Oxford County Mental Health Services has received the River Valley Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit/Community Service Leadership Award. From left are Ashlee Brooks, Maya Best, Pam Miller and Jason Brown. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

River Valley Chamber of Commerce First Vice President Patti Daigle, left, presents the Customer Service of the Year award to Glenn and Sandee Gordon of Good Karma Health Foods & Cafe. The Gordons are at right with employee Zach Boothby. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Jamie Breau and her father, Rick Breau, owners of Mountain Valley Variety, were named Business Person of the Year by the River Valley Chamber of Commerce. From left are Michelle Burgess, Jamie Breau, Donna Wotton and Ann Cullens.  (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Anne Wood and Joe Sirois received the Volunteer of the Year award from the River Valley Chamber of Commerce. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

Mia Purcell of Community Concepts Finance Corp. was named Employee of the Year. by the River Valley Chamber of Commerce. (Bruce Farrin/Rumford Falls Times)

RUMFORD — The River Valley Chamber of Commerce recently hosted its annual dinner and awards presentation at Black Mountain of Maine.

Honored were:

• Business Person of the Year — Rick and Jamie Breau of Mountain Valley Variety.

• Volunteer of the Year — Joe Sirois and Anne Wood.

• Customer Service of the Year — Glenn and Sandee Gordon of Good Karma Health Foods & Café.

• Employee of the Year — Mia Purcell of Community Concepts Finance Corp.

• Non-Profit/Community Service Leadership Award — Oxford County Mental Health Services.

Janet Brennick nominated Rick and Jamie Breau of Mountain Valley Variety for Business Person of the Year.

She said the local community has watched the transformation over the past couple of years on the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Hancock Street, the location of their business.

“Everyone wants donated items to hold raffles,” Brennick said. “At Mountain Valley Variety, they’re making gift certificate donations and they’re also donating pounds and pounds of coleslaw, sauces and sandwiches to help benefits (held) for people in our community.”

Rick Breau, who’s in Florida, sent a written message that included, “It’s a good feeling that the Chamber and the Town of Rumford appreciate my hard work and big investment, making Rumford a better place to live and work.”

“Remember my motto — being local really does make a difference.”

Jamie Breau added, “I do want to say thank you. We’re very honored, my dad and I. My dad is the brains of the operation. The rest of us do what we’re told. He has a lot of crazy ideas, but he really is into buying local.”

The husband and wife team of Joe Sirois and Anne Wood received the Volunteer of the Year award.

Sirois was the administrator of Rumford Community Home for 12 years, and for eight years was the executive director of the Hope Association.

Wood is a longtime English and French teacher, starting at Mexico High School in 1962.

Both have served on boards for the Rumford Library, Hope Association and Rumford Group Homes. They’ve lent their efforts to GRAMPS, Literacy Volunteers and Maine AllCare.

For most Friday afternoons over the past six years, they’ve shared oldies tunes with the residents at the Rumford Community Home.

“What we do is a lot of fun, so much fun that we get more out of it than anybody else,” Sirois said. “But the folks sitting at the Rumford Community Home table are all the people who do the real work of caring for elders of the community. It’s just a great place.”

Good Karma Health Foods & Cafe was nominated by Natalie Beale of Community Concepts Finance Corp.

Kevin Smart of Community Concepts Finance Corp. spoke on her behalf.

“I’ve have had the privilege of working with Glenn and Sandee Gordon of Good Karma Health Foods & Cafe for about two years,” Smart said. “They know their customers by name and know what’s going on in their lives. In their establishment, they’ve really built a kind of down-home atmosphere that makes you feel welcome when you come in. A couple of people said this is like the “Cheers” of Rumford, except they don’t sell alcohol.”

As a service to the community, he said Good Karma has opened its space for the monthly EnvisionRumford meetings.

Glenn Gordon said they were thrilled and honored to get the award. “We couldn’t do this without our friends and family, our employees. And a big thanks to Community Concepts Finance Corp. Without their help, this wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.”

He also thanked the town of Rumford for its support in getting the business started.

“We’re thrilled to be a part of this community and to build these relationships,” he said. “All day long, we’re probably on a first-name basis with 80 or 90 percent of the people who come through the door. And it feels like we’re at home, and it should because we spend a lot of time there.” 

Glenn Holmes, president of Community Concepts Finance Corp., nominated Purcell for her award.

He said Purcell, vice president of economic development, has worked for Community Concepts Finance Corp. for more than nine years, “with amazing dedication not only for Oxford County but more specifically, for the River Valley.”

“Mia is by far the most dedicated person I’ve ever had the honor to work with,” Holmes said. “She is a key part of our leadership team. Mia continues to have a positive attitude, even when others fear the worst and projects look desperate.”

Holmes said Mia has been with EnvisionRumford since its inception and is critical to its success. “She has always been there to make sure the members are informed.”

Purcell said, “I am humbled and honored to be nominated by my boss and by the Chamber to receive this award. It means a lot to me. What makes this one of the most meaningful jobs that I’ve had is the flexibility and creativity that I’ve been allowed to have to help communities like Rumford accomplish some of their goals and their dreams.”

Purcell is also assisting in the revitalization of downtown Rumford.

“The downtown here is your service area for the region,” she said. “It’s so important. If the downtown goes down, it’s kind of a death knell for the region. And I felt it so critical to support it and bring it back. And it’s coming!”

Oxford County Mental Health Services offers several services, including the Beacon House Peer Recovery Center, which is celebrating its 20th year; 24/7 emergency crisis response; crisis stabilization; outpatient therapy; case management; home and community therapy; behavioral home health services; medication management, substance-use treatment; and maintains a (private nonmedical institution) residence for four adults on Maple Street.

Its mission statement is to promote community wellness and empower individuals by providing innovative personal-centered behavioral health services and education.

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