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Greenwich Associates, a leading independent research firm, named Camden National Bank a Customer Experience (CX) Leader for 2020. This marks the third year in a row Camden National Bank has been recognized for its Retail Banking customer experience, and the first year it’s also awarded for its Small Business Banking customer experience. Camden National Bank is one of seven U.S. banks to receive 2020 CX Leader awards. In both categories, the bank was honored for its commitment to delivering a superior experience and meeting client needs during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’m very proud of our entire team in celebrating this recognition,” said Greg Dufour, President & CEO of Camden National Bank. “All of our employees—from our business team supporting thousands of small businesses with PPP loans, to our mortgage team processing record volume, and our retail team safely serving customers each day—have stepped up in an impressive way.”

During 2020, Camden National Bank issued over 3,000 loans through the SBA’s PPP program, representing $229 million for Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts businesses. Its mortgage banking division has recorded nearly $1 billion of residential mortgages. At the same time, its banking centers remained open to customers during the pandemic, while the Customer Care Team and digital banking platforms remotely supported thousands of customers, many of whom increased digital banking usage during the pandemic.

“Customer experience awards for both retail and business banking represent our team’s steadfast dedication to listening to our customers’ needs and going above and beyond, so we can be there for them,” added Renée Smyth, Chief Experience & Marketing Officer at Camden National Bank. “Especially in such a challenging year for all, providing guidance, stability, and support for our customers is so important to us.”

Greenwich Associates conducts interviews and extensive research which provides a foundation of benchmark data on bank customer relationships which does not exist anywhere else in the industry. Greenwich CX Leaders achieve scores that exceed the industry benchmarks by a specific margin for overall satisfaction, likelihood to recommend and likelihood to continue using. Camden National Bank was one of only two banks nationally recognized in the retail banking category, and one of four in the small business banking category.

“A small group of banks that had committed to superior customer experience as the centerpiece of their strategies stood out during the COVID-19 crisis by stepping up and helping their small business, middle market and retail clients navigate pandemic challenges,” Greenwich Associates said in its November announcement.

Today marks the 19th Anniversary of Amtrak Downeaster service between Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts. Since December 15, 2001, more than 65,000 Downeaster trains have operated, transporting more than 7.62 million passengers the equivalent of nearly 658 million passenger miles.  The Downeaster transports a diverse cross-section of riders who travel for a variety of purposes including commuter, college students, senior citizens, school kids on educational trips, sports fans, beach goers and tourists and more.

Amtrak Downeaster ridership increased nearly 90% in the fifteen years leading up to FY19 and continued into FY20 as ridership records were achieved in the first eight months of the year.   

Many improvements have been made since service began including reduced travel time, increased frequency and expanded service to Freeport and Brunswick. There’s more on the horizon!   Downeaster frequency will increase to serve Maine commuters. Efforts to reduce travel time by relocating the Portland station and to expand access by adding a station in West Falmouth are being explored. Amtrak is purchasing new train sets which will be used on the Downeaster route in the coming years.

This past year has had its challenges, but Amtrak Downeaster adapted and continues to operate with an enhanced focus on passenger safety and comfort.

The NNEPRA Team is grateful to passengers, crews, station communities, and ambassadors for riding along with us on this journey. 

Cheers to 19 years – there are many more to come!                                                                                                                

This holiday season, Theater at Monmouth brings back a holiday favorite, previously performed in Cumston Hall. Every Christmas Story Ever Told… (and then some!) is a fast, furious, and slightly irreverent look at holiday classics and traditions. The play begins as yet another version of A Christmas Carol and takes “a wrong turn in Albuquerque” on the way to a B.H.C. (Beloved Holiday Classic) Smackdown between A Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life. Santy Claus, Rudolph (or in this case Gustav), the Grinch, and just about every other seasonal character makes an appearance in this racy comedy that, according to Kelly Monaghan of TheOtherOrlando, “will have you laughing harder than spiked eggnog.”

Instead of performing Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, three intrepid actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told—add a sprinkling of Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to contemporary pop-culture, and every carol ever sung—and you’ve got a madcap romp through the holiday season.

Every Christmas Story Ever Told… (and then some!) by John K. Alvarez, Michael Carleton, and James FitzGerald features James Noel Hoban, Ian Kramer, and Grace Bauer; directed by Dawn McAndrews with set and lights by Jim Alexander, costume design by Elizabeth Rocha, and sound design by Elizabeth Nelson. Every Christmas Story Ever Told… is sponsored by MaineGeneral Health and Winthrop Area Federal Credit Union. This production is best suited for revelers ages 13 and up.

TAM’s producing artistic director explained the shows mission, “We know so many of our patrons are missing our annual Holiday show and everyone could use a good laugh right now. We promised our patrons a BIG HOLIDAY SURPRISE and after being nagged for ages about when we were going to produce this belly-buster again, we decided to haul out the holiday cheer with a past TAM Holiday Show classic.”

Every Christmas Story Ever Told… (and then some!) will be streamed through BroadwayonDemand’s ShowShare from December 10-14. A link to book tickets is available on TAM’s Facebook and website. Once purchased, patrons will receive the link to rent the show for 48 hours once it's started just like other streaming services. Tickets are $20 with a service charge of $3.95. For instructions on how to purchase tickets and view the show visit http://theateratmonmouth.org/plays/every-christmas-stream.

For more information please call 207.933.9999 or visit www.theateratmonmouth.org.

 

People get excited about different things. I get excited about opportunities that allow me to be part of a solution that improves the quality of lives.
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My promise to you is to always be authentic and honest.
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Bar Harbor, Maine –Bar Harbor Bank & Trust recognized twelve employees during the Bank’s Employee Appreciation Week for their outstanding contribution to the organization’s success in 2020. The peer-nominated awards recognize employees whose behavior exemplifies Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s core values of Communication, Professionalism, Initiative, Quality, Positivity and Teamwork, which guide the actions of all employees and set the expectation for customers.

Tiffany Ash and Melissa Case were the recipients of the Communications Award, which recognizes an employee who shares the right information clearly and quickly to build great relationships. Ash, Regional Retail Operations Manager, has been with the Bank for 16 years and is located in Newport, New Hampshire. Case, AVP Branch Relationship Manager for the Bank’s location in Brandon, Vermont, has been with the Bank for 15 years.

Jeff Charland and Beverly Veilleux were the recipients of the Professionalism Award, which recognizes an employee who treats others with care and respect. Charland, VP Regional Relationship Manager, has been with the Bank for five years and works from the Rockland, Maine, office. Veilleux, Senior Wealth Administrator, joined the Bank in 2019 and is located in Bangor, Maine.

Nichole Lee and Jarmila Silva were the recipients of the Initiative Award, which recognizes an employee who continually works to improve the customer experience team development. Lee, Branch Relationship Manager for the Bank’s location in South China, Maine, has been with the Bank for seven years. Silva, Branch Relationship Manager for the Bank’s location in Concord, New Hampshire, has been with the Bank for two years.

Emily Gerrard and Cody Mundy were the recipients of the Quality Award, which recognizes an employee who ensures the Bank adheres to the highest quality standards. Gerrard, Staff Account, has been with the Bank for nine years and is located in Newport, New Hampshire. Mundy, Customer Service Representative, has been with the Bank for two years and is located in Concord, New Hampshire.

Tiffany Law and Lindsay Moore were the recipients of the Positivity Award, which recognizes employees who create a rewarding and exciting place to work. Law, VP Community Banking Relationship Manager, has joined the Bank in 2019 and is located in Nashua, New Hampshire. Moore, Commercial Lending Assistant, has been with the Bank for two years and is located in Newport, New Hampshire.

Shania Adams and Katherine Paine were the recipients of the Teamwork Award, which recognizes an employee who builds great teams to make positive things happen. Adams, Personal Banker, has been with the Bank for four years and works out of the Hillsborough, New Hampshire, office. Paine, Assistant Branch Manager for the Bank’s location in New London, New Hampshire, has been with the Bank for five years.

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100. Member FDIC.

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United Way of Kennebec Valley (UWKV), which has helped more than 25,000 local people access basic need services during the Covid-19 pandemic so far, is making its final push to raise enough money to support 56,000 Kennebec Valley residents. Chris and Sarah Voynik, who are chairing the effort, convened a cabinet of community champions last summer to help grow and maintain United Way’s network of donors while asking those who are in a position to give to support the effort.
 
Chris, from Laflin & Wolfington Realty, and Sarah, from Merrill’s Detector Dog Services, met with several businesses and individuals in an effort to more than double the number of people supported next year through UWKV’s Community Care and Covid-19 Response Funds. So far, funding to the United Way has helped people access vital programming in the Kennebec Valley—combating food insecurity and mental health issues, and providing shelter to the homeless.
 
“Chris and I are humbled by the generosity of our community,” Sarah said. “During a time when everyone is struggling, our community stepped up to ensure that we get through these difficult times united.”
 
“Since the start of this campaign season we have seen several workplace campaigns increase by more than 10 percent,” Chris said. “The campaign has only two months left, and we invite more businesses and local folks to join us because now—more than ever—our nonprofits need us.”
 
United Way's annual campaign typically engages more than 130 local businesses, representing nearly 3,200 donors. Last year gifts to United Way totaled more than $1.8 million and assisted 24,694 people in 50 programs across the Southern Kennebec Valley region.
 
United Way continues to grow new initiatives that expand the organization’s footprint. More than 40 civic-minded professionals with a passion for volunteering make up the Emerging Leaders Society, which is open to anyone who donates to United Way at $400 or more and volunteers with local organizations. In addition, Sarah has invited local businesses to become members of United Way’s 365 Small Business Circle with a dollar-a-day contribution. More than 45 businesses have already joined this community-wide effort and have raised more than $47,000 in four years.
 
United Way will unveil its campaign achievements and thank the community on Jan. 27 through a socially distanced, virtual celebration.
 
There is still an opportunity for businesses and individuals to participate in the campaign. Please contact  or 207-626-3400. For more information, visit uwkv.org.

Bar Harbor, Maine – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust employees recently presented donations totaling more than $11,000 to seven Northern New England nonprofit organizations. The donations were collected during Q3 2020 through the Bank’s employee-driven charitable giving program, Casual for a Cause. The program allows Bank employees to dress casually on Fridays in exchange for a contribution to a pool of funds collected during each quarter. The employees then select and vote on the nonprofits to receive their contributions.

The recipients of the employee donations collected during Q3 2020 are: American Red Cross of Northern New England, Eastern Area Agency on Aging, Gifford Medical Center, Lubec Community Food Pantry, Machias Food Pantry, Maine Seacoast Mission Family Food Center, and Rutland Regional Medical Center.

“Casual for a Cause offers our employees a great opportunity to support nonprofit organizations that are providing invaluable services and resources to our neighbors in need,” said Jack Frost, VP Director of Community Giving at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “We are honored to make donations to these seven organizations, especially right now when the demand for their services is so great.”

Q3 2020 Recipients

American Red Cross of Northern New England helps 3.3 million people in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. Since the beginning on the COVID-19 pandemic, they have responded to 167 disaster events, which impacted 262 families. Learn more about The American Red Cross of Northern New England at www.redcross.org/local/me-nh-vt.

Eastern Area Agency on Aging (EAAA) provides older adults, caregivers, and adults with disabilities in Hancock, Penobscot, Piscataquis and Washington counties in Maine with the information and access to resources they need to be healthy, engaged, and supported in their communities. EAAA offers the Meals on Wheels program to aid homebound seniors and the Senior Food Box Program, which works to improve the health of low-income elderly persons by supplementing their diets with nutritious foods. Learn more about EAAA at www.eaaa.org.

Gifford Medical Center, a Critical Access Hospital in Randolph, Vermont, improves and manages the health of the people they serve by providing and assuring access to affordable, high-quality health care, and by promoting the health and well-being of everyone in their service area. Learn more about Gifford Medical Center at www.giffordhealthcare.org.

Lubec Community Food Pantry provides healthy, nutritious food at no cost to the residents of Lubec, while treating their clients with the highest level of dignity and respect. Learn more about Lubec Community Food Pantry at www.lubecoutreach.org/programs.

Machias Food Pantry provides nutritious food to residents in need from Bucks Harbor, Cutler, East Machias, Jonesboro, Machias, Machiasport, Marshfield, Northfield, Roque Bluffs, Wesley, and Whitneyville. Learn more about the Machias Food Pantry at www.facebook.com/machiasfoodpantry.

Maine Seacoast Mission Family Food Center is set up like a general store to offer residents in need with nutritious food such as meat, dairy, eggs, whole-grain bread, and fresh fruits and vegetables that are often local and organic. Learn more about the Maine Seacoast Mission Family Food Center at www.seacoastmission.org.

Rutland Regional Medical Center is the biggest community hospital in Vermont. Their mission is to improve the health of the Rutland Region and surrounding communities by providing appropriate, superior, integrated, preventative, diagnostic, and therapeutic health services in a caring environment. Learn more about Rutland Regional Medical Center at www.rrmc.org.

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets.  As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company.  For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100.  Member FDIC.

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Bar Harbor, Maine – In celebration of Giving Tuesday, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust announces the year-to-date results of its charitable giving programs. From January through November 2020, the Bank has donated more than $488,000 to nearly 400 nonprofit organizations throughout Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

“Giving back to the communities where we live and work is a fundamental part of who Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is as a business, employer, and more importantly, a neighbor,” said Jack Frost, VP Director of Community Giving at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “This year has been a particularly challenging one for our communities, and we are honored to be able to partner with hundreds of nonprofit organizations to deliver much-needed services to our neighbors in need.”

The Bank has made several donations in celebration of Giving Tuesday this year, including:

  • Community Volunteer Transportation Company (CVTC) (Peterborough, New Hampshire)

The Bank made a $500 donation to CVTC, an organization dedicated to growing the unmet transportation needs for people in the Monadnock Region, to help drive volunteer recruitment efforts. In 2019, volunteer drivers donated more than 5,000 hours to fulfill the more than 3,300 ride requests received by CVTC.

  • Food Pantries on Mount Desert Island and Greater Ellsworth Area

The Bank donated $1,000 to each of six food pantries: Bar Harbor Food Pantry, Emmaus Homeless Shelter, Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, Maine Seacoast Mission Family Food Center, Tree of Life Food Pantry, and Westside Food Pantry. The Bank pledged to match a portion of the donations made to the food pantries during the week of November 9-13. The Bank’s pledge and promotion helped raise more than $43,000 in five days for the food pantries.

  • Healthy Acadia (Machias, Maine)

The Bank gifted $1,000 to Healthy Acadia’s Down East Teen Leadership Camp (DETLC), an annual, residential summer camp program for teens entering grades 7th through 9th. The vision of DETLC is to provide teens with social, communication, and leadership skills to support emotional resiliency and to deter misuse of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs.

  • Island Health & Wellness Foundation (IHWF) (Deer Isle, Maine)

The Bank donated $1,000 to the IHWF, an organization whose mission is to identify and advocate for health and wellness needs of Deer Isle-Stonington residents. The Bank’s donation will be directed to the IHWF School Fund, which is used to help cover the expenses of basic needs for local students.

  • Kearsarge Food Hub (KFH) (Bradford, New Hampshire)

The Bank donated $1,000 to KFH, an organization composed of several different yet deeply connected programs that service their mission of reinvigorating the community around a restorative local food system. The Bank’s donation will help pay the cost of goods sent to local food pantries.

Giving Tuesday was created in 2012 to set aside a day that encourages people to do good. It has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity. Learn more about Giving Tuesday at www.givingtuesday.org.

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100. Member FDIC.

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Local SERVPRO fire restoration specialist says use common sense and caution to help control risk of holiday season home fires

In a year when large holiday gatherings may not be possible, fire damage restoration specialist Anthony Wolverton of SERVPRO of Augusta/Waterville says a focus on family decorating traditions and more intimate celebrations may take on extra significance. "It's as important to keep safety top of mind with a small family gathering as it is with a large holiday party," says Wolverton. "We all enjoy bringing the glow of the holiday season to our homes with Christmas trees or menorahs and candlelight, but these statistics from the U.S. Fire Administration1 show how easy it is for home decorating to turn into a home disaster."

* The top three days for home candle fires are Christmas Day, New Year's Day and New Year's Eve.
* More than half of the home decoration fires in December are started by candles.
* A heat source too close to the Christmas tree causes one in every four winter fires.
* On average, one of every 52 reported home Christmas tree fires resulted in death.

In addition to exercising caution with candles and heat sources, it is important to follow manufacturers' guidelines for holiday lighting, says Wolverton. "According to the National Fire Protection Association, electrical distribution or lighting equipment was involved in 44% of home Christmas tree fires.2 Though Christmas tree fires may not be common, they can be devastating to more than the house itself. They can destroy irreplaceable photos, mementos, and family heirlooms and even cost lives," says Wolverton. "To help keep your holidays bright and your home and family safe, use common sense with candles and tree placement, and follow these important home decorating guidelines3."

* Only use decorations that are flame-retardant or not flammable.
* Check holiday lights each year for frayed wires or excessive wear.
* Don't link more than three strands of holiday lights.

"In a year when so many of the things we take for granted have changed, we know people will still come together – in person or virtually – to celebrate family and holiday traditions," says Wolverton. "'Stay safe' has become a common expression in the context of public health, but this holiday season, we urge all Augusta-area home and business owners to think about 'staying safe' in their homes as they prepare for and enjoy the holiday season."

SERVPRO is an industry leader and provider of fire and water cleanup and restoration services. For more fire prevention and fire safety tips and information about fire and water damage restoration services, please visit www.servpro.com. For more information on SERVPRO of Augusta/Waterville, please contact Anthony Wolverton at (207) 622-7166 or .

1https://www.usfa.fema.gov/downloads/pdf/publications/holiday_infographic.pdf
2https://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/Fire-causes-and-risks/Seasonal-fire-causes/Winter-holidays
3https://www.usfa.fema.gov/prevention/outreach/media/social_toolkits/toolkit_holiday.html

Are you ready for A NIGHT IN?  Kennebec Behavioral Health is hosting its fourth annual comedy show fundraiser ‘A Night IN’ featuring stand-up comedian group, the River Comics on Saturday, December 5th at 7:00 pm via Zoom.  KBH invites the community to stay home and join in the fun with Leonard, Sam and Kyron of the River Comics www.therivercomics.com  who will put on a show that can be enjoyed safely and comfortably at home.  You bring the snacks, they’ll bring the laughs!  Comedy show and 50/50 raffle tickets are available now at WWW.KBHMAINE.ORG/ANIGHTIN  or by contacting Tina Chapman at KBH .

And, during the week leading up to the event, KBH will be hosting a themed basket raffle which includes their (now famous) money bouquet raffle beginning on Friday, November 27th and leading up until the start of the comedy show. Raffle tickets will be available starting on 11/27 at https://go.rallyup.com/ANIGHTIN.  The winners of the 50/50 and money bouquet will be drawn live during the comedy show.

All of the proceeds from the show and the raffle ticket sales will go toward KBH’s College Scholarship Fund.  Each year, KBH awards several scholarships to local graduating high school seniors who are  pursuing their academic and career goals in the mental health field.

Kennebec Behavioral Health was founded in 1960 and operates clinics in Waterville, Skowhegan, Winthrop, Augusta and Farmington. For more information, or to schedule an appointment for any KBH service, call 1-888-322-2136. Information can also be found at www.kbhmaine.org.

Bar Harbor, Maine – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust will donate $6,000 to several Northern New England nonprofit organizations on behalf of the Bank’s customers. The Bank hosted a poll during its Customer Appreciation Week, held virtually October 12-16, to give the public an opportunity to vote for a nonprofit in their region that has been impacted by COVID-19 and could benefit from a donation from the Bank. The organizations that received the most votes are: The American Red Cross of Northern New England, Clara Martin Center, Girls Inc., and Healthy Acadia.

“We wanted to show our gratitude for our customers during Customer Appreciation Week by letting them be a part of our charitable giving and help us decide how we can help the communities where they live and work,” said Joseph Schmitt, Chief Marketing Officer for Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “We received an overwhelming response and are honored to make these donations on behalf of our customers.”

The American Red Cross of Northern New England helps 3.3 million people in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. Since the beginning on the COVID-19 pandemic, they have responded to 167 disaster events, which impacted 262 families. Learn more about The American Red Cross of Northern New England at www.redcross.org/local/me-nh-vt.

Clara Martin Center is a community based, nonprofit organization that provides acute and long-term behavioral health care services, offering a comprehensive array of mental health and substance abuse services to the greater Upper Valley area including Orange County, Vermont. Learn more about Clara Martin Center at www.claramartin.org.

Girls Inc. inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, through direct service and advocacy. The organization combines long-lasting mentoring relationships, a pro-girl environment, and evidence-based programming to equip girls to navigate gender, economic, and social barriers, and grow up healthy, educated, and independent. Learn more about Girls Inc. at www.girlsinc.org.

Healthy Acadia works on a broad range of collaborative community health initiatives in Hancock and Washington counties in Maine. Their focus areas include: Healthy Food for All, Healthy Aging, Substance Prevention and Recovery. Learn more about Healthy Acadia at www.healthyacadia.org.

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100. Member FDIC.

 

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Concord, New Hampshire – Kimberly DeSchuiteneer has joined Bar Harbor Trust Services as Senior Vice President, Retirement Plan Coordinator. In this role, she will be responsible for helping new and existing customers in Maine and New Hampshire with employer-sponsored retirement plans including 401(k), 403(b), profit sharing, and defined benefit plans.

Kimberly has more than 34 years of experience in the financial services industry, nearly all of them focused on retirement planning. She worked at Citizens Bank for more than 20 years, serving in a variety of roles until ending her career there as Vice President & Retirement Plans Manager. Most recently, she was Vice President and Wealth Management Officer at People’s United Bank in Manchester, NH.

“Kim’s experience and skill set make her a valuable asset to Bar Harbor Trust Services and, more importantly, to the businesses in Maine and New Hampshire who are looking for a thoughtful retirement plan program that satisfies their needs and the needs of their employees,” said Jason Edgar, President of Bar Harbor Trust Services. “We are excited to welcome Kimberly to our team and look forward to our successes together.”

Kimberly is a graduate of the American Bankers Association’s Graduate and Undergraduate Employee Benefits School, hosted at Northwestern University. She is a designated Certified Retirement Services Professional and Accredited Investment Fiduciary. Kimberly is FINRA Series 65 Licensed.

Kimberly and her husband, Brian, live in Chester, New Hampshire.

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100. Member FDIC.

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Bar Harbor, Maine – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust will host its annual Customer Appreciation Week during the week of October 12-16. To adhere to safety precautions in place as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all of the Customer Appreciation Week activities will take place virtually on the Bank’s Facebook page.

The feature activity during Customer Appreciation Week will be a contest to give away money to several Northern New England nonprofit organizations. The public will have the opportunity to vote via a poll posted to the Bank’s Facebook page for a nonprofit organization in their region that has been impacted by COVID-19 and could benefit from a donation from the Bank. The nonprofit organization with the highest number of votes in each of the Bank’s six regions will receive $1,000 on behalf of the Bank’s customers.

“Customer Appreciation Week is a great opportunity for us to really show our gratitude for our customers in a way that is above and beyond our everyday actions,” said Joseph Schmitt, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer for Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “We felt that the best way to show that gratitude during these unique times is to let our customers be a part of our charitable giving and help us decide how we can help the communities where they live and work.”

In addition to the donation giveaway to nonprofit organizations, the Bank will host daily contests on Facebook that will allow individuals to highlight the businesses and service providers in their communities that they admire. Winners will be selected at random from a pool of participants, and each winner will receive a $25 gift card.

For more information and to participate in Customer Appreciation Week, visit www.facebook.com/BHBTsocial during the week of October 12-16.

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100. Member FDIC.

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MaineGeneral Health has been named one of the 2020 Best Places to Work in Maine. This is the second year in a row that the health system has earned this distinction.

“MaineGeneral Health staff exemplify ‘excellence at work’ every day,” said Chuck Hays, president & CEO of MaineGeneral Health. “Especially during the pandemic, our employees are proud to serve our community. They are dedicated, compassionate and skilled at their jobs, and strive daily to provide the best possible care and services to every patient, every time.”

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Maine, benefiting the state's economy, its workforce and businesses. The 2020 Best Places to Work in Maine list is made up of 84 companies in three size categories: small (15-49 U.S. employees), medium (50-249 U.S. employees) and large (250+ U.S. employees). 

The awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of the Society for Human Resource Management - Maine State Council (MESHRM) and Best Companies Group. Partners endorsing the program include: Mainebiz, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Maine HR Convention.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Maine. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Maine and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings. 

MaineGeneral is hiring. Join our team! Learn more at www.mainegeneral.org/careers.

Bar Harbor, Maine – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust was recently named a recipient of the Independent Community Bankers of America’s (ICBA) 2020 National Community Bank Service Award for extraordinary efforts to help small businesses, consumers, and their communities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have been serving our community for more than 130 years and supporting our neighbors during times of prosperity and adversity,” said Curtis C. Simard, President and CEO of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged all of us, and I am so proud of our team for going above and beyond to ease hardships or remove obstacles for our customers. We are grateful to be recognized by ICBA for our efforts.”

As consumers and small businesses grappled with the onset of COVID-19, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust stepped up as a financial first responder and steward of its community by: processing thousands of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loans; donating resources to support essential workers and local nonprofit organizations; and maintaining continuous service during state-mandated lockdowns through innovative solutions such as the installation of walk-up windows to three locations that did not have drive-up services. The Bank even hosted a wedding in the drive-up of its branch in Northeast Harbor, Maine, to help a couple whose wedding was derailed because of travel restrictions.

“ICBA is proud to honor the extraordinary dedication and commitment of community bankers, whose spirit of service shined through when our country needed it most,” said ICBA President and CEO Rebeca Romero Rainey. “We are so fortunate to represent such thoughtful and compassionate community leaders, and we commend their efforts to go above and beyond, even during times of challenge.”

The 2020 National Community Bank Service Awards, presented by ICBA and sponsored by FIS, generated more than 100 inspirational stories from community banks like Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, whose story is showcased in the September issue of ICBA’s magazine, Independent Banker.

ICBA founded the National Community Bank Service Awards program in 2002 to celebrate outstanding volunteer efforts and bring national recognition to the unmatched contributions community banks make to help sustain their communities.

About Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100. Member FDIC.

About ICBA
The Independent Community Bankers of America® creates and promotes an environment where community banks flourish. With more than 50,000 locations nationwide, community banks constitute 99 percent of all banks, employ nearly 750,000 Americans and are the only physical banking presence in one in three U.S. counties. Holding more than $5 trillion in assets, nearly $4 trillion in deposits, and more than $3.4 trillion in loans to consumers, small businesses and the agricultural community, community banks channel local deposits into the Main Streets and neighborhoods they serve, spurring job creation, fostering innovation and fueling their customers’ dreams in communities throughout America. For more information, visit ICBA’s website at www.icba.org.

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The Amtrak Downeaster has expanded its carry-on bike program and is now accepting bicycles from all Downeaster stations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Newly installed luggage racks that convert to bike racks make it possible to roll bikes on board from any Downeaster station, then secure and store them on the train.  Previously, bikes had to be stored in a special car, restricting access to only a few stations.  Now, standard full-size bicycles may be carried on at any Downeaster station and stored in the designated racks, as long as the front wheel is removed.  Bicycle space is limited to four per train, and a specific bike reservation is required in advance of travel. A nominal bicycle fee applies. 

“NNEPRA and Amtrak have been working to improve bike access on Downeaster trains for a long time.   We are very excited that passengers from all Downeaster stations now have the ability to bring their bikes on board,” said Natalie Bogart, Marketing Director. “This project could not have been accomplished without the continued support of the bicycle community and the partnership with Amtrak to modify the current train equipment”. 

About the new Amtrak Downeaster Carry-On Bike Program:

  • Space is limited and advance-reservations are required for the passenger and the bicycle.
    • When booking a ticket on Amtrak.com or via the Amtrak app, an icon with a number of spaces available will display if bike space is available.
    • Proceed 'Add Ons' step to add bikes to a reservation.
    • A bike reservation can be added to an existing reservation by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.
  • Passengers traveling with bikes are encouraged to arrive at the station at least 15 minutes prior to departure.
    • All panniers and bags attached to your bicycle need to be removed and consolidated before boarding.

For more information about Amtrak’s Bike policy, visit Amtrak.com

The U.S. Department of Education’s Student Support Services Program, part of the federally funded TRiO program, has awarded Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) $1.69 million. This grant allows for a five-year continuation of the College’s own TRiO support services program that helps first-generation students and students with disabilities meet their academic and professional goals.


KVCC’s TRiO program offers services tailored to each student’s unique needs to help them overcome barriers to college success. These services are offered to nearly 200 students every year, and include academic guidance, degree progress monitoring, assistance in course selection, and connection to other College and community resources that are designed to encourage student persistence, while fostering a supportive community. These services are intended to help students maintain higher GPAs and make steady progress toward their academic and personal goals. Some choose to graduate from KVCC and enter the workforce directly, while others seek to continue their higher education through transfer to a four-year college or university. The data show, over many years, that KVCC’s TRiO students accomplish these goals at higher rates than non-participating students.
KVCC has maintained a TRiO program since 1993. The team focuses on growing and evolving the program every year based on student needs. According to Lisa Black, KVCC’s TRiO Project Director, the TRiO program is designed in partnership with students, while thoroughly exemplifying KVCC’s institution-wide commitment to student success. Whereas one approach to student success may work for one student, that same approach may not work for another. This tailored methodology means that the program is in a constant state of evolution to accommodate ever changing needs.


Karen Normandin, KVCC’s Vice President and Dean of Students, shared that the TRiO team at KVCC “provides critical support for students from admission to graduation or transfer to a four-year institution. This vital program is woven into the fabric of this college – as such it has become essential to our mission.”


KVCC’s TRiO program is currently running its annual PUSH orientation and recruitment week (August 17-21) to onboard students. This initiative helps new KVCC students navigate the College, adapt to the hybrid educational approach of the Fall 2020 semester, and access the vast number of resources available to them, both at KVCC and in the community. This academic year begins on August 31 and there is still time to apply for admission and financial aid.

GHM Insurance recently was selected for The Hanover Insurance Group’s President’s Club, an elite group of independent insurance agencies from across the country.

The Hanover’s President’s Club agencies are recognized for delivering outstanding value to their customers through their insurance expertise and responsive service.

The Hanover partners with a select group of 2,100 independent agents nationwide. GHM was one of only 150 independent agencies recognized with this distinction.

“The team at GHM Insurance is committed to delivering superior service to their customers,” said Richard W. Lavey, president, Hanover Agency Markets. “With their high-quality insurance expertise, they are valued advisers to their clients. We are proud to partner with GHM Insurance.”
“This recognition is a result of the value that our team places on providing the best service for our customers,” said Bill Mitchell, President at GHM Insurance. “Our team is proud to be recognized with this honor.”

Bar Harbor, Maine – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust employees are donating more than $10,000 collected in Q2 from its employee-driven charitable giving program, Casual for a Cause, to 14 non-profits serving Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. The non-profits receiving donations were selected by and voted on by the employees.

“The critical services provided by these non-profit organizations are more important than ever as our communities face hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jack Frost, VP Director of Community Giving at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “We are honored to contribute to their efforts and help our friends and neighbors in need.”

With the Casual for a Cause program, Bank employees dress casually on Fridays in exchange for a contribution to a pool of funds collected during each quarter. The employees then select and vote on which nonprofits receive their contributions. Since the program began in 2018, employees have donated more than $85,000 to nonprofits across Northern New England.

Q2 2020 Recipients

Maine

  • AIO Food Pantry (Rockland)
  • Bar Harbor Food Pantry (Bar Harbor)
  • China Community Food Pantry (China)
  • Island Food Pantry (Stonington)
  • Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry (Ellsworth)
  • Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program (Brunswick)
  • Tree of Life Food Pantry (Blue Hill)
  • Westside Food Pantry (Southwest Harbor)

New Hampshire

  • Claremont Food Pantry (Claremont)
  • KLS Community Food Pantry (New London)
  • LISTEN Food Pantry (Lebanon)
  • Newport Food Pantry (Newport)
  • Wellspring Food Pantry (West Lebanon)

Vermont

The Clara Martin Center was the Vermont recipient for the Q2 Casual for a Cause donation. The center, located in Randolph, Vermont, provides mental health and substance use services to improve the health and wellbeing of communities in the Upper Greater Valley.

“What a wonderful community to be part of, where our business partners and neighbors are so thoughtful, generous and see the value in the services that we provide,” said Melanie Gidney, Executive Director of The Clara Martin Center. “How wonderful of you and especially your Vermont employees to financially support our mission, particularly during a time when the needs of our community are increasing.”

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE American: BHB) is the parent company of its wholly owned subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Operating over 50 locations across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is headquartered in Bar Harbor, Maine and has more than $3.6 billion in assets. As a leading Northern New England community bank, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers a full range of personal and business banking services, as well as wealth management services through its subsidiaries Bar Harbor Trust Services and Charter Trust Company. For more information about Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, visit www.barharbor.bank or call 888-853-7100.  Member FDIC.

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