Call for Art

The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) invites Maine artists to submit an original two-dimensional artwork to be selected for reproduction as a limited-edition print.

The creative direction is any two-dimensional image that represents a distinctive, classic, iconic theme, landmark, environmental or structural detail, texture, tone or representation of the LA region of today and tomorrow. Past examples of local iconic images are canals, skylines and streetscapes but visions of the future are encouraged. Works can be created in any medium; photography, illustration, paint, etc. that can be reproduced at a high-quality resolution. The maximum size of the finished piece cannot exceed 24” x 18”.  Each piece should be titled.


Twenty pieces will be selected by a jury of Chamber board members, staff and local arts professionals for display at the Chamber’s 130th Fête d’anniversaire on Friday, November 3, 2017. A cash prize of $700 will be awarded to the artist whose piece is judged “Best in Show” and that image will be reproduced as 100 limited-edition prints. The original will be framed and auctioned as part of a live auction and all other submissions will be displayed for audience judging and silent auction at the 130th Fête d’anniversaire. A $300 cash prize for the “People’s Choice” award will be given at the event. Each piece should be assigned a value for sale following 50-50 gallery standards, including a minimum reserve. The Chamber will promote the names of each participating artist when marketing the 130th Fête d’anniversaire. The reverse of the limited-edition print will feature text on the artist and their work. Pieces that do not meet their reserve for sale on November 3rd will be returned to the artist following the event.


DEADLINE = September 30, 2017.  Work may be dropped off at the Chamber Office during business hours, Monday-Thursday, 8AM-5PM and Fridays 8AM-3PM. Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists who reside in Maine. For more information contact


Rebecca Swanson Conrad Named President & CEO

Rebecca ConradLast Friday, February 17, our board of directors concluded a 3-month search for a new President and CEO of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.  Rebecca Swanson Conrad will begin as our new President and CEO on March 27, 2017.  The search process was extensive, generating over 50 applicants from across the country.  Our 11-person selection committee led the search process, which included three rounds of interviews, with the final being in front of the entire board, extensive testing of the applicants, and thorough reference checks. We were thrilled with the tremendous interest in the position from a group of highly qualified applicants.

Rebecca Swanson Conrad is currently the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine where she has worked since 2006. She was co-owner with her husband of Austin’s Fine Wines and Foods for 20 years, and for 3 years owned and operated Rÿsen Home Garden & Antiques, a retail gallery promoting local art and products that supported international women’s economic development. Both shops were located in downtown Auburn. Prior to Rÿsen, Conrad’s career spanned 21 years in higher education administration at Bates College, including 1999-2003 when she served as executive director of LA Excels, the college’s non-profit community development partnership in Lewiston-Auburn focused on leadership, arts, educational aspirations and economic revitalization. She served on the Maine Arts Commission for seven years, with four as vice-chair. Volunteer board roles include chair of the Lewiston Auburn Economic Growth Council, past chair of L/A Arts and Androscoggin Home Care & Hospice, vice chair of the Maine Association of Nonprofits and as a board member of Advocates for Children, the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce and the advisory boards of USM/LA College and Central Maine Community College. Conrad received her BA in English from Bates College and studied in the New England Studies MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. She lives in Auburn with her husband Austin Conrad, Jr. and her cat, Charles Mingus.

The entire board of directors, and particularly our 11-member selection committee deserve a tremendous amount of credit for the time and effort they put into a very extensive search process.  They were ably assisted by former board chair, Art Boulay of Strategic Talent Management.

2017 Member Employee Scholarship

The purpose of the Chamber Member Employee Scholarship Program is to recognize an employee of a LA Metro Chamber member who has shown effort in advancing his or her education at the college level.

Scholarship Awards

Scholarships of $1000 each will be awarded annually. The scholarships will be awarded directly to the recipient. One award will be made per individual, although the award may be divided to apply to two semesters of college work.

  • Preference will be given to applicants who have not previously won an Adult Scholarship from the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce


Applicants will…

  • Be employed 20 or more hours by a member in good standing of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Begin course(s) within 6 months of receiving award
  • Be matriculated in college-level coursework applicable toward an Associates, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be at least 18 years old

Application Requirements

  • Scholarship application
  • 250-300 word typewritten essay (see attached)
  • Completed employer verification form
  • Professional letter of reference/recommendation (more points will be given when the author is knowledgeable of the applicant’s professional work and/or collegiate work and speak to: motivation, financial need, aspirations, etc.)
  • Unofficial transcript or letter of acceptance for upcoming semester
  • Application MUST be complete to be considered!


The application and employer verification form must be received by May 5, 2017. Recipients will be notified by June 2, 2017 (Scholarship recipients will be notified by mail/e-mail.)

2017 Scholarship Application is now available! Download it here

2017 Annual Award Winners Announced

Congratulations to our 2017 Annual Award recipients!

Tickets are available to purchase for our 2017 Annual Meeting, Thursday, January 26, 2017 at the Ramada Inn, Lewiston.

Ray Geiger – Chamber Champion

The Ray Geiger Award is the highest honor given to a member by the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. It is the chamber’s most prestigious award. It is given to an individual who has proven to be a champion of and for the chamber. The award is presented to an individual who has invested a great deal of time, energy, and resources into furthering the chamber’s mission and working toward bettering our communities.

The winner is… Peter Chalke

Theresa Samson – Women’s Business Leadership

The Theresa Samson award honors a successful woman business owner or primary manager, for her business success, career achievements and contributions to the community. Businesses led by women are and will continue to have a noticeable impact on the economy. This annual award helps inspire the continued growth of women leading businesses in our community.

The winner is… Cyndi Robbins

Ken Additon – Small Business Advocacy

The Ken Additon Small Business Advocacy Award goes to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to small-business advocacy above and beyond policies that specifically impact their own business or industry and a proven history of volunteer efforts to advance and improve the overall small-business community. In addition, success in advocating for pro-small business policies and success and growth as a small-business owner.

The winner is… Michael Dostie

Icon Award

The icon award is a community person, business or organization that has truly become an icon in our community. This community icon will be immortalized forever with the creation of an actual icon to be utilized in the LA Metro Chamber’s branding.

The winner is… Simones Hot Dog Stand

Community Service Award

The Community Service Award honors outstanding individuals or organizations that give their time and expertise to the community, above and beyond their own field of endeavor, and demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in all they do. The recipient is an inspiration to the community, both in their profession and in their efforts to make the LA region a better place to live, work and play.

The winner is… Kora Shrine Center

Business Leadership Award

A business, agency, organization, community or non-profit corporation which has helped invigorate the economic health of the area while also contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual or physical well being of the LA region.

The winner is… Geiger

President’s Award

An individual or organization chosen by the chamber president for an outstanding achievement or recognizable contribution.

The winner is… Lewiston High School state champion soccer team

Outstanding Chamber Member Award

An individual or organization chosen by the chamber staff for their outstanding contribution to the chamber.

The winner is… Life Center at John F. Murphy Homes

We Need More Businesses Like Poland Spring

As published in the Sun Journal June 25, 2016.

The Lewiston-Auburn metropolitan community is lucky to have corporate partners like Poland Spring. In fact, Maine needs more businesses like Poland Spring that want to grow and invest in our economy and contribute to local charities and schools.

Poland Spring has invested more than $430 million into the economy of the state of Maine, spends $60 million a year with local suppliers and has an annual payroll of $42 million.

It is unfortunate that race organizers for the Triple Crown did not take the time to explore other ways to partner with Poland Spring this year (Sun Journal story, June 11).I understand the race was taking a different approach this year, but that should have been clearly communicated to Poland Spring instead of politicized in the newspaper.

Poland Spring is a model corporate citizen and a company that deserves praise for setting a great example for how to run a Maine business that does sustainability right. This company’s many contributions often go unnoticed, which is unfortunate. Our community is lucky to have Poland Spring’s support. And, frankly, so is our state.

They support our communities through charitable outreach; create jobs for and employ more than 800 Mainers; invest in local water infrastructure projects and practice environmental sustainability every step of the way. As a life-long Mainer, I have always been proud of Poland Spring, whether here at home or deployed around the world. In my role as president and CEO of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, I have had the fortunate opportunity to observe the company and learn more about its operations and significant impact on our economy and communities.

For example, I know that Poland Spring takes water management seriously and constantly does research to determine that their water bottling practices are sustainable and will not hurt the environment or threaten the population’s access to and quantity of safe drinking water.

I have also learned that the company has given $6 million to local Maine communities and have made a substantial investment in environmental education throughout the state of Maine by partnering with organizations such as Project WET and The Ecology School. More than 9,000 students in Maine have participated in environmental education programming through Poland Spring curricula and funding.

Poland Spring knows what Maine and its people stand for as well as anyone, given their rich 170-year history operating in the state. Being a good, responsible neighbor and a model business is at the core of everything they do.

I hope the Triple Crown race continues in our community for years to come and I would encourage them to remain open to working with local businesses that share the same desire to ensure this race’s ongoing success.


8 Strategies for Aspiring Leaders

8 Strategies for Aspiring Leaders, LA Metro Chamber Premier Speaker Series, August 19

image001On Friday, August 19 from 8am to Noon, the LA Metro Chamber will host 8 Strategies for Aspiring Leaders as part of their premier speaker series. The seminar will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn Auburn Riverwatch, 14 Great Falls Plaza, Auburn.

This seminar addresses the challenges you face as a new or emerging leader. You’ll leave with actionable strategies and tactics you can put into practice in your business or company culture – today. This is not a lecture!  You’re part of an engaging conversation — complete with group exercises to help you develop Character Disciplined Leadership at ALL levels, independent of title or position!

Perfect for:

  • Aspiring leaders within an organization
  • Recent college graduates
  • Leadership development candidates
  • Professionals transitioning to a new leadership role
  • New Entrepreneurs / Business Owners

Your session includes:

  • The SL 15: online questionnaire identifying leadership challenges and goals prior to the event. Findings will become part of your group discussion
  • Your copy of “8 Strategies For Aspiring Leaders”
  • Your personal Sensei Leader workbook
  • Complimentary access to our online program

BONUS: Signed copy of the Sensei Leader included — limited to the first 50 registrations!

Presenter: Jim Bouchard of Black Belt Mindset Productions, LLC. “I’m a former drug addict and two time college dropout. I used to think that was a miserable resume for someone who trains leaders to be better people. I now know that it is the perfect resume.  Leaders are made, not born.  I’ll go a little further, leaders are transformed. Leaders are people who transform themselves through their experiences, opportunities and challenges to become the people others count on for inspiration, guidance and action. I transformed myself from a loser to a leader––from a drug abuser to a Black Belt, and later to Sensei. Over 25 years of teaching I helped hundreds of others transform themselves into Black Belts, and thousands more discover their best selves.”

Jim’s keynotes, workshops and seminars help you build and maintain a strong culture of “character disciplined leadership,” the foundation of organizational success. He is an internationally recognized business speaker, trainer and author of The Sensei Leader and Think Like a Black Belt.

“The Sensei Leader was a home run! (Jim’s) presentation was outstanding and we couldn’t be happier.”

Download the flyer to print and share!

Reserve your seat today! Price is $149 for LA Metro Chamber members and $249 for non members. Registration is available at For questions, call 207-783-2249.

Why Rebrand? Why Now?

It’s time to accelerate our organization’s success.

Talk to anyone in the community, and they’ll tell you that LA Maine is on the cusp of something great. There’s a certain buzz about the communities that intimates a new and exciting energy. There is a sense of optimism that is becoming inescapable across our communities.

In order to capitalize on that energy there is no better time than now to examine some important questions: Who are we? What do we do? Why do we do it? As a Chamber of Commerce, community leader, and influencer, if we are not crystal clear about who we are and what we do how can we expect other people to understand?

The answers to the questions above are instrumental to understanding the direction of our organization as we face the future. The answers to these questions inform necessary decisions and will help us remain agile in a competitive environment. Rebranding allows us to capture our essence and remain grounded in our history while synchronously positioning us for the future.

And let’s face it, if you had been on our old website you knew it was time for a change to something fresh and current.

Right now is a perfect time to understand how we can message better to communicate a more relevant brand promise. Consumers are becoming increasingly interested in and sensitive to the value propositions they’re presented. If we are going to continue to be Maine’s largest business membership organization and continue to grow our ranks, we must present a clear and provoking value proposition.

Androscoggin County was a brand name that was too restrictive. In an attempt to be broad and inclusive, relevancy was also lost. Androscoggin County had little relevancy in people’s minds outside our immediate community. In a competitive climate, that’s a tough position to be in. Rebranding now makes us relevant to a much larger audience in a changing market place. We are positioning ourselves not to compete with Portland or Bangor but rather regionally, nationally, and internationally.

Changing the name to the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce makes us ready for new growth and new opportunities.

Rebranding is not an end point. We are beginning yet another chapter in this organization’s history. There is work to be done. We see energy, momentum, and enormous potential in the greater Lewiston Auburn metropolitan area, and we will continue to hustle each day to make it a desirable place to live, work, and play.

We must be able to clearly articulate the numerous benefits of joining the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and our members must be able to clearly articulate why they are part of our chamber. With our communities on the edge of something larger than today, now is the time for clarity in who we are. Doing, leading, influencing, making things happen, helping business and community grow and thrive.

The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is primed to be an engine for economic vitality and enhanced quality of life.

If you own a business in the greater Lewiston Auburn metropolitan area and want it to grow, join the LA Metro Chamber.

If you’re looking to start a business in LA Maine and need the tools and resources to do so, join us.

If you want to advance your career, find a new job, or expand your professional network, join us.

If you want to inspire your employees, help them achieve more, and give them meaningful educational opportunities, join us.

If you want to attract top-notch talent and develop a committed and highly skilled workforce, join us.

If you want your business’s voice to be heard above the political noise and develop amicable relationships with our elected officials in order to get work done, make meaningful change, and protect your interests, join us.

If you are the next generation business leader and want to shape the future of our communities, join us.

Why rebrand? Why now? It’s time to accelerate our organization’s success – join us!

Jennifer Ziebart, Director of Marketing and Communications, (207) 783-2249