In our continuing series of the 2024 Annual Awards Night winners, we have come to Evan Gleason. The Volunteer of the Year is always one of the most difficult awards, as annually we have dozens of nominations, however, below you will see why Evan is a shining example of what a good volunteer is.

Before that, though, one reminder and one follow-up update to last week. The reminder is simple: This is our fifth profile of our award winners, with three more to go. To read more about these winners, you can log onto the BBRC website or watch their videos on the Bath-Brunswick Regional Chamber Facebook page and BBRC YouTube channel.

The update involves our partnership with the Yarmouth Chamber. As I said last week, this new management agreement allows us to promote Anthony Jamison, our recent chamber coordinator, up to BBRC assistant director immediately. Anthony has been working in the capacity for a few weeks now and the benefits are already showing.

Our Awards Night ran so much more smoothly with Anthony’s attention to detail; plus, we’re gaining new members, have our Chamber After Hours booked for the year, as well as our 12 @ 12 Networking lunches (both schedules available at

Beyond the elevation of Anthony are the opportunities for our BBRC business leaders to connect with YCC business leaders. This week, we’ll begin to cross-promote one event/update per week in each other’s e-newsletter and invite members of the opposite chamber to some networking events. I can see even more YCC members attending the Hacker’s Ball and Midcoast Tree Festival, while I’m sure even more BBRC members will be seen at the Yarmouth Clam Festival. The pathways to partnership are already opening and that’s very exciting.

Now here’s a great story about a great guy:


Evan Gleason, 2024 Volunteer of the Year

Evan Gleason of Clark Insurance exudes gratitude. And kindness.

It’s in the way he makes eye contact with you when he’s speaking, the way he actively listens; he is always engaged. In a world where everyone is distracted by the bleeps and boops of our technology, where everyone is multitasking every minute, when you spend time with Evan, you feel, without question, that you have Evan’s full attention. It’s such a rare quality that it’s hard to put your finger on right at first, but he’s genuinely, in that very moment, grateful to be speaking with who he is engaged in conversation with.

Evan is the Volunteer of the Year for our chamber this year, but he also devotes his time to a number of other organizations, too, including Independence Association, the local high schools and many more. You can tell that volunteering is in his blood, and when I asked him about that in our award interview, he had such a wonderful response:

“The honest answer to this question is that the people in my life, like my wife, son, parents, siblings, and friends, have shown me an uncommon level of grace, understanding and love. As with so many people I know, there have been many lows in my life that I would not have been able to navigate without that support. I only try to reflect the same kindness that I’ve received when I needed it most. Gratitude is the most potent motivator for me. If I could refine that lived experience into a philosophy, a primary tenet might be to try your best to be as generous in your judgments of others as your heart and mind will allow.”

See what I mean? This cat is different and it’s such a wonderful kind of different. He has been an active member in relaunching our ambassadors team — our front-line volunteers who do member business visits, give out name tags at events and attend ribbon cuttings. He has also been a part of the Hacker’s Ball, the Midcoast Tree Festival, and is a great attendee for our networking events and workshops.

You can tell Evan truly loves people. It was seen in his career change when we came to Clark Insurance four years ago. He had worked for a dozen years as an insurance wholesaler, essentially being the middleman who connects retail insurance brokers and specialty insurance companies. He loved helping brokers find unique solutions to uncommon insurance questions, but what he longed for was the interactions with businesses and to help people in his community. The jump to Clark Insurance has led to Evan working with hundreds of business owners from contractors to financial service providers, to social service organizations and nonprofits, and he says he is thrilled to do it.


Lastly, I asked Evan what he gets from volunteering. His answer was so genuine and complete, I share it here in its entirety:

“I would be lying if I said there wasn’t any personal satisfaction in stepping in to help when asked. It’s always a happy moment when you see a need and know that you have the ability or resources to be the one to step up. If I’m getting a bit more contemplative about it, I have to say that it’s a tremendous way to stay rooted in our community, which can help calm larger anxieties we might have about our world. As much as we want to help solve some of the global problems of our age, we can invite unhealthy levels of stress when we try to take on things that are largely out of our control. By investing in our neighbors and local causes, we can see immediate results and develop long-term, achievable solutions to problems that are affecting the communities we live in. Dreaming big is never a bad thing, but I like to temper lofty ideas with practical kindness here at home.”

Man, we are fortunate to have a leader like Evan in our region.

Congratulations to Evan Gleason on being named the 2024 Volunteer of the Year.

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

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