Greetings, Class of 2004! I hope that you enjoyed the holiday season. I hope you are one of the lucky ones who lives in a place with changing seasons — fall foliage and a range of temperatures. The weather certainly isn’t that chilly here. I think my body and my soul could use a good snowstorm to remind me of where I’m from. Hopefully I’ll get to spend Christmas in Maine one of these years.
There are lots of updates from classmates in the news these days. Congrats to all of these people on their successes, life changes, and business moves.
The First United Methodist Church in Bangor has a new pastor, but he is certainly not a new face to the community. Stephen Smith was well known to viewers of the Channel 2 news for years as the Bangor region’s meteorologist, Steve McKay. A career spent in radio and television and being comfortable speaking in front of people led him to filling in at church decades ago. It was in 2009 that he received formal training from the Bangor Theological Seminary to pursue ministry. Congrats on the new post, Steve! Your congregation is so lucky to have you.
In engineering news, Daniel Diffin has been promoted to vice president of Sevee & Maher Engineers in Cumberland, ME. Dan joined the team in 2012 to lead the team’s civil engineering group. The firm provides consulting services in civil engineering, environmental compliance, solid waste engineering, site investigation and remediation, geotechnical engineering, and water resources.
Another promotion to note from the southern Maine area is for Jason Emery. Baker Newman Noyes, an accounting firm in Portland, has promoted him to managing director in the audit practice. Jason’s focus at the firm is mostly on serving employee benefit plans, governmental agency, and commercial business clients. He joined the firm in 2005.
Congratulations to Julie-Ann Scott-Pollock G, ’10 Ph.D., communication studies professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, who received the Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education from the National Communication Association. Her research focuses on how individuals can pursue social justice through understanding the personal stories of marginalized cultural members.
2019 was a huge year for Merrit David Janes, or Dave as I knew him when we sang together all throughout college in UMaine’s University Singers. Dave was a large personality then and he still is now, which is probably why he has garnered so much success in his musical roles on Broadway and in touring shows for many years now. The parts he portrays are absolutely perfect for him. Most recently, he has been performing the lead role of Dewey in School of Rock. He also recorded his first full album back in 2018 entitled Waiting in the Wings, which features songs about life on the road as a touring Broadway actor. And last spring he teamed up with the brilliantly talented young instrumentalists who performed with him in School of Rock to form a group called The Winter Guardians. They released a series of singles to showcase the amazing talents of these young musicians. The first was titled “Think Out Loud.” What a crazy, awesome journey you’ve been on since we graduated, Dave. Congrats on all your adventures and achievements.
In small business news, Wade and Eliza Stevens Butler, owners of Specialty Sweets in Bangor, closed their downtown Bangor shop last winter. They maintained their retail location at their flagship store near the Bangor mall for nearly another year, but announced its closure in the fall.
Carolyn Korth McCormick wrote: “My husband, Jason McCormick ’07, and I welcomed a beautiful baby girl, Kristen Korth McCormick, on October 14, 2019.” The family lives in Durham, ME. Congratulations!
And finally, in political news, the new Governor of Maine, Janet Mills, brought on new staffers at the beginning of 2019, one of whom was Dorian Cole. From 2012-2018, Dorian worked for first district congresswoman Chellie Pingree as a legislative correspondent, managing her constituent services program. She will be performing a similar role, directing that operation, with her work in the governor’s office.