EMDC announces annual award recipients

Posted on December 14, 2021 | Success Stories

Bangor Daily News

BANGOR – At Eastern Maine Development Corporation ’s annual board meeting, EMDC announced its 2021 awards recipients. Two honorees were recognized for each of the three award categories: Tom Davis Employee of the Year, Business Partner of the Year, and Community Partner of the Year.

“EMDC is delighted to recognize our colleagues, small businesses, and community leaders. Each built upon their strengths and thrived further throughout the challenges of the pandemic. They all cherish teamwork and focus on quality service while prioritizing customer satisfaction making them the perfect recipients for EMDC’s 2021 awards,” said EMDC President & CEO Lee Umphrey.

The Tom Davis Employees of the Year are Planner Anna Stockman and Senior Director of Workforce Services Susan Moore Cerini.

 Stockman was recognized by Community & Business Services Director Vicki Rusbult for her leadership in the development of our regional 2021-2025 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Plan, revamping EMDC’s local planning services, and being a consummate professional. Vice President of Operations Jon Farley commended Cerini for overseeing the expansion of EMDC’s workforce services from four to nine counties, onboarding many new staff members, and increasing service delivery in the Central Western region by over 60 percent compared to the previous year.

The Employee of the Year Award is named in memory of Tom Davis, a longtime Penobscot County commissioner and EMDC board member who showed exceptional dedication, steadfast in his commitment to economic development in Penobscot County.

The Business Partners of the Year are Maine Trailer and Fresh Start Sober Living.

Maine Trailer took advantage of EMDC’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center services and reinvented themselves in the middle of the pandemic. Over the past two years, PTAC supported Maine Trailer by providing individualized counseling, training webinars, and technical support with registrations and certifications. Since August 2020, they won over $150,000 in contracts from the U.S. Army, the U.S. Dept. of Energy, and others.

Fresh Start Sober Living began working with EMDC near its outset, with EMDC providing the company its first-ever loan. Today, Fresh Start has eight homes throughout the Bangor region and has served an estimated 300 members of our community. Fresh Start has been a strong partner with EMDC’s workforce team, which has a program dedicated to helping people affected by opioid use disorder get back into the workforce. 

The Community Partners of the Year are the town of Island Falls and Four Directions Development Corporation.

Island Falls worked with EMDC’s Community & Business Services Department to develop its comprehensive plan. The town manager, elected officials, and planning committee worked with EMDC’s planner to write a plan that reflects Island Falls’ commitment to future growth and creating a vision for economic development. The town’s hard work and final product are one reason why Island Falls is a model for Maine’s rural communities.

For many years, Four Directions has worked closely with EMDC to advance our shared goal of economic development in Eastern Maine. Both company’s staff regularly collaborate and will continue to do so, especially as future tourism and other grants arrive. Additionally, in the past year, EMDC PTAC added a specialist who is based within Four Directions, which further reinforces our synchronized efforts.

EMDC ( is a non-profit that fosters public-private partnerships and leverages resources to help communities, businesses, and individuals reach long-term goals and achieve prosperity.

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