FOKO welcomes new executive director

Shireen S. Shahawy of Shahawy Communications in Portland is the new executive director of The Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ, effective June 17.


Her work includes creating and executing strategic marketing communications programs for Efficiency Maine, Bath Savings Institution, Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce and IDEXX. The voice of Shawhawy, who has been a professional voiceover actor for almost 30 years, can be heard in local, regional and national commercials and podcasts. Her community involvement includes Good Theater and the Institute for Civic Leadership.

Hires, promotions, appointments

The Children’s Museum & Theatre of Maine announced that Julie Butcher Pezzino, formerly of Grow Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, has been hired as the next executive director, effective July 8, upon the retirement of Suzanne Olson. Olson, who led the Museum & Theatre for nearly two decades, will remain with the nonprofit as a consultant for the Museum & Theatre’s “Imagine” Capital Camp.


The World Affairs Council of Maine named three new members to the board of directors on June 6. Clifford Gilpin is a former World Bank executive and lives in Falmouth. He is a trustee of the Falmouth Land Trust and former president of WACM. Ross Hickey is assistant provost in the Office of Research Integrity at the University of Southern Maine. Yueying LaFleur is assistant vice president and legal counsel at Unum.

In addition, Lynne Houle, outgoing assistant secretary of the World Affairs Council of Maine, received the Bea Chapman Minott Award in recognition of her commitment to global citizenship in the organization.


Petty Officer 2nd Class Arielle Baxley, a Portland native, participated in a Baltic Operations exercise with 18 other nations June 8-21 in Kiel, Germany, and beyond. Baxley is an operations specialist aboard the USS Mount Whitney.

Katahdin Trust welcomed Karyn MacLeod as vice president, commercial Services officer; she will be based at the Scarborough branch at 144 U.S. Route 1.

Donna Larson joined Sebago Technics this spring as community planner. She previously served as the town planner in Freeport for 19 years, and was also the planner for the town of Cumberland.

Philip O’Hearn of Scarborough has joined Malone Commercial Bankers.

Blaire Knight-Graves is the newest member of the Telling Room team, having recently been hired as the new communications manager. A self-described Jackie of All Digital Trades, Knight-Graves is a video producer, digital content strategist, audio producer and copywriter with a specialty in branded content. She comes to Portland by way of Chicago, where she worked for a number of years at DePaul University as a content producer.

The Cape Elizabeth United Methodist Church welcomed two new ministers on July 1. The Rev. Dr. Mary Jane O’Connor-Ropp will serve as the minister of Congregational Care and Spiritual Growth. The Rev. Priscilla Dreyman will serve as the minister of Spiritual Ecology and Creativity. The new ministers are replacing the Rev. Casey Collins, who will retire June 30.

Open for business

Kids First Center Executive Director Timothy Robbins along with staff, board members and members of the community came together June 10 to hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting and open house at the center’s new location at 51 U.S. Route 1, Suite S in Scarborough. Now in its 21st year, Kids First Center provides classes to families going through separation and divorce.


Portland-based BlueTarp Financial, a business-to-business trade credit financing company, announced June 21 it entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Capital One Financial Corp. BlueTarp’s management team and associates will continue to work from their offices in Maine and will join Capital One’s credit card partnership business.



The South Portland Firemen’s Relief Association donated $30,000 to endow the Tim Carr Memorial Scholarship at Southern Maine Community College’s A Light on the Point fundraiser. From left are Sierra Howe, Rachel Quill, Kathleen Carr and Kaitlyn Cepeda with South Portland Fire Chief Jim Wilson, former Chief Philip McGouldrick, SMCC Fire Science Chairman Steve Willis and SMCC President Joe Cassidy. Contributed

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: