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MANP Visits Nonprofit Leaders in Aroostook

by Jennifer Hutchins

MANP Asst Director Molly O’Connell catches Saturn.

Ever glimpse Saturn in Mars Hill? Or Neptune in Monticello? Did you know that Maine’s northernmost county is the same size as Connecticut and Rhode Island combined? We didn’t, and we wouldn’t have without our recent trip to Aroostook where the MANP Board and staff met dozens of nonprofit leaders doing admirable work to strengthen their communities.

Take, for example, Dixie Shaw at Catholic Charities, who commands an extensive network of food banks across the entire county and drives hundreds of miles each week in her box truck to make sure residents get the food they need. Or, Kim Guerrette-Michaud, who speaks passionately about the economic impact of the Wintergreen Arts Center, which attracts thousands to events each year.

Last week in Presque Isle, MANP hosted a Board Boot Camp, a Member Mixer and an overnight board meeting where we met nonprofit colleagues and learned more about the issues facing our sector, especially in Maine’s rural areas—increasing demand, declining resources, workforce gaps, and a need for board members, to name a few.

MANP board member Steve Mortimer greets MANP members.

Just as we found last May in Farmington, while these organizations focus on very different needs, they share a commitment to making a difference for their friends and neighbors as well as an infectious, fervent pride in their region. As one nonprofit leader noted, there’s an open invitation for all Mainers to discover Aroostook: “It’s the same distance from Portland to Presque Isle as it is in the other direction!”

It’s a good day at MANP when we hear that we’ve helped a Maine nonprofit, and we’re thrilled that we could be useful to our new friends at Board Boot Camp in Presque Isle. In their words, “This was wonderful. I didn’t know what I didn’t know!” and “I would highly recommend this program to any current board member or individual considering joining/serving on a board. Great session! Thanks!”

Member Mixer in Presque Isle

Throughout the year, MANP offers in-person programs in different communities across Maine (check out our events calendar) as well as webinars (June: Disrupting Race-based Inequities, July: CyberSecurity 101) and our on-demand webinar library & Answer Center to make sure that we are providing access regardless of location.

MANP strives to empower you, Maine people with purpose, who are doing the hard (often thankless) work of sustaining and building Maine as one of the best places to live, work and visit. Thank you!


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