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BANGOR — Commissioner George Gervais of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has named Deb Neuman as deputy commissioner of DECD.
In addition to her other responsibilities, Neuman will head up the Governor’s Account Executives Unit within DECD. The unit will consist of several account executives who will serve as a single point of contact for businesses and be focused on resolving business-related issues and making it easier for job creators to gain access to resources. The team’s primary goal is to see that businesses are successful and have the ability to grow jobs in Maine.
Neuman has 10 years’ experience as a small-business owner and most recently served as director of the Target Technology Incubator at the University of Maine, where she worked with early-stage technology companies and innovators to grow successful tech-based businesses. She created and hosts the “Back to Business” radio show and is a regular host on WVOM radio’s “George Hale and Ric Tyler Show.”
Neuman also served on the Governor’s Transition Team providing input regarding the needs of small businesses and offering ideas to improve the delivery of services to facilitate business startups, expansion and job creation.
A former business lender, coach and business development specialist with Eastern Maine Development Corp., Neuman managed the Small Business Administration microloan and technical assistance program and developed the Eastern Maine Incubator Without Walls Program.
“We are fortunate to have someone with Deb’s background and knowledge join the DECD team,” said Gervais. “Her experience with business assistance and economic growth, as well as her being a business owner, will benefit the entire state.”
Neuman will begin her new position on July 25.
Back on the air
BANGOR — A familiar broadcast journalist is back on the airwaves at the Zone Corp.
Anne Gabbianelli is a veteran of journalism and now shares her news savvy. She has recently taught journalism, communications and English at area colleges. Her broadcast career spans from Bangor to our nation’s capital.
Gabbianelli came to the Bangor area 23 years ago from Mutual Radio News, where she anchored network news. She was news director of all-news radio WEAN in Providence, R.I., and anchor and reporter for WPRO, also in Rhode Island.
In Boston, Anne was a reporter for all-news radio WEEI. In this market, Anne has served as a TV assignment editor and news reporter for WKSQ and WQCB radio.
New home for Mercedes
BANGOR — Mercedes Benz at Quirk Auto Park has moved to a new gallery. “Luckily, all the art had wheels,” officials said.
The vehicles and service of Mercedes-Benz at Quirk Auto Park of Bangor have moved to 327 Hogan Road. An open house was held on July 15.
Officials said the company will continue to offer Mercedes-Benz Roadside Assistance and advanced diagnostic equipment for new and Mercedes-Benz certified pre-owned vehicles.
Senior vice president
BANGOR — People’s United Bank has announced that Daniel P. Thornton has joined the bank as senior vice president and senior lender in commercial banking. Thornton will be responsible for coordinating the delivery of People’s United commercial banking products and services for the state. He will be based in Portland.
Thornton joins People’s United Bank from TD Bank in Portland, where he spent 27 years, most recently leading a team of 18 commercial banking professionals.
“We are fortunate to have a senior lender of Dan’s capability join People’s United,” said Bill Lucy, president for the bank’s Northern Maine Market. “Dan’s relationship banking philosophy makes him an ideal candidate to increase our presence in the Maine market.”
Thornton is a native of Lincoln and a graduate of the University of Maine and Husson University.
WINTERPORT — Silver Willow Gallery, a nonprofit, Maine-artisan gallery, is open at 115 Main St.
The gallery has been opened by four artisans: Sue Runnells Berryhill, Lisa Taylor, Kat Tarbet and Nancy Davies Tang.
The four women said they are planning community outreach programs that bring beading and jewelry-making to women in need and the elderly, and bring the excitement of jewelry making to the young. They hope to provide a place for local Maine artisans to sell their work and create cross-marketing programs among local businesses that will benefit many local companies.
The gallery in Winterport carries the works of artisans from across Maine and includes paintings, photographs, cards, quilts, glass work, pottery, jewelry, soap and birdhouses. For more information, call 223-1075 or email http://www.SilverWillowGallery.com.
‘Housing for Everyone’
The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, has announced it will award $2.5 million in grants to support affordable housing initiatives through its sixth annual “Housing for Everyone” grant competition.
“Housing for Everyone” is one of the TD Charitable Foundation’s most widely known signature programs. The competition invites local nonprofit organizations from Maine to Florida to submit proposals outlining their plans and initiatives to support and provide affordable housing initiatives in their communities.
Twenty-five organizations throughout TD Bank’s footprint from Maine to Florida will be awarded a $100,000 grant each for a total grant donation of $2.5 million.
“Housing experts have identified a pressing need for more energy-efficient, affordable housing and the qualified staff to help build them,” said Elizabeth K. Warn, president of the TD Charitable Foundation and senior vice president of community development for TD Bank. “We are proud to award grants to local nonprofit organizations that focus on these critical areas and make a meaningful difference in meeting their communities’ affordable housing needs.”
This year’s “Housing for Everyone” theme is Building for the Future, focusing on three critical areas in affordable housing:
• Energy efficiency, including weatherization initiatives, HVAC improvements, or implementation of alternative or renewable energy sources.
• Capacity building, including the expansion of programmatic efforts or staff development for organizations that provide affordable housing services for low- to moderate-income individuals or in low- to moderate-income communities. Infrastructure investment to expand services provided also will be considered.
• New unit creation, where organizations focus their efforts on the creation of new affordable housing units that benefit low- to moderate-income individuals or communities.
Organizations that want to enter the 2011 “Housing for Everyone” grant competition must have tax-exempt 50(c)(3) status; must develop or maintain affordable housing, or provide housing-related programs and services to low- to moderate-income individuals or families; and serve the communities where TD Bank does business. Applicant organizations must demonstrate fiscal responsibility and the impact they have made on affordable housing efforts in their communities.
Proposals will be accepted only online at http://www.TDBank.com (click on Our Community) and must be submitted by 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 2. Notification of awards will be made in late October.
For the past five years, the TD Charitable Foundation has invested more than $7.1 million in the “Housing for Everyone” competition to help create or maintain more than 6,300 affordable housing units.
Online hay directory
ORONO — The University of Maine Cooperative Extension maintains an online hay directory for producers looking to market their hay and livestock farmers looking to purchase hay.
The website is being revised for 2011. To place a listing, growers may complete an online form at http://www.umaine.edu/livestock/hay or contact the UMaine Extension Waldo County office at 800-287-1426 to have a form mailed. Inquiries may be directed to Sonia Antunes at email@example.com.
Many resources for growers and purchasers of hay and hay products, including information on hay quality, testing labs and sampling, and equine fact sheets are online at http://www.umaine.edu/livestock.
UM Extension educator Rick Kersbergen may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-287-1426 for more information about growing or buying quality feed.
Mortgage amount increased
BANGOR — Based on a growing demand in the current economy, Penquis announced that MaineStream Finance’s board of directors recently approved an increase in the residential mortgage amount from $110,000 to $150,000. The loans are for low- to moderate-income individuals or families who, because of loss of income and the recent recession, may not qualify for bank financing.
The loans have a 30-year fixed rate and are available for the purchase of a home, including first-time home buyers or for refinancing. To help individuals make informed decisions regarding the purchase of a home, Mainstream Finance also offers Homebuyer Education, Debt/Budget Maintenance and Pre-Purchase Counseling.
“Buying or refinancing a home is a big decision,” said Jayne Crosby Giles, CEO of MaineStream Finance. “We are pleased to offer options, education and financial services that reach those who might otherwise have limited access to credit.”
MaineStream Finance is a Community Development Financial Institution. Nationwide, more than 1,000 CDFIs serve economically distressed communities by providing credit, capital and financial services that are often unavailable from traditional financial institutions.
MaineStream Finance also provides Maine entrepreneurs with training, counseling and loans to help start or grow a business. For more information about services offered by MaineStream Finance, call 800-215-4942 or visit http:// www.mainestreamfinance.org.