Shawn Yardley ’79

Bernard Lown ’42 Humanitarian Award Recipient

Shawn Yardley ’79 spent his career working to improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations in his community. For his many years of service both in his career and as a volunteer lending hi expertise to better the lives of the underprivileged, he has been selected to receive the Bernard Lown ’42 Alumni Humanitarian Award. Most recently the CEO for Community Concepts Maine, Yardley retired having left a tremendous impact on the children and families in the city of Bangor, the state of Maine, and beyond.

Graduating from UMaine with a B.A. in sociology, Yardley went on to receive an MBA from Husson University. He spent 17 years in public child welfare at the Maine Department of Human Services as a caseworker, supervisor, and regional administrator. He spent nine years as director of the City of Bangor Health and Community Services where, among many other responsibilities, he oversaw and implemented many programs designed to address the unmet needs of children and adults struggling with homelessness, poverty, wellness, and safety.

Yardley was an adjunct faculty member at the UMaine School of Social Work for 23 years where he developed and taught courses on child welfare, guiding the next generation of child protective workers.

He also accepted an invitation from the Russian government to travel there and educate Russian social workers on best practices in foster care and adoption. Yardley has held leadership roles on many boards and committees such as the Maine Community Foundation, Maine Children’s Alliance, Maine Discovery Museum, Catholic Charities, NAMI-Maine, and Maine Public Health Association. He was appointed by Governor Mills to serve as Chair of Maine’s Statewide Homeless Council, and was a founding member of the Bangor Area Recovery Network.

Most recently, Yardley served as the CEO of Community Concepts Maine from 2015-2022, where he put to use his decades of expertise in protecting the most disadvantaged and vulnerable members of the community. Across his career Yardley has been honored with many merits and awards, including but not limited to the News Center 2 Those Who Care Award, Professiona Advocate of the Year for the Children’s Trust, Social Worker of the Year, and the U.S. Congress Angels in Adoption Award.

He is now retired and lives in Bangor with his wife, fellow Black Bear Rita ’81. They are proud
parents to seven children including three UMaine graduates.

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