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The Bank of Maine Charitable Foundation and Camden National Bank Recognize Five Nonprofit Leaders at 2015 Leaders & Luminaries Event

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A total of $18,500 in grants awarded to local board members for contributions to their organizations.

Portland, ME, November 13, 2015 – On Thursday, November 5th, Camden National Bank joined leaders and representatives from Maine’s nonprofit community for the 2015 Leaders & Luminaries luncheon. Held during the Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP) Finance Conference at The Harraseeket Inn in Freeport, the annual awards ceremony recognizes and celebrates the impact of the state’s local nonprofits and the leaders who have dedicated themselves to helping their organizations achieve their goals. This year’s Leaders & Luminaries grand prize of $10,000 was awarded to Catherine Powers of the Bath Housing Authority. Other honorees included Harris J. (Pete) Bixler of Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, William Branch of Kennebec Behavioral Health in Waterville, and Lynn Gierie of the Robbie Foundation in Scarborough, who each received $2,500 for their respective organizations.

Powers, a board member of the Bath Housing Authority and Bath Housing Development since 1997, was selected as this year’s grand prize recipient for her tireless work recruiting and hiring a new executive director, spearheading the creation of the new Community Aging in Place program, and helping Bath Housing fulfill its mission to provide safe, affordable and stable housing to area residents in need.

“I am so grateful to the Bank for its recognition of the valuable work being done by nonprofit organizations statewide and the hundreds of people who volunteer to serve on their Boards,” said Powers in her acceptance speech. “I would also like to thank the other institutions and families who so generously set up foundations, trusts and awards, such as this one, to aid groups like ours. This support is the lifeblood of nonprofits, and this generous grant today will allow us to continue and further our mission.”

In addition to the grand prize award, the three remaining finalists received $2,500 for each of their organizations.

  • Harris J. (Pete) Bixler, of Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport, was recognized for playing a crucial role in founding the organization’s music school, embracing a new management team with an innovative and contemporary vision for future growth, and supporting the nonprofits financial needs through matching grants, scholarships and ongoing financial support.
  • William Branch, of Kennebec Behavioral Health in Waterville, was honored for his volunteer work and contributions to the board, the staff, and the local community, as well as his ability to keep the board focused on the consumer and on making decisions that are sustainable and ultimately fulfill the organization’s mission.
  • Lynn Gierie of the Robbie Foundation in Scarborough, was recognized for her contributions as the founder of the Robbie Foundation, an organization designed to raise awareness for the special needs community and provide adaptive equipment, assistive technology, therapy treatment, and other necessary items not covered by insurance to improve the quality of life for Maine children who have special needs.

The Bank also presented a special “Emerging Board Leader” award to Rebekah Smith of the Maine Women’s Policy Center in Augusta, who received $1,000 for her outstanding dedication and commitment to nonprofit board service. Smith was honored for her contributions to her organization and to Maine’s women and girls by taking over as chair of the governance committee, developing board recruiting tools, articulating the organization’s mission, programs, staffing and budget, and helping to unite the board around a shared purpose.

"Nonprofits are the cornerstones of our communities,” said Renee Smyth, chief marketing officer of Camden National Bank. “They provide leadership for adults and children in need as well as healthcare, food, housing, clothing, preservation, arts and education, sports and more, and we are proud to be one of the many helping hands dedicated to making these organizations stronger.” 

Started in 2013 by The Bank of Maine Charitable Foundation, the Leaders & Luminaries award recognizes the importance and impact of nonprofit board members who provide invaluable services to their communities. An independent committee reviewed more than 65 nominations submitted from across the state this year and ultimately identified four finalists. The criterion for the award is excellence in board governance, supported by demonstrated examples of inspiration, creativity, and ingenuity.

About Camden National Bank

Headquartered in Camden, Maine, Camden National Corporation is the holding company of Camden National Bank, and Acadia Trust, N.A. Camden National Bank is a full-service community bank with a network of 64 branches and 85 ATMs throughout Maine, as well as with state-of-the-art online and mobile banking resources. Acadia Trust offers investment management and fiduciary services through its offices in Portland, Bangor and Ellsworth. Healthcare Professional Funding, a subsidiary of Camden National Bank, is a leader in financing for providers of dental, veterinary and eye care. Camden Financial Consultants, a division of Camden National Bank, provides full-service brokerage and insurance services. To learn more, visit .