Penquis president and CEO Kara Hay, of Old Town, was honored for her work in housing and community development leadership. Kara — who studied theatre as an undergraduate at UMaine before going on to graduate work in psychology and family therapy in Hawaii — has led Penquis since 2014. Maine’s largest community action agency, Penquis serves families across Maine, with a particular focus on Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox Counties. Kara was recognized as “Practitioner of the Year” by the national Neighbor Works Association at its annual meeting in Washington, DC, this spring, for her work overseeing a staff of 650 and managing a merger of two community organizations under the Penquis name. In the nomination for the award, her peers said, “Her success in simultaneously leading two prominent local organizations and navigating the various legal, financial, logistical, and cultural issues for a successful merger speaks volumes about her ability to lead and inspire.”
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