About 75 people attended MHS’s annual meeting on June 8, held at the Pepperell Mill Campus in Biddeford. In addition to approving new bylaws for the organization, the board voted in new officers and trustees, gave out awards, enjoyed a keynote talk by Maine author Colin Woodard, and toured the 1 million square foot former mill complex, now being redeveloped for mixed use.
After introductions and various reports, voting got underway. In addition to outgoing Board President Katherine Pope handing off the gavel to incoming Chair (note the title change) Lendall Smith of Falmouth, an attorney with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the following Trustees accepted officer positions:
- 1st Vice President Preston Miller of Boston, a partner with the Tremont Group;
- 2nd Vice President Joseph Gray, City Manager of Portland;
- Secretary Jean Gulliver of Falmouth, Chair of the Biodiversity Research Institute; and
- Treasurer Horace Horton of Yarmouth, an attorney with Drummond & Drummond.
Four new Trustees were welcomed to the Board:
- Meredith Strang Burgess of Cumberland, former state legislator and President and CEO of Burgess Advertising & Marketing (and a previous Trustee);
- Tom Cattell of Falmouth, Director of Client Service at Black Point Capital Management;
- Betsy Pelikan of Portland, a recently retired fifth grade teacher at the Lyseth School; and
- Kathy Schneider Smith of Freeport, the former president of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Awards given out included the James Phinney Baxter Award for the best article published in Maine History to Dickinson College Professor Christopher Bilodeau; the Neal Allen Award for outstanding contributions to Maine history to former Bethel Historical Society Executive Director Stanley R. Howe; the Trustee Distinguished Service Award to Fred Thompson, a trustee since 2005 and Maine television pioneer; and the Elizabeth Ring Award for volunteerism to Frances Pollitt, a longtime MHS volunteer and former staff member.
Colin Woodard’s keynote address, entitled The Past is Present: History’s Powerful Role in Shaping Contemporary Life, Politics, and Events, wowed the crowd, as did a guided tour–including reminiscences of former mill workers–of the Pepperell Campus.