

Portland with his wife<br />

and their two-year-old<br />

son, Everett. When it<br />

came to a location for the<br />

brewery, however, he says there was no<br />

other option than LA. Having grown up<br />

locally, most of his business<br />

connections were here and he was excited<br />

at the idea of breathing some life back into<br />

the mills he watched sit vacant for many<br />

years before. There was also a competitive<br />

advantage to doing business in LA, as for<br />

some time Baxter Brewing Company was<br />

the only production brewery in the area.<br />

Luke’s favorite thing about LA is its<br />

small town vibe. He enjoys enormous support<br />

from the LA community and especially<br />

the municipality itself, which he<br />

says has always far exceeded the support<br />

he could get in a larger, more crowded<br />

market. He loves his “mill-mates,”<br />

DaVinci’s and Fish Bones, as well as the<br />

restaurants on Lisbon Street like Forage,<br />

Marché and Orchid. Though most of his<br />

time off work is spent chasing his twoyear-old<br />

around, when he can Luke likes<br />

to play disc sports. He also juggles, is a<br />

huge baseball fan, and spends as much<br />

time as possible outside exploring Maine.<br />

The two causes Luke is most passionate<br />

about relate to animals and the environment.<br />

He gives back to his community<br />

through his involvement with the Androscoggin<br />

Hospice House and the Androscoggin<br />

Humane Society.<br />

In the future, Luke plans to still be living<br />

and working in Maine, making beer<br />

and continuing to learn new things in his<br />

business.<br />

Luke enjoys a Baxter<br />

Baxter on tap<br />

44 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

• Real Estate Loans<br />

• Home Equity Loans<br />

• New/Used Vehicle,<br />

Motorcycle, Boat,<br />

Camper or RV Loans<br />

• Lifestyle Line of Credit<br />

• Personal Loans<br />

• Fuel Loans<br />

• Technology Loans<br />

• Business Loans

entrepreneur<br />

Marlo Hewitt<br />

Founder & Operator, Hair Station<br />

Marlo is a third generation hairstylist,<br />

growing up with a mother and grandmother<br />

who both worked cutting and styling hair in<br />

their home-based salons. As a highly artistic<br />

person, she quickly realized her natural talent<br />

for hairstyling and decided to begin her<br />

journey by pursuing a business degree.<br />

She earned her bachelor’s<br />

degree from the University<br />

of Southern Maine.<br />

During her first semester<br />

as an MBA student, Marlo<br />

decided she could no<br />

longer sit behind a desk<br />

and set out to make her<br />

passion for hairdressing a<br />

reality. Last year, she<br />

opened Hair Station Hair<br />

Salon on Turner Street in<br />

Auburn. She is responsible<br />

for overseeing the<br />

daily operations of the<br />

salon, but her primary<br />

focus is customer satisfaction.<br />

Marlo describes her<br />

work “behind the chair”<br />

as “transforming art onto<br />

living canvases, making<br />

people look and feel their<br />

very best.”<br />

Growing up in Mechanic<br />

Falls, Marlo and<br />

her family frequently<br />

traveled to LA for shopping,<br />

dining, and most<br />

other activities. When it<br />

came time to buy her first<br />

home, she found Auburn<br />

to be the perfect fit<br />

with its close proximity<br />

to her family and<br />

potential to support her new business<br />

venture. She feels she has “the best of both<br />

worlds” living on a dead-end street in<br />

Auburn where she enjoys a private backyard<br />

and is just minutes away<br />

from the city. Her favorite things about LA<br />

are its sense of community and its size. As<br />

she says, “the cities are large enough to serve<br />

you but small enough to know you!” You<br />

may find her at Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli enjoying<br />

a quick meal. For a night out, she frequents<br />

Mac’s Grill, Gritty’s, Orchid, and<br />

more.<br />

Marlo loves spending time with her<br />

family and friends. She’s fond of relaxing<br />

nights at home with her many “fur babies,”<br />

and is just as happy going out on the town<br />

to dance, dine and enjoy life. Beyond her<br />

work at the Salon, she explores her passions<br />

for interior decorating and the arts. As a vegetarian<br />

and an animal lover, Marlo supports<br />

the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to<br />

Animals (SPCA). Another cause close to her<br />

heart is breast cancer awareness, as the disease<br />

took her grandmother a short time ago.<br />

To give back to her community, Marlo works<br />

through her business to raise money to help<br />

LA families in need during the holidays and<br />

is an avid supporter of local animal charities.<br />

Marlo is extremely happy with the life<br />

she’s building for herself and plans to continue<br />

her work in LA. She aspires to eventually<br />

expand her business and hopes one day<br />

to settle down with a family of her own.<br />

Marlo at the Hair Station<br />

Hair Station "pit crew": Brittany, Devin, Jamie, Katy & Marlo<br />

The Hewitt’s: Ken, Alex, Marlo & Terry<br />

46 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>


Does Catering!<br />

Weddings, Banquets, Birthdays, Corporate Parties, and more!<br />

No event too BIG or SMALL... We cater it ALL!<br />

Mac’s Grill<br />

“Where the locals eat!”<br />

1052 Minot Avenue, Auburn 207-783-6885<br />




by Erin Reed<br />

trinitylewiston@gmail.com<br />

Erin Reed is the Executive Director of the Trinity<br />

Jubilee Center in Lewiston. A center dedicated to<br />

advocacy for those in need in Lewiston Auburn,<br />

serving an average of 1,000 people per week.<br />

E<br />

ach day Lewiston's Trinity Jubilee<br />

Center is packed full of<br />

Androscoggin County residents<br />

seeking help. For 25 years this<br />

community center’s programs have helped<br />

people survive difficult situations and improve<br />

their lives. Today the Center’s operates<br />

five programs. The Meals Program<br />

serves 100 meals each day (about 3,000<br />

meals every month) to people struggling<br />

with mental illness, physical and developmental<br />

disabilities, and homelessness. The<br />

Food Pantry distribute thousands of pounds<br />

of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as diapers,<br />

to more than 300 low-income families<br />

every week. The Day Shelter provides<br />

warmth, bathrooms, and a place to rest for<br />

the homeless. The Resource Center offers a<br />

free medical clinic, phone, fax, and internet<br />

access, a mailing address for those without<br />

a home, clothing and household goods, an<br />

AA meeting, and connections to outreach<br />

workers and resources at partner agencies.<br />

The Refugee Integration Program is the<br />

county’s largest immigrant integration<br />

program, helping<br />

people access employment,<br />

housing, and education. Every<br />

week more than 1,000 people<br />

receive services through the Jubilee<br />

Center.<br />

Daily life at the Center is<br />

a whirlwind. Dozens of neighborhood<br />

volunteers prepare<br />

the day’s lunch, sweep floors,<br />

and wash dishes. Volunteers in<br />

the Center’s Food Rescue Project,<br />

which partners with local<br />

stores and cafeterias to accept<br />

donations of leftover or aboutto-expire<br />

foods, arrive with deliveries.<br />

A daily sign-in sheet<br />

for people requesting help<br />

writing their resume and<br />

searching for job openings<br />

often passes 30 people, each patiently waiting<br />

their turn. At lunchtime the smell of<br />

fresh coffee, savory meat, and spices fills the<br />

air and every seat in the lunchroom is full.<br />

Once a week a doctor donates time to treat<br />

those in need and the office fills with medical<br />

charts and nurses. On Thursdays the<br />

Food Pantry line begins forming at 6:00<br />

AM. Every day the phone is in constant use<br />

as people call to follow up on job applications,<br />

call Togus, and call family members.<br />

Comprehensive support is key to the<br />

Jubilee Center’s anti-poverty work. Almost<br />

all clients participate in multiple programs<br />

and can access support both meeting their<br />

immediate needs and building a stronger future.<br />

Hundreds of people have found jobs,<br />

hundreds of children have been connected<br />

with athletic programs, hundreds of<br />

thousands of pounds of food has been<br />

distributed, and thousands of people know<br />

that the Center’s programs and staff will<br />

be there for them if they are in need.<br />

This year the Trinity Jubilee Center marks<br />

25 years of caring for and empowering our<br />

community.<br />

48 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

entrepreneur<br />

Nicholas Benoit<br />

Principal: Benoit’s Bakery, Orchard & Pretentious Pie Co.<br />

Members of the Benoit family have<br />

proudly owned and operated businesses in<br />

the LA area since the opening of US Steam<br />

Laundry in the 1930s. For Nick, becoming<br />

an entrepreneur in LA was in his blood.<br />

Returning to Lewiston after prep school,<br />

he had no idea what he wanted to do. He<br />

tested the waters with various different<br />

jobs but couldn’t find work that excited<br />

him. His true career began when he<br />

opened a small farm stand in Lisbon that<br />

soon transformed into a full baking facility<br />

boasting up to twenty employees.<br />

Benoit’s Farm Stand came about by<br />

happenstance—not yet knowing what he<br />

would do with the space, Nick formed a<br />

habit of leaving apples from his family’s<br />

orchard outside the building for convenient<br />

pick-up by local markets and farm<br />

stands. When passers-by began taking the<br />

apples and leaving money in their place,<br />

he was inspired to open his own stand and<br />

quickly got to work. After just three years,<br />

he opened Benoit’s Bakery and Wine Cellar<br />

in the same location. Today, as the<br />

owner and operator of multiple businesses<br />

in LA, Nick is always facing new challenges<br />

and views himself primarily as a<br />

creator of solutions.<br />

with the “amazing” people<br />

of LA. It is important<br />

to Nick to patronize LA<br />

area restaurants and<br />

businesses to return the<br />

support he receives for<br />

his own. In his free time,<br />

he likes playing golf and<br />

being out on the water<br />

whenever possible. He<br />

also maintains a hobby<br />

collecting antique automobiles,<br />

but finds his<br />

greatest pleasure derives<br />

from helping others in<br />

the LA community to<br />

thrive and live their<br />

dreams. A big fan of supporting<br />

our youth, some<br />

of the causes Nick is<br />

most passionate about include the Special<br />

Olympics, the Ronald McDonald House<br />

and Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. He<br />

does a lot of mentoring and working with<br />

children in local schools. Having been<br />

given many chances to succeed in his own<br />

life, Nick feels strongly about providing<br />

LA youth with opportunities to show the<br />

world what they can do.<br />

Nick is a firm believer that tomorrow is<br />

never promised to anyone and focuses on<br />

living for today. He sets personal goals for<br />

himself in both the long and short-term,<br />

but ultimately just wants to be happy in his<br />

life and in his work and contributing to the<br />

growing success of LA.<br />

Naturally, one of Nick’s favorite<br />

things about the LA area is its plethora of<br />

restaurants. He also enjoys access to local<br />

sporting events and loves interacting<br />

Nick out & about<br />

Nick posing next to a cannon<br />

Nick on the mic<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


Jama ready to get to work<br />

government<br />

Jama Mohamed<br />

Program Director, Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services<br />

When they were relocated to the<br />

United States, Jama and many fellow Somali<br />

Bantu refugees first lived in larger<br />

cities like Denver and Chicago. These<br />

locations proved to be quite an adjustment<br />

from the small villages Jama<br />

and his peers grew up in. Many decided<br />

to move to LA, viewing it as a<br />

smaller community and a safe<br />

place to raise their families.<br />

When Jama and his<br />

family arrived in Lewiston,<br />

however, they soon<br />

discovered a gap in<br />

services to support assimilation<br />

into the local<br />

culture and saw many<br />

Somali Bantu youth<br />

dropping out of school<br />

as a result. To address<br />

this urgent need, he cofounded<br />

the Somali<br />

Bantu Youth Association.<br />

Today, Jama works<br />

with Maine Immigrant<br />

and Refugee Services<br />

(MIRS) as Program Director<br />

for Youth Literacy<br />

and Citizenship Services.<br />

His job responsibilities<br />

include program<br />

development, education<br />

and management of the<br />

organization’s numerous<br />

volunteers. He finds<br />

his career most rewarding<br />

because it enables<br />

him to help others build<br />

promising futures for<br />

themselves and their<br />

families.<br />

Jama’s favorite thing about living<br />

in LA is the wealth of friendship he has<br />

found here—friends who support him in<br />

achieving his goals through teaching and<br />

encouragement. He is a big fan of local<br />

cuisine, often stopping at 84 Court Pizza<br />

& Restaurante for some “amazing” bruschetta<br />

or enjoying a family meal at Applebee’s.<br />

He spends most of his free time<br />

with his lovely wife and their children<br />

and often hosts large get-togethers with<br />

extended family members. Some of the<br />

local organizations he is most passionate<br />

about include the Trinity Jubilee Center,<br />

Lewiston Public Schools and the Sustainable<br />

Livelihoods Relief Organization<br />

(SLRO). The SLRO uses farming as a<br />

means of helping immigrants, refugees<br />

and asylum-seekers alike build sustainable<br />

livelihoods by growing and selling<br />

produce.<br />

Having served on the Lewiston<br />

School Committee, Jama is honored to be<br />

the first African-born elected official in<br />

Lewiston. With the Committee, he helped<br />

establish new policies in efforts to ensure<br />

that our local schools are providing the<br />

best education possible to their students.<br />

He gives back to LA through his work<br />

with MIRS, helping immigrants gain<br />

their citizenships and teaching them the<br />

importance of being involved in the community.<br />

While he prefers to focus on what<br />

he can do to help LA thrive in the present,<br />

Jama plans to continue building relationships<br />

within the community in the future<br />

and hopes to see more of its people coming<br />

together across lines of diversity and<br />

enjoying each other’s company. With<br />

more communal conversations,<br />

he believes the people of LA can<br />

work and learn together to build<br />

something great.<br />

Steven Aden, Kristen Cloutier & Jama Mohamed<br />

Jama with Linda Scott<br />

50 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

government<br />

Eric Brakey<br />

Maine State Senator, District 20<br />

As a State Senator, Eric is an impassioned<br />

servant of Maine’s people. Believing<br />

that our citizens prosper most when they<br />

are free to make their own life choices, too<br />

often he saw “big government” treating<br />

adults like children by encouraging dependency,<br />

strangling innovation and dictating<br />

personal decisions. In 2014, Eric<br />

decided to run for office to advocate for<br />

personal freedom and responsibility. In his<br />

role as a Maine senator, he is responsible<br />

for fostering an environment where companies<br />

can grow and thrive. As chairman of<br />

the Health and Human Services Committee,<br />

he oversees over $3 billion in funding<br />

each year. Eric is grateful for the opportunity<br />

to lead growing efforts for welfare reform,<br />

saving money for Maine workers<br />

while still providing services for those who<br />

need it most. His favorite things about<br />

being a Maine senator are using his own<br />

perspective to solve the statewide challenges<br />

and passing major reform to decrease<br />

the role of the government in the<br />

lives of individuals.<br />

Born and raised in New Gloucester,<br />

Eric worked for several years as a professional<br />

actor in New York City. He eventually<br />

returned home to Maine to be closer to<br />

his relatives and to work in the family business.<br />

Wanting to live in an area with a tightknit<br />

community that offered the<br />

accessibility of a larger city, he chose to settle<br />

in Auburn. When thinking about what<br />

he most enjoys about the LA area, Eric feels<br />

that the little things make the biggest difference.<br />

Some examples of<br />

the “little things” he<br />

loves about LA include:<br />

seeing citizens work to<br />

transform a giant snowbank<br />

into a sled hill for<br />

local children, enjoying a<br />

first-rate musical production<br />

at the volunteer-driven<br />

Community Little<br />

Theater, and witnessing<br />

community members<br />

picking up litter along<br />

the side of the road in efforts<br />

to beautify our<br />

neighborhoods. He can<br />

often be found enjoying<br />

breakfast at Rolly’s<br />

Diner, enjoying conversation<br />

with a friendly face.<br />

In the past, Eric spent a lot of his free<br />

time performing through Community Little<br />

Theatre, playing various roles including<br />

Felix Unger from “The Odd Couple,” Mortimer<br />

Brewster in “Arsenic and Old Lace”<br />

and several small parts in a production of<br />

“Monty Python’s Spamalot.” His work as a<br />

senator prevents him from having the time<br />

to participate on stage, so he remains active<br />

with the Theatre as a member of its board<br />

of directors. In addition to the Theatre, he<br />

is passionate about “Big Brothers, Big Sisters”<br />

an organization that enables local<br />

adults to make a positive impact on youth<br />

facing adversity in Maine through community<br />

and school-based mentoring programs.<br />

As a “Big Brother,” Eric most enjoys outdoor<br />

activities with his “Little Brother” like<br />

hiking Mount Appetite and walking the LA<br />

Riverwalk. The two also enjoy the occasional<br />

movie at Flagship Cinemas in<br />

Auburn.<br />

Eric hopes to continue making his efforts,<br />

whether through the public or private<br />

sector, to strengthen the liberties of Maine’s<br />

people and empower them to create their<br />

own opportunities to live, work and play.<br />

Eric on the campaign trail<br />

Eric on the senate floor<br />

Eric & Roger Philippon as Oscar & Felix in<br />

The Odd Couple at CLT<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


Nate, Andrea and their son<br />

government<br />

Nate Libby<br />

Maine State Senator, District 21<br />

Nate credits his time at Bates College<br />

with playing a significant role in shaping<br />

his career. Through the study of history<br />

and economics, he refined his skills in research,<br />

communication, organization and<br />

critical thinking. Whether he is working<br />

on securing financing for a start-up company<br />

or shepherding a major piece of legislation<br />

through the public process, the<br />

experience he gained in college plays an<br />

important part in his success. As a representative<br />

of the City of Lewiston in the<br />

Maine State Senate, Nate<br />

works on enacting public<br />

policy, providing<br />

oversight for the activities<br />

and spending of the<br />

State government, and<br />

assisting Lewiston residents<br />

in accessing programs<br />

and services. In<br />

his second job as an economic<br />

development consultant,<br />

he focuses on<br />

helping local governments<br />

connect with businesses<br />

to establish, grow<br />

and create jobs. His favorite<br />

thing about the<br />

work he does is that it requires<br />

taking a complex<br />

problem and collaborating<br />

with others to work<br />

out a solution.<br />

Growing up in a small<br />

town just outside of Waterville,<br />

Nate was the<br />

first in his family to attend<br />

college. He moved<br />

to Lewiston at the age of<br />

eighteen when he was<br />

offered a substantial needs-based scholarship<br />

to attend Bates College. He immediately<br />

fell in love with the community<br />

because of its welcoming and diverse citizenry.<br />

Deciding to remain in Lewiston<br />

after earning his degree, he has been living<br />

and working in the LA area ever since.<br />

When he has the time, Nate engages in<br />

hobbies like carpentry, gardening and<br />

landscaping, and enjoys going on outdoor<br />

excursions with his wife, Andrea, their son<br />

and two dogs.<br />

As a state senator, Nate is an ardent<br />

supporter of the vast array of nonprofit organizations<br />

that serve the LA community.<br />

He is especially passionate about early education<br />

and services for children with special<br />

needs, serving on the board of<br />

directors for Androscoggin Head Start and<br />

as chairman of Lewiston’s Universally Accessible<br />

Playground Committee. Through<br />

the Playground Committee, he supports<br />

ongoing efforts to raise funds to build the<br />

first playground in Maine where children<br />

can play together regardless of their cognitive<br />

and developmental abilities. Nate<br />

also serves on the board of the Lewiston<br />

Auburn Economic Growth Council<br />

(LAEGC).<br />

In the long term, Nate hopes to be<br />

working in economic development on a<br />

professional level and giving of his time<br />

for public service. He is motivated by the<br />

progress he sees in LA and enjoys taking<br />

part in the continuous growth and redevelopment<br />

happening here. He is excited<br />

to see what the future holds for our<br />

community.<br />

Nate in the Senate<br />

Nate addresses the Lewiston High School state champion soccer team<br />

52 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

government<br />

Jared Golden<br />

Maine State Legislator, City of Lewiston<br />

Jared’s started his career in politics<br />

working for Senator Susan Collins on the<br />

Senate Homeland Security and Governmental<br />

Affairs Committee. He has a passion<br />

for finding solutions for the issues<br />

and challenges that face the City of Lewiston<br />

and the State of Maine, and loves attending<br />

community events to meet new<br />

people and learn about the great work<br />

they are doing. Today, he represents the<br />

City of Lewiston in the Maine State Legislature<br />

and serves on the Transportation<br />

Committee and the Committee for Veterans<br />

and Legal Affairs.<br />

Moving back to Maine after four<br />

years of active duty with the U.S.<br />

Marines, Jared attended Bates College<br />

and earned his degree in politics. He is<br />

happy to be living in LA, where exciting<br />

and inspiring revitalization efforts are<br />

being made all the time. He also likes<br />

being close to his friends and family and<br />

met his wife, Isobel, in Lewiston. Some of<br />

his favorite things about LA include the<br />

character of its people, the strong architecture<br />

and the beautiful<br />

skyline. Access to entertainment<br />

and other<br />

downtown activities,<br />

coupled with close proximity<br />

to great locations<br />

for hiking, fishing and<br />

exploring the coast, are<br />

among others.<br />

When it comes to<br />

local cuisine, you may<br />

find Jared enjoying a<br />

meal at Fuel, Marche,<br />

George’s Pizza, or Bear<br />

Bones. In his free time<br />

he enjoys hanging out<br />

with his wife and their<br />

cats, as well as hiking,<br />

exercising, brewing beer<br />

and reading. This coming summer, the<br />

couple is looking forward to working in<br />

their garden and completing a variety of<br />

home improvement projects. With his<br />

background in the military, which included<br />

deployments to both<br />

Afghanistan and Iraq, Jared is most<br />

passionate about supporting his fellow<br />

veterans through his legislative<br />

work. He also maintains an interest in<br />

working to increase access to<br />

multiple different forms of<br />

transportation for the LA<br />

community. Dedicated to<br />

improving the lives of his<br />

constituents, he participates in numerous<br />

meetings at both the local and state levels<br />

and has served on the boards of several<br />

neighborhood organizations.<br />

Jared and his wife are excited to build<br />

a life together in LA. Although he believes<br />

that life has a way of leading you in unexpected<br />

directions, Jared envisions himself<br />

continuing his work as an activist for<br />

our community far into the future.<br />

Isobel & Jared Golden<br />

Jared representing Lewiston<br />

Jared discussing ideas<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />



Dr. Ashlee Vandiver!<br />

We appreciate all you do at<br />

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

health & wellness<br />

Ashlee H. Vandiver, Au.D.<br />

Audiologist, L/A Hearing Center<br />

As an audiologist for L/A Hearing<br />

Center, Ashlee evaluates, diagnoses and<br />

treats people with hearing loss and balance<br />

disorders. She sees a wide range of<br />

people, from newborns to geriatrics, helping<br />

patients and their families better understand<br />

the nature and impact of hearing<br />

loss and providing custom treatment options<br />

to suit individual listening needs. For<br />

the children she treats, Ashlee collaborates<br />

with early intervention providers, educators<br />

and other school professionals to ensure<br />

access to language in the classroom.<br />

She is honored to have the opportunity to<br />

witness so many life-changing moments<br />

and is passionate about helping her patients<br />

regain their hearing independence<br />

so they can play a part in important conversations<br />

with family, friends and colleagues.<br />

Midway through her undergraduate<br />

career, Ashlee decided she wanted to pursue<br />

a specialty in the medical field. She<br />

was studying biology and enrolled in premed<br />

when she enrolled in an “Intro to Audiology”<br />

course by chance. Ashlee knew<br />

audiology was her calling and hasn’t<br />

looked back since. She often recalls a special<br />

moment from the beginning of her<br />

professional career when she witnessed a<br />

child she’d fit with hearing aids hear her<br />

own footsteps for the first time. It is the<br />

connection to her patients and their families<br />

that drives Ashlee in her work each<br />

day.<br />

Ashlee and her family<br />

love living in the LA<br />

community because it is<br />

close to so many important<br />

people and things in<br />

their lives. The family<br />

visits with nearby relatives,<br />

enjoys trips to<br />

Maine beaches and<br />

mountains, and spends<br />

time exploring local cuisine.<br />

Some favorite<br />

places to grab a bite include<br />

Fuel, Fish Bones,<br />

Orchid and Gritty’s.<br />

Ashlee is an ardent<br />

supporter of hearing loss<br />

education and often joins<br />

forces with different local and national<br />

agencies to provide educational seminars<br />

for those who could benefit from a greater<br />

understanding of ear and hearing disorders.<br />

She particularly enjoys collaborating<br />

with SeniorsPlus in Lewiston, tapping into<br />

some of the tremendous educational opportunities<br />

for our community’s elders.<br />

Over the past three years, Ashlee has been<br />

heavily involved with Young Professionals<br />

of Lewiston Auburn (YPLAA) and<br />

presently serves as chair of the organization<br />

as well as co-chair of the Y-Not<br />

Committee. She feels lucky to be able to<br />

work with local young professionals and<br />

learning why they have chosen the LA<br />

area as their home.<br />

With a family history of heart disease,<br />

Ashlee also supports The American Heart<br />

Association as a member of the executive<br />

leadership team for the annual Central<br />

Maine Heart Walk.<br />

Ten years from now, Ashlee plans to<br />

be living in the LA community continuing<br />

to do the work she loves. She cannot imagine<br />

living or practicing anywhere else!<br />

Enjoying a Patriot’s game<br />

with friends at Gritty’s<br />

Ashlee’s children<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


health & wellness<br />

Sara Goodrich<br />

Massage Therapist, Renew You! Massage & Yoga<br />

As a self-employed massage therapist<br />

and instructor of yoga and meditation,<br />

Sara’s job is to help people who are sore<br />

and stressed and who want to improve<br />

upon their physical and emotional wellbeing.<br />

She discovered her interest in massage<br />

therapy while working in an office<br />

that offered massage to its employees as<br />

part of a generous health benefit program.<br />

Bored and unmotivated<br />

in her work, the therapeutic<br />

office massages<br />

started Sara on the path<br />

to her present profession.<br />

She would later incorporate<br />

yoga and<br />

meditation, a decision<br />

she says was largely<br />

driven by her love for<br />

Kundalini Yoga, commonly<br />

known as the<br />

“Yoga of Awareness.”<br />

Sara is fond of the<br />

challenges of self-employment,<br />

which she<br />

finds often test her and<br />

keep her on her toes. She<br />

has learned a lot over the<br />

years and has seen herself<br />

grow strong and<br />

confident in areas where<br />

she was felt weak. Her<br />

passion lies in helping<br />

people. A self-identified<br />

idealist, she believes we<br />

all share a responsibility<br />

to make the world a better<br />

place. For Sara, it all<br />

begins with improving<br />

your own mind, body<br />

and life. Her goal is to<br />

employ massage therapy, yoga and meditation<br />

to support local individuals in their<br />

efforts to heal themselves and the world<br />

around them. A strong proponent of<br />

integrity, Sara feels fortunate to have<br />

the power to run her own business in<br />

a fashion that best reflects her own<br />

personal values.<br />

Sara moved to LA when her husband<br />

got a job making furniture in the area. She<br />

loves that the LA community boasts a<br />

unique combination of an “urban feel” in<br />

the downtown area and easy access to natural<br />

resources both in the mountains and<br />

along the coast. She also finds a wealth of<br />

opportunity in LA for a young person to<br />

“make their mark.” Sara believes that if<br />

you “roll up your sleeves and dig in,”<br />

you’ll see that your work is appreciated<br />

and find enormous potential to make a<br />

positive impact. With a strong interest in<br />

urban development, Sara was part of the<br />

group that started Grow L+A, a volunteer<br />

organization that has been a driving force<br />

behind the redevelopment of Bates Mill<br />

No. 5 in Lewiston. She ascribes to a philosophy<br />

known as “New Urbanism,” which<br />

examines the history of a community with<br />

downtown areas and neighborhoods that<br />

were once prosperous, connected and<br />

lively and asks the question, “what were<br />

they doing right?”<br />

Outside her career and community<br />

work, Sara enjoys gardening, hiking, reading<br />

and traveling. Some of her favorite<br />

local eateries include Marche, Boba, Thai<br />

Dish and Forage Market. Looking to the<br />

future, she plans to continue working to<br />

fully develop her business so it can flourish.<br />

Beyond that, she finds it important to<br />

leave a little room for serendipity.<br />

members of Grow L+A<br />

Sara with her sister, Frannie<br />

vacationing in Yellowstone<br />

56 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

health & wellness<br />

Rosemarie G. Sheline, DDS<br />

Dentist, Center Street Dental<br />

Commonly known in the LA community<br />

as “Dr. Rose,” Dr. Rosemarie Sheline,<br />

DDS, is a dentist and owner of<br />

Center Street Dental in Auburn. A native<br />

of the Philippines, Dr. Rose graduated<br />

from the University of Baguio in 2001.<br />

When she met her husband, Carl, she decided<br />

to immigrate and continue pursuing<br />

her dental career in the United States.<br />

After passing her dental exams, she attended<br />

Loma Linda University in California<br />

and graduated in 2005. Her current<br />

services include treating cavities and oral<br />

infections as well as providing cosmetic<br />

and family services with implants, veneers,<br />

crowns and routine wellness<br />

checkups. She is passionate about helping<br />

her patients feel good about themselves<br />

so they can start smiling and<br />

enjoying their lives again.<br />

Dr. Rose and her husband wanted to<br />

live in Maine because of its natural<br />

beauty and sense of community. They<br />

were happy to find a practice in Auburn<br />

and a place to live in Lewiston that they<br />

enjoy. Her favorite things about living in<br />

LA are all the great local people and the<br />

availability of a wide variety<br />

of activities. She truly<br />

appreciates the opportunity<br />

to work with her<br />

wonderful staff that<br />

plays a key role in her<br />

efforts to improve the<br />

lives of her patients. Dr.<br />

Rose feels that by providing<br />

great oral health<br />

care for our community,<br />

she can contribute to the<br />

overall wellbeing and<br />

happiness of its people.<br />

When she isn’t<br />

working at Center Street<br />

Dental, Dr. Rose can be<br />

found spending time<br />

with her husband and<br />

their two beautiful children,<br />

John and Danika. A big music fan,<br />

she is currently taking piano lessons as<br />

well as voice lessons to improve upon her<br />

skills. She also loves to exercise, with a<br />

particular passion for hiking. She supports<br />

the LA community through her<br />

business, providing numerous dental<br />

health bags to local elementary schools<br />

and at various community<br />

events. Center Street Dental also<br />

supports several events and nonprofits<br />

in the LA area through<br />

sponsorships and participation<br />

in fundraisers.<br />

Through its own wellness program, Center<br />

Street Dental staff often take part in<br />

local 5K races and do their best to promote<br />

overall health and wellness in LA.<br />

Dr. Rose is particularly interested in the<br />

efforts of The Auburn PAL Center, The<br />

Dempsey Center and Tree Street Youth,<br />

all local organizations that provide valuable<br />

services and resources to those who<br />

need support and compassion.<br />

Looking ahead, Dr. Rose plans to<br />

continue her life and her practice in LA<br />

and has no doubt that the place she calls<br />

“home” will continue to grow and thrive<br />

in the future.<br />

Carl & Dr. Rose Sheline<br />

at the Great Falls Balloon Festival<br />

with her children, Danika & John<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


health & wellness<br />

Sadie Landry<br />

Sensei and Owner, Pelletier’s Karate<br />

As a sensei at Pelletier’s Karate in<br />

Lewiston, Sadie teaches a variety of classes<br />

including yoga, “yogalates,” cardio kickboxing,<br />

and self-defense. As an owner, she<br />

focuses on marketing, community involvement<br />

and special events for the dojo. It is<br />

Sadie’s philosophy that the most important<br />

part of her role as a teacher is her duty<br />

to act as a positive role model to all of her<br />

students and to provide them with the necessary<br />

tools to be successful members of<br />

society.<br />

Sadie started practicing karate when<br />

she was thirteen years old as a means of<br />

exercise. Over the years she grew to love<br />

the art of the sport, developing a passion<br />

for teaching and competition. She is proud<br />

to have been the number one female competitor<br />

in the State of Maine in her late<br />

teens, but her favorite moment in her<br />

karate career was earning her black belt.<br />

Now that she has been teaching karate in<br />

the LA community for over fifteen years,<br />

one of the most rewarding aspects of her<br />

work is seeing former students return to<br />

the dojo to enroll their children and grandchildren.<br />

She loves to see her students become<br />

more confident, stronger and<br />

happier in their lives through the practice<br />

of martial arts, yoga and general fitness.<br />

Sadie has grown to love the state<br />

of Maine since she moved here from<br />

the Midwest with her family as a<br />

child. Her favorite things about LA<br />

include the diversity<br />

of its people, the<br />

widespread energy to<br />

improve and grow, and<br />

the strong sense of community.<br />

She spends<br />

much of her free time<br />

with her family and<br />

friends playing indoor<br />

and outdoor activities.<br />

She enjoys camping and<br />

white water rafting and<br />

is a proud “hockey<br />

mom.” Local places<br />

where Sadie likes to grab<br />

a bite to eat include<br />

Dubois Café and Rolly’s<br />

Diner for breakfast, Pure<br />

Thai, Guthrie’s and Forage<br />

for lunch and Pat’s<br />

Pizza, Jasmine Café, and<br />

Fish Bones for dinner.<br />

To support her community, Sadie is<br />

actively involved in Montello and Geiger<br />

Elementary Schools by teaching karate,<br />

going on field trips and planning local festivals<br />

and events. She also serves as President<br />

of the Auburn Lewiston Exchange<br />

Club, an organization she feels provides<br />

many great opportunities to give back to<br />

the LA area. Other causes she supports include<br />

the local Boys and Girls Club,<br />

Tree Street Youth and the Community Little<br />

Theater. In general, Sadie and her family<br />

are very active in a wide variety of<br />

community events.<br />

Looking to the future, Sadie plans to<br />

remain active in teaching health and wellness.<br />

She hopes to become more involved<br />

in the LA community, which she calls “the<br />

world’s best kept secret,” and to be a role<br />

model for all.<br />

Sadie & Jason Landry<br />

Summer fun<br />

Sadie with her children,<br />

Rocco, Cecilia & Fiona<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


The Board, Staff and Veterans of Veterans Inc.<br />

congratulate Alley Smith on being selected to the <strong>2016</strong><br />

Lewiston Auburn’s inaugural class of <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong>.<br />

We salute the entire<br />

group of <strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong><br />

recipients!<br />

Offices Located In: ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, CT<br />

800-482-2565<br />


local heroes<br />

Alley Smith<br />

Supportive Services for Military Veterans, Veterans, Inc.<br />

Alley began her career in veterans’<br />

advocacy after serving ten years’ active<br />

duty in the military, which service included<br />

being deployed to combat in<br />

Afghanistan. Her love for working with<br />

the service members and their families<br />

led her to her current position at Veterans,<br />

Inc., an organization dedicated to<br />

ending homelessness among veterans.<br />

At Veterans, Inc., Alley is responsible for<br />

grant programs like “Supportive Services<br />

for Military Veterans and their Families”<br />

and the “Homeless Veteran Reintegration<br />

Program.” She also supervises the day-today<br />

operations and works together with<br />

her incredible team to assist homeless, atrisk<br />

and transitioning veterans with<br />

housing, employment, training and benefits<br />

assistance. As a Marine, Alley was<br />

taught to know her fellow Marines and to<br />

look out for their welfare. Her work with<br />

Veterans, Inc. is her way of maintaining<br />

that spirit as a civilian.<br />

Apart from her work with Veterans,<br />

Inc., Alley gives back to her community<br />

through her work with the Maine Military<br />

& Community Network Regional<br />

Committee, Healthy Androscoggin,<br />

Catholic Charities of<br />

Maine’s Path Program<br />

and the Lewiston Career<br />

Center, among others.<br />

She also volunteers her<br />

time to local food<br />

pantries and churches,<br />

and is part of both the<br />

American Legion and<br />

Maine Army National<br />

Guard as a Chaplain<br />

and Chaplain’s Assistant,<br />

respectively.<br />

Causes she is most passionate<br />

about include<br />

AmeriCorps, Community<br />

Anti-Drug Coalitions<br />

of America, IAVA:<br />

Iraq and Afghanistan<br />

Veterans of America,<br />

Maine Team RWB, Internity, and Sexual<br />

Assault Prevention & Response Services.<br />

In her free time, Alley likes to stop at<br />

Guthrie’s and Pop Shoppe Diner for a<br />

good bite to eat. She is a big fan of staying<br />

active, often working out at Orange Circuit<br />

Fitness or going for a run at Thorncraig<br />

Bird Sanctuary.<br />

In the future, Alley sees herself continuing<br />

her work with Veterans, Inc. and<br />

completing her Master’s Degree in Biblical<br />

Counseling. In ten years, she hopes<br />

to retire from the military reserve. She<br />

believes the greatest<br />

challenge facing the LA community<br />

today is the need to build resilience. To<br />

Alley, this challenge can be overcome by<br />

boosting personal accountability and responsibility,<br />

positive mentoring and role<br />

modeling, peer to peer support and individual<br />

enthusiasm.<br />

Alley in Afghanistan<br />

Sporting Moxie t-shirts in Afghanistan<br />

Dynamic Dirt Challenge<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


local heroes<br />

Joel Furrow<br />

Director, Root Cellar in Lewiston<br />

right path by equipping<br />

them with the life skills<br />

for a successful future, to<br />

the Friends and Neighbors<br />

Network (“FANN”),<br />

a collective designed to<br />

facilitate and promote LA<br />

neighbors in need providing<br />

food for one another.<br />

Joel feels honored<br />

to be able to work alongside<br />

the “small army” of<br />

volunteers at The Cellar.<br />

He characterizes those he<br />

works with as a diverse<br />

group of people, all sharing<br />

a common goal of engaging,<br />

equipping and<br />

empowering LA citizens<br />

in need through high<br />

quality programs and<br />

services. Joel feels humbled<br />

by the love, dedication,<br />

and faith of those he<br />

works with.<br />

offered his current position at The Root Cellar<br />

in 2012, Joel saw it as a new and exciting<br />

opportunity to learn how to engage, equip<br />

and empower others to be better neighbors.<br />

The job offer came just before he and his<br />

wife, Hilary, welcomed their first daughter,<br />

and they both felt that the time was right to<br />

“put down some roots” and see what God<br />

had planned for them in LA.<br />

One of Joel’s favorite things about LA<br />

is its central location in the State of Maine;<br />

he and his family love being close to both<br />

the mountains and the coast. When he isn’t<br />

working, Joel spends as much time as he<br />

can with his beautiful wife and their two<br />

adorable daughters, Annaleigh and Jane.<br />

The family is fond of outdoor activities,<br />

spending time at local lakes whenever possible.<br />

Joel also enjoys fishing, playing basketball,<br />

and watching the Red Sox. For a<br />

bite to eat, his favorites include The Italian<br />

Bakery, Fielder’s Choice Ice Cream, Forage<br />

Market, and Boba.<br />

As Director of The Root Cellar, Joel’s<br />

job carries with it numerous responsibilities.<br />

On a typical day, he may be writing or<br />

designing a newsletter, leading a teen<br />

group, updating the Cellar’s website, working<br />

alongside volunteers in the various programs<br />

offered to adults, teens and children<br />

by the organization, or planning a fundraising<br />

event. The Root Cellar boasts programs<br />

for local citizens of all ages, from “Project<br />

Rooted,” a program designed to engage<br />

at-risk youth and get them on the<br />

Joel’s work is<br />

motivated primarily<br />

by his<br />

faith in God.<br />

During college,<br />

he became interested<br />

in learning to live out the<br />

teachings of Jesus—“to love our<br />

neighbor, love our enemies, care<br />

for the needy and welcome the<br />

stranger.” His pursuit led him to<br />

work with refugees in Jordan and<br />

Atlanta, before spending nearly<br />

five years in Boston working<br />

with at-risk youth. When he was<br />

Ice cream at the Fielder’s Choice<br />

Joel & Hilary Furrow<br />

Joel with his daughters: Annaleigh & Jane<br />

62 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

local heroes<br />

Joseph Philippon<br />

Lewiston Police Officer<br />

Joe joined the Lewiston Police Department<br />

in the summer of 2005 after graduating<br />

from the University of Maine in Augusta<br />

with his bachelor’s degree in Administration<br />

of Justice. Raised in Lewiston, he stayed connected<br />

to LA during college through his<br />

work as a security officer for St. Mary’s Hospital<br />

and Bates. Joe has always found LA to<br />

be welcoming, safe, and rich with history,<br />

which is why he decided to stay here with<br />

his wife, Katie, to raise their growing family.<br />

The couple resides in Lewiston together with<br />

Joe’s stepson, Isaha, and their exciting new<br />

addition due to arrive in the fall.<br />

As a Community Resource Officer for<br />

Lewiston PD, Joe focuses on outreach by participating<br />

in community meetings and developing<br />

positive relationships with LA<br />

citizens. He is responsible for education, recruitment,<br />

and grant management, as well as<br />

developing initiatives for long-term solutions<br />

to community problems and emphasizing<br />

the importance of community policing<br />

and relationship building. Joe also oversees<br />

the Lewiston Project Lifesaver Program, a<br />

program that aims to provide timely responses<br />

for those affected by Alzheimer’s<br />

disease and similar conditions that cause<br />

them to wander. Individuals enrolled in the<br />

Program wear a transmitter and can be<br />

found more quickly, which means<br />

more lives are saved and<br />

many potential injuries<br />

may be avoided.<br />

Outside of his career,<br />

Joe has a passion for all<br />

things relating to education.<br />

He gives back to his<br />

community by serving on<br />

the board of directors for<br />

the Androscoggin Head<br />

Start Program, and is<br />

signed up to be an assistant<br />

coach for the upcoming<br />

eighth grade Lewiston<br />

Middle School baseball<br />

team. In the past, he<br />

served as President of the<br />

Elliott Ave. Little League<br />

and has been an assistant<br />

coach for several little league teams in the<br />

area. Based on his life experiences, Joe believes<br />

that an accessible and quality education<br />

plays a significant part in ensuring<br />

success for the future of LA’s youth.<br />

Joe’s favorite thing about LA is its sense<br />

of community. He is motivated<br />

by growing local efforts<br />

to effect positive change and<br />

continued development in the<br />

area. When he is not at work<br />

or volunteering his time, Joe<br />

can be found enjoying a bite<br />

to eat at Fuel Restaurant,<br />

where his wife is general<br />

manager. He enjoys traveling,<br />

eating out, playing<br />

hockey, and watching his<br />

stepson’s baseball and<br />

hockey games.<br />

Looking forward, Joe hopes to play a<br />

more significant role in the continued<br />

growth and development of the LA community<br />

through public service. He believes that<br />

we all must advocate for the community<br />

where we live, work, and raise our families.<br />

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

wife Katie Palmer & Joe Philippon<br />

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

mother Celeste Philippon, and father Roger Philippon<br />

with Rep. Mike Michaud in Washington D.C.<br />

Joe at the<br />

trainingvisiting<br />

Trunk or Treat event in Lewiston with an<br />

officer in<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


local heroes<br />

Julia Sleeper<br />

Executive Director, Tree Street Youth Center<br />

Julia found her passion working with<br />

Lewiston’s youth population while she was<br />

an undergraduate at Bates College. She fell<br />

in love with the LA community and decided<br />

to stay in Lewiston after graduation<br />

to continue her work with LA youth by cultivating<br />

opportunities through the development<br />

and creation of the Tree Street Youth<br />

Center. As Executive Director, she oversees<br />

the daily operations of Tree Street, supervises<br />

its staff, collaborates<br />

with the<br />

board of directors and<br />

maintains the ever-growing<br />

vision of the agency.<br />

Her favorite thing about<br />

her work with Tree Street<br />

is seeing local youth and<br />

their families challenging<br />

themselves to try new<br />

things. To Julia, it is a<br />

privilege to witness these<br />

powerful moments.<br />

Some of the projects<br />

Julia is involved in<br />

through Tree Street include<br />

the “StreetLeaders”<br />

program, through which<br />

high-achieving LA high<br />

school students serve as<br />

role models and tutors<br />

for younger children, and<br />

the “B.R.A.N.C.H.E.S.”<br />

program that focuses on<br />

increasing overall graduation,<br />

college acceptance<br />

and college retention<br />

rates for at-risk<br />

youth in LA.<br />

Tree Street further<br />

offers after<br />

school programs<br />

and summer<br />

youth programming,<br />

as well as<br />

arts and athletics.<br />

Julia is highly motivated by<br />

the LA youth population and<br />

finds their energy, pride, and<br />

drive to lead improvement efforts<br />

in their community to be<br />

“very unique and powerful.” She is passionate<br />

about all the LA area agencies that<br />

work so hard to support our youth and<br />

families in need. She is proud to be a part of<br />

the “huge web of support” these agencies<br />

provide. For Julia, the greatest challenge<br />

facing LA today is the need for its citizens<br />

to come together and cross all lines drawn<br />

by their differences. With time, patience,<br />

and a collective willingness to learn, listen<br />

and keep an open mind, she believes this<br />

challenge can be overcome.<br />

In her free time, Julia is happy to stay<br />

home and watch a movie, enjoy the outdoors<br />

by camping or going for a hike, and<br />

engaging in the various fun activities LA<br />

has to offer with her family. For a bite to eat,<br />

Julia favors many of the delicious restaurants<br />

that downtown Lewiston has to offer.<br />

She has a special interest in supporting local<br />

youth sports programs, particularly the<br />

teams her children play for. Julia plans to<br />

continue raising her family in LA while<br />

working to make The Tree Street Youth Center<br />

even greater and more sustainable.<br />

Julia congratulates a graduate<br />

at Tree Street Youth Center<br />

Julia poses with her campers<br />

64 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

WE ARE<br />

TREE<br />

by Julia Sleeper<br />

julia@treestreetyouth.org<br />

Juvenile Justice Initiative, and many collaborative<br />

school partnerships. Each year Tree<br />

Street also hosts a group of 10-12 post-graduate<br />

or college interns through the Intercultural<br />

Community Exchange experience.<br />

These young people commit an academic<br />

year or summer of service to Tree Street and<br />

the Lewiston community while living and<br />

learning as a cohort immersed in the surrounding<br />

Downtown Lewiston-Tree Street<br />

Neighborhood.<br />

Julia Sleeper is the Co-Founder and Executive Director<br />

of Tree Street Youth Center. Born and<br />

raised in the Bangor area, she initially moved to<br />

Lewiston as an undergraduate at Bates College.<br />

That’s when she began connecting to the Downtown<br />

Lewiston community.<br />

T<br />

ree Street Youth supports the<br />

youth of Lewiston-Auburn,<br />

Maine through academics, the<br />

arts and athletics. We provide Lewiston-<br />

Auburn youth with a safe space that encourages<br />

healthy physical, social, emotional, and<br />

academic development while building unity<br />

across lines of difference.<br />

Founded in 2011, Tree Street Youth grew its<br />

roots from a local homework help program.<br />

Thanks to the continued support of the<br />

local community, individual donors, and<br />

foundation grants, Tree Street is able to offer<br />

all of the programming at<br />

no cost to families. We<br />

strive to eliminate economic<br />

barriers by providing<br />

a space of equal<br />

opportunity and advancement.<br />

At Tree Street, we believe<br />

that true empowerment begins with the<br />

self, but then transcends it to create a<br />

greater, collective harmony. Our holistic approach<br />

to youth development integrates a<br />

restorative justice model that demonstrates<br />

leadership, accountability, and life skills,<br />

both strengthening youth and bringing<br />

them together. We aim to empower the individual<br />

self, as well as the<br />

collective whole. We<br />

blend the focus on the individual<br />

with an equally<br />

important emphasis on<br />

building unity by creating<br />

bridges across lines of difference.<br />

We believe in<br />

this model because we ultimately<br />

believe that the<br />

most important thing<br />

that our youth learn is<br />

acceptance – of themselves<br />

and of each other.<br />

Tree Street serves 120-<br />

150 youth grades Pre-K through 12 daily<br />

through its various programs which include<br />

the After school Academic Enrichment program,<br />

StreetLeader Teen Leadership Program,<br />

Arts and Cultural Enrichment<br />

Classes, BRANCHES College Prep, Sequoia<br />

In Autumn 2014, the organization purchased<br />

the entire building which housed the<br />

center thereby gaining an additional 5,424<br />

square feet of space for future growth. Tree<br />

Street has raised approximately $800,000 towards<br />

its $1.3 million building renovation<br />

which will include a logistically sound layout,<br />

a large multi-purpose space complete<br />

with stage and kitchenette as well as a new<br />

suite of classrooms for older youth.<br />

For the last 2 years running Tree Street’s<br />

BRANCHES College Prep has boast a<br />

100% high school graduation rate with the<br />

class of 2015 having a 95% college acceptance<br />

rate!<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


Congratulations<br />

to all of the<br />

<strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> winners!<br />

Roux Insurance is Excited<br />

about its <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> Staff<br />

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

community for over 38 years!<br />

Kay<br />

Roux<br />

Selena<br />

Churchill<br />

Zac<br />

Gayton<br />

PO Box 713, Auburn • 207-795-6744<br />

24 hour helpline: 1-800-559-2927 • www.SafeVoices.org<br />

185 Webster Street, Lewiston • 207-784-9358<br />


volunteers<br />

Elise Johansen<br />

Executive Director, Safe Voices<br />

Elise believes the path to leadership is<br />

not a straight line, but rather a winding<br />

road that, if you are willing, open and positive,<br />

will be worth every twist and turn.<br />

She avoids limiting her aspirations and<br />

keeps an open mind when it comes to trying<br />

new methods of achieving her goals. It<br />

was her positive “just say yes” attitude that<br />

led Elise to her current position as Executive<br />

Director of Safe Voices. By being clear<br />

about her vision and not afraid to ask for<br />

help, she was able to turn a department of<br />

three staff members into a robust program<br />

that boasts up to twenty-four staff members<br />

with numerous new sources of funding.<br />

She views her primary duty as<br />

carrying out the mission of Safe Voices in<br />

working to end domestic violence. Her regular<br />

responsibilities include serving as<br />

spokesperson, setting the leadership model<br />

for the agency and ensuring that all agency<br />

activities are held to the highest possible<br />

standards.<br />

Apart from her work with Safe Voices,<br />

Elise’s favorite thing about LA is enjoying<br />

the view on her daily commute to work.<br />

Seeing birds of prey and turkeys, along<br />

with other wildlife along the river is a wonderful<br />

way to begin her day.<br />

A huge coffee fan, she<br />

often sets meetings at<br />

Forage Market so she can<br />

indulge in their delicious<br />

brews. For lunches and<br />

other events at Safe<br />

Voices, Lewiston House<br />

of Pizza is always a hit.<br />

Personally, she favors<br />

Marche and DaVinci’s<br />

and recently became a<br />

fan of Margarita’s after<br />

enjoying their food at a<br />

benefit for Safe Voices.<br />

Elise is a lover of animals<br />

and nature, and often<br />

spends the weekends<br />

hiking, gardening, or exploring<br />

the tidal pools at<br />

the beach with her wife.<br />

Indoors, she is a self-proclaimed<br />

“major book nerd” and enjoys<br />

watching reality TV. Elise and her wife are<br />

also committed to supporting local businesses,<br />

purchasing many goods from local<br />

farmers and artisans.<br />

In the next ten years, Elise envisions<br />

herself running a large, successful nonprofit,<br />

being a best-selling author, or both!<br />

Causes she is most passionate about include<br />

fighting for the rights of women, animals,<br />

the LGBTQ community, and the<br />

environment.<br />

She has worked hard throughout her career<br />

to collaborate with community stakeholders<br />

to create new services and enhance existing<br />

ones and to ensure that all people are<br />

treated fairly and holistically. She plans to<br />

continue her efforts to create a culture of<br />

kindness and empowerment in the LA<br />

area. For Elise, the keys to success are to<br />

dream big and say “yes.”<br />

Elise enjoys a summer day<br />

live on the set<br />

Elise & Shaun<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


volunteers<br />

Matthew Shaw<br />

Business Development Officer, Community Credit Union<br />

As the Business Development Officer<br />

for Community Credit Union, Matt’s job<br />

is to improve the Credit Union’s competitive<br />

position through business development<br />

functions and working closely with<br />

local dealers and realtors to help secure<br />

lending for various projects in LA. He is<br />

also closely involved with LA area<br />

schools, facilitating financial literacy<br />

courses for students of all ages, and serves<br />

as a representative of CCU at local<br />

fundraisers and community events.<br />

Born and raised in Lewiston, Matt enrolled<br />

in accounting and technology<br />

courses in high school and worked for a<br />

local bank while attending college at St.<br />

Joseph’s. Envisioning a future for himself<br />

helping others and giving back to his community,<br />

he built a strong foundation in<br />

marketing and business ethics and eventually<br />

earned his bachelor’s degree in<br />

Business Administration. Prior to joining<br />

CCU, Matt worked with United Way of<br />

Androscoggin County as Director of Campaign<br />

and Marketing. When he was offered<br />

the job at CCU, Matt saw an ideal<br />

opportunity to combine his commitment<br />

to and admiration for our community<br />

with his passion for building relationships.<br />

He feels fortunate to live and work<br />

in LA with its rich history and beautiful architecture.<br />

agent, banquet bartender<br />

and manager on<br />

duty. When he’s not at<br />

work, he loves to be out<br />

and about in the community.<br />

Whether he’s attending<br />

Business After<br />

Hours around town,<br />

tasting new foods at locally<br />

owned restaurants,<br />

volunteering for events<br />

or participating in local<br />

fundraising efforts, Matt<br />

finds it “engaging and<br />

rewarding” to be a part<br />

of building LA by helping<br />

his fellow citizens<br />

whenever possible. He is<br />

an active presence in<br />

both the LA Metropolitan<br />

Chamber of Commerce and Uplift LA<br />

and loves that so many local businesses<br />

are members of the Chamber and consistently<br />

contribute to efforts to draw more<br />

people to the LA area to live, work and<br />

play.<br />

Some of Matt’s favorite places to eat in LA<br />

include Marche, Jasmine Café, Sea<strong>40</strong> and<br />

DaVinci’s. Outside his community work,<br />

he has an interest in taking scenic photographs,<br />

traveling and sitting by the ocean,<br />

and spending time on Sebago Lake with<br />

family and friends. In the future, he sees<br />

himself continuing to build the LA community<br />

as well as the surrounding area.<br />

He hopes to be able to make lasting positive<br />

impacts and maintains an attitude<br />

that “when you help one, you help<br />

everyone.”<br />

Beyond his career with CCU, Matt<br />

works for the Hilton Garden Inn in<br />

Auburn as a guest services<br />

Matthew Shaw, Deborah Carroll,<br />

Maureen Aube & Jenny Ziebart<br />

Like Family... Jonathan Ogden, Kayleigh Jameyson, Annette Jo &<br />

Matthew Shaw at Sea <strong>40</strong><br />

Richard "Pete" Shaw, Dad; Greg Begin, Brother-In-Law;<br />

Cassandra "KC" Begin, Sister; Karen Shaw, Mom<br />

UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong><br />


volunteers<br />

Maura Moody<br />

Public Relations Coordinator, LAEGC<br />

She characterizes her job<br />

as a fast-paced, multifaceted<br />

position. She is<br />

responsible for marketing<br />

LA and the efforts of<br />

the Council locally and<br />

nationally, planning and<br />

organizing local events<br />

like the Business to Business<br />

Trade Show, and<br />

supporting efforts to<br />

publicize new and existing<br />

businesses in the<br />

area.<br />

“mom and pop” restaurants to enjoy. She<br />

believes it is important not to get so caught<br />

up in her career that she forgets to enjoy<br />

all the rest that life has to offer. To give<br />

back to her community, Maura volunteers<br />

her time helping those in need. Her greatest<br />

passion lies with the local homeless<br />

community and she commends the New<br />

Beginnings Youth Shelter for its efforts to<br />

lead our youth down the path of positivity<br />

and determination. Volunteerism is extremely<br />

important to Maura, whose basic<br />

philosophy is “you can never go wrong<br />

being nice.”<br />

Maura began her academic career in<br />

Auburn and quickly returned to LA after<br />

college. A self-proclaimed “true and<br />

through ‘Mainah,’” her favorite thing<br />

about LA is the plethora of community<br />

events that are always going on. It is inspiring<br />

for Maura to live in a city that is<br />

constantly working to get more citizens involved<br />

on all different levels. Almost a<br />

year ago, she was hired by the Lewiston<br />

Auburn Economic Growth Council as its<br />

Office Manager and Public Relations<br />

Coordinator.<br />

Opportunities for<br />

community involvement<br />

and consistent exposure<br />

to new endeavors and<br />

challenges are Maura’s<br />

favorite aspects of her<br />

work with the LAEGC.<br />

She also feels fortunate<br />

to live and work in an<br />

environment where familiar<br />

faces are found almost<br />

everywhere she<br />

goes. Maura finds marketing<br />

LA to be a fun<br />

venture, motivating her<br />

peers to see the growth<br />

and development in the area by encouraging<br />

them to attend local events.<br />

Outside of her job, Maura loves to<br />

experience new places. She spends<br />

much of her free time exploring, whether<br />

it be hiking, traveling someplace new in<br />

Maine, or searching for undiscovered<br />

For the future, Maura sees herself<br />

working hands-on in the LA community<br />

to advocate for our youth, and is presently<br />

in the process of applying to get her master’s<br />

degree in Social Work. Whether it be<br />

in the school systems or through our local<br />

shelters, she wants to be reaching out and<br />

making a difference.<br />

Maura on the coast of Maine<br />

Maura loves making new friends<br />

Kevin Morin, Joe Philippon, Sandy Marquis & Maura Moody<br />

70 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

Congratulations<br />

to all of the<br />

<strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong><br />

Winners!<br />



Auburn & Norway<br />

1-800-605-9263<br />


volunteers<br />

Rilwan Osman<br />

Executive Director, Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services<br />

Maine Immigrant & Refugee Services<br />

was built upon a shared vision to educate,<br />

support and empower immigrant and<br />

refugee youth in the LA area. The first step<br />

that Rilwan, co-founder and executive director<br />

of MIRS, and his colleagues took<br />

was to establish monthly meetings for<br />

local youth to discuss problems they were<br />

facing and work together to generate positive<br />

solutions.<br />

The monthly meetings<br />

became so popular that<br />

MIRS expanded its services<br />

to include soccer<br />

programs, academic<br />

support, cultural programs<br />

and tradition<br />

counseling. Today, MIRS<br />

not only serves immigrant<br />

and refugee youth<br />

in LA, but also offers a<br />

myriad of services to<br />

their parents. The Citizenship<br />

Program, which<br />

helps immigrant and<br />

refugee parents study for<br />

the literacy portion of<br />

their naturalization<br />

exams, boasts an impressive<br />

success rate and has<br />

become so popular that<br />

people are traveling<br />

from other parts of the<br />

State to be a part of it.<br />

Other services for parents<br />

include<br />

courses on job<br />

searching, parenting<br />

and advanced<br />

reading,<br />

writing and oral<br />

skills.<br />

As Executive Director,<br />

Rilwan oversees all day-to-day<br />

activities of the agency. He helps<br />

facilitate English as a Second<br />

Language courses, juvenile<br />

justice programs, after school<br />

programming, mental health<br />

services, and more. He started MIRS as a<br />

group of volunteers and has seen it<br />

quickly grow into an agency that employs<br />

over thirty people.<br />

Born in Somalia and raised in a<br />

refugee camp, Rilwan had never lived in a<br />

big city when he and his family relocated<br />

to Atlanta, Georgia. Not finding Atlanta to<br />

be a great fit, Rilwan and his family moved<br />

to LA after hearing from other family and<br />

friends that it was a small and safe place<br />

to live and raise children. His favorite<br />

thing about the LA community is the availability<br />

of a support system for those who<br />

need it. Some of his favorite places to eat<br />

include Dunkin’ Donuts and local Somali<br />

restaurants. When he isn’t working, Rilwan<br />

enjoys being with his family and volunteering<br />

his time and money to help<br />

others when he can. Looking to the future,<br />

he plans to work toward more integration,<br />

offering increased multicultural activities<br />

to connect Maine citizens, old and new.<br />

Rilwan’s children<br />

Rilwan with his daughter, Qamar<br />

Abdikadir, Jama, Rilwan & Fatuma<br />

72 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

Cheers!<br />

Congrats to all the<br />

<strong>40</strong> <strong>Under</strong> <strong>40</strong> Winners<br />

You make Lewiston Auburn Proud!<br />



Congratulations<br />

to the<br />

Honorees!<br />

<strong>2016</strong><br />

Abdikadir<br />

Negeye<br />

Co-founder<br />

Maine Immigrant<br />

& Refugee Services<br />

Aimee<br />

Labbe<br />

Manager at Patrick<br />

Dempsey Center for<br />

Cancer Hope & Healing<br />

Alexandra<br />

Hood<br />

Olin Arts Center<br />

Operations<br />

Bates College<br />

Alley<br />

Smith<br />

Supportive Services for<br />

Military Veterans<br />

Veterans, Inc.<br />

Dr. Ashlee<br />

Vandiver, Au.D.<br />

Audiologist<br />

L/A Hearing Center<br />

Ben<br />

Chin<br />

Political Director<br />

Maine People’s Alliance<br />

Chantel<br />

Pettengill<br />

Owner & Director<br />

Pettengill Academy<br />

Colby<br />

Michaud<br />

Owner<br />

Praxis Production Studios<br />

Deanna<br />

Etienne<br />

Pre-K Teacher<br />

Walton Elementary<br />

School<br />

Derrick<br />

Lacasse<br />

Music & Chorus Teacher<br />

St. Dominic Academy<br />

Dr. Rose<br />

Sheline, DDS<br />

Dentist<br />

Center Street Dental<br />

Elise<br />

Johansen<br />

Executive Director<br />

Safe Voices<br />

Emily<br />

Butterfield<br />

Student Navigator<br />

Central Maine<br />

Community College<br />

Emmie<br />

Jones<br />

Owner<br />

Emmie Jones Photography<br />

Eric<br />

Brakey<br />

Maine State Senator<br />

District 20<br />

Erin<br />

Reed<br />

Executive Director<br />

Trinity Jubilee Center<br />

Gabrielle<br />

Russell<br />

Architect<br />

Platz & Associates<br />

Jama<br />

Mohamed<br />

Program Director<br />

Maine Immigrant &<br />

Refugee Services<br />

Jared<br />

Golden<br />

State Legislator<br />

City of Lewiston<br />

Jen<br />

Hogan<br />

President & CEO<br />

Community Credit Union<br />

Jenny<br />

Ziebart<br />

Director of Marketing<br />

LA Metro Chamber<br />

Joe<br />

Philippon<br />

Police Officer<br />

City of Lewiston<br />

Joel<br />

Furrow<br />

Director<br />

Root Cellar<br />

Julia<br />

Sleeper<br />

Executive Director<br />

Tree Street Youth Center<br />

Karly<br />

Eretizen<br />

Creative Strategist<br />

Rinck Advertising<br />

Luke<br />

Livingston<br />

Founder & CEO<br />

Baxter Brewing Company<br />

Marc<br />

Gosselin<br />

Manager<br />

Norway Savings Bank<br />

Arena<br />

Marlo<br />

Hewitt<br />

Founder & Operator<br />

Hair Station Hair Salon<br />

Matthew<br />

Shaw<br />

Business Development<br />

Officer<br />

Community Credit Union<br />

Maura<br />

Moody<br />

Public Relations<br />

Coordinator<br />

LAEGC<br />

Melanie<br />

Therrien<br />

Owner & Operator<br />

Wicked Illustrations<br />

Melissa<br />

Simones<br />

Policy Director<br />

for Senate President,<br />

Michael Thibodeau<br />

Misty<br />

Parker<br />

Economic Development<br />

Specialist<br />

City of Lewiston<br />

Nate<br />

Libby<br />

Maine State Senator<br />

District 21<br />

Nick<br />

Benoit<br />

Principal<br />

Benoit’s Bakery<br />

Rilwan<br />

Osman<br />

Executive Director<br />

Maine Immigrant &<br />

Refugee Services<br />

Sadie<br />

Landry<br />

Sensei & Owner<br />

Pelletier’s Karate<br />

Sara<br />

Goodrich<br />

Massage Therapist<br />

Renew You! Massage<br />

& Yoga<br />

Sheri<br />

Withers<br />

Owner<br />

Downtown Homemade<br />

& Vintage<br />

Vincent<br />

Ratsovong<br />

Creative Director<br />

Community Little Theatre<br />

74 UPLIFT LA <strong>40</strong> UNDER <strong>40</strong>

Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!