Cumberland man leading state golf association

Cumberland reisdent Brian Bickford is the new executive director of The Maine State Golf Association, effective March 1. A Maine native and familiar face to many in the Maine golf community, Bickford replaced longtime executive director Nancy Storey, who retired in January after a 21-year career with the organization.

Since 2006, Bickford has been the director of golf and head golf professional at Val Halla Golf Course in Cumberland, where he grew the junior golf program to become the one of the largest in New England. “When I started at Val Halla, we had only 16 juniors,” Bickford said. “In 2018, we had 392 junior registrations across 16 programs. ”

Bickford, who has served as the recreation director for the town of Cumberland since 2010, will continue fostering junior golf statewide as part of the MSGA’s goal to make golf more accessible and appealing to young people. He also brings a wealth of industry experience from other leadership and volunteer roles, having been a former club president and board member of the New England Professional Golfers’ Association, a high school golf coach, and the treasurer of the MSGA.

In recognition of his contributions and achievements, Bickford was elected to the Maine Golf Hall of Fame in 2016, and he was recognized by his PGA peers as the NEPGA Maine Chapter Golf Professional of the Year in 2013 and again in 2018.

Hires, promotions, appointments

Assured Solar Energy, Inc. of North Yarmouth, a locally owned solar sales and installation business, has hired Paul Weiss of Cumberland as vice president of business development. Most recently, Weiss was director and president of Southern Maine Regional Resource Center at Maine Medical Center.

Gilda Bryand, of Portland, was promoted to administrative manager in the tax practice at Baker Newman Noyes. Bryand joined the firm in 2015.

Portland-based Sea Bags, designers and manufacturers of handmade items from recycled sails, recently promoted two members of its crew. Sean Powers, who has been with Sea Bags since March 2014, will oversee store communications, store systems, sales training and store policies and procedures. Dana DeOliveira has been with Sea Bags for a little less than a year and, in her new role, will take on more managerial activities.

Maya Gamble of Portland joined Scott Simons Architects in January as an architectural intern.


LearningWorks has been awarded a one-year grant from United Way of York County totaling $4,050 that will benefit the Service Works program, which uses a restorative justice framework to mentor corrections-involved youth through transformative, community-based volunteer projects.


Southern Maine Community College has been named the third-highest RN nursing school program out of 12 accredited nursing schools in Maine by in its third annual State RN Program Rankings.


Bill Shippen, center, the outgoing president of Maine Society of Land Surveyors, presented the President of the Year award to John Swan, right, and John Schwanda, who work in the Falmouth office of Owen Haskell. Swan is also Shippen’s partner at Survey Inc.

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