The people who make up our board of directors

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Board of Directors

President – Leanne Gagne of Franklin Savings Bank

After growing up in the Greater Portland area, my husband Greg and I moved to Dixfield in 1988. I have worked for Franklin Savings Bank for the past 22 years, the last 10+ as a loan officer. I can honestly say I love my job, the people I work with and the area I live in. We have had several employment opportunities out of this area and have chosen to stay. We value the way of life here – the small town atmosphere, family oriented activities and the strong civic and school pride evident in many local events. We have raised two children here, both of them graduating from Dirigo High School. My son Marc is currently a middle school teacher and coach in Goffstown, NH. My daughter Katherine is going into her senior year at UMF, also majoring in education.

I joined the Chamber to help promote local business and share with others the many opportunities and value the River Valley has to offer. This is a special place and I want everyone to know it!

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1st Vice President – Kerry Burgess of Dead River Company

I am the Office/Credit Manager for Dead River Company. I began my career with the company in 1995 and have held various positions through which I have had the pleasure of establishing relationships with our customers and have helped deliver on Dead River Company’s promise of customer excellence. Having been born and raised in Rumford gives me a true appreciation for all that the community has to offer. My husband, Corey Burgess (also a native) and I have been married since 1993. We love both nature and animals. We have a dog, Chloe, who is our “baby”. We enjoy traveling throughout the United States and the Caribbean and challenge ourselves to visit new places every year. I look at my involvement in the Chamber and Rotary as an opportunity to directly contribute to revitalizing the area’s business climate and encouraging other members to get involved.

2nd Vice President – Randall Smith of Ink Plaza (profile coming soon)

Treasurer – Rachel Desroches of Key Bank (profile coming soon)

Past President – Janet Brennick of Bangor Savings Bank

I am the Assistant Branch Manager at Bangor Savings Bank in Rumford and have been with the Bank since 2002. My husband, Mike and I both grew up in the River Valley. We have two children, both graduates of Mountain Valley High School. My oldest son, Chris is a graduate from the University of Maine at Farmington and a teacher at RSU #10. My youngest, Keith is a graduate of The University of Maine at Orono and employed with Office Max as an Account Executive.

I have always been actively involved with youth sports while raising my two children. The Area Youth Football is a program that as a tag team my husband and I were fortunate enough to manage for 2 years. We started and facilitated a 6th – 8th grade co-ed basketball program at the Mexico Recreation Center for 3 years, allowing kids that may not make the school teams to remain active in the sport. Even after our kids had grown, we remain active in the Western Maine Youth Basketball League, where Mike coached a 5th and 6th grade boy’s team until 2009, and I currently remain the Treasurer. These are just a few of the activities that we (Mike and I) have been involved in over the years that I will always look back on and cherish. I feel it is so important to offer the youth of this area an opportunity to grow, mature and develop while be allowed to be children.

I joined the Chamber because I believe it is important to stay involved and contribute to the community that I live in and love. I love the River Valley area and all that it has to offer. I look forward to serving with a board that is so passionate about the towns that I grew up in. I hope to be a support and advocate for the member business of the River Valley. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns and to let me know what YOUR Chamber can do for you!

Director – Patti Daigle

I have been employed at The Fitch Company since 2008 and am currently a CAD operator/Administrative Assistant.

I grew up in the Rumford area; graduated from Mountain Valley High School. I am married to Michael Daigle and together we have 5 children; 3 of my own and 2 of his. My oldest son Chris is currently attending EMCC and Husson University studying Business, my daughter Nikki is a junior at the University of New England in the Sports Management program, Michael (T3) is working in Rangeley and Seth and Hannah are both in the Hampden School systems.

I have been involved with youth sports while my children participated. I am a past Vice President and Treasurer of the MVHS Athletic Boosters, participated in the football spaghetti suppers as well as helping with the Area Youth Football program concessions.

My parents (Bizz and Sandra Carignan) instilled a sense of volunteering and community involvement which my father continues to this day and I look forward to being an active member of the River Valley Chamber.

Director – Laurieann Milligan of Northern Oxford Regional Ambulance Service DBA/Med-Care Ambulance

Laurieann Milligan has been employed at Med-Care since 2001 which she is currently the Administrative Assistant and the Community Outreach Coordinator. Laurieann, her husband Dean, and their 4 children moved to the River Valley area in 2001 and currently reside in the Town of Peru. Laurieann believes in giving back to the communities that she is involved in throughout the River Valley. She is currently a selectmen for the Town of Peru. She has made it her commitment to address injury prevention for all ages by becoming a State of Maine Chapter Leader for Risk Watch Safe Communities which provides injury prevention programs within the schools and public forums. She has also become the Western Maine Affiliate leader for the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association which also delivers public education and literature on Awareness and Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Arrest. She also was the lead official to bring the State of Maine Heartsafe Community Status to the River Valley Region spearhead.

Director – Catherine Johnson of Hope Association

Has worked for Hope Association (www.hopeassociaiton.org) since 1994. She was hired as the Financial Manager and after 7 years adopted the Residential Director position. In December 2010 Catherine proudly accepted the Executive Director Position. She was the Treasurer for the Chamber from 2003-2010 and is a member of the local Rotary club. Catherine moved to the River Valley area in 1996, she has 2 Children and one grandchild. Catherine grew up in Wilton/Farmington and spent summers in Weld where her mom and dad still reside. She is attracted to the small town where everyone knows one another. Catherine enjoys the convenience of the downtown area where you can walk to many shops and eateries. There are many opportunities to join clubs and associations to assist the community in a variety of ways. Catherine is happy to be a “partner” in her community.

Director – Brian Arsenault of Community Energy

Brian Arsenault graduated from Mountain Valley High School in 1998. He attended Burke Mountain Academy as a post grad and then graduated from the University of Southern Maine in Portland with a degree in Business Administration.

He is employed at Community Energy Co. and is married to Jessica Arsenault.

Brian is an avid skier and enjoys being in the outdoors and volunteering with the Chisholm Ski Club and Black Mountain of Maine.

He is a member of the River Valley Chamber of Commerce and has been on the Board of Directors since 2008. Brian strongly believes in both Rumford and the potential the river valley holds. The possibilities for the active imagination are endless.

Director – Jennifer Kreckel of Kreckel Law, P.A.

Jennifer Kreckel came to Rumford 16 years ago with her husband, Dieter Kreckel, a family physician with Swift River Health Care, and two children, Deirdre and Brendan. My children both graduated from Mountain Valley High. Deirdre is currently in the Air Force training to be a crypto-linguist. Brendan is attending Norwich University.

Jennifer graduated from Temple University with a B.A. magna cum laude and from Syracuse University with a J.D. cum laude. Dieter and Jennifer have lived in Germany, Pennsylvania and Maryland, but chose Rumford, Maine as their home.

Jennifer has been practicing law in the River Valley for almost 16 years and has been in partnership with Peter J. Kayor in the firm Kaynor & Kreckel, P.A. on Congress Street in Rumford for the past nine years. They handle estate planning, probate, corporate, civil, real estate, personal injury, social security law and family law.

Director – Mia Purcell of Western Maine Economic Development Council

Mia Purcell was the Director of Technical Assistance for what is now the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and the National Association of State Development Agencies in Washington D.C. She relocated to Maine in 1986 to work for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) as the Assistant Director of the Office of Community Development. Mia subsequently served as the Director of the Education Division at the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME), and eventually moved to Western Maine and Bethel in 2006. She is a Program Manager for the Western Maine Economic Development Council, a program of Community Concepts Finance Corporation, and actively involved in EnvisionRumford, a member of the Maine Downtown Network.

She has a BA from Duke University and masters degrees in Community Development from the University of Missouri, Columbia and Spirituality from Holy Names University in Oakland, California.

Mia is a gardener and enjoys biking on the back roads of Oxford County, kayaking on any of the many lakes that are near her home and hiking up Rumford White Cap and other nearby mountains.

Director – Sherry Milligan owner of Davis Florist and partner of Carrabassett Spring Water Inc.

Sherry was born and raised in Rumford. She lives here with her daughter Erin, a Mountain Valley High School Sophomore. Sherry and her twin sister Shelly have owned and operated Davis Florist Inc. in Rumford since 1990. She also manages Carrabassett Spring Water Inc. in Peru.

Sherry loves this community. She remains grateful for the support she received with the illness of her late husband, Michael Milligan and appreciative of all the wonderful people who live in the area. It is very important to Sherry to keep the River Valley area a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Director – Barbara Belanger, representing Rumford Hospital

Barbara Belanger is a native to the Rumford area and is married with 2 grown children and 1 granddaughter.

She has been a member of the Rumford Hospital Board for 13 years, the Rumford Community Home Board for 11 years, the Development Committee for the Rumford Hospital for 10 years, a Rotary member for 5 years, and is currently the President of the Rumford Hospital Auxiliary.

Barbara loves Maine because of its four seasons and the beauty of the surrounding mountains. She has always felt Rumford is a safe and friendly community and is a great place to raise children. She treasures the people and the experiences a small town atmosphere provide.

Director – Sandra Witas, River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition

I grew up in Dixfield; graduating from Dirigo High School in 1990. I currently reside in Rumford with my very supportive husband, Merle. My sons, Caleb and Jacob, who will be seniors in high school in the fall of 2014 and our daughter, Annelise, will be in the third grade.

I have been employed with River Valley Healthy Communities Coalition since 2009. I am a program coordinator and work in the areas of substance abuse prevention as well as community outreach on a number of other topics. I am a trained master gardener and master food preserver with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Oxford County office. The subject of food insecurity is an important one to me as the face of hunger looks very different in today’s world and I refuse to let our community turn a blind eye to it. Ask me how you can get involved.

My passions include food and family. My family loves to ski and we are avid campers who spent a lot of time in the western mountains of Maine. Often times we find ourselves not straying too far from home to visit our favorite spots or to park the camper for a weekend get away.

Being on the Board of Directors for the River Valley Chamber of Commerce offers me another platform to engage people and share the healthy choices that can be made here.

Director – Sheila Delamater of Prudential Northeast Properties (profile coming soon)

Director – Cindy Gilpatrick of Gleason Radio (profile coming soon)

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