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State chamber hands out awards at annual dinner

Whit Richardson | BDN
Whit Richardson | BDN
Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, emcees the chamber's annual awards dinner at the Augusta Civic Center on Nov. 15, 2013.
By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine State Chamber of Commerce on Friday evening presented a series of awards at its annual dinner.

The state chamber, which represents roughly 5,000 businesses statewide, gave its most prestigious honor, the Alton “Chuck” Cianchette Business Hall of Fame award, to Michael Dubyak, CEO of Wex Inc. in South Portland. The award each year is give to an individual who demonstrates leadership and success in the business and public realms.

“[Dubyak] embodies the spirit of Chuck Cianchette,” Dana Connors, president of the chamber, told the Bangor Daily News on Friday night. “Chuck was someone who believed so strongly in our economy and our state. He would be very proud of our selection.”

Having known Cianchette, Dubyak told the BDN he was “humbled” to receive an award named after him.

Dubyak used a sports analogy to explain Cianchette’s legacy.

“Play for the name on the front of your shirt” — in Cianchette’s case, Cianbro and Maine, Dubyak said — “and people will remember the name on the back.

“I don’t think about legacy, and I don’t think Chuck Cianchette thought about it,” Dubyak said. “Legacy takes care of itself if you take care of your business and the community you live in.”

H. Sawin Millett Jr., commissioner of the Maine Department of Administrative and Financial Services, received this year’s President’s Recognition Award for his many years of public service. The award is presented to a company or individual who demonstrates involvement in promoting the mission and activities of the state chamber.

“There’s no better example of a public servant who gives all he has, and is respected the way he is,” Connors said of Millett. “He’s an incredible example we should all strive for, and few of us achieve.”

Maine Investor Awards were presented to GAC Chemical Corp., Sea Bags, FHC Inc., and Pratt & Whitney. The awards recognizes Maine businesses for outstanding contributions to the growth of their companies and the state’s economy.

Steven Wallace, executive director of the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber, received the Chamber Executive of the Year award, while Meg Keay received the Chamber Volunteer of the Year award for her work with the Eastport Area Chamber of Commerce.

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