Kenney Awards to celebrate business accomplishments of business community in Kennebec Valley
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Kenney Awards to have a good time enterprise accomplishments of enterprise group in Kennebec Valley

AUGUSTA — When the members of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce collect for chamber’s annual banquet Friday, they’ll be celebrating their friends for his or her enterprise accomplishments and impression on their group.

This 12 months, the Kenney Awards return to the Augusta Civic Middle with a stay black tie occasion to honor awardees. As has been the custom, three of the awards — Enterprise Individual of the Yr, Giant Enterprise of the Yr and Small Enterprise of the Yr — have been introduced prematurely. The winners of three different awards — President’s Circle, Group Service and Cynergy Skilled of the Yr — can be decided by way of stay textual content voting at Friday’s occasion.

“You’re nominated by your friends locally,” Katie Doherty, chamber president and chief govt officer, stated. “You’re nominated, as a result of individuals see your development and the way superb your corporation is doing.”

That recognition can also be for a way a lot impression they’ve locally, Doherty stated.

The annual Kenney Awards banquet is returning to the Augusta Civic Middle after three years. The 2021 celebration was held just about and 2022 occasion was held in July at Mill Park on Augusta’s waterfront.


Within the early Nineties, Ingrid Stanchfield was simply in search of a summer season job.

Ingrid Stanchfield

As a mom of of two boys who was working for the college district in Gardiner, she was in search of a method to earn some extra cash throughout the summer season and provides her sons one thing to do. She utilized to work as the town’s recreation coordinator. Via that work, she came upon what mother and father within the space wanted and needed for his or her youngsters.

“The solutions that got here have been: We want extra youngster care. We want extra issues for the children to do after college. We wish to see coordinated rec applications,” Stanchfield stated earlier this month. “It was issues like that that basically began the ball rolling.”

Three many years later, because the CEO of the Boys & Ladies Golf equipment of Kennebec Valley, Stanchfield, 60, has overseen the completion of a brand new $10 million facility that gives area for youngster care, applications for earlier than and after college, and rooms for organizations and the group’s senior residents to assemble.

The Boys & Ladies Golf equipment of Kennebec Valley bought its begin in 1999, spending its early years on the former prepare depot in Gardiner, then shifting into the previous Pray Road Faculty. The brand new facility opened in time for the beginning of the 2022-23 college 12 months. And now Stanchfield and her workers are beginning to search for methods to develop their early youngster care applications.

“That is the ability of individuals working collectively,” she stated, noting that hundreds of individuals have contributed their time, expertise and cash to get the group to the place it’s in the present day. “I couldn’t have accomplished any of this alone.”

Stanchfield stated her recommendation to others is to dream up one thing huge, after which get to work engaging in it day-after-day.

“That’s how we bought right here. It’s been a protracted means of constructing applications, sustaining applications and creating the imaginative and prescient, not just for the constructing however the entire property,” she stated. “When you dare to dream, you must perservere day-after-day towards the aim. So many good individuals have helped us alongside the best way to work out the small print, the hurdles, to get us the place we’re in the present day.”


Kennebec Financial savings Financial institution headquarters in Augusta is seen on this April 10, 2014 file picture. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

When Kennebec Financial savings Financial institution was based greater than 150 years in the past, because of laws signed into legislation by then-Gov. Joshua Chamberlain, its goal was clearly laid out.

“We have been placed on the face of the Earth for the widespread particular person to economize and purchase a house,” Andrew Silsby, Kennebec Financial savings president and chief govt officer stated not too long ago, “and we’re nonetheless doing it in the present day.”

And it’s doing it with a rising buyer base.

Within the final 5 years, Silsby stated, the financial institution has grown in dimension by 75% and is now the ninth-largest financial institution with headquarters in Maine. It has almost almost 200 workers working at its headquarters and department places of work throughout the area and in southern Maine, the place financial institution officers are working to open a department in Portland.

The financial institution is a mutual group, with out particular person stockholders. With out stress to return worth to particular person shareholders, financial institution officers are in a position to make investments the financial institution’s earnings in initiatives that can make a distinction to the group.

“The truth is that if the group is wholesome, the financial institution goes to be wholesome,” Silsby stated. “We’re a mirrored image of the communities that we function in, and that’s why we dedicate 10% of our earnings to return to the communities we serve. In 2022, that was $1.2 million in group giving that went to 300 completely different organizations in 35 completely different communities.”

Silsby stated the group is proud and humbled by the award.

“Our workforce is simply ecstatic to get the popularity,” Silsby stated. “I see what they do, day in and day trip.”

This isn’t the primary time the financial institution has been acknowledged for its group contributions. In 2000, the financial institution was honored as Enterprise of the Yr.


Founder Kristin Mutchler at Pickle’s Potions & Lotions in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

Kristin Mutchler, an admitted skincare merchandise fan, was already making balms and salves for family and friends a decade in the past when she developed a remedy for her new child daughter’s eczema that didn’t depend on steroids.

That’s when the enterprise that will finally grow to be Pickle’s Potions & Lotions began to take root as she began to signal on for lessons in botany and herbalism and earned superior certification in natural beauty science.

Regardless that she now has a retail retailer in Winthrop, a digital Etsy store by means of which she has made tens of hundreds of gross sales, a lab the place she crafts her clear skincare merchandise and a workers to assist out, she was stunned on the announcement of the chamber’s award.

“It makes me really feel like a legitimate enterprise,” Mutchler stated. “It’s exhausting to see something when you find yourself in it. I’m simply making an attempt to do on a regular basis the taxes, the paper work and the product making. The whole lot feels very remoted after which one thing like this occurs.”

Mutchler stated for a enterprise with no advertising division or promoting price range, the popularity and validation the award brings is a giant deal. And from it, she stated she hopes the publicity will draw extra clients, each retail and wholesale, to her enterprise.

Whilst she’s studying and planning for her subsequent part of development, she has recommendation for others who’re constructing their companies, Mutchler stated.

“Don’t count on individuals to only come to you. You need to additionally attain out and be there and supply issues,” she stated. “You need to be there.”

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