OneVoice Maine Fall 2021

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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 Harold Alfond (1914-2007)

Celebrating a Legacy HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION


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The Children’s Center, an early childhood intervention and family support services organization for children with special needs, received another donation towards the planned expansion of its Augusta facility, shown here in a rendering.

Make a Difference with Alfond & Flanagan! The Children’s Center recently received a transformational gift that advances the future of the Center while honoring long time legacy supporters, David and Kaye Flanagan. The Harold Alfond Foundation has announced a $1,000,000 matching grant in tribute to David, a former Foundation trustee who recently lost his battle with pancreatic cancer, and his wife, Kaye, a former Children’s Center board member and dedicated advocate for children with special needs in the greater Kennebec Valley area. For decades, David and Kaye have committed their time, leadership and philanthropy to bettering our communities’ ability to support these children and their families. We are humbled by their dedication and grateful for the Harold Alfond Foundation’s generosity in honoring their history, which continues to enable our future.

David and Kaye Flanagan

“We are incredibly honored to receive this gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation,” said Jeff Johnson, Children’s Center executive director. “It is all that much more meaningful to be made in honor of David and Kaye Flanagan. He and Kaye have been such champions for this center, and for our champions: the children who work hard and develop here every day. This gift will go a long way toward our goal, and it will be a constant reminder of David and Kaye’s legacy of giving.”

www .AC hAmpion i n E vEry C hild . org For more information on the project and campaign, please contact Chelsea Moeller, director of donor engagement and capital projects for the Children’s Center, by emailing cmoeller@childrensctr.org or calling (207) 689-1476. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHILDREN’S CENTER | RENDERING COURTESY OF WBRC ARCHITECTS ENGINEERS


WELCOME

A Message from Chamber Leadership O N E Y E A R A N D T H R E E E D I T I O N S L AT E R , our pride in OneVoice Maine magazine continues

to grow with each publication. Building upon the themes of the two previous issues, this edition focuses on another Mainer who has left a significant and indelible mark on our state – Harold Alfond, the founder of Dexter Shoe Company. As you read these stories, you will quickly understand Harold’s philanthropic spirit is as legendary as his business acumen. Rooted deeply in collaboration, Harold certainly committed his life to making Maine a better place to live and work for all.

CLIF GREIM Board Chair; President, Frosty Hill Consulting

“True philanthropy requires a disruptive mindset, innovative thinking, and a philosophy driven by entrepreneurial insights and creative opportunities,” entrepreneur Naveen Jain once said. Harold possessed that mindset – using innovation, leadership, and engagement in the development of his manufacturing endeavors, as well as in the projects supported by his philanthropic foundation. At just 36 years old, Harold established the Harold Alfond Foundation, and since his passing in 2007, the foundation has continued his philanthropic legacy through investments that make “enduring, transformative contributions to the community and state of Maine.” Today, the Foundation invests in education, health care, and youth and community development causes, following the values of Harold Alfond, which maintain that: Young people are the future of Maine and deserve healthy communities, high-quality educational opportunities, and the chance to learn and grow through teamwork and athletics. The health and well-being of our communities rely on addressing pressing needs with strong leadership, creative and entrepreneurial solutions, and teamwork. An educated and healthy citizenry is vital for the future success of Maine, the well-being of our communities, and the strength of our economy. Those who live, work, play, and grow in our state deserve the best educational institutions and health care services.

DANA CONNORS President, Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Harold’s passions and principles resonate profoundly throughout the causes and communities in which he’s invested. American banker David Rockefeller noted that, “Philanthropy is involved with basic innovations that transform society, not simply maintaining the status quo or filling basic needs that were formerly the province of the public sector.” Whether you know it or not, Alfond Foundation grants are at work benefiting communities in every corner of our state. We owe a debt of gratitude to Harold for his vision, care, and passion. We hope you enjoy this edition of OneVoice Maine as we attempt to spotlight some of his many impactful projects. And more importantly, as we progress through the pandemic recovery, we hope you find projects in your community that inspire you, that transform your corner of Maine, and that empower the next generation of Mainers to do the same.

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Maine State Chamber of Commerce


“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 Bottom Line” podcast, “The Maine Take” livestream program, or our many other Newsroom resources including Daily Business Headlines emailed every workday morning, 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

O N E V O I C E M(207) A I N E / F623-4568 ALL 2021 3


CONTENTS

Contents .FEATURE STORIES Harold Alfond (1914–2007) ...............................................................6 Harold Alfond’s Vision and Generosity Position Maine for Global Education Leadership: University of Maine System.............62 The Harold Alfond Foundation: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow.................................................... 72 .MAINE VOICES A Message from U.S. Senator Susan Collins................................... 16

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Maine State Chamber of Commerce

.SCHOOL PROFILES A History of Support from the Harold Alfond Foundation: University of New England ............................................................. 18 Bringing Promising Futures within Reach: Thomas College .......... 24 Seeing the Potential in Every Person: Maine Community College System.................................................34 The Gift that Started It All: Colby College .......................................38 A $100 Million Promise: The Roux Institute at Northeastern University ..............................54 .COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES The Waterville Legacy of Mr. Harold Alfond ...................................28 A Legacy Like No Other: The Alfond Scholarship Foundation................................................42 Health Care Here at Home .............................................................46 Good Shepherd Food Bank .............................................................58

PHOTO: ADOBESTOCK.COM / PUT

.A MESSAGE FROM CHAMBER LEADERSHIP...........................2


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

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Dana Connors President PROJECT MANAGEMENT Angela Arno Director of Events & Programs CONTENT REVIEW Melanie Baillargeon Director of Communications Mark Ellis Membership Specialist Jen Webber Communications Consultant ADVERTISING SALES TEAM Melody Rousseau Sponsorship & Advertising Sales Manager Peter Gore Executive Vice President Linda Caprara Senior Government Relations Specialist Ben Lucas Government Relations Specialist Angela Ouellette Executive Assistant to the President Scott Samson Financial Coordinator

OneVoice Maine AT&T is proud to partner with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce by sponsoring 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.

Simon West Financial Assistant DESIGN & PRODUCTION Sage Solutions

Cover Photo: Courtesy the University of Maine Photos were provided with permission from the subject of each profile, story, or article.

© 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.

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F E AT U R E S T O R Y

H A R O L D A L F O N D I S B E S T K N O W N for

school; and MaineGeneral’s state-of-the-

his iconic business acumen, his enthusi-

art Center for Cancer Care. One would

asm for sports, and for his dedication to

be hard pressed to travel around Maine

philanthropy. Those who knew him best

and not come across a community, or an

remember him for those things, but also

individual, who benefitted from the gen-

as an incredibly hard-working man from

erosity of Harold Alfond.

humble beginnings, a devoted father, a

Harold was born in Swampscott,

loyal friend, and someone who always

Massachusetts, on March 6, 1914. His par-

had a sparkle in his eyes as he took in the

ents, Simon and Rose Alfond, were Russian

world around him.

Jewish immigrants. He had five siblings:

Harold Alfond Written by Sheila D. Grant

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Maine State Chamber of Commerce

David, Anne, Bertha, Gladys, and Grace.

yet did some of his best thinking on the

Harold was a born philanthropist.

road, all while nurturing relationships

“He was very charitable to his friends,

with the many friends, family members,

because he would be giving many of his

and employees who shuttled him around

clothes and things to friends who need-

Maine and beyond.

ed them,” said Ted Alfond, Harold and

He was a man who understood

Bibby Alfond’s oldest son. “His parents

human nature well enough to insist that

passed when I was quite young, but in

many partners come to the table, and

listening to his siblings talk, he would say

that every one of them have some “skin in

he lost his shirt or socks or shoes, when

the game” so that they would be invested

he was really giving them away to his

in the project

young friends.”

at hand. Har-

Harold came of age during the Great

old also had

Depression. Many employees at Dexter

a keen sense

Shoe may have been surprised to know

about young people; when he saw po-

that Harold’s first job was in a shoe factory.

tential, he would back a young person

“His parents were poor. His dad

who might not otherwise have gone on

worked in a shoe factory, and that’s how

to a successful career.

he got into shoe manufacturing,” said Ted.

(1914-2007)

Over his lifetime, Harold Alfond made

Harold started out in the position

major contributions to over 30 buildings

of “odd shoe boy” at Kesslen Shoe Com-

that bear his name: six athletic centers;

pany immediately after high school.

five ice arenas; four academic centers;

Despite going on to hold five honorary

two baseball stadiums; two outdoor

college and university degrees, he never

pools; a football stadium; the largest and

attended college. Instead, he credited

best youth center — the only combina-

his lessons in teamwork, fortitude, get-

tion YMCA and Boys & Girls Club in the

ting along with people, and the compet-

nation; the UNE Health Science Center —

itive spirit of athletics with positioning

home to Maine’s first and only medical

him for success.

PHOTOS: (LEFT) COURTESY THE HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION; (RIGHT) COURTESY THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

Harold was a man who rarely drove,


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F E AT U R E S T O R Y

Harold played football, basketball, and baseball in high school. He passed his love of sports, and those lessons learned,

“One of my earliest memories is go-

on to his own children. In addition to el-

ing with him to Colby, watching football

dest son, Ted, Harold and his wife, Doro-

and baseball games as a young person,”

thy “Bibby” (Levine) Alfond, had a daugh-

Ted recalled. “Those are some of the

ter, Susan, sons Bill and the late Peter

ways Dad taught us.”

Alfond, who died in 2017 at age 65.

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Maine State Chamber of Commerce

Taking the children to athletic events was also high on Harold’s list.

Harold also used to have college

The Alfond children played basketball,

coaches and counselors stay with the

ping pong and dodgeball at the Water-

family at their summer place in Belgrade.

ville Boys & Girls Club from a young age,

The children also learned the im-

recalled Ted, who is now Chairman of the

portance of a good work ethic, more by

Board at Dexter Enterprises, as well as a

example than by any direct teaching. “He

trustee at the Harold Alfond Foundation.

would spend 7:00 to 9:00 in the morn-

PHOTOS: COURTESY THE HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION

ABOVE: Harold Alfond, in 1955, stepping into the Alfond Ice Arena at Colby College — his first major project. OPPOSITE: Harold, Bibby, Ted, Susan, Bill and Peter


ing with us and the coaches, playing var-

brother to drive him all the way to Ver-

ious things, and then off he would go

mont — in the pouring rain — to watch

owner of the team. The story of how Harold acquired his

to work,” Ted recalled. “It was just the

his kid play. “He was the only parent at

first shoe manufacturing plant is the stuff

observation of him, as a youth, seeing

that game to watch us play,” Ted said.

of legends. In 1939, while on their way to

him going off to work. One thing that

“That is a fun memory of how he contin-

the Skowhegan Fair, Harold Alfond and a

he learned from athletics was to have a

ued to support us in our athletics.”

friend picked up a hitchhiker who told

good team around him, and that team

Ted recalled his father attending

them about a shoe factory for sale in

was teaching us athletics — or it was his

World Series playoff games frequently,

Norridgewock. Harold never arrived at

own team at work. He showed great lead-

bringing the children banners, pictures

the fair, instead touring the abandoned

ership to that team, so he did have time

and baseball gloves. By the time his

factory. A year later, using proceeds

to spend with his family.”

children were grown, Harold Alfond and

from the sale of his car, Harold and his

Harold Alfond did not like to drive,

his family were owners of the Boston

father bought the plant for $1,000 and

usually having someone drive him plac-

Red Sox, initially through the invitation

launched Norrwock Shoe Company.

es. He was the type of dad who got his

of the late Jean Yawkey, the previous

In 1944, Harold sold the Norrwock O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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F E AT U R E S T O R Y

“Whatever you can give, you’ve got to give.

You’ve got to make your town better; you’ve got to make your state better; you’ve got to make everyone better — because they can’t get by on promises.” HAROLD ALFOND Shoe Company to Shoe Corporation of America for $1.1 million. Valuing Harold’s energy and talent as an executive, the new owner retained him as company president, a position he held for 25 years. In 1956, U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith and former Maine Governor and U.S. Senator Owen Brewster asked Harold to help create jobs in Brewster’s hometown, Dexter. In 1958, Harold purchased a vacant woolen mill for $10,000 and launched Dexter Shoe Company. Not yet retired from Shoe Corporation, Harold would often work on his new company at night, Ted said. “He hoped this would be a family business, and that his children, as they got older, would come into the business,” said Ted, who graduated in 1968, one year after Dexter Shoe was officially launched. Ted worked the ever-growing sales and marketing side of Dexter Shoe out of the Boston office for his entire career, “working my way up doing many various things over the years,” eventually becoming executive vice president of sales. In 1971, Harold Alfond pioneered the factory outlet store at Dexter Shoe’s Skowhegan plant. The company became one of the first manufacturers in the nation to retail its own products. Dexter would eventually expand this model to more than 80 outlet stores nationwide. At its peak, Dexter Shoe employed over 4,000 people, manufactured over 36,000 pairs of shoes daily and over 7.5 million annually, generating annual sales exceeding $250 million. What stands out most to Ted about his dad is that, “he wanted to give back, and that’s how the Harold Alfond Foun-

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Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTOS: COURTESY THE HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION

ABOVE: Harold on the factory floor. RIGHT: Ted Alfond, Harold Alfond, and Peter Lunder with employees and executives of Dexter Shoe Company.


dation got created. At that point, we were all partners in Dexter Shoe Company and when it got sold, we all did very well. We did not need any of my dad’s wealth, so he gave his whole wealth to his foundation so it could be carried on to help the state of Maine. He wanted at least 80% or higher to go to the state of Maine and to various things he was interested in. I would say that’s his biggest legacy — wanting to

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give back to a place that created his success — and to the people of Maine.” As his nephew, Peter Lunder had

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known Harold his entire life. The pair grew even closer during the years that Peter attended Colby College in Waterville, where his uncle lived. “I used to chauffer him around, so we had a lot of time to talk,” Peter said. Harold wanted to give Peter an opportunity in the shoe business. After about 18 months exploring his options, Peter accepted. “Harold still wanted me to come to Dexter Shoe and be a partner in the company. In 1958, I think it was, I went up and lived in Waterville and Dexter and joined Dexter Shoe,” recalled Peter. “We had a great relationship for 45 years at Dexter Shoe. It was a wonderful experience.” Things were informal at Dexter Shoe, Peter said. “We both wanted to be known by our first names because we considered everyone to be family.”

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There were many lessons for a young man working alongside Harold Alfond. These include that, “credibility is so important — it takes a lifetime to make a reputation and it takes a moment to destroy it,” Peter said. His uncle also told him, “If you want to be known, to be credible, be fair, but be firm.” Other lessons included the value of

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hard work, the importance of being a good citizen, and paying attention to details. “He used to say ‘chop wood and keep chopping and the pile will grow higher and higher,’” Peter said. “And one of the big lessons was the KISS theory — keep everything simple.” There were many high points over

www.crossagency.com O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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the years, including ownership of the

lot of other people in this state and else-

Red Sox, selling Dexter Shoe Company

where.”

“I knew Harold since childhood,” said Greg Powell, Chairman of the Board

to Berkshire Hathaway, and “being in-

Peter shares one humorous story:

of Trustees at the Harold Alfond Foun-

volved with Harold when he tried to help

“One day, Harold came up to Dexter late

dation. “My father was his dentist, and

young people. He was a staunch support-

in the morning and walked all through

he followed my career as I went through

er of young people and all the people of

the office and came into my office and

school and became an attorney. When

Maine.”

he said, ‘Peter, I think you’re slipping a

I was a kid, Harold would invite my dad

One of the more oft repeated Harold

bit.’ I asked, ‘Why do you say that?’ And

and me to go to Red Sox, Celtics and

Alfond axioms is, “Don’t tell me; show

he said, ‘I just walked through the office

Bruins games. He would bring one or

me!”

and everyone is watching the television.’

more of his sons, as well, so I knew them

“He really didn’t like to speak,” Pe-

Like me, he didn’t know how to run the

at a very early age.”

ter recalled. “He’d rather perform deeds;

computers or the Internet or all that. He

When Harold needed to organize

rather do things than talk about them.

thought it was televisions that all the

the management of his family’s wealth

He was a doer. He made every minute

workers in the office were watching. That

following the sale of Dexter Shoe in 1993

count, both in his personal and business

is a famous Harold story,” he said with a

to Warren Buffett for Berkshire Hathaway

life. And he had great common sense. We

chuckle.

stock, he turned to Greg for advice. Greg

all miss his being on this earth because

Harold’s deep interest in people ex-

had been working with the University of

he was a good man, a great humanitari-

tended to most with whom he came into

New England, which was trying, with-

an, and a great role model for me and a

contact — sometimes changing lives.

out much luck, to raise funds for a new

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: COURTESY THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

F E AT U R E S T O R Y 12

Harold Alfond at a UMaine hockey game in 1977


health science center.

minded very early in his life, after the

know, and it was a beautiful fall day —

“I thought it was something that Har-

sale of Norrwock Shoe Company to Shoe

whitecaps on Great Pond. He looked at

old should take a look at, so we took a

Corporation of America. He and his wife,

the worksheet and saw how much money

trip down and took a look, unbeknownst

Bibby, were always very charitably mind-

was there for Maine kids and their future,

to anybody else,” Greg recalled.

ed, especially in their local community.

to give them each $500, and we agreed

They were impressed by the UNE

As the Dexter Shoe sale occurred and

that this was a great idea. That was a great

Biddeford campus, and, with health care

the wealth grew, he continued to want to

moment,” he said.

being such a huge calling nationwide,

share that wealth with the state of Maine

“I have so many memories of Harold

with the university’s focus on educating

and its people. The Foundation really got

that I could go on for hours about it,”

a variety of health care providers.

its legs in 1996. It has grown considerably

Greg said, pausing for a moment to think,

since then, to an asset base today of over

and then laughing. “I remember anoth-

$1.5 billion.”

er College Challenge story. After we sat

“I had no particular mission, other than that this was a great school doing a

and looked at that worksheet, we called a

Harold Alfond’s love for work and charitable causes continued into his 90s, when he would often remind friends and family that he had much work to do and would not “retire until

at least 10 years after I’m dead.”

meeting at the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta.” The CEO of the Finance Authority of Maine was invited, along with Governor John Baldacci and several others. However, Harold had been after the governor for quite some time about adding an exit ramp to the interstate that would help people more easily access the Alfond Center for Cancer Care. Thinking this was going to be the meeting topic, the

great thing, and Harold did great things,”

One thing that Greg would like peo-

governor brought in a group from the

Greg said. In 1994, “he made the largest

ple to know about is Harold’s, “high re-

Maine Department of Transportation

gift in the history of UNE for the Harold

gard for the regular, ordinary people. He

with charts and easels, “and they sort of

Alfond Center for Health Sciences, which

wasn’t an intellectual — he certainly had

took over the meeting,” Greg recalled.

was a matching gift, and then he did a

his share of experiences with them — but

“The point was to ask these people

second one.

he always had a fondness in life for the

how they would feel if $500 could be

“On the day he decided to make that

little guy and wanting to help the little

given to every baby born in Maine, but

second gift, he asked if I would come to

guy or gal,” said Greg. “That’s what is

we would need the governor and the

work with him, to set up wealth manage-

behind the College Challenge program,

Finance Authority to help. Instead, they

ment for the family and to help him with

too, is that every child, no matter where

started with a discussion of plans for the

his philanthropy,” Greg said.

they come from, gets this gift for the fu-

exit. So Harold interrupts them and says,

Greg came on board in 1996, when

ture.” Through this program, every baby

‘Listen, boys, I’m interested in hearing

Dexter Enterprises, the family wealth

born a Maine resident receives $500, au-

what you have to say, but we’re here to

management firm, was started. Harold’s

tomatically invested for his or her future

talk about some big money.’”

philanthropic foundation existed long

higher education expenses.

Harold Alfond had a knack for get-

before 1996 — he and Bibby established

“I was talking with him about this

ting to the heart of a matter. “He was a

their first philanthropic trust in 1950,

idea, and it was in the last autumn of his

man of few words, but usually what he

long before the Dexter Shoe success. As

life,” Greg recalled. “We were sitting at

would say would get to the essence of

the years went by, the foundation grew,

his camp in Belgrade, looking out over

a matter in a way that was astounding,”

the grants got larger, and there was more

Great Pond. We had two metal chairs

said Greg. “He was a good listener. He

wealth to manage, both for the family

opened up in front the garage and we

was able to think about a complex prob-

and for philanthropy.

were sitting there talking about this, and

lem and go to the very heart of it in a way

“The Harold Alfond Foundation is

what it might mean in terms of savings

that I think was his genius.”

a successor to that first philanthropic

and opportunities for Maine children. I

The 1966 advent of Dexter Shoe in

trust, so really, the Harold Alfond Foun-

was showing him a spreadsheet of how

Milo, “brought it back from what was ba-

dation has existed for over half a centu-

the money would grow over time for the

sically a ghost town,” said Paul Bradeen,

ry,” Greg explained. “He was charitably

benefit of the children he would never

who was the plant manager there for 34 O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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F E AT U R E S T O R Y

store fixtures rather than shoes. He was very pleased to see young men from Milo doing some good work in one of his factories. “The last trip he made, he was in failing health, but his wish was to go to Milo one last time, so his men bundled him up and brought him,” Paul said, even though Harold had to tour the facility in a wheelchair. “This was very close to the end of his life. I think he loved the sound of machinery working, the hum, the smell, everything that goes with manufacturing. I think it was in his blood.” Harold Alfond was a complex, accomplished, larger-than-life individual who will be remembered for generations to come. Perhaps Greg Powell summed him up best with this recollection from his address at Harold’s Celebration of Life at Colby College on June 1, 2008: “In the last business meeting of his life, there was a pause in our work as we looked out over Great Pond. He had decided that every child in Maine should have a college fund.

Harold and Bibby at their Belgrade camp

On the table in front of Harold sat a thick report detailing a lifetime of charitable gifts, his promises to make future

The Alfonds have not forgotten Milo,

gifts, and a statement of his entire life’s

and at-home positions. A lot of women

Paul said, pointing to outdoor basketball

savings which he would leave to charity,

were employed; it might have been a

courts, the library, a new multi-purpose

to the Harold Alfond Foundation — the

two-to-one ratio. If it wasn’t a double in-

building at Elm Street Park, and new

first foundation in Maine and soon to be

come for a family, it provided a first and

playground equipment at the elementa-

the largest.

only income for some people who were

ry and middle schools as projects which

single. The town really improved eco-

benefitted from Alfond family support.

nomically.”

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tainly a testimony to his judgement.”

had 400 people working in the factory

In that quiet moment of reflection, surrounded by family and the beauty of

Harold never forgot Milo, either.

Belgrade, Harold pounded his fist down

Paul remembers Harold as a tough,

When JSI purchased the former Dexter

on the report and said, ‘Some fellas have

but fair, boss. “Harold was a great man to

Shoe building, Paul Bradeen worked for

yachts, mansions and women. But I have

work for. He was demanding, which is fair

that company for eight years.

this.’

enough, but he was also very generous in

“On three or four occasions while I

For Harold Alfond, the point of having

praise when praise was deserved — and

was there, Harold would want to come

money was not self-indulgence; it was the

equally generous when criticism was

visit the Milo factory to see what was go-

good he brought to others by building and

needed — but he gave a fair assessment

ing on, so he would ask some of his key

sharing his wealth. And share he did!”

and you were rewarded accordingly.”

people in Dexter to bring him to Milo,”

Harold “had a lot of good wisdom

Paul recalled. “He would always be very

Harold Alfond died on November 16,

in terms of business decisions,” Paul re-

interested in what was going on in the

2007, at the age of 93, after a two-de-

called. “It wasn’t what you would call Wall

factory, and was always curious about

cade battle with cancer. Bibby, his be-

Street analysis. It was judgement based

the different facets of the manufactur-

loved wife of 62 years, predeceased him

on common sense. His success was cer-

ing process, even though it was wooden

in 2005.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: COURTESY THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

years. “At the highest point, I think we


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15


that decorate the beautiful building and grounds of the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care in Augusta bears these simple yet heartfelt words: “A grateful patient.” If there were a plaque that summed up the feelings of people across Maine for Harold, his family, and the Alfond Foundation, it would read: “A grateful state.” Throughout his life, Harold was devoted to the well-being of our state and our people. He expressed that devotion with wisdom, energy, and exceptional generosity. ONE OF THE MANY DONOR PLAQUES

16

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: COURTESTY SENATOR SUSAN COLLINS

MAINE VOICES

A Message from U.S. Senator Susan Collins

Nothing illustrates his character more than the Center for Cancer Care. When he was confronted with the personal challenge of cancer, Harold thought of others. He could obtain the best possible care anywhere in the world, yet his concern was that Maine people obtain the best possible care right here in Maine. Harold’s character was revealed more than seven decades ago, when, as a young man just 36 years of age, he established the Harold Alfond Foundation, Maine’s first private foundation. Since that time, the foundation that Harold began with his beloved wife, Bibby, has contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to charitable causes, primarily in Maine. There is not a corner of our state that has not been touched by Harold’s generous spirit. Harold once said, “Whatever you can give you’ve got to give. You’ve got to make your town better. You’ve got to make your state better. You’ve got to make everyone better because they can’t get by on promises.” Nearly 14 years after his passing, Harold’s spirit lives on in the Foundation. It is evident in the extraordinary ongoing support for young people, athletics, education, healthcare, economic development, and many other endeavors. Just last year, the Foundation announced a transformational $500 million gift to Maine institutions that will strengthen workforce education and improve the quality of healthcare in our state. Harold’s philanthropy was based on his belief that everyone should give what they can, so he emphasized collaboration, teamwork, and community involvement. For example, the Alfond Youth Center in Waterville was built with funds donated by community members, matched dollar-for-dollar by the Foundation. Grants to educational institutions, including the University of Maine, Colby College, St. Joseph’s College, and Husson University often require that some of the funding support scholarships. The My Alfond Grant program Harold was preparing to launch near the end of his life gives Maine parents an incentive to begin saving for the higher education of their children from the day their babies are born. About a year and a half before the Center for Cancer Care opened in 2007, I was visiting MaineGeneral. While there, I was thrilled to run into Harold, who was also touring the hospital. That demonstrated to me what made him so special. He was always involved and engaged, always seeking to learn more so that his support was put to the best possible use. The powerful lesson of Harold’s life is that with success comes the opportunity to give back. That legacy is carried on today by his family and the Alfond Foundation, and for that we are truly grateful.


A Shared Vision for Maine Our deep and longstanding relationship with the Harold Alfond Foundation is based on a shared commitment to the health and educational needs of all Mainers, in alignment with Harold Alfond’s vision and legacy. As UNE has grown over the years, the Foundation has been a generous and inspiring partner, providing essential support at several critical phases of UNE’s development.

With the recent $30 million gift to support construction of a new building on our Portland Campus to house the College of Osteopathic Medicine and establish a unique regional hub for interprofessional health professions education, UNE is poised to take the next step in our evolution.

Current artist’s rendering shown; building plans may evolve.

With gratitude, we strive to be worthy of Harold Alfond’s generosity as we continue our remarkable partnership to build a strong future for Maine. www.une.edu O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

17


SCHOOL PROFILE

SCHOOL PROFILE | UNE

A History of Support from the Harold Alfond Foundati T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F N E W E N G L A N D ( U N E ) has a longstanding relationship with the Harold Alfond Foundation based on a shared commitment to meeting the health and educational needs of all Mainers and giving back to the communities of Maine. As Harold Alfond liked to say, “I can only wear one pair of pants at a time, and I would rather give them away than have them sit-

Written by Angela Coulombe ting around my closet.” Helping those who needed help was how he lived his life.

So on a fall day in 1993, Harold Alfond paid a co18

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTOS: COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

SUPPORTING THE UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND’S CONTINUED GROWTH AS MAINE’S LEADING HEALTH CARE EDUCATOR


tioners, scholars, and researchers across health professions to educate a future workforce in Maine. Alfond believed that UNE needed a state-of-the-art health sciences center to continue to be Maine’s leader in health care workforce education and that he could help spearhead this initiative. In 1995, the foundation that bears his name donated $2.5 million to build the Harold Alfond Center for Health Sciences, the anchor for UNE’s College of Osteopathic Medicine. Today, this three-story building houses numerous laboratories and lecture halls, used by medical, health professions, and athletic training students for study. The building also houses the Sewall Osteopathic Medicine Skills Laboratory, an open lab with 60 patient tables where medical, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and athletic training students practice manipulative medicine and physical examination techniques. Harold Alfond, a high school athlete and lifelong sports fan, also understood the positive relationship between athletics and academics and recognized that state-of-the-art educational and athletic facilities are fundamental resources that enhance the mental and physical well-being of students. In 2010, the Foundation continued its support of UNE by transforming campus life and athletics with a gift of $7 million to build the Harold Alfond Forum on UNE’s Biddeford campus. The athletic complex boasts a 900-seat NHL-size hockey rink, 1,200-seat basketball court, multipurpose indoor practice courts, modern locker rooms and a fitness center, and provides UNE’s student-athletes, both varsity and intramural, with outstanding amenities. Located next to UNE’s new synthetic blue turf football and softball fields, the forum also houses and provides premier facilities for UNE’s Ath-

ion

letic Training and Applied Exercise Science programs, with custom-designed

LEFT: The Harold Alfond Center for Health Sciences, University of New England, Biddeford, Campus. BELOW: Facility dedication plaque inside the main foyer of the Harold Alfond Forum, University of New England, Biddeford, Campus.

vert visit to UNE, accompanied by and at the persuasion of Greg Powell, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation but then a practicing lawyer. Greg had been inspired by practitioner alumni of UNE and by UNE’s passion, promise for growth, and the determination and quality of its faculty and students. Alfond recognized UNE’s entrepreneurial spirit — it houses the only medical school in Maine — and he also saw that UNE was unique in offering a broad range of health and health-related clinical disciplines that engaged practiO N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

19


SCHOOL PROFILE

ABOVE: The Harold Alfond Forum, University of New England, Biddeford, Campus LEFT: University of New England’s ice arena, housed inside the Harold Alfond Forum, Biddeford, Campus teaching and laboratory spaces. At the same time in 2010, in addition to the $7 million for the Forum, the Alfond Foundation awarded UNE another $3 million to support research and programming in interprofessional education, or IPE — a growing national movement in team-based collaborative health professions education. The Foundation’s most recent investment in the university was announced in October 2020, with a grant

“I CAN ONLY WEAR ONE PAIR OF PANTS AT A TIME, AND I WOULD RATHER GIVE THEM AWAY THAN HAVE THEM SITTING AROUND MY CLOSET.”

of UNE’s medical college from Biddeford

— HAROLD ALFOND

well as the College of Dental Medicine.

to a brand new, state-of-the-art building in Portland, where it will join UNE’s many health profession programs in the Westbrook College of Health Professions as The new 110,000-square-foot medical education building will strengthen what has become UNE’s signature, nationally

20

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTOS: COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

of $30 million to support the relocation


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300 Main Street | Lewiston, Maine 04240 | 207-795-0111 O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

21


SCHOOL PROFILE University of New England president, James Herbert, PhD, with Gregory Powell, Alfond Foundation chairman, attend a press conference held on the University of New England’s Portland Campus in October 2020, which announced the Foundation’s latest gift to the University.

that the new state-of-the-art facility to be built on the Portland Campus as UNE COM’s new home will greatly enhance

intelligence, robotics, health data dis-

versity provides to its medical students

al education, thanks to the Foundation’s

covery and application — all especially

as the result of the building’s specially

earlier investment in IPE.

critical in meeting the needs of rural res-

designed learning spaces and advanced

The relocation of the medical col-

idents living in isolated areas away from

technological components. This 21st

lege will establish on UNE’s Portland

population centers. The new building

century digital health education will

Campus a health professions education

will be adjacent to an expanded patient

help ensure all Maine residents receive

hub unprecedented in Maine and New

simulation center that can accommo-

equitable access to quality health care.

England, helping UNE fulfill its mission

date large cohorts of student teams en-

Hebert also noted how the Alfond

to bring health disciplines together on

gaging in case studies and collaborative

gift will benefit the Biddeford Cam-

one campus where students will learn

learning. The new Portland campus will

pus. “By relocating the College of Os-

to work in integrated teams. The cut-

fully integrate all of UNE’s professional

teopathic Medicine to the Portland

ting-edge facilities will allow UNE to sig-

health care education programs with its

Campus, we will be able to expand our

nificantly increase the number of physi-

health-related Centers for Excellence,

undergraduate and graduate program-

cians trained each year and will create a

including those in Collaborative Edu-

ming in several market-aligned fields of

digital health teaching center to focus

cation, Aging and Health, Digital Health,

study as well as grow many of our cur-

on telehealth and digital health technol-

and Public Health.

rent programs by taking advantage of

ogies such as wearable devices, artificial 22

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

UNE President James Herbert noted

the availability of additional labs, class-

PHOTO: COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF NEW ENGLAND

the quality of education that the unirecognized programs in interprofession-


Building Communities — Together. rooms, and other spaces vacated by the medical school. This is only possible thanks to the generous and visionary investment of the Harold Alfond Foundation,” he shared.

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“The Foundation has stood behind the mission and growth of UNE for the past 25 years,” says Powell. “Though Har-

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old Alfond made many gifts to higher education, there were none of which he was more proud than his first gift to UNE in 1995 for the health science center in Biddeford. The Foundation could feel back in 1995, as we know for a fact today, that the university would grow into its name and become a great contributor to Maine, its economy, and the health of its people. Today, the Foundation still sees a great and promising future for Maine and

Thank you, Harold Alfond & The Harold Alfond Foundation, for investing in Maine’s future. We’re honored to be your partner. — Your Friends at FAME

its people, and we see UNE as a huge part of that future.” O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

23


SCHOOL PROFILE

SCHOOL PROFILE | THOMAS COLLEGE

INVESTING IN MAINE’S WORKFORCE THROUGH THOMAS COLLEGE Written by Erin Baltes

ABOVE: Thomas College students make their way to class inside the Harold Alfond Academic Center. 24

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

A S A W AT E R V I L L E I N S T I T U T I O N , Thom-

preparing them for personal and profes-

as College has literally been around the

sional success.

block. The school began in a classroom

That focus has helped many Mainers

over the old F.W. Woolworth building

succeed in their quests to earn college

downtown in 1894. Decades later, hav-

degrees and build careers — and, in turn,

ing outgrown the space, it was moved to

allowed Thomas to enlist the help of the

Silver Street as Thomas Junior College.

Harold Alfond Foundation.

In 1971, the college found its permanent

“Thomas College offers an academ-

home on West River Road along the Ken-

ic experience to students who want and

nebec River. Though it has relocated and

need to be brought in and benefit from

seen many upgrades, new majors, and

that college experience,” said Harold Al-

more than 8,500 graduates in its 127-year

fond Foundation Chairman Greg Powell.

history, Thomas College has held fast to

“That helps move our country in the right

its commitment to serving students and

direction — right in Waterville, Maine.”

PHOTO: FJ GAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

Bringing Promising Futures Within Reach


ing and future enrollees. The project was

sors, and the college’s library had seen

about more than sports; it would have

little change since its construction in

a long-lasting impact on its growth and

the 1970s. Then-President Dr. George

sustainability, thus improving the col-

R. Spann and the Board of Trustees saw

lege’s ability to graduate more students.

clearly that a new phase of growth was on

With some outreach among the college’s

the horizon for Thomas College.

leadership, as well as hard work among

As leadership developed a campus

students, who produced a compelling

master plan that aligned with the col-

video asking Mr. Alfond to visit campus,

lege’s growth strategy, one of the top

the philanthropist agreed and The Har-

and most immediate needs was for a

old Alfond Foundation came to invest in

new academic building. Again, the team

THE HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION BEGAN INVESTING IN THOMAS COLLEGE AND ITS STUDENTS IN THE 1980s, INSPIRED BY ITS NAMESAKE, HAROLD ALFOND AND HIS UNWAVERING COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION AND THE CITY OF WATERVILLE. the project with a $1.25 million challenge,

set out to generate the funding need-

committing to match each dollar raised

ed, buoyed by its own investment — and

for the effort.

would, at the same time, seek to grow

As the project timeline advanced, the college’s campaign to generate a total of

scholarship aid and other student-centered programs.

$4.6 million for construction was slight-

Harold Alfond Foundation Chair-

ly short and needed a final push to get

man Greg Powell, having taken the reins

it across the finish line. Harold offered a

after Harold’s passing, announced in

second challenge, the first having been

a surprise event on campus the Foun-

a success: raise $300,000 in the next 40

dation’s next challenge to the Thomas

days and, through the Foundation, he

community: a $5 million matching op-

would match it. This generous offer also

portunity that could be leveraged to

proved successful.

spur on excitement for the project and

“I’ll never forget meeting with Harold about the project,” recalled long-

donations for the Dream. Transform. Achieve. Campaign.

START I NG WI TH S P ORT S

time board member and alumnus Con-

“We held that event in a room

The Harold Alfond Foundation began

rad Ayotte. “He was very pleased with

packed with students,” said Associate VP

investing in Thomas College and its stu-

the results and quietly said, ‘Don’t for-

of Advancement Erin Baltes. “The looks

dents in the 1980s, inspired by its name-

get that I do academic buildings too.’

on their faces about the Harold Alfond

sake, Harold Alfond, and his unwavering

We never forgot that.”

Foundation’s gift — they were priceless. It

commitment to education and the City of Waterville. In the early 2000s, the college be-

was an incredible way for the Foundation to inspire students, so many of whom are

E X PA N D I NG ACA DE MIC CA PACIT Y The

college’s

enrollment

did

in-

from Maine and the first in their families

gan planning for an athletic center that

deed begin to grow, bolstered by the

to attend college, to care about and par-

would support health and recreation-

38,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Ath-

ticipate in philanthropy themselves.”

al opportunities, as well as the training

letic Facility, as well as new majors, fac-

The Harold Alfond Academic Cen-

needs of its athletic teams. Adding the

ulty members, and a residence hall. By

ter was constructed and opened in

facility would help improve the campus

2009, classrooms were oversubscribed,

2014 thanks to the Foundation’s sup-

and meet a significant need among exist-

there was a need for additional profes-

port and the successful matching effort. O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

25


SCHOOL PROFILE

“ANY INSTITUTION THAT GUARANTEES ITS GRADUATES A JOB IS AN INSTITUTION WE WANT TO SUPPORT.”

The 34,000-square-foot facility houses

graduates a job is an institution we want

classrooms, the Kenneth and Eva Green

to support,” said Powell, referring to

Library, a financial center, faculty offic-

Thomas’s Guaranteed Job Program.

es, study rooms, a café, and the college’s

“To be prosperous and to remain

Student Success Center, where students

leaders in the world, our state and our

can access tutoring and mentoring sup-

country need to educate more of its cit-

ports from both peers and professionals.

izens,” he continued. “The jobs of the

“The space spoke to them and says,

future are going to require education.

G R E G P O W E L L ‘You belong in this kind of environment.

Thomas helps us get there and they do

You are worthy of this,’” said Debbie

it in a very effective way, by reaching out

Cunningham, VP of Student Success and

to first-generation college students and

Engagement.

bringing them into an environment that

In addition to the physical space, the Harold Alfond Foundation earmarked $1

is vibrant, with great faculty and leadership. What more could you ask for?”

ABOVE: The Harold Alfond Academic Center opened in 2014 and added classrooms, a new library, faculty offices, and welcoming study spaces to the Thomas College campus. 26

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

ation of the Alfond Scholars Program,

THE NE XT HOR IZ ON

providing scholarship aid to hardwork-

Under the leadership of its first female

ing Maine students with financial need.

president and Thomas alumna Laurie

The endowed gift was another signal to

Lachance, the college looked to cel-

the college, its students, and supporters

ebrate its long history of educating

that Thomas was worthy of investment.

Maine’s business community. President

“Any institution that guarantees its

Lachance made the case to the Founda-

PHOTO: FJ GAYLOR PHOTOGRAPHY

million of its $5 million gift in the cre-


tion that embracing innovation in business was key to the state’s economic future — and that Thomas was the school to help do it, with the Foundation’s help. Thus was born the Harold Alfond In-

College

stitute for Business Innovation, a center for instruction, training, events, mentoring, and access to talent — all within the context of entrepreneurship and innovation — for the small to mid-sized businesses of central Maine and beyond. Spurred on by the college’s growth and service to students and the central Maine region, in 2020, the Harold Alfond Foundation announced its next significant commitment to Thomas College students: a gift of $13.5 million — the largest in the college’s history — in support of a variety of initiatives. These included supporting the college’s sustained excellence and growth through the launch of new academic programs in leading-edge fields; enhanced student retention programs; expanded affordability initiatives; and a deepening of academic and employer community partnerships through the Harold Alfond Institute for Business

UNDERGRADUATE & GRADUATE PROGRAMS Flexible full-time, part-time and on-line courses in: • Business • Entrepreneurship • Technology • Education • Criminal justice • Psychology

WHY THOMAS? GUARANTEED JOB PROGRAM 1st in the nation 23rd in the nation in VALUE Money Magazine 2017 Top 15% in upward mobility NY Times data 2017

Innovation. “The Foundation’s historic gift is a true vote of confidence in our vision of providing unparalleled professional and career development that is affordable and grounded in a solid foundation of business, technology, and innovation, and our college’s legacy of producing the workforce to catalyze economic growth,” said President Laurie Lachance, who took the helm in 2012 and is herself a Thomas alumna. “The Harold Alfond Foundation has clearly been a frequent benefactor,” said Ayotte. “From starting with construction and supporting the growth of our campus, they have invested in so much more — particularly the successful academic and scholarship programs that are vital to our students and our economy. What we are really talking about here is encouraging people to believe in the dream of a college degree — and then helping

PERSONAL. PRACTICAL. GUARANTEED.

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thomas.edu/training

them achieve that dream.” O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

27


COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

Written by Kimberly Nadeau Lindlof, president & CEO, Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce and executive director, Central Maine Growth Council

28

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

T H E T R U T H I S T H AT I D O N O T K N O W

the hometown of Bibby Levine Alfond,

exactly when it began. I assume that it

whose family owned Levine’s Clothing

was sometime before 1943 that Harold

Store, it has been blessed by the Harold

Alfond fell in love with and married Dor-

Alfond Foundation as well as the Bill and

othy “Bibby” Levine. I believe that he fell

Joan Alfond Foundation. (Bill is the third

in love with Waterville at the same time.

child of Harold and Bibby Alfond, and

Thank goodness for us, he did. Not long

Joan is his accomplished wife.)

after that, their four children came along.

Harold Alfond Foundation’s areas

In 1950 at age 36, Mr. Alfond started a

of focus are around health care, educa-

foundation, the first private foundation

tion, and youth and community develop-

in the state of Maine: www.haroldalfond

ment. “And community development” is

foundation.org. Waterville area organi-

a relatively new piece of its philanthropy.

zations were not the only beneficiaries

I imagine that the community develop-

of the Foundation’s generosity, but as

ment piece began when Harold’s good

PHOTOS: MID-MAINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The Waterville Legacy of Mr. Ha


arold Alfond friend and former trustee, Bob Marden, drew a “jock strap” around the Waterville Opera House’s proscenium drawn on a cocktail napkin during a conversation that the two men were having about a matching grant opportunity for the Opera House’s capital campaign. Seems that Bob completely understood and was able to expand Mr. Alfond’s propensity for sponsoring college athletics and was hoping to get him to include the arts in addition to his sports endeavors. Harold’s and the Foundation’s love

ABOVE & OPPOSITE: Greg Powell of the Alfond Foundation and Mid-Maine Chamber directors join city officials and Waterville parks & recreation employees to celebrate the official opening of the new Alfond Municipal Pool on North Street in Waterville. LEFT: Dedication plaque that hangs at the Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center at Colby College Colby College.

for college athletics is certainly true in O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

29


COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

our region. Thomas College and Colby College have been and continue to be beneficiaries of the Foundation’s generosity as evidenced by Colby College’s new Athletic Center. Alfond Youth and Community

Center

(AYCC)

honored

Harold Alfond in 2007, building the only licensed replica mini–Fenway Park in Oakland, at the Camp Tracy location where Iron Man of Baseball Cal Ripken was on hand for the dedication. Good Will-Hinckley’s campus has been a recipient of Mr. Alfond’s generosity (that is where I first met him) as well as Kennebec Valley Community College’s (KVCC) former Averill Annex, the Harold and Bibby Alfond building. KVCC’s gym is also the Harold Alfond Recreation Center. “The Harold Alfond Foundation has been a sustaining partner to Maine’s institutions for decades, all with an eye toward bettering the lives of the people who call Maine home. From Harold Alfond’s first gift to build Colby’s hockey rink in the 1950s to the remarkable ingenuity and vision the Foundation has shown in supporting Waterville’s revitalization, central Maine is thriving because of the generosity and foresight of the Alfond family and Greg Powell, the Foundation’s chairman. We couldn’t be more fortunate to have such caring and inspired partners, who keep the spirit of Harold and Bibby Alfond so present and vital in our lives,” offers Colby College President David Greene. (FYI – Greg Powell is a Waterville native as well.) The Foundation has supported the birth of several nonprofits in the region. Educare Central Maine was the first of its kind in New England and would not The beautiful faces of children at Educare Central Maine.

have happened without Alfond support and advocacy by Joan and Bill in particuhensive early learning and development center in Waterville, Maine. It provides childcare and preschool options to families with children from six weeks to age five that are facing barriers to accessing high-quality early learning,” according to Educare Central Maine’s website.

30

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTOS: EDUCARE CENTRAL MAINE

lar. “Educare Central Maine is a compre-


Classroom size is small by design, giving

Kids program at AYCC, which engages stu-

fundraising and construction of its $4.9

master-educated level teachers the op-

dents civically by mentoring area youth.

million capital campaign, I was able

portunity to work one-on-one with their

AYCC is the first and only combined Boys

to both witness and participate in the

students. The facility is co-located next

& Girls Club and YMCA under one roof.

process of soliciting and receiving the

to the George Mitchell School, Water-

“Thanks to the generosity of the

Foundation’s contributions. Waterville,

ville’s K-3 grade school. As you can see,

Harold Alfond Foundation tens of thou-

home to Maine’s first international film

the educational journey from six weeks

sands of children and their families have

festival, is largely centered at the Water-

through college, is a priority for the Har-

been served in central Maine. The Alfond

ville Opera House. Waterville Creates,

old Alfond Foundation.

Youth and Community Center reaches

the umbrella organization for the arts in Waterville, at the urging of the Harold Al-

THE FONDNESS THAT THE FOUNDATION SHOWS TO WATERVILLE AREA ASSOCIATIONS IS PALPABLE. IT WOULD BE HARD TO LIVE IN THIS AREA AND NOT BE TOUCHED BY THEIR GENEROSITY BESTOWED.

fond Foundation, consolidated the back office functions and administrative oversight of the Waterville Opera House, and the Maine Film Center that produces the Maine International Film Festival and operates Railroad Square Cinemas. Currently, in partnership with Col-

I have been in more than one meet-

out to over a hundred towns and their

by College, Waterville Creates is con-

ing with Bill, as well as his son Justin when

citizens providing essential childcare,

structing an $18 million Paul Schupf Arts

he was in the legislature, and listened to

addressing food insecurity and men-

Center that will include a box office,

them speak fondly of their childhood

tal health concerns, while opening the

café, rehearsal space, Railroad Square

experiences growing up and traveling to

doors for recreational activities for the

Cinemas (relocated), administrative of-

Waterville to visit their family, especial-

entire family. The Peter Alfond Founda-

fices, a modern art gallery, and Ticonic

ly their cousins. The fondness that they

tion has granted opportunities to the

Art Gallery including artists’ makerspace

show to Waterville area associations is

AYCC in conjunction with MaineGeneral

— a collaborative workspace for making,

palpable. It would be hard to live in this

Health with cutting edge wellness pro-

learning, exploring, and sharing, which

area and not be touched by their gener-

grams. These programs will be critical

uses common resources to create art.

osity bestowed. My average routine for

for making a strong impact for years to

The Paul Schupf Arts Center is located in

example: for years on Monday at noon,

come,” according to Ken Walsh, chief ex-

the heart of downtown at 93 Main Street,

I would attend Rotary meetings in the

ecutive officer of AYCC.

where the former Stern’s Department

Alfond Library housed within the Alfond

It is because of the Harold Alfond

Store once stood. Completion is slated

Youth and Community Center, adjacent

Foundation that the Kennebec Valley re-

to the Alfond Municipal Pool on North

gion has a state-of-the-art cancer center

Shannon Haines, president and CEO

Street, which the Foundation has paid

and high-quality health care at Maine-

of Waterville Creates states, “The Harold

for not once, but twice.

General Health.

Alfond Foundation’s investment in Water-

for the fall of 2022.

Colby College is located just up the

As board chair of the Waterville Op-

ville Creates has enabled us to strengthen

hill and promotes its Colby Cares About

era House during the final two years of

the long-standing, beloved arts organiza-

Little Known Fact

Harold Alfond is credited for inventing the factory outlet store. He opened his first factory damaged (mistakes made during manufacturing) store in Skowhegan. It was not long before demand was outlasting supply, and Mr. Alfond introduced stale inventory into the mix. Stale inventory is defined as those shoes that are first grade but for whatever reason were not selling well in the wholesale market. O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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32

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTOS: MID-MAINE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES ABOVE: Bill and Joan Alfond cutting the ribbon for The Bill & Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, a living and learning community that offers apartmentstyle residences in the heart of downtown Waterville. RIGHT: Michelle Michaud of Sen. Collins’ office presents a letter to Jordan Rowan, general manager of The Lockwood Hotel and Front & Main (restaurant) at the ribbon cutting. These are located where the former Levine’s Department Store was situated.


tions that have been a core part of Waterville’s identity for decades by developing a new model for collaboration. Through its support of the Paul J. Schupf Art Center, the Harold Alfond Foundation is furthering its investment in Waterville’s unique arts assets with the understanding that this new facility will not only be a premier destination for outstanding arts programming for generations to come, but also a major economic driver for the city.” It is evident by looking at the Foundation board that philanthropy was clearly molded by Harold Alfond. Currently his children and two grandchildren serve on its board. (Peter Alfond, Harold and Bibby’s youngest son, passed away several years ago.) Bill and Joan have been stalwart supporters of education and community

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

development in mid-Maine as well. They have partnered with Colby College to fund three phases of downtown façade grants. The Bill and Joan Alfond Main Street Commons, Colby’s downtown res-

woodardcurran.com COMMITMENT & INTEGRITY DRIVE RESULTS

idence hall that houses 200 students and faculty was dedicated two years ago in their names. Bill and Joan Alfond Foundation has also funded arts efforts through Waterville Creates. Bill’s cousins, Peter and Paula Lunder, have launched the renovation and rehabilitation of the Arts Collaborative at 16 Main Street, directly across from Colby’s new Lockwood Hotel and Front & Main restaurant. (Peter and Paula Lunder are also huge benefactors to Colby and its arts museum and have made transformative donations in both money and collections of art to set the

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Colby College Museum of Art apart as the largest art museum in the state of Maine.) To say that the love and passion that Harold Alfond found in Waterville has

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been spread throughout the family and shared among the generations would be

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ated everyone’s experience in one way or another. In large part because of the family’s generosity, the Waterville area is growing and prospering. It is truly a liv-

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ing legacy. O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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SCHOOL PROFILE

SCHOOL PROFILE | MAINE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SYSTEM

Seeing the Potential in Every Person THE HAROLD ALFOND FOUNDATION’S VISIONARY GIFTS TO MAINE’S COMMUNITY COLLEGES Written by and photos courtesy of the Maine Community College System

34

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


Eastern Maine Community College. “As a

people the training they need, afford-

mother of four, I never would have been

ably, and suddenly they can get that job,

able to come back to school without this

pursue their dreams. This funding lifts

funding.”

up entire families and strengthens local

Today, free grant-funded training is

economies.”

available for dozens of short-term work-

The latest grant was announced at

force programs, preparing people to be

a gathering that included Governor Jan-

medical assistants, truck drivers, weld-

et Mills, former Governor John R. McK-

ers, computer technicians — the list goes

ernan, Jr., chair of The Foundation for

on and on.

Maine’s Community Colleges, and Greg

All that is possible because of generous grants from the Harold Alfond Foun-

Powell, chairman of the trustees of the Harold Alfond Foundation.

dation. The Foundation’s largest gift was

“These workforce training grants

just announced October 5, 2021: a $15.5

have had an indelible impact on Maine

million four-year grant for workforce

people across the state. We are eager to

training programs across the state. The

use this grant from the Harold Alfond

grant builds on an earlier $3.6 million

Foundation to not only expand our ex-

grant, awarded in 2018, that launched

isting workforce training, but launch

11 new workforce training programs and

new tools and practices that will allow

greatly expanded the number of people

people to move from short-term train-

— like Taylor — who suddenly had the op-

ing to earning foundational credentials

portunity to get free, flexible training in

of value, such as degrees and advanced

high-demand industries that paid well.

certificates, that will help them succeed

“Funding from the Alfond Founda-

over a lifetime. This will lead directly to a

tion has been the jet fuel for our short-

brighter future for so many Maine peo-

term workforce training programs,” said

ple,” Daigler said.

David Daigler, the president of the Maine Community College System. “Many of the trainees describe being stuck in their old jobs, of being underemployed and lacking the specific skills needed to get good jobs. The Alfond grant gets those

LEFT: Trainees in a free Alfond Grant-funded computer support training program get 80 hours of instruction, textbooks, tool set and test vouchers to sit for industry recognized certification exams. BELOW: Trainees in a free Alfond Grant-funded medical assistant certificate program at EMCC practice taking blood pressure measurements.

I T C A N B E H A R D T O F O R E S E E the impact a financial gift will have years and decades down the line, but Harold Alfond was known for his ability to see beyond the horizon. Today his vision is reflected in the faces of thousands of students who are studying at the Alfond Campus of Kennebec Valley Community College or taking workforce training programs that are free, thanks to a series of Alfond grants. “The Alfond Grant has allowed me to get this education and get to a career I love,” said Nancy Taylor, who studied in a one-year medical assisting program at O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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SCHOOL PROFILE

One trainee who had lost her longtime job as the manager of a cell phone store said the Alfond Grant-funded welding program “gave me my life back.” “It gave me a job. It gave me confidence. I didn’t realize how many places were looking for skilled welders,” said Chantell Marie, who works today in the weld shop of an aluminum trailer manufacturer. “I love the pace. I love making something that hopefully lasts longer than I ever will. I love all of it. You need to love what you do to put your best foot forward.” Reaching further back, the Harold Alfond Foundation changed the very shape of the community college system in 2012, when it provided a $10.85 million gift that allowed MCCS to buy 600 acres and 13 buildings from Good Will-Hinckley, creating a second campus for Kennebec Valley Community College. “Their generosity was known far and wide,” said Barbara Woodlee, who was president of KVCC at the time of the gift. Many of KVCC’s students at the original Fairfield campus, she said, were former ABOVE: KVCC supporters gather for a formal groundbreaking ceremony in 2014. RIGHT: Long-range vision for the Alfond Campus of Kennebec Valley Community College on Route 201 in Hinckley, Maine

36

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


employees from Dexter Shoe Company — Harold Alfond’s company — cementing a special bond between the college and the Alfond family, a bond that remains strong today. Bill Alfond, Harold Alfond’s son, was deeply engaged in the college’s plan, inviting Woodlee to join him on visits to local businesses and exploring ways for the college to nurture entrepreneurial activity in the region, Woodlee said. “That was one of the things Bill was very positive about. He had a vision for growth and the regional economy,” she said. It is rare to have the ability to add an entire campus to a college system all at once. The campus, located about six miles from KVCC’s 64-acre campus in Fairfield, has a relaxed, bucolic feel: Dense forest ribboned with hiking trails is edged by open rolling hills, a historic chapel, a field house, and an organic farm. The location along U.S. Route 201 in Fairfield serves a region populated by many families that once worked at Dexter Shoe Company. “We were able to develop a new agriculture program, partnering with University of Maine and creating a ladder program to their four-year degree,” Woodlee said, listing the immediate impact of the Alfond Campus. Multiple programs moved to the new campus, and several expanded their offerings, including the unique lineworker program. “It helped us serve many more students in a more convenient way,” she said. But colleges are always in a state of evolution, and the Alfond Campus will continue to grow and respond to the needs of the community. “It won’t look the same in five years or 10 years. They have a really bright future.” But the brightest future of all belongs to the many students who benefit from the Alfond grants to the community colleges. And for us, the best way to honor the memory of Harold Alfond is to endlessly work on innovative, responsive pro-

Family • Community Quality • Value

grams that serve the people of Maine. O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

37


SCHOOL PROFILE

SCHOOL PROFILE | COLBY COLLEGE

The Gift that Started It All Written by Laura Meader

Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center

38

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


AN INSTITUTION IS MORE THAN ONE PERSON, MORE THAN ONE IDEA OR BUILDING. YET AN INDIVIDUAL AND THEIR SINGULAR VISION CAN PROFOUNDLY ALTER WHAT AN ORGANIZATION BECOMES. COLBY ’S TR AJECTORY WAS FORE VER T R A N S F O R M E D when, in 1955, a visionary leader named Harold Alfond funded construction of an indoor hockey rink. The Harold Alfond Rink was Alfond’s first major philanthropic contribution to the college, propelling Colby into a new era, elevating our profile, and marking the beginning of a long-term partnership. The Alfond Rink thrust Colby into the spotlight and attracted celebrated coach Jack Kelley, who transformed Colby men’s hockey into a dominant force in New England. The rink was the first venue of many that would eventually encompass the Alfond Athletic Center, completed in the 1960s. Today, thanks in large part to the extraordinary generosity of the Harold Alfond Foundation, Colby continues to define athletic excellence in New England with construction of the 350,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center. Opened in 2020, the center is the most advanced and comprehensive NCAA Division III fa-

PHOTO: COLBY COLLEGE

cility in the country. Among the outstanding features of the new facility are an aquatics center with the only Olympic-sized Myrtha pool in Maine; the O’Neil | O’Donnell Forum and the Jack Kelley Rink; the MargaO N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

39


SCHOOL PROFILE ABOVE: Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center RIGHT: J.P. Schuhlen of Colby College celebrates his goal during Colby Men’s Hockey vs. Bowdoin College at the Alfond Rink in Waterville December 3, 2016.

ret M. Crook Center with three regulation-length basketball/volleyball courts; and an open-air atrium at the center of the building. The indoor competition center houses a six-lane 200-meter track, regulation tennis courts, a nine-court squash center, and field event accommodations. Recreational facilities include the state-of-the-art Papadellis Family Erg Room as well as the O’Neil Family Wellness Studios for fitness and dance classes, thusiasts will find the 42-foot-tall Aidan’s Climbing and Bouldering Wall. And the three-level Boulos Family Fitness Center includes a mix of free weights, cables, and cardio equipment.

40

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTOS: COLBY COLLEGE

yoga, and meditation. Rock climbing en-


We’re excited to celebrate you.

Some ask for change and you’re making it. Thank you for going above and beyond to make our community a better place.

Our partnership with the Harold Alfond Foundation reaches far beyond athletics and has led to significant transformation in the City of Waterville and

Connect to TD: @TDBank

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beyond. A 2016 grant from the Harold Alfond Foundation in support of Colby’s efforts to revitalize downtown Waterville provided exceptional momentum that continues today. Colby shares the Foundation’s commitment to growing the region’s creative economy and making Waterville a hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. From that first defining moment in 1955, we have proven together that one person’s vision can persist and expand, generation after generation.

GIVE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING Mid-Maine Chamber Gift Certificate Program Shop at over 180 area local businesses Call the office or visit our website to get yours today! 207.873.3315 www.midmainechamber.com Small Businesses are the heartbeat of your neighborhood, the spine of your local economy, and the spirit of your town.

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

41


COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

A Legacy Like No Other Written by Colleen J. Quint, President & CEO, Alfond Scholarship Foundation

42

Since the pilot year at MaineGeneral Hos-

tion of humble beginnings and hard work that

pital in 2008 through this month, Mr. Alfond’s

spurred a lot of people of his generation to suc-

extraordinary commitment has meant over $62

cess in business. Mr. Alfond also made sure that

million has been invested for the future educa-

his success meant good things for others. There

tion of more than 124,000 Maine children. Fam-

are many organizations and programs, fields and

ilies have contributed their own money, to the

field houses across the state that bear his name

tune of over $130 million in additional funds.

as recognition of his generosity. These invest-

This means that as of this fall a total of $192 mil-

ments will pay a lifetime of dividends to those

lion has been invested for the future education

whose lives they touch. But there is one gift of

of these children. That’s quite a legacy indeed.

Mr. Alfond that stands out among all others, and

Like many programs, this one has evolved

that is the gift of opportunity he has given to ev-

over time. The Harold Alfond College Challenge,

ery Maine baby.

known to most Maine families as the My Alfond

Mr. Alfond knew that education brings op-

Grant program, was initially modeled on Mr.

portunity and wanted to make a commitment to

Alfond’s vision of families having “skin in the

the children of Maine — and to the future of the

game” and so opening a NextGen 529 account

state — that would impact generations to come.

by a child’s first birthday was required in order

His commitment: to invest $500 for the future

to receive the $500 Alfond Grant. Through the

education of every Maine child.

first several years of the program (2009-2012)

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

ABOVE & OPPOSITE: An event at the Blaine House in August 2019 celebrated the $50 million invested for 100,000 Maine children milestone.

PHOTOS: KARI HERER

H A R O L D A L F O N D R E P R E S E N T E D the combina-


O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

those Alfond Grants to use as they continue their education after earning a high school diploma. While certainly part of Mr. Alfond’s vision for the program was about building Maine’s educated workforce in a way that would support prosperity for the state, he also understood how fundamentally important this investment would be for individual Maine children and their families. Research by the Alfond Scholarship Foundation shows that parents of children with an Alfond Grant — whether they were part of the “opt-in” years of the program or were automatically awarded the grant — are twice as likely to report their expectation that their child will continue education after high school than those parents whose child does not have the grant. Families regularly tell us that the $500 invested on their baby’s behalf gives them hope for the future. Knowing that someone believes in their child today makes them feel more hopeful about their child’s tomorrow. The Dowdy family from Unity, Maine, has six children and their son Zacchaeus is the 100,000th Maine child to receive the Alfond Grant. Asked about what the Alfond Grant means to their family, Zacchaeus’ parents said, “Mr. Alfond’s gift means that even though Zacchaeus is

“THE ALFOND GRANT HAS HELPED OUR FAMILY HAVE SOME MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS WITH OUR TWIN GIRLS ABOUT THEIR FUTURE.” T H E L A R G A Y F A M I LY, S H O W N A B O V E

from a bigger family he has the option to choose a path after high school to continue his education. It is overwhelming to think about Mr. Alfond’s generosity! What a legacy he has left and continues to leave. This should be an inspiration to all young Maine children to work hard

44

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

The Largay family from Raymond

children received the grant. Since 2013,

tells us, “The Alfond Grant has helped

all babies born as Maine residents are

our family have some meaningful conver-

now automatically awarded the $500 Al-

sations with our twin girls about their fu-

fond Grant to make sure that every Maine

ture. We have also been integrating some

child receives this generous gift.

of the tips in the quarterly communica-

Most of the oldest of the Alfond

tions into our homeschooling curricu-

Grant recipients entered middle school

lum and they are great! We are so grate-

this fall. This means they start high

ful to Mr. Alfond for leaving this legacy of

school a few years from now, and a few

hope and aspirations for Maine children.”

short years after that will begin putting

The story of the Alfond Grant is a

PHOTO: THE LARGAY FAMILY

and be generous. “ this model meant nearly 25,000 Maine


great one for Maine, and for the children whose lives it has touched. And part of the story of Mr. Alfond’s legacy is the impact it has had well beyond Maine’s borders. Often referred to as Children’s Savings Account (CSA) programs, today there are over 100 programs in 36 states in which early investments for future education are making an impact. Some, like the Kindergarten to College program in San Francisco and Brilliant Baby program in Oakland are city based. Others like Promise Indiana are county based. And still others like Baby Steps (Massachusetts) and Keystone Scholars (Pennsylvania) are statewide. Today there are over one million children across the country benefiting from CSA programs. All of these programs use the same early investment model as we use here in Maine to make a difference for children at the individual level and for their communities. And the My Alfond Grant program has frequently been an inspiration and even a model for many of them. National research shows these programs, like the Alfond Grant program, are having positive impacts long before the children who receive the grants leave high school. Some studies have shown that children achieve stronger social-emotional gains by age 4 and mothers show higher aspirations and lower levels of maternal depression.1 Students, especially low-income students, who expect to go to college and have identified savings to help pay for it are more likely to enroll in college and complete a degree.2 The $500 investment for Maine children is not a panacea, but — like a lot of things Mr. Alfond did — it has an outsized impact. And that impact is one that will reverberate for generations here in Maine and across the country. What an extraordinary legacy. A legacy like no other. SEED for Oklahoma Kids (SEED OK) | Center for Social Development | Washington University in St. Louis (wustl.edu) 2 Small-dollar children’s savings accounts and children’s college outcomes by income level ScienceDirect 1

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O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

Health Care

Here at Home Written by Melanie Baillargeon

46

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

ALFOND’S LEGACY OF COLLABORATIVE CANCER CARE IN MAINE DELIVERS WORLDCLASS MEDICINE TO RURAL PATIENTS


PHOTO: PROVIDED BY E.S. BOULOS COMPANY

The Augusta campus of MaineGeneral Medical Center also includes the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care and the Alfond Center for Health.

M A N Y W O U L D A S S E R T T H AT a combina-

advanced education for Maine’s fu-

Jackson Laboratory’s Maine Cancer Ge-

tion of gumption and vision, mixed with

ture health care professionals. Among

nomics Initiative.

wisdom and drive, can get you far in this

these many initiatives, a few stand out

world. Add collaboration and humility

as shining examples of Harold’s core

DE L IVE R ING WOR L D-CL ASS CANC ER

to it, and you end up with a network of

principles of leadership, collaboration,

CA R E F R OM CE NTR A L MA INE

cancer care known throughout the state,

teamwork, and community involve-

Harold Alfond understood on a person-

region, and nation for its excellence.

ment: the Harold Alfond Center for

al level the need for world-class cancer

Through its capital and program

Cancer Care and the Alfond Center for

care close to home. “I could have been

grants, the Alfond Foundation has im-

Health; the MaineHealth Cancer Care

treated anywhere in the world,” he said,

proved health care delivery and quality,

Network, a partnership of MaineHealth

following his own prostate cancer diag-

promoted centers of excellence, and

and MaineGeneral Health; and The

nosis, “but I wanted to be close by and

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

47


COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

knew the care I would receive at Maine-

sation with Harold about the late-July

General (formerly Thayer Hospital in Wa-

completion date of the project, summed

“He was visionary in so many ways,

terville) is comparable to anywhere else.”

up in one sentence: “Well, if it can be

challenging us to do achieve so many

The Harold Alfond Center for Can-

done at the beginning of July, I’ll donate

firsts — regionalized cancer care and

another $2 million to the project.”

hospital services, a dedicated outpatient

cer Care (HACCC) opened its doors to

primary care and specialty care.

its first patients in July 2007. The cancer

“Harold had originally talked to us

care site, to name a few,” Hays observes.

care center that bears his name is a re-

about building the best cancer care cen-

“He really loved communities working

gional state-of-the-art facility that con-

ter in the country, and we’re fortunate

together, and I think he was proud to

solidated MaineGeneral’s comprehen-

much of that has come to fruition,” Hays

help with the health care regionaliza-

sive oncology care programs in central

continues. The original design included

tion efforts. He was truly instrumental.

Maine into a single 59,000-square-foot,

care for 750 new cancer patients each

He not only donated money, but he also

award-winning facility, equipped with

year, and now the facility serves approxi-

encouraged the community to support

the latest technology, and designed to

mately 1,100 patients.

projects with matching funds. I know he

offer multi-specialty treatment and care coordination.

Long before they’d broken ground

did this not only in health care but also

on the Alfond Center for Health in 2011,

in education, youth programs, and college savings funds.”

From the concept to funding and

Harold had challenged central Maine’s

everything in between, Harold was a man

health care leaders to consider building

In real terms, Harold’s commitment

with connections who made things hap-

a regional hospital — a project he never

to these projects afforded MaineGener-

pen, often with a twinkle in his eye.

saw realized, but one ultimately com-

al to build a larger regional hospital to

“I was chief operation officer at the

pleted by his vision. Nearly six years af-

better serve patients, acquire the latest

time we were purchasing land for the

ter Harold’s death, the regional hospital

technologies, and train providers in the

cancer center,” says Chuck Hays, pres-

opened its doors to patients in Novem-

newest treatments. The cancer center

ident and CEO of MaineGeneral Health

ber 2013.

was initially designed to limit the trav-

and

Center

“Harold could have gone anywhere

el time a patient would spend between

(MGMC), about the cancer center’s early

MaineGeneral

Medical

in the country or probably the world for

labs, treatments, and appointments. It’s

days. “Harold would often inquire how

his care, and he chose to go here be-

improved clinical services and trans-

things were going, so on this occasion, I

cause, in his words, ‘I think it’s the best!’”

formed care in the Kennebec Valley

was telling him about the land purchase

recalls Hays. “He was right! And all this

region. Just the ability to have private

negotiations. Of course, it turns out that

comes from his inspiration. It’s just an

rooms has shown clinically that patients

the land owner was a good friend of Har-

amazing place.”

improve quicker.

old’s. It was no time at all before Harold

The Foundation’s $35 million invest-

Beyond the development of the

was inviting him to dinner with us. The

ment in the regionalization of hospital

physical facilities, Harold was also focused on the care

C H U C K H A Y S , P R E S I D E N T & C E O O F M A I N E G E N E R A L H E A LT H AND MAINEGENERAL MEDICAL CENTER

and education of the clinical and medical staff. The Alfond Foundation in

the

of

Maine’s

care

invests

education health

professionals

through its support of the creation of the Center for Nurs-

48

gentleman walked in, saw us, and said to

care has also transformed the Thayer

ing Innovation at St. Joseph’s College. In

Harold, ‘This is going to cost me a lot of

Center for Health into the largest out-

response to the coronavirus pandemic, a

money!’”

patient center in Maine. Together, the

$200,000 award from the Harold Alfond

Harold Alfond had initially donated

Alfond Center for Health in Augusta and

Foundation and the Bill and Joan Alfond

$5 million to the construction of the

the Thayer Center for Health in Waterville

Foundation in 2020 helped MaineGen-

cancer center, then donated another $2

provide high-quality health care services

eral cover the costs of child care for the

million to the project as an incentive for

close to home, improved care coordi-

health care system’s frontline workers

early completion. Hays recalls a conver-

nation, and the delivery of high-quality

and essential employees.

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: PROVIDED BY MAINEGENERAL MEDICAL CENTER

“HE NOT ONLY DONATED MONEY, BUT HE ALSO ENCOURAGED THE COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT PROJECTS WITH MATCHING FUNDS. I KNOW HE DID THIS NOT ONLY IN HEALTH CARE BUT ALSO IN EDUCATION, YOUTH PROGRAMS, AND COLLEGE SAVINGS FUNDS.”


In 2007, Harold Alfond participated in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care.

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

The Maine Cancer Genomics Initiative (MCGI) team at the their offices in MaineGeneral’s Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care.

50

F INDIN G CA NC ER’S “ACH I LLE S ’ H E E L”

tion of JAX scientists and community on-

cancer that has spread may respond to

Maine has one of the highest incidences

cologists that brings innovative cancer

a drug often used in lung cancer treat-

of cancer in the country, with approxi-

genomic testing, education, and drug

ment. Well, that’s a game changer for pa-

mately 9,000 new cases each year. The

access infrastructure to Maine. Every on-

tients and their families.

work of the Maine Cancer Genomics Ini-

cology practice in the state is a partner

tiative (MCGI) — a nationally acclaimed

in the program.

“We soon realized that we needed

“In the beginning, we built a collab-

dedicated decision support program to

care in a rural setting — means that doc-

orative, statewide program that provided

help physicians utilize this genetic tool

tors can now employ more appropriate

1,600 patients with access to an emerg-

effectively,” Dr. Rueter continues. “So we

treatment and garner better outcomes

ing technology in cancer care — genomic

built the Genomic Tumor Boards program

for those patients. And it’s all happening

tumor testing,” says Jens Rueter, M.D., an

in order to discuss the results of tumor

right here in Maine!

oncologist who serves as the chief med-

testing with physicians and national ex-

In 2016, the Alfond Foundation

ical officer for the Jackson Laboratory

perts to identify the next best treatment

provided an initial $8.4 million grant to

and the medical director of the MCGI.

options using everything from traditional

launch MCGI, providing personalized

“You look at the genetic makeup of the

chemotherapy to clinical trials.”

cancer care at no cost to Maine residents

tumor — its Achilles’ heel, if you will —

Additional Alfond Foundation fund-

with the most hard-to-treat cancers. It’s

with the goal of identifying the best pos-

ing in 2020, totaling $11.8 million, pro-

remarkable,

technology

sible treatment options and attack that.”

vided for a second phase of the MCGI.

only previously available at major cancer

In layman’s terms, there are certain

As the National Institute for Health’s

research hospitals in other states — and

indicators that diagnose the type of

only NCI-designated basic science can-

now it’s here in Maine.

cancer and determine the appropriate

cer center headquartered in Maine, JAX

cutting-edge

Led by The Jackson Laboratory (JAX)

treatment protocols. However, imagine

uses these grant investments to enhance

and located in MaineGeneral Medical

that treatment doesn’t work as it should.

patient access to treatments recom-

Center’s Harold Alfond Center for Cancer

Then, a genetic analysis is performed

mended by the patients’ genomic test

Care, the MCGI is a statewide collabora-

on the cancer, discovering that a colon

results. This second phase also seeks to

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: PROVIDED BY MAINEGENERAL MEDICAL CENTER

to go a step further and provide a more

model for personalized, precision cancer


Flip a switch and we’re there!

Supporting the communities we serve

cmpco.com

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES

Dan Filitis, MD, dermatologist and Mohs surgeon from MaineGeneral Medical Center, a member of the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network, performs a patient screening.

and it enabled us to compete nationally for a six-year, $5.1 million NCI grant to join the NCI Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP) in August 2019. The MaineHealth NCORP was one of two new organizations to join this prestigious network.” The MaineHealth Cancer Care Network — a partnership between MaineHealth and MaineGeneral Health — reduces the need for long-distance travel to receive cancer care. Through the coordination of 11 MaineHealth partner hospitals and organizations, the network provides care for 7,000 cancer patients a year — giving them the best of both worlds: access to the most advanced

bring more clinical trials to Maine and to

to provide individualized medicine on a

specialty services and clinical trials, and

expand patient navigation services for

broader scale,” Dr. Rueter summarizes.

the ability to stay close to home during a

those patients not eligible for Maine-

“By treating a specific tumor, we im-

difficult recovery.

based trials.

prove patients’ results, and ultimately

“If I’ve learned anything in this ven-

“We’re currently participating in

quality of life, over many other treatment

ture, this is a team sport,” notes Rich Pe-

the American Society of Clinical On-

options. We are very focused on do-

tersen, president of MaineHealth. “There

cology’s (ASCO) first clinical trial, the

ing the best we possibly can in order to

are so many different disciplines involved

Targeted Agent and Profiling Utilization

maximize the results and identify the ac-

— medical oncologists, social workers,

Registry (TAPUR) study,” explains Rueter.

cessible treatment options for patients

lung surgeons, head/neck surgeons, navi-

“Patients who meet the criteria can be

throughout Maine.”

gators, other institutions and partners like

enrolled in the study to test a targeted STAY I N G CLOSE A ND R E ACHING FA R

Foundation. The combined strength of

genomic profile. It’s really an innovative

The MaineHealth Cancer Care Network

our clinical, research, and financial part-

trial, and it’s designed to happen within

(MHCCN) has been another game-chang-

ners means Mainers don’t have to leave

the traditional workflow of the cancer

er in the fight against cancer in Maine.

their homes and go to Boston anymore.

care clinic. We’re trying to identify more

Through a generous five-year grant to-

They can access the same high-quality

trials like this to ultimately help more

taling $10 million from the Harold Alfond

cancer care right here.”

patients down the road and build the in-

Foundation, the creation of this ground-

Alfond Foundation funds have pro-

frastructure to support that.”

breaking, multi-institution program facil-

vided significant investments in new

itates personalized, state-of-the art care

treatment options, cutting-edge

— turning more patients into survivors.

search, resources for information tech-

delivery models through reliable broad-

re-

band connections, the MGCI is exploring

“Without a doubt, this grant has

nology, survivorship programs, patient

methods to introduce more innovative

been impactful and transformational

education, and new population health

virtual technology into health care. The

for cancer care in Maine, and especial-

initiatives. It has brought new clinical

project seeks to build a digital tool for

ly for MaineHealth and the MaineHealth

expertise to Maine through the recruit-

clinicians to utilize the data collected

Cancer Care Network,” attests Scot C.

ment of physicians at MMC and MGMC in

through the past five years to pick the

Remick, MD, FACP, chief of oncology for

key specialty areas and a rotating oncol-

best therapies for their patients based

the MaineHealth Cancer Care Network

ogist to support multiple cancer practic-

on a specific genetic profile. A collabo-

and Maine Medical Center (MMC), and

es along the Maine coast.

ration with another Alfond Foundation

professor of medicine at Tufts Universi-

“We have been able to recruit and

grant recipient, the Roux Institute, is ex-

ty School of Medicine. “It allowed us to

hire health care and professional staff to

ploring the use of artificial intelligence

accelerate patient care across our foot-

help with patient care, establish the navi-

in this project.

print in so many ways, build infrastruc-

gator program and grow social work pro-

ture, recruit physicians in key specialties,

grams, and recruit physician and complex

“With the Alfond grants, we are able Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: PROVIDED BY MAINEHEALTH

In addition to exploring telehealth

52

JAX, and funding streams like the Alfond

drug treatment based on their tumor’s


specialty providers,” Dr. Remick explains. “We’ve also built a lot of electronic infrastructure pathways too. We can now offer our patients everything they need; that’s the true impact of this grant.” Another tangible triumph is the expanded patient navigator program, which

provides

education,

discuss

treatment options, and help coordinate care. Having this resource during times of transitions is critically important in helping patients and families deal with the complexities of cancer care. “Partnerships

leverage

resources,

and they are critically important in a small state,” observes Petersen. “Whether it’s public or private entities or even competing organizations, cancer cuts through all that. At the crux of it all, the health of our communities is incredibly important to all of us.” Through the partnership between The Harold Alfond Foundation and MaineHealth, the Cancer Care Network is maturing, gaining trust, fostering relationships between clinicians, and most importantly, bringing together top cancer specialists sharing their collective expertise to provide patients and families with the best care possible, right

CANCER DOESN’T WAIT. NEITHER SHOULD YOU. Mainers are active, no matter what the season. That’s why, with the support of the Harold Alfond Foundation, we’ve built the largest cancer care network in the state. Our network cares for you just as much as we care for the disease. We take every step possible to ensure your safety during screenings and preventative care. It’s one of the most effective ways to keep you on the right side of health. mainehealth.org/cancer

here in Maine. “The impact of this project is palpable; it’s significantly more than the initial $10 million for sure,” Remick asserts. “And then you see what has grown and evolved from that — it’s had a remarkable multiplier effect, and in turn, generated additional funding from other grant sources.” Nearly a decade ago, the NCI reengineered its clinical research model

T H E CHA LL E NG E IN HIS L E GACY

vision and wisdom has gotten Maine

to include rural community locations

The legacy of Harold Alfond and the in-

rather far indeed.

to reflect where the bulk of cancer care

vestments by the Alfond Foundation

“He was just a great guy,” Hays af-

happens. Maine now has four physicians

have given Mainers a source of hope,

firms. “He had a lot of money, sure, but

nominated to serve on NCI steering

access to advanced treatments, and ul-

he cared about the community and

committees and taskforces, shining a

timately, improved health outcomes.

cared about making things better by in-

federal spotlight on Maine cancer care

Leading the nation in cancer care and

vesting in the community. He didn’t have

initiatives. The return on these public/

cancer research — a tangible example

to, but thankfully for all of us, he under-

private investments in research and de-

of Maine’s state motto, Dirigo (I lead)

stood the responsibility of his success

velopment provides a long-term tangible

— is exactly what Harold had challenged

and challenged us to become better in

and transformational impact on Mainers.

health care leaders to do. Turns out, his

the process.” O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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SCHOOL PROFILE

SCHOOL PROFILE | THE ROUX INSTITUTE AT NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY

A $100 Million Promise

HOW THE ALFOND FOUNDATION’S EARLY INVESTMENT IN THE ROUX INSTITUTE IS TRANSFORMING THE LIVES OF MAINERS

PHOTO: SÉAN ALONZO HARRIS

Written by Chris Mallett, Chief Administrative Officer, The Roux Institute at Northeastern University

54

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


T H E R O U X I N S T I T U T E at Northeastern Universi-

research, $4 million in support for paid profes-

ty launched in January 2020 with a $100 million

sional assignments for students (co-ops) with

gift from Maine native and tech entrepreneur,

Maine employers, and personalized career sup-

David Roux and his wife, Barbara. It premiered a

port for every Roux Institute student.

bold, new model for graduate education — pow-

Upon the announcement of the gift, Joseph

ered by entrepreneurship, experiential learning,

E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University

research, and collaborative industry partnerships

said, “This phenomenal investment from the

— with a mission to bring new opportunities to

Harold Alfond Foundation will uplift people and

Mainers and Maine companies in today’s inno-

communities across Maine today, tomorrow

vation economy. The Harold Alfond Foundation

and for generations to come.” In just one year,

is an essential and trusted partner, united by a

this visionary investment has touched the lives

promise to create a stronger economic future for

of more than 550 Mainers through the Roux In-

the state of Maine.

stitute’s academic programming. Thomas Stahl-

The foundation demonstrated its commit-

huth, an Alfond Scholar and student in the Mas-

ment to the Roux Institute’s vision with a $100

ter’s in Analytics program, says, “I was drawn to

million investment to create the Alfond Schol-

the Roux Institute for the academic and

ar’s Initiative. The Foundation’s transformation-

professional opportunities

Roux Institute Student Ambassadors and students in the Master’s in Analytics program, Bei Heald (L) and Sarah Hogan (R), meet to discuss class assignments on the Roux’s waterfront deck.

al gift directly benefits Mainers and will provide more than $63 million in scholarships for graduate-level students, over $16 million in funding for postdoctoral

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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SCHOOL PROFILE

they offer, but I can honestly say that it’s

transformational for Maine because of its

keep top talent here. The co-op program

the Alfond scholarship that made it all

potential impact on the individual learn-

has resulted in full-time employment of-

possible.”

ers and partners who want to live and

fers for several Roux Institute students,

A St. Louis, Missouri native, Stahl-

work here. The average scholarship award

including Alfond Scholar and Master’s in

huth came to Maine to study econom-

for the inaugural class was more than

Project Management student Liz Jerome.

ics at Colby College. After graduating, he

$26,600. This first class includes students

Jerome grew up in Falmouth, Maine,

struggled to find a job in Maine that di-

who reside in 15 of Maine’s 16 counties

and returned to the state after graduat-

rectly aligned with his interests. A month

and 25% of the class is new to Maine.

ing from Tufts University. “Growing up

before he was ready to move, he learned

What’s more, the Foundation’s gift

in Maine, it’s almost understood that

of the Roux Institute and its available

has already created over 90 paid co-op

everyone goes to Boston to get a job

scholarships, and enrolled. Since, Stahl-

positions with more than 50 Maine em-

after college. I knew I wanted to stay in

huth has begun working for the Maine

ployers including MaineHealth, The Jack-

Maine, though, so the Roux Institute was

Spaceport Initiative, helping to grow

son Laboratory, Running Tide, and Port-

a perfect fit,” she says. “I applied in the

the aerospace and new space industry

land Public Schools. Mark Hager, CEO

middle of the pandemic, and the Alfond

in Maine. And he’s been able to integrate

of the Roux Institute co-op partner and

scholarship gave me the opportunity to

his work there with his academics, thanks

resident startup, New England Marine

jump into a professional field during an

to the foundational experiential learning

Monitoring, says, “Working with the Roux

uncertain time.”

component at the Roux Institute.

Institute co-op program, funded by the

Through her project management

“I would not be at the Maine Space-

Alfond Scholars Initiative, has allowed

program, Jerome pursued a co-op at Roux

port Initiative, the Roux Institute, or in the

New England Marine Monitoring access

Institute employer partner, L.L.Bean, and

state of Maine if it were not for the Alfond

to a technical talent pool that most small

was then offered a full-time position at

Foundation’s commitment to the Roux

start-ups can only dream about.”

the company this past summer. “Thanks

Institute and its students,” Stahlhuth says.

These scholarships don’t just bring

to the Roux Institute and the Alfond

The Alfond Scholars Initiative is

new students to Maine, they also work to

Scholars Initiative, I am on a clear career

PHOTO: SÉAN ALONZO HARRIS

Roux Institute Student Ambassadors, Bei Heald (L) and Kris Barnes (R) discuss ways to provide the campus’s diverse student population with opportunities to engage and connect.

56

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


Solutions Today, for a Better Tomorrow

ABOVE: Thomas Stahlhuth, Alfond Scholar, Master’s in Analytics student TOP RIGHT: Kris Barnes, Alfond Scholar, Align Master’s in Computer Science student, Student Ambassador BOTTOM RIGHT: Liz Jerome, Alfond Scholar, Master’s in Project Management student, L.L.Bean employee

At St.Germain, we succeed by improving the world for our clients and our community.

path at an amazing Maine company,” Jerome says. “The Roux Institute gives me hope for the future of our state. What more could a young Mainer ask for?” The Alfond Scholars Initiative provides an incentive for talent at all stages to choose the state as the place to grow and thrive through an education that provides pathways to professional

Roux Institute and on staying in Maine to

opportunities with new and established

attain my career goals.”

PHOTOS; NICOLE WOLF

Maine companies.

The $100 million gift to the Roux

Kriston Barnes, an Alfond Scholar and

Institute represents just one-fifth of the

student in the Align Master’s in Computer

half-billion-dollar investment in Maine’s

Science program, relocated to Maine af-

future on behalf of the Alfond Foun-

ter receiving his master’s in policy from

dation. The real impact shines through

John Hopkins University. Unsure whether

in the stories of the people whose lives

Maine was a viable long-term option for

have changed because of the opportu-

him, he first enrolled in a certificate pro-

nities afforded by the Roux Institute,

gram at the Roux Institute. After learning

and the chance to pursue those oppor-

about the full potential of his scholarship

tunities because of the Alfond Scholars

award, Barnes made a career switch and

Initiative. “We are deeply grateful for

enrolled full-time in the Align Master’s

the monumental commitment the Har-

program in computer science.

old Alfond Foundation has made to the

“The Alfond scholarship has been

Roux Institute at Northeastern on behalf

one of the major driving forces behind

of the people of Maine,” says David Roux.

changing the trajectory of my long-term

“The establishment of the Alfond Schol-

career plans,” Barnes says. “In addition

ars program — with its focus on Maine

to the major impact on my career, the

job creation and generous financial aid

Roux Institute has renewed my interest

— will provide transformational access

in staying in Maine long term. My expe-

for deserving students to all our program

rience has emboldened me to bet on the

offerings.”

Environmental | EHS Compliance | Engineering stgermain.com O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES 58

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


Good Shepherd Food Bank

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GOOD SHEPHERD FOOD BANK

Written by Erin Fogg, Vice President of Development and Communications L O O K A R O U N D Y O U . On the school bus

for the first time than ever before. Good

up ahead, a child is heading home hun-

Shepherd Food Bank is grateful that

gry to find an empty cupboard. In the

our community partners, including the

supermarket, there’s a parent whose

Harold Alfond Foundation, responded

grocery budget will run out before the

to the need and supported their neigh-

end of the month. In the pharmacy line,

bors during a year like no other. Working

there’s a senior on a fixed income cut-

with our network of over 500 partner

ting back on their prescriptions so they

agencies, including food pantries, meal

can buy food. Down the street, a neigh-

sites, shelters, health care facilities, and

bor was just laid off and is wondering

schools, the Food Bank was able to meet

how they’ll afford food after the rent

the needs of Mainers who were experi-

and car payments are made.

encing hunger.

We never imagined the devastating

In April 2020, the Harold Alfond

impacts of COVID-19. Rates of hunger

Foundation awarded Good Shepherd

soared as the

Food Bank, Maine’s largest hunger-relief

pandemic took

organization, a $1 million grant to support

hold and today

our statewide emergency food response

remain

in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

In the last year, many food pantries and meal sites across the state reported increased visits from families who had never used the charitable food network before. LEFT: Sumner Food Pantry ABOVE: Gray Community Food Pantry

above

pre-pandem-

“The Foundation’s gift could not

ic levels. More

have come at a better time,” stated Kris-

Mainers visited

ten Miale, president of Good Shepherd

a food pantry

Food Bank. “The impacts of COVID-19 O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

59


Food Bank realized that its community

first 12 months of COVID compared to

partners needed more support. With the

the prior 12 months.

help of the Harold Alfond Foundation,

“One hundred percent of the Harold

the Food Bank provided grants to all our

Alfond Foundation grant was deployed

partner agencies to help cover increased

across the state in the form of food and

costs for items such as cleaning supplies,

created a perfect storm of challenges for

emergency funds for our partner hun-

personal protective equipment, food

the Food Bank and our community part-

ger-relief agencies, helping local food

packaging, traffic control equipment,

ners. Food supply was down, our opera-

pantries, meal sites, and schools expand

passive cooling equipment, and addi-

tional processes were upended by social

their food distribution capacity. We are

tional food to supplement what we were

distancing, and the need grew quickly as

so grateful for the Foundation’s foresight

able to provide.

Mainers faced unemployment, school

and generosity, especially at the very be-

“Based on survey results, we heard

closures, and other challenges.”

ginning of this unprecedented pandem-

that our partners were experiencing in-

ic,” said Miale.

creased expenses. These community

Before the pandemic, Maine had one

60

wide network of partner agencies in the

of the highest rates of food insecurity in

At the onset of the pandemic, when

organizations have a long road ahead as

the nation, and the highest in New En-

consumers were stocking up on supplies

Maine continues to recover from this

gland, with 167,000 Mainers relying on the

and eating at home instead of dining out,

crisis, and the generous grant from the

Food Bank and our network of partners.

the Food Bank saw retail donations di-

Harold Alfond Foundation helped them

Today, that number approaches 182,000,

minish substantially and had to purchase

continue to meet the needs of our most

at least 50,000 of whom are children. No

nutritious shelf-stable food at wholesale

vulnerable neighbors. We have been

community in our state is unaffected.

prices to ensure supply was available to

buoyed by the incredible generosity of

Thanks to the Harold Alfond Foun-

meet the increased need. Crops like po-

our philanthropic supporters, including

dation grant and other generous sup-

tatoes and apples were also purchased

this most generous grant from the Harold

porters, the Food Bank significantly in-

from Maine farmers.

Alfond Foundation,” continued Miale.

creased its distribution of food after the

While all of the food was supplied

“Mainers are helping Mainers. All

onset of COVID. The Food Bank distrib-

to food pantries and other hunger-re-

of us are working together — that’s how

uted 28% more meals through its state-

lief partners at no cost, Good Shepherd

we’ll make it through this.”

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTOS: COURTESY OF GOOD SHEPHERD FOOD BANK

COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVES Maine ranks 5th in the nation for very low food security rates, which is a more severe range of food insecurity that involves reduced food intake and disrupted eating patterns. More than 31,000 households in Maine fall into this category. ABOVE: Good Shepherd Food Bank


HONORING HAROLD ALFOND Pierce Atwood and its Government Relations team congratulate The Harold Alfond Foundation on the recognition of its late founder, philanthropist Harold Alfond, as the recipient of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce 2021 Dirigo Award. We applaud Mr. Alfond’s and the Foundation’s unparalleled generosity and support for Maine’s students, athletes, families, and communities.

157 CAPITOL STREET | SUITE 3 | AUGUSTA, ME 04330 | 207.622.6311 | PIERCEATWOOD.COM

We’re local, everywhere. Local laws, legal communities, customs, and cultures powerfully influence how businesses work, how workplaces function, and how employment issues are resolved. That’s why we’ve been building a law firm with teams all over the world, bringing deep understanding and vital insight to the issues your business is facing, wherever it’s located. One Monument Square | Suite 600 Portland, ME 04101 Labor & Employment Law Solutions | littler.com

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

61


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

HAROLD ALFOND’S VISION AND GENEROSITY POSITION MAINE FOR

Global Education Lead ‘We believe in you. Let’s get the ball rolling.’

H A R O L D A L F O N D H A D A L R E A D Y celebrated his 90th birthday when he told friends and family that he still had a lot of work to do. Retirement, he famously said, would have to wait until at least 10

Written by Dan Demeritt years after he was dead.

The philanthropist who had contrib-

uted millions to educational institutions and initiatives knew his gifts created opportunities for young people to pur-

sue an education, earn a good living and raise families in Maine. Alfond and his family understood that this work needed to extend beyond his own years. Today, 14 years after the former business leader passed away at the age of 93, the strategic leadership of the Harold Alfond Foundation unifies education, workforce and policy partners to provide innovation and comprehensive solutions.

62

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


dership

ALFOND BABIES ARE COMING OF AGE Just out of high school in 1934 during the Great Depression, Alfond went to work in a shoe factory making 25 cents an hour.

Maine is poised to become a global

Six years later, he and his father bought

education leader through the resulting

an abandoned facility in Norridgewock

transformations.

for $1,000 and started Norrwock Shoe

“Harold Alfond’s vision and gener-

Company. That was the start of a pros-

osity will shape education and improve

perous business career for the son

lives for the next century,” says Univer-

of Simon and Rose Alfond, Jewish

sity of Maine System Chancellor Dannel

immigrants from Tsarist Russia.

Malloy.

Alfond

believed

everyone

“His dream of putting the transfor-

should have access to higher

mational power of education within the

education, and for more than a

grasp of every Maine family is being re-

dozen years the Harold Alfond

alized. The integrated system of educa-

Foundation has encouraged Maine

tion and workforce training we are devel-

families to plan for their children’s fu-

oping with the support of our partners

ture, starting at birth.

at the Harold Alfond Foundation puts

The Foundation deposits $500

learners first and provides a lifetime of

into a college account for every

Maine career opportunities.”

single baby born in Maine. As of January 2021, 116,000 Maine children — about 10% of the state’s entire population — had accounts. Kaleb Hall, born January 2, 2008, is the very first “Alfond Baby.” The

PHOTO: JLG ARCHITECTS

son of Jason Hall and Victoria-

The future home of Black Bear men’s and women’s basketball.

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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F E AT U R E S T O R Y

“Education opens up our world. This is such a positive way to begin life. I want him to be able to dream and to pursue what makes him spark.”

Rory, Kristin and Jason Tremblay

64

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SALTER HILL IMAGES

K R I S T I N T R E M B L AY


Marie Vigue now is in eighth grade. Vigue

was

pregnant

when

backgrounds and with myriad aptitudes

prioritized athletic facilities for public

she

can realize a gratifying career, the Harold

and private colleges and universities and

learned of the Alfond Grant: Her moth-

Alfond Foundation supports programs

secondary private schools in the state.

er showed her a newspaper story about

that focus on student success and mul-

The Alfond name adorns class-com-

the then-new initiative. In the hospital

tiple paths to credentials valued in the

petitive athletic facilities from the Uni-

the day after Kaleb was born (he just

workforce.

versity of New England in Biddeford to

missed also being the 2008 New Year’s

The Jobs for Maine Graduates’ ex-

Thomas and Colby colleges in Waterville,

baby), a social worker asked Vigue if she

panded College Success Program (CSP)

as well at Kents Hill School, Husson Uni-

wanted to sign him up for a grant. It was

is but one example. This program, which

versity, and St. Joseph’s College. And the

a no-brainer, says Vigue.

includes Thomas College, five of Maine’s

Alfond name and a statue of Harold Al-

In 2008, Vigue had not yet started

community colleges, and the University

fond are centerpieces at the University

college. Her parents had saved money for

of Maine at Augusta, University of Maine

her college fund, but it had been needed

at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Ma-

to pay bills, including medical expenses

chias and University of Southern Maine,

for her father, who died when she was 17.

provides individualized services so that

When Vigue enrolled in community col-

students — including those facing aca-

lege after Kaleb’s birth, she says it was re-

demic or financial barriers — can seam-

assuring knowing that Kaleb already had

lessly advance from high school to col-

a fund for his future. Vigue is now a trav-

lege and a meaningful career.

eling nurse who maintains employment

There is now more than $58 million

with MaineGeneral, and she also saves

collectively available in the individual Al-

money for Kaleb’s education.

fond Grant accounts to open doors and

Rory Tremblay is also one of the

pursue college dreams. Maine’s colleges

116,000 Alfond Grant recipients. Thanks

and universities will be ready thanks to

to the initial $500 Alfond deposit,

the higher education partnerships, in-

monthly contributions from his parents,

novations, and facility investments pow-

Kristin and Jason Tremblay of Brown-

ered by the Harold Alfond Foundation.

field, and contributions from his grandparents, the 2 1/2-year-old already has $4,000 for his education.

F I R S T- C L A S S FA C I L I T I E S F O R M A I N E AND ITS FLAGSHIP UNIVERSITY

Kristin says the grant is a generous,

Alfond believed in the power of athlet-

affirming gift that says, “We believe in

ics to inspire and bring out the best in

you. Let’s get the ball rolling.”

Maine’s young people. He understood

“Maine has got the type of student that I like to help because they appreciate it, [and] they work harder … I’m very proud that the college has allowed me to be part of it and I know that for years to come that it’ll benefit a lot of people.” HAROLD ALFOND Harold Alfond’s story is among

that providing meaningful opportunities

Maine’s best examples that there are

and supporting competition require in-

many ways to be fulfilled and productive.

vestment. Both his giving and donations

To make sure students from different

made in his honor since his passing have

MERI is committed to creating a healthy Maine economy, strong businesses, and quality jobs by providing objective information to enhance economic policy making.

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F E AT U R E S T O R Y

of Maine, home of the state’s only Division I athletics program.

TOP: Before classes begin, new UMaine students receive a weeklong introduction to research learning experiences, a model coming to all UMS universities. ABOVE: In 1991, Black Bear men’s ice hockey coach Shawn Walsh, Harold Alfond and UMaine president Dale Lick break ground for the expansion of Alfond Arena. Alfond’s $2 million gift made the expansion possible.

lion of the $500 million. This gift from

namesake Foundation and family mem-

the Foundation requires a $150 million

bers had made more than $34 million

matching campaign for the University

in facility and program investments at

of Maine System and an additional $20

UMaine, the state’s research university.

million matching campaign for the Uni-

This commitment to the flagship’s mis-

versity of Maine Athletics capital proj-

sion and its athletic competitive excel-

ects, with both recipients actively seek-

lence creates opportunity and is a source

ing philanthropic support to meet these

of pride for Maine people.

goals. The funds, and matching dollars

From wind and waves (the Alfond W2

they leverage, will generate positive and

Ocean Engineering Lab), to ice (Alfond

enduring benefits throughout the UMS,

Arena), artificial turf (Alfond Stadium)

Maine, and beyond.

and plastics (Alfond Advanced Manufac-

“Our investment in the University

turing Lab for Structural Thermoplas-

System is the largest single gift in the

tics), the impact of the Alfond family on

history of the Foundation and deserved-

facilities at Maine’s largest university

ly so,” Harold Alfond Foundation chair-

cannot be overstated.

man Greg Powell said when the gift was announced.

MAKING HISTORY AND TRANSFORMING THE FUTURE

a terrific leadership team and that leader-

In October 2020, the Foundation pledged

ship is setting an exciting strategic direc-

$500 million in grant investments to the

tion that commits our state’s largest edu-

University of Maine System, Roux Insti-

cation and workforce development asset

tute at Northeastern University, University

to student success, partnership and great-

of New England, Thomas College, Focus-

er prosperity for the people of Maine.”

and The Jackson Laboratory. Maine State Chamber of Commerce

(UMS) was tapped to receive $240 mil-

As of last fall, Harold Alfond, his

Maine, Colby College, Waterville Creates!

66

The University of Maine System

“The System and its universities have

The System’s plan to maximize the funds’ impact is called UMS TRANSFORMS.


UMS TRANSFORMS focuses on four

no on August 23rd to begin a one-week

areas: $75 million for a multi-university

residential program (Bridge Week) and

Maine College of Engineering, Comput-

one-credit fall research learning experi-

ing and Information Science; $90 million

ence (RLE) course.

for UMaine athletic facilities; $55 million

The goal is to immerse UMaine

for the Maine Graduate and Professional

first-year and second-year students in

Center; and $20 million for student suc-

research, creative engagement and prob-

cess and retention.

lem-solving, as well as introduce them to multiple ways of learning and a variety of

T R A N S F O R M AT I V E E D U C AT I O N : STUDENT SUCCESS AND S TAT E W I D E I M PA C T

career possibilities. The 30-plus courses

Student success is the metric that mat-

Music, Track the Seasons, Make a Unique

ters most in education. And UMaine — a

Logo, Research Wind Power, and Read

land, sea, and space grant university — is

Customer Minds.

banking on experience being the best teacher as the transformation begins. In fall 2021, the university piloted a

PHOTOS; COURTESY THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

Research Learning Experience program

offered included Print in 3D, Hunt for Viruses, Make a Better Farm, Perform

Research, including asking questions, is a passion for Autumn-Skye Williams, a first-year civil engineering student interested in renewable energy.

that will be expanded to create a new

“How can we utilize other people’s

model of student engagement for ev-

strengths,” she asks. “How can we take

ery incoming public university student

this education on designing solutions

in the state. Maine’s public universities

for our own major? How do these skill

aim to make transformative education

sets help better collaborate with other

available to every learner through new

majors and their strengths into solving

teaching methods and support in cours-

a problem?”

es that are gateways to STEM education and stronger pathways to careers. About 300 students arrived in Oro-

Williams enrolled in the Design Challenges course for Bridge Week and for the RLE. O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

67


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

“I am more than ecstatic to delve

ing at UMaine, where the world-class $78

further into research each coming week

million Ferland Engineering Education

and the Bridge Week made college life

and Design Center will open in 2022,

a lot easier to make friends for a per-

says Maine needs double the number of

son that is introverted like me,” says the

current engineering and computing pro-

Rangeley, Maine resident. “I encourage

fessionals than it has.

future students to do this. You can learn

“Formation of Maine College of En-

a lot of things academically, personally

gineering, Computing, and Information

and professionally.

Science, with the support provided by

Sue Bell donated to the RLE pro-

the Harold Alfond Foundation, is the

gram because she’s inspired by the UMS

catalyst needed to address this critical

Transforms campaign and the Alfond

need,” he says.

Foundation’s leadership.

The MCECIS will add undergrad-

“As a former biology teacher, I’ve

uate engineering programs at UMaine

seen the impact hands-on research pro-

and USM, as well as offer UMaine grad-

vides to inspire students to get excited

uate engineering programs in Portland.

about careers in STEM,” says Bell, who

And, it will provide infrastructure to ex-

graduated cum laude from UMaine,

pand opportunities for students from all

earned a master’s in teaching and a Mas-

backgrounds and all parts of Maine, says

ter in Public Administration, served in

Penny Rheingans, professor of Comput-

the Maine House of Representatives and

er Science and director of the School of

was a member of Governor Angus King’s

Computing and Information Science at

Executive Management Team.

UMaine.

“After my career in state govern-

It will “educate a technical workforce

ment, I know the impact UMaine and the

to help Maine businesses grow and thrive,

Alfond Foundation have on our state.”

and infuse an information-based, problem-solving mindset into a wide range of

ENGINEERING A MAINE COLLEGE TO MEET WORKFORCE AND COMPUTING NEEDS

interdisciplinary endeavors,” she says.

Alfond was a proponent of collaborating

ing a master plan to reimagine four his-

to achieve success.

toric UMaine buildings for engineering

The multi-university Maine College

As part of the endeavor, PerkinElmer and Portland-based SMRT are develop-

and computing.

New research learning opportunities help 300 new UMaine students find their people, place and purpose on campus this fall.

of Engineering, Computing, and Infor-

G L O B A L LY C O M P E T I T I V E G R A D U AT E made possible by the Foundation’s $75 A N D P R O F E S S I O N A L E D U C AT I O N

the Foundation, collaborations among

million grant (there’s a match obligation

Innovation and experiential learning are

Graduate School of Business, the Uni-

of another $75 million), is an example of

hallmarks of the Maine Graduate and

versity of Southern Maine, and employ-

such an alliance.

Professional Center (the Maine Center),

ers and entrepreneurs have catalyzed

mation Science (MCECIS), that will be

The MCECIS will pool UMS assets

which launched in 2016 with a $7.5 mil-

work, including short courses, certifi-

and talent to meet the needs of Maine

lion challenge grant from the Harold Al-

cates, concentrations, and dual degrees,

businesses now, and in the increasingly

fond Foundation.

as well as an executive education lead-

interconnected digital global economy of the future.

The Maine Center, located in a signature space in the Old Port in Portland,

ership program for Maine startups and small businesses.

Jeremy Qualls, professor of physics

provides affordable market-driven in-

Bobby Monks and Bonnie Porta al-

and dean of the College of Science, Tech-

terdisciplinary programming that brings

ready have provided a $1 million leader-

nology, and Health at USM, says coalescing

together law, business, public policy, and

ship gift to boost the Maine Center.

resources will advance Maine’s technical

health policy. Students gain diverse skill

“The complex problems facing the

workforce and industries, including pur-

sets while engaged in learning inside and

world today — climate change, immigra-

suing opportunities in emerging markets.

outside of their core discipline.

tion, poverty, and the super-high pace of

Dana Humphrey, dean of engineer68

Maine Law, the University of Maine

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

In this first phase of support from

technological change — demand com-


plex solutions with deep roots in public policy, the law, and business,” says Monks, an entrepreneur and co-chair of the Maine Center campaign. “The Maine Center is where these disciplines will come together and push us further toward solutions, generating an outsized impact on Maine’s economy.” PHOTO; COURTESY THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE

By 2026, graduates of the Maine Center — 70% of whom stay in Maine — will add an additional $88.5 million to the state’s gross domestic product (market value of finished goods and services). Leigh Saufley, dean of the University

“The idea that we would have this kind of an investment in the University of Maine System and in particular in the University of Maine, it’s transformative. It is a chance to do so many things that matter for all of us and our students.” UMAINE PRESIDENT JOAN FERRINI-MUNDY

of Maine School of Law, says that “investors in the Maine Center are making a huge difference to the world we will see O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

69


two years from now, 10 years from now

cilities plan — a new multipurpose cen-

with an exciting option for state cham-

or 100 years from now.”

ter — will feature a 3,000-seat basketball

pionship venues,” says Ralph. “It is our

arena for the women’s and men’s basket-

stated goal to make Orono the preferred

C L A S S - L E A D I N G AT H L E T I C FA C I L I T I E S F O R E V E R Y O N E

ball teams.

destination for championship athletic

Alfond was an outstanding high school

the new facility to be built and for our

Being a destination for youth aca-

athlete. The 1991 inductee into the Uni-

program to be playing back on cam-

demic and athletic events will positively

versity of Maine Sports Hall of Fame often

pus,” says Amy Vachon, women’s basket-

impact enrollment at the flagship cam-

said he learned valuable lessons playing

ball coach and three-time America East

pus, where faculty, staff, and students

sports. His legacy of support in the form

Coach of the Year.

conduct world-class research of global

competitions in Maine.”

of a $90 million investment in Black Bear

“As a student-athlete, I remember

Athletics and facilities will spur excel-

walking across campus to play games

These most recent Harold Alfond

lence and draw people to Maine’s flagship

and seeing the fans lined up waiting to

Foundation investments, like dozens of

university for generations to come.

impact and local relevance.

enter the building. It is a special feel-

Alfond family and Foundation invest-

Ken Ralph, UMaine director of ath-

ing to be able to play games ‘at home.’

ments before them, provide essential

letics, says the investment will improve

Our entire program — alumnae, current

and aspirational resources for people

athletic facility infrastructure to a level

players and future players — are ecstatic

and for institutions of higher education.

that exceeds its peer group. “As we seek

about the new facility. We can’t wait for

These assets provide myriad op-

to upgrade the competitive excellence

the day the crowds return to campus to

portunities for all people to learn, grow,

of all Black Bear teams, we need to pro-

watch basketball!”

collaborate, and realize Maine’s motto of

vide access to class-leading venues for our athletes,” he says. Improvements to the historic Alfond Arena will include state-of-the-art locker

The center also will be the site of other UMaine-based

and

“the way life should be.”

communi-

Chancellor Malloy says UMS is eager

ty-based events, including contests,

to maximize these investments to foster

commencements, and academic fairs.

vibrant, resilient, inclusive, and innova-

rooms and lounges for the women’s and

“These new and refurbished facili-

men’s ice hockey teams, as well as signif-

ties will also allow the university to ex-

“We are thrilled to be a catalyst in

icant upgrades that will bolster experi-

pand its ability to host on-campus ath-

realizing a healthy, robust state in which

ences of student-athletes and fans.

letic contests for youth and club teams

everyone can thrive,” he says. “Just as

while also providing the state of Maine

Harold Alfond envisioned.”

A signature project of the master fa70

“We could not be more excited for

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

tive universities and communities.

PHOTO: JLG ARCHITECTS

F E AT U R E S T O R Y

The UMaine Soccer Facility will be the new home of the Black Bear women’s soccer team.


e to help ent that I lik d u st … of e p ork harder got the ty [and] they w , “Maine has e it b e to at e ci m re app lowed because they that the college has al ’ll it at th e ud com for years to I’m very pro I know that d an it of t par lfond — Harold A t of people.” benefit a lo

The University of Maine System is an EEO/AA employer and does not discriminate on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, transgender status, gender expression, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability, genetic information or veteran’s status in employment, education, and all other programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding nondiscrimination policies: Director of Equal Opportunity, 101 North Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469-5754, 207.581.1226, TTY 711 (Maine Relay System).

O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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72

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

PHOTO: KARI HERER

F E AT U R E S T O R Y


The Harold Alfond Foundation YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW Written by Sheila D. Grant

O N E C A N N O T L O O K T O T H E F U T U R E of

game. We look for great leadership, a

the Harold Alfond Foundation with-

great cause, and we look for outcomes

out hearkening back to the values of its

and successes in measurable ways.”

founder. The partnerships and commit-

One accomplishment that demon-

ments of today must also be considered,

strates the power of teamwork, and of

as they create the groundwork for last-

which Greg is especially proud, is the

ing, transformative change in Maine’s

innovative partnership in Waterville pio-

workforce development, access to health

neered by Harold Alfond in 1996.

care, youth aspirations, and community development going forward.

OPPOSITE: An event at the Blaine House in August 2019 celebrated the $50 million invested for 100,000 Maine children milestone.

“The Waterville Boys & Girls Club was in a terrible facility and was running a

Gregory Powell, Chairman of the

capital campaign. The YMCA was in equal-

Harold Alfond Foundation Board of

ly terrible shape, and the town recreation

Trustees, knew Harold from an early age

department needed money for a new

and has spent his days closely aligning

pool. All three were seeking money to do

the Foundation’s mission with Harold’s

what they wanted on their own,” Greg re-

business principles and giving priorities

called. Instead, Harold said he would not

since taking the helm in 1996.

fund any individual effort, but that he

“Harold was a very, very good busi-

would provide a matching grant to “build

ness man, and he taught me most of what

the best youth and recreation facility in

I know about business,” Greg said. “I feel

the country” if the three created one or-

like one of the things that we learned to-

ganization and worked together.

gether was taking those business princi-

“Teamwork is a huge theme and part

ples and applying them to a philanthrop-

of the philosophy of Harold Alfond, and

ic foundation as an important way of

today, of his foundation,” Greg said. “So

achieving higher returns in philanthropy.

now, on North Street in Waterville, is the

“You want to invest in your philan-

Alfond Youth Center, which sits next to

thropy the way you would a business or a

a brand new community pool. There are

stock, with business principles applied in

playgrounds to the right of it. The Al-

the best way to get the best return from

fond Youth Center also has two indoor

your philanthropic dollar,” explained

swimming pools, a major league track,

Greg. “All of our grants are businesslike,

basketball courts, weight facilities, a rec

in the sense that we ask for skin in the

room, and I think, the largest daycare in O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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F E AT U R E S T O R Y 74

“PERHAPS THE GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OF HAROLD AND BIBBY ALFOND WAS TO INSTILL PHILANTHROPIC VALUES IN THEIR FAMILY, MANY OF WHO HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN THE FOUNDATION’S WORK. IN THEIR OWN LIVES AND WITH THEIR OWN MONEY, THEY ARE VERY CHARITABLY MINDED.”

the state and the only combined Boys &

Harold and Bibby to their family and

Girls Club and YMCA in America.”

continues to this day.”

GREG POWELL

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

In 2020, grants totaling $51.9 million

The Foundation ended 2020 with

were paid to 54 organizations. Yet, after

binding grant commitments (money pay-

the payment of all grants and operating

able to charitable institutions for proj-

expenses, the Foundation closed the

ects in future years) of $508 million. That

calendar year with assets of $1.18 billion,

figure has dramatically increased since

up from $900 million at the end of 2019.

2019 due to the large multiyear grant

“Peter was a highly-valued member

commitments announced this past year.

of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees for

The Foundation’s stated mission is

more than two decades,” Greg said. “He

to honor and promote the values of our

was also an accomplished business ex-

founder, Harold Alfond, through trans-

ecutive, philanthropist in his own right,

formative investments for the benefit

and beloved son, brother, father, uncle,

of Maine in education, health care, and

and friend.” After his death, the Harold

youth and community development.

Alfond Foundation became a beneficiary

“While the mission statement is broad,

of Peter’s estate and trust.

it includes three core elements that in-

“Perhaps the greatest accomplish-

form all grant decisions: the values of

ment of Harold and Bibby Alfond was

our founder, his pattern and favored

to instill philanthropic values in their

areas of giving, and maximizing impact

family, many of who have been active in

through strategically transformative in-

the Foundation’s work,” said Greg. Sons

vestments,” Greg explained.

Ted and Bill Alfond and nephew Peter

The Foundation’s intentionally ex-

Lunder are trustees of the Foundation,

pansive perspective enables it to focus

as are two of Harold’s grandchildren. “In

opportunistically on investments that ad-

their own lives and with their own mon-

dress Maine’s evolving needs and unique

ey, they are very charitably minded. So

challenges, but “we recognize that our

those values and that sense of helping

resources alone are not sufficient to do it

your community was passed down from

all,” said Greg. “However, if our resources

PHOTO: JLG ARCHITECTS

Planned expansion at “the Alfond” in Orono


are strategically invested in projects with quality leadership and teamwork, they can build models which serve as a catalyst for positive, long-standing transformative change. We seek a high return on our philanthropic dollar.” The Harold Alfond Foundation also tries to be modest, in the sense that, “we don’t pretend to have all the answers for people,” Greg said. “What we do is look at what people need, and the enterprises and projects they have in mind to build, and we try to help. When we have some-

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

one who has talent and leadership ability putting some skin in the game for a worthy cause, we start to look at this as the ingredients of a great investment. This particular theme flows through most of the investments that we do.” Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Harold Alfond Foundation sees opportunities emerging from these challenging times. Recent work by the Founda-

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tion focuses on three broad investment themes: building Maine’s workforce, revitalizing the economy of Waterville, and supporting high-quality health care. “Rebounding from the pandemic and combatting our challenges will require that all people have the skills and opportunity to participate in the labor market,” Greg said. “We continue to fund education and health care grants that seek both long-term and short-term measures to increase and modernize the talents of our labor force, including segments of our population that are underskilled, underemployed, and have been hardest hit by the pandemic.” The Foundation views preparing people for employment in the technology, health care, engineering, and computer science fields as especially important because these are sectors of the economy where the U.S. has an edge globally and which offer higher wages and the highest potential to spur economic growth. They are also sectors in which there is a shortage of workers in Maine. Since the pandemic, the handful of larger, more densely populated cities that O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

75


F E AT U R E S T O R Y

enjoyed 90% of “innovation sector” jobs

alence of remote work has come signs of

partnership that foster deeper working

have become less popular places to live

much-needed in-migration of workers to

relationships with employers, business-

and work. Instead, rural Maine has seen

our state. While it’s too early to declare

es, and industry,” said Greg. “As we have

an unprecedented demand for real estate,

victory, recent data does suggest an in-

repeatedly observed, cooperation across

especially residences.

flux of young workers. Maine was one of

the nonprofit, private, and public sectors is vital to tackling Maine’s challenges.”

The pandemic also highlighted the

just 10 locations in the U.S. to successfully

national security priority of bringing

attract new residents to live and work re-

more life science and tech industry ca-

motely during the pandemic.”

pacity back to the U.S.

Seizing on this moment of opportu-

In 2020, Foundation investment toward building Maine’s workforce in-

“This reality, together with growth in

nity, the Harold Alfond Foundation has

Maine’s tech economy before the pan-

invested heavily in Maine’s future in a

The Harold Alfond College Chal-

demic, suggests a landscape of promis-

number of significant ways. In 2020, the

lenge program, known by Maine families

ing opportunity,” Greg said. “Numerous

Foundation announced commitments of

as ‘MyAlfondGrant,” was established in

STEM-oriented businesses, both start-

over $507 million to Maine institutions

2008. The College Challenge awards a

ups and more mature businesses, have

to fund initiatives which aim to increase

$500 grant to every child born in Maine

found a growing and more prominent

access to education and well-being, in-

to be used for education beyond high

place in Maine in recent years. In 2020,

centivize skilled workers to relocate and

school, whether that be a four-year de-

newly launched and expanding STEM

remain in-state, and to meet the work-

gree or a welding certificate. Operated in

academic programs founded in research

force needs of the modern economy.

partnership with the Alfond Scholarship

have nurtured and fed this growth.”

cluded:

Per Harold Alfond’s deep belief in

Foundation and the Finance Authority

Furthermore, growth of tech and

having skin in the game, most Foun-

of Maine, this program seeks to increase

life science industries in Boston create

dation investments in 2020 required a

early awareness of the importance of

the potential for a corridor of business

match, which encouraged community

higher education and inspire Maine

growth from that city northward into

and government partners to contribute

families to save on their own, including

Maine.

time and resources, and ensured that

through opening and contributing to the

they were more deeply committed to

state of Maine’s NextGen 529 Investment

projects.

Plan®.

And finally, COVID demonstrated that remote work is possible. “Many employers are now allowing employees to

“Furthermore, our grantmaking pri-

In 2020, $5.8 million in grants were

work remotely,” said Greg. “With the prev-

oritizes projects with teamwork and

awarded to 11,696 children. As of the end

PHOTO; PATRICK WINE

University of Maine students generate questions and group rules for their team research learning experience in fall 2021.

76

Maine State Chamber of Commerce


of 2020, the Foundation has awarded over $58 million in grants to 117,120 Maine children since the program’s inception. The

Maine

Community College

SENIOR LEADERS OF TOMORROW DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

System plays a vital role in the state’s

You are already successful and highly regarded.

economy, and particularly in serving unemployed or underemployed workers and first-generation students. The Foundation’s initial $3.6 million investment in MCCS in 2020 helped build the infra-

Now you must hone your leadership for even bigger things.

structure for, and strengthen the rollout of, new system-wide, short-term skills building programs. These programs offer Maine workers the chance to earn target-

Your technical skills and hard work got you here, now contemporary organizational skills will prepare you to lead in a contemporary world.

ed, industry-specific micro-credentials that lead directly to employment or promotion in a condensed timeframe at low cost. The Maine Quality Centers — the system’s short-term workforce training arm — is on pace to double the number of people in training programs this year

Join your Maine Business peers to work on these new skills together, in a hands-on way that lets you experience tools and skills that you can immediately apply. You’ll master strategy, change, communication, and become transformational in your work.

to 3,600 learners, and triple the number of badges awarded to more than 7,600. As this article goes to press, the Foundation awarded an additional $15.5 million to the System’s workforce training programs. The University of Maine System received grant commitments last year of up to $240 million from the Foundation — the largest grant ever made to a public institution of higher education in New England, and the eighth largest ever made to an institution of public higher education in the United States. UMS will

Program begins November 3, 2021 Presented by

mainechamber.org/lead Powered by

leverage this major investment to raise an additional $170 million in matching funds over the next ten years, resulting in a $410 million total investment in Maine’s public university system. This

2021 SLOT - OneVoice Maine.indd 1

9/25/2021 04:26:23 PM

grant included funding for student re-

gram pays half of the student debt, up

of the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer

tention and success, a unified College of

to $60,000, for selected STEM profes-

Care and the 640,000-square-foot Al-

Engineering and Computer Science, the

sionals who move to or stay in Maine for

fond Center for Health at MaineGeneral

Maine Center for Graduate and Profes-

at least three years and work in a STEM

in Augusta.

sional Studies, and upgrading of athletic

occupation. Since the program began in

Most recently, the Foundation has

facilities at the University of Maine.

2017, over 200 professionals have been

focused on initiatives that increase ac-

selected as Alfond Leaders.

cess to high-quality health care delivery

The Alfond Leaders Student Debt Reduction Program, offered in part-

Expanding access to high-quali-

in Maine with a concern for Maine’s ru-

nership with the Finance Authority of

ty health care has long been a priority

ral communities and combatting Maine’s

Maine, is a student debt reduction initia-

of the Harold Alfond Foundation. That

greatest health challenge, which is cancer.

tive designed to recruit and retain young

commitment is exemplified in the Foun-

Toward that end, in 2020, the Harold

talented STEM professionals. The pro-

dation’s investment toward construction

Alfond Foundation provided the followO N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

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F E AT U R E S T O R Y

ing support:

la Lunder of the Lunder Foundation.

The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) re-

Colby, in partnership with, Water-

ceived a follow-up grant of $11,924,000

ville Creates! saw an additional $11 mil-

to further the scope of the Maine Can-

lion in grants last year to support con-

cer Genomics Initiative. The initiative is a

struction of the Paul J. Schupf Center for

statewide collaboration of JAX scientists

the Arts on Waterville’s Main Street.

and community oncologists bringing

Thomas College was awarded $13.5

innovative cancer genomic testing, ed-

million in 2020. Key components of the

ucation, and drug access infrastructure

grant include the deepening of academic

to Maine. Every oncology practice in the

and employer partnerships through the

state is a program partner.

Harold Alfond Institute of Business InnoMaineGeneral

vation, the launch of new academic pro-

Medical Center saw a commitment of

MaineHealth

grams in leading-edge fields, enhanced

$10 million to develop an integrated,

student retention programs, and expand-

patient-centered cancer network to co-

ed affordability initiatives..

and

ordinate high-quality oncology services

THANK YOU, MR. ALFOND. YOUR GENEROUS SPIRIT IS AN INSPIRATION TO US ALL.

Other

Harold Alfond

Foundation

throughout the state. The project’s main

grantees in 2020 include the Roux Insti-

goal is to optimize diagnosis and treat-

tute at Northeastern University which re-

ment for Maine’s cancer patients as close

ceived a 10-year grant commitment of $100

to home as possible and to efficiently

million from the Foundation in match of a

coordinate that care using navigators.

like-funding contribution from Dave and

Additionally, this program led to a deeper

Barbara Roux. The Institute, launched in

collaboration with Massachusetts Gener-

2020, offers master’s degrees in curricu-

al Hospital, with a formal patient care co-

lum partnerships designed to work with

ordination model being piloted in 2021.

and solve real life operational challenges

The University of New England re-

of Maine businesses and beyond.

78

Maine State Chamber of Commerce

tablish the Institute for Interprofession-

Going forward, “much of our focus

al Education and Practice and construct

will be on initiatives that provide acces-

a new facility for the relocation of the

sible education, health, and opportuni-

UNE medical school from Biddeford to

ty for Mainers from all walks of life con-

Portland.

tributing to long-term prosperity and

In its commitment to the economic

promise for all,” Greg said. “While our

revitalization of Waterville, where Harold

work is cut out for us, we are optimis-

and Dorothy “Bibby” (Levine) Alfond raised

tic about what lies ahead. Throughout

their four children: Ted, Susan, Bill and Pe-

this past year, the people of Maine came

ter, the Foundation made more than $22

together to withstand and combat the

million in grants in 2020, including to:

pandemic. They did so with innovation,

Colby College, where over $100 mil-

teamwork, and an extraordinary work

lion has been awarded for projects on

ethic. These qualities undergird our

campus and on Main Street, including

optimism for Maine’s future as we work

construction of the Harold Alfond Ath-

with our grantees to take advantage of

letics and Recreation Center; buildings

this opportune moment for progress

on Main Street housing tech firm CGI and

and new growth in our state. Our trust-

other businesses; the Bill & Joan Alfond

ees and staff are honored and grateful

Main Street Commons, with lead funding

to be a part of this work.”

by Bill and Joan Alfond and the Bill and

In the past 13 years, the Harold Al-

Joan Alfond Foundation; the Lockwood

fond Foundation has awarded over $450

Hotel, with its new Front and Main Restau-

million in grants, primarily to institutions

rant; and an arts studio rehab at 18 Main

within Maine. Please visit haroldalfond-

Street, with lead funding by Peter and Pau-

foundation.org for more information.

PHOTO; MAINEGENERAL HEALTH

ceived a $30 million commitment to es-


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Now in its 4th generation, with 21 Locations and over 800 Employees Skip and Verna Hammond founded Hammond Lumber Company in 1953 with $50, a sawmill and two employees. Today, 68 years later, with 800 employees and 21 locations, four generations stand together. At right: Skip and Verna Hammond (first generation). Far right: Don (second generation), Skip, Sadie (fourth generation) and Mike Hammond (third generation).

GREENVILLE

Hammond Lumber Company would like to honor Mr. Harold Alfond’s legacy and thank the entire Alfond Family for their contributions to our State. Your family legacy will continue to be lasting, with an invaluable and positive impact on our communities.

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NO on Question 1 says YES to New England Clean Energy Connect Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs is a coalition of businesses, labor unions, trade associations and noted environmental leaders. We SUPPORT the New England Clean Energy Connect and OPPOSE Question 1 on the November ballot. Here’s why. In Maine and globally, we are at the beginning phases of a monumental shift in energy production and use. The resulting economic opportunity is almost beyond measure. Question 1 would undermine this rare opportunity for Maine and it would set a precedent for deeper political interference in private enterprise and job creation. It’s important to read what the ballot question actually proposes. Contrary to the advertising, voters aren’t being asked to stop just a single project. They are being asked to approve several provisions that would create serious impediments to significant energy projects of any type. The retroactive repeal of existing permits and the politicization of future ones – as proposed by Question 1 – would put Maine at a disadvantage in attracting all types of energy investment. How would future Maine projects even secure financing if the state sets a precedent for nullifying building permits years after the fact? THE OBJECTIVE FACTS ABOUT THE CLEAN ENERGY CORRIDOR: 1. It will import an enormous volume of affordable clean energy into Maine, holding down energy costs in the entire region and resulting in lower production from carbon polluting sources. 2. It’s a billion dollar private investment in public infrastructure that is employing hundreds of Maine workers. 3. The infrastructure will annually bring $18 million in property taxes to local communities. 4. The Maine DEP conditioned permits on “an unprecedented level of natural resource protection for transmission line construction in the State of Maine.” 5. It will bring $1.3 billion in financial benefits to Maine, an extra infusion of clean energy for the unique benefit of Maine, and 40,000 acres of permanent conservation land. 6. Not a penny comes at the cost of Maine ratepayers nor taxpayers. Paid for by Mainers for Clean Energy Jobs PAC - 128 State St, Augusta, ME 04330

(207) 623-4568 info@cleanenergyjobs4me.org O N E VO I C E M A I N E / FA L L 2 0 2 1

3


Building

Big Dreams, Bright Futures. The Alfond Scholarship Foundation is proud to

honor the legacy of Harold Alfond by awarding a $500 Alfond Grant to all eligible Maine children. •

$300 million invested

121,000 Maine children impacted*

Thank you so much to our business partners who help us reach Maine families. Our business partners offer payroll deduction so that their employees can save for the future education of their children and grandchildren. Learn more about how you can join our Champions Circle! www.myalfondgrant.org/champions/maine-employers

BUSINESS PARTNERS AS OF JUNE 2021 THANKS TO OUR CHAMPIONS: Alfond Youth Community Center, Bank of America, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Central Maine Medical Center, Cianbro, Colby College, General Dynamics Bath Iron Works, Hussey Seating, The Jackson Laboratory, L.L.Bean, Machias Savings Bank, Maine Community College System, MaineHealth, St. Joseph Healthcare, Thomas College, Tyler Technologies, University of Maine System, WEX, York Hospital

AND SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR GOLD MEDAL CHAMPIONS! Geiger, Gorham Savings Bank, MaineGeneral Health, University of New England, Unum *Value of investments from Foundation and families, along with matching grants, as of June 2021. Number of grant recipients also as of June 2021.