Jean Deighan among those to be honored by the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce in January

6 other awards to be handed out to individuals and organizations for business excellence in the region

BANGOR –  The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce has selected the 2018 recipients of their annual awards.  These awards honor businesses and individuals who have demonstrated excellence in service to the community, entrepreneurship, business leadership, and lifetime achievement.  The awards will be presented at the Chamber’s Annual Awards Dinner Friday, January 26, 2018.  The event is expected to draw more than 1,200 area leaders and community supporters to the Cross Insurance Center, the largest sit-down dinner event in the state of Maine.

“We were overwhelmed with many impressive nominations of individuals, businesses and organizations that represent why this region is so special.  Our selection committee worked thoroughly and thoughtfully to select the awardees, said Deb Neuman, President of the BRCC.   

The Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce will recognize Jean Deighan, with its highest honor, the Norbert X. Dowd Award. “[Jean] is a woman of great personal integrity and is widely admired and respected. As a successful and strong professional woman, Jean has also been on the forefront of female advancement within the business community for many years and serves as an inspiration to many both female and male”, noted Ben Sprague in his nomination.

The Norbert X. Dowd award is given each year to a member of the business community whose commitment of time, resources and talent has made the Bangor region a better place to pursue one’s livelihood and dreams.

“We are thrilled to recognize Jean’s many years of leadership, mentorship, and remarkable contributions to the greater Bangor community”, Neuman said.

“Jean’s accomplishments epitomize the intent of the award.  In a career spanning four decades, she has selfishly committed herself, her personal resources and those of her business — Deighan Wealth Advisors — to the betterment of the Bangor region, its business and cultural communities, its families and their economic and social welfare.  Her vision and wisdom are extraordinary.  Her character is above reproach.  She has stepped up on behalf of the region is so many ways,”  Miles Theeman, 2014 Norbert X. Dowd winner.

In addition to the Dowd Award, the Chamber will be recognizing six other individuals and organizations that have contributed to the region’s vitality:

The Business of the Year Award goes to Dysarts.  A family owned and operated business, serving hundreds of hungry truckers, travelers and locals 24 hours a day – 7 days a week at their Cold Brook Road and Broadway locations.  While 150 people are employed at the two Dysart’s restaurants the Bangor area, the Dysart’s reach goes far beyond dining. Dysart’s umbrella also includes event hosting and catering, heating & energy, travel stop convenience stores, fleet fuel, a full service marina, and transportation.  “Whether it’s the blueberry pies, steak bombs, legendary breakfasts, or (perhaps even more legendary) chicken pot pie, Dysart’s has been serving truckers, families, tourists, and regulars for a half-century.

Thanks to the popularity of Dysart’s main fare, the restaurant has been featured in national magazines, newspapers, and television shows, drawing tourists and curious foodies to their flagship truck stop in Hermon” writes Dan Cashman in his nomination.  Dysarts is also celebrating 50 years of doing business at their Coldbrook Road location in Hermon.

The Catherine Lebowitz Award for Public Service is awarded to Dr. Susan Hunter, President of the University of Maine – the first woman president of the University of Maine since its founding in 1865.

Dr. Hunter has been a tremendous public servant to the Bangor region and the whole state of Maine through her three decades at the University of Maine beginning as a faculty member mentoring students through her current role as the leader of the State’s largest public University.   

“Dr. Hunter personally and successfully attracted millions of dollars in research grants and contracts to the University of Maine. That money was spent on salaries, wages, goods, and services primarily in the greater Bangor region, bolstering the local and state economy and helping grow Maine’s R&D enterprise,” John N. Diamond, President & Executive Director, UMaine Alumni Association “her policies and leadership have had a significant and positive influence on eastern and northern Maine.”

The M. Jane Irving Community Service Award goes to Bangor Housing Authority, created by the City of Bangor on September 11, 1967, to provide safe, affordable housing to persons of low income. For the last 50 years, Bangor Housing Authority has fulfilled its mission of building a community in Bangor by providing quality, affordable, and environmentally responsible housing.

Bangor Housing Authority owns and manages more than 500 units in public housing, the largest public housing neighborhood north of Boston, with a total population of more than 3,000 residents, including almost 1,000 school-aged children. Bangor Housing Authority houses about 10% of Bangor’s total population and nearly 25% of the students in its school system. Bangor Housing Authority also administers more than 400 Section 8 vouchers, which allows individuals and families to live in private housing in Bangor and neighboring communities.

Bangor Housing Authority embodies the spirit and values of the M. Jane Irving Community Service Award. Bangor Housing Authority provides a high level of customer service to its residents and offers housing in which they can be proud. It also has recently upgraded some of its properties to be more energy efficient.

“I couldn’t be prouder of its work. This past year it has received national recognition for its work. Although everyone at Bangor Housing Authority should be tremendously proud of that recognition, they should be prouder of the life-changing programs they offer every day” Paul Chaiken, member of the Bangor Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners

The Nonprofit of the Year Award goes to Penquis, a community of people who have joined in a common mission to assist individuals and families in preventing, reducing, or eliminating poverty in their lives and, through partnerships, to engage the community in addressing economic and social needs. Penquis primarily serves low- and moderate-income individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox Counties, though several programs extend well beyond these boundaries. For 50 years Penquis has invested in Bangor’s economy while supporting the wellbeing of Bangor’s residents, helping people to be safe, stable, connected, and financially secure.

The Arthur Comstock Professional Service Award will be given to Stephen Rich.  Stephen retired several years ago as the President and CEO of WBRC Architects / Engineers after thirty three years with the firm. His track record of success at WBRC includes roles as Chief Operations Officer, firm principal, project manager and project architect. He is currently running a part time consulting business that focuses on planning, design, and construction assistance for nonprofit and profit entities.  Steve has exemplified the work of Arthur Comstock in giving so generously and so effectively to the Bangor Chamber.  

Steve has been a conscientious facilitator for the government affairs committee, volunteering hours reviewing legislation, informing the Chamber Board and members and helping decide whether the Chamber will take a position and how. He also serves as an emeritus member of the Chamber Board.  

The Bion & Dorain Foster Entrepreneurship Award goes to Adam Moskovitz, CEO of ANM Properties who purchased six buildings on Exchange Street in Downtown Bangor (known as the Nichols Block) signaling the beginning of the end of about 20 years of vacancy or underactivity with the historic venue and the beginning of the next phase of their redevelopment.  Most notably, Bangor Symphony Orchestra has moved their headquarters to this space and partnered with Launchpad to create the Bangor Arts Exchange.  The block should see total revitalization over the coming months and years, which will only add to the increased activity and mini Renaissance seen in Downtown Bangor over the last 10-15 years. “He is a young, up and coming entrepreneur and should be an active part of the Bangor area business community for many years to come,”  Ben Sprague, Bangor City Councilor.

One additional award will be handed out at the Chamber’s Annual Breakfast and Business meeting, taking place at the Cross Insurance Center on Wednesday, January 10th. The Chamber Volunteer of the Year award goes to a person who, through her volunteer efforts, has made an exceptional contribution to the Chamber in furthering its mission. The winner is selected by the Chamber’s staff. This year, that honor is being given to Kathleen Shane from Down East Rental in Brewer.  Andrew Geaghan, co-owner of Geaghans Brothers Brewery, is slated to be the keynote speaker.

For more information about the Annual Award Dinner, visit the Chamber’s website,  


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