The prestigious Ray Geiger Award, top honor of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, went to Mary LaFontaine, a long-time Chamber board member, at the organization’s annual meeting Thursday night at the Ramada Conference Center in Lewiston.

In her presentation of the award, Jenny Moulton, the Chamber’s director of marketing and communications, called LaFontaine “an incredible leader.”

LaFontaine has served on the Chamber board for 10 years, holding the position of chair for one of those years, as well as serving on the workforce and education committee.

She has more than 25 years of experience in the private and public sectors. Prior to her current position, she managed the Lewiston CareerCenter. She teaches at USM-LAC, is president of the Central Maine Human Resources Association and serves on several other civic and business association boards. She recently served as an Auburn City Councilor for two terms and the Auburn School Committee.

Rebecca Swanson Conrad, the Chamber’s president and CEO, told the large banquet audience that the organization is poised to “lead, achieve and celebrate.”
Conrad said the L-A Chamber “is in perpetual motion,” and she said it will continue “to be collaborative and innovative.”

“Collectively, we are as strong as our individual efforts,” Conrad said.

She introduced a brief new video called “Make It Here,” which highlights advantages and possibilities to be found the in the L-A area.

The LA Metro Chamber’s President’s Award went to Scott Knapp, president of Central Maine Community College. That award is presented to an individual or organization for outstanding contributions that are aligned with the core work of the LA Metro Chamber.

Jim Marston was named the recipient of the Chamber’s Community Service Award, which honors an outstanding individual or organization for giving their time and expertise in the community above and beyond their own field of endeavor.

Marston is the editor – as well as salesperson, photographer and graphic designer – of Uncle Andy’s Digest, a newsstand publication he purchased a few years ago after a nearly 20-year career with Penmor Lithographers in Lewiston. He is an active participant in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, both locally and regionally, and he supports many community events.

The Business Leadership Award went to Evergreen Subaru of Auburn in recognition of contributions to the economic health of the area, as well as contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual or physical well-being of the L-A area.

Laura Davis Rinck, president of Rinck Advertising, was named recipient of the Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award, which honors a successful woman business owner or primary manager for her business success, career achievements and contributions to the community.

She is her agency’s lead strategist on several national consumer packaged goods accounts including Gorton’s Seafood, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Dean Foods, American Beverage Corporation and McDonald’s. Her work includes the development of brand platforms, integrated marketing plans, strategic public relations, and advertising campaigns. She was also the lead strategist at Rinck for Governor Baldacci’s Blaine House Conference on Maine’s Creative Economy.

For the last five years, Rinck has also developed marketing and advertising for the Dempsey Challenge. She is a founding member and president of Emerge Film Festival.

Nathan Tsukroff received the Outstanding Chamber Member Award which honors an individual or organization chosen by the chamber staff for their outstanding contribution in the LA Metro Chamber. Tsukroff was chosen for his dedication and volunteer work at chamber events. He is owner of Tsukroff Photography in Gray.

Chantell Pettengill, owner of Pettengill Academy, Early Learning Childcare Center, Lewiston, received the Chamber’s Ken Additon Small Business Advocacy Award.

Lewiston City Councilor Alicia Rea, second from left, talks with Allen DeLong, Marianne Cowan and Amy Wooldridge of Bates College during the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 130th Annual Meeting in Lewiston on Thursday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Angie Snow of Camden National Bank talks with Jimmy and Linda Simones during the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 130th Annual Meeting in Lewiston on Thursday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Carl Sheline, left, of Maple Way Dental Care talks with Peter Rinck of Rinck Advertising and Mark Anthoine of BGA Financial during the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 130th Annual Meeting in Lewiston on Thursday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Lynn Weisz and Dan Duda, both of Evergreen Subaru, chat during the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 130th Annual Meeting in Lewiston on Thursday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Chip Morrison, left, Terry Samson, Lisa Mayer and Laura Davis gather during the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce 130th Annual Meeting in Lewiston on Thursday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)


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