Speech given by Ray Hews:
We are honoring Mike this evening after more than 41 years of service to this club. He has served our club as a past Director, Past President, and Past District Governor of District 7810, which covers New Brunswick, parts of Maine and parts of Quebec.
There is much I could tell you about Mike’s very distinguished career. I could tell you about the many successful businesses he has developed, his involvement in the healthcare industry, various boards and committees for the City of Presque Isle, the Mark and Emily Turner Foundation, many Maine State boards and commissions, not to mention his involvement over the years with his church, Grant Memorial United Methodist Church. Mike has been an influential business owner and community leader throughout his career and is a distinguished U.S. Army veteran.
But tonight, I would like to focus on two organizations that Mike has made significant contributions to over the more recent years.
First is MMG Insurance Company. Mike served as a director of MMG for 24 years from 1997 to his retirement from the Board in 2021. He served as MMG’s Vice Chairman from 2011 to 2017 and as Board Chairman from 2017 to 2021.
During Mike’s tenure on MMG’s Board, the MMG grew from $50 million in annual premium in 1997 to $230 million in 2021. The Board also oversaw significant changes through that time period with expansion to new States, new products, technology advancements, and significant growth of the Presque Isle Home Office staff. Throughout, Mike was a highly respected, active, and engaged Board member. In addition to serving as Chair, Mike was also part of several Board Committees including the IT Committee which oversaw many multi-million-dollar investments in technology that will launch MMG to the forefront of their industry and insure future growth.
Matt McHatten, EVP, and Chief Operating Officer of MMG had this to say about Mike.
“Personally, Mike has always been very supportive. Our relationship dates back over 30 years. My initial introduction to Mike was through Rotary. Between Mike and Owen Smith, they were great mentors and got me involved quickly. I always remembered how much I appreciated that individuals of their stature gave me the time of day back then.”
“One of my most distinct early memories was sitting in his dining room establishing the committee assignment for the Rotary auction. He had a system that I still can’t figure out today! Mike has a mathematical and engineering mind that is incredible.”
Matt concludes by saying, “Mike has led a life of “Service Above Self”. Though the list is long, as you know, it doesn’t capture nearly all of what he was involved in behind the scenes. Much of what’s happened in our community over the last 40 years included Mike (and Carol!). They define what it means to be a “solid citizen” and we should all be thankful for their efforts.”
The second organization I will focus on is the Aroostook Hospice Foundation, owner of the Aroostook House of Comfort.
The dream for a hospice house in Aroostook County had its start in the spring of 2009 (13 years ago). An in-patient hospice house was a very lofty dream and one that would require special people with special talents, perseverance to stick with the journey through all the obstacles while keeping true to the vision and most importantly a compassionate and humble heart for others. Mike did not hesitate when Rick and Nancy Duncan asked if he and Carol would like to help make this possible for families. They had traveled the hospice road with a loved one at the Androscoggin Hospice House, the closest hospice facility, at that time, for families in the County. They understood why an in-patient hospice care facility would be so beneficial to Aroostook County families.