Class of 1979 Winter 2020 Class Note

Regina C. McCombs

A great time was had by those of us who attended our 40th Reunion at Homecoming. It was especially fun to meet with all of you who attended our class breakfast. Thank you to everyone who helped plan the celebration. If you took any photos or want to share your experiences please send them along so we can share them online or in the next magazine.


Linda Carroll writes: “In June 2019, I received two unexpected and cherished awards, making me feel like I won a Grammy and a Tony (I live two blocks from Times Square, so you can understand the analogy)


“First, my research paper ‘Pressure and flow comparisons across vocal pathologies’, which was published in the peer-review medical journal The Journal of Voice, was awarded Best Basic Science Paper for 2018 (The Journal of Voice is the premier journal on medical and therapeutic research in vocal function, recognized internationally for cutting edge research and analysis).


“Two weeks later, I received Distinguished Clinical Service Award from the Pennsylvania Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Both were great awards, and followed my Fellow Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association five years earlier. Although many of my classmates from 1979 remember me as Miss Maine 1978 (and contestant in the Miss America Pageant), the rest of the world knows me now as the ‘voice chick’ for my work as a voice clinician (speech-language pathology) for complicated voice and breathing issues, or as a voice trainer for high-level performers who require extraordinary performance skills (there are over 30 Grammy winners from my studio). It’s a good life, and my education at the University of Maine provided the groundwork for my skills and expertise.”


Dale Phillips published his seventh novel, A Darkened Room, the sixth book in the popular Maine-based Zack Taylor mystery series. He still appreciates having Stephen King as a writing instructor at the University of Maine — something must have took!


Ric Dodge wrote, “I am now an assistant professor business administration at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish, ME. I successfully completed my first year and look forward to teaching all those future accountants.”


Donna Larson has been hired as a community planner for Sebago Technics, a multi-discipline, engineering, and land development consulting firm. During her career, Donna led the creation of municipal and residential energy conservation programs/projects, developed countless municipal zoning and development ordinances, led a variety of community engagement processes, coordinated the development and implementation of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts, worked with Portland Metro to bring bus service to Freeport, and many other projects.


The first female commander of the Charles C. Lilly American Legion Post No. 149 in Waldoboro, ME is retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Donna Wallace. Donna, a native of Waldoboro, served in the military from 1972 to 2006. She was in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Navy Reserve, and U.S. Coast Guard Reserve before serving her final 20 years on active duty as an officer in the Air Force.


Evrim Resources Corp. appointed Dave Groves as vice president of exploration for the company. Dave worked for more than 35 years in precious-metals exploration, resource development and exploration business development.  Previously, Dave held the position of vice president, global exploration for Centerra Gold, where he led and managed the company’s resource development and greenfield exploration programs in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Turkey, Russia, and China. Before Centerra, and for much of his career, Dave was with Newmont Mining Corporation where he participated in the discovery and delineation of the Leeville and Turf gold deposits on the Carlin Trend in Nevada, directed greenfield discoveries of Carlin-type and high-sulfidation gold deposits in the Tethys mineral belt in Turkey and Armenia, and oversaw a major resource expansion at the Akyem gold deposit in West Africa.


Open Road Press released in paperback Hedging Demystified: How to Balance Risk and Protect Profit by Tim Bishop in July. The book will help businesses in various industries to better manage their financial risks. Designed as a primer with clear examples and straightforward explanations, Bishop’s latest release describes seven types of risk that futures, options, and swaps can mitigate. Hedging them will help avoid operating losses for businesses and financial catastrophes for their owners. In addition to conventional commodity risk topics, the book addresses risks associated with foreign currency exchange rates, interest rates, and weather. Joe Smith ’78 wrote the book’s forward.


James Gerety sent this message: “Hey Black Bears, not much to report. Semi retired from many years working in the asset management field. Also retired from the Navy with the rank of Commander after 23 years of combined active and reserve duty. So time to enjoy life, travel a bit, and continue to work on our historic home on Main Street in Orono. Cheers.”


Thomas Warren has been chosen as a Maine Sports Legend. The honorees for this award have been chosen by regional committees for their accomplishments and contributions to youth and sports in Maine. Their willingness to participate in this event assists the Maine Sports Legends in its efforts to provide student-athlete funding, the primary goal of the organization. Tom, a Massachusetts native and former three-year starter at outside linebacker at UMO, serves as chief executive officer of the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Augusta and also is president of the YMCA Alliance of Maine.


After more than 40 years educating the public about the Rio Grande National Forest and other natural wonders, Mike Blakeman stepped down from his position as public affairs specialist. Starting in 1991, Mike created the Environmental Education program for the RGNF. For more than 17 years, he created a network of experts and public educators who helped deliver sessions for kindergartners, nursing home residents and people of all ages in between. In 2006, Mike took on the public affairs position for the Rio Grande National Forest. On Nov. 29, 2018, he received two Gifford Pinchot Awards for Excellence in Interpretation and Conservation Education. Recognized for four decades of work in conservation education and interpretation on the Rio Grande National Forest, Mike also received the national award.


Scott Davis has been leading bands for 25 years as trumpet player/vocalist. His current “stable” of bands include The Scott Davis Quartet a jazz/swing band consisting of piano or guitar, bass, drums, and trumpet/vocals; Scotty & The Bigdogs, an eight-piece rock band; The Mike Willette Swing Band, which Scott leads; a 13-piece big band with a male vocalist; and Scott Davis and The Dixie Dance Kings, a seven-piece Dixie band.


Hope to hear from you!