Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce

Annual Awards Banquet - 2014

Friday, January 24th, 2014
Augusta Civic Center Main Auditorium

5:30 p.m. Social Hour & Cash Bar
7:00 p.m. Dinner & Awards Ceremonies
$50 per person/$400 for table of eight
RSVP required - call 207-623-4559
or e-mail info@augustamaine.com

Thank you to our major sponsors:

Media Sponsors

Platinum Sponsors

2014 Annual Awards Winners

These businesses and organizations, and the people who provide leadership for them, have a profound effect upon the business environment and the economy in the Capital Area and beyond. They all contribute significantly to the quality of life enjoyed in the Kennebec Valley.

Business of the Year

MaineGeneral Health
Chuck W. Hays

MaineGeneral Health - Chuck W. Hays

Delivering on the promise of bringing the highest quality health care services to the Kennebec Valley, MaineGeneral has completed its $312 million Alfond Center for Health. Impressive as the 640,000 square-foot facility is – complete with 192 private rooms and the latest technology – it's MaineGeneral's focus on its workforce – 4,000 strong – that will benefit our region for generations to come. According to CEO Chuck Hays, "Our vision is to become the nation’s number one community health system." Employees at MaineGeneral Medical Center have already earned the top rating in the country by Anthem for quality and safety, and are in the top 20 hospitals in employee engagement. Thayer Center for Health renovations begin in early 2014.

Business Persons of the Year

John Babb & Cassie Babb
J&S Oil Company

John Babb & Cassie Babb - J&S Oil Company

This brother/sister duo heads a team of 200 associates in a business focused for over 40 years on customer service. As teens, both pumped gas at their parent's Manchester station. J&S now has locations in Auburn, Augusta, Farmingdale, Lewiston, Topsham, Manchester, Waterville and Winslow. With convenience stores, car washes, Express Lubes, heating oil deliveries and a wholesale fuels transport business. John and Cassie say, "We're blessed with an employee-owned-family-oriented business where we all take pride in an ownership culture of service. Shared ownership and good communications of our values, help our associates strive to better satisfy our customers."

Lifetime Achievement Award

Norman Pomerleau
NRF Distributors

Norman Pomerleau - NRF Distributors

At 81, this entrepreneur remains in high gear running the Nation's 3rd largest flooring distribution company (NRF), based in Augusta. Norman's 350 employees are "close family," committed to "taking care of customers. My job," he says "is to grow the company and make sure we're the best at what we do." With advanced inventory technology and huge warehouses, NRF weekly fulfills complex orders and ships 200 trailer truckloads of carpet, wood and other flooring materials to retailers as far away as Erie, PA. With great love of his 40-year-old business, his immediate family and his church, Norman also supports many causes, including, for 30 years, sponsoring a rural school in Brazil.

Special Service Award

Charlie & Nancy Shuman
Charlie's Motor Mall

Charlie & Nancy Shuman - Charlies Motor Mall

This hard-working and extremely generous couple left Portland to start their Augusta auto business in 1986 with one brand, one building, 17 employees and sales of 1,250 cars a year. Now, with nine brands, 300 employees, and 11 buildings, Charlie's sells about 7,000 autos a year. Charlie and Nancy take great delight in "giving back to the community" and are major benefactors to the United Way, YMCA, humane society, hospital, schools, food banks, colleges and many others. Nancy is also known to purchase very large quantities of shoes or winter coats and deliver them to the United Way office, "simply because there is a need and we sincerely want to give back to our community."

President's Awards

Cape Air
Linda Markham

Linda Markham - Cape Air

Augusta's only commercial airline started 25 years ago with pilot-entrepreneur Dan Wolf flying from Provincetown to Boston. Now one of the largest independent regional airlines in the US, Cape Air's 1,000 employees operate 80 aircraft in 43 communities in the US, Caribbean and Micronesia. President Linda Markham (Dan is now CEO) says, "We have a real passion for simplicity, responding to passenger needs and delivering extraordinary service." Cape Air averages 700 flights a day with its "smaller" aircraft and serves 750,000 passengers annually. In 2010 Cape Air began service in Maine's capital and now connects some 10,000 passengers a year with Boston and the rest of the world.

Downtown Diner
Mike & Kim Meservey

Mike & Kim Meservey - Downtown Diner

At 3:45 am, Mike Meservey drops Kim off at work with a kiss and a "have a good day, honey." Minutes later he joins her in their Augusta restaurant where the highly energetic and fun-loving couple prepares hundreds of meals for their loyal customers. Restaurant owners since 1994, the couple joined the downtown redevelopment surge, opening Downtown Diner in 2011. "The move turned the switch and we’ve been growing ever since," they say. While their focus is on "good homemade food, decent prices, decent portions and a very clean restaurant," the Meserveys also play an active role in the Augusta Downtown Alliance and the "Downtown Darlings," promoting the riverfront heart of Augusta.

Maple Hill Farm Inn & Conference Center
Scott Cowger & Vince Hannan

Scott Cowger & Vince Hannan - Maple Hill Farm Inn & Conference Center

Hospitality with a unique flair! World guests from far (Australia, China, Russia) and near have shared the eco-friendliness of this charming Hallowell inn, named "Best Green B&B" by Yankee Magazine with "Excellent" ratings from TripAdvisor. Owners Scott Cowger and Vince Hannan cordially make this home-away-from-home a great experience for overnighters as well as the thousands of guests who attend meetings, weddings and other events at the center which seats up to 150 guests. Scott and Vince proudly support their community by buying local produce and goods, promoting local artists in their gallery, and contributing to good causes. Attention to detail brings guests back again and again!

Community Service Award

Sue Grenier
G&E Roofing & The China Dine-ah

Sue Grenier - G&E Roofing & The China Dine-ah

Getting good things done with a touch of humor! That's Sue. She's been Board Chair and Pacesetter Chair of the United Way of Kennebec Valley, board member of Big Brothers Big Sisters, co-chair of KVYMCA auctions and golf tourneys, waiter for Sexual Assault & Rape Crisis Celebrity Dinners. She's helped raise millions of dollars with her "passion to give," admonishing others: "everybody can do something, give what you can." She literally raises funds on the run, in a number of 5K charity events. Combining a high level of professional competence with a bit of silly earns her high marks from everyone who touches her life. Her boss Norm Elvin says her work is "a win-win for business and community."

Young Professional Award

Amanda Bartlett
Augusta Downtown Alliance / Lithgow Public Library

Amanda Bartlett - Augusta Downtown Alliance / Lithgow Public Library

In 2012 this entrepreneur launched Bartlett Inspection Services with a passion to help low-income housing administrators ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors have safe places to call home. A UMA grad, Amanda previously worked at MaineHousing where she investigated substandard housing conditions and helped define a corrective action plan. A Kennebec Leadership Institute grad, Amanda is also very passionate about her community: she's a member of the Augusta School Board, Chair of the Friends of Lithgow Library, former Vice-President of the Augusta Downtown Alliance, and co-founder of a new non-profit, Literacy Lane. And she is the proud mother of two boys.