The Impact of Holiday Cheer On the Workplace Environment
We are creeping into the Holiday season, and it’s hard to forget the ever-dark shadow that is a global pandemic. But just because we are all experiencing hardships doesn’t mean we can’t also experience positivity and a little holiday spirit.
Building happy and productive workplaces come not only from leadership but from positive workplace environments. Holiday celebrations, team lunches, Employee Appreciation Day are just a few of the activities workplaces should be integrating into their environment to establish stronger ties with employees. As I have stressed before, these ties entice employees to stay with an organization/business and invest in the work they perform. Holiday activities and celebrations are one way to build that sense of community.
However, building a welcoming community to all employees requires workplaces to respect all employees’ diverse backgrounds. Just because Christmas, a Christian holiday, is the most-practiced winter holiday does not mean it is the only holiday your employees celebrate. So, in the true spirit of the holiday season, I have come up with a few alternative celebrations that allow for covid workplace policies and neutral holiday activities.
All activities are geared toward uplifting your workplace community and building team congruency.
  1.  In-person holiday party! Now not to state the obvious, but if your workplace is back to in-person work and your policy allows for gatherings, you can always host a holiday party for your employees. You can increase your exclusivity of the event by switching your party from a Christmas theme to a Holiday theme. By changing the title, you are creating a space for diversity and inclusion to be celebrated.
  2. Janke Swap, Secret Santa, or Gift Swap. Shopping and purchasing around the holidays can be incredibly stressful things. From tight budgets, hard to shop for people, and public pressure to get the perfect gift, gift-giving is often a complicated simple action. One way to bring the activity to the workplace is to make it elective. Allow employees who want to participate in the swap the ability to sign up for it.
  3. Letter to Santa exchange: You can do a nice note or card to a coworker rather than a gift. This provides an inclusive price option and extra cookie points for handmade or funny cards! Additionally, this is a covid safe option for workplaces working remote work with restrictive protective policies.
  4.   Adopt a family: Here in the Augusta area, many local charities and churches have opportunities for people to give to those without during the holiday season. The KV Chamber chooses to adopt a family through the Bread of Life Ministries. To generate the funds, you can have employees pay a dollar to wear jeans or divide the list so that people can each buy one item. Partaking in giving-based activities is a beautiful way to spread holiday cheer with an activity that gives back to others is one of the best parts of the holiday season.
Celebrating the holidays in the workplace should be an elective activity that focuses on inclusivity and shared positivity. It should enhance the team environment and support your workplace values and mission.

By Iris Alexander
December 8th, 11:30-1:00 pm
Augusta Civic Center
$20 for Members & $30 for Non-Members
Lunch Provided

Join The Chamber and Kim Phinney, Owner and Head Creative of Lilac Mixology & Catering, for a presentation on supporting a local business when planning simple and safe holiday gatherings.
The Chamber is pleased to bring back the WNL in person for our members. We received many inquiries for us to make this happen and are excited to see everyone next month. The Civic Center has a mask policy in place when guests are not eating or drinking. We ask you to respect the policy and still have a great time with us!
Thank you to our Women's Network Sponsor!
The Kenney Awards

We are pleased to announce that the 2022 Kenney Awards will be outside Mill Park on July 15th. Save the date!

To celebrate our 90th year as a Chamber in style, we thought there was no better way than a night under the real stars. Join us in celebrating the business and people who make the Kennebec Valley a community.

The final days to nominate for an award are here! Make sure to take a moment to help us recognize the stars in our community.
KLI Graduation
Join the KV Chamber to Celebrate KLI Class 34th
Please join us as we celebrate the graduation of the Kennebec Leadership Institute Class of 2021! Each KLI student will present what they have learned and their experiences with the program. This year's graduation will be held virtually to allow all students' friends, family, and supporters to attend.

December 14th| 5:30-7:00 pm | via zoom

Our 2021 Graduates
Nancy Allen- MaineGeneral Health
Megan Bizier- NRF Distributers
Matthew Chabot- MaineGeneral Health
Christina Chaplin- KV YMCA
Philip Joseph- MaineGeneral Health
Charlotte MacDonald- the University of Maine at Augusta
Wanda Malone-PFG
Connor McLeaney- PFG
Brandi Meisner- Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce
Heather Michaud- Central Maine Power Co.
Paige O'Donnell- Kennebec Savings Bank
Katelyn Pushard- United Way of KV
Angela Robbin- Kennebec Savings Bank
Kara Weisher- MaineGeneral Health
Liz Weiss- EJP
Wednesday, December 15th |10:00-11:00 am | via Zoom
Join the Chamber for a virtual talk with Commissioner Johnson to update Maine's economic recovery and next steps towards counting our prosperity as a state.
Thank you to our Chamber Connection Sponsors!
Welcome Our New Members!
Callie's Flower Shop
Callie Dyer, (207) 620-6088

David Guillemette Communication Arts
David Guillemette 
(207) 441-6438

Maine Local Market
Tom Janenda 
(207) 480-1100

Pinto Thai To Go
Ratsada Itthiphalakorn, (207) 621-8575

SkyBox Holiday & Event Lighting
Kaleb Pushard, (207) 592-6004
Sponsorship Opportunities for 2022
7th UP Biz Tour with Cony Middle School
Kenney Awards
Women's Network Luncheon
The KV Chamber is pleased to announce its 2022 sponsorship opportunities. With our Chamber assisting a variety of members from around the Kennebec Valley, we have a variety of options for members to get involved with the community and get their name in front of the right people at the right time.

To take on one of these opportunities, please email or call (207)-623-4559
Member Anniversaries
40+ Years
Augusta Fuel Company

30+ Years
Augusta Civic Center, Delta Ambulance, Downeast Energy, Rejean Blais Apartment Rentals

20+ Years
Augusta Orthodontics, P.A., cPort Credit Union, Granite Hill Estates,
Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

10+ Years, Friends of Lithgow Library, Inc., Gardiner Main Street, Mary Kay, Neokraft Signs, Inc., Thomas College, TRC Companies, Inc.

5+ Years
Communicado!, Knowles Mechanical, Inc., Maeghan Maloney District Attorney, N.C. Hunt Lumber, Northern Mattress & Furniture 1st, Quarry Tap Room, Rocky's Stove Shoppe LLC, Tamara Lilly VO & Creative, Wellness Connection of Maine

Merit Pools, The Major's Furniture & Appliance, What About Maine, Whispering Woods Stables
Chamber Member News
Kennebec Valley Humane Society celebrates the Shuman Family donation and launches its capital campaign. The 2 million dollar gift from Charlie & Nancy Shuman and Charlie’s Family of Dealerships support KVHS’s Building Happily Ever After’s Capital Campaign. This generous donation launches the campaign to build a new facility for the local animal shelter on 168 Leighton Road in Augusta. The new facility will be named the Nancy Shuman Animal Shelter, and construction will begin in the spring of 2022. The 19,000 square foot facility will include modern and stress-reduced housing for animals, a veterinary clinic, a robust community room, and ample outdoor space spread over 75 acres that will consist of outdoor kennels and walking trails. 
Theater at Monmouth presents This Wonderful Life  Mike Anthony unleashes his comedic talents for this 90-minute adventure as he recreates the more than two-dozen iconic characters from the beloved film. Anthony embodies George Bailey, Clarence the Angel, Mary, Old Man Potter, and the rest of Bedford Falls’ citizens while also serving as narrator, offering amusing commentary on George’s journey to understand that the actions of one person really can make a difference in the world. This fast-paced and witty adaptation celebrates the warmth of the season and the belief that hard work, fair play, and love of one’s family and community is genuinely its own “wonderful” reward...

December 9th ~ Shemekia Copeland Concert with Snow Pond join for a pre-show holiday dinner followed by Shemekia Copeland in concert. With a recording career that began in 1998 at age 18, award-winning vocalist Shemekia Copeland has grown to become one of the most talented and passionately candid artists on today's roots music scene. "Shemekia Copeland is a powerhouse, a superstar…She can do no wrong" –Rolling Stone.

A Pre-Show Holiday Dinner will be served in Snow Pond's Historic Lodge. A prix fixe holiday menu will begin with prime rib or stuffed portobello mushrooms and end with a winter berry crumble.

Tickets: $75 pre-show holiday dinner & concert / $35 concert only.
They are now Recruiting Main Street Fellows. The Main Street Fellows AmeriCorps Program is a 900-hour placement, which provides a unique opportunity for Fellows to apply their skills and gain real-life, place-based experience, helping to increase equity, local resilience, and social capital. Main Street Fellows work directly with host organizations on high-priority, community-identified projects while contributing their interests and energy to those communities.
Apply today to be considered for the program as a whole or see the individual community position postings below for more details on each and apply to the positions that interest you.
Please start a new Holiday tradition, Ring with us at The Salvation Army! With more people facing hardships this year, the need to serve those most vulnerable is more significant than ever. But our ability to raise vital funds this Christmas and beyond is at risk due to the impact of Covid- 19. So we are looking for families, scout troops, community groups, etc., to help us rescue Christmas this year by donating your time to ring bells with us. We are looking for volunteers to ring bells at Walmart in Augusta. Shifts available 11:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday through Saturday now through December 24th. You may split the change up within your group(s) or stand-alone. Don't hesitate to contact Captain Keith Davis with any questions and sign up @ 207-248-6008.

We look forward to working with you, and as always, thank you for supporting the Capital Region Salvation Army.
United Way of Kennebec Valley (UWKV) is teaming up with Blane Casey Building Contractors, Inc. and Kennebec Savings Bank to raffle off an ice shack and a Yeti Roadie Cooler for the 2021 Ice Shack Raffle. Tickets are on sale now for $25, and only 400 tickets will be sold. The first ticket will win the ice shack, and the second ticket will win the Yeti Roadie Cooler. All proceeds from the raffle will benefit Kennebec Behavioral Health and the UWKV’s Community Care Fund through United Way’s community investment process.
Drawing will be on January 12th as part of UWKV’s annual Campaign Celebration. You do not have to be present to win—winners will be alerted via email or telephone if they are not present. Get your tickets here:
Olf Fort Western Is pleased to announce its holiday schedule. On Sunday, December 12th, the fort will host its marine event for the city of Agusta. "A Victorian Christmas at Fort Western," Which will take place from 12 pm to 4 pm. All are welcome for this free event.

Additionally, every Saturday from November 27th until December 18th and Sunday the 19th, the Old Fort Western Gift Shop will be open from 10 am to 4 pm. The shop is filled with many unique one-of-a-kind presents.
New Dimensions CEO, Ryan Poulin accepts the Large Business Award! New Dimensions Federal Credit Union was deeply honored to be the recipient of the Mid Maine Chamber’s 2020 Large Business of the Year Award and is currently celebrating 65 years of business serving the counties of Kennebec, Somerset, Franklin, and Waldo.
To submit Member News, send your press releases to:
KVCC Board of Directors
Earl Kingsbury, Chair*
Augusta Civic Center
Tim Walton, Chair-Elect*
Walton External Affairs
Michele Pelletier, Vice Chair*
PERFORMANCE Foodservice - NorthCenter
Matthew Tardiff, Treasurer*
J.S. McCarthy Printers
Alec Rogers, Past Chair*
Quality Inn & Suites Maine Evergreen Hotel
Chuck Hays, Past Treasurer*
MaineGeneral Health
Cathy DeMerchant, Human Resources*
Capital Area Staffing Solutions, Inc.
Katie Doherty, President & CEO*^
Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce

* Executive Committee  ^ Full-Time Executive

Karen Boston
Lipman Katz & Boston, P.A
Nathan Cotnoir
Camden National Bank
Lori Dube
Sprague & Curtis Real Estate
Sue Grenier
G&E Roofing Co., Inc.
Eric Jermyn
Cross Insurance Agency
Steven Marson
Central Maine Pyrotechnics
Stacey Morrison
Ganneston Construction Corp.
Richard Parkhurst
Stained Glass Express
Lynn Quirion
Macomber, Farr & Whitten
Andrew Silsby
Kennebec Savings Bank
KVCC Staff

Katie L. Doherty, President & CEO
Lindsay L. Corbett, Chief Operating Officer
Melissa L. Walden, Membership & Development Manager
Iris R. Alexander, Marketing & Events Manager