PORTLAND, Maine – Tom Lea, president of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), the state’s leading organization for commercial real estate professionals, has announced the 2012 winners of awards presented at MEREDA’s Annual Real Estate Forecast Conference. The conference was held this year on January 26 in Portland in front of a record 600 attendees.

“Each of these individuals has made significant and lasting contributions to responsible real estate development in the state of Maine, and MEREDA is proud to honor them with these awards,” said Lea.

The awards and 2012 recipients are as follows:

The Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award, which recognizes a member who has contributed to the industry or to MEREDA on a significant level over many years, was presented to Jaimie Schwartz of South Portland. Jaimie has been very active in MEREDA activities for more than 15 years. Whether serving on MEREDA’s Board of Directors or the Conference Committee, Jaimie frequently contributes valuable critical insight into certain topics of discussion. Jaimie is a Shareholder in the law firm of Bernstein Shur and is the chair of their Real Estate Practice Group.

MEREDA’s success is largely based on the support and commitment from its volunteer members, which is why each year MEREDA presents its Volunteer of the Year Award to an individual who willingly and enthusiastically volunteers significant time and energy on MEREDA’s behalf. This year’s award was presented to Noel Graydon of Kennebunkport for going above and beyond the call of duty to help further MEREDA’s mission. Noel is also an active participant on the MEREDA Board of Directors and Membership & Marketing Committee. A forty year banking veteran, Noel joined Norway Savings Bank in 2008 as a Regional Vice President Commercial Lending responsible for commercial lending efforts in Southern Maine.

The Public Policy Award, is presented to an individual member whose efforts have made meaningful impact on public policy decisions for the benefit of the real estate industry in Maine. Receiving this award in 2006, we are proud to present this award once again to Gary Vogel of Yarmouth. The amount of time that Gary devotes to MEREDA is staggering. MEREDA made some great strides advancing its legislative initiatives during the 125th 1st Regular Legislative Session. As chair of MEREDA’s legislative committee, Gary was instrumental in helping MEREDA achieve many of these successes. Gary’s commitment to MEREDA is greatly appreciated. Gary is a Partner of Drummond Woodsum, and is listed in the 2012 Edition of Best Lawyers in America in the category of Real Estate.

The Presidents’ Award, a discretionary award given by MEREDA’s current president was presented to Bruce Jones of Yarmouth. Bruce is the Business Development Manager at Creative Office Pavilion and has been a member of MEREDA since 2007 where he serves on the Conference Planning Committee. His exemplary work in planning MEREDA’s 2011 Spring Conference was extremely valuable, and he is doing more of the same this year. Bruce has worked in the commercial furniture industry for 20 years serving in various sales, training and management capacities. Bruce is an active member of the Portland Rotary Club and involved with the Portland Society of Architects, and the Greater Portland and Androscoggin Chambers of Commerce.

l. to. r., MEREDA President Tom Lea, MEREDA Operations Manager Shelly Clark,
Jaimie Schwartz, Noel Graydon, Bruce Jones, and Gary Vogel.


Founded in 1985, MEREDA is an organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers, whose mission is to promote an environment for responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout the State of Maine. More than 600 people attend MEREDA’s Annual Real Estate Forecast Conference and Member Showcase held each January.

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