Kate McCarthy

Birth Roots Center for Community Parenting, an organization that provides non-clinical, community-based education and support throughout pregnancy and the early years of parenting, has hired Kate McCarthy as its first executive director. McCarthy joins co-founders Leah Deragon and Emily Murray to lead Birth Roots, first established in Portland 17 years ago. Before her work with Birth Roots, McCarthy was executive director for the World Affairs Council of Maine. A graduate of Colby College and the Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine, she has been working in the nonprofit sector in Maine for the past 14 years. Her experience as a new mother attending Birth Roots community classes and events is what inspired her to join the organization.

G. Jeff Shaw

The Maine Insurance Agents Association has elected G. Jeff Shaw of Clark Insurance in Portland as the chair of its board. A resident of Saco, Shaw serves as the president of Clark Insurance. He joined the industry in 1986, working for a number of carriers, including MEMIC, Acadia Insurance and Hanover Insurance before joining Clark in 2004. He received both a bachelor’s degree in finance and associate’s degree in management from Bentley University, and currently holds his CIC designation. Shaw has been deeply involved in Saco, where he received the distinguished service certification for 10 years of outstanding service to the Saco Bay Rotary.

Mary Kozicki LaFontaine

Sebago Technics has announced that Mary Kozicki LaFontaine has joined as director of employee development and engagement. Kozicki LaFontaine is a skilled employee development professional with experience in both the public and private sectors. She has worked in higher education, private industry and state government, serving for 16 years with the Maine Department of Labor as the manager of the Lewiston CareerCenter and then as regional director for the southern career centers. She is a member of the Central Maine Human Resource Association, where she most recently served as president. Kozicki LaFontaine holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s from the University of Southern Maine.

Huqiu Zhang

Sevee & Maher Engineers has broadened its range of product stewardship services for clients, and to oversee its expanded activities the firm has hired senior chemist Huqiu Zhang, an internationally recognized expert in product chemical safety and global food-contact regulatory compliance. Zhang has over 25 years of industry experience, including work with large global corporations, and product stewardship expertise that extends throughout the entire supply chain. SME helps manufacturers, processors, packagers, sellers and brand owners meet essential safety and regulatory requirements both economically and responsibly.

Brian Gleason

Brian Gleason, previously of Tim Dunham Realty in Topsham, has joined Maine Source Homes & Realty as a realtor. A longtime resident of Auburn who still resides there with his wife, Kayla, Gleason graduated from Edward Little High School and then Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, where he earned an associate’s degree in small vessel operations. Gleason believes his experience as owner/manager of a multi-unit building in Auburn has sharpened his eye for perceiving potential issues or advantages when showing or listing a property, and he looks to utilize that as a realtor.


Mike Genovese

Mike Genovese has joined the F.L.Putnam Investment Management Company as a private client adviser in Portland. Genovese has more than a decade of financial services experience and expands F.L.Putnam’s private client advisory team to 17 professionals. Most recently serving as a branch manager at TD Ameritrade in Maine, he led a team of financial services professionals and managed 250 client relationships after previously holding advisory roles at Wells Fargo and Edward Jones. Genovese holds the certified financial planner professional designation.


Kay Aikin

Kay Aikin has been named chair of Portland-based Readiness Associates’ newly formed advisory board. Aikin is the CEO of Portland-based Introspective Systems/Dynamic Grid, which uses a fusion of machine learning, complex systems and economics to support the decarbonization of the electrical grid and is a 25-year veteran of executive business development and engineering positions. RA’s advisory board includes business leaders from across the country within verticals that include technology, healthcare, law, communications, insurance, finance and more.

Marjorie McAvoy

Gigi Sanchez

Marjorie McAvoy and Gigi Sanchez have been appointed to the board of directors of the Kids First Center.

McAvoy is currently managing the Scarborough branch of Biddeford Savings and has over 15 years experience in the financial industry. She received a bachelor’s degree in international business management from Southern New Hampshire University, where she is currently pursuing her master’s degree. In addition to the Kids First Center, McAvoy serves on the board of directors for the Center for Financial Training and Education Alliance, and volunteers with Junior Achievement.

Sanchez is a founding partner of her law firm, Roach Ruprecht Sanchez & Bischoff PC in Portland. She is a trial attorney with years of experience litigating civil and family matters that earned her degrees from Duke University and Columbus Law School. She is also a former president of the Maine State Bar Association and Cumberland Bar Association. Sanchez also served from 2013 through 2019 on the MSAD 51 board of directors, including time as chairman.


The Maine Community College System welcomes Kossi Gamedah as the newest member of the board of trustees. Gamedah, of Falmouth, is senior vice president of retail operations for Goodwill Northern New England. He previously served as regional director of retail operations for Dollar General Corp. for Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas. He was nominated by Gov. Janet Mills and confirmed by the Maine Senate, and his first board meeting was Wednesday. Gamedah is involved in many community organizations, serving as a board member for the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center and volunteering as a youth club soccer coach.


Patrick Chamberlin

Patrick Chamberlin, a member of the business insurance team at Allen Insurance and Financial, has earned the designation of certified insurance counselor, or CIC. Based at Allen’s office in Camden, Chamberlin works with business insurance clients across a wide spectrum of industries. In addition to CIC, he also holds the designations of management liability insurance specialist and commercial lines coverage specialist.

Simon West, government relations specialist at the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, has been selected by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to participate in its premiere business leadership program. The Business Leads Fellowship Program trains leaders from state and local chambers of commerce to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges. West was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives and association leaders to participate in the fifth class of this program.

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