ProsperityME Executive Director Claude Rwaganje, left, receives the Mike Yandell Award from Avesta Housing President & CEO Dana Totman. Contributed / Avesta Housing

ProsperityME wins Avesta award

ProsperityME has been awarded the Avesta Housing Mike Yandell Award for its work in the field of affordable housing.

“We are very honored to receive the Mike Yandell Award for our work supporting immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers in securing affordable housing as they begin their new lives in Maine,” said ProsperityME Executive Director Claude Rwaganje. “This award will inspire us to continue this important work.”

Founded in 2008, the nonprofit ProsperityME is assists New Mainers via free financial counseling, career and business development, housing assistance and college scholarships.

Named for the late Mike Yandell, a former Avesta Housing board chairperson who is remembered for his commitment to improving the community, the award is presented annually to an individual or organization that helps provide safe, quality affordable housing to people in Maine or New Hampshire.


South Portland Quality Inn & Suites and General Manager Michele Sandman were named the recipients of the Santo “Sam” DiPietro Community Impact Award when South Portland Business & Economic Development Awards were announced by the Economic Development Committee at the city’s annual ceremony in February.

Sandman and her establishment were honored for having gone “way, way, way above and beyond in service to those in need of shelter and sustenance and more during this unprecedented and challenging COVID-19 pandemic,” said South Portland Economic Development Director William J. Mann in a prepared release.


Other awards included: New Business of the Year, Café Louis; Small Business of the Year, Shopper’s True Value Hardware; Business Leader of the Year, Orion Breen of Global Partners; SoPo Sustainability Award, Go Go Refill; Business of the Year (25-plus employees), Jordan’s Furniture.

RE/MAX Shoreline’s 2021 Award Ceremonies in February celebrated a year of success, including these highlights:

• Peter Hawkes received the RE/MAX Platinum Award and the RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award, and was honored as the Top Luxury Specialist in Maine.
The Portland Maine Living Team (Colleen Bedard, Mary Roy and Mary Levanti-Cuellar) received the Chairman’s Club Award, and Team Leader Colleen Bedard received the Hall of Fame Award for her lifetime production.
The Buckspan Deering Team (Derrick Buckspan, Rich Deering, Jamie Crain and Cricket Grobe) received the Chairman’s Club Award, and Team Leader Derrick Buckspan was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime production.
Jodi Federle and Stephen Peck each received the 100% Club Award for the first time in their careers and their second year in the industry.
Roz Siegel was awarded the Service Award for her distinguished community service on behalf of Habitat for Humanity.


Verrill partner Roger A. Clement Jr. has been recognized in the 2022 Lawdragon 500 Leading U.S. Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyers for excellence in his practice. Clement is a fellow in the American College of Bankruptcy and has served as chairperson of the District of Maine Bankruptcy Rules Committee. He has also been recognized for his bankruptcy and restructuring practice by Best Lawyers, New England Super Lawyers and Chambers USA.

Officers with the 133rd Engineer Battalion at the Brunswick Armed Forces Reserve Center were presented with The Army Chief of Staff’s Supply Excellence Award in January. Brig. Gen. Dean Preston, Maine’s land component commander, singled out Chief Warrant Officer 2 Peter Houghton, Sgt. 1st Class Shannon Trepanier and Staff Sgt. Patrick Purcell as well as former property book officer Chief Warrant Officer 2 Jennifer Paradis and other key logistics staff members who worked towards the recognition. The SEA program was established in 1984 by the U.S. Army Quartermaster School to recognize supply excellence and is open to Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve units nationwide.