This award is named for community leader Peter G. Thompson. Like Peter, nominees in this category have been active leaders in the Kennebec Valley region for many years. These business/professional leaders have made a lasting impression on the business climate in our area.
Robert Gordon has dedicated his life to helping others and creating community connections. With Rob’s leadership from July 1986 to August 2019, the United Way of Kennebec Valley doubled the number of organizations it helps fund to more than 50, through which more than 22,000 people are provided services. Rob is grateful for the opportunity he had to facilitate the work of United Way for 33 years and is thankful for the hundreds of committed board members, generous local businesses, and thousands of individual contributors who have kept United Way strong and growing. He hopes that the legacy of his work with United Way is a recognition that whenever we help one person, one child, one family to a better healthier life, we lift up and strengthen our entire community.
The Large Business of the Year recipient is a KV Chamber members that has been in business for at least 4 years and has 10 or more employees. Throughout its history in the Kennebec Valley, it has demonstrated revenue growth and job creation. This business is recognized for excellence in its industry through its innovation, unparalleled customer service, staff development, and marketing practices. Its impact on the Kennebec Valley is measured through its community involvement and economic impact.
Central Maine Pyrotechnics is Maine’s number one fireworks company, specializing in providing customers with a unique pyrotechnics experience for a memorable celebration. Formed in 1986, they have grown from 12 firework shows in their first year to operating over 300 fireworks displays each year in six New England states. In order to service these displays, they employ 55 licensed pyrotechnics, with 10 living in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Central Maine Pyrotechnics prides itself in providing the best quality in fireworks and the best showmanship, with displays choreographed to music.
The Small Business of the Year recipient is a KV Chamber members that has been in business for at least 4 years and employs 9 or less people. Throughout its history in the Kennebec Valley, it has demonstrated revenue growth and job creation. This business is recognized for excellence in its industry through its innovation, unparalleled customer service, staff development, and marketing practices. Its impact on the Kennebec Valley is measured through its community involvement and economic impact.
Zardus Art of Massage and Wellness Spa encompasses the fine art of mind and body relaxation through contemporary and holistic solutions. The spa not only provides services as a therapeutic and relaxation massage center but also drives community involvement through wellness, nutrition, health, and alternative healing classes. Zardus Art of Massage began as a sole proprietorship in 2011 and has grown to a team of 7 licensed massage therapists and 9 additional independent practitioners contributing their own knowledge and expertise to the collective group.
Nominees in this category are KV Chamber members that have been in business for at least two years. Their impact on the Kennebec Valley is evident through their revenue growth and job creation. They are leaders in their industry and maintain an exemplary business image in our community.
Augusta Fuel Company has been a staple in the capital area since 1888. AFC is a complete residential and commercial comfort provider, supplying energy efficient and low sulfur heating fuels as well as providing maintenance, repairs, and installation services. Throughout the years, the mission of AFC has remained the same - to provide the best home and commercial comfort solutions, with a professionalism and reliability that is unmatched.
Located in downtown Augusta, Cushnoc Brewing Company is a 120-seat restaurant specializing in hand crafted beer and wood fired pizza. Cushnoc has quickly grown since its opening on Halloween of 2017. In two years, Cushnoc has grown from only being able to supply two draft lines at the restaurant to being available throughout Maine at over 630 locations on draft and in cans.
As Maine’s top engineering design firm, TRC develops breakthrough energy and environmental solutions for businesses and communities in the Northeast and beyond, from solar power and microgrids to cutting-edge remediation and compliance programs. TRC started a local presence as a small engineering and environmental company in Augusta with 50 employees and has grown to over 280 professional employees in four locations.
Nominees in this category are active in bettering the Kennebec Valley. They are recognized by their peers for their integrity and performance. Throughout their history, their track record of community leadership is evident.
The Augusta Elks Lodge number 964 prides itself on helping our community, our veterans, and our youth. Whenever the Elks see a need, they react to help whenever possible. They see that they have the means to help, the volunteers, and the drive to do so. Helping others is what being an Elk is all about. The organizations they support include the Maine Children’s Cancer Program, the Travis Mills Foundation, and the Augusta Boys and Girls Club.
Aveda Institute Maine is a post-secondary educational facility through which students obtain an education in the fields of cosmetology, barbering, esthetics, and nail technology. It is part of the mission of Aveda Institute Maine to help their students achieve financial success by opening doors to future opportunities through education. Additionally, they hold several shows throughout the year to benefit different causes and charities.
For over 30 years, Townsquare Media’s radio stations – 92 Moose, and B98.5 – have been serving central Maine by supporting local causes, fundraising for local charities, and providing a platform and a voice for crucial messaging. Townsquare Media feels it is not just important to be involved and give back to the community but that it is their responsibility as community leaders to influence and support each other to rally together.
Nominees in this category are Kennebec Valley professionals between the ages of 21 and 40. For at least the past two years, they have shown exemplary leadership throughout our region. These individuals are recognized for their long term commitment to the betterment of the Kennebec Valley.
Kaleb Pushard has known from a young age that if you want it, you have to work for it. His business ventures and hard work began at the ripe age of six selling paper planes and has evolved to becoming the director of his family-owned business's pilot program - MIKA’s Awesome After School and Summer Camp Program - to founding his own business, SkyBox Holiday and Event Lighting. Kaleb believes you can always do more, give more, love more, and help more.
From a very young age, Peter Quigley was taught to do the best at everything he does, to always strive for perfection, and lead by example. From the very beginning of his working life, Peter learned that the ethics taught by his parents made him stand out among his peers. He wants to leave behind a legacy of hard work, honesty and integrity. He wants to be a light to the people around him to inspire them to go after their dreams.
Natalie Tortorella knew she wanted a career that had a big impact and was involved with children. After teaching inner city children in Boston, she moved home to be closer to family and began selling insurance for her uncle – a career change which sparked her passion for sales. With the founding of the Study Hall in Manchester, Natalie combined her two passions into one business. The Study Hall serves hundreds of students each week in a variety of subjects and customizes the tutoring experiences to fit almost any student need.
Thank you to our 2020 Kenney Awards Sponsors!
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kennebec Valley | Day's Jewelers | Elliott Office Products, Inc. | Gagne & Son | Gardiner Federal Credit Union | Homewood Suites | J.S. McCarthy Printers | Lipman & Katz | Macomber, Farr & Whitten | Oakes & Parkhurst Glass | Pine State Trading Co. | Sprague & Curtis Real Estate | The Copy Center | TRC Companies, Inc. | Wipfli, LLP
Alternative Manufacturing, Inc. | Longfellow's Greenhouses