AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine State Chamber of Commerce awarded U.S. Sen. Susan Collins the prestigious Alton “Chuck” Cianchette Business Hall of Fame award Friday night during its annual meeting.
More than 500 people attended Friday evening’s meeting and dinner.
Named in remembrance of Chuck Cianchette and awarded to those who reflect his values, the Alton “Chuck” Cianchette Business Hall of Fame award annually recognizes the contributions of an individual who demonstrates public service leadership, business success and most importantly embodies Cianchette’s spirit through compassion, courage and commitment.
Previous recipients of the award include former U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, U.S. Sen. Angus King, former Gov. Kenneth Curtis and several prominent Maine business leaders.
“We could not be more pleased to present the Maine State Chamber’s highest award to Sen. Collins for her decades of leadership and service to the people of Maine,” Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors said in a news release. “Sen. Collins is a true champion for our state and a true champion for Maine’s business community. We are very humbled tonight to express our thanks for the countless ways she has served the people of Maine.”
Maine’s senior senator said she was grateful for the very thoughtful recognition from the Maine Chamber.
“I am especially delighted to receive an award named for Chuck Cianchette, who contributed so much to our state,” Collins said. “He was a great business leader and a great public servant, and I am honored to be associated with his legacy.”
The senator said there was good news to report.
“There is no end to the ingenuity of Maine people,” she said at the award ceremony. “Maine products turn up in the most surprising places. You can see the world’s best rock ‘n’ roll drummers using drumsticks that were produced in Maine, fashion catalogues with models wearing shoes and boots that were hand sewn in the state, and college and professional hockey players carrying their gear in bags that were manufactured in Maine. When you go to New York City, you will see that the No. 1 bottled beverage in the Big Apple is not a soft drink, it is Poland Spring water. And even though the Red Sox are not in the World Series this year, baseball bats made in Shirley, Maine will be in the lineup tonight.”
First elected in 1996, Collins is serving her fourth term.
During her entire time in the U.S. Senate, she has never missed a roll call vote and recently was lauded for casting her 6,000th consecutive vote.
Larry Wold, president of TD Bank and second Vice Chair of the Maine Chamber’s Board of Directors, presented the award to Collins. He was joined by Maine Chamber Board Chair Melinda Poore of Time Warner Cable’s New England Division, and Chamber President Connors.
Following Collins’ remarks, the Maine State Chamber’s First Vice Chair, Wick Johnson of Kennebec Technologies, presented Collins with a commemorative Farmer’s Almanac provided by Geiger. The evening’s premier sponsor was Kaplan University.