Page 1

T H E O F F I C I A L M A G A Z I N E O F T H E M A I N E S TAT E C H A M B E R O F C O M M E R C E

Remembering a Maine Icon Woodrow Cross (1916–2020)

CELEBRATING COMMUNITY

CHAMPIONS


THE BIW LEGACY SHIPBUILDER TO THE NAVY

For more than 130 years, building ships which sailors bet their lives on.

AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE

Hiring, training and employing thousands who join us for a career, not just a job. BIW hired and trained 1,800 people in 2019 and invested $13 million in training new shipbuilders.

A CRUCIAL PART OF MAINE’S ECONOMY

Providing more than $375 million in payroll every year and procuring $125 million of goods and services, from 296 different suppliers in 13 Maine counties.


A new name for the power you know from the same Mainers you trust.


WELCOME

A Message from Chamber Leadership W E L C O M E T O T H E I N A U G U R A L E D I T I O N of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce’s OneVoice Maine. The idea of publishing a magazine is one we have been considering for some time. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic, or perhaps because of it, the timing for launching this magazine seemed right to accomplish two priorities: celebrating the remarkable life of Woodrow Cross, and celebrating the extraordinary ways in which Maine businesses give back to our state every day. In our feature story on the life of Woodrow Cross, who died in July 2020 at age 103, we aim to share his contributions as a Maine icon in business and his community. In conversations with Mr. Cross’ family and others at Cross Insurance, the company Mr. Cross founded at his kitchen table and grew to great success, we came across a quote from Mr. Cross that reflects his approach to challenges. His quote quickly became the theme of this first edition of OneVoice Maine: LARRY WOLD Board Chair President, TD Bank Maine

D A N A F. C O N N O R S President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce

2

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

“It’s very easy to get discouraged, but I always tried to figure out the problem. I didn’t run from it, and if I needed help, I’d get it. And if I needed to do more work, I did it.” Mr. Cross’ quote is tremendously relevant today and parallels the numerous ways Maine’s business community has stepped up in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March, Maine and the nation were experiencing discouraging news of the COVID-19’s spread across the country. No one will forget the alarming daily headlines telling of increasing infection and death rates, emergency stay-at-home orders, skyrocketing unemployment, fears of economic paralysis, and more. The challenges were immense and increasing every day. Yet, in the face of this adversity, Maine businesses stepped up. They did so in ways that mirror Mr. Cross’ mindset, work ethic, community spirit, and resilience. The pages of this magazine tell these stories, starting with the life and contributions of Woodrow Cross, who exemplified the character of Maine people and whose example helps show us all a way forward. It is not entirely coincidental that the title of the magazine, OneVoice Maine, reflects the spirit in which Mr. Cross lived and the ways Maine’s business community has come together during the pandemic. Maine’s businesses have never been more unified in support of building a stronger economy so Maine people and communities can prosper. The pandemic is not over. More challenges are to come. It will not be easy. But in the Maine way, every challenge is matched with countless examples of the generous, innovative, and community-minded efforts of our state’s business community. We hope you will share new efforts with us, and any we missed. We plan to continue to share them widely and with great pride. In a year in which we are challenged to find much to celebrate, we are honored to celebrate Woodrow Cross and many of the Maine businesses that stepped up in a time of great and urgent need. We hope you find these stories inspiring. We also hope you will keep in mind that while we all are occasionally discouraged, if we face our problems, ask for or offer help when needed, and put in the hard work, we will continue to forge a successful path forward, together as One Voice.


“The Voice of Maine Business”

ACCESS

Through our various networking events, our more than 5,000 member businesses and their employees have numerous opportunities to share best practices and create solid business contacts each year. Our policy-oriented events also give members the opportunity to interact with issue experts, opinion leaders, and policy makers in a meaningful way.

ADVOCACY

We have the most respected advocacy presence of any business association in Maine. No other association covers as many issues with broad public policy implications as the Chamber. Covering workers’ compensation, health care, energy, tax policy, education, workforce development, environmental policy, and more, our team of advocates is the largest in the Statehouse.

AWARENESS

Whether it’s our Impact newsletter, the “Chamber Minute” and “Legislative Week Ahead” video updates, the news coverage archive, “The Bottom Line” podcast, or any of the other Chamber Newsroom resources, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce makes it easy for members to stay current on all of the important issues that impact Maine businesses and our state’s economy.

MEMBERSHIP MATTERS

Someone has to speak up for Maine businesses. That’s where we come in. The Maine State Chamber of Commerce is here, because you have a business to run, product to produce, service to provide, people to employ, and a community to support. You cannot do all those things and make sure the Legislature in Augusta is acting in your best interests. We’re here to influence the outcomes in the Legislature, as well as provide you with information, programs, and events that are a real return on investment of your membership dues. We are taking care of business in Augusta, so that you can take care of yours.

mainechamber.org

128 State Street, Suite 101, Augusta, ME 04330-5630

(207) 623-4568

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

3


CONTENTS

COMMUNITY CHAMPIONS

Contents

Celebrating the extraordinary ways Maine’s business community stepped-up to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A MESSAGE FROM CHAMBER LEADERSHIP ..........................2 FEATURE STORY: Woodrow Cross ............................................... 7 “It’s very easy to get discouraged, but I always tried to figure out the problem. I didn’t run from it, and if I needed help, I’d get it. And if I needed to do more work, I did it.” — Woodrow Cross “IT’S VERY EASY TO GET DISCOURAGED…” Welcome Letter from Maine Governor Janet Mills ....................... 18 “BUT I ALWAYS TRIED TO FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM.” Helping Hands .............................................................................20 L.L. Bean ..................................................................................... 24 Spectrum ....................................................................................26 IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. ..............................................................28 Central Maine Power & Versant Power ........................................30 The Jackson Laboratory ..............................................................32 New Balance ................................................................................34 Hussey Seating ...........................................................................36 Good Shepherd Food Bank ..........................................................38 4

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Higher Education .........................................................................42 Kennebec Technologies / Abbott Labs .......................................44 Manufacturing Textiles ...............................................................46 “I DIDN’T RUN FROM IT, AND IF I NEEDED HELP, I’D GET IT.” Reflections from the Front Lines ................................................50 Health Insurers ............................................................................54 Poland Spring ..............................................................................56 Home Heating Industry ................................................................58 Hannaford ...................................................................................60 Financial Institutions ...................................................................62 BIW / CIANBRO / Puritan .............................................................64 “AND IF I NEEDED TO DO MORE WORK, I DID IT.” Hospitality Industry......................................................................68 Hospitals ..................................................................................... 72 Sea Bags ..................................................................................... 74 Consolidated Communications ...................................................76 Insurance Providers ....................................................................78


Vintage 1960s photo of WBRC principals. Gertrud Ebbeson, one of Maine’s first female architects, would soon join as a firm partner.

OneVoice Maine is a publication of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dana Connors President PROJECT MANAGEMENT Ben Gilman General Counsel Angela Arno Director of Events & Programs C O N T E N T G E N E R AT I O N Melanie Baillargeon Director of Communications Megan Diver Senior Government Relations Specialist

Great Partnerships are Timeless Choosing an A/E team starts a long-term relationship. It doesn’t matter if you’re an owner, developer, or niche design expert. The right partnership will be a gift that keeps on giving for decades to come. How do you find the best A/E team to work with—and keep that relationship strong? Here are seven steps to finding a great project partner and keeping everyone on the team happy:

7 Steps to Great Project Partnerships

Mark Ellis Membership Specialist Jen Webber Communications Consultant Simon West Financial Assistant ADVERTISING SALES TEAM Peter Gore Executive Vice President Melody Rousseau Sponsorship & Advertising Sales Manager Linda Caprara Senior Government Relations Specialist Angela Morin Executive Assistant to the President Scott Samson Financial Coordinator

Download the 7 Steps Checklist Scan QR code with your smartphone or visit wbrcae.com/partnerships

DESIGN & PRODUCTION

Start the conversation early

2.

Do your homework

3.

Ask tough questions

4.

Read all documents

5.

Never be the bottleneck

6.

Over-communicate

7.

Share the glory

Every new project partnership begins with a conversation. Call us at (207) 947-4511 or email info@wbrcae.com. The men and women of WBRC A/E look forward to hearing from you.

Let’s talk

Sage Solutions – Since 1902 –

Photos were provided with permission from the subject of each profile, story, or article.

1.

Rob Frank, CBDO (207) 947-4511 x248 rob.frank@wbrcae.com

Bangor, ME | Portland, ME | Lakewood Ranch, FL | Columbia, MD | Birmingham, MI ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

5


F E AT U R E S T O R Y 6

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


Woodrow Cross

(1916–2020)

Written by Chamber Staff | Photo courtesy of the Cross family

“THE GREATEST LEGACY ANYONE CAN LEAVE BEHIND IS TO POSITIVELY IMPACT THE LIVES OF OTHERS. WHENEVER YOU ADD VALUE TO OTHER PEOPLE’S LIVES, YOU ARE UNKNOWINGLY LEAVING FOOTPRINTS ON THE SANDS OF TIME THAT LIVE ON, EVEN AFTER YOUR DEMISE.” E M E A S O B A G E O R G E W O O D R O W C R O S S has certainly left footprints that transcend his time here with us. Woodrow was a true iconic Mainer, remembered as a man with a strong work ethic, full of determination, epitomizing integrity, and committed to perseverance. He inspired those who were lucky enough to cross his path with his positivity. His love of family, work, children, faith and community were reflected in every aspect of his life. Maine lost a true leader and friend when Woodrow Cross passed in July at age 103. Set in rural Penobscot County, northwest of Old Town and east of Garland, Bradford was a small Maine town of roughly 1,000 people after the turn of the century. It was here that Woodrow Cross was born in 1916 on a small farm. His father, Melvin Cross, and mother, Mabel Speed, ran the farm until the family opened M.W. Cross General Store in 1929, built with lumber from falling down buildings and old nails they straightened to reuse. It is interesting to note that even today, if you Google Map Bradford, the Bradford General Store comes up smack in the center of Routes 11 and 221. The entrepreneurial determination

old. He started his first business selling

one room schoolhouse in Bradford, where

seeds out of a pony cart to nearby neigh-

in winter months he was responsible for

bors and farmers. By the time he was 10,

filling the wood bin to fuel the stove used

Woodrow had branched out into chick-

to heat the classroom. But by the eighth

en farming. He worked with the town

grade, Woodrow, like many young men his

storekeeper to take out small loans to

age, left school to help support his fam-

purchase chicks, gaining credit for feed,

ily during the Great Depression. As the

which the storekeeper agreed he could

oldest of three siblings he was proud to

pay back when he sold the chicks.

work in his parents’ general store, hauling

that Woodrow exemplified throughout

During these years of selling seeds and

huge blocks of ice up a ramp to storage

his life began when he was just six years

chicken farming, Woodrow attended the

bins in the winter and joining his father ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

7


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

on trips to Aroostook County where they

started their family of three sons and two

would fill their truck with potatoes to sell

daughters — Dennis, Royce, Connie, Judy,

in wealthier areas of the state.

and Brent — in Bradford.

By the time he was 20, Woodrow re-

Upon his return from the Army in

alized that he wanted to further his ed-

1954, Woodrow sold the general store in

ucation beyond eighth grade. He began

Bradford and relocated his family to Ban-

attending classes at a school in Bangor

gor. He had made the decision to be part

run by Chesley H. Husson, the found-

of a bigger, more developed town, with

er of what is today Husson University. A

greater opportunities, and the ability for

year later, near the end of the Great De-

his children to attend a bigger school.

pression, Woodrow’s father passed away,

Upon moving to Bangor, Woodrow

leaving Woodrow to take over running

started working at a mill and, ironically,

the family’s general store and supporting

was part of the construction crew that

his mother and younger siblings. Wood-

built the Bangor Auditorium. He worked

row ran the general store for the next 16

nights at the site, where it was his job to

years, only stopping to serve in the Army

keep the heaters going to be sure the new

during World War II.

concrete set correctly. One must wonder

It should come as no surprise that

if he could have imagined in that job, the

Woodrow was exceedingly proud to serve

impact his generosity would have on the

in the military. His grandfather fought in

City of Bangor almost 65 years later when

the Civil War, so it was with great pride

the next civic center would be built with

that when the United States entered

his name on its side.

World War II, Woodrow chose to follow in

Woodrow’s

entrepreneurial

spirit

his grandfather’s footsteps. He served in

hadn’t been dimmed during his time in

the Army from 1943 to 1976, first at boot

the military. In 1954, Woodrow received

camp in Texas where he was stationed in

his general equivalency diploma (GED)

Austin, and then in Louisiana. After this,

in order to get his real estate license. He

he was deployed to New Guinea and the

also became a licensed insurance agent,

Philippines and later served in Japan as

determined to start his very own busi-

part of the United States’ occupying

ness selling insurance. Later that same

forces. Throughout his life, Woodrow re-

year, Woodrow launched the Woodrow

mained proud of his country and military

W. Cross Agency from his kitchen table

“ Throughout his life, Woodrow Cross was an exceptional entrepreneur and an involved business leader who was dedicated to mentoring others and giving back to his community. His passionate commitment to serving Bangor, the State of Maine, and our country has left an enormous impact on all of us who knew and admired him. Woodrow will long be remembered for his phenomenal work ethic, generosity of spirit, and dedication to making Bangor and Maine a stronger, better place.” F O R M E R G O V E R N O R J O H N R . M C K E R N A N , J R . A N D F O R M E R U . S . S E N AT O R O LY M P I A J . S N O W E

8

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

service. He marched in the Memorial Day

out of his home on West Broadway. He

Parade in Bangor for many a year.

sold his first insurance policy for seven

While home on leave in Septem-

dollars, thereby paving the way for the

ber of 1943, Woodrow married Janette

establishment of one of the most pres-

Loretta Bean in her hometown of East

tigious and successful insurance agen-

Corinth, Maine. Woodrow and Janette

cies in New England and the Northeast.


Woodrow continued to work out of his home until 1963, when he had grown the business enough to hire his first employee and open a downtown Bangor office from which the company continued to strive and grow, and has never stopped.

HE HAD A SWEET TOOTH. ANY OF THE CHILDREN, ESPECIALLY FAMILY OR EMPLOYEE’S CHILDREN KNEW THIS. THEY LOVED TO VISIT MR. CROSS IN HIS OFFICE AS THEY KNEW HE WOULD HAVE CANDY IN HIS DESK, USUALLY CHOCOLATE OF SOME KIND. FRIDAY MORNING WAS ALWAYS DONUTS AND PASTRIES FROM THE LOCAL BAKERY FOR EMPLOYEES, A TRADITION THAT CONTINUES TO THIS DAY. Former Governor John E. Baldacci recalls the first time he met Woodrow Cross while running for the State Senate and campaigning door-to-door. Woodrow was with his wife, Janette, and his son, Royce, at his kitchen table going over client files that were in a shoe box. Governor Baldacci said, “From the moment I met them I could tell they were sweet people and were engaged in the community. Over the years I got to know Woodrow, he was an amazing person and a valued friend. He was part of the glue that held Bangor together. They say, ‘nice guys finish last.’ That was not the case for Woodrow, he became successful and I am proud to have known him. Regardless of how successful Cross Insurance becomes, the company operates as a small family business would.” ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

9


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

generous nature was evident when he stood up from his wheelchair to accept the award so he could properly thank everyone who came to honor him. That moment will never be forgotten by any of us who were there. The positive impact and imprint Mr.  Cross  left on so many of us and on his community will continue well beyond his lifetime, a life well lived.” Cross Insurance has been steadily and successfully growing for 66 years. Today, the family business, once started at a small kitchen table, has more than 1,000 employees at over 40 locations throughout eight states. It is the largest indepenof Business Administration from Husson

dent insurance agency in New England,

University in 2006. He also was inducted

and one of the largest in the nation. Both

in Junior Achievement’s Maine Business

of Maine’s largest civic centers are named

Hall of Fame, a Key to the City of Bangor

after the company — the Cross Insurance

recipient, and in January 2017, a month

Center in Bangor and the Cross Insurance

after his 100th birthday, he was awarded

Arena in Portland. Cross Insurance insures

the prestigious Norbert X. Dowd Award

companies from small to large. Some of

from the Bangor Region Chamber of

their most notable clients are Cianbro

Commerce for lifetime achievement.

and The Boston Globe, and more impor-

This was the year before the new Bangor

tantly for New England sports fans, the

Auditorium opened and before Wood-

New England Patriots, the Boston Red

row signed the 15-year agreement, nam-

Sox, and the Boston Bruins.

Along the way, Woodrow settled into

ing the auditorium the Cross Insurance

and committed himself and his company

Center. Woodrow was the first person to

“WOODROW’S STORY IS ONE OF

to the city of Bangor, becoming involved

sit in one of the auditorium seats, where

PERSEVERANCE, HARD WORK AND

in many aspects of the Bangor communi-

he chose Seat 1, in Section 111.

OPTIMISM. HE LED THE CREATION OF

ty. He was on a path that would continue for the remainder of his life.

Deb Neuman, president of the Ban-

AN INSURANCE JUGGERNAUT NOT ONLY

gor Region Chamber of Commerce re-

HERE IN MAINE BUT THROUGHOUT NEW

Woodrow was a lifetime supporter

calls, “There were more than a thousand

ENGLAND AND NOW BEYOND. HE SHOWED

of many Maine charities and was the re-

people present when we had the honor of

LOVE FOR THE INSURANCE BUSINESS AND

cipient of numerous awards and recog-

recognizing Woodrow  Cross  for his con-

HE DEMONSTRATED THAT STRONG VALUES

nitions, including an honorary Doctorate

tributions to our region. His humble and

AND A STRONG WORK ETHIC COULD LEAD

“ He would often say ‘we can do this!’ Like everyone in life, he faced many challenges, but through all of them he would remain positive. He taught me a life lesson very early in my career. I had been working in the business for a couple of years and was transitioning to a sales role. He wanted to talk to me before I officially started in this new position. He said to me, ‘Do not ever forget that your customers are trusting you to protect every asset they have built over their lifetime.’ He went on to say, ‘You are not just selling them an insurance policy, you are selling them a promise that they will have the protection they need when they really need it.’” J O N AT H A N C R O S S , C H I E F O P E R AT I N G O F F I C E R F O R C R O S S I N S U R A N C E A G E N C Y, A N D G R A N D S O N O F W O O D R O W C R O S S

10

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


TO INCREDIBLE SUCCESS. THE FACT THAT HE WORKED EVEN PAST THE AGE OF 100 IS TESTAMENT TO THAT FACT. HE CARED DEEPLY ABOUT THE WORK TO THE VERY END OF HIS LIFE. HE LEAVES AN UNMATCHED LEGACY THAT WILL CONTINUE TO DO GREAT THINGS FOR MAINE AND ITS PEOPLE FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.” Michael Bourque, President and CEO, The MEMIC Group “THE CROSS FAMILY AND CROSS INSURANCE HAVE BEEN PART OF THE FENWAY FAMILY FOR MORE THAN A DECADE SHARING IN MANY SUCCESSES ON AND OFF THE FIELD. WE ARE SO GRATEFUL TO WOODROW FOR BEING AN INCREDIBLE PARTNER TO THE BOSTON RED SOX, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, FOR HIS LASTING IMPACT ON COMMUNITIES ACROSS NEW ENGLAND.” Sam Kennedy, President and Chief Executive

OneVoice Maine

Officer, Boston Red Sox. “WOODROW CROSS WAS THE EMBODIMENT OF THE CLASSIC NEW ENGLAND FAMILY BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR — BRILLIANT AND PROUDLY INDEPENDENT, DEVOTED TO HIS FAMILY, AND PASSIONATE ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS HE FORMED WITH HIS CLIENTS — RELATIONSHIPS BUILT WITH THE FOCUS OF SERVING THE NEEDS OF THE CLIENT BEFORE THE NEEDS OF THE BUSINESS. THE KRAFT FAMILY FEELS INCREDIBLY FORTUNATE TO SHARE THE PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL BOND THAT WE DO WITH THE CROSS FAMILY. WOODROW WILL BE SORELY MISSED, BUT HIS EXTRAORDINARY LEGACY WILL LIVE ON THROUGH ROYCE, JONATHAN, AND ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CROSS FAMILY.”

AT&T is proud to partner with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce by sponsoring the launch of the OneVoice Maine Magazine. All across the Nation and in Maine, we as a company empower connections that help to build a better tomorrow. AT&T, along with Maine Businesses are a backbone of the community, contributing to Maine's economy and workforce during these challenging times.

Jonathan Kraft, President, Kraft Group and the New England Patriots, and Robert Kraft, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Kraft Group and Owner, New England Patriots. Peter Vigue, chairman of Cianbro, discussed Cianbro’s decision to be a long-standing client of Cross Insurance. “Choosing an insurance and bonding company was a very important decision

© 2020 AT&T Intellectual Property. AT&T, Globe logo, and DIRECTV are registered trademarks and service marks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

11


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

on my part. As a large company, Cianbro

er with the Cross Insurance Company, the

“HE WAS 68 WHEN I INTERVIEWED, AND I

needed a knowledgeable, skillful insur-

Cross family, and their representatives.

REMEMBER TO THIS DAY HOW IMPRESSED

ance company that would be there for

I was fortunate to have known Mr. Cross.

I WAS WITH HIM AND THE BUSINESS HE

us regardless of the circumstance. The

Anyone who met him loved him. He made

HAD BUILT. HE MADE INSURANCE SOUND

integrity, honesty and humility that Mr.

you feel important and showed that he

VERY EXCITING AND THE POSSIBILITIES

Cross portrayed during our first meeting

truly cared, regardless of who you were.“

ENDLESS. OVER THE COURSE OF THE NEXT FEW YEARS AND THEN THE NEXT

allowed me to commit Cianbro to Cross

Woodrow Cross became well known

Insurance for insurance and bonding

and very well respected among those in

FEW DECADES, HE BECOME MY GREATEST

without hesitation. I could tell that this

the insurance industry during his career.

MENTOR AND CONSTANTLY AMAZED ME

wasn’t just a job to Mr. Cross. It was about

He was deservedly proud of the company

WITH HIS BUSINESS ACUMEN AND TENACITY,

building relationships, the people, and

he built, and his love and passion for his

HIS PASSION AND COMMITMENT TO HIS WORK, HIS FAMILY, HIS EMPLOYEES AND HIS CUSTOMERS.”

“I am so very proud and humbled to have worked for such a man and his family. Woodrow was a great leader and teacher, leading by example, and allowing managers to make their own decisions, even if it meant their own mistakes, we grew together. When I would get all too serious about something, he knew how to make me smile, and I don’t recall a day working with him when I didn’t have an occasion to smile.” S A N D R A P H I N N E Y, V I C E P R E S I D E N T O F P E R S O N A L L I N E S , C R O S S I N S U R A N C E A G E N C Y, R E T I R E D

Alice Dyer, Vice President of Operations, Cross Insurance Agency. Woodrow always enjoyed working and continued to do so even as his son, Royce, took on the role as president of the company in 1983. That didn’t mean Woodrow stepped away from the business. He remained as dedicated to the agency as he was at its start. Woodrow remained Chairman of the Board, came into the office multiple times per week, and continued to be active in the company’s day-to-day operations well into his 90s. While he slowed down “later in life,” — after all, even 103-year-olds do slow

12

gaining the trust of those people. He had a

work remained constant even in his later

down — he remained Chairman of the

vision and his vision knew no boundaries.

years of life. He remained committed to

Board until his death this year.

“Over the years Cross Insurance be-

the agency’s talented and experienced

“As recent as the last few weeks of his

came much more than Cianbro’s insur-

employees and the client customer ser-

life, my father considered himself part of

ance and bonding agent. We consider

vice they provided. Many of Woodrow’s

the team,” said Royce Cross, president

Cross Insurance a partner who we trust

first clients remain Cross Insurance cli-

and CEO of Cross Insurance Agency and

and respect. Mr. Cross led by example, and

ents to this day, a testament to the agen-

son of Woodrow Cross. “He’d love hear-

anyone who works for the company shares

cy’s employees and to Woodrow’s exam-

ing stories about what was going on here

his attributes. Cianbro couldn’t be happi-

ple and leadership.

at the office. I’d kind of smile to myself, I’d

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


CMP is part of the Maine community and we have always been committed to the state’s prosperity. Our commitment is no different today as we face unprecedented challenges brought on by COVID-19. We are all Mainers helping other Mainers however we can, and we have been doing it since 1899. Whether that’s providing food donations to seniors and school children or PPE to our front line healthcare workers, CMP will always be here to help keep Maine safe and prosperous.

B:7.625" T:7.375" S:6.625"

A legacy that will live on. Honoring the late Woodrow Cross, founder of Cross Insurance Agency. A dedicated partner of Harvard Pilgrim, Woodrow Cross set an example of always putting people first, in work and in life. As an innovative industry leader and caring community advocate, Cross committed his time to making Maine a better place, inspiring countless others to do the same.

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

13

T:4.875"

S:4.125"

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care includes Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, and HPHC Insurance Company.


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

During the time Jen Montgomery-Rice owned and operated Parkside Children’s Learning Center in Bangor, Woodrow Cross purchased the building that housed the center from its previous owner. After the purchase, Mr. Cross took great interest in the childcare center and the kids. He visited several times, well into his nineties, and talked about how important child care was to Bangor and how these children would be Bangor’s future. “We have to take good care of these children, and therefore we have to take good care of Parkside,” was something similar to what he said. Woodrow was looking to make an impact on generations of Bangor children. Each visit, he listened to the kids’ exuberant, disjointed stories with intense concentration, as if trying to soak in their energy and happiness. He often took the hand of the child talking, or leaned in to hear them better. And each time he left, the kids spoke of Woodrow fondly and often inquired how he was doing. “ The Woodrow I knew was a man with the time and compassion to care about the children of the Greater Bangor area. Although the repairs that he made to the Center probably outweighed the profit, at least in the short term, on our building, it was more important to Woodrow that our children had a safe, wellmaintained building to spend their days. I wish he had had another 100 years to see what else he might have done!” J E N M O N T G O M E R Y- R I C E , P R E V I O U S O W N E R A N D O P E R AT O R , PA R K S I D E C H I L D R E N ’ S L E A R N I N G C E N T E R

14

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

tell him about potential transactions that were about to take place and he’d get all excited and say ‘we can do it, we’ve done it before, we can do it again,’ and ‘what’s the worst that will happen?’” Regardless of how successful the Cross Insurance Agency or Woodrow himself became, like most men who have built what is important to them from the ground up, he never lost sight of things that were most precious to him: his family, his faith, and his community. Woodrow adored his wife and his children. Royce Cross recalls a memory of his father from decades ago before an event for the agency. Royce recalls saying,  “I


can’t wait for this event to take place.” “I remember my father  (very appropriately and correctly)  called me up short and said, ‘Don’t ever wish your life away. Your life will go fast enough without you wishing it away. That event will arrive fast enough – you enjoy and cherish every day before that takes place.’ He was right and I had it wrong and never did that again. He was always happy. His mother said that when he was a child, he always woke up happy. His care workers at the end of his life would say ‘he was always happy.’” Woodrow was the loving husband of Janette Bean Cross for 48 years before her passing in 1992. And he was proud to have his son, Royce, working with him each day.  In addition, the added benefit of longevity provided him with the unique and special experience of having two of his grandsons — Jonathan, executive vice president, and Woodrow II, commercial lines account executive — join him in managing the family business. His late son, Brent Cross, served as executive vice president until his passing in 2015. For 66 years, Woodrow attended Calvary Baptist Church in Brewer, Maine, ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

15


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

“IT’S VERY EASY TO GET DISCOURAGED. BUT I ALWAYS TRIED TO FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM. I DIDN’T RUN FROM IT, AND IF I NEEDED HELP, I’D GET IT. AND IF I NEEDED TO DO MORE WORK, I DID IT.” W O O D R O W C R O S S serving as treasurer and an usher. At the time of his death, not surprisingly, he was the oldest member of the church. Woodrow was 103 when he died at his Bangor home, in the city he had loved, and given so much back. His deeds are large, including the Cross Insurance Center and Arena, and small, like his quiet visits to a local daycare, where he would share his time and smiles with the children. It is easy to think of Woodrow Cross as a remarkable man, a true icon in our State, because he was. He built himself and his business from the ground up, using his hands and working as a team with those around him to help make it happen. In many ways, the full measure of a person is in their generosity, and how little recognition that person seeks for that giving. Woodrow Cross gave back, not because he had too, or even because he was asked. He did it because he wanted to, and because he loved those around him and the city which he called home. Throughout his life, Woodrow Cross gave from the heart. His generosity and community spirit are just as important to his legacy as the successful business he built. Woodrow exemplified leadership and character, and a resolve and resilience that sets an example for all. He had a meaningful impact in Maine and beyond, and on all of the people fortunate to have known him. For this, he will be remembered and his memory forever honored. “It’s very easy to get discouraged,” he said, “but I always tried to figure out the problem. I didn’t run from it, and if I needed help, I’d get it. And if I needed to do more work, I did it.”

16

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


“ I T ’ S V ERY E ASY TO G E T D I S C O U R AG ED, BUT I ALWAYS TRIED TO FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM. I DIDN’T RUN FROM IT, AND IF I NEEDED HELP, I’D GET IT. AND IF I NEEDED TO DO MORE WORK, I DID IT.”

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

17


“IT’S VERY EASY TO GET DISCOURAGED...�

A Message from Gov. Janet Mills

A S I R E F L E C T on these past several months,

what the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed to me in part is this: while Maine has grown and changed in countless ways over the last 200 years, what remains unchanged is the values and the character of our people. Mainers are a kind, hardworking, and independent people who support one another, particularly when times are tough. That spirit is evident across our state, but no more so than in the many ways our small businesses have adapted to meet the challenges of

our times. Here in Maine and across the country, this pandemic has strained supply chains for personal protective equipment that are critical to the work of health care providers and first responders, sent food prices skyrocketing, required students to learn remotely, and left thousands of people out of work. As each of these crises became clear, Maine businesses from across our state overcame each new barrier to meet the needs of Maine people. I am proud several of those businesses are receiving the recognition they deserve, and I hope that you will read this magazine with gratitude for their many contributions to our state. My Administration will continue to do all we can to support Maine small businesses as they have supported our state during these unprecedented times. The resilience Maine businesses have shown is something that Woodrow Cross would be proud of. In addition to founding Cross Insurance, the largest independent insurance agency in New England, Mr. Cross dedicated his life to his family and his community. As many of you may know, Mr. Cross mentored many in the business community, sharing his knowledge and work ethic with his children and grandchildren who followed him into the business, but also new hires of all ages. He truly epitomized that hardworking Maine ingenuity which lives on in the hearts of all those he inspired. As Governor, I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary generosity of the Maine businesses and organizations that have risen to the challenges we face to support their communities during this time of need. From financial institutions and entrepreneurs to members of the hospitality industry and hunger relief programs, you should all be proud of the ways you have ensured we will rise after this pandemic a stronger people and a stronger state. On behalf of the people of Maine, thank you. It is my honor to serve as your governor. Sincerely,

Janet T. Mills

18

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


“IT’S VERY EASY TO GET DISCOURAGED,

B U T I A LWAYS TR I ED TO F I G U RE O U T THE P R O B L EM. I DIDN’T RUN FROM IT, AND IF I NEEDED HELP, I’D GET IT. AND IF I NEEDED TO DO MORE WORK, I DID IT.”

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

19


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

Helping Hands Maine-made craft sanitizer sees hospitals through shortages By Ashley Forbes, University of Maine Office of Innovation and Economic Development | Photo courtesy University of Maine System

W H E N S U R G I N G D E M A N D L E D to global

would soon become part of a formal inno-

sanitizer shortages early in the COVID-19

vation team dedicated to evaluating and

pandemic, Maine health care organiza-

developing solutions for emerging health

tions looked to a longtime partner for a

care challenges (see sidebar). At the same

hand: the University of Maine.

time, University of Maine System officials

What started as a UMaine-led pro-

executed a unique umbrella agreement

duction effort to supply the state’s health

with the Maine Emergency Management

care facilities with this critical coronavi-

Agency (MEMA), allowing the system to

rus-stopping substance quickly expand-

deploy our unique resources including

ed into an expansive partnership that

spaces, supplies and people where they

provided a financial lifeline for Maine’s

were most needed and in coordination

craft distilling and brewing sector.

with the State’s response efforts.

Even before there was a single known

After collecting supplies of ethanol,

positive COVID-19 case in Maine, faculty

glycerin and hydrogen peroxide donat-

in the university’s Department of Chem-

ed from research labs around the Orono

ical and Biomedical Engineering began

campus, UMaine biomedical engineer-

hearing from area hospital contacts that

ing professors Michael Mason and Wil-

hand sanitizer was becoming scarce.

liam DeSisto spent a Sunday producing

Regular supply chains were strained by

a 25-gallon pilot batch of FDA-compli-

high demand throughout the country,

ant, hospital-grade, 80% ethanol hand

and Maine facilities were increasingly

sanitizer. The hand sanitizer was quick-

ical facilities intensified. The team was

concerned about meeting their existing

ly distributed to Central Maine Medical

fielding hundreds of emails per day re-

daily needs in addition to planning for a

Center in Lewiston and Northern Light

lated to hand sanitizer alone, and Mason

potential surge of patients connected to

Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor,

and his colleagues quickly realized that

COVID-19.

meeting urgent needs at both facilities.

more production would be needed to re-

It was only the beginning.

spond to the volume of requests.

Consistent with the university’s pub-

20

lic service commitment, a group of facul-

“Just by making that first 25-gallon

So they turned to Maine’s craft dis-

ty and graduate students immediately got

batch we were able to prove the pro-

tilleries and brewers, which were most-

to work, studying — in consultation with

cess and we knew this was something

ly idle after the state’s restaurants, bars

hospital pharmacists — the chemical for-

we could do,” Mason said. “But we didn’t

and tasting rooms were ordered to close.

mulations recommended by the FDA and

have a steady supply of ethanol, which

Working with the Maine Distillers Guild,

World Health Organizations and connect-

was essential.”

UMaine began sourcing ethanol — much

ing with the state’s medical facilities to

Just how essential was becoming

of it made from local brewers’ unsold

understand their needs. These individuals

clearer each day as demand from med-

beer — to support large-scale production

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


of hospital-grade sanitizer. New England

Ned Wight, president of the Guild and

eration and others collectively distilled

Distilling, Hardshore Distilling, Stroud-

one of the owners of the Portland-based

approximately 20,000 gallons of beer

water Distillery, Sebago Lake Distillery,

New England Distilling. “First, working

that otherwise would have been discard-

Split Rock Distilling, Blue Barren Distill-

with the university allowed us to con-

ed, allowing Maine brewers to recover

ery and Mossy Ledge Spirits were among

tribute alcohol and do it legally. Second,

some of their costs and helping to keep

the university’s partners, and brewers

they had the manufacturing and supply

distillery employees working – albeit

including Allagash, Maine Beer, Rising

connections to procure the other chem-

while appropriately socially distanced –

Tide, Foundation, Oxbow, Shipyard and

icals that were needed, and handle com-

through the national shutdown.

Baxter provided feedstock for the distill-

pounding, packaging and distributing

“In March and April, with everything

eries. A sizable donation of high-proof

the sanitizer to hospitals, which allowed

so unknown, being able to pull together as

alcohol from Boston Brands of Maine

us to focus on what we know how to do

a community gave a lot of people that feel-

also supported early UMaine efforts.

– the alcohol side.”

ing of purpose and contribution,” Wight

“UMaine was the guiding hand to

Extracting the ethanol for delivery

said. “We were able to contribute some-

give us direction for this effort,” said

to UMaine was no small feat. Wight’s op-

thing that was needed, but that contribuONE VOICE MAINE 2020

21


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

tion was something that we all needed.”

“It’s been a great working rela-

and the great minds at the university, we

UMaine production was run out of

tionship with the University of Maine.

were able to move forward with great

the Process Development Center (PDC),

They’ve been very responsive and very

surety that we were able to provide ex-

the university’s commercial-scale pi-

helpful,” said Johanna Libby, manager of

actly what was needed to be safe and ef-

lot plant that supports the pulp, paper

support services informatics for North-

fective against the virus,” said Jesse Lupo,

and bioproducts sector with research,

ern Light Health facilities and support

the co-owner of Mossy Ledge Spirits,

development, demonstration and com-

services, which works with the hospital

which produced thousands of gallons of

mercialization services. With its existing

system’s supply chain team on distribu-

hand sanitizer at its distillery in Etna —

capacity for commercial-scale products

tion to Northern Light’s expansive in-

much of it packaged in bottles donated

and chemical engineering processes,

tegrated network, including 10 member

by Poland Spring and Oakhurst — and

the facility was able to pivot swiftly to

hospitals, eight nursing homes and 37

sold it at cost to local small businesses,

scale up production. The PDC staff ’s

primary care locations. “At a time when

health and dental care organizations and

logistics expertise was especially essen-

hand sanitizer was scarce throughout the

schools so that they could safely reopen.

tial to managing the ethanol supply and

country, having a reliable local supply

coordinating production based on the

was so valuable to our operation.”

As spirits production ramps back up, Lupo expects he’ll continue making san-

flood of orders, which were tracked in a

With technical assistance from UMa-

itizer as long as there is a need and has

student-run process. The team worked

ine, a number of distilleries also pivoted

even been able to hire additional staff to

closely with UMaine’s Office of Facilities

to producing their own hand sanitizer,

support the new line.

Management to arrange delivery of the

supplementing the PDC’s production

“We would not have been able to

final product, shipping more than 3,000

to create an in-state supply chain that

weather this storm were we not able to

gallons to more than 100 locations

helped slow the spread of COVID-19 and

shift gears to produce hand sanitizer by

across the state including major hospi-

supported Maine’s broader reopening.

working with the university,” he says.

tals, long-term care facilities, Maine tribal health facilities and first responders.

“We needed to go through the right process and working with the scientists

“The university has been a huge asset to keeping our small business afloat.”

Innovating for health care and Maine UMaine’s hand sanitizer production is just one outcome of a team that UMaine’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development pulled together in the early days of the pandemic to respond to the rapidly evolving needs of the state’s health care organizations, including PPE shortages and equipment sterilization challenges Members include UMaine faculty, staff and students; representatives from the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development; staff from Maine’s Congressional Delegation; the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP); MaineHealth; St. Joseph Hospital; and Northern Light Health. Other collaborating partners include the Manufacturers Association of Maine and Maine Procurement Technical Assistance Center. While the concept was new, the partners had long worked with the university. By convening the innovation team and coordinating its efforts with the state agencies leading the pandemic response, UMaine was able to facilitate real-time conversations and solutions to the most pressing problems Maine’s front-line workers were facing in the fight against COVID-19. “When I participated in calls with UMaine, the first questions were always ‘What are you seeing and what do you need?’ And that’s a really powerful signal and it was really important to how quickly we are able to get things done,” said Jennifer Monti, clinical lead for innovation and a general cardiologist at MaineHealth. “I am just extremely bullish on working with UMaine.” The innovation team worked closely with hospitals to research limited reprocessing protocols for PPE and prototyped new equipment to 22

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

help protect medical workers and support patient care. At the request of Maine CDC, the team procured needed chemicals and coordinated on-campus manufacturing of solutions needed for the Maine National Guard to conduct fit tests of N95 masks for thousands of health care personnel at agencies and facilities around the state. These and other innovation efforts have been central to the University of Maine System’s coordinated response to the pandemic. Under the leadership of Chancellor Dannel Malloy and the university presidents, campus gyms were transformed into temporary homeless shelters, small businesses have been provided legal assistance navigating coronavirus-related regulations, hundreds of parking lot Wi-Fi hotspots were created to provide critical connectivity, faculty and students in nursing were deployed to long-term care facilities with coronavirus outbreaks to support staffing surges, and lab technicians and nurses were able to push up their graduations to enter the workforce early. “Our collective efforts are saving lives and small businesses and they are only possible due to decades of public investment in our flagship university and the university system,” said Joan Ferrini-Mundy, president of the University of Maine and its regional campus, the University of Maine at Machias. “State- and federally-funded faculty, graduate assistants, laboratories and materials have enabled UMaine and other system universities to be so responsive in combating coronavirus, and they will increasingly be called upon to help Maine mitigate future public health outbreaks and rebuild our economy.” As the state continues to confront challenges related to the pandemic, Maine’s public universities are standing ready to partner on solutions.


WHERE YOU LIVE. WHERE YOU WORK. WHERE YOU PLAY. WE’RE HERE FOR YOU. We know you lead a busy life and sometimes your health is at the bottom of your list, but for us your health is our top priority. With three hospitals, a care center, urgent care clinics and primary and specialty care practices, we work hard to provide you with convenient, affordable, high-quality care where and when you need it most. From the mountains of western Maine to the rocky mid-coast, you should expect more from your healthcare provider—that’s why Central Maine Healthcare is here for you. Learn more about our services and locations at cmhc.org.

300 Main Street | Lewiston, Maine 04240 | 207-795-0111 ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

23


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

L.L. Bean

L.L. BEAN IS ONE OF MAINE’S MOST

was developing a model for a protective

iconic brands, known worldwide for

“sneeze” mask, a call came in from Maine-

making quality clothing, home items,

Health, one of Maine’s largest health care

recreational and outdoor gear, and the

networks. MaineHealth’s doctors, nurses,

famous “Bean Boot.” As soon as the

and other medical staff needed masks,

COVID-19 crisis hit Maine, L.L. Bean knew

and they needed them STAT.

and capacity to make Personal Protec-

a second shift and working seven days a

tive Equipment (PPE), L.L. Bean was in

week, L.L. Bean was able to produce ap-

a unique position to swiftly convert to

proximately 70,000 “sneeze” masks per

making a different kind of gear.

week at the peak of production — using

Written by Chamber Staff right away they wanted to help. With the In just days, L.L. Bean ramped up proPhotos courtesy of L.L. Bean necessary manufacturing equipment duction to meet this urgent need. Adding

24

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

In the early days of the coronavi-

a dog bed liner they had in stock. Soon af-

rus pandemic, PPE, including face or

ter, they began developing surgical mask

“sneeze” masks, was in short supply, even

prototypes, and protective medical gowns

for medical workers on the frontlines of

and booties, dedicating their Brunswick

the crisis. Coincidentally, while L.L. Bean

manufacturing center to making PPE.


“WE WANT TO USE OUR RESOURCES TO THE BEST OF OUR ABILITY TO SERVE OUR COMMUNITY DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME.” STEVE SMITH, PRESIDENT & CEO, L.L. BEAN Good Shepherd to food banks in all 16

ted they are to supporting their home

Maine counties.

state and its people. Having the ability

“As a direct-to-consumer company,

to utilize an existing workforce to pack

our fulfillment team is highly skilled at

shelf-stable food boxes lifts a tremen-

picking, packing and distributing ship-

dous weight off the Food Bank. We are so

ments of all kinds,” Steve Smith, pres-

grateful that L.L. Bean has volunteered to

ident and CEO of L.L. Bean, said. “We

help us during this time.”

want to use our resources to the best

By making PPE for Maine health care

of our ability to serve our community

workers and ensuring Maine families

during this unprecedented time.”

struggling with food security have ac-

According to Good Shepherd Food

cess to this most basic need, L.L. Bean

Bank President Kristen Miale, “This part-

is providing essential services and pro-

nership with L.L. Bean comes at a criti-

foundly impacting Maine people and the

cal time and truly shows how commit-

well-being of our state.

Around the same time they received the request from MaineHealth, L.L. Bean was talking with Good Shepherd Food Bank about how the company and its employees could partner with the charitable organization to help during this unprecedented emergency situation, the likes of which Maine’s largest food bank had never faced. Again, L.L. Bean had the structures in place to be able to help in yet another way. Just as importantly, they had a workforce ready, willing, and able to pitch in. In lieu of sorting, packing, and shipping L.L. Bean’s items to customers, L.L. Bean employees sorted and packaged food at the company’s shipping hub in Freeport for distribution by ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

25


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Spectrum

internet traffic doubled, or even tripled

Written by Chamber Staff | Photo courtesy of Charter Communications

ter needed to make sure the services

in some areas. In addition to ensuring services continued for more than 30 million customers they serve across 41 states through its Spectrum brand, Charthey provide to hospitals, police and fire departments, government agencies, and

26

T H E O N S E T O F T H E C O V I D -1 9 PA N D E M I C

family and social gatherings. All of these

other essential institutions continued

resulted in major changes and adjust-

adjustments required reliable internet

uninterrupted.

ments in how we live, work, and learn.

service to ensure access to critical re-

At the same time, Charter recog-

Businesses and workers began oper-

sources and information, the ability to

nized a need in many states, including

ating remotely. Schools and universities

connect with family, friends, colleagues,

in Maine, to help students and teachers

followed as students have now become

health care providers, and more.

get connected to continue online learn-

accustomed to virtual learning. In order

The COVID-19 crisis has made it

ing. Charter helped to ease the strain on

to protect themselves from becoming in-

clearer than ever before that today, in-

millions of Americans, including by con-

fected with the virus, online shopping by

ternet service is not only critical, but

necting nearly 450,000 students, teach-

consumers reached new heights. Many

essential to education, our livelihoods,

ers, and their families to up to 100 Mbps

began buying more goods online and

health and well-being, and our economy.

or 200 Mbps broadband service for 60

ordering groceries on the internet for

For Maine’s largest internet service

days at no cost, as well as keeping around

curbside pick-up. Zoom has become the

provider Spectrum, offered by Charter

700,000 customers connected when

new buzzword for business meetings and

Communications a leading broadband

they had a hard time paying bills because

events taking place via video conferenc-

connectivity company and cable opera-

of COVID-19-related economic hardship,

ing, and streaming technologies, such as

tor, the demand for services jumped dra-

and forgiving approximately $85 million

FaceTime has become the new normal for

matically when COVID-19 hit. Daytime

in customers’ overdue balances.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


“BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS WILL BE INCREASINGLY ESSENTIAL TO ENSURING THAT PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE ABLE TO LEARN AND WORK REMOTELY.” LARA PRITCHARD, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF C O M M U N I C AT I O N S , C H A R T E R

They also announced their commitment to partnering with school districts to make sure local communities and families were aware of this opportunity, opened their Wi-Fi hotspots to the public, and reiterated their commitment to Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost broadband service program for eligible low-income households. Charter’s Senior Director of Communications for the Northeast Region Lara Pritchard said in March, “As the country works collaboratively to contain this pandemic, broadband internet access will be increasingly essential to ensuring that people across the country are able to learn and work remotely, that businesses can continue to serve customers, and that Americans stay connected and engaged with family and friends.” Charter’s COVID-19 pandemic response has been recognized as one of the best in the nation. At a time when students had to quickly adjust to online learning and many parents were adapting to working remotely from home, Charter helped students continue their education and eased the transition to virtual learning and working remotely. They also helped ease the minds of businesses and individuals in a tough economic spot when the need for Charter’s services was crucial. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

27


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc. The support and partnership that Written by Chamber Staff F R O M T H E B E G I N N I N G of the COVID-19 Photo courtesy of IDEXX pandemic, Maine’s biotech and diagnos- IDEXX has provided to the state during

“WE DIDN’T HESITATE TO DEPLOY THESE CAPABILITIES IN SUPPORT OF THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF MAINERS.” O L I V I E R T E B O E K H O R S T, C O R P O R AT E V I C E P R E S I D E N T, I D E X X

28

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

tics companies have been life-saving re-

this challenging time began in May with

sources for our state and citizens. Early

an IDEXX initiative that helped secure

in the crisis, Westbrook-headquartered

the state’s supply of testing materials

IDEXX Laboratories, Inc., recognized

while also tripling the state’s COVID-19

that the company’s broad expertise

testing capacity.

and culture of innovation could have a

“This changes everything,” said Gov-

meaningful impact, leading to several

ernor Janet Mills. “Acquiring this testing

developments that continue to benefit

capacity is a major breakthrough for all

Maine people. These products and ser-

the people of Maine. We have worked

vices include a human COVID-19 PCR

closely with IDEXX over the last month

test kit developed through the com-

to position the state to benefit from this

pany’s human health subsidiary, OPTI

new and exciting product. Now we are

Medical Systems; a COVID-19 laboratory

poised to more than triple the state’s

testing service for pets; and, a COVID-19

testing capacity, remove testing barri-

wastewater test that provides valuable

ers for healthcare providers, and make

information to epidemiologists moni-

sure that anyone who needs a test can

toring community health.

get one. On behalf of this administra-


tion and on behalf of all the people of Maine, I thank IDEXX for their ingenuity, generosity, and partnership. Acts like this demonstrate to us the heart of Maine’s extraordinary companies and the power of public-private collaboration.” Building

upon

this

partnership,

We’re in your community and here for you.

IDEXX and the state opened a mobile testing laboratory in Augusta. This laboratory, operating in conjunction with the state’s lab in Augusta, resulted in the second significant increase to the state’s testing, quadrupling the already expanded capacity. IDEXX’s expertise played a key role in this expansion, which further supports testing in congregate care settings, and at state-contracted swab-andsend testing sites throughout Maine. “IDEXX has deep expertise in PCR testing technology and years of experience operating large testing laboratories around the world,” said Olivier te Boekhorst, IDEXX corporate vice president for OPTI Medical Systems. “We didn’t hesitate to deploy these capabilities in support of the health and well-being of Mainers.” Another valuable IDEXX contribu-

Start banking the way you want to. Longer hours1 | Get a debit card instantly | Dogs always welcome Stop in today. We’d love to meet you.

tion to the COVID-19 response came out of the IDEXX Water division. IDEXX Wations to water safety problems. In fact,

Unexpectedly local. Unexpectedly Human.

every day more than 2.5 billion people

Connect to TD:

ter is a global leader in providing solu-

have safer access to water because of their pioneering water test kits. Early on in the pandemic, wastewater surveillance was identified as a way to provide an early warning for new COVID-19 out-

@TDBank

@TDBank_US

TDBank_US

@TDBankUS

Member FDIC, TD Bank, N.A. | 1Data as of March 2019. Comparison of longest average store hours in the regions (MSAs) in which TD Bank operates compared to major banks. Major banks include our top 20 national competitors by MSA, our top five competitors in store share by MSA and any bank with greater or equal store share than TD Bank in the MSA. Major banks do not include banks that operate in retail stores such as grocery stores, or banks that do not fall in an MSA.

breaks and as a complement to clinical testing and other containment measures. In July, IDEXX released its test to detect and quantify SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in untreated wastewater. Here in Maine, the test is being used to analyze wastewater by the Portland Water District and St. Joseph’s College. IDEXX’s innovation underscores the benefits that Maine-based research and development provides to the lives of Mainers as well as to the vitality of our economy as we weather this pandemic. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

29


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

W H E N I T C O M E S T O B E I N G E S S E N T I A L , few

Central Maine Power & Versant Power

things resonate more than keeping the lights on.

Written by Chamber Staff | Photo courtesy of Versant Power

Maine’s electric utilities, Central Maine Power

During Maine winters, electricity is essential to lighting and heating most every home. In a pandemic, it is essential to keeping people connected to the workplace and schools, their families and friends, and the outside world. In the face of a pandemic, many questions come to mind for an essential business. One of the hardest has been, “How do we ensure that we continue to provide an essential service while keeping our employees and our customers safe?” Co. (CMP) and Versant Power (formerly Emera Maine) were ready to answer. Both continued to provide safe and reliable service to their customers despite major weather incidents throughout the pandemic. Both also did much more.

30

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


er and CMP became the first utility in the

on prioritizing the health of employees

country to respond to a major storm un-

and the public so it can continue to sup-

der COVID-19 restrictions. Because many

port the delivery of electricity through-

hotels and restaurants were closed in the

out northern and eastern Maine.

spring, the company was challenged to

Versant Power gave a total of

house and feed hundreds of out-of-state

$65,000 to the Good Shepherd Food

utility workers but was ultimately able to

Bank COVID-19 Relief Fund, United Way

partner with many businesses who went

of Eastern Maine COVID-19 Fund and

out of their way to assist.”

United Way of Aroostook COVID–19 Fund

“IN AN EARLY APRIL WINDSTORM, NEARLY 280,000 MAINERS WERE LEFT WITHOUT POWER AND CMP BECAME THE FIRST UTILITY IN THE COUNTRY TO RESPOND TO A MAJOR STORM UNDER COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS.” DOUG HERLING, CEO, CENTRAL MAINE POWER CMP also worked to support the im-

to support urgent community needs.

portant services being provided by two

Working with the state and with the

Maine companies, Puritan Medical Prod-

advocacy of employees, Versant Power

ucts and Abbott Laboratories, both crit-

also donated available N95 masks and

ical to manufacturing COVID-19 testing

safety glasses to area hospitals and first

supplies. CMP upgraded substations and

responders.

provided extra service to ensure their work would not be interrupted.

Versant Power also took several measures to provide power to custom-

To reduce some of the economic

ers with financial concerns related to

burden on customers, CMP suspend-

COVID-19, even providing rate relief to

ed late payment fees and payment plan

the tune of $8 million as one measure.

rules, and also suspended any service

The company, with the support of parent

disconnections as all state utilities were

company ENMAX, also has worked on a

later directed to do by the Maine Public

plan to distribute $5 million in rate relief

Utilities Commission.

specifically to low-income customers.

Community commitment is always

Versant Power is known for working

CENTRAL MAINE POWER CO.

a focus for the company. CMP donated

with customers who have a health con-

CMP’s service territory is 11,000 square

to charitable programs in their time of

cern or loss of income, providing infor-

miles. Lineworkers generally ride two per

need, giving $175,000 to the United Way

mation to help them determine if they

truck to worksites. To ensure the safety

for Meals On Wheels and $100,000 to

are eligible for assistance. This culture of

of their workers, CMP rented 150 addi-

Full Plates Full Potential to help make

customer service has helped them to im-

tional vehicles, so each worker had their

sure school kids were still getting lunch

plement strategies that meet the needs

own truck to maintain physical distance.

while learning at home.

of their customers, in even the most dif-

Offices and service centers were recon-

ficult of times.

figured to comply with social distancing

VERSANT POWER

for employees who cannot work from

Versant Power also transitioned to re-

demonstrated that, when everything else

home. Like many workplaces, CMP creat-

mote work when possible and created

may be in question, teamwork, innova-

ed a hybrid work model for field workers,

additional safety precautions for work-

tion, and customer service can keep a

dividing staff into teams and reducing

ers in the field. Part of those precautions

ship on course. It is a testament to genu-

face-to-face interaction.

involved limiting access to facilities and

ine corporate citizenship when business-

Both CMP and Versant Power have

COVID-19 is not the only storm they

minimizing contact with customers. If

es can do so much good while faced with

dealt with. According to CMP’s CEO, Doug

you have not seen a friendly, smiling Ver-

adversity. Both companies have shown

Herling, “In an early April windstorm, near-

sant face in a while, do not worry. The

that their customers’ well-being and the

ly 280,000 Mainers were left without pow-

company has maintained a strong focus

communities they serve are priorities. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

31


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

The Jackson Laboratory Written by Chamber Staff | Photo courtesy of The Jackson Laboratory S I N C E 1 9 2 9 , T H E J A C K S O N L A B O R AT O R Y (JAX) has set a high bar for biomedical research – credited with breakthroughs that have helped form the foundation of modern medicine, including organ and bone marrow transplants, stem cell therapies, and in vitro fertilization. It’s likely no surprise to many that JAX, a global leader in biomedicine and biomedical research right here in Downeast Maine, wasted no time helping to fight against COVID-19 through increased testing, transgenic mouse production 32

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

for COVID-19 research, and new collab-

portant local and regional assistance

orations with area hospitals.

during this health crisis.”

“We are committed to using our ex-

When the pandemic hit, JAX quick-

pertise in human genomics and mamma-

ly adapted its capabilities and expertise

lian genetics to help address the coro-

to be able to test collected samples for

navirus outbreak as rapidly as possible,”

the presence of the virus that causes

said Edison T. Liu, M.D., president and

COVID-19. JAX also developed a trans-

CEO of The Jackson Laboratory. “It is

genic mouse model that is serving as

our humanitarian duty to apply our sci-

an experimental platform for COVID-19

ence for the public good. That’s why, in

research and testing. On March 23, JAX

addition to the crucial COVID-19 mouse

began COVID-19 testing at the Labora-

model and current research under way

tory, consistently increasing its ability to

at JAX, we are focused on providing im-

process samples.


JAX has established testing agree-

to student, faculty, staff, and communi-

ments with clinical, governmental, ac-

ty health this fall as we consider how to

ademic, and business partners. In April,

safely resume campus-based work and

The Jackson Laboratory worked to pro-

learning,” said Dannel Malloy, chancellor

vide additional statewide coronavirus

of the University of Maine System.

testing for frontline health care workers

Each of JAX’s more than 2,400 em-

and inpatients through a collaboration

ployees are committed to improving

with MaineGeneral Medical Center in

the future of human health and making

Augusta, Mount Desert Island Hospital

personalized medicine possible – using

in Bar Harbor and Northern Light Maine

an individual’s unique genomic makeup

Coast Hospital in Ellsworth.

to predict, treat, and even prevent dis-

A partnership between the University

ease. On a broader scale, JAX empowers

of Maine System (UMS) and JAX was an-

the efforts of the global biomedical re-

nounced in late June. Together with Con-

search community by developing and

venientMD, JAX and UMS are providing

sharing its research, innovative tools and

comprehensive COVID-19 testing services

solutions, ever-expanding data resourc-

as a key component to the plans to reopen

es, more than 11,000 specialized mouse

the university system’s campuses. Samples

models, and educational programs.

from test collection sites at each UMS

Leading the way in innovative mouse

campus are being tested at The Jackson

genome research, JAX’s capabilities, ex-

Laboratory for the presence of the virus.

pertise, and global collaboration contin-

“Our partnership with The Jackson

ue to position Maine as a front-runner in

Laboratory and ConvenientMD, lead-

the fight against COVID-19 – confirming

ers in their respective sectors, will help

what we in Maine already know: JAX is a

our universities meet our commitments

critical community partner.

“WE ARE COMMITTED TO USING OUR EXPERTISE IN HUMAN GENOMICS AND MAMMALIAN GENETICS TO HELP ADDRESS THE CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK AS RAPIDLY AS POSSIBLE.” E D I S O N T. L I U , M . D . , PRESIDENT & CEO T H E J A C K S O N L A B O R AT O R Y

We have helped Maine businesses grow and prosper for over 150 years. Whether your project is large or small, we have the experience and products to help you achieve your goals. Visit www.KennebecSavings.Bank to view a complete list of our commercial products.

If you have any questions, call us at (207) 622-5801 and ask to speak to a commercial lender.

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

33


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

New Balance Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of New Balance

34

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


FIRST

In early June, New Balance announced

confirmed COVID-19 case in Maine,

that it had produced more than one mil-

Companies

WITHIN

WEEKS that

OF

THE

traditionally

healthcare community, and now the general public.”

make

lion general-use face masks for the health

clothing (L.L. Bean), mattresses (Eclipse

care community since late March. That

NE W BA L A NCE F OUNDATION

International), and footwear (New Bal-

same day, New Balance began offering a

New Balance also announced that it is pro-

ance) started making masks in response

newly designed face mask for sale to the

viding further relief through the New Bal-

to shortages on the frontlines of the

public and announced plans to develop

ance Foundation by committing $2 million

COVID-19, changing their production

an athletics-ready face mask.

in nonprofit grants to local and regional

lines over in a matter of days. Headquartered in Boston, New Balance has three factories in Maine - Norridgewock, Skowhegan, and Norway. At the New Balance factories in Norridgewock (ME) and Lawrence (MA), shoe production came to a halt mid-March. Developed in

“WE ARE INCREDIBLY PROUD AND HUMBLED TO DO OUR PART TO HELP SO MANY IN OUR HEALTH CARE COMMUNITY” D A V E W H E E L E R , C O O , N E W B A L A N C E

consultation with local medical and R&D institutions like MIT, a team of industrial

“We are incredibly proud and hum-

humanitarian organizations. In Maine, the

engineers and designers moved from de-

bled to do our part to help so many in

New Balance Foundation provides fund-

sign to 3D-model prototype in just 12 days.

our health care community by producing

ing support to Good Shepherd Food Bank,

The trickiest part, setting up the pro-

more than one million masks in the past

Maine Children’s Home for Little Wander-

duction lines while maintaining physical

two months,” says Dave Wheeler, chief

ers, Northern Light EMMC/WOW, Maine-

distancing, was mitigated by the facility’s

operating officer for New Balance. “We

General Health’s Walk for Hope, Health Kid

large footprint. While the distancing re-

are thankful that the innovative thinking

Pack Program, Camp Sunshine, the Travis

strictions were new, the machines were

of our associates, our long history of do-

Mills Foundation, Move More Kids pro-

not. Therefore, New Balance was able to

mestic manufacturing, and the work of

gram at Redington-Fairview General Hos-

get the manufacturing line up and running

our highly skilled teams in our factories

pital, the Let’s Go! 5-2-1-0 program at The

in just seven days, and its general use face

have allowed us to quickly adapt to help

Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, Maine

mask production kept 130 people working.

meet the immense mask needs of the

FoodCorps, and Healthy Oxford Hills. “We were less than a week into the situation grappling with our new realities when the news about the Foundation’s grant came in—it was a relief to know that New Balance, our longtime and dedicated partner, was alongside us on the journey,” said Kristen Miale, president, Good Shepherd Food Bank in Maine. “With New Balance Foundation’s generous contributions, we have been able to purchase food by the tractor-trailer load, pack and distribute emergency boxes to food pantries across the state and, ultimately, help many of our neighbors who are struggling with hunger.” As a vital part of Maine’s manufacturing community, New Balance is certainly living out its mission here: “Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host.” ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

35


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Hussey Seating

cally any event. On March 30, just a few weeks into the pandemic’s outbreak in Maine, Hussey Seating announced a donation of $50,000 worth of metal folding chairs to medical and other testing facilities. A partnership with Brown Dog Carri-

Written by Chamber Staff | Photo courtesy of Hussey Seating, Co. ers delivered the chairs at no cost to the health care facilities as they established

36

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

T H E R E A R E C O U N T L E S S S T O R I E S from

testing sites and expanded waiting rooms

the frontlines of the fight against the

in the early days of the pandemic.

coronavirus. There are equally as many

In late June, Hussey Seating Company

secondary stories. From donations of

partnered with Good Shepherd Food Bank

supplies such as swabs, sanitizer, and

to help them respond to the rapid escala-

masks to the delivery of food and offers

tion of food insecurity in Maine caused by

for transportation, many large corpora-

the COVID-19 crisis. Beyond the compa-

tions and small, family-owned business-

ny’s $10,000 monetary donation, Hussey

es are stepping up to support those on

Seating also launched a virtual food drive

the front lines and to help their neigh-

and matched all donations made by their

bors in every corner of Maine. The story

300+ employees totaling over $20,000.

of Hussey Seating is one of those stories.

“We have participated in many food

A sixth- and seventh-generation fam-

drives over my time at Hussey, but this

ily-owned company based in North Ber-

is our first virtual one,” said Gary Merrill,

wick, Hussey Seating manufactures gym

president and CEO of Hussey Seating.

bleachers, auditorium chairs, portable

“We believe it is our duty as members

chairs and spectator seating for practi-

of the Maine community to give back in


times of need. While our business was,

to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hussey, along

and continues to be, affected by this

with CMP and Hannaford, helped address

pandemic, we are incredibly fortunate to

this need. Providing books for Maine

have not experienced the level of eco-

kids keeps them learning and building

“WE BELIEVE IT IS OUR DUTY AS MEMBERS OF THE MAINE COMMUNITY TO GIVE BACK IN TIMES OF NEED.” G A R Y M E R R I L L , P R E S I D E N T & C E O , H U S S E Y S E AT I N G nomic hardships that has impacted many

key skills, especially during the current

of our community members. I would

school year when most kids are not in

challenge other business leaders in simi-

school full-time due to the pandemic.

lar situations to do the same. Our neighbors are struggling.”

Mainers are innovative, compassionate, and resilient. Maine’s small, fami-

Hussey Seating also was one of the

ly-owned businesses have a long history

first companies to participate in the

of “getting the job done” when respond-

Maine State Chamber of Commerce’s

ing to community needs. Hussey Seating’s

book drive over the summer of 2020.

leadership team, its employees, and its

Earlier in the summer, Maine educators

partners know this is important to their

indicated providing access to books for

success and especially to the success of

kids was a higher priority than usual due

their neighbors and colleagues.

Every year, the Department of Economic and Community Development helps Maine communities attract new investment, create jobs, and grow their infrastructure .

Visit our website to learn more

Innovation since 1835

www.husseyseating.com

Capabilities

maine.gov/decd

Supported by decades of diverse experience, deep in-house resources, and the latest technology, Cianbro strives to maximize the potential for cost savings while maintaining our commitment to quality and safety. Cianbro is proficient at completing projects on schedule and within budget. Learn more at www.cianbro.com

Civil Electrical Fabrication & Coating Instrumentation Mechanical Structural Telecommunications Thermal Diverse Services Building Industrial & Manufacturing Infrastructure Power & Energy Refining & Petrochemical

Celebrating 65 Years! ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

37


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

Good Shepherd

Food Bank

When our neighbors are struggling, Good Shepherd Food Bank is there—every day of the year—and we’ve been here for nearly 40 years. But, like you, we’ve never seen times quite like these. By Kristen Miale, President of Good Shepherd Food Bank | Photos courtesy Good Shepherd Food Bank 38

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


purchasing and distributing Hannaford gift cards that could be given out at food pantries across the state. Thankfully, we were able to pivot and innovate as challenges arose. The Food Bank’s network of more than 500 partner agencies, located statewide, ensures Mainers struggling with hunger can access nutritious food. Most of those agencies rely on volunteers to operate, and many of those volunteers are retired and were placed in a higher risk group for COVID-19. Just as we were turning away volunteers in our distribution centers for safety purposes, many of our partners were doing the same. We knew we needed to find a way to distribute food safely with minimal work for our partners. Thankfully, L.L.Bean came forward and offered to truck food to its fulfillment center in Freeport and have its employees pack emergency food boxes. All told, L.L.Bean packed more than 45,000 boxes, which we then distributed to food pantries and other partners across the state. Instead of needing volunteers to congregate to pack food, our partners could staff themselves with a few volunteers at a safe distance to distribute pre-packed boxes. Our COVID-19 response would not have been successful without the help and support of L.L.Bean and its employees. Good Shepherd Food Bank remained fully operational during the pandemic, H U N G E R A C R O S S M A I N E is climbing due

Hannaford and Walmart. As consumers,

hiring temporary staff for the distribu-

to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

we all know the challenges retailers were

tion centers to keep product moving

According to Feeding America’s Map the

facing during the pandemic, and we felt

and implementing new safety protocols

Meal Gap study, which uses the most re-

the impact at the Food Bank. To make up

to keep our essential workers healthy.

cent data from the United States Depart-

for back-logs in our donated food supply

Our partners remained operational, too.

ment of Agriculture (USDA) and Census

chain, we shifted to purchasing shelf-sta-

During the height of the pandemic, 80

Bureau, food insecurity levels in Maine

ble food by the tractor trailer load, fund-

percent of our partners were seeing an

could increase by as much as 40 percent

ed by the outpouring of support from

increase in need and at least 90 percent

in 2020, depending on the sustained

Mainers who were pitching in to help.

of our network stayed open throughout

growth in rates of unemployment and

Even with funds in hand to buy food,

the spring and summer. We are so in-

poverty.

we were challenged to get deliveries

spired by our community partners who

COVID-19 caused the Food Bank to

to the Food Bank, as organizations like

were steadfast in ensuring community

shift our entire sourcing and distribution

ours and retailers were clamoring for the

needs were met. We regularly surveyed

model at the height of the pandemic.

same shelf-stable food during that time.

our partners throughout the pandemic

About 70 percent of the food we distrib-

There was a time when our shelf-stable

and continue to do so in order to be re-

ute annually is donated by retailers like

food supply got so low that we shifted to

sponsive to community needs. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

39


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

When “Thank You” Doesn’t Seem Like Enough… EACH MAINER CONTRIBUTES to our economic health and strength, but our frontline and essential workers go the extra mile in the face of the challenges from COVID-19. We rely on them every day in ways too numerous to count. Thank you to those on the front lines − doctors, nurses, pharmacists, health care workers, the food service, custodial and cleaning crews, police, firefighters, EMTs, and other first responders − for keeping us safe and protected in the most dangerous of situations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thank you to the thousands of essential workers − especially the food and grocery workers, and the farmers, fishermen, lobstermen, food producers and processors, and truckers − for taking significant measures to keep their employees safe so they can continue to operate and make sure America’s food supply is not disrupted. Thank you to the utility workers who keep our power on and restore our energy, heat, internet and water services no matter the day, hour, or weather conditions – services that are more critical now than ever before. Thank you to Maine educators and childcare providers. While these jobs are essential by nature, the work they have done this year is extraordinary – swiftly converting to online learning and making sure kids and their families have basic household necessities, such as access to food, while schools were closed. Maine’s business community is grateful for all the ways our front line and essential workers show up, work tirelessly, and go the extra mile with their incredibly strong work ethic, reliability, and community spirit to protect Maine’s economy and the health of all Maine people.

40

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Here are some of the highlights of how we responded, in large part due to the incredible outpouring support of donors who contributed to our COVID-19 response: Provided an additional 4 million meals in our Fiscal Year 2020 (July 2019 – June 2020) compared to the prior year, largely by purchasing 60 percent more food than we did the previous year. Distributed more than 45,000 emergency food boxes filled with healthy, shelf-stable food and Maine produce. On-boarded 57 new school partners and served 19,300 families—up from 7,000 the previous year. Granted more than $1 million dollars to food pantries, schools, and other nonprofit partners who were on the front lines of meeting drastically increased community needs during the height of the pandemic. Redistributed more than $200,000 to organizations led by and serving communities of color, with input from leaders of those communities, to support populations who are disproportionately affected by both hunger and COVID-19. Funds helped those organizations secure culturally relevant food during the pandemic. While it will take time to see new patterns of food insecurity emerge, we know that hunger rates in Maine are increasing, and we have many months of hard, innovative work ahead of us. The Food Bank is planning for a worst-case scenario of growth in rates of unemployment and poverty that could increase food insecurity rates across the state by 40%, with child food insecurity increasing as much as 50%. While purchasing large quantities of food during the crisis of the pandemic was the right move, it’s not a sustainable solution for fighting hun-


Investing in Maine’s Future For over 125 years, Pierce Atwood has built a reputation in Maine as a firm that attracts and retains superb legal talent, delivering superior client satisfaction and exceptional value. Our attorneys have helped startups grow into vital Maine businesses, advised companies on succession planning and valuation, navigated financing and land use issues for major real estate developments, facilitated strategic acquisitions and mergers, protected ideas and new technologies, and assisted employers in recruiting and retaining skilled employees. How can we help take your business to the next level? Let us know. We’re here to help.

Pierce Atwood. There’s a reason…

Andrea Suter

Kyle Glover

Margaret Smith

Kris Eimicke

Sarah Tracy

Brian Rayback

BUSINESS, M&A, STARTUPS

TECHNOLOGY TRANSACTIONS, IP

REAL ESTATE, COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT

TAX LAW, NEW MARKETS TAX CREDIT PROGRAMS

ENERGY, UTILITIES, TELECOM

ENVIRONMENT, LAND USE

Katy Rand

Nolan Reichl

EMPLOYMENT COMMERCIAL & LAW APPELLATE LITIGATION, E-DISCOVERY

Molly Liddell TRUSTS & ESTATES

Merrill's Wharf • 254 Commercial Street • Portland, Maine 04101 • PIERCEATWOOD.COM

ger long term. We’ll continue to source food as cost-effectively as possible, but we need to reduce the demand on the charitable food network, especially during this time when more Mainers are struggling to make ends meet. We are actively following potential changes, cuts, or reductions in SNAP and other

ENGINEERING l ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH & SAFETY l ENVIRONMENTAL

federal nutrition programs and advocating for expanded benefits to ensure Mainers can access the food they need to thrive. It has been inspiring to see communities come together and work together to solve food access problems during a time of great need. Mainers were truly helping Mainers all throughout the

St.Germain is here to help, where ever you are, and whenever you need us.

spring and summer months. Good Shepherd Food Bank and its network of partners will continue to rely on the generosity of philanthropic supporters as we help Maine recover from the economic impacts of the pandemic and fight to end hunger in our great state, once and

Environmental Assessment • Remediation Compliance Plans & Programs • Environmental Reporting Civil Engineering • Permitting

846 Main St., Westbrook, ME 04092 l 207-591-7000 l StGermain.com

for all. St.Germain: 4.75” X 4.875” · September 9, 2020 11:01 AM · StG-MSCC-Ad-090420 · DGD ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

41


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Higher Education

pact of $4.5 billion on Maine’s economy.

The contributions of Maine’s higher

Maine’s higher ed-

education providers go above and beyond

ucation institutions are

their ability to deliver quality education-

a significant econom-

al experiences. These endeavors often

ic driver for the state.

leverage extensive professional networks,

Educating

more

than

employ creativity and innovative process-

students

and

es, and address critical needs in the com-

employing more than

munity. For instance, the University of

30,000 people, Maine

Maine System amplified current connec-

colleges

univer-

tivity to increase network capacity when

$2.2

it learned that public school students

WITH 38 POST-SECONDARY INSTITUTIONS,

billion in revenue and have a $4.5 billion

lacked adequate home internet access, a

including our public community college

overall impact on Maine’s economy.

crucial component to participation in on-

Written by Chamber Staff Photo courtesy of University of New England

72,000

sities

42

the high school Class of 2020 graduates.

and generate

and university systems and many nation-

In March, Maine’s higher education

line learning. That initiative turned local

ally-recognized and smaller private in-

institutions made the quick pivot from

school parking lots into more than 200

stitutions, Maine is fortunate to have a

in-person, on-campus instruction to re-

open access Wi-Fi hotspots statewide.

diverse, robust higher education system.

mote learning, providing access to educa-

The university system has produced hand

Each institution provides students with

tion for traditional students and for work-

sanitizer, donated PPE and other supplies,

opportunities to succeed on a career

ers needing new skills. From establishing

and deployed faculty and students to help

path that best fits their current needs

continuity of learning plans to reimbursing

staff surges in virus hotspots throughout

and their future goals. And, the reach of

families for unused room and board costs,

the state, among many other responses to

these schools often goes beyond their

Maine’s colleges and universities stepped

needs during the pandemic.

classrooms, dorms, and campuses. A re-

up to make sure students were able to

“Before Maine’s first case of COVID-19

cent economic impact study showed

complete courses and earn their credits.

was detected, our public universities had

higher education has a collective im-

Many even offered free summer courses to

committed themselves to being a leader in

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


the state’s response to the spreading glob-

workforce training at an all-time high cou-

pandemic, Husson University faced the

al pandemic,” said University of Maine Sys-

pled with layoffs caused by COVID-19, the

dilemma of how to recognize its Class

tem Chancellor Dannel Malloy. “We tran-

Maine Community College System quickly

of 2020 – the largest graduating class

sitioned to remote instruction at spring

added new, free, online training programs

in its history. The State of Maine issued

break to limit travel back to Maine and

for in-demand health care jobs, such as

restrictions on large gatherings, taking

immediately began inventorying the facil-

medical records technician, pharmacy

the University’s traditional, face-to-face,

ities, supplies, equipment, and talent that

technician, medical lab worker, and med-

commencement exercises off the table.

we could bring to bear to serve our Maine

ical insurance specialist. In partnership

As a result, the University’s 121st Annual

communities and health care partners.”

with HospitalityMaine, the community

Commencement was cancelled.

“Science and a commitment to pub-

colleges also developed free COVID safety

Instead, to recognize every 2020 grad-

lic service and safety will see us through

training programs for workers in the tour-

uate for their academic accomplishments,

and out of this pandemic,” Malloy con-

ism industry. The online courses provide

Husson University planned online com-

tinued. “The people of Maine can continue to count on the innovation and support of the University of Maine System universities, including UMaine, the state’s research university, as we work through this crisis together.” This year, attending college looks very different for new and returning stu-

“SCIENCE AND A COMMITMENT TO PUBLIC SERVICE AND SAFETY WILL SEE US THROUGH AND OUT OF THIS PANDEMIC.” D A N N E L M A L L O Y, C H A N C E L L O R , U N I V E R S I T Y O F M A I N E S Y S T E M

dents throughout our state and nation. In the months since the pandemic arrived in

readiness badges in restaurant readiness,

mencement events, produced by its New

Maine, countless hours have been spent

lodging readiness, stress management and

England School of Communications. Prior

developing safe methods for students to

conflict de-escalation strategies.

to these events, each student will be mailed

return and remain on campus. At Thomas

“We knew we had to act right away

a diploma cover and a copy of the full Com-

College and colleges across Maine, there

when we saw the sudden and sweeping

mencement program. Honor cords were

are new policies in place requiring face

impact of COVID-19 on the economy. It’s

mailed students who earned them. These

coverings and physical distancing; pro-

what Maine’s community colleges do – find

graduation events allowed Husson’s gradu-

tocols for extra cleaning and sanitizing;

new and creative ways to educate and train

ates to be honored virtually in their regalia

reconfigured learning spaces indoors and

people so they’re prepared to step into

with their families, friends, and professors.

out; and, plans for regular COVID-19 test-

good jobs right away,” MCCS President Da-

“Commencement is an important

ing. Not only are these measures critical

vid Daigler said. Many of the programs take

milestone in the lives of our graduates,”

to the health and safety of their students

only 5 to 12 months to complete. “We’re

said Husson University President Robert A.

and staff, but also to the institution’s abil-

building a pipeline for hundreds of newly

Clark, PhD. “With the completion of their

ity to offer in-person education, keeping

skilled Mainers to graduate in the next few

degrees, our students are now embarking

dorms and campuses bustling.

months and step right into vacant jobs in

on a new journey as independent, working

the healthcare industry.”

professionals. While the coronavirus pan-

“In the true spirit of Maine, our colleges and universities have been working

Supplies for front line workers were

demic would not allow us to celebrate our

together to ensure best practices for the

in short supply when the pandemic ar-

traditional commencement, we wanted to

safest possible return to our beautiful

rived in March. To support the medical

make sure our students still get the oppor-

campuses for in-person instruction,”

teams on the front lines, the University of

tunity to be recognized for their hard work.”

noted Laurie Lachance, president of

New England and the University of Maine

The scope of the hard work and con-

Thomas College. “Thomas College has

System provided the “fit test” solution to

tributions to our state by Maine’s higher

put in place a very rigorous testing reg-

ensure N95 masks fit properly. UNE plans

education community cannot be ade-

imen to quickly identify the presence

to provide the solution to groups at the

quately conveyed here. Similarly, it is not

and mitigate the spread of the virus, and

Maine CDC, Maine National Guard, and

possible to adequately express the sin-

we’ve created an outdoor wonderland

nearby counties responsible for doing

cere appreciation Maine’s business com-

for sports, activities and events to bol-

the fit testing as long as the materials

munity has for the countless ways each

ster physical and mental health through

necessary to make it remain available.

institution stepped up to support their

our Get Out And Live (G.O.A.L.) program.”

As society adapted in numerous

With the demand for short-term

ways to the challenges posed by the

students and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

43


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Kennebec Technologies / Abbott Labs Written by Chamber Staff Photo courtesy of Kennebec Technologies

S I N C E T H E E A R LY D AY S of the pandem-

for Abbott. Knowing the serious need for

ic in Maine, Mainers stepped up to help

testing, we have two machines and now a

each other, forming partnerships with

third machine dedicated to these parts,”

colleagues and competitors to get the

said Kennebec Technologies President

job done for neighbors and strangers

Wick Johnson.

alike. One such example was a partner-

When they needed expert assistance,

ship formed among Kennebec Technol-

they called KV Tooling Systems, the oth-

ogies, Abbott Laboratories,

er leading precision metal manufacturer

“WE’RE PROUD, VERY PROUD SOMETHING WE ARE WORKING ON IS GOING TO HELP OTHERS,”

and KV Tooling Systems.

in Augusta, to make the special cutting

BRIAN BELAND, OWNER, KV TOOLS

To workers,

support

frontline

Kennebec

Tech-

“We’re proud, very proud something

two leading precision metal

we are working on is going to help oth-

manufacturers, began craft-

ers,” Brian Beland, owner of KV Tools,

ing critical components Ab-

said. “Often we don’t know what our fi-

bott Laboratories’ needed for their rapid

nal product will be, but when it goes to

response COVID-19 test.

something as important as a pandemic

out all the stops to get the parts made Maine State Chamber of Commerce

blocks into finished parts for Abbott.

nologies, one of Augusta’s

“Like many companies, we pulled

44

tools required to machine the aluminum

fight, it makes us sit back and say this is really cool.”


Since 1972, Kennebec Technologies

virus, and HIV. In May, Abbott announced

The

credit-card-sized,

self-contained

has grown from a small shop with manual

plans to expand and increase kit produc-

test will sell for just $5. To help ramp up

machines and systems to a sophisticated

tion at a new site in Westbrook.

production of the 15-minute tests made

world-class award-winning manufactur-

The ID Now test kits determine with-

ing company specializing in complex,

in approximately 15 minutes whether a

high-precision components for aerospace,

person has been infected with the re-

KV Tooling Systems creates tools for

defense, alternative energy, medical, semi-

spiratory disease caused by coronavirus,

specific uses and sharpens tools already

conductor, and telecom applications. In

garnering national acclaim from govern-

in use. In 2019, KV Tool received the in-

1984, Charles “Wick” Johnson purchased

ment officials, including President Don-

ternational Tool of the Year award for a

Kennebec Tool and Die from founder Ed

ald Trump. According to the company’s

rotary cutting tool that they created for

Prendergast, and after years of growth and

website, Abbott has shipped 7 million of

a client who needed to inscribe grooves

innovation, he sold the company in 2016

its rapid ID NOW tests to all 50 states,

in aluminum military vehicle suspension

to employees through an employee stock

Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the

components. This very specialized tool

ownership plan. Kennebec Technologies’

Pacific Islands. With its five COVID-19

combines the functions of six different

18 core values center on themes of respect,

tests (three molecular and two antibody

tools.

relationships, personal and professional

tests), Abbott had shipped more than 20

This critical and creative work done

growth, and excellence.

million tests to outbreak hotspots in the

by Maine’s precision manufacturing sec-

U.S. by the end of June 2020.

tor in collaboration with the laboratory

Headquartered in Chicago, Abbott

at Abbott’s new Westbrook plant, the company created 1,200 new Maine jobs.

Laboratories has a production facility

On August 26, Abbott Laboratories

and diagnostic community is a prime

in Scarborough for its ID Now COVID-19

gained U.S. FDA approval to manufac-

example of the high-value contributions

test kits. With 50,000 ID Now test kits

ture the first rapid-result Covid-19 test

Maine employers are making in increas-

produced daily in Scarborough, Abbott

based on the same technology used to

ing testing capabilities nationwide. It is

also makes rapid tests to detect influenza

test for the flu, strep throat and other

the classic combination of old-fashioned

and other common infectious diseases,

infections – a test that does not require

Yankee ingenuity and real-world applica-

such as pneumonia, strep, a respiratory

special computer equipment for results.

tion, right here in Maine.

CASELLA, YOUR MAINE RESOURCE Thank you to all of our customers who recognize the hard work of our essential workers helping to keep us healthy, safe, and moving toward a better tomorrow.

RECYCLING • SOLUTIONS • ORGANICS • COLLECTION • ENERGY • LANDFILLS

800-CASELLA • casella.com

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

45


“ … B U T I A L W AY S T R I E D T O F I G U R E O U T T H E P R O B L E M ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Manufact M A I N E I S A P L A C E T H AT F O S T E R S innovation, values collaboration, and demands creative problem-solving. Our grandparents would have called it “Yankee ingenuity,” and it has been a revered trait for generations, one that endures today in Maine’s business community. This Yankee ingenuity is certain to carry many Maine companies through the pandemic, especially our manufacturers. In most cases, they are flexible, agile, and responsive. When COVID arrived in Maine, Flowfold pivoted its business model — in just eight days — to produce face shields for hospitals and health care facilities, suspending production of its usual line of bags, packs, and related travel and everyday accessories. Based in Gorham with the capability to quickly test and develop products, Flowfold easily determined PPE production was an area in which it could step up and provide support. “We felt the effects of the virus in our community and wanted to be a part of the solution,” says Devin McNeill, Flowfold’s co-founder. “Taking a look at our production capabilities, we found we could quickly pivot to manufacture face shields.” After being awarded a large state contract to produce face shields for Maine CDC, businesses, and hospitals, Flowfold’s first order of business was modifying its workspace and production process to keep their own employees safe and healthy. By extending a partnership with L.L. Bean, Flowfold was able to double its production of face shields to 100,000 a week. MaineHealth was one hospital network that benefitted from Flowfold’s

46

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


turing Textiles Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of Flowfold new production capability. “It is times

front-line health care workers. The con-

like these when coming together as a

version of its machinery took approxi-

community to support one another — in-

mately four weeks, thanks to its veteran

dividuals, non-profit organizations and

workforce, which averages 25 years on

business partners — reflects the very best

the job. The fabrics they are now pro-

of humanity,” says MaineHealth CEO Bill

ducing range from level 1, used for very

Caron. “Flowfold is one such example of

minimal risk situations such as patient

how collaboration and innovation will

exams; level 2, used for low-risk situa-

help us navigate the challenges ahead as

tions such as blood draws or sutures;

we address this unprecedented health

level 3, used for in-depth situations

care crisis together.”

such as transfusions; and level 4, used in

Flowfold has also expanded its line

surgical settings.

to make face shields for kids, responding

“Even though it was still fabric, it was

to requests from schools needing PPE for

something none of them had dealt with

students, teachers, and staff. To date, the

before,” noted Peter Paine, Duvaltex’s

company has sent face shields to more

project manager. “But with their exper-

than 100 school districts in Maine and

tise, they were quickly able to adjust, and

beyond, helping to meet the challenges

we also had people in other departments

in safely reopening schools.

that stepped up to help.”

American Roots in Westbrook is an-

Many manufacturers turned to re-

other company that quickly pivoted to

sources like the Maine Manufacturing

address the need for PPE. After the cloth-

Extension Partnership (MEP) and the

ing manufacturer initially laid-off workers,

Manufacturers Association of Maine

they were able to bounce back and add to

(MAMe) to help them navigate issues

their workforce to fulfill orders coming in

such as supply chain disruptions, redi-

“WE FELT THE EFFECTS OF THE VIRUS IN OUR COMMUNITY AND WANTED TO BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION.” D E V I N M C N E I L L , C O - F O U N D E R , F L O W F O L D

turers with an assessment to determine each business’ needs based on COVID-19 impacts, and build targeted business

from local and national organizations for

recting resources to make health care

strategies for those companies based on

face shields and masks. American Roots

supplies and equipment, and finding fur-

their unique needs. Helping companies

partnered with Common Threads, a local

loughed workers to meet their increased

prepare for the recovery will in turn ac-

nonprofit that teaches sewing skills to im-

need for employees, as well as specific

celerate that recovery.

migrants, to hire more workers.

guidance for manufacturers to maintain,

Like Flowfold and American Roots,

resume, or restart operations.

Mainers are adapting, shifting, and responding – doing what we need to do

Guilford textile mill Duvaltex shifted

In July, Maine MEP in partnership

to survive, like those before us, with a

its production in March from furniture

with MAMe and the Advanced Manu-

lot of hard work, a commitment to com-

textiles to advanced technical fabrics

facturing Center at UMaine, announced

munity, and good old-fashioned Yankee

that meet the clothing specifications for

a program to provide Maine manufac-

ingenuity. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

47


Where is your office? No matter where your team is working, they need to connect, communicate and collaborate. ProConnect is the answer. With a powerful, easy to use set of integrated communication tools, it delivers HD video, advanced phone features and virtual collaboration rooms that empower your teams.

VISIT CONSOLIDATED.COM/PROCONNECTYOURTEAM TO FIND OUT HOW YOUR TEAMS CAN BETTER COLLABORATE

Verrill. Very Focused. We know when a 10-minute conversation beats a 40-page legal memo. Targeted solutions from lawyers who know how to weed out unnecessary details and simplify the complex. At Verrill, that’s our focus. https://www.verrill-law.com/government-public-relations/

48

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


“IT’S VERY EASY TO GET DISCOURAGED, BUT I ALWAYS TRIED TO FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM.

I DIDN’T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N EED E D H EL P, I ’ D G ET I T. AND IF I NEEDED TO DO MORE WORK, I DID IT.”

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

49


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

Reflections from the Front Lines One Maine’s doctor’s experience battling COVID-19 Contributed by Northern Light Health | Photos courtesy of Northern Light Health 50

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


M A N Y O F U S R E C A L L the moment in time when COVID-19 became part of our vernacular, but when you are a physician responsible for emergency services at a hos-

With over 200 top specialists in anesthesiology, orthopaedics, pathology, radiation oncology, radiology, and interventional radiology, Spectrum is committed to providing a broad range of advanced expertise to our patients, communities, and hospital partners.

pital in the largest city in Maine, a looming pandemic takes on greater significance. Northern Light Mercy Hospital physician John Southall, MD, assistant vice president of Inpatient Medicine, oversees the hospital’s Emergency Department and recalls the early days quite

Learn more at spectrumhcp.com

clearly. “When reports began to come out of China regarding a new kind of pneumonia, Mercy staff started meeting weekly to begin preparations in case the illness managed to spread,” Dr. Southall recalls. “Around the time of the Superbowl in early February it became apparent that what was now being called COVID-19 posed a real threat.” Outside of China, Italy became the focal point as a rapid increase in infected individuals became an outbreak in late February. Dr. Southall states, “Before it became urgent in the United States, we were seeing the impact in China, but it certainly hit closer to home when news reports and images of overwhelmed hospitals and large numbers of bodies in northern Italy grabbed the attention of the world.” By the time a national emergency was declared on March 13, Mercy had initiated its incident command. “Clinically, it was a most concerning time, because we didn’t know what we were dealing with. We were seemingly about to get overwhelmed by a very virulent and potentially deadly novel virus. It appeared as thought we were on track to see an overwhelming spike by end of March

You can’t buy

and early April; we were concerned about the national shortage of personal protective equipment and limited ventilator availability,” observes Dr. Southall. “Fortunately, Northern Light Health took a centralized approach to managing its resources. So, we were able to be as

buy local

happiness, but you can and that’s kind of the

same.

prepared as possible even as cases were starting to be reported in Maine.” At Mercy, where preparations had been occurring prior to any cases being

Purchase Mid-Maine Chamber Gift Certificates

MidMaineChamber.com ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

51


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

health expertise of Northern Light Acadia Hospital through the system’s comprehensive Healthy Life Resources program as well as the system’s Employee Assistance Program. In addition, Northern Light Health made an early commitment to staff that there would be no furloughs or layoffs during the outbreak, which lowered stress from worrying about financial security for employees and their families. According to Dr. Southall, there was another dynamic that made a big difference for employees. “The outpouring of public support. It was amazing and touching in ways that we didn’t expect. We saw all the signs thanking us, the messages of support on social media, and we appreciated the homemade meals provided by people in the community. We don’t consider ourselves heroes, but it was a big boost when we really needed it.” The early days of the pandemic in Maine have come and gone, and fortunately for us our hospitals to date have not seen their capacity threatened. Hopefully, with continued diligence the situation will remain stable and manageable

52

present in Maine, the focus was in three

ways. The patient died well before her

until such time as more effective treat-

areas:

time, her family was not present when

ments, or even a vaccine, are developed.

Expanding health system capac-

she went on life support due to her rapid

“We still have a long way to go to get

ity (outpatient access, inpatient

progression, and they never really got to

back to a sense of normalcy, but at this

access, intensive care unit)

say goodbye. The treating team them-

point in time I have to say how proud I

Infection control — separating vi-

selves were affected emotionally as one

am of our team of providers and sup-

rus positive patients from others

would imagine, and we were then all left

port staff; their dedication, expertise

PPE conservation

wondering if this was going to be the

and compassion during a trying time has

new normal. Were we heading towards

been outstanding. I’m also proud and

Dr. Southall is actively involved with

New York City and Italy where the sys-

thankful that to date none of our emer-

patient care at Mercy, and he recalls his

tems were completely overwhelmed?

gency department staff has contracted

first patient that tested positive: “I put

Were patients going to be dying alone,

COVID-19 from workplace exposure,

on my safety gear and went in and spoke

afraid and in isolation? This was just not

which is exceptional,” states Dr. Southall.

with her; she was in her 60s. At the time

the Mercy way.”

At the peak of the pandemic in Maine,

her oxygen levels were decent, and we

As things progressed, and Cumber-

Mercy Hospital treated dozens of affect-

were chatting comfortably. In fact, a year

land and York counties saw the largest

ed patients and quickly stood up new

earlier I may have sent her home with

number of positive cases, the effect on

services in order to care for the commu-

some antibiotics as she really didn’t ap-

staff went beyond their own personal

nity in the safest way possible. Since the

pear that sick. Still, I decided to admit

safety to fear of harming family, fear of

pandemic began, Mercy has tested over

her to our COVID-19 unit. Six hours after

lack of PPE, fear of not being able to help

9,000 patients and remains at the fore-

admission her disease had progressed

those in need.

front of the community health response

so rapidly that she required life support,

Fortunately, the hospital had a vari-

as it continues to collaborate with the city

and she ultimately didn’t make it. This

ety of employee supportive mechanisms

of Portland and local partners through

tragic, early case was awful in so many

in place, including accessing the mental

community outreach and testing.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


YOU STEPPED UP.

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce offers a heartfelt thanks to Maine’s business community and workforce for stepping up to meet the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether adapting production to make PPE, giving back to your community, supporting one another, or working on the frontlines or in an essential service, you are making a difference. We are grateful for your individual and collaborative efforts, and for the resources you continue to share to help keep Mainers informed, supported, healthy and safe.


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

A NTHE M B LUE CR OSS A ND B LUE SHIE L D IN MA INE Even before the state’s first case was confirmed, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine announced that it would waive member costs for COVID-19 testing. The health insurer is also encouraging telehealth visits wherever possible to lessen patient exposure in the clinical setting and is waiving cost shares for COVID-19 treatment for members in certain plans. In addition, Anthem has deployed several digital tools, including a COVID-19 symptom checker and a COVID-19 testing site finder. Anthem is also partnering with several organizations to provide online resources such as family caregiver support, mental health resources, and social services. To help fill a need for more testing options in the Greater Portland area at the start of the pandemic, Anthem worked quickly with ConvenientMD to open a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the parking lot at Anthem’s South Portland Office through April. Its philanthropic arm, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation, committed more than $350,000 to initiatives in Maine that helped address food insecurity and emergency response efforts. These contributions were made to the Good Shepherd Food Bank, the South Portland Food Cupboard, the Boys

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Health Insurers Written by Chamber Staff Photos courtesy of Anthem BCBS of Maine and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

IN MOST CASES, MAINERS HAVE EMBRACED a “we’re all in this together” mantra. Many employers are redirecting resources to community organizations helping those affected by food insecurity, health care needs, and loss of employment. Maine health insurers — Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care — and their respective foundations, have been working to meet those needs here.

54

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

& Girls Club of Bangor, and many other nonprofit organizations. “Food is something so many of us take for granted, but thousands of our neighbors struggle to put enough nutritious food on their tables each week — and that struggle is now intensified as the coronavirus impacts Maine,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “The generous matching donation from Anthem will go a long way in helping us serve our most vulnerable during these unprecedented times.” In addition, Anthem associates have donated 1,320 volunteer hours and more than $46,000 in personal contributions matched by the Anthem Blue Cross and


Blue Foundation to charitable causes,

migrants, those high risk to COVID-19,

to date.

and unemployed individuals across the

“Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

greater Portland area, many of whom lost

and its 700 associates who call Maine

access to healthy, cooked food when the

home are deeply committed to doing

pandemic hit,” said Ellie Linen Low of

our part to help our communities and

Cooking for Community. Based in Port-

nonprofits meet critical health and social

land, Cooking for Community’s goal has

needs during this crisis,” said Denise Mc-

been to create a movement that injects

Donough, president of Anthem Blue Cross

essential nourishment, resources and

and Blue Shield in Maine. “We’ll continue

hope back into people’s lives during this

to support local efforts that are providing

crisis and beyond.

relief for our neighbors, businesses, non-

In mid-June, Harvard Pilgrim Health

profit partners, and health care workers as

Care announced plans to provide $32 mil-

we recover from this pandemic.”

lion in premium credits to all its fully insured employer groups, as well as to Medi-

HARVA RD P I LG RI M H E A LT H CA R E

care Supplement members. Additionally,

In late March, the Harvard Pilgrim Foun-

the nonprofit health plan announced $3

dation donated more than $3 million

million in financial support to indepen-

bolster Mainers through this pandemic,

in grants for COVID-19 relief efforts to

dent primary care physicians and $3 mil-

employers across the state, like Anthem

community and nonprofit organizations

lion to support community health centers

and Harvard Pilgrim, continue to use their

in New England. The Maine recipients of

statewide, and the insurer has waived all

resources creatively and collaboratively

the Foundation’s initial grants, totaling

primary care and specialty care copays for

to provide the most basic of needs to our

$220,000, were the Good Shepherd Food

office visits for Medicare Advantage mem-

vulnerable, our struggling, and our ailing.

Bank, the United Way of Eastern Maine,

bers through the end of the year.

When Maine looks back on this time in its

the United Way of Greater Portland, and

As community partnerships work to

history, these stories will endure.

the Boys & Girls Club of Portland. “During these challenging times, it is critically important to support our communities and the people of Maine who need help,” Bill Whitmore, vice president of the Maine regional market for Harvard Pilgrim, said. “As part of our initial grant-making months ago, we made every effort to address the immediate needs facing nonprofit partners and communities throughout Maine, and we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting them in the weeks and months ahead.” In its second round of awards, Cooking for Community and the YMCA of Southern Maine received a $60,000 grant to engage local restaurants to prepare and deliver weekly meals to older adults and immigrant families in need.

We applaud the community spirit of Maine businesses and are proud to stand with you. Our state is stronger because of the resiliency and generosit y of businesses like yours. Thank you!

The Foundation later extended its funding for this initiative, totaling $240,000 and providing meals through August. “This partnership with Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation has enabled

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc. Independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. CA20090004537759

us to serve hundreds of older adults, imONE VOICE MAINE 2020

55


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

nesses in the tourism industry,” Heather

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Poland Spring Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of Poland Spring

Printup, community relations manager for Poland Spring, said. “We believe in the power of coming together as a community during difficult times and hope that this fund will provide some relief to those whose work makes Maine so special.” The fund offers relief grants to Maine small businesses and their employ-

M A I N E ’ S T O U R I S M A N D H O S P I TA L I T Y

teamed up with the Maine Tourism As-

ees experiencing great hardship due to

sectors were impacted swiftly and pro-

sociation to create the Maine Tourism

COVID-related business closures. With

foundly by the arrival of COVID-19. This

Relief Fund aimed at helping small busi-

initial start-up funds of $100,000 pro-

spring, stay-at-home orders mandated by

nesses and their employees struggling

vided by Poland Spring, one-time grants

the state closed restaurants, retail stores,

due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

of $500 for individuals or $1,000 for

and attractions, and left motels, hotels,

businesses with fewer than 50 employ-

started out as a small Maine business and

ees will be provided. Experience Maine,

Poland Spring was quick to respond

tourist destination, and we are proud to

Bissell Brothers Brewing, the Automobile

to the crisis this sector faced. The most

team up with the Maine Tourism Associ-

Dealers Association, Inc., and several in-

popular water brand in the Northeast

ation to help support today’s small busi-

dividuals have also donated to the fund.

and campgrounds nearly empty.

56

“Nearly 175 years ago, Poland Spring

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


“WE ARE PROUD TO TEAM UP WITH THE MAINE TOURISM ASSOCIATION TO HELP SUPPORT TODAY’S SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY,” H E A T H E R P R I N T U P, C O M M U N I T Y R E L AT I O N S M A N A G E R , P O L A N D S P R I N G

In its initial round of grants, the Maine

Maine’s COVID Response Fund. Poland

Tourism Fund disbursed 151 grants — 50

Spring donated a $58,000 match to help

to small businesses and 101 to individuals

Mainers during this challenging time.

who work in hospitality. With fundraising ongoing, more grants are planned.

rants for factory employees. In addition to giving back to the communities where it operates, Poland

The brand has also been working

Spring’s pandemic plan includes mea-

with the Maine Emergency Management

sures to help protect the health and

“We are thrilled to have joined forces

Agency and has donated water for dis-

safety of its employees and customers;

with Poland Spring to create this fund,”

tribution throughout the state to those

support its employees in this challeng-

Tony Cameron, CEO of the Maine Tourism

who need it most. And since the end of

ing time; help to ensure product safety;

Association, said. “They have always been

March, Poland Spring’s Hollis, Kingfield,

and, encourage the reporting of any price

supportive neighbors and an important

and Poland factories have been support-

gouging in the marketplace, proving, yet

part of Maine’s history. We greatly appre-

ing local restaurants and our employees

again, that “What it means to be from

ciate their generous contribution.”

by purchasing lunches from local restau-

Maine” is more than just a slogan.

Poland

Spring’s

parent

company,

Nestlé Waters North America, has committed to providing more than 281,000 specially designed bottles to approximately 15 distilleries and healthcare organizations across nearly 10 states to be used for hand sanitizers. Mossy Ledge Distillery, located in Etna, is one of the Maine distilleries that is using these blue bottles in the production of hand sanitizer. “Nestlé Waters North America and Poland Spring Water supplied us with all of our 500ml squirt top bottles,” Jesse Lupo, owner of Mossy Ledge Distillery, said in a podcast interview. “In fact, they interrupted their normal bottle production, which is huge, to produce the blue-tinted bottles. We owe a huge

Supporting Maine Tourism Tourism is at the heart of Maine’s economy, but when Covid-19 prevented tourists from visiting, Mainers stepped up, and so did we. Poland Spring and the Maine Tourism Association co-founded the Tourism Relief Fund, which has given over $100,000 to Maine businesses and to workers who need help. During difficult times, Mainers have always pulled together. Even if “together” is a little farther apart than it used to be.

thanks to them! They have stood behind us on this and helped to keep the costs

Proud to partner with

down by providing the containers.” Poland Spring has continued to support the community in other ways during the pandemic as well. In April, NEWS CENTER Maine hosted an all-day telethon to support the United Way of

© 2020 Nestlé Waters North America Inc.

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

57


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Home Heating Industry

WHEN

COVID-19

PA N D E M I C

HIT

IN

March, we were still in the midst of winter — in fact, we were still on the receiving end of snow into April. And with winter in Maine, heating homes is a top priority when it comes to taking care of our friends, families, and the people of Maine — and Maine’s home heating industry did just that. Whether your home is heated with oil, propane, or natural gas, there was never an issue with keeping Mainers warm this winter. Maine home heating companies stepped up in

Written by Chamber Staff the midst of the pandemic. In addition Photos courtesy of Dead River, to making sure that Maine homes were Summit Natural Gas, and Unitil heated, these companies made delivering heat safely and protecting their employees a top priority. Whether heating your home with oil or propane, one does not need to look any further than the Dead River Company to

58

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

see how the industry responded. “Amidst

well-being of our employees, customers,

this pandemic — and every day,” stat-

and communities always come first.”

ed Deanna Sherman, president and CEO

Regular deliveries continued during

of Dead River Company, “the safety and

the pandemic. Though these deliveries


may have looked a little different — with

on being a reliable energy partner for our

need us the most,” Mark Lambert, Unit-

drivers wearing masks and upholding

customers, and this is one small step we

il’s vice president of customer opera-

social distancing when interacting with

can take to live up to that mission.”

tions said. “We urge customers who are

customers — they were still done in an

Soon after the pandemic began,

struggling to reach out to our customer

efficient manner. For customers who

Unitil announced their U-CARE (Unitil

service team so we can find a solution

found themselves without heat in the

Customer Assistance and Recovery Ef-

that meets their unique needs during

middle of the night, Dead River Com-

fort) that has donated $150,000 to local

this difficult time.”

pany’s service department was on call

Community Action Programs to help with

and there as they always have been and

utility costs for residential customers.

In Maine, heating our homes is a necessity equal to food security due to our

always will be. One of the many unsung

“As an essential service for business-

climate. It is not an issue all states face,

heroes of this pandemic are those who

es and families, we know how important

but one that when faced with, Maine

went to others’ houses to ensure that

it is to be there for Mainers when they

dealt with head on.

homeowners were safe and comfortable. As it does, Dead River Company worked one-on-one with customers adversely impacted by the pandemic to establish payment arrangements and continued its charitable giving with gifts to organizations like the Good Shepherd Food Bank. In addition to heating homes with oil and propane, another option for Mainers, natural gas, works in a different manner. It is a regulated utility that delivers its resource through underground pipes connected to homes and businesses throughout Maine. There are several providers in Maine, including Unitil and Summit Natural Gas of Maine that not only continued to operate as essential businesses during the pandemic, but also ensured that their customers’ homes had

Helping Maine businesses and communities address their most pressing water and environmental challenges.

heat and their employees were safe. One of the first actions taken by Summit was to announce they would not discontinue anyone’s service for lack of payment during the pandemic. “Right now, our top priority is protecting the health

woodardcurran.com COMMITMENT & INTEGRITY DRIVE RESULTS

and well-being of our customers and the communities we serve, which is why we are suspending service disconnections to any customers who are struggling to pay their heating bill,” said Fred Kirkwood, senior vice president of customer

C O U N S E LO R S AT L AW

Take your next steps with Rudman Winchell

development for Summit. “The COVID-19 pandemic is causing uncertainty across

Providing energy for life.

the country, the last thing our commu-

Unitil is investing in Maine’s future by expanding our safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas service.

nity members should be worried about is whether they can afford to keep their heat on, have gas to cook their food, or hot water to take a shower. We pride ourselves

888-486-4845 207-947-4501 • rudmanwinchell.com

unitil.com/switch

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

59


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Hannaford Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of Hannaford

H A N N A F O R D I S O N E M A I N E C O M PA N Y that has gone above and beyond to serve Maine people and communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Providing the most basic needs in communities across Maine and the Northeast – food and medicine – meant closing their stores and pharmacies was not an option. Right from the start of the pandemic, Hannaford stepped up to make sure their stores would operate safely, and their customers and employees – now essential workers – were protected so stores could stay open. As a company, they worked swiftly to institute safety protocols and practices, including how to direct store foot traffic and social

“OUR COMPANY AND OUR ASSOCIATES ARE WORKING HARD IN OUR GROCERY STORES TO MEET THE MOST-BASIC NEEDS OF OUR COMMUNITY DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME: FOOD AND MEDICINE.”

distancing. Coupled with the challenges many frontline and essen-

M I K E V A I L , P R E S I D E N T, H A N N A F O R D

dented demand due to rising food insecurity, increasing their

tial workers face with customers frustrated about waiting in line to enter, product shortages, and more, Hannaford is exceeding expectations every day. From the bottom to the top, their employees are dedicated to offering excellent service with enhanced safety measures to keep everyone safe and make sure their stores can safely remain open. In addition, during what is likely the most challenging time in the company’s history, Hannaford is giving back in multiple ways. Hannaford is helping support food banks as they face unprecesupport of organizations that serve the homeless, helping support

60

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


struggling local farms, aiding in food assistance efforts for Maine students and their families, and more, including buying a new van for the Biddeford Food Pantry when the van they had been using to deliver food to clients would not pass state inspection. At the start of the pandemic, Hannaford immediately made a generous donation to food banks in the five Northeastern states where they operate. As the need for food assistance grew, Hannaford tripled its donations. In total, Hannaford has donated a total of $1.25 million to COVID-19 response efforts throughout the Northeast. In Maine, those generous donations have helped Good Shepherd Food Bank, and organizations in both Portland and Bangor that provide food and shelter for homeless populations, create social distance among homeless individuals, while

Thanks for making a difference in our community

helping them stay healthy amid the crisis. Hannaford is helping Maine students, too. When Jobs For Maine’s Graduates (JMG) students shared with JMG employees that they were struggling to buy food and other necessities, JMG worked with companies including Han-

Bank of America recognizes the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and its members. Community leaders like you are a vital resource and inspiration to us all. Thanks to you, progress is being made and our community is becoming a better place to live and work.

naford, to provide 3,000 students with $100 Hannaford gift cards. Hannaford

President

Mike

Vail

shared that, “Every day, we are learning more about the impact of this virus and responding together as a community to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our company and our associates are working hard in

©2020 Bank of America Corporation | 2935478 | ENT-216-AD

our grocery stores to meet the most-basic needs of our community during this difficult time: food and medicine. We hope that this donation also will help the most vulnerable of our neighbors meet their fundamental needs of staying fed and healthy, during this difficult time.” Hannaford’s leadership and the contributions of every Hannaford employee are invaluable to Maine. Their generosity is helping to keep Maine people mostin-need fed and healthy, and their efforts are also helping decrease the spread of

Family • Community Quality • Value

the virus. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

61


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

ramped up their everyday contributions to the communities they serve. Many like KeyBank shifted resources to help minimize COVID’s impact on small businesses and the most vulnerable members of the communities they serve. Key provided $160,000 in COVID relief and social justice grants to Maine nonprofits, in addition to its planned annual philanthropic giving in the market. It also partnered with Portland Sea Dogs on #KeyBank Assists, a community engagement effort that surprised local families and essential workers with $16,000 in restaurant gift cards as a show of support for local small businesses and residents. KeyBank was also the seventh largest lender of PPP loans across the country, providing more than 40,000 loans totaling $8.5 billion to help businesses retain jobs, including many here in Maine. Kennebec Savings Bank has initiated several new charitable giving programs aimed at meeting their communities’ most immediate needs, including helping United Ways in its region launch COVID-19 relief funds. Machias Savings Bank launched a two-pronged $300,000 initiative that first provided immediate funds to 74 nonprofits statewide focusing on food security and distribution,

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Financial Institutions Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of Maine Credit Union League

followed by targeted funding to support 14 of Maine’s small business and entrepreneur-building nonprofits, ultimately impacting hundreds of its most critical small commercial enterprises. The Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger raised $832,000 in 2019. This year, it continues with a more urgent purpose than ever before. In June, the Campaign raised $230,000 to support Good Shepherd Food Bank’s

F E E D I N G F R O N T L I N E W O R K E R S , help-

while continuing to securely serve their

COVID-19 response and provide funding

ing kids learn, and supporting urgent

customers. On top of that, lenders were

to community food pantries and meal

needs in their communities are some of

tasked with processing an influx of Pay-

sites. In response to COVID-19, Maine’s

the ways Maine’s financial institutions

check Protection Program (PPP) feder-

credit unions also provided support to

stepped up at the start of the COVID-19

al loan applications to help businesses

local restaurants, hospitals, law enforce-

pandemic. They did this amidst an in-

impacted by COVID-19 stay afloat. This

ment agencies, and Full Plates Full Po-

credibly pressing time for the industry

alone was a Herculean effort by lenders,

tential, which helps ensure Maine’s chil-

in which they shifted to remote oper-

as well as every one of their employees.

dren receive healthy meals.

ations and distance banking practices 62

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Through it all, financial institutions

“At Bangor Savings Bank, our You


Matter More promise is all about the

penalties, and service charges. Lend-

Administration (SBA) and the Finance

way we care for our employees, cus-

ers’ assistance with applying for federal

Authority of Maine (FAME), the work of

tomers, and communities even during

government assistance loans and quick

Maine’s financial institutions continues

the most challenging of circumstances,”

processing of those loans was crucial to

as they guide many businesses through

said Bangor Savings Bank President and

helping Maine businesses, workforce and

the PPP loan forgiveness process. Their

CEO, Bob Montgomery-Rice. “As a lo-

economy endure the first few months of

efforts during a time of great economic

cal community bank we’ve always been

the pandemic. Their efforts helped ease

uncertainty and stress have shown their

proud to serve and support our commu-

the stress and burden on many small

commitment to Maine people, commu-

nities, but right now, the need has never

businesses and individuals at an incred-

nities, and businesses, as well as an ad-

been more urgent.”

ibly challenging time.

mirable resourcefulness in the face of

For Bangor Savings Bank, this has

Along with the U.S. Small Business

adversity.

meant local, thoughtful action. They have helped ensure health and safety by offering customers a suite of convenient, distance banking options. Remaining focused on urgent community need, they made contributions across northern New England to aid food security and digital equity, while also providing hundreds of meals to essential workers and donating their supply of hospital-grade masks to front line workers. Bangor Savings Bank also assisted

Hunger doesn’t take a break.

Neither will we.

local business owners by processing over 4,700 SBA PPP loan applications, helping to retain an estimated 47,000 jobs. And TD Bank’s partnership with the Maine Red Claws and the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation for “Fueling the Frontlines” fueled more than the initiative’s name suggests. In this community effort, six Portland area restaurants provided meals for frontline health care workers, and police and fire departments. At the same time frontline workers were delivered great food, the restaurants that participated received much-needed business and the local economy got a boost. This partnership demonstrated a new kind of ingenuity seen across Maine: businesses giving back in a way that fuels other businesses, their employees, and the local economy, while supporting their communities and showing appreciation for workers on the frontline. These are just a few examples of

Maine Credit Unions are dedicated to making a difference in their communities by participating in the Maine Credit Unions’ Campaign for Ending Hunger. Since March, Maine Credit Unions have raised over $300,000 to end hunger in our state. To learn more about the campaign or make a tax deductible contribution, visit: campaignforendinghunger.org

how Maine financial institutions have stepped up in the face of COVID-19. In addition, they are providing grants to struggling small businesses, and offering loan deferral programs, unsecured loans, extensions, as well as waived late fees,

Maine’s credit unions are here for you. mainecreditunions.org ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

63


“ … I D I D N ’ T R U N F R O M I T, A N D I F I N E E D E D H E L P, I ’ D G E T I T. ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

BIW / Cianbro / Puritan Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of BIW and Puritan

one of the top two manufacturers of the specialty long-handled swabs needed for COVID-19 testing in the world – and the only one in the United States. The new facility in Pittsfield would allow Guilford-based Puritan to double its monthly production of the specialized swabs used in testing for COVID-19 – from 20 million per month to 40 million per month – and also add at least 250 additional workers to its payroll. The expansion is expected to stay open past the current pandemic, enabling Puritan to contribute specialized testing swabs and other supplies to the nation’s stockpile in preparation for future pandemics. “This project is an extraordinary one that is going to make a real difference to the people of this country as we seek to ramp up the production of swabs, which is absolutely essential to coronavirus testing,” said U.S. Senator Susan Collins, at the press conference announcing the expansion. “I am so proud of this collaborative effort involving Cianbro, Puritan, and Bath Iron Works, who are stepping up during this very difficult time in the history of our country.” Headquartered in Guilford, Puritan will lease a warehouse owned by Pittsfield-based Cianbro Corp. as the site of its expansion. Cianbro immediately began to convert its building into a modern manufacturing facility – managing to

64

F R O M O U R S TAT E M O T T O “Dirigo” to the

medical nasal swabs needed to respond

accomplish in a few months what tradi-

countless initiatives, visionaries, and in-

to the coronavirus pandemic.

tionally takes a year – so Puritan Medical

novations that have had their humble be-

Puritan Medical Products LLC an-

ginnings here, Mainers are very comfort-

nounced in late April that it would be

able with leading the way. This spring,

converting a 150,000 square foot ware-

“Be assured of one thing: 24 hours

three Maine employers – already known

house into a modern manufacturing fa-

a day, seven days a week, we will be re-

for their many individual contributions

cility, using $75.5 million from Defense

building this facility and its ability to

to our country – set out on a partnership

Protection Act money included in the

provide a manufacturing service that is

to double the monthly production of

CARES Act to fund the project. Puritan is

very, very important to our country,” Pe-

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Products would then have the room they need to set up the production lines.


ter Vigue, Cianbro’s chairman, said at the press conference. General Dynamics Bath Iron Works was identified by the U.S. Air Force, which is coordinating contracts under the Defense Production Act, as being uniquely capable of performing the specialized work needed within the very tight timeframe. At its machine shop and outfit fabrication facilities in Bath and Brunswick, BIW constructed, using Puritan’s design, 30 additional machines needed for Puritan to ramp up the packaging of

each swab. To meet the deadline, BIW also subcontracted with 10 other Maine businesses, either to provide materials or to machine specialized parts. “BIW devoted engineering, design

Fueled by ingenuity. Inspired by you.

and production expertise to facilitate this important humanitarian project even while meeting the critical infrastructure needs of our national security, building ships for the U.S. Navy,” said BIW President Dirk Lesko. “I couldn’t be more proud of the many skilled BIW workers who helped with this effort to make testing swabs more widely available to healthcare professionals across the country working to keep all Americans safe and healthy.” The intersection of BIW’s machinery

At Littler, we’re lawyers. We’re also innovators and strategists, passionate problem solvers and creative disruptors. And we’re committed to helping our clients navigate the complex world of labor and employment law by building better solutions for their toughest challenges. Proud Supporter of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce One Monument Square, Suite 600 Portland, ME 04101 | 207.774.6001

expertise, Cianbro’s space availability, and Puritan’s high-demand product, sets forth a successful example of Maine collaboration and innovation. As Timothy Templet, Puritan’s co-owner and executive vice president of global sales, at-

littler.com

tested: “Maine has the ingenuity. Maine has developed the partnerships. It’s just a really good day.” ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

65


clean energy future.

Working together for a

When it comes to taking real action towards a clean energy future, we’re all in this together. Hydro-Québec will soon be providing 500,000 megawatt hours of low-carbon, renewable hydropower to Maine — enough for 70,000 homes. The perfect complement to wind and solar over the long term, hydropower is the natural back up for cloudy, windless days. Cleaner air and water for all. That’s power for good.

www.cleanenergyformaine.com


“IT’S VERY EASY TO GET DISCOURAGED, BUT I ALWAYS TRIED TO FIGURE OUT THE PROBLEM. I DIDN’T RUN FROM IT, AND IF I NEEDED HELP, I’D GET IT.

A N D I F I N EED ED TO D O M O R E WO R K , I D I D IT. ”

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

67


“ … A N D I F I N E E D E D T O D O M O R E W O R K , I D I D I T. ”

Hospitality Industry Out of all of Maine’s economic sectors, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted Maine’s hospitality businesses and the more than 100,000 people they employ the hardest. Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of HospitalityMaine, Witham Family Hotels, and Sebego Lake Distillery

68

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


M A N Y I N T H E H O S P I TA L I T Y I N D U S T R Y rely on summer tourism dollars to carry them through the year. The timing of the pandemic and its related closings, re-opening delays and restrictions placed on businesses just ahead of the summer season meant fewer tourists, customers, and declining revenues. Despite this challenge, Maine’s hospitality sector responded by giving back

THANK YOU!

and playing a large role in keeping Mainers safe and businesses open. Maine lodging businesses were some of the first to step up to help. Many donated rooms to first responders and medical workers putting in long hours

Thank you to Maine’s business community for doing your part

on the frontlines of COVID-19 when the

- and so much more -

virus was at its peak. Others partnered with local homeless coalitions to provide rooms for their clients during the pandemic’s shelter-in-place orders. And when crews were called to respond to power outages, including during April’s Easter weekend storm, hotels that were closed due to seasonality or pandemic-related lodging restrictions opened to provide rooms for tree and power line workers, in some cases with skeletal hotel staff and strict sanitization protocols that complicated their opening. Still, these lodging establishments remained flexible and were there for those in need, including those working to restore power after major storms. Restaurants

across

Maine

also

stepped up, helping to feed our state’s most vulnerable citizens. When dining rooms were closed due to the pandemic, restaurants throughout Maine gave away hundreds of free meals each week, many with the help of community donations. Partnering with local businesses and organizations, some provided meals for older and disabled residents. Others gave away free lunches for kids when schools were closed, eventually expanding to offer lunch to anyone in need. Maine’s food sector also partnered with businesses to provide meals for frontline and laid-off food industry work-

to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Maine! “This is ME Counting on You” is a public awareness campaign that encourages Mainers and all visitors to our state to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19. Following recommended health and safety guidelines such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing will help make sure Maine can get back to business, Maine people can get back to work, and Maine’s economic recovery is successful. The initiative is a project of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Maine’s family of local regional chambers of commerce. Please visit MeCountingOnYou.org for more information, free resources, and to become a partner in the initiative.

Be Safe. Be Responsible. Be Healthy.

ers. It was not unusual for a business to TIMCOY Ad.indd 1

9/18/2020 13:43:32

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

69


“ … A N D I F I N E E D E D T O D O M O R E W O R K , I D I D I T. ”

call a restaurant, café or caterer to place a large food order for medical staff at a local hospital, first responders, or a homeless shelter. One group of businesses and restaurants in central Maine came together to have lunch delivered to educators getting their classrooms and schools ready for the start of the 2020 academic year. These efforts gave restaurants and their employees some much-needed business, as well as helping other businesses in the food supply chain. The quick conversions Maine brewers and distillers made at the start of the pandemic when sanitization supplies were in short supply are also of note. Instead of brewing beer or distilling spirits, they switched production to make hand sanitizer, often giving it away. With production up and running, they could keep employees on payroll, sometimes bringing 70

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


on new hires to fulfill the high demand. The efforts of Maine’s hospitality industry are especially magnified by the fact that most businesses in this sector are small, yet the measures they took to keep their establishments safe and open were huge. Their efforts included pur-

“HOSPITALITY PROFESSIONALS ARE THE UNSUNG HEROES OF MAINE’S COVID SUMMER OF 2020.” STEVE HEWINS, CEO, H O S P I TA L I T Y M A I N E chasing new equipment, developing new procedures, implementing new protocols, re-training employees on these new procedures and protocols, and so much more, including creating new ways of doing business. They and their employees played a large part in keeping Maine residents and visitors to our state safe. Hospitality Maine CEO Steve Hewins could not have said it better in an opinion article published in September in the Maine Sunday Telegram. He said, “Maine’s infection rates would not be nearly as low without the stalwart efforts of Maine’s largest private sector industry.” Hewins added, “Hospitality professionals are the unsung heroes of Maine’s COVID summer of 2020.” The generosity of Maine hospitality businesses in the face of the incredible adversity COVID-19 presented, and their inventiveness, adaptability and perseverance add to their importance, not only to Maine’s economy, but to our state’s continued resilience. The efforts these businesses and their employees continue to take to help their communities and keep Maine people and tourists safe cannot be overstated. During the toughest time the sector has ever faced, they met the challenges head on, and continue to give back. 

Local & Regional Chambers:

Catalysts of Our Communities

THE MOST SUCCESSFUL local and regional chambers in Maine have earned that reputation because they meet the diverse needs of their members. They embody servant leadership and adapt to serve the varied needs of members, partners, and citizens. In the same manner COVID-19 challenged their business members, the pandemic has challenged chambers of commerce to adapt overnight as well. Already stretched thin and often wearing too many hats, chamber leadership had to contemplate daily how to stay open, if they could, and what was best for their employees. Local and regional chambers became a lifeline for their members, and crisis communication became the most important function. By mid-March, disseminating essential federal, state, and local information became paramount – ramping up more frequent communications to members, opening their helpful content to non-member businesses, and partnering with similar entities. When state government began implementing new policies and programs, they too turned to the chamber network to make sure the news reached business leaders. For some, it changed the perception of what a chamber does for their community. The local and regional chamber directors also leveraged their most valuable resource − each other. Convened through the leadership of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and its affiliate, the Maine Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, chamber directors across the state met remotely several times each week. The Zoom meetings focused on sharing successful program ideas and best practices with fellow chamber colleagues across the state. As a result, the group developed two major surveys to ultimately shape policy and provide benchmarks for plans to successfully reopen Maine’s economy. Specifically, chambers showed an immediate, maybe even instantaneous, return on investment in the face of some steep internal challenges. As 501(c)6 organizations, chambers of commerce were not eligible for PPP or EIDL funds, or any government support programs. This lack of assistance resulted in massive losses in chamber staffing statewide – 65% of chamber staff were laid off or reduced hours since March. Like their members, chambers have created, adapted, redefined, and collaborated to be able to meet their members’ needs. This crisis has shown the value of chambers of commerce more directly and more effectively than almost any other time. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

71


“ … A N D I F I N E E D E D T O D O M O R E W O R K , I D I D I T. ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Hospitals

MaineHealth / Northern Light Health

care of their patients and the care of their employees and staff — keeping one healthy to help the other recover. “It’s important that our communities know they can rely on us, and I could not be more proud of our nearly 13,000 dedicated employees throughout Maine who stepped up to the challenge and remained steadfast in their commitment to care for those in our communities with absolute compassion during this extraordinary time,” said Tim Dentry, president and CEO, Northern Light Health. “But, through it all, it’s imperative that we ensure our colleagues also receive the care

Written by Chamber Staff | Photo courtesy of MaineHealth

and support needed to remain healthy and strong. Our comprehensive Healthy Life Resources program pro-

72

P R E PA R E D N E S S . I M A G I N E Y O U L E A D O N E O F T H E

vides on-demand crisis and stress management, group

state’s largest hospitals. All year long, you run through

support, and broad training and support for both em-

countless disaster management scenarios. You verify

ployees and leaders.”

existing inventories; order as many life-saving supplies

In March, the most immediate tasks following the

as your facility can store; and review every protocol,

announcement of the first confirmed case centered on

practice, and procedure with your team. Then, the hy-

adequate protective gear and testing capacities to safe-

pothetical becomes reality.

ly provide care to COVID-19 patients and to non-COVID

From top to bottom, administrators, doctors, nurses,

patients alike. Protocols related to elective procedures,

food service, and environmental services staff at hospi-

visitation policies, telehealth visits, and inpatient care

tals throughout Maine and the nation stepped up to bat-

were implemented to contain the spread of the virus and

tle our current reality. And, with each decision, Northern

to also shift staff to the front lines. Likewise, as the situ-

Light Health and MaineHealth skillfully balanced the

ation changed, procedures were altered to safely resume

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


outpatient care or to protect the commu-

Light Health sites from Presque Isle to

MaineHealth and Northern Light Health

nity in the face of an outbreak or surge.

Portland and Greenville to Blue Hill.

have committed significant resources —

Mainers losing jobs often also lose

As the conversation shifted to re-

both monetary donations and in-kind

their employer-sponsored health insur-

opening sectors of the economy, many

services — in dozens of communities

ance. The MaineHealth Access to Care

hospitals began playing a role in inform-

across Maine. Through its 10 hospitals,

program connects them with resources to

ing and supporting employers through

home care and hospice, and foundation,

obtain new coverage and find affordable

best practices. In mid-June, Northern

Northern Light Health provided nearly

options for care and assists patients in

Light Health launched a “Safe Return to

$221 million in community giving, ac-

getting the coverage and care they need.

Business” weekly webinar series to pro-

cording to its 2019 Annual Report.

“The Access to Care program is in

vide guidance for Maine employers in

Similarly, MaineHealth’s 2019 Annual

keeping with our vision working together

welcoming back employees, customers,

Report showed the value of its “quan-

so our communities are the healthiest in

volunteers, and students. Maine employ-

tifiable value of community benefits at

America,” says William L. Caron, Jr., CEO

ers can access best practices for keeping

cost” was over $477 million (2018), re-

of MaineHealth. “Access to Care works to

employees and customers safe while con-

flecting its programs and services pro-

ensure comprehensive, affordable health

tinuing their operations through webinar

vided without reimbursement, such as

care and improve the quality of life. In

topics such as balancing on-site needs

uncompensated care, professional edu-

these uncertain and trying times, we

and employee accommodations, facility

cation and training, community health

want anyone in need of support to reach

modifications, PPE purchasing, back-to-

services and support, and research.

out to us so that we can help.”

school preparations, and resiliency; risk

From the parking lot testing tents to

When WEX, a global financial technol-

mitigation through infection prevention,

the highly skilled ICUs, the preparedness

ogy solutions provider headquartered in

communication, and de-escalation; and

and responsiveness of Maine’s hospitals

Portland, learned there was a critical blood

an outbreak discussion round table, enti-

significantly improve the state’s ability to

supply shortage due to the pandemic, they

tled “Learning From Our Neighbors.’

combat COVID-19 as the pandemic con-

quickly responded by building and leading

As dedicated corporate citizens,

tinues to leave its mark on Maine.

a coalition of area businesses in response. MaineHealth was the first partner to join WEX and the American Red Cross for “Distance Saves Lives,” which held weekly blood drives for 10 consecutive weeks. The American Red Cross supplies blood to Maine Medical Center, the largest hospi-

We make healthcare work for you.

tal in MaineHealth’s network. With Maine Med’s standing order for blood severely cut at the start of the pandemic, the need was urgent. WEX CEO Melissa Smith shared, “We as a collective group have all been looking at ways to help the community, in particular the health care system, so this seems like a small thing that we can

As your partner in community health, we collaborate to bring you the most comprehensive care. That’s a promise.

do that has a big impact on the ability to keep Mainers safe.” Working with the University of Maine, Northern Light Health’s supply chain team helped solve a shortage of hand sanitizer. The University temporarily turned to production of hospital-grade hand sanitizer, which was delivered to Northern Light Health in 55-gallon drums and pumped into smaller containers for distribution. By early September, 1,900

Visit northernlighthealth.org

gallons had been shipped to Northern ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

73


“ … A N D I F I N E E D E D T O D O M O R E W O R K , I D I D I T. ”

M A N Y M A I N E M A N U FA C T U R E R S S H I F T E D their production lines, pivoting quickly to meet the demands for personal protective equipment and the like. Among the success stories is Sea Bags, known for creating bags and totes out of recycled sails from its facility on Custom House Wharf in the heart of Portland’s working waterfront. Sea Bags quickly modified their brand, using their resources to provide masks and face shields to Mainers. “Since the founding of our company, one of our core brand pillars has centered around supporting our community,” says Don Oakes, CEO of Sea Bags. “That doesn’t change in times of crisis, so shifting our manufacturing focus to doing what we do best — sewing — was a natural fit for our team.” Sea Bags was able to get the company declared as an essential business by the State of Maine by making face coverings. In the first two months, Sea Bags sold 28,000 face masks − 25,000 of them to organizations across the state, including the Maine Department of Transportation and the City of Portland. It also donated around 800 coverings to organizations considered top priorities for the Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, such as the Maine Veterans’ Homes and an assisted living facility in Portland. “We are doing it to help out. It’s part of who we are, in good times and in bad,” said Oakes. When the pandemic hit the United States, Sea Bags closed, and reopened, its retail and seasonal stores in 13 states, according to state-by-state regulations. Employees were also offered a choice between work and taking a voluntary fur-

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Sea Bags

lough, to best accommodate their health, family, and financial needs. Sea Bags also reconfigured their Portland office to add adequate spacing to make sure employees were comfortable returning to work. Staying true to its founding cornerstone on supporting the community, Sea

Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of Sea Bags Bags partnered with Wilbur’s of Maine for Easter to support another local small business hit hard by COVID-19. What initiated 74

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


as a small order, quickly turned into nearly 700 orders of the Sea Bags / Wilbur’s Chocolates collaboration being fulfilled,

“WE ARE DOING IT TO HELP OUT. IT’S PART OF WHO WE ARE, IN GOOD TIMES AND IN BAD.”

and Wilbur’s being able to hire back five of their staff who had been furloughed. In June, the company announced a new partnership with Life is Good, the New England-based original positive lifestyle and apparel brand. The two brands quickly partnered to share a common

DON OAKES, CEO, SEA BAGS

goal of spreading positivity to those who needed it most. The launch of a “Healthcare Heroes” collection honored those working on the frontlines against COVID-19, and the “Class of ‘20 Strong” collection commemorated the graduating classes of 2020. “As a New England-based company founded on optimism and giving back to the community, Life is Good’s values naturally align with our guiding principles and culture at Sea Bags,” said Beth Shissler, president of Sea Bags. “Their art and messaging are an incredible complement to our products, and both compa-

nies are equally committed to spread-

the agility and resilience of Maine’s

ing positivity via Sea Bags’ sustainable,

still-vibrant manufacturing community.

Made-in-the-USA products.”

These shifts allowed many small- and me-

The ability for Sea Bags to adapt, all

dium-sized businesses, like Sea Bags, to

the while staying true to their mission

quickly meet the needs of their employ-

and keeping their team safe, illustrates

ees, customers, and communities.

We’re proud to support the health of our community. Doing our part to help make Maine the greatest place to live and work. PRIMARY CARE MEDICARE ADVANTAGE PLANS MILITARY HEALTH PLANS

Maine-Based, Not-for-Profit | MARTINSPOINT.ORG

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

75


“ … A N D I F I N E E D E D T O D O M O R E W O R K , I D I D I T. ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Consolidated Communications

competitions held annually. Consolidated was awarded Silver in the Great Employers Competition. The Stevie Award is to recognize Consolidated for their commitment to keeping Americans connected and to help residential and small business customers. To keep their service for customers running effectively their network has

Written by Chamber Staff | Photos courtesy of Consolidated Communications been built up to meet increased usage demands from the jump in remote work and learning. Consolidated also has a Business WITH THE ONSET OF COVID-19, MANY

Continuity Team that meets daily to mon-

businesses reacted with award-winning

itor network capacity and augment net-

responses to the challenges ahead. For

work capabilities where necessary.

Consolidated

76

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Communications,

that

As part of their strategy to ensure

award-winning response was recognized

service without interruption, Consoli-

literally, with a Stevie Award. Stevie is a

dated has taken extra steps to focus on

series of eight global business award

the safety and wellness of employees,


to remain reliable and uninterrupted. Understanding that children who lacked internet access at home would fall victim to a homework gap, Consolidated partnered with many K-12 and Higher Education institutions to support low-income families in need of internet services. Nearly 18% of students do not have internet at home, and Consolidated has worked hard to ensure that internet access would be one less issue to worry about. Consolidated did not stop at making a difference in their area of expertise.

Helping our customers thrive through life’s twists and turns. When you’ve got Unum, we’ve got you.

Along with their valiant efforts at maintaining a reliable network and powerful customer service, they have also worked to feed families that are affected by loss of income or children home from school. Since the onset of COVID-19, and in addition to their annual company giving which totaled nearly $2 million in 2019, Consolidated has contributed $75,000 to organizations that provide nutritious

© 2020 Unum Group. All rights reserved. Unum is a registered trademark and marketing brand of Unum Group and its insuring subsidiaries.

customers, and partners. Safety measures have been enacted to be in line with local, state, and national public health agencies. Consolidated has also worked to prioritize its efforts to medical, government, and other essential facilities. Thanks to their safety measures, Consolidated has been able to keep technical support and field operations teams fully

food to those in need and to help meet

staffed and ready to respond.

the increase in demand due to the pan-

As schools were sending children

demic. This includes a $10,000 gift to

home, Consolidated recognized the po-

Good Shepherd Food Bank here in Maine.

Iconic brands you can trust in your home P&G products have made a name for themselves by combining “what’s needed” with “what’s possible”—making

tential for complications. Not only did

Thanks to their dedication to cus-

sending children home create increased

tomers, employees, and the communi-

demand on their network, it also put

ties where they live and work, Consoli-

some students at a disadvantage. Consol-

dated has helped ensure that internet

idated had the foresight to see that fami-

and phone connectivity has remained

enjoyable for over 181 years.

lies with internet access would not be the

reliable in a world that relies on it more

only ones needing their essential service

than ever.

us.pg.com

laundry rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, kitchens, nurseries, and bathrooms a little more

ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

77


“ … A N D I F I N E E D E D T O D O M O R E W O R K , I D I D I T. ”

COMMUNITY CHAMPION:

Insurance Providers Written by Chamber Staff | Photo courtesy of Cross Insurance Agency T H E R E I S N O T O N E S E C T O R or system

Insurance Agency moved their team to

nated the weekly delivery of nearly 50

around the globe that hasn’t felt the

home offices, making sure the entire

pizzas to his Windham neighborhood

impact of the coronavirus pandemic

staff was able to connect virtually and

until the restaurant was able to reopen

and used creative methods to meet the

were ready to efficiently serve clients’

to dine-in customers.

needs of both its clients and its employ-

needs by Tuesday morning. The agency

The Cross Insurance Agency also

ees. That is especially true for the insur-

has returned 25 percent of their employ-

partnered with the New England Patri-

ance industry, which made the transition

ees to the office, while staying flexible

ots to serve approximately 4,000 meals

to work-from-home just as the workload

for those that have health or family con-

to Maine veterans at the Cross Insurance

increased.

siderations. They even hosted an em-

Center in Bangor.

ployee flu clinic to make sure everyone C RO SS I NS UR ANC E AG E N CY

MMG INSUR A NCE

Mainers are often humble and hard-work-

The culture of humble service ex-

MMG Insurance proudly calls Aroostook

ing, choosing to do the right thing over

tends throughout the agency, empower-

County home. When the pandemic took

the popular thing. These were traits that

ing agents to find creative ways to help

root, MMG Insurance took action — ini-

Woodrow Cross not only possessed but

their clients and communities, even

tially donating $25,000 to Good Shep-

also on which he built his company.

off the clock. Working with a Southern

herd Food Bank of Maine, which distrib-

Maine pizzeria, one Cross agent coordi-

utes food to more than 30 food pantries

In basically a weekend, the Cross 78

was ready for the coming season.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


and meal sites in Aroostook County. “During

these

Ensuring the safety of those working

successfully migrated to home office

unprecedented

from home was the next concern, as safe-

environments and United continues to

times, we felt compelled to support our

ty and ergonomics experts recognized

offer flexibility and support to employ-

Aroostook County neighbors and friends

the risk of increased claims from people

ees with children at home, employees at

by aiding in hunger-relief efforts,” states

due to poor ergonomics from makeshift

a higher risk, and employees caring for

Larry Shaw, MMG president and CEO.

workstations at home. Attempting to

parents. It is also in the process of allow-

“Good Shepherd Food Bank is an essen-

prevent these injuries, MEMIC developed

ing about half of the staff to return to the

tial resource to the state of Maine, and

guidelines to assist employers and their

office and opening the doors to clients

we are appreciative of their efforts to

employees in setting up an ergonomical-

by appointment.

support Mainers in this time of incred-

ly correct home offices to avoid injuries

United Insurance is especially proud

ible need.”

to the back, wrists, necks and hands that

of the donations made to its commu-

otherwise are avoided in a well-engi-

nities during these months, including

neered office setting.

purchasing gift certificates from many

MMG also donated $10,000 to the Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) to support their expanded work provid-

Early on, MEMIC also released a safe-

ing safe/warm homes, nutritious meals,

ty procedures template, the MEMIC Pan-

clients to help them through this time.

educational supplies, and other necessi-

demic Recovery Safety Planning guide,

UNUM

ties for families across Aroostook County.

which included procedures to assist with

Unum provides disability, life, accident,

ACAP provides services and resources for

workplace transition, training, and doc-

critical illness, dental and vision bene-

the people of Aroostook County focused

umentation. MEMIC recommended that

fits through employers — benefits that

on community health, early childcare

employers focus on hazard identification,

help employees protect their families,

and education, energy and housing, and

communication, training, sanitation, dis-

their finances, and their futures. Unum

workforce development.

tancing, compliance, and exposure trac-

has always supported the communities

“This investment in our community

ing. They also stressed the importance of

where its employees live and work. In

by MMG Insurance will be put to im-

everyone wearing face coverings to pro-

2019, Unum contributed more than $15

mediate use to support County families

tect others from the virus.

million across its U.S., United Kingdom,

with children finding themselves in need

In response to the economic stress

of assistance during these unprecedent-

being experienced by so many of its

The company responded to the

ed times. ACAP is proud to partner with

18,000 Maine workers’ compensation

COVID-19 pandemic by investing more

MMG to ensure a vital safety net exists

insurance policyholders, MEMIC’s Board

than $500,000 companywide in three

for families experiencing this hardship,”

of Directors authorized an early distri-

strategic areas: health and access to crit-

says Jason Parent, ACAP’s executive di-

bution of a $17 million dividend to eligi-

ical services, equitable access to learning,

rector and CEO. “Aroostook County is

ble employers in all 16 counties of Maine.

and food insecurity. In Maine, Unum want-

fortunate to have MMG leadership and

Distributed in July, the dividend, based

ed to help students in its communities

staff so invested in our community. Not

on favorable financial results, was more

have access to the resources they need to

only do they commit financial resources

than $1,100 on average and more than

stay on track while learning at home.

to enrich our region, their people are en-

two dozen employers received checks

gaged civically and volunteer countless

greater than $40,000.

hours to improve life in northern Maine.”

and Poland locations.

Likewise, to support organizations working to end racism, discrimination, and bias, Unum created a Social Justice

U N I T E D I NSUR A NCE

Fund. Although it is designed to support

MEMIC

The team at United Insurance has been

marginalized groups facing discrimina-

Within weeks of the first confirmed case

hard at work responding to client, employ-

tion, the immediate focus for 2020 will

in Maine, insurers started to see claims

ee, and community needs through this

support organizations fighting for racial

for workplace exposure to the COVID-19

unprecedented time. They worked closely

justice. A mix of employee donations,

virus. MEMIC, the state’s largest workers’

with insurance carriers to return person-

company matches, and an annual com-

compensation insurance company, made

al automobile premiums during April and

panywide corporate gift of $500,000

sure that pandemic claims were handled

May when vehicles were largely parked.

will support the fund.

quickly and fairly when found to be con-

And United has been in constant contact

Throughout the state, Maine’s insur-

tracted through job functions, noting

with its commercial clients, responding to

ance providers have stepped up to make

that most of the initial claims were filed

a myriad of coverage, exposure, and pre-

sure their clients, employees, and com-

by health care and emergency responder

mium questions related to COVID-19.

munities are covered, connected, fed,

professionals.

To accomplish its goals, the staff

and safe. ONE VOICE MAINE 2020

79


Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs is a coalition of organizations and individuals who support the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) because it offers the following: •

POSITIVE CLIMATE IMPACTS: Carbon emissions will be reduced by more than 3 million metric tons of CO2 annually, the decarbonization equivalent of removing more than 700,000 cars from the roadways;

ECONOMIC BOOST FOR MAINE: Nearly $1 billion in economic benefit to the entire State of Maine in just the first ten years, at no cost to Maine taxpayers or to Maine ratepayers;

ENERGY COST SAVINGS: Maine consumers will save up to $40 million each year for the next 20 years through lower electricity costs;

PRICE STABILITY: Diversifying the region’s energy supply mix with dependable hydropower will buffer Maine consumers from seasonal energy price spikes and better prepare us for the looming retirement of many existing power stations.

JOB CREATION: NECEC will support an average of 1,600 jobs during the five-year construction period, primarily in western Maine counties that need jobs;

GDP GROWTH: This investment in the transmission infrastructure will contribute to Maine’s economy, increasing the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $564 million. In addition, NECEC will expand fiber optic cable opportunities in Somerset and Franklin Counties and generate much needed economic development for western Maine;

TAX BENEFITS: Maine communities that host the project will be paid $18 million (best estimate) in increased property tax revenues annually with the largest share going to western Maine communities in Androscoggin, Franklin, and Somerset counties;

PROTECTING AGAINST ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS: NECEC mostly follows an existing right of way and will be built on land already owned or leased by the company. It includes 53 miles of commercial, working forest and 92 miles of existing transmission corridor. This route was carefully sited to avoid harmful impacts on wildlife and the landscape and has been approved by the Maine DEP;

RECREATIONAL ACCESS: It provides new and enhanced recreation opportunities to the western Maine region.

Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs cleanenergyjobs4me.org info@cleanenergyjobs4me.org (207) 712-0891 PO Box 2515 Augusta, ME 04338


All All across across New New England, England, business business owners owners are are finding finding new new ways ways to to succeed. succeed. Families are working hard to provide for their loved ones Families are working hard to provide for their loved ones and their future. It’s the spirit of New Englanders that and their future. It’s the spirit of New Englanders that inspires all of us to do more. It’s in our employees, our inspires all of us to do more. It’s in our employees, our customers, and our communities. customers, and our communities. Every day we do more. Because at Bangor Savings Bank, Every day we do more. Because at Bangor Savings Bank, we truly believe you matter more. we truly believe you matter more.

1.877.Bangor1 | www.bangor.com | Member FDIC 1.877.Bangor1 | www.bangor.com | Member FDIC


RIGHT WHEN IT WAS NEEDED THE MOST,

AN EARLY $17 MILLION MEMIC DIVIDEND. CHECKS WERE DELIVERED TO ELIGIBLE EMPLOYERS IN EVERY MAINE COUNTY. MEMIC, the state’s largest workers’ compensation insurance company, declared an early dividend for its approximately 18,000 Maine policyholders. Normally, MEMIC’s board of directors decides in September if it can issue an annual dividend but these are not normal times. Though MEMIC is not immune to the economic challenges created by the pandemic, the company was confident in its financial strength. That confidence led the board to act earlier to get welldeserved money back to its policyholders. The board also directed the company to expedite dividend delivery, so checks were issued immediately. The average dividend was approximately $1,100. Adding $17 million throughout the entire state certainly helped thousands of employers as well as the Maine economy during this stressful time. This success is largely due to a relentless commitment to workforce safety and compassionate care for injured workers.

Since its creation in 1993, MEMIC has helped reduce work-related injuries in Maine by more than 50 percent which has helped reduce insurance premiums by more than 60 percent. However, for the more than 320,000 injuries that have occurred during the last 27 years in Maine, MEMIC has paid in excess of $1.9 billion in medical and wage-replacement benefits fulfilling its promise for fair and equitable treatment of all workers.

HOW MUTUAL SUCCESS WORKS

RETURNING TO WORK SAFELY IN THE TIME OF COVID-19 To help ensure continued and shared financial success, MEMIC also offers detailed safety procedures at memic.com/ workplace-safety to guide employers and employees to safely re-enter their places of employment. Minimizing the risk of disease is everyone’s responsibility and these simple precautions will allow us all to remain as safe and healthy as possible. This is just another way MEMIC helps make workers’ comp work better.

Because MEMIC is a mutual insurance company owned and governed by its Maine policyholders, it may declare and distribute dividends when the company makes a profit. Gratefully, safety training, effective return-to-wellness programs and prudent financial management have helped MEMIC outperform expectations. For more than two decades, MEMIC has authorized payments that now total more than $302 million. Michael P. Bourque, President and CEO

Profile for Maine State Chamber of Commerce

OneVoice Maine 2020  

A publication of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce

OneVoice Maine 2020  

A publication of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded