MACHIAS, Maine — Washington County is known for its wild blueberries, large lobsters and harsh winters.
Now one organization is trying to add another item to the list: strong and successful women.
Mighty Women of Washington County is an organization created in 2007 by Susan Corbett as a way for women from across the region to meet, find new resources and educate one another in all walks of life.
Group members include business owners, government workers and volunteers. Since 2009, Mighty Women has partnered with Washington County One Community to help take on issues such as homelessness, health care and other social issues confronting Washington County.
On Wednesday, June 20, Mighty Women will hold an event in Machias, “Celebrating the Mighty Women of Washington County.” This first event, of what’s hoped to be an annual gathering, will bring together women from throughout the region, not just Washington County.
The evening will be hosted by the University of Maine at Machias, which count members of the organization among its staff. It will include food and live music by members of the group.
The keynote speaker will be Deb Neuman, deputy commissioner of Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development. Neuman previously worked as a business development specialist for Eastern Maine Development Corp. in Bangor, where she provided business management assistance to more than 300 small businesses.
Wednesday’s event will be held 5-7 p.m. in Kilborn Commons at the University of Maine at Machias. Admission is free. Tickets can be reserved at www.mightywomen.eventbrite.com.
Mighty Women of Washington County founder Susan Corbett is the owner of Axiom Technologies in Machias. She started the group after seeing that a number of women in the area were unaware of the resources available to them. The group now numbers more than 100 women who use the organization to collaborate with each other in both private and commercial issues.
Mighty Women also has joined with the Washington County One Community organization, helping it organize volunteers for charity events such as food banks. Helping women to meet their goals and to help within their communities remain group priorities.
“The most important thing we’ve done for Washington County is making available all these resources and creating this spirit of collaboration,” Corbett said.
The Mighty Women hold small meetings once a month, but mostly meet through an email list, through which they have managed to work together. Wednesday’s evening will be their first event meant to gather women from all over the area to listen to a guest speaker.
Beyond a chance for successful Maine women to make connections, Corbett describes the evening as a way to congratulate women who are working hard to make a difference in Washington County.
“There’s been tremendous growth in the area, and we’d like to recognize the valiant efforts of so many people,” Corbett said. “We want to bring the leaders to the forefront.”