2016 Annual Celebration
Thirty-five southern Maine faith communities received the Community Partner Award at the Preble Street annual meeting on June 21.
The Very Rev. Dr. Benjamin Shambaugh, dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Luke and member of the Preble Street board of directors, presented the award, noting, “People of religious faith have been caring for those in need for thousands of years.” Whether inspired by the Jewish Tikkun Olam; the Muslim Zakat; the Christian obligation to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger, care for the sick; or the wisdom embodied in the Hindu greeting Namaste, “They know that for religion to be real, it needs to be lived… and they live that out right here at Preble Street.”
They believe in Preble Street’s mission, not just to provide services to empower people experiencing problems with homelessness, housing, hunger, and poverty, but to work for a world where those things no longer exist.
Other awards included the Joseph D. Kreisler Community Impact Award, presented to Mary Beth Sullivan, veteran social worker and community civil rights, peace, and social justice activist.
“Mary Beth’s life purpose has been alleviating suffering, and working for a more just world, one day, one step at a time,” said Bill Burns, Resource Center coordinator, who presented the award.
Julia Hansen, a junior at Waynflete School, was honored as the first Leon Gorman Volunteer of the Year, named for the late LL Bean president and chairman, a beloved friend, advisor, champion, and volunteer of Preble Street, who spent one morning each week for more than 12 years serving in the Resource Center soup kitchen. Julia was chosen not only for her exceptional personal commitment to volunteering at Preble Street but also for inspiring others and for her strength of character. In presenting the award, Volunteer Manager Tori Stenbak said, “In the face of great loss, Julia sought and found comfort in service to others, becoming an advocate for solutions and change.”In addition to the community service awards, Renee Schwalberg, who completed her term as board president during Tuesday night’s meeting, was recognized as Board Member of the Year for her leadership and commitment to the Preble Street mission.
The agency also announced the creation of the David A. Zysk Jr. Memorial Scholarship, named for the Preble Street Clinical Intervention Program caseworker and advocacy intern who passed away in November. The scholarship will be awarded each year to an outstanding social work intern serving in a Preble Street program.
Joining the board are:
- Stephen Pryor of Yarmouth is currently the Complex Director at RBC Wealth Management in Portland. He previously served in the same position at Merrill Lynch in Kansas City, MO and New York, NY.
- Jennifer Wilson of Yarmouth is the Corporate Merchant for the Women’s Apparel Team at L.L. Bean as well as the Controller for the Forest Avenue Veterinary Hospital in Portland. She is also currently the Vice Chair of the Family Governance Committee and Vice Chair of the Audit and Compensation Committee for the L.L. Bean board of directors.
- John Roberts of Falmouth is the retired President and CEO of Assurant Employee Benefits. He began his career working for Unum Life insurance Company of America, where he served for 25 years. John has previously served on the boards of the American Council of Life Insurers, the Council for Disability Awareness, the Portland Museum of Art, and the United Way of Greater Portland.
Officers for the coming year are Herb Janick, president; Terry Sutton, vice president; Edie White, secretary; and Gary Chavoustie, treasurer.