A Fantastic Group of Five: MEREDA Honors Leaders in Real Estate and Development at Recent Forecast Conference

On January 21, 2021, the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) recognized five exceptional individuals for their significant and lasting contributions to real estate development in the state of Maine.  The awards were presented via a video presentation at this year’s annual Forecast Conference.

William Shanahan of Scarborough was selected for the Robert B. Patterson Jr. Founders’ Award, for his extraordinary commitment and dedication to MEREDA over the years, as well as for his role as a valued liaison between MEREDA and the affordable housing community.  This is his second Founders’ Award.

In addition to serving on MEREDA’s board and its executive committee, Bill served as Treasurer for 15 years, and Assistant Treasurer for 1 year. He was awarded the Volunteer of the Year award in 2009, was one of two recipients of the President’s Award presented in 2010, and received his first Founders’ Award in 2016 for his instrumental role in the organization. 

A founding Co-President of Evernorth, Bill leads his team in investing, finance, and acquisitions.  Evernorth, a nonprofit organization serving low- and moderate-income people in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, was formed by joining together Northern New England Housing Investment Fund and Housing Vermont.  Bill joined Northern New England Housing Investment Fund in 2000 as Vice President/CFO and was named president in 2011.  Prior to this, Bill spent over ten years as Director of Development and CFO for Realty Resources Chartered, a Maine-based for-profit developer of affordable housing.  An active member of the affordable  housing community, Bill also serves as President of the National Association of State and Local Equity Funds, is the Board Chair of the Genesis Community Loan Fund, has chaired and continues to serve on the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition Board, and is on the Governing Board of Housing Action New Hampshire. 

This year’s President’s Award went to two outstanding individuals — Elizabeth Frazier of Portland and Tom Schoening of Kennebunk — for their significant contributions on MEREDA’s behalf.

Having lent their leadership to develop the newly inaugurated Local Issues Committee, both Elizabeth and Tom have gone above and beyond to bring this Committee and local issues to the forefront for MEREDA and its membership.

An associate at Pierce Atwood, Elizabeth authored MEREDA’s Developer’s Toolkit and was involved in the tireless advocacy work on MEREDA’s behalf around the recent City of Portland referenda.  Engaging with commercial real estate and development matters at both the local and state level, Elizabeth has worked on land use referenda campaigns and ordinance proposals at the municipal level, statewide zoning policies, and public financing for development projects.  She focuses her practice on government relations, lobbying, business advocacy, and environmental and land use policy.  

An associate at Drummond & Drummond, Tom’s recent advocacy work on the potential moratorium on development in South Portland was instrumental, and he serves as chair of MEREDA’s Local Issues Committee.  Practicing law in the corporate and commercial real estate group, Tom’s work focuses on commercial real estate and business transactions, helping clients cure title issues and navigate real estate disputes. 

Kevin Sutherland of Saco received this year’s Public Policy Award for his significant impact on public policy changes to benefit responsible real estate development and ownership in Maine. 

As a member of MEREDA’s Public Policy and Local Issues Committees, Kevin stepped up to volunteer his time and energy to work on issues that matter to MEREDA. From helping craft MEREDAʹs response to the Maine Climate Council draft report, to representing MEREDA before the  Portland and South Portland City Councils, Kevin has proven to be an invaluable asset to MEREDA.    

The Director of Business Development at Hardypond Construction, Kevin’s goal is to help Hardypond be a part of community development projects that propel southern Maine forward.  Previously, Kevin has worked in municipal government roles including Chief of Staff for the city of Ithaca, New York and as City Administrator for Saco, Maine.  

Mark Stasium of Portland received this year’s Volunteer of the Year Award for generously sharing his time, talents, and energy with MEREDA. 

Mark serves on the MEREDA board as Treasurer and this year he meticulously built an entirely new format for MEREDA’s budget–no easy task during a pandemic–a document that will serve the organization well into the future.  Always willing to step up on other initiatives when needed, Mark also volunteers his time on MEREDA’s Conference and Seminar Committee and on MEREDA’s Executive Committee.

With over 30 years of commercial lending and commercial credit experience, Mark is Senior Vice President in the Commercial Real Estate Lending Division at Camden National Bank.  He manages banking relationships with commercial real estate investors and developers and is primarily responsible for originating commercial real estate loan transactions in northern New England and eastern Massachusetts.

MEREDA congratulates these five outstanding members, and thanks every volunteer whose contributions of time and talent make the association’s continued success possible.

L to R: Tom Schoening, Elizabeth Frazier, Kevin Sutherland, Mark Stasium, William Shanahan
This entry was posted in Business, Events, Member Articles, People. Bookmark the permalink.