Three awards cap off annual business celebration at the Kenney Awards

AUGUSTA – At its annual celebration on Friday, the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce selected winners of three awards as the organization returned to a live event at the Augusta Civic Center.

The Kenney Awards recognize the contributions of members of the business community in central Maine.

The Synergy Professional Award went to Matt James, on-air personality of 92 Moose. This award recognizes exemplary leadership and commitment to the betterment of the Kennebec Valley.

“There’s a room surrounded by people tonight, people who Heather and Michael care about the Kennebec Valley as much as I do,” James said, referring to nominees Heather Allen and Michael Hall. “Everything that everyone in this room does to better the Kennebec Valley is incredibly important, and I could not be prouder to be surrounded by the people I am surrounded by tonight.”

The Community Service Award, which recognizes outstanding service to the community, went to Chris Vallely.

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“I share this honor tonight with so many of you,” said Valle, “people who continually volunteer, get involved and make a difference in our community. We know that volunteers have They don’t always have time, but they have heart.”

He said he has met some of his best friends through community service, noting that there is no better way to meet neighbors than to show how eager you are to improve your community.

Carrie Arsenault and Rebecca Pushard were also nominated.

The President’s Circle Award, which recognizes industry leaders, went to American Awards, an Augusta-based business that has been making awards and trophies for more than four decades — including the one Friday night received — for businesses and organizations in central Maine. .

“It’s a great community to be a part of,” said owner Justin Wing. “I am truly humbled and grateful that you guys recognize me and the business as an integral part of the community. I do my best to give you the award you all deserve.”

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Hershey’s Ice Cream and Forest River CPA were also nominated.

All nominees were selected by their peers, and the winners were determined by live-voting at the event.

Three awards were announced in late 2022.

Ingrid Stanchfield, CEO of Boys & Girls club Was named Business Person of the Year, of the Kennebec Valley. Last fall, the organization debuted its new $10 million facility in Gardiner, with expanded space for early child care and updated space for before- and after-school programs and a teen center.

Augusta-based Kennebec Savings Bank was named Large Business of the Year. The bank, a mutual organization, is currently the ninth largest bank headquartered in Maine. Last year, it dedicated $1.2 million to the communities it serves, donating to 300 organizations in 35 communities.

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Winthrop’s Pickle Potion and Lotion was named Small Business of the Year. Founder Kristin Machler develops skin care products from her production location in Winthrop, which she sells at her Winthrop shop, at fairs around the area, and at her popular Etsy shop.

Katie Doherty, Chamber President and CEO, was recognized by her board for being named one of MenBiz’s 40 Under 40 and for being named Maine Chamber Professional of the Year by the Maine State Chamber of Commerce.

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