The Penquis Post

July 2016
SCREENAGERS...  500 Students Tuned In...
Students react to having too much screen time
SCREENAGERS is a new, insightful documentary that probes into the corners of family life and depicts the struggles "screenagers" face over creating balance between virtual and tangible reality and the challenges presented by social media, video games, academics and internet addiction in the 21st century.
The film addresses the need for both students and adults to unplug, as adults admitted to spending a significant amount of time distracted by their electronic devices, and explores ways to find balance. To learn what local students had to say about the documentary, view this brief video.

Penquis thanks
Leonard Middle School and Old Town Elementary School for hosting the viewings. This opportunity was made possible, in part, through a grant from NeighborWorks America and was a featured NeighborWorks Week activity. 
New Steps for Penquis Leaders   
Brian Thibeau, Chief Administrative Officer, retires after 30 dedicated years to Community Action

Penquis recently celebrated the stellar career of Brian Thibeau. Brian first joined community action in 1974 at the Aroostook County Action Program, Inc., where he served f or more than 20 years before joining Penquis in 2001 as Human Resources Manager. After 15 years of dedicated service, on June 24th, he retired as Penquis's Chief Administrative Officer.

Brian demonstrated excellence and commitment to the mission of Penquis. He was a tremendous resource to everyone in the organization, and extraordinarily dedicated to the people served by Penquis. Brian led Human Resources, Facilities, Information Services and Resource Development teams with inimitable style, passion and integrity.

We will miss his professional expertise and thoughtful, strategic decision making. Brian offered a few parting words that we are proud to share, "From day one, I was impressed with the compassion, commitment, dedication and professionalism of those with whom I got to work. And that remains true to this day as I have continued to be inspired by the talented folks around me at Penquis. I leave with pride and wish each of you and Penquis all the best in the years to come." We wish you all the best in your retirement, Brian! 

Jayne Crosby Giles, Chief Executive Officer for
MaineStream Finance Says Goodbye
Jayne Crosby Giles completed six successful years as Chief Executive Officer of Penquis subsidiary MaineStream Finance (MSF), retiring from the position on June 30th. Jayne said, "The MaineStream team has accomplished so much. I am proud of the work and know MaineStream will continue to provide financial services to underserved clients in central, co astal and eastern Maine." Jayne enjoyed bringing her years of experience in the banking industry and experience in the legislature to MSF, sharing that it allowed her to develop unique programs to help build credit and provide financing for those who otherwise had difficulty gaining access to it. 

Jayne is leaving MaineStream to be the Interim Executive Director for Broadreach Family & Community Services in Belfast. She looks forward to working closer to home and spending more time with her husband, Mike, their extended family and two yellow labs, Hersh and Caramel. Her advice is to "stay open to new ways of doing things,  collaborate with others, listen and help out your team." She also said to "smile a lot and stay positive." Jayne is surely one who demonstrates that. Jayne, we wish you all the best!

We've Got Your Back is Back!
Penquis is now accepting donations and taking registrations

Getting children prepared for back to school is expensive, and helping out with a backpack is one way we can help ease a little bit of the financial burden while putting a smile on children's faces.
Last year this program helped about 1,500 children throughout our service area of Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox counties. Parents can sign up online at, at any of our office locations, or by phone by calling 1-800-215-4942.
Registration closes on Monday, August 8th. If you would like to donate to this program you can give onlin e at, drop off a backpack at any Penquis office or at one of our live radio broadcasts with Blueberry Broadcasting at a participa ting Dunkin Donuts. Our first one will be held Thursday, July 21, from 11 am - 1 pm at the Dunkin Donuts on State St. in Brewer.  

Penquis Foster Grandparents Join the "Circle of Caring"
This group of Grammies shows its support 
The Circle of Ca ring is a social media "challenge" launched in May 2016 and represents a community united, surrounding people struggling wi th opioid use disorder. It is the hope of this effort to encircle those suffering from opioid use disorder and their families with care, support and kindness. 
When t he Foster Grandparent Program held its annual appreciation luncheon on Tuesday, June 28, to recognize the countless volunteer hours given to children, this dedicated group also took time to learn about the Circle of Caring .

Those in attendance had the opportunity to learn more about the growing opioid epidemic in our community and its impact on families and loved ones. After a brief presentation, this caring group of "Grammies" wanted to show its support and became a part of the Circle of Caring.

We invite others to learn more about the Caring Circle and to join the Circle of Caring Facebook group.  

Penquis Annual Dinner - Mission Possible
Honoring long-time leaders and celebrating our mission 

Penquis held its Annual Dinner on June 21st. Kara Hay, Chief Executive Officer, welcomed attendees and expressed appreciation for Penquis partners, supporters and staff that make a difference in thousands of people's lives each year. She reflected on and celebrated the accomplishments of the year, shared national and state-wide poverty data, and spoke about the opportunity to have even greater impact. She emphasized that Penquis continues to believe that all Mainers should have access to safe, affordable housing, reliable transportation, and economic stability, and that all children should have the opportunity to achieve optimal health and development in safe, nurturing families and environments.
At dinner CEO Hay led the group in acknowledging the transitions of three Penquis leaders: Chief Operating
Left to right: Benjamin Walker, Heidi LeBlanc, Shannon Bonsey, Brian Thibeau, Jayne Giles, and Field Glover
Officer (COO) Shannon Bonsey, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Brian Thibeau, and MaineStream Finance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Jayne Giles. These Penquis leaders have been instrumental in making Penquis the great agency that it is today. We are thankful for their vision, commitment, and many years of service, and wish them well as they move forward. We then took a moment to welcome three new Penquis leaders: incoming COO Heidi LeBlanc, incoming CAO Field Glover, and incoming MaineStream Finance CEO Benjamin Walker. 
Penquis is grateful for its staff, both past and present, and looks forward to continuing to serve our region's families and communities.