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Updated: July 6, 2022

Maine TV series spotlighting diversity in business gears up for Season 2

Artist standing in front of wall art Courtesy / Kifah Abdulla "The term 'Elevating Voices' means a lot to me, and I am happy to be part of this Season Two," artist Kifah Abdulla told Mainebiz. The Baghdad native uses calligraphy as an essential element in his work.

A television series celebrating innovation and diversity in Maine business is gearing up for its second season with a lineup of 10 businesses.

"Elevating Voices," from Greenlight Maine Productions in partnership with Bangor Savings Bank, debuts July 7 and will continue airing Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. on Maine Public.

Each show will be rebroadcast Fridays at 3:30 p.m. and Sundays and 5:30 p.m., highlighting each business and its contribution to Maine's economic and cultural landscape. This season's shows will features businesses in fields such as arts and culture, consulting, food services, landscaping and design.

Kifah Abdulla, an Iranian-born writer, poet, activist and teacher who uses calligraphy in his work, told Mainebiz he is honored to be part of "Elevating Voices," a term that means a lot to him.

"I have lived through the journey of my life for a long time, under a dictatorial regime first and as a prisoner of war second," the Baghdad native said. "They [his captors] forced me not to tell or express my own thoughts or I face torture and death. Everything changed now, I have my voice again and freedom."

Mandy Levine seated portrait
Courtesy / Mandy Levine
Portland-based consultant Mandy Levine said she's honored to be recognized by "Elevating Voices."

Mandy Levine, a Portland-based consultant who advises large employers on diversity, equity and inclusion, said she's honored to be recognized by "Elevating Voices" alongside the other 2022 honorees, "each of whom is contributing to Maine's culture and economy in such beautiful ways."

"I'm humbled to partner with employers throughout the state committed to embedding diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the fabric of their organizations and am so grateful for this recognition," she told Mainebiz.

'Powerful stories'

"Elevating Voices," nominated for an Emmy Award for its first season, has a lot planned for its encore.

"This season we'll bring you powerful stories of people from northern Maine, Washington County, Bar Harbor and more,” said Julene Gervais, Greenlight Maine Productions host and producer.

"It's inspiring to see their willingness to share their cultures that enrich our state and move forward economically in the process," added Gervais, who also hosts and produces the "Greenlight Maine" business-pitch TV series.

lsla Dickerson, senior vice president and director of marketing and community relations at Bangor Savings Bank and co-creator and executive producer of "Elevating Voices," underscored the need to find new, thoughtful ways to highlight community members' positive impact and contributions.

"Our partnership with Greenlight Maine Productions has allowed us to shine a light on the importance of diversity to Maine’s current and future economic and cultural vitality while sharing the incredible stories of diverse business owners all over the state," she said.

Businesses in 'Elevating Voices,' Season 2

  • Exercise Design Lab, Bar Harbor
  • Father & John landscaping, Yarmouth
  • Fireball Bookbindery, Portland
  • Artist Kifah Abdulla, Portland
  • Mandy Levine Consulting, Portland
  • Mariama’s Beauty Supply, Portland
  • Mi'kmaq Farms & Fish Hatchery, Caribou 
  • Bondeko, multicultural construction and design firm, Portland
  • Vazquez Takeout food truck, Milbridge
  • WJZP radio station, Portland

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