December 6, 2022

Central Maine business briefs: Marshall Communications launches Crisis Communications Division

Marshall Communications, an award-winning public relations and marketing agency based in Maine, has launched a crisis communications division, in conjunction with retired Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland. The new division will provide clients with communications planning in advance of crises, as well as assistance during times of major events, according to a news release from the Augusta-based agency.

After more than three decades with Maine Public Safety, McCausland will serve as a communications specialist for the Marshall team. He will be available for media training, crisis communications and planning, and spokesperson and executive training and coaching before and during ongoing events. Most notably, McCausland and Marshall plan to team up to provide assistance and guidance to businesses; local, county and state government; and organizations and groups. The move shows the continued growth and innovation of Marshall Communications, which celebrates 30 years of business in April 2021.

“Having someone of McCausland’s caliber and experience on my team is a tremendous point of pride for me,” said Marshall, founder and CEO of Marshall Communications, in the release. “For three decades Steve spoke for the Maine State Police, State Fire Marshal’s Office and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency. I am pleased to be able to offer crisis communications planning, coaching, and training services, as well as ‘spokesperson for hire’ services in partnership with Steve. There is no one in Maine who is better qualified for this work.”

“It was only a year ago that I was in Farmington to assist with the details of one of the worst explosions in Maine history,” said McCausland, in the release. “Now in retirement, I still have the desire to help organizations face crisis situations in communicating clearly and concisely with the media. Nancy approached me about five years ago to ask me about joining her team, and now that I am retired, I want to continue to share my knowledge and experience with this new partnership.”


Alliance recognizes Efficiency Maine Trust as 2020 Star of Energy Efficiency

The Alliance to Save Energy has announced the Efficiency Maine Trust as the winner of the 2020 Star of Energy Efficiency Award, celebrating its leadership in beneficial electrification, weatherization and other successful programs in Maine, according to a news release from the alliance headquartered in Washington, D.C.

“As we look to the future of energy efficiency, we know that strategies such as beneficial electrification will be critical for saving consumers money, creating a more resilient grid, and reducing carbon emissions,” said Clay Nesler, interim president of the Alliance to Save Energy. “Efficiency Maine Trust is ahead of the game, showing us how we can bring new opportunities to the table to achieve real grid benefits. We are thrilled to recognize their work.”

As the independent administrator of Maine’s efficiency programs for the past decade, the trust has supported tens of thousands of efficiency projects annually across the state that have saved consumers and businesses between $1.5 billion and $2 billion in lifetime energy costs. Its work led Maine to become the first state in the country to bring to scale beneficial electrification of heating in buildings. Those robust beneficial electrification strategies have helped the state advance its aggressive climate goals while lowering monthly heating bills. The Trust also has focused on helping low-income households overcome high energy burdens through enhanced incentives and significantly extended program benefits to hard-to-reach sectors.

“We know we need beneficial electrification at a massive scale throughout the U.S. in the next 10 to 20 years,” said Michael Stoddard, executive director of the Efficiency Maine Trust, according to the release. “The sustained, rapid growth in Maine’s heat pump sales is powerful evidence that the right mix of incentives and marketing can play a pivotal role in achieving that transition, while creating jobs and reducing carbon emissions. This award is a validation of the strategic choices Maine has made on electrification and the tireless work of hundreds of small businesses that market and install heat pumps and other efficient technologies in our state. On their behalf, we are deeply honored to receive this award and hope it will lead to many more discussions about how these programs can be scaled up across the country.”

The alliance will celebrate the trust’s award during a virtual reception in early December.


Gardiner Federal Credit Union delivers school supplies area elementary schools, Boys & Girls Club of Kennebec Valley

Each summer, Gardiner Federal Credit Union holds a school supply drive for area schools. The schools, in turn, make certain that they get into the hands of students who need them.

Stephanie Peppard, center, of Gardiner Federal Credit Union, delivers backpacks to River View Community School in South Gardiner. From left are Wendy Drummond, Peppard and Kristen Pray. Drummond and Pray are on staff at the school.

Kelly Marie, marketing coordinator for Gardiner FCU said, “Not every family has the money for the many things students need. Too often teachers and school administrators dig into their own wallets to fill the gaps. This is our way of helping,” in a news release from the credit union.

Because of the generosity of members of the credit union and the community, members of the credit union staff were able to deliver two dozen back packs and bags, stuffed with supplies to five area elementary schools and to the Boys & Girls Club of Kennebec Valley.

Whether students are learning from home, in the classroom, or in the after school homework help offered at the Boys & Girls Club, they still need supplies to do their lessons. “We were not sure what to expect this year, due to the pandemic. Some families are really struggling, so we were overwhelmed by the generous donations we received,” Marie said.

The staff at the credit union donated $200, which the credit union matched, to help fill the bags. Donations were also made by Reny’s and the Gardiner Hannaford location.

Most years Kirby the Kangaroo ®, the children’s savings mascot, accompanies the staff on deliveries and poses for pictures with children. This year, staff members Stephanie Peppard and Wendy Roberts, masked up and made deliveries to school and club personnel.



Summit Utilities Inc., parent company of Summit Natural Gas of Maine, recently was named as one of the 2020 Best Places to Work in Maine. The awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of the Society for Human Resource Management — Maine State Council and Best Companies Group. Partners endorsing the program include Mainebiz, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce and Maine HR Convention, according to a news release from Summit, which is based in Yarmouth.

“At Summit, we are a stronger company because we honor and embrace our differences. Like many companies, the challenges we are facing because of COVID-19 are demanding and unprecedented. By putting our people first and understanding their needs during this difficult time, we’ve been able to rise above these challenges and strengthen our company culture that puts our customers, team members and communities at the heart of all we do. Amid a global pandemic, it is a great honor to be named one of the best places to work in Maine and a true testament to our entire team that has worked so hard to provide clean, safe and reliable energy solutions to the people of Maine,” said Kurt Adams, president and CEO of Summit Utilities, Inc., according to the release

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Maine. The 2020 Best Places to Work in Maine list is made up of 84 companies in three size categories: small (15-49 U.S. employees), medium (50-249 U.S. employees) and large (250+ U.S. employees). Summit Utilities Inc. is ranked in the large employer category.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Maine. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings managed by the Best Companies Group will be announced on Oct. 19.

Summit Natural Gas of Maine provides natural gas service to many Maine communities in and around the Kennebec Valley, Cumberland, Falmouth and Yarmouth.

Compiled from submitted news releases. For more business briefs, visit

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