SNHU Maine Honored as Education Leader

Saturday, February 05, 2011
SNHU Communications Office

SNHU Maine Receives Award  at Chamber Dinner for its MBA Partnership

LEWISTON — A standing ovation greeted Dara Reimers, owner of The Bread Shack in Auburn, as she walked up to accept one of the President’s Awards at the 123rd annual meeting and recognition banquet of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday night.

Fresh from a prestigious victory in Italy where a team of four American bakers she coached took first place in an international competition, Reimers received recognition for the success of the artisan bakery she opened on Center Street in August of 2008. Her return flight from the SIGEP Bread Cup International Bakery Contest got her back to the Twin Cities just in time for the home town recognition.

Several hundred area business and civic leaders packed the Ramada Conference Center for the annual event.

The award to The Break Shack was one of 17 presented to community leaders ranging from small enterprises like Reimers’ to large firms including the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Lewiston.

Susan Stacey of Central Maine Community College, who is chair of The Chamber’s board of directors, presided over the awards ceremony. In her opening remarks, she announced that the Androscoggin Chamber has “surged ahead of Portland to become the largest Chamber in Maine.” She said the organization added 179 new members in 2010, bringing its roster total to 1,385.

She also told attendees that the three-year-old Young Professionals of the Lewiston-Auburn Area already has 500 members.

The Turner Business Award went to Accidental Anomalies and Jon Randall, the firm’s president. Accidental Anomalies builds custom staircases and handrails to fit clients’ particular specifications.

The Poland Spring Inn and owner Cyndi Robbins received the Poland Business Award. That historic landmark was founded in 1790 as a stagecoach stop, and it has entertained celebrities throughout the years. Recently the resort developed a major new golf practice facility and miniature golf course as well as Cyndi’s Dockside Restaurant. About 32,000 visitors enjoyed the Central Maine destination last year.

Diane Dubois received the Business Leadership Award for a smaller company in recognition of her growing Cassiel’s Salon and Spa from a one-person operation a few years ago to a business with 18 employees now.

The Chamber’s Public Service Leadership Award went to Paul Badeau of the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council. He has been the architect and the major force behind the “L/A It’s Happening Here” campaign and he recently developed the new Launch L-A initiative.

Recipient of the Business Leadership Award for a larger company was the Wal-Mart Distribution Center. The distribution center is one of the largest development projects in Maine in the last decade and the award recognizes its significant impact on Lewiston-Auburn employment.

Peter Murphy of Neokraft Signs received the prestigious Ray Geiger Award for his support for and leadership of The Chamber. After seven years on the Board of Directors including a term as chair of the board, he is now co-chair of the Regional Image Committee.

A Community Service Leadership Award was given to three local banks that have collaboratively started a scholarship challenge to support students at USM at Lewiston Auburn College. Mechanics Savings Bank, Auburn Savings Bank and Androscoggin Bank put up $24,000 to match dollar-for-dollar amounts for scholarships.

The Cool Chamber Award, which is presented to an organization or individual that has made a significant difference in energy conservation and preserving resources, was given to Jim Wellehan of Lamey Wellehan Shoes and Bruce Damon of Damon Mechanical Service.

Recipient of the Ken Additon Small Business Advocate award was Women, Work and Community for its pioneering work in developing new entrepreneurs in the communities.

The Education Award went to Southern New Hampshire University which worked with Central Maine Community College to develop an MBA program in the Lewiston-Auburn area.

A second President’s award was presented to Jim Day and Nick Glicos, the new owners of Martindale Country Club, and a third President’s award went to Josh Shea of Lewiston Auburn Magazine.

The meeting concluded with Chamber officers presenting a large surprise basket to president Chip Morrison.

“I do this because I love to do it and I love the energy that comes from all of you,” Morrison said. He said he continues to be excited by “the things that we have done together, and we have just begun.”

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