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Volunteer Sector Leaders Begin Terms On Maine Commission For Community Service

December 16th, 2013

AUGUSTA - Seven Maine residents were sworn in to serve three-year terms on the Maine Commission for Community Service recently. All were appointed to the Commission by Governor Paul LePage.

Serving for the first time are Camille Cramer of Milo and Richard Higgins of Hallowell. Five individuals were reappointed: Nancy McKechnie of Hampden, John Portela of Brunswick, Mary Katherine Bromberg of Oakland, David Wihry of Orono, and Susan E. Austin of Westbrook.

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer and service communities by funding programs, developing managers of volunteers and service-learning practitioners, raising awareness of sector issues, and promoting service as a strategy.

The Commission was established in 1994 by Executive Order and under state statute in 1995. The 25 board members of the  Commission are appointed by the governor to three-year terms and each represents a specific segment of Maine's volunteer sector. The board is Maine government's partner for the federal Corporation for National Service which funds AmeriCorps, community volunteer center development, VISTA, and training as well as technical assistance for managers of volunteers.

Each person on the Commission represents a specific segment of Maine's volunteer sector as outlined in both federal and state law.

new commissioner cramerCramer, who is a student at UMaine in Orono, will fill a seat reserved for 16-25 year old who participates in a community or national service program.


new commissioner higginsHiggins works at Maine Emergency Management Agency as Individual Assistance Officer and takes the seat designated for an expert in public safety community service.


commissioner portelaJohn Portela works at Bath Iron Works and will continue in the seat designated for organized labor. Portela also serves as vice-chair of the Commission and leads the public outreach committee.


commissioner mckechnieNancy McKechnie is Youth Services Program Director, Eastern Maine Development Corp. and serves on the public outreach committee as well. She holds the seat designated for someone with expertise in education, training and development needs of youth, particularly disadvantaged youth. Susan Austin is Community Relations Specialist with Unum and, with the Commission, serves on both the technical assistance committee and public information committee.

casey brombergMary Katherine Bromberg is Homeowner Services Manager at Kennebec Valley Community Action. On the Commission, she chairs the resource development committee. Her seat on the board is reserved for a representative of a community-based organization.


wihryAnother member of the Commission leadership is David Wihry who chairs the grant selection and performance committee. Wihry is employed as a research associate at the University of Maine Center on Aging. His fills the seat on the Commission related to expertise in human services.

For more information on the other Maine Commission for Community Service board members, visit

CONTACT:       Maryalice Crofton