PROPEL's 2018 - A Year in Review

PROPEL’s 2018 in Review

PROPEL is an exceptional organization with a pretty simple goal: To make Southern Maine a place where young professionals and small businesses can succeed and thrive. Exactly how we do that continues to evolve, but here are some of the awesome ways we brought different groups and organizations together to work towards that goal in 2018.

We Raised $2,580 To Help Start Up a New Mainer’s Food Business.

At Taste The World, we raised enough money to fund a scholarship through CIEE that will aide a New Mainer in starting up a food business, complete with a membership to Fork Food Lab! We also introduced young professionals to some of the greatest cultural flavors from around Portland, not to mention - One of the food vendors was Niyat Catering, who’s business was started through the scholarship we raised money for at the FIRST Taste the World in 2016! Check out the rest of the photos here.

This event, and the scholarship wouldn’t have been possible without our partners at Machias Savings Bank! Thank you to PROPEL’s Zoe Hull for organizing as well as Machias and the rest of our Premium Sponsors - Consolidated Communications, WEX, and Purdue University Global.

We raised $1,200 to help female New Mainers learn english at In-Focus: In Her Presence.

Imagine that you’re a female immigrant who doesn’t speak english. You want to get a job, make friends, and become a part of your new community, but you don’t know how to communicate with anyone - What do you do? This is where In Her Presence comes in, they help Maine’s female immigrants learn to speak english and become members of the community. In September we partnered with the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce to put on an In Focus/ Women of the Chamber collaboration event to shine a light on In Her Presence and raise money for their cause. Check out the photos here!

This event was funded by our partners at Machias Savings Bank. Every dollar from every ticket sale was donated to In Her Presence, and Machias MATCHED each dollar donated! Thank you to Zoe Hull for organizing the event, and to our Premium Sponsors for ensuring our ability to operate between events - Consolidated Communications, WEX, and Purdue University Global.

We Made New Connections with Alumni from University of Maine and University of Southern Maine.

Sometimes PROPEL events raise money for critical community organizations. Sometimes they are as simple as an opportunity to expand your network and have a drink with someone you otherwise might have never met! Our PRO.U event series, launched in 2018, helped to connect Portland’s young professionals with established alumni from local Universities, starting with University of Southern Maine Alumni Association. Our most recent Pro.U event was held at Mast Landing, who happens to be the winner of the 2018 Ignition Award for Social Entrepreneurship!

Thank you to the alumni associations of UMaine and University of Southern Maine for collaborating with us, as well as Mast Landing Brewing Company, and Island Dog Brewing for providing places for the PROPEL community to meet new people. And thanks to Kirsty Beauchesne for spearheading this new event series.

Note: We are seeking a year-long sponsor for future events in this series. If you would like to get your brand in front of Southern Maine’s young professionals and college alumni, please contact Kirsty Beauchesne.

We Gave Young Professionals a Voice In Recognizing Outstanding Members of Greater Portland’s Business Community, and Brought Them Together at the Ignition Awards.

At this year’s Ignition Awards, we recognized 5 local business leaders for their amazing accomplishments and brought them under one roof to meet and connect with Portland’s Young Professionals. What’s more, for the first time we gave the PROPEL community the opportunity to vote and help decide who won each award - We received votes from over 1,500 people voted in 2 days! Awards given out included awards for social entrepreneurship, Hustler of the Year (hardest working startup), and for the first time ever: Young Professional of the Year, awarded to Alison Sivisky. Check out the rest of the photos here!

This would not have been possible without our Ignition Awards Sponsors: WEX, and Purdue University Global, Baker Newman Noyes, Old Port Advisors and Certify. And thank you to Lance, Sadie, Jillian, Rebecca and Ian for being on the Ignition Awards planning committee!

We Honored the Volunteers Who Are Helping to Educate Maine’s Future Generations through Junior Achievement of Maine at JAM Fest:

At JAM Fest we honored the amazing volunteers (and helped drive new volunteers) for Junior Achievement of Maine, which helps teach Maine’s youth key skills that they’ll need to succeed in the future, like financial literacy. In particular, we celebrated Melissa Moffett, JA of Maine’s Volunteer of the Year! We view our partnership with JA of Maine and their work with Maine’s youth as critical to our mission of making Southern Maine an amazing place to be a young professionals - Ensuring that Maine’s young people have the tools they need to succeed is key to the future we hope to realize! Check out some more photos from the event here!

Thank you to JA of Maine, HM Payson, Rising Tide, and Allagash for partnering with us on this event!

And so much more!

Thank you to the entire PROPEL Board of Directors, our incredible sponsors, and everyone who played a role in making 2018 such a great year for this organization.

There is only so much we can fit in one blog post but PROPEL’s board is constantly working on new ways to help Southern Maine’s young professionals, and we’re looking forward to pushing even more initiatives forward in 2019. If you’re interested in joining PROPEL’s board or helping out in some way in the awesome year ahead, please email Brittainy Charrette. If you’d like to sponsor PROPEL’s events or projects over the next year, please contact Topher Stephenson or Kirsty Beauchesne.

What’s Next?

PROPEL’s next event In-Focus event will raise money for the Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine (SARSSM). Join us February 7th at Honeymaker Mead as we support the crucial work that this non-profit is doing to aid sexual assault victims in our community. Get your tickets now and your first round of mead is on us! We look forward to seeing you there and to forging connections in Southern Maine’s young professional community.