I can't even begin to tell you what an honor it was to emcee this event that saw my friend and business partner, Roger Pomerleau, receive the much deserved award (Augusta Area Citizen Award) from The Pine Tree Council of the Boy Scouts. During the course of the evening, donation cards were handed out to those in attendance so they could make a donation to the scouts if they felt so led. Well, they must have felt something because in just that short time, more than $21, 000 was raised for the Pine Tree Council of the Boy Scouts!

It seemed like everybody who is anybody was there and the energy in the room at the Calumet Club was electric! Thanks to well prepared notes by Matthew Mower, my job was easy. I merely had to keep the program flowing and was allowed to speak from my heart about Roger and his impact on our community.

After a brief introduction and a presentation of the colors by scout Ian Ferguson (Troop 609, Windsor) and a group of Cub Scouts (Pack 648 of St. Michael's Parish, Augusta), a delicious dinner was served. Yep, as expected, it was quite yummy (stuffed chicken and mashed potato with salad) and I was walking around during the break begging for scraps, but I digress!

After everybody ate we got right down to business...a pinewood derby featuring small cars that had been carved from blocks of pine and fitted with plastic wheels. These cars were raced, two by two, down a wooden track. The Pinewood Derby is a Cub Scout tradition and, in fact, my own son Matthew won several of them with a car he build with his grandfather!

Every table had a representative who got to choose a car. The crowd was revved up by Scott Verrill who did the announcing for the race. The winner of that event was Teresa Hutchins of O'Connor Motors. She felt bad for others as her car won every single race it was in, but it was the work of gravity and a well built car that made it happen! To the victor go the spoils, Teresa :-)

Following the race, leader after leader spoke of all the good Roger Pomerleau and his wife Carol have done in the community. There was event chairman Mark Johnston from Kennebec Savings Bank, Representative Matt Pouliot of Augusta, Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce President Peter Thompson, Norm Elvin, owner and CEO of G&E Roofing (who presented the award) and Chuck Mahaleris, an Eagle Scout who works for Senator Susan Collins (he read a letter from her).

Here's the takeaway if you don't know Roger. He is very successful business man who loves to work for the good of the community. That runs in the Pomerleau family and Roger has carried the torch well. He is involved in many boards of directors (20 or so at last count) to better the capital area, including the Lithgow Library expansion project.

Roger is very involved in business from his family's enormous NRF Distributors (NRF stands for Norman (brother), Roger, Frank (father) ), the Marketplace at Augusta (Roger had the vision and bought the farmland which is home to one of northern New England's largest open air shopping centers) and, most recently, American Women who Bear Arms (awwba.com), a national website dedicated to celebrating and empowering women in shooting sports and personal defense. I am proud to be Roger's partner that last one. Of course, there are many other business ventures Roger is involved in because he is, as his business card says, an entrepreneur.

When central Mainers hear the name Pomerleau, they think Augusta. Whether you go back to the days of Frank Pomerleau's Superstore at the corner of Bridge and State Streets (can you believe it closed in 2003?) or you look at the names of people who have given copious amounts of time and money, the name "Roger Pomerleau" is sure to be right in the thick of it....in bold letters. Roger is a doer and a giver. He asks for nothing in return. In fact, though he deserves honors such as the one he received last night (he has helped area boy scout troops consistently over the years), he would be just fine with doing what he does with no recognition at all. That's just one of the traits that make Roger a truly great man.

Thank you, sir, for allowing me to be a part of this special night.

Now, let me leave you with Roger's business philosophy (worth printing), taken from the NRF Distributors' website:

Some of the basic principles that have fired the success of Pomerleau businesses over generations are...
→ Keep up with the times by creating business from the current economy
→ Dedication to the success of the businesses
→ Constantly reinvest in growth and development
→ Work hard but do not neglect the family
→ Give back to the community