South Portland recognizes local businesses

Liz Darling of Maine Roofing is this year’s winner of the South Portland Economic Development Committee’s Santo “Sam” DiPietro Community Impact Award.

The award was one of several that honored six local businesses for their contributions to the South Portland business community.

The DiPietro award recognizes an individual, business, agency, organization, community or nonprofit that has gone above and beyond to make South Portland a better place to live, work, and locate a business.

For the past eight years, Darling has brought together volunteers and a coalition of community partners to provide children from less fortunate families with warm winter clothes, toys and school supplies on Christmas Day.  Maine Roofing has given time, the location and trucks to organize and deliver the gifts.

“Liz’s remarkable ability to bring the community together for the greater good has made the holidays easier and more joyful for families across South Portland,” a press release from the city manager’s office said.

The Small Business of the Year Award winner was Organic Roots at 545 Westbrook St. In 2014, lifelong South Portlander Betsy Harding opened Organic Roots, the first cruelty-free, organic, and 100% vegan salon in Maine.

The New Business of the Year Award went to Knitting Nook, established by Lisa Plourde at 124 Sawyer St. in Ferry Village, offering food, drinks, and knitting.

Fred Pape III of Pape Chevrolet and Pape Subaru is the 2019 Business Leader of the Year, which honors someone who has set a lasting precedent for success and innovation for the South Portland Business Community.

The Business of the Year Award for those with more than 25 employees went to Saunders Electronics at 192 Gannet Drive.

New Gen Hospitality at 50 Maine Mall Road was named the Economic Development of the Year, honoring a business with ongoing contributions to the economic vitality of the city.

New Maine Heart Walk director


Lena Minervino recently joined the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association in Maine as development director, responsible for the Southern Maine Heart Walk and Central Maine Heart Walk.

Minervino has been active in the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, PROPEL Portland and the University of Southern Maine Alumni Board. She most recently worked as development director with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of Northern New England. Prior to that, she was a special projects manager for the University of Southern Maine Foundation.


The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation recently awarded $179,614 in grants to 19 nonprofit organizations in Maine, including the following Cumberland County organizations: The Gathering Place, Brunswick; Hope Acts, Portland; Wayside Food Programs, Portland; Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center, Portland; Maine Center Ventures, Portland; and Portland Parks Conservancy.

Go Big for Hunger Donation

Greg Marten, center, delivers a $1,450 check to Durham Community School Nutrition Director Erin Dow and Principal Will Pidden that represents proceeds from the 4th Annual Soul Review at Sun Tiki Studios in Portland. The funds will be used for a supplemental snack program. Contributed

filed under: