Saint Joseph's College and Maine magazine co-host a celebration of bold leaders who are “Shaping Maine.”
By Ann Swardlick
For the past four years, Maine magazine’s July issue has featured a list of “50 Mainers” who are boldly leading our state forward. The annual list includes entrepreneurs, artists, educators, philanthropists, innovators, and visionaries who have “changed our world, improved our lives, and broadened our horizons.”
In 2015, three of our own, President Jim Dlugos (center in photo), Senior Director of Development Jean Maginnis, and newly appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence Peter Nielsen, were on the list of “50 Mainers.”
President Dlugos thought the time was right to bring together all 200 past and present honorees for an evening of conversation and exploration. And what better venue than the renovated, century-old Stone Barn at Saint Joseph’s College? The result was Shaping Maine, a gathering on June 23, co-hosted with Maine magazine to celebrate those who are making a positive difference in our state.
In his remarks to the more than 250 people assembled that evening, President Dlugos said, “When you gather like this, you discover all kinds of opportunities and synergies to truly multiply the good that can be done in the state of Maine.”
Guests included past honorees Mike Dubyak (2013), Chairman of WEX; Theo Kalikow (2013) former President, UMaine Farmington; and Bill Nemitz (2015) Portland Press Herald journalist. Members of the 2016 list included Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, CEO of Goodwill Northern New England, Hon. ’13; Andrea Cianchette Maker, attorney and co-chair of FocusMaine; Shawn Moody, president of Moody’s Collision Center; Shana Aldrich Ready, founder of ROPES Maine; Mark Curdo, radio host and director of marketing at Shipyard Brewing Company; Ron Phillips, retired founder and CEO of Coastal Enterprises, Inc.; and Arlin Smith, Mike Wiley, and Andrew Taylor of Big Tree Hospitality.
The Shaping Maine event was an opportunity to unveil our vision for the future of Saint Joseph’s as an exemplary 21st-century learning destination. As the only higher education institution in the Lakes Region, we play a crucial role in the growth and development of Maine. That evening, we shared our intention to build a community that spans education, business, the arts, and government, as we prepare the next generation of leaders, grounded in our core Mercy values.
The celebration was also an ideal way to debut the Stone Barn event space, which had its last finishing touches applied just in time for the party. We showcased Maine artists and musicians, as well as the local vendors who donated flowers, seafood, produce, beverages, and more––plus standout cuisine overseen by Senior Director of Sustainable Enterprises Stuart Leckie and his staff.
That evening, President Dlugos told the gathered crowd: “When I got to Saint Joseph’s, four years ago, people would tell me with some perverse pride that we were one of the ‘best kept secrets’ in the state. This, of course, made me crazy. We’ve been working hard ever since to change that.” Events like Shaping Maine will help achieve that goal.