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Leaders & Luminaries

Recognizing passion, vision, and strategic leadership on nonprofit boards.

Leaders and Luminaries


Nonprofit board directors recognized since 2011.  


Awarded to Maine nonprofits
since 2011.


Awarded in 2023.

Through our Leaders & Luminaries Awards, we aim to shine a light on nonprofit board members who bring a new level of leadership to their role and are paving the way in board service and volunteerism. Since 2011, Camden National Bank has celebrated and recognized 63 of these board members—often unsung community heroes— who exhibit exemplary leadership skills, execute strong strategic and financial plans, and have a passion for their organization’s long-term growth.

Congratulations to our 2023 Leaders & Luminaries Award Winners!

Recognized with $5,000 grants for each respective nonprofit.

Heather Abello, Treasurer of the Board, Hearty Roots (Bristol, Maine)

Heather Abello

Hearty Roots’ inclusive year-round programs support resilience and wellness by offering outing clubs, teen retreats, in-school therapeutic adventures, pop-up camps, and coastal expedition programs to children in Lincoln County and Knox County, Maine. Hearty Roots promotes physical activities like campfire building, hiking, biking, and skiing, while also offering a social-emotional curriculum that inspires kids to dig a little deeper, reflect on their actions, and allow themselves to take chances. As a board member, Abello has been critical to Hearty Roots’ recent growth, including adding a licensed master social worker to the group’s staff, updating and aligning the organization’s numerous foundational documents, and being a top fundraiser. She is also praised for her fearlessness in dissenting, expressing concerns, and offering innovative solutions. As a result, the number of youth served, the number of staff employed, and the operational budget have all doubled under Abello’s tenure.

Dottie Chalmers Cutter, Chairwoman of the Board, Institute for Family-Owned Business (Portland, Maine)

Dottie Chalmers Cutter

The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout Maine. This support includes providing unique information, resources, programs, and networking opportunities that enable Maine’s business-owning families to prosper and achieve their fullest potential. Chalmers Cutter was nominated for her ability to navigate her organization—and, in turn, Maine businesses—through the pandemic that shuttered many companies. As chair of the IFOB, she has also been instrumental in keeping her fellow board members engaged, energized, and utilizing their respective skills while adjusting and updating the organization’s mission, strategic plans, and website, as well as continuing to recruit new, high-performing board members.

Kathie Marquis-Girard, Vice President of the Board, Percival P. Baxter Foundation for Maine's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children (Falmouth, Maine)

Kathie Marquis-Girard

The mission of the Percival P. Baxter Foundation for Maine's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children is to benefit, support, and enhance programs and services for kids with hearing loss in Maine and their families, while also providing professional development training for the colleagues with whom they work. In addition to being a solid leader, Marquis-Girard’s commitment to the Percival P. Baxter Foundation clearly goes above and beyond what is expected of most board members. She is spearheading the formation of a new three-year strategic plan. Her family served as hosts for two deaf students from Portland High School’s Deaf Education program. And she even took it upon herself to learn American Sign Language. Aside from her work with the Percival P. Baxter Foundation, Marquis-Girard is a retired high school assistant principal, she serves on the board of the Maine Cancer Foundation, she has participated in every Tri for a Cure event, and she is a breast cancer survivor.

Jamie Plourde, Vice President of the Board, Children’s Discovery Museum of Central Maine (Waterville, Maine)

Jamie Plourde

For nearly 30 years, the Children’s Discovery Museum of Central Maine has invited kids and families to play, learn, and grow. Formerly based in Augusta, the museum now encourages children to explore their world, make friends, gain confidence, and problem-solve from their location in Waterville, which opened in 2020. Plourde's tenure on the board is a testament to the power of returning to one's roots and using one's talents to uplift a community in need. While serving as vice president, she has primarily focused on one of the museum’s most significant needs, buildings and facilities, by forming a committee to oversee the museum’s expansion project and every detail that goes into the construction. Always willing to assist where needed, Plourde has also helped helm the organization by taking on some leadership tasks usually designated for the executive director.

2023 Spotlight Award winner:

Vera Rand Roberts, President of the Board, New Hope Midcoast (Rockland, Maine)

Vera Rand Roberts

New Hope Midcoast is the Regional Domestic Violence Resource Center in Midcoast Maine. Since 1981, their staff has been serving individuals affected by domestic abuse, dating violence, and stalking. By educating and empowering communities, New Hope Midcoast supports a more just and effective response to domestic violence and abuse. The process is one of walking with someone, advocating, being flexible to change, and being resourceful. Roberts’ leadership style as board president incorporates all these skills and abilities. She was also credited for providing outstanding guidance to the executive director, especially during the pandemic, when the number of domestic violence incidents skyrocketed.

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  • Eligibility is limited to nonprofit organizations or groups that demonstrate tax-exempt status under the internal Revenue Service Code Section 501(c)3.
  • The nominee must be currently serving on the board of directors and not employed by the organization.
  • The nonprofit organization must be located and operating in the state of Maine and New Hampshire. If an organization is part of a larger national nonprofit, then the nominee must be from the Maine or New Hampshire branch of the organization.
  • Camden National Bank employees are not eligible to nominate or be nominated.
  • Previous award recipients are not eligible to participate for the following five years.
  • Only one nomination accepted per organization.

Additional selection considerations

  • The size, age, budget and mission of the organization are not material in consideration for this award.
  • In reviewing applications, the selection committee will take into account the funds, staff and volunteers available to the organization, as well as how effectively it has allocated those resources to fulfill its mission. The committee will also consider whether appropriate term-limits have been put in place and a sustainable leadership plan established.
  • The selection committee is dedicated to making sure the awardees reflect our values of fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion in our communities.
  • No prior or current relationship with Camden National Bank will be considered or is necessary to receive this award.
  • All information submitted will be confidential.

Selection committee

  • Two executives of Camden National Bank
  • Three other independent volunteers who are active in Maine’s nonprofit community

Funding and recognition

  • Four (4) nonprofit organizations will each receive $5,000 grants on behalf of their awardees.
  • Each awardee and organization will be recognized on Camden National Bank’s website, social media, and marketing materials
  • Leaders & Luminaries awards are made possible by Camden National Bank, through The Bank of Maine Foundation. In October 2015, Camden National Bank acquired The Bank of Maine in order to better serve customers through a wider range of financial products and services while still remaining an important member of the communities we serve.