BANGOR, Maine — After 27 years of service as the CEO of Penquis C.A.P., Inc., Charles Newton announced Thursday his intention to retire early this summer. Each year Penquis serves more than 30,000 low- and moderate-income individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties through well-known programs such as Head Start and the Low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP).
“Fully dedicated to the Penquis mission and its excellent reputation in the community, Charlie has led Penquis to being recognized as a leader in the delivery of quality, effective, and cost efficient social services for Maine’s families,” said Tom Lizotte, Chairperson, Penquis Board of Directors, in a press release.
Newton assumed the position on Jan. 5, 1987, the same year that Penquis celebrated its 20th anniversary. With Penquis now in its 47th year of service, Newton is the longest serving CEO for Penquis. During Newton’s tenure, among many other notable accomplishments, Penquis established MaineStream Finance, a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) providing personal finance, home loans and business services to people in Maine who might otherwise have limited access to financing and credit; established the Penquis Law Project to provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence; constructed, together with its affiliates and subsidiaries, 286 units of senior and family housing in 12 different housing developments representing nearly $45 million invested in area communities; successfully merged with the Coastal Community Action Program, the community action agency serving Knox County; and, most recently, he led Penquis to its selection, in a competitive bidding process, as the only Maine company to be a Broker for MaineCare Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NET) and to successfully launch the Penquis NET Brokerage with limited disruption on August 1, 2013. Today, Penquis operates with an annual budget of over $25 million with a dedicated professional staff of 325.
“Charlie has been the steady hand at the helm. His insight and experience, along with his patient and calm demeanor inspires confidence in his leadership among his staff and the Board of Directors,” said Lizotte, “Charlie has the rare ability to see around the corner and anticipate change, which has allowed the organization to respond proactively and quickly to the funding challenges faced by so many organizations today.”
“I appreciate the support given to me over the past 27 years. We have done important work together and helped thousands upon thousands of people improve their circumstances,” said Newton. “It is the talented, dedicated Penquis staff, Board members and friends, both past and present, who have accomplished this and I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished together. It has truly been a privilege serving the people of Maine.”
The Board of Directors appreciates the advanced notice allowing sufficient time to search for his successor. “Penquis has a dedicated staff, a strong and involved Board of Directors and an entire community supporting the work,” noted Newton. “I know that the next CEO will have the full support needed to ensure that Penquis continues to serve the individuals and families in our communities.
The search, led by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors, will begin this month. The Board hopes to complete its search and appoint a new CEO by early June, 2014.