LEWISTON — The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce will host its annual dinner and awards ceremony Jan. 24 at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center.

Five local people, one company and one organization will be honored.

• Ray Geiger — Chamber Champion Award: Stephanie Gelinas, executive director, Sandcastle Clinical & Educational Services.

The chamber’s most prestigious award, it’s given to an individual who has proven to be a champion of and for the chamber, investing a great deal of time, energy and resources into furthering the chamber’s mission and working toward bettering our communities.

Gelinas served on the board of directors for eight years with a year as chairwoman and another as past chairwoman. She continues to be involved in chamber activities through committees, as a chamber ambassador, and by attending and encouraging her staff to attend events. Stephanie also gives back to the community through other organizations. She is a Paul Harris Fellow award recipient and Rotarian, is a past president of the Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club, serves on the Health Advisory Committee for the Promise Early Education Center and is on the board of directors for Tri-County Mental Health Services.

• Theresa Samson – Women’s Business Leadership Award: Diane Champoux, president, Champoux Insurance


The Theresa Samson award honors a successful woman business owner or primary manager for her business success, career achievements and contributions to the community.

Champoux’s parents started the Champoux Insurance Agency in 1954. While in school, Diane joined them part-time and then in 1999 purchased the agency. She has grown the business from a staff of 10 to now operating five offices with a staff of 40 representing more than 40 insurance agencies. In 2012, the agency purchased and renovated the landmark Knights of Columbus building as offices for the agency. Champoux belongs to several insurance company advisory boards, is a member of the Kora Capital Campaign committee and a supporter of the United Way. She served as secretary of the Lewiston Development Corp. and was on the board of the Liberty Festival.

• Ken Additon – Small Business Advocacy Award: Alan Hahnel, president, Hahnel Bros. Co.

This award goes to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to small-business advocacy above and beyond policies that specifically impact their own business or industry and a proven history of volunteer efforts to advance and improve the overall small-business community.

Hahnel Bros. began as a family business in 1916. Hahnel joined the company in 1981 and has been president since 1995. He continues to grow this local legacy business, merging with another roofing and sheet metal company in Bangor. He has set an example by creating workforce development partnerships to grow and train his workforce during a time when companies are struggling to fill positions. Hahnel serves on the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council Board and Lewiston Development Corp. Alan is also an active member of Rotary International, the Auburn-Lewiston YMCA Board of Directors and ASHRAE.

• Community Service Award: Safe Voices


The Community Service Award honors outstanding individuals or organizations that give their time and expertise to the community, above and beyond their own field of endeavor, and demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in all they do.

For more than 40 years, Safe Voices has been a fixture of our community and dedicated advocates for victims and survivors of domestic violence. Safe Voices is at the forefront of anti-domestic violence work in Maine, providing comprehensive services from shelter and support groups to workplace trainings and schools-based prevention education, transitional housing and case management, court advocacy and a Batterer Intervention Program. Every single one of their employees exemplifies a commitment to service, putting the people of this community at the center of everything they do.

• Business Leadership Award: Community Health Options

This award honors a business, agency, organization, community or nonprofit corporation that has helped invigorate the economic health of the area while also contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual or physical well-being of the LA region.

Community Health Options is a nonprofit, member-led health plan providing comprehensive health insurance benefits to individuals, families and businesses. Since coming to Lewiston in 2012, they have brought 150 good-paying jobs to the refurbished Bates Mill and Great Falls Plaza. They have provided more than 50,000 individuals and businesses with insurance coverage with reduced premiums through their competitive presence. Community Health Options has been designated among Maine’s Best Places to Work three times, twice as a Psychologically Healthy Workplace and also received the distinction as a Silver Collar Employer for efforts to attract and retain older works.

• President’s Award: Clifton Greim


The President’s Award honors an individual or organization chosen by the chamber president for an outstanding achievement or recognizable contribution.

Greim is the president of a legacy Lewiston-Auburn company, Harriman Associates, and has made this community his home for his entire career. He’s truly “walking the walk” and raising the LA Metro region’s profile by service on local and statewide boards, including leadership roles in the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and the University of Southern Maine’s Board of Visitors. As a past chair of the chamber’s board, Greim continues to be supportive of the chamber’s work to build a sustainable local economy and ensure a strong quality of life. He’s very supportive of education and raising the aspirations of Maine youth. Greim embodies all the characteristics of an amazing leader.

• Outstanding Chamber Member Award: Matthew Shaw

This award honors an individual or organization chosen by the chamber staff for their outstanding contribution to the chamber.

Shaw became involved as a volunteer at the chamber early in his high school career and has been one of the most dedicated volunteers for more 10 years. He believes in the chamber’s mission and works hard alongside staff to accomplish it. Shaw is at almost all chamber events, handing out name tags, distributing materials, helping to clean up, whatever is needed, he’s always jumping in to help. Shaw is a dependable individual and  a dedicated volunteer who’s always ready to roll up his sleeves and get the job done and all with a smile. The chamber staff are extremely grateful for all the hard work he’s done over the years.

There are still seats and sponsorships available for the dinner. The chamber has not yet announced the keynote speaker.

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