UNE recognizes Maine women of achievement

Anita Stewart, the executive and artistic director of Portland Stage, was honored by the University of New England at the 57th annual Deborah Morton Society Convocation and Awards Ceremony on June 15, on the university’s Portland campus.

Also recognized as a woman of exceptional achievement was Danielle Newberry Ripich, Ph.D., who became the UNE’s fifth president in 2006. 

According to a university press release, Stewart serves as one of the few theater designers in a regional theater leadership role today. During her tenure, she has kept the theater’s mission alive through her commitment to finding exceptional local talent, as well as gathering artists from around the country, to create high-quality productions. Offstage, her work is also evidenced by the theater’s ever-expanding K-12 Education and Artistic Development & Dialogue programs. Stewart has developed age-appropriate education programs specifically designed to nurture developing young artists and further the skills of seasoned artists.

During Ripich’s decade of leadership, the university saw unprecedented growth, including the launch of the College of Pharmacy, College of Graduate Studies and College of Dental Medicine, as well as five Centers of Excellence for Research and Scholarship and a UNE campus in Morocco. The university also saw tripled enrollment, built 14 new buildings and was listed by Princeton Review among the top colleges and universities in the country.

Ripich is internationally recognized for her language research, particularly in the areas of child language and Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. As a Congressional Fellow, she served the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, on the staff of the U. S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, and Labor and Pensions.

Peggy Rotundo, director of Strategic and Policy Initiatives for the Bates College Harward Center for Community Partnerships in Lewiston, was honored at the event as well. 

The Deborah Morton Award recognizes Maine women who have become distinguished by their careers, public service and leadership in civic, cultural or social causes. The award celebrates the memory of Deborah Morton, of Round Pond, valedictorian of the Class of 1879 of Westbrook Seminary, the forerunner of Westbrook College, which merged with UNE in 1996. After graduating, Morton served as a longtime faculty member at the seminary, as a teacher, lecturer, reformer and advocate for equal rights on social, political and economic levels.

Hires, promotions, appointments

Karen Bowe of Portland has been hired as a new account executive at Sun Media Acquisitions, publisher of The Forecaster and Current newspapers and Maine Women and My Gen magazines. Bowe replaces Janet Allen, a resident of North Yarmouth who has worked for The Forecaster for seven years. Allen has accepted a position at Springboard Staffing, effective June 18. Bowe will be representing the four weekly editions of the Forecaster papers – Portland, Northern, Mid-Coast and Southern –  in Cumberland, Yarmouth, North Yarmouth and part of Portland – and also selling advertising for special sections such as 95 North, Insider Guides and Best of Best in addition to the niche magazines. 

Quahog Bay Bedding in Brunswick announced that Alyssa Hayward has accepted the position of Sales and Service manager. Hayward previously worked as an assistant designer for Heartloom in New York City.

Jennifer Chamberlin of Portland is the new Commercial Portfolio Manager at Evergreen Credit Union and Julie Littell, also a Portland resident, is a new Commercial Loan Officer. 

Thos. Moser, maker of handcrafted American furniture, announced June 1 that former Bristol Seafood co-founder Darrell Pardy of Brunswick has become the company’s vice president and chief operating officer. Other recent hires include Adam Policky as director of Sales & Marketing and Ted W.B. Regan as director of Business Development & Client Relationships.

The University of New England has appointed Karen Houseknecht, Ph.D., as the associate provost for Research and Scholarship. Houseknecht will lead research strategy and research compliance efforts across all academic programs at UNE. Houseknecht has served as the interim dean for the UNE College of Pharmacy since June 2017 and also serves as professor of pharmacology in the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine.


Maine Medical Center has received the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines-AFIB Gold Quality Achievement Award, the highest level possible for high-quality management of atrial fibrillation in patients. To receive the award, hospitals must have met AHA criteria for treating the kind of irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation for at least 24 consecutive months. 

New Ventures

Holbrook Community Foundation welcomes Ashley Griset and John Profenno as the new managers of Holbrook’s Wharf + Grille and the General Store at Cundy’s Harbor. Griset and Profenno manage food service operations at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland, as well as the Seawolves Café on the South Portland campus and The Landing Café on the Brunswick campus. 

Giving back

Members of the Portland-based Hydro International office participated in the annual Long Creek trash cleanup event on June 1, including Charles Horton,  Andrew Anastasio, Griffin Wood, Jeremy Fink, Bridget Domareki, Cheryl Goulet, Tim Manson, Sebastian Roesner, Jim Newkirk and Alyssa Battles.

Save the date

The public will be asked to name a new flavor during the grand opening of Cape Whoopies in South Portland, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, June 30 with a special celebration and ribbon-cutting at the art bakery, coffee shop and cold-brewing facility at 185 Cottage Road. Throughout the day there will be tastings and offerings of gourmet pies and Rwanda Bean Company along with raffles and contests.


Summit Natural Gas of Maine, based in Yarmouth, recently announced the recipients of the company’s 2018 Charitable Giving Program, including the Falmouth Food Pantry and Yarmouth Fire Rescue Explorers Post No. 178, which will each receive $1,000 donations.

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association is awarding a $3,000 grant to Turtle Rock Farm in Brunswick, a MOFGA-certified organic business. The funding will enable Turtle Rock to access technical and consulting services to increase sales to wholesale markets.

KeyBank Foundation donated $10,000 to The Telling Room’s Young Writers & Leaders program in late May. From left are Sonya Tomlinson of the YWL program; Maha Albadri, YWL alum; Celine Kuhn, executive director of The Telling Room; Sterling Kozlowski of Key Bank and Mary K. Shaw of KeyBank and a member of The Telling Room board.HouseknechtAllenBoweStewart