DRIVE: Annual Dinner + Awards + Meeting
The Kennebunks is a driven community!
Chamber adds 500th member
ARUNDEL — Five-hundred members and still driving! At DRIVE, a new twist on its annual meeting-dinner-awards on Thursday, Sept. 15, Kennebunkport, Kennebunkport and Arundel Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Laura Dolce announced the nonprofit organization has added its 500th member.
"We are excited to count among our now 500+ members so many businesses in our three towns, one community, and to have so many of them with us as we celebrated this milestone," Dolce said.
Held on Sept. 15 at Motorland in Arundel, DRIVE was a celebration of what the Chamber, together, has achieved in the past year and about what the nonprofit business organization hopes to achieve in the future. Against a backdrop of shining chrome on million-dollar classic cars, DRIVE featured dinner by Destination Catering, complete with Motorland Margaritas served out of its 1950s Airstream, live music by The Waiters, and multimedia presentations coordinated by Video Creations. More than 140 guests, all chauffeured to the event in Motorland’s classic cars, got into the spirit in their festive black-and-white party wear and entered the car barn via red carpet.
"The Chamber has seen 33 percent growth in our members in less than two years, a fact we attribute to the support of our sponsors, our energized, active board and our very involved members,” said Dolce. “We have re-focused and refined our mission — connecting community — and believe that and incredible teamwork has helped us achieve what we have today. We look forward to what the year ahead will bring."
As part of the festive night, the Chamber awarded its annual honors to the following members of the community:
Volunteer of the Year Award: Beth Jones for her work with Community Outreach Services. “Over 25 years later, Beth, still, is the biggest advocate and volunteer of what has evolved into Community Outreach Services, where she manages over 150 volunteers, partners with 10 local church food pantries, and organizes a half a dozen different programs, from food and fuel assistance, to smaller specific-needs programs — even scholarship programs.”
Municipal Award: Candice Simeoni, for her work at the Kennebunk Police Department with the Special Olympics, organizing the first National Night Out, creating the new Citizens Police Academy as well as her work spearheading the York County Elder Abuse Task Force. “Candice puts her heart and soul into everything she does,” said Mike Pardue, director of Human Resouces for the Town of Kennebunk. “She never hesitates to lend a helping hand to anyone in need and is always the first volunteer for projects.”
NonProfit Business Award: Hospice of Southern Maine. “Discussing end of life issues is always difficult, either for the patient and family involved, or the healthcare professional treating them. For the past 12 years, however, Hospice of Southern Maine has made the end-of-life journeys for thousands of southern Maine residents just that bit easier. Whether through home care, care in an assisted living facility, or as an in-patient at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next year, Hospice patients receive the kind of compassionate care that sets a standard in the region. Beyond patients, Hospice of Southern Maine has been a leader in educating healthcare professionals on the benefits of hospice care. Held earlier this year, the Anne L. Hunter Memorial Thresholds Conference and Community Forums gave both community members and professionals the tools for sensitive end-of-life conversation with families and physicians to discuss what matters most at the end-of-life.
“With a new director, new beds in the Gosnell House facility, and more than a million dollars in fundraising last year alone, Hospice of Southern Maine stands ready to be a leader in end of life care for many generations to come in southern Maine.”
Business of the Year Award: Motorland. “In 2014, Motorland moved to Arundel into a showroom. They brought along dozens of cars, a great attitude and quickly began making their mark. Today, they have hundreds of cars worth millions of dollars – many of which you see around you tonight – and are at work on their fourth building. They’ve built a base of customers both from the local community and around the globe. They’ve also created the Sunday Swap Meet, bringing together car enthusiasts from around the seacoast area.
“But Motorland is about more than just cars – it’s about people. Partners Tim Stentiford and Tom Marshall have also given their time to work with vocational students from the Biddeford Regional Center for Technology and the Kennebunk High School Alternative Education Program. They provide work study opportunities for at-risk and challenged youths, and have even created a scholarship to give a student a head start on a college education. But Motorland isn’t just about young people – it also serves as a special place for residents of the memory units at local long-term care facilities. For all of the expansion of their business, their contribution to the region’s economy and their commitment to making lives better, the Chamber is proud to present the Business of the Year award to Motorland.”
Joel Steven Community Spirit Award: Ann Stockbridge, for all her work in the community. “Whether working with seniors at the senior center or seniors at the high school, Ann Stockbridge makes a difference. Ann, like Joel Stevens, gets things done. If a task needs to be completed, Ann has the presence, skill and leadership ability to accomplish it.”
President’s Award: Bill Gallant / Mail-It Unlimited, for serving this community for more than 26 years at Mail-It Unlimited, particularly through his annual food/animal food drive. “But, tonight we recognize Bill not just for his business success, but more importantly for the contributions he has made to the community. Bill is a past member of the Chamber Board of Directors and was the Chairman of the Board of St. Andre Home, a charity that offers a variety of resources to women, children and families in need. To celebrate Mail-It’s 25th anniversary, Bill started an annual food drive benefiting the Community Outreach Services and the Animal Welfare Society. Over the past three years, he has collected over 5 tons of food and in-kind donations for those two organizations.”
For information on The Chamber, which includes Kennebunk, Kennebunkport and Arundel, visit www.gokennebunks.com.
Honoring our members
Every fall, the Chamber recognizes those members who have gone above and beyond as community leaders in their fields in the following categories:
NonProfit Business Award
This award recognizes a non-profit organization which, through the efforts of staff and volunteers, has made a significant contribution in their domain, through fund raising, employing innovative business concepts to create a flourishing environment in which all businesses can grow.
This award honors an individual who, with her superior and innovative efforts, goes “above and beyond” to connect and serve her community.
This award recognizes individual or group effort which, through professional or civic deeds, has made a significant contribution to the high quality of life we enjoy in our communities, or the enhancement of community or regional assets. This award recognizes accomplishment achieved through non-profit organizations, public sector activities or business efforts.
Business of the Year Award
This award recognizes a business which has made significant investments to support the region’s economic growth, has set a new leadership standard for business innovation and quality, or has expanded employment opportunities through the establishment of a new business or business-expansion.
Joel Stevens Community Spirit Award
This award honors an individual who serves their business and/or business community with distinction and who contributes significantly to the overall good of business and the betterment of the communities the Chamber serves. This award recognized members who, over a number of years, have made a significant contribution in advocacy, member support and regional image development.