Class of 1991 Winter 2020 Class Note

Lori Schlenker

I’m pleased to report so many interesting milestones and honors for classmates this time.

Christopher McLoon has joined the Boston-based Nutter firm as a partner in its tax department. Prior to joining Nutter, Chris was a shareholder and chair of the affordable housing and community development practice group at a general practice firm in Portland.  A leader in tax and corporate law, in 2016 Chris was recognized as a “Lawyer of the Year” from Best Lawyers.

Joan Fortin recently became the first female chief executive officer in the 104-year history of the Bernstein Shur law firm. Joan had previously held the position of shareholder and director of attorney recruiting and retention at the firm. Joining the firm in 2008, she specializes in land use, municipal law, and tax increment financing. In 2018, Mainebiz named Joan a Woman to Watch. She and her husband live in Portland with their two children.

Mike Archer, who has spent the past 18 years as athletic director at Orono High School, received two top awards for his work at the Maine Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s (MIAAA) annual spring conference. Mike was honored with the State Award of Merit, a national award from the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association. He also received the MIAAA’s Robert Lahey Athletic Administrator of the Year award.

Doug Kreis of Mattawan, MI, wrote with his news:

“I have been a PGA member since 1995 and head professional at Battle Creek Country Club since 2001 — only the fifth head professional here in 100 years. The club has an amazing history. Walter Hagen won the Michigan PGA Championship here, and the third head professional, Chick Harbert, won the PGA Championship in 1954 and captained the Ryder Cup. The club also annually hosts a Symetra Tour event (stepping stone to the LPGA) and has hosted a number of USGA events over the years.“

“Earlier this year I was named Golf Professional of the Year for the Michigan PGA. It’s an awesome honor, particularly during the club’s centennial year.“

The legacy of one of our dearly departed classmates was recognized last fall when the University of Maine Sports Hall of Fame admitted Justin Strzelczyk to its rolls. As a tight end and defensive lineman at UMaine, he earned All-Conference first-team and All-American status, and helped the Black Bears win Yankee Conference titles in 1987 and 1989. He was a 10-year NFL veteran after being drafted in the 11th round of the 1990 draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, including an appearance in Super Bowl XXX in 1995. He played in 133 NFL games. Justin died in a car crash in 2004 at the age of 36.

Another classmate with a milestone to celebrate is someone near and dear to me. Elizabeth Chadwick ’71, 91G retired this year after 47 years of teaching, all but one of those at Farrington Elementary School in Augusta. Liz attended the old Farrington School herself, as did her father. I was fortunate enough to have “Miss Chadwick” as my 5th grade teacher and have lots of great memories from that year. Enjoy your retirement, Liz!

Paul and Pam Burleigh Cleaves were extra excited for the start of the fall semester as they dropped off their son, Zeb, on the Orono campus to represent the fourth generation of Pam’s family to attend UMaine. This long legacy includes her step-grandmother, Dorothy Libby Marsh ’60, ’63G, her father, Glenn Burleigh, Sr., who received his C.A.S, in education management in 1977; and her mother, Nola Burleigh ’64, ’90G. Son Zeb is studying engineering physics, following in his dad’s footsteps.

Congratulations and best wishes to all these classmates and all of you entering new chapters in your life. We would love to hear about them.

M-A-I-N-E, Gooo Blue!