BRUNSWICK POLICE CMDR. MARK WALTZ, right, is congratulated by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), for receiving the Citizen of the Year award from the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber of Commerce at a recent ceremony.

BRUNSWICK POLICE CMDR. MARK WALTZ, right, is congratulated by Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), for receiving the Citizen of the Year award from the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber of Commerce at a recent ceremony.

BRUNSWICK

Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber of Commerce on Jan. 15 bestowed its prestigious “Citizen of the Year” on Mark Waltz for his community involvement and leadership that spans more than two decades in the Midcoast.

The chamber honored various businesses and community members that night during its annual “The Big Night Out” event.

The Citizen of the Year award was initiated in 1958 and recognizes an individual who, through his or her unselfish commitment to the community, embodies the best characteristics of community citizenship and serves as an example to all.

The 2015 recipient, Waltz lives in Topsham. He is an attorney, business owner and a Commander of Support Services for the Brunswick Police Department. The list of his volunteer work and community involvement work is long, reaching back to 1994.

He’s served eight years in various capacities on the board of the Home to Home nonprofit providing monitored child custody exchanges, has been on the Two Bridges Regional Jail Authority since 2012 and on the Atlantic Regional Federal Credit Union Supervisory Committee he now chairs since 2013. He has served on the Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine board since 1999.

He belonged to the Kiwanis Club of Brunswick for six years starting in 1994 and that same year started a 14- year run with the Brunswick Police Benefits Association. He also has been a den leader and cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 202 in Topsham; coached and wore other hats within the Brunswick Area Youth Football League from 2006 to 2015 and last year was part of the local United Way Campaign Cabinet. Since 1994 he’s played in the Merrymeeting Community Band.

“I certainly appreciate the honor,” Waltz said Thursday.

In accepting the award which was linked to various volunteering efforts, Waltz recognized the businesses so willing to support these organizations through their financial support and thanked them for their willingness to contribute.

He also recognized the many people in the room and other people from the organizations he’s worked with who volunteer as well. In many cases, such as the youth football league he can think of people who have worked at many long hours as he if not more.

To make these organizations work, “you need a core of dedicated volunteers and one or two people aren’t going to keep it going,” he said.

Walt noted that as he works with an organization, he tries to think about the future as well and identify other people to bring into the fold.

“If you’ve done it right, you’re there and done your time but when you leave the organization, you’ve not new people to take your place,” he said.

It’s been work that has helped him as a law enforcement officer because it has allowed him to meet people in the community from different service providers whom he can call as needed and so he knows who to talk to.

Whether it’s a Saturday morning cooking chicken with the Kiwanis Club for the March of Dimes or board meetings at night, times spent volunteering often means sacrificing time away from family.

“My wife has been great about being home when I’m away,” Watlz said.

Carolyn Farkas-Noe, interim executive director for the chamber, said it is a person’s “body of work” they’ve donated and how they support their community through volunteerism that earns them the Citizen of the Year award.

Some people refer to the award recipients as the winner but Farkas-Noe said it’s not a contest.

“It’s to honor the people and especially in the case of the citizen of the year, to inspire people. If (Waltz) does all this and he has a family and a business, then they can too.”

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Other 2015 award recipients

• Joy Johnson, the visionary who created Embrace a Vet in 2011 is the recipient of the Joshua L. Chamberlain Award. Embrace a Vet is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing direct and supportive services to Maine veterans and their families with PTSD and TBI Solider, statesman, educator and businessman Joshua L. Chamberlain is the namesake for this award, first given in 1976.

• Business of the year is Bill Dodge Auto Group and small business of the year is Now You’re Cooking. Selection is based on business growth and improvement, good financial health, quality customer service, staying power, overall excellence in the marketplace, and community contributions.

• New Business Venture of the Year recipient is Tech Place, located at Brunswick Landing which has demonstrated business growth, quality customer service and community contributions.

• The Young Professional of the Year is an up and coming young chamber business professional in the region and was awarded to Kelly Dorsey of Androscoggin Bank.

• Chamber Volunteer of the Year went to Liz Wyman, Camden National Bank who has led the chamber’s Ambassadors and Membership Committee and served on the SMCC Board of Directors. SMMC Chair Matt Barbour chose Cathy A. Barter, Key Bank as the recipient of the Chairman’s Award in recognition of the many and varied contributions that she has made to the chamber.


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