PORTLAND, Maine (July 7, 2015) – The Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) relies on the generous support of its volunteer officers and Board of Directors to fulfill its mission of promoting an environment for responsible development and ownership of real estate throughout Maine. Many have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions to the real estate industry and to MEREDA over many years. Four of MEREDA’s longtime Board members recently retired from the organization this spring.
James C. Otis of Scarborough is one of MEREDA’s biggest fans and wholeheartedly believes in the organization’s mission and reason for being. He is also one of MEREDA’s original founding members and has been supporting MEREDA since its inception 30 years ago. Jim served as MEREDA’s Assistant Treasurer, and had been a dedicated and active Board Member through the years. Jim received MEREDA’s President’s Award in 2009 and the Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award in 2006 for his commitment to the organization and the real estate industry. Jim founded Otis | Atwell, a CPA firm providing accounting and tax services to businesses throughout the Northern New England area with a special emphasis on matters of affordable housing, in 1974.
Thomas N. Lea of Cumberland Foreside, served on the MEREDA Board for the past 25 years, as President from 2010 to 2012 and as an active participant on its Legislative Affairs and Conference Committees. He was the 2014 recipient of MEREDA’s Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award for his instrumental role in the organization. He recently retired from People’s United Bank, after a long career as a residential and commercial real estate lender for over 43 years.
Jaimie Schwartz of South Portland, Shareholder at Bernstein Shur, served as a contributing member of the MEREDA Board for the past 13 years. MEREDA recognized Schwartz in 2011 with its Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award, which honors members of MEREDA who have distinguished themselves by making significant contributions to the industry and the organization over many years. In addition to serving on the Board of Directors, Schwartz has also been a valuable participant on MEREDA’s Conference Committee. Schwartz consistently identified relevant topics for MEREDA events and the organization has greatly valued his creativity.
Drew Sigfridson of Portland, Managing Director at CBRE | The Boulos Company, retired from MEREDA’s Board of Directors after 12 years of service. Sigfridson consistently went above and beyond in his service to MEREDA. He was recognized with MEREDA’s Volunteer of the Year Award in both 2006 and 2014. Sigfridson served the organization as President from 2012 to 2014, during which time he spearheaded a number of initiatives, including the MEREDA Index, the Mainebiz Real Estate Insider and the Bowl-A-Thon scholarship fundraiser. He also contributed significantly on various MEREDA legislative initiatives.
“We are grateful to Jim, Tom, Jaimie and Drew for their dedication and service to MEREDA over the years,” stated Michael O’Reilly, MEREDA Board President and Senior Vice President, Southern Maine Commercial Banking Team Lead at Bangor Savings Bank, “The organization would not be the strong voice in our industry that it is today without the efforts of these members.”
“As one of MEREDA’s only two staff members, I can personally tell you how much the organization relies on the support of its volunteer Board. We are deeply thankful to these members for their many years of service to the organization and our industry,” commented Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA.