At age 22, Charlie Longo has already been elected to the Bangor City Council and worked on the campaign of a successful presidential candidate.

Longo is no stranger to government. He has a resume that includes a variety of political jobs.

When he was only a teenager, he was working nearly 120 hours a week for then-presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign.

“I’ve shaken Barack Obama’s hand before in Bangor and I shook President Obama’s hand once when he came to Portland,” said Longo, 22.

“He thanked me for helping his campaign. It was really cool and it was a tremendous honor.”

When asked if he had envisioned himself being a city councilor at 22, he said no.

“I imagined myself being out of college with a pretty nice job, making some money, saving up for a house,” he said. “It really kicked off with the Obama campaign.”

Longo began volunteering for the Obama campaign in 2008 but was asked to play a bigger role and offered a job.

“They moved me out to Washington County and I was almost the only organizer there,” he said. “Going from teenager to adult I was in Washington County. I really think I grew up there.

“I realized I could set my mind to anything, except for calculus,” he said with a chuckle.

Longo’s political experience began early. He went to high school at Lee Academy, about 60 miles north of Bangor. There, he served on the student council and was president of his freshmen class. He was also a member of the National Honor Society.

Longo entered Husson University as a political science major. He was also president of college Democrats, but he says the party had little influence at the school.

When a seat opened on the Bangor City Council, he left Husson to make a run for office.

“I saw that there was an open seat and that was the best chance to make an impact,” he said.

“Politicians are not perfect and I realized that,” Longo said. “They don’t have to be superman but you need to be willing to contribute and it worked fairly well. New people bring new ideas and the people agreed with what I had to say.”

Longo was elected with nearly 5,000 votes, and almost immediately had big issues to contend with.

When Longo took his council seat, the city was grappling with a controversial, $65-million plan to build a new arena and civic center to replace the city’s aging auditorium. He says he got a lot of input from constituents.

“You get to meet new people and get to go to great events,” he said. “It’s a tremendous honor to be on the council and to have the trust bestowed on you.”

One person Longo made an impression on was Richard Shaw, a Bangor historian. Shaw had nothing but positive things to say about Longo.

“He’s a great communicator and he is a great councilor because he always argues his point without being strident about it,” said Shaw. “I’ve seen him work well with other councilors. He has great pride in his city.”

Longo also worked with former House Speaker John Richardson.

“He’s wiser beyond his years in how he sees the world,” Richardson said. “I saw a young man coming from a northern Penobscot town and coming to a big city town like Bangor.

“I encouraged him to look at running for Bangor City Council.”

Richardson said Longo encouraged Richardson’s son to run for president of student government at George Washington University. He won as a sophomore.

Longo says being elected to the Bangor City Council has been his greatest accomplishment to date.

“Just getting elected was great,” he said. “I need to make sure I uphold the pact I have with the people. My goal is to make Bangor as transparent as it can.”

At 22, Longo is studying marketing at Husson University and is a customer service provider at Christmas Tree Shops.



Helps spread new ideas in Maine

Adam Burk is a lifesaver to some.

He has worked to benefit homeless youth and to improve social services.

Through policy systems and environmental change, Burk has worked to help Cumberland County communities become healthier.

Burk, 31, launched TEDxDirigo in 2010. He brought the TEDx platform to Maine to spread “ideas worth sharing.”

The goal of TEDxDirigo is to be a catalyst for positive change in the state by giving visionaries and leaders an opportunity to share ideas at an annual conference and through videos on YouTube.

He lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife, Molly, and two dogs Maya and Acadia.


Business success at a young age

In 2008, Eric Conlon became U.S. Cellular’s director of sales for the New England region. Since his arrival, he has increased the business’s annual revenues by more than $20 million.

Conlon also lowered operating expenses by more than $3 million.

Throughout New England, Conlon leads more than 500 associates and covers 88 store locations.

Customer satisfaction is important in any business. In 2010, New England had a greater increase in customer satisfaction than any other market for U.S. Cellular.

Conlon, 29, began his work for U.S. Cellular as a sales representative in 2002. He holds a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Kaplan University.

“I like the values of (U.S. Cellular) because they match with my personal values,” he said.

An active member of the Greater Portland Region Chambers of Commerce, Conlon is an advocate for working with local businesses and leads U.S. Cellular’s grassroots initiatives “Calling All Communities” and “Calling All Teachers.”

Conlon lives in Scarborough with his wife, Amy, and his two children: 4-year-old daughter Braylen and 4-month-old son Kellen.


Helps manage Olympic images

Drew Johnson is no stranger to the Olympics or its athletes.

Since 2004, Johnson has worked for Octagon, a sports marketing company, managing public relations efforts for top Olympians.

His involvement has helped gain Octagon recognition as the most successful agency for Olympic athletes in the world, and Johnson has played a big role.

He managed Octagon’s media and public relations work at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, and represented athletes such as Mainer and gold medalist Seth Wescott.

Johnson, 36, also contributes to charitable organizations such as the Level Field Fund, the Michael Phelps Foundation, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America and the Special Olympics.

Johnson is also a swimmer himself. He recently competed in the world swimming championships in Shanghai.


Makes social media accessible

Amanda O’Brien’s job is to make social media and Internet marketing more accessible through her monthly “Social Media Breakfasts.”

These breakfasts bring 90 to 150 people together in Portland each month to discuss topics from and concerning social media.

O’Brien has been instrumental in the growth of the company she works for, Hall Internet Marketing.

She says her company builds well-functioning websites, not just attractive ones.

“We don’t just design and build pretty websites,” she said. “We have always built websites that are really functional and we stick around to make sure the website functions.”

O’Brien has been with Hall Internet Marketing for 3 1/2 years and is currently the vice president of marketing. She says one of the best things about her job is the people she works with.

“I work with really smart people and we work with great clients who really get the Internet,” said O’Brien, 32. “I work with really smart co-workers who are really into their specialties.”

In her spare time, O’Brien enjoys exploring Maine as well as showing it off to non-Mainers. O’Brien lives in Portland with her husband, Adam, and their two dogs.


Helps navigate regulatory rules

Brian Rayback is an attorney at Pierce Atwood LLP in Portland.

Rayback, 37, practices environmental business law and helps clients navigate environmental regulations by balancing business needs with environmental protection at the state, federal and local levels.

Rayback provides advice to businesses involved in regulatory, legislative and judicial proceedings concerning a variety of environmental and land-use issues.

Some of these issues include natural resources, air and water pollution, and development laws.

“This is the place I imagine myself retiring from,” said Rayback. “That is what I hope happens. Lots of people spend their entire careers here.”

“It’s a unique place because there are top-notch lawyers and top-notch clients.”

Rayback is a member of the board of directors for the Biodiversity Research Institute in Gorham.

Its mission is to investigate emerging threats to wildlife and ecosystems, and to use scientific findings to advance environmental awareness and to inform decision makers.

Rayback, a graduate of Colby College, lives in Cape Elizabeth with his wife, Alysa Cohen, and children Lucy, 6, Maisie, 3, with a third child on the way.


Rising real estate star

Not having decades of experience doesn’t keep 28-year-old Realtor Jeremy Reynolds from doing his job and doing it well.

Although Reynolds is younger than most real estate agents, his clients trust him to handle complicated issues associated with buying and selling real estate.

“It’s very enjoyable,” said Reynolds, who resides in Cape Neddick. “It is tough to put words to how rewarding this job is. Setting people up with a house that is the American Dream is rewarding. Working with the people and meeting their expectations is special.”

In his nine years as an agent, Reynolds has closed in excess of $50 million worth of real estate transactions and continues to be among southern Maine’s youngest successful agents.

In his spare time, Reynolds has been an organizer of the Dockside Striper Tournament, which has benefited York Hospital and the York and Kittery Food Pantries.


Helps disabled in the workplace

Steve Sawczyn is the owner of Assistive Technology Services of Maine, a service that helps raise awareness of disability issues and trains and consults individuals with disabilities to give them the confidence to become or remain employed.

Sawczyn, 35, works with businesses and state and local governments to ensure accessibility in the workplace for people with disabilities and to dispel false information about employing the disabled.

“Knowing that what I’m doing is making a difference to someone else is what I’ve enjoyed the most,” Sawczyn said. “Seeing their appreciation and knowing that I played a part in that is something I’ve enjoyed.”

Sawczyn provides assistive technology training directly to people with disabilities, helping them build confidence and computer literacy.

He has also worked with organizations to build websites with information to level the playing field between the disabled and non-disabled.


Commercial real estate broker

Andrew Sigfridson is a leading broker in Maine commercial real estate.

Sigfridson is a designated broker at CBRE — The Boulos Co.

He promotes the real estate industry like few others through his work with organizations such as the Maine Commercial Association of Realtors.

“The experience there has been a great one because you get exposed to so many types of businesses and types of people,” Sigfridson said. “The nice thing is the diversity of projects you get to work on.”

Sigfridson, 35, serves on the board of the New England chapter of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors and the board of Avesta Housing and the Maine Community Foundation.

Sigfridson and his wife of nine years, April Wernig, have three kids: Alyssa, 5, Leah, 4, and Eric, 2.


Community bicycling advocate

Scott Townsend is involved in numerous organizations outside his work as a provider of personal, community-minded real estate services.

“I’m able to support others and help them in the transition in their life,” Townsend said.

Townsend, 37, is a Realtor at Keller Williams Realty and the co-owner of, a real estate site featuring housing information on Higgins Beach. He coordinates the site with his wife, Sunny.

Townsend is a corporate sponsor of Camp Ketcha, a residential camp for boys and girls in Scarborough, and is on the executive committee of the Greater Portland New England Mountain Bike Association.

He is also a trail liason in Cape Elizabeth and a community bicycle safety educator. He also works to create and support regional bicycle trails.

The Townsends live in Scarborough with their dog, Fenway. Scott says he enjoys walking on Higgins Beach with Sunny and Fenway.