The award recipients will be honored at the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce’s annual event and award show, Imagine Portland, at 5 p.m., Wednesday, January 24 at Brick South on Thompson’s Point, Portland.
For Leadership in the Private Sector, the Chamber selected Melissa Smith, WEX Inc., for the award. Smith currently holds WEX’s most senior position as CEO, and is overseeing the opening of their new global headquarters in Portland.
The Economic Development Leadership Award for the past year will go to Sigco, which is a glass and metal fabricator based in Westbrook that made a point to hire new Americans to fill its 250-strong workforce.
For their work on Portland Referendums 1 & 2, the Public Sector Leadership Award will be given to both Brit Vitalius, of Vitalius Real Estate Group, and Heather Sanborn, of Rising Tide Brewing Company. Vitalius worked to defeat a potentially harmful rent control referendum in Portland, while Sanborn worked with OnePortland to defeat Portland Referendum question 2, which would have stifled economic development in the city.
The Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce staff selects the Visionary Volunteer Leadership Award recipient based on someone whose volunteer service has exceeded expectations, and this year they have named Michelle Raber, State Farm Insurance, as the recipient. Raber served as the volunteer President of the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce and volunteered countless hours on various Chamber committees.
“Each year a theme tends to emerge from the selection of our award recipients,” said James Erwin, Chair of the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “This year the quality all recipients seem to have in common, is leadership for the public good. From donating time, to giving a helping hand, to creating jobs, to defending the economic freedom that is essential for our region’s prosperity, this year’s recipients spent 2017 helping others.”
The public is encouraged to attend the event, which is the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce’s largest of the year. Learn more by visiting www.portlandregion.com/imagineportland or by calling the Chamber (207) 772-2811.