Volunteers of America Northern New England in Brunswick has received a $95,000 grant from Jane’s Trust in support of the Cabin in the Woods Veterans Housing program. The donation will furnish the living rooms, bedrooms and kitchens of 21 homes for veterans at Togus VA Medical Center in Chelsea.

Dorothy Blanchette of the Falmouth Food Pantry was presented with a “Patriots Difference Maker of the Week” on Dec. 31  in a special halftime ceremony during the Patriots’ regular season finale versus the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. Each of the 15 nonprofits recognized received a $5,000 grant. 

Midcoast Charitable Foundation of Maine recently announced the award of $12,500 in grants to the following: Bath Area Family YMCA; Bath Area Food Bank; Habitat for Humanity; Harpswell Coastal Academy; New Ventures Maine; Oasis Free Clinics; Tedford Housing; and United Way of Mid Coast Maine.


For the seventh time in four years the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored the University of Southern Maine’s efforts to reduce and reuse waste at its campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston. USM was the only Maine university to earn regional recognition for its overall recycling — awarded with a WasteWise Achievement Certificate — and the only public school in Maine to earn a Food Recovery Challenge Award for efforts to reduce and reuse food waste.

Norway Savings Bank has received an “Outstanding” rating on its latest Community Reinvestment Act exam, administered by the FDIC. The bank was recognized for its strong record of helping to meet the credit needs of the communities it serves – which includes low- and moderate-income neighborhoods and small businesses.

Crescendo Consulting Group of Portland has been hired to conduct an 18-month Community Mental Health Needs Assessment to assist Springfield/Greene County, Missouri in understanding how mental health and substance use affects over a quarter million people in the region. The group pioneered their “Assessment as Action Health Improvement Cycle” model to engage community partners and use data to develop a deeper understanding of community challenges.

Hires, promotions, appointments

Maine College of Art has announced leadership changes within the organization. Julie D’Andrea, who has led major fundraising campaigns in New York City at Barnard College, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall, has been named the new vice president of development, effective Jan. 22. In addition, effective Jan. 8, Brigid Lawler will assume MECA’s director of admissions post and Jennifer Doebler will begin serving as director of student life.

Peggy Leonard of North Yarmouth has accepted a position as digital marketing manager in the Farmers’ Almanac division of Geiger, headquartered in Lewiston. Leonard serves on the town of North Yarmouth Communications Advisory Committee and recently served as a board member with the American Red Cross Midcoast/Central Maine Chapter.

University of New England President James Herbert announced the promotion of Curt Smyth to the role of director of athletics. Smyth is the interim director of athletics and has been a member of the UNE athletics staff for more than 20 years.

Neurosurgeon Dr. Nicolas F. Arredondo has joined Maine Spine Surgery. Arredondo is board-certified and has received specialized training in complex spine and minimally invasive surgical techniques. He has expertise in traumatic, metastatic, and degenerative spine pathology.

The city of Portland has named Ryan Francis as the new administrator of the Barron Center, the city’s skilled rehabilitation/nursing and long-term care facility. The position became vacant when Karen Percival retired; Edward Latham has been serving as interim administrator. Francis had previously been the director of Life Enrichment and volunteer coordinator at the Barron Center since 2015.