The Importance of Small Business Upholding the American Dream
Small business is the essence of the American economy. From young entrepreneurs opening small construction companies to family bakeries that have been on Main Streets across America for generations, the impact of small businesses on the American economy is astronomical. With two-thirds of the country's net jobs produced by small businesses and 43.5 percent of the country's GDP comprised of small business goods and services, it is inspiring to see entrepreneurship as the backbone of the USA economy. Moreover, small businesses help perpetuate the American dream that all who live in the United States can achieve financial self-sufficiency.

Historically, the phrase "American Dream" represents the simple idealism known as the great American experiment. It promises that you can attain your goals with hard work, commitment, and vision regardless of your race, gender, sexuality, or born situation in life.

Great examples of central Maine small businesses and Chamber members that embody the American dream are Dave's Diner, O&P Glass, Traverse Coffee, Pickle's Potions, Cushnoc Brewing, Apple Valley Bakery, Goggin's IGA, Oliver & Friends Book Shop, Elliott Office Products, Maine Market Refrigeration, and NC Hunt Lumber.

When James Truslow Adams coined the term, he saw the phrase as many of us see it in our dreams; a call to our collective American community character. From purchasing local produce, ordering from small Etsy shops, and dining at local restaurants, we as Americans are responsible for protecting and perpetuating our own neighbor's dream. We have seen this occur among the local community by way of shopping small during the height of the pandemic and attending community charity and fundraising events.

When civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, he saw the same dream we all have. By being American, we have a promised opportunity for unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Rights that are, in their simplest form, the American dream. With that said, I implore you to shop small this week as May 2-5 is National Small Business Week! If you are not sure where to start or what stores, restaurants, and activities to support, take a look at our KV Chamber Member List. Remember, Small Business Week is a celebration of the impact that a single person's dream can have on the broader economy, so purchase mindfully and consider the implications of a single dollar and its weight not as currency, but as a small fulfillment of a person's dreams.

-Iris Alexander
May Monthly Programs
Join Cynergy at The Whiskey Kitchen for trivia night from a galaxy far, far away! Gather your troops and battle against the forces of the Dark Side!

Only ONE Can Be The Hero!

Please email to pre-register your team.
Thank you to our Cynergy Sponsors!
May 11th, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Augusta Civic Center
$20 for Members & $30 for Non-Members
Lunch Provided

Join the Chamber and Hillary Roberts for a presentation on
Finding My Footing: The Last 20 Years with Hillary Roberts

Hillary will lead our luncheon with a journey-based presentation on her experience as a leader at KVHS for the past 12 years. She will tell stories about balancing motherhood, building leadership skills, and how implementing these skills in a primary women-led shelter has helped shape her professionally and personally.
Thank you to our Women's Network Sponsors!
Thank you to our Women's Network Room Sponsor!
Maine State Credit Union
May 25th, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Maine State Credit Union is excited to host this month's Business After Hours on Wednesday, May 25th from 5:00-7:00 pm. Maine State Credit Union is located at 200 Capitol St, Augusta, ME 04330. Remember that every Business After Hours is an incredible opportunity to network with the business community. You also have a chance to win door prizes and participate in the 50/50 raffle.

We can't wait to see you there!

Thank you to our Business After Hours Sponsors!
Kenney Tickets Now Available
$75 per person / $600 per table of eight
Congratulations to This Year's Winners & Nominees!

Peter G. Thompson Lifetime Achievement:
Wick Johnson

Large Business of the Year:

Small Business of the Year:

Community Service:
Dave Dostie

Special Service:


President's Circle Finalists
Elliott Office Products
Gardiner Family Chiropractic
Mid Maine Generator

Cynergy Professional Finalists
Victoria Abbott
Hillary Roberts
Johnny Swan
KLI Registration Open
Be a part of the oldest leadership program in Maine!

The goal of KLI is to assure a continuing flow of able, committed, and resourceful leaders to serve our communities. KLI draws prospective leaders from a broad cross-section of businesses, organizations, and the community. Its purpose is to inspire these promising individuals to work more effectively within their spheres of influence while expanding their civic and community participation.

Apply Now and join the 2022 Class of future leaders!

To apply, download an application here or complete the online application by clicking the button below.
Thank you to the Kennebec Leadership Sponsor!
Welcome Our New Members!
Dragonfly Rose Photography & Design
Anna Burdette, (207) 542-4926
South Gardiner

Main Street Mercantile
Darlene Steele, (207) 557-4252
New Moon Nutrition
Tressia Davenport, (207) 620-2519
Shop Maine Craft
Sadie Bliss, (207) 588-0021
West Gardiner

Member Anniversaries
40+ Years
S.J. Wood Construction Company

30+ Years
The University of Maine at Augusta

20+ Years
College Carry-Out, Lake & Denison, LLC, Macomber Transportation & Warehousing, Oakes & Parkhurst Glass, The Boulos Company, Transco Business Technologies

10+ Years
Riverview Psychiatric Center, The Foster Agency, The Maine Children's Home for Little Wanderers, United Insurance, Value Housing

5+ Years
Damon's Beverage Mart – Augusta, Fortin & MacDonald Group, Snow Pond Technology Group Inc., Statewide Towing, Inc., William Raveis Real Estate,

All Seasons Yard Care, Dave's Diner, Empowhers, Everett Realty Group, Gowells Shop N Save Inc., Lakehome Group, Pickle's Potions, Puppy Pause Training, Rene Roy Photography Inc., Summit Real Estate

Chamber Member News
Pliable Marketing, PR & Broadcasting announced that Kaylyn Bourque, a sophomore at Lawrence High School is the first athlete in the country to launch her athlete brand with the Maine-based marketing agency. Pliable offers a wide range of marketing services and specializes in athlete branding. The company's work supports high school, college, and professional athletes who want to build their brands. Bourque unveiled her athlete brand, logo, and website at Bourque completed Pliable's 10-Step Athlete Branding Playbook to launch her brand. Learn more at
The Kennebec Historical Society’s May Presentation: “Maine Voices of the Civil War”
Many books have been written about the valiant role of Maine’s soldiers in the Civil War. In “Maine Voices from the Civil War,” author and curator Laurie LaBar examines the war from several perspectives, using the writings of Maine soldiers and civilians, as well as the objects they left behind. She discusses the aspects of a soldier’s life and the possibilities that awaited them: camp, battle, prison, hospital, and with luck, safe return home. She also touches on the home front, the challenges that soldiers’ family members faced, and the ways that the war came home to Maine.

KHS speaker, Laurie LaBar, is the Chief Curator of History and Decorative Arts at the Maine State Museum. A former archaeologist, Laurie received her master’s degree from the University of Delaware’s Winterthur Program in Early American Culture and returned to Maine to become a curator. In addition to writing Maine Voices of the Civil War, LaBar also wrote Maine Quilts: 250 Years of Comfort and Community, which is co-published by the Maine State Museum and Down East Books. Her August 2021 presentation for the Kennebec Historical Society about Maine quilts can still be viewed on the society’s Facebook page.

The Kennebec Historical Society's May Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, at the Maine State Library's temporary location, 242 State Street in Augusta. This is the former location for the Department of Motor Vehicles & the Public Utilities Commission. If you have any questions about the program, please call Scott Wood, executive director, at 622-7718.
Snow Pond is thrilled to announce their '22 Summer Concert Series!
To be held in The Bowl in the Pines! Get your tickets today

  • LeAnn Rimes - June 10
  • Michael Franti & SPEARHEAD - July 1
  • Free Family Movie Night w/ Fireworks In partnership with the Maine Film Festival!
  • Spiderman No Way Home - July 4
  • The NEMC Symphonic Groups - July 9
  • BAILEN, Good Night Blue Moon & Rebecca McCartney - July 16 
  • National Touring Artist TBD - August
  • Snow Pond On Tap - September 17
The 10 Tips Nutrition Education Series
May 24 to July 19 from 1 - 2 p.m.
This program for adults is designed by Maine SNAP-ED to support healthy eating on a budget for all Mainers. There are two 4-week sessions: "Choose MY Plate" and "Eating Better on a Budget."

Please register by calling 626-2415 and ask for the Adult Reference Desk.
2022 Proclaimed the Year of the Fort

Fort Western will reopen for tours on Saturday, May 28th, for its 2022 Tour Season. Besides regular tours, Fort Western has planned a series of special events that highlight the timeline of the Fort in celebration of this 100th anniversary of the Fort Western Museum.
Scheduled Events are as follows
• May 15, 2022, Martha Ballard’s World – Wife, Mother, Healer, Botanist
• May 28, 2022, The Pilgrims at Cushnoc Trading Post Reconstruction Fundraiser
• June 11, 2022, Four Forts, One Story Archaeological Tour
• July 4, 2022, The Forth at the Fort Declaration of Independence and Cannonade
• August 20, 2022, The S & W Howard Store & Tavern, 18th Century Artisan Demonstrations
and Tavern Night Fundraiser.
The U.S. Army Augusta Recruiting Station has moved to a new location!

The Augusta Recruiting Station has been a cornerstone for helping young men and women throughout Augusta and surrounding areas achieve future goals for a long time. It is not only military careers the Army can help with, but they also volunteer time in the community. There are many things that the Army can help individuals to accomplish in achieving their personal and career goals- things like on-the-job training and certifications, money for college, enlistment bonuses, specific job selection from over 150 jobs, and more. The Augusta Army Recruiting Station has very knowledgeable Career Counselors that are brought to Maine from across the country who have extensive experience in the military and can answer questions to determine if individuals qualify and if the Army is right for them.   

The Army is offering its largest bonus ever for new recruits with up to $50,000 available to qualified individuals.  The total incentive package for a new recruit is based on a combination of incentives offered for the selected career field, individual qualifications, length of the enlistment contract, and the ship date for training. Stop in to the new Augusta Recruiting Station located at 19 Stephen King Drive, Suite 3 in Augusta to speak with a Recruiter to learn more. 
Androscoggin Home Healthcare + Hospice is proud to announce the opening of their new Hospice Thrift Store, located at 165 Capitol Street in Augusta!
All proceeds from Androscoggin’s Hospice Thrift Store locations support patient care in our community. Last year alone, Androscoggin provided more than $1.6 million dollars in free care to uninsured and underinsured patients and families.
The Augusta Hospice Thrift Store is currently open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. – to 4 p.m. and donations are being accepted during store hours. With the exception of one employee, the store is entirely run by a team of volunteers who process donations, set up displays, and wait on customers. Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date information about hours, items, and volunteer opportunities!
Interested in volunteering your time for a great cause? Contact Sharon Blake at 207-330-9390 or
New Dimensions FCU awards two area high school students with $2500 scholarships.

New Dimensions FCU is pleased to announce that Sage Clukey from Winslow High School, and Thomas Dean, from Skowhegan Area High School, have been selected as New Dimensions FCU’s 2022 Scholarship Program winners earned $2,500 each for their first year in college.
New Dimensions FCU awards scholarships to deserving high school seniors that demonstrate strong character, community involvement, and academic success; this year we found two exceptional candidates who went above and beyond in their academics and community. They both came highly recommended by school officials, and their essays showed that their character and assessment of financial literacy aligned with our mission and values. 
To submit Member News, send your press releases to:
KVCC Board of Directors
Earl Kingsbury, Chair*
Augusta Civic Center
Tim Walton, Chair-Elect*
Walton External Affairs
Michele Pelletier, Vice Chair*
PERFORMANCE Foodservice - NorthCenter
Matthew Tardiff, Treasurer*
J.S. McCarthy Printers
Alec Rogers, Past Chair*
Quality Inn & Suites Maine Evergreen Hotel
Cathy DeMerchant, Human Resources*
Capital Area Staffing Solutions, Inc.
Katie Doherty, President & CEO*^
Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce
* Executive Committee  ^ Full-Time Executive

Randall Anderson
The Meadows Golf Club
Joyce Blanchard
The University of Maine at Augusta
Karen Boston
Lipman Katz & Boston, P.A
Nathan Cotnoir
Camden National Bank
Lori Dube
Sprague & Curtis Real Estate
Sue Grenier
G&E Roofing Co., Inc.
Robbi Lockhart
Team EJP
Amy Marston
Central Maine Power Company
Nicole McSweeney
MaineGeneral Health
Stacey Morrison
Ganneston Construction Corp.
Rebecca Pushard
Lynn Quirion
Macomber, Farr & Whitten
Andrew Silsby
Kennebec Savings Bank

Special Counsel
Dennis Carrillo
Cloutier Carrillo, Capitol Law, PLLC

Emeritus Member
Eric Jermyn
Cross Employee Benefits
Steven Marson
Central Maine Pyrotechnics
KVCC Staff

Katie L. Doherty, President & CEO
Lindsay L. Corbett, Chief Operating Officer
Melissa L. Walden, Membership & Development Manager
Iris R. Alexander, Marketing & Events Manager