By Rich Livingston

Feature Writer


For the fifth consecutive year, the Chamber will present the Cool Chamber Award to an entity which has made a significant difference in reducing energy usage and preserving resources. Pettengill Academy, an early learning childcare center located at 200 Montello Ave. in Lewiston, specializes in infant, toddler and preschool-aged care.

The school has undertaken numerous policies to become a green center. They are following the Eco Healthy Child Care checklist and are working to check off all 30 of the items on the checklist. When possible, Pettengill Academy uses only natural cleaners. They also use LED, CFL and natural lighting in most of the home, and prepare homemade baby food and snacks from locally sourced ingredients for their kids.

The New Member Award is only presented when an organization that joined The Chamber in the recent past has made an extraordinary contribution to The Chamber and the community, and Morningstar Stone and Tile, located in Topsham, has more than fulfilled that requirement.

Founded by stone mason Nick Whatley in 1986, Morningstar has grown to be the premier granite fabricator in Maine. In just the past year, the company has been the sponsor of three Chamber breakfast meetings and has donated a feature door prize that demonstrates their great products and craftsmanship. They had some presence at nearly every Chamber event in 2013, and have proven their commitment to corporate citizenship over and over again since joining the Chamber in 2012.

For the second time, the Young Professionals of the Lewiston Auburn Area will present its own awards to people who have made an exceptional contribution to their membership.

The first of two YPLAA awards will be presented to Sandra Jones, a project specialist for TD Bank and a long-time member of the YPLAA steering committee and the all-around project manager for the organization, organizing “big ideas” and making them happen. She has been especially adept at welcoming new people into the organization and championing the values and work of YPLAA. Jones is also on the board of directors for Pathways Inc.,  and has an overall passion for volunteerism. She enjoys being part of a growing, vibrant community.

The second YPLAA honoree is Shanna Rogers, the driving force behind Lewiston Unites, the grassroots response to the aftermath of the devastating downtown Lewiston fires.

Rogers works with Community Concepts, is part of the Visible Community initiative, and at times has worked three jobs to help support her family. Yet she always finds time to devote to community work and organizing because she genuinely loves L-A and the people who live and work here. She challenges us all to look beyond ourselves and our comfort zones, to grow as individuals and together as a community.

The Androscoggin Chamber is the largest business membership and advocacy organization in Maine, representing the interests of members throughout the county. The board is proud to recognize the achievements of members who exemplify the geographic variety of The Chamber.

Turner Publishing and CEO Jodi Cornelio are recipients of the Turner Business Award, and no single organization better illustrates the breadth and depth of the impact of The Chamber and its members.

Maine’s largest direct-mail community publishing company, Turner Publishing provides more than 150 Maine zip codes with community news, events and information — nearly 250,000 Maine homes, reaching upwards of 600,000 different Mainers every 30 days with 16 individual titles.

There is nothing that moves or happens anywhere in The Chamber’s service area that escapes the notice, attention and widespread support of Cornelio’s team and their newspapers.

The Lisbon Business Award is presented to Positive Change Lisbon, a new nonprofit partnership between the private citizens, business, and municipal government to undertake a series of town improvement projects, work to create a social awareness of the positive aspects of the town and to promote economic development. The group organizes social events like the summer concert series and the annual spring cleanup day along Rte. 196.

Among the most recognizable businesses in Greene is Hurricane’s Café and Deli, the recipient of this year’s Greene Business Award. Since its inception in 2005, Hurricane’s has been accorded widespread awards for its soups, chowders and spectacular baked goods.

The restaurant has become a destination for hungry diners from throughout the greater L-A area as well as locals from Greene, Turner and Monmouth, and has established a robust catering presence as well. The restaurant has become a prominent corporate citizen in Greene and the entire Chamber community.

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