This Friday, eight business leaders will be recognized for outstanding contributions to our region both throughout the past year and throughout their careers. The Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber Annual Awards Night 2024 presented by One River CPAs and Clark Insurance is a night for us to celebrate individuals and organizations with video presentations and speeches. The event is from 5-8 p.m. March 8 at St. John’s Community Center in Brunswick (tickets available online at

In preparation for the evening, I’m highlighting the winners in these columns so everyone can understand the impact of these business leaders. This week, we’re focus on both Reform Physical Therapy, our 2024 Small Business of the Year, and Hammond Lumber Company, our 2024 Large Business of the Year.

Jill Partridge began the Reform Physical Therapy journey in 2016 when she became sole owner of the Head-to-Toe Physical Therapy Clinic in Topsham and rebranded it as Reform Physical Therapy. From the very beginning, Jill knew she wanted to have a clinic that was known for being a part of the communities they serve and manifested that culture. Christiana Monroe was an early advocate, having been on Jill’s team going back to 2014, and became the PT supervisor in Topsham. With one clinic well underway and seeing how Christiana could run a clinic, Jill gained the confidence to grow the brand to other offices throughout the state.

In nine short years, Reform PT expanded to six other locations beyond Topsham, as they now have clinics in Brunswick, Freeport, Yarmouth, South Portland, Kennebunk and Eliot. The Brunswick office opened in 2022 and has become a first-floor clinic, with the corporate offices downstairs in their highly visible location on Pleasant Street. When it came time to open the Brunswick clinic, Jill had an ace up her sleeve and brought Christiana over from Topsham to launch their biggest site.

Reform Physical Therapy has been a part of nearly every chamber program over the past several years. They’ve hosted multiple Chamber After Hours, had a tree space at every edition of Midcoast Tree Festival, hosted 12 @ 12 networking lunches, played in the Hacker’s Ball Golf Tournament and much more.

Jill’s mantra of “Dream big, work hard and stay humble” resonates with her staff, as there is rarely a chamber event that doesn’t have five to 10 Reform PT attendees. The thing is, that’s not unique to our chamber region, but rather Reform is active in every community they’re in. Jill says, “The people of those communities are the folks who have helped shape Reform PT into what it is today. … Treating people in pain keeps us all grounded but it is also a great reminder of how much we have to be grateful for. Reform PT wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of our communities.”


Community involvement is a core tenet of Hammond Lumber Company, too. From the very beginning, back in 1953, Skip Hammond had a simple philosophy: “Saw straight, talk straight and do more for the customer than the guy down the road would do.” That meant instilling the importance of community engagement into their employees.

From that early beginning of a $50 loan and three employees, the Hammond family has grown their company into one of the most-respected family-owned businesses in New England with branches all over Maine and now even in New Hampshire. With 22 locations, their trucks can be seen everywhere, and there are literally hundreds of independent contractors that they support with expert advice, referrals and so much more.

We often tout businesses like Hammond Lumber Company as ideal places for do-it-yourselfers, and with their in-store showrooms they certainly do help many families every year renovate their homes. However, the network of local contractors and suppliers they work with has a huge impact on homebuilding and business expansion in Maine. Hammond Lumber Company has literally helped build Maine into what it is.

Jason Gagnon, vice president of operations for the southern region, who runs the Brunswick office, describes a bit of how the company puts policy behind their tenets to teamwork. During our award interview, he shared the following:

“Teamwork is very important. I have always felt that listening and allowing the opportunity to express ideas, as well as the ability to participate, goes a long way. We have so many people that have great ideas and experiences (positive and negative) to share, and if we can learn from these experiences, it helps everyone grow. We have an employee engagement committee that meets pretty much every month to discuss ideas from employees from all 22 locations. These meetings are open to all employees, and we encourage people to share ideas to make this an even better place to work.”

That kind of active policy is one of the reasons why Hammond Lumber Company gets named as a Best Place to Work year after year. We see it locally, too, through so many community projects. Besides their employees volunteering at food banks, soup kitchens, local fairs and school events, we see their impact doing things like building a Make-a-Wish playground and supporting the huge softball tournament held in Lewiston last fall to help raise funds following the shooting.

Lastly, no mention of Hammond Lumber by our chamber is complete without mentioning how they have embraced the Midcoast Tree Festival. They always have one of the most creative tree spaces and they’ve been voted one of the Best of the Fest trees every single year of the event. They have a committee of nearly two dozen employees who work for months recruiting donations and building around a theme they choose. Contractors eagerly donate items to show thanks for the support they get from Hammond throughout the year, and those two dozen committee members go out for a group dinner on set-up night and bring spouses and friends to help set up. It is the embodiment of community engagement.

Cory King is executive director of the Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber of Commerce.

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