Annual Meeting Honorees
Heart of Biddeford is a volunteer driven organization that seeks to collaborate with businesses, volunteers, community organizations and the City of Biddeford to revitalize the downtown. Below are several businesses and individuals we were pleased to highlight at our 2011-12 Annual Meeting held at Engine Gallery.
In addition to those recognized below, we’d like to make sure to recognize all the donors and sponsors who help fund our initiatives. Please read our Annual Report to see what we have accomplished this year as well as to see all the people who have helped make our work possible.
We would like to also call special attention to Bangor Savings, Biddeford Savings, Saco & Biddeford Savings Institution, and TD Bank for their Gold and Platinum level sponsorships and donations!
Business of the Year: New Morning Natural Foods
We awarded Paul and Sheila Ouellette this award for their longevity in Biddeford- – they celebrated their 36th year in business this year. Their celebration included in-store receptions and discounts and they successfully drew regular and new customers to their store to celebrate with them. They consistently provide exceptional vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals in their cafe, and always have helpful advice. At the Annual Meeting, Paul joked that it “only” took 36 years to be recognized as the Business of the Year. We are glad you are here!
Property Owner of the Year: Peter Floros
We wanted to draw attention to the excellent work Peter Floros and Saco River Associates does in the downtown. As owner of the Thatcher Hotel and the businesses below it, along with several other spaces in the downtown, Peter consistently ensures that the sidewalks are swept, windows clean, and storefronts painted. He works with the businesses who rent from him to create a consistent, professional look to the downtown. Peter also reached out to Heart of Biddeford this year with a concept to advertise all the positive going on in Biddeford. With his support, we started a “Positively Biddeford” ad campaign in the MaineBiz publication.
Community Member of the Year: Aurelie Wallach
Aurelie is not officially on any Heart of Biddeford committees, yet she regularly shows up on the day of events with a table cloth and flowers in hand, offering just the last-minute support we happen to need. As the chair of the Preservation Commission, Aurelie graciously offers assistance, suggestions and educational opportunities to our Design Committee. Finally, Aurelie is an ambassador to the downtown. This summer, Aurelie invited a large group of residents from her neighborhood in Fortunes Rock down to Music in the Park. She catered the event and introduced people to an event they may not have otherwise considered.
Downtown Supporter/Booster of the Year: George “Pete” Lemontagne
As a mill veteran and instrumental founder of the Biddeford Mills Museum, Pete knows countless stories about Biddeford in its heyday. But, he never settles for the reminiscing about the past: he is also a strong believer in all that Biddeford offers now and will offer in the future. He is the first to show up in support of events, often there taking photos, and lending a kind word. If something needs correcting, Pete will step in to assist in that way too.
Volunteer of the Year: Joan Brooks
Joan was awarded this honor because of her willingness to show up for every Design Committee project that she can possibly attend. She keeps everyone laughing and smiling, and she’s not afraid to get dirty (a necessary part of the job when you’re cleaning storefronts or parks). She has kept at it for several years now, and welcomes each new member to the Design Committee with good cheer!
City Partner of the Year: Ray Parent
Ray was an easy choice when we thought about people who go above and beyond to help out! When a downtown event is happening or as we work on new projects with the Adopt-a-Park program, Ray Parent lends his experience and know-how so that everything goes smoothly. He regularly thinks of the thing no one else does, and he mobilizes people and resources to put it in place. When we held our first “World Stage” during La Kermesse, Ray called the day before and said, “Hey, would you like some bleachers?” They significantly improved that event! Always friendly, honest and willing to go the extra mile, Ray is a wonderful partner to Heart of Biddeford.
Community Partner of the Year: City Theater
Heart of Biddeford’s efforts are greatly enhanced through the support of many local non-profits and service organizations. But City Theater stood out this year as a key partner for several reasons. First, City Theater works tirelessly to put up exceptional theater and draw locals and tourists to the downtown. Second, they actively promote Heart of Biddeford events. And, third, they offer time and resources to support our events, such as providing space for free movies for the community, or providing two FlexPasses as grand prizes in our 5K road race. Thank you, City Theater!
Professional Service Business of the Year: gwi
Heart of Biddeford recognized Fletcher Kittredge and gwi for their leadership in technology in our region. Gwi has put Biddeford on the map, and they have assisted in efforts to put Biddeford on the forefront of technological advancement. Fletcher is willing to come to meetings and events and share his perspective about the future of Biddeford, and he is a big advocate for all that’s going on downtown.
Downtown Visionary of the Year: Dana Peck
As the owner of Maine Architectural Ironworks and the president of the Biddeford Mills Museum, Dana draws people together to get things done in downtown Biddeford. He knows the potential of the mills and he knows that the past must be cherished as we build a new future. Dana is a clear-headed bridge builder and keeps the Biddeford Mills Museum on track to become a significant cultural tourism destination.
New Business of the Year: Perk
Perk is making the lobby of the North Dam Mill a daily destination for many in Biddeford, with their exceptional bakery items and diverse coffee selection. They have consistently provided top-quality products, while creating a customer-friendly environment. They go out of their way to offer options for people who want gluten-free choices, and they do an excellent job of reaching out several times per day with social media.