NEW HIRES

Tom Pazdera

Tom Pazdera has been named the new vice president and general manager of ND Paper’s Rumford division. Pazdera brings three decades of experience in the pulp, packaging and paper industry with internationally recognized companies including International Paper, MeadWestvaco, Boise Paper and, most recently, as president and unit head of AV Terrace Bay, in Ontario, Canada. Pazdera is a native of Arkansas, where he graduated from the University of Arkansas with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He is married and has three adult children. Pazdera and his wife Libby recently celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary.

Justin Chenette

Justin Chenette has joined Worthington Scholarship Foundation as its program director, working to expand the college’s scholarship offerings. Chenette served 8 years in the Maine Legislature, with two terms as a state representative and two terms as a state senator. He was the youngest lawmaker in the country at age 21 and made history as the first student appointed to the Maine State Board of Education. Chenette’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in broadcast news from Northern Vermont University-Lyndon, a postgraduate degree in public administration from the University of Maine at Augusta, and an executive certificate in public leadership from Harvard University.

Lee Willette

Lee Willette has been hired as project and operational support manager at Mission Broadband. Willette brings more than 40 years of experience in the telecommunications industry to Mission’s growing team; to date, he has spent much of his career building communications infrastructure in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, with a focus on operations. In his new role, he will assist clients in monitoring the construction and deployment of fiber-optic networks while also developing customer service support practices. Originally from Corinna, Willette currently resides in Roxbury, Vermont.

Dave Gash

Paquin & Carroll Insurance has announced the expansion of its commercial team with the hiring of Dave Gash as a commercial account executive. With nearly two decades of experience in the insurance industry, including with both personal and commercial lines, Gash will broaden the agency’s client services. He joins Paquin & Carroll from another local agency, where he had worked since moving to Maine in 2017. Previously, he spent 14 years at Gash Fitzpatrick Insurance in Kentucky, a small family agency founded by his father and grandfather. Outside of work, he resides in Saco with his wife and three kids, and together they enjoy spending time exploring southern Maine’s natural beauty.

PROMOTIONS

Jim Cohen

Verrill is pleased to announce that Jim Cohen has been appointed chair of the firm’s energy, telecommunications, and natural resources group. Cohen, a former mayor of Portland, is a longtime firm partner who currently serves as the board president of the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce and as a board member of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority. He has also been recognized by Best Lawyers, New England Super Lawyers, and Chambers USA for excellence in energy, regulatory and utilities law.

Chris McKee

Geiger has promoted Chris McKee to new roles and responsibilities as chief revenue officer and senior vice president after having been with the company since 1995, working in positions with steadily increasing responsibility. He started his career with Geiger in marketing, followed by five years as the division manager running Geiger’s Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, operations, and his latest promotion recognizes the additional workload he has taken on during the last couple years. Headquartered in Lewiston, Geiger is the largest family-owned and managed promotional products distributor in the world.

Portland-based Clark Insurance has promoted Bret Cote, Mona Freeman Wilkinson, Gregg Ritter and Deb Wentworth to senior vice presidents of the agency.

Cote joined Clark in 2007 and became its first representative in the New Hampshire market. He now manages the New Hampshire office and sales team, is active in the construction market, a graduate of Leadership Greater Manchester, and a 2018 “40 under 40” recipient, as well as a New Hampshire Associates of Insurance Agents executive board member.

Freeman Wilkinson joined Clark in 2000, where she now oversees the personal insurance department’s sales and services across Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. She holds several industry certifications, including Accredited Adviser in Insurance.

Ritter joined Clark in 2003 and leads the Maine business insurance sales team, having distinguished himself in the area of professional liability for architects and engineers, with over 27 years of experience in the industry. He received his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Vermont.

Wentworth joined Clark in 2012 and now manages the account management teams for business insurance and employee benefits. She has been in the industry for 32 years and has received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Husson University and her master’s degree from the University of Phoenix.

HONORS & AWARDS

Matt Maiello

Simons Architects is pleased to announce that Matthew Maiello is now a licensed architect in the state of Maine. He has over six years of architectural experience and joined Simons Architects in January 2019, focusing on public projects including the Rice Public Library renovation project. A graduate of Cooper Union, Maiello is a resident of Westbrook.

Susan Faunce

Jodi Nofsinger

Chambers USA has selected Berman & Simmons attorneys Jodi Nofsinger and Susan Faunce for their outstanding legal service. Both are to be recognized as distinguished lawyers in the category of “Litigation: Medical Malpractice & Insurance – Maine.”

Nofsinger is highly regarded for her exceptional work representing plaintiffs in medical malpractice and wrongful death claims. A highly effective advocate for her clients, she became only the 22nd trial lawyer in Maine – and only the third woman – to be inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Outside of the firm, Nofsinger is currently serving as president of the ACLU of Maine board of directors.

Faunce, in addition to handling medical malpractice and wrongful death cases, leads the firm’s mass tort practice, which involves dangerous drug and medical device litigation. She has been recognized as a Top 25 Mass Tort Trial Lawyer by the National Mass Tort Trial Lawyers Association and  is a board member of the Maine Justice Foundation.

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