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Updated: November 22, 2023

'Thankful for the simple things': What 10 Mainers are grateful for this Thanksgiving

Hopeful illuminated sign Photo / Renee Cordes Hope, celebrated in this illuminated sculpture by artist Charlie Hewitt, is a common sentiment this Thanksgiving for many Mainers.
Deborah Ellwood
File photo / Courtesy Maine Community Foundation
Deborah Ellwood

Even in the wake of recent tragedy, Mainers are finding a lot to be thankful for — and hopeful about — this Thanksgiving.

“This month, at Thanksgiving dinner, there will be some empty seats at the table and big holes in the hearts of many people after the horrific shootings in Lewiston,” Maine Community Foundation President and CEO Deborah Ellwood told Mainebiz when asked what she is most thankful for this year.

“It may feel like there isn’t much to be thankful for,” she said. “But what I am grateful for in this season is the number of people — from around Maine and from across the globe — who have come together to support Mainers in one of their darkest hours.

"On behalf of Maine Community Foundation, I give thanks for the support, trust and resolve of so many people in the face of this terrible tragedy."

Yellow Light Green
Photo / Courtesy Maine Development Foundation
Yellow Light Breen

Along similar lines, Maine Development Foundation President and CEO Yellow Light Breen said he appreciates the fact that “Maine is still one big small town where people deeply care for one another and rally to support each other in time of need.”

He's equally thankful "that new opportunities are blossoming in so many Maine communities and industries that are building on long traditions with fresh innovations."
On a more personal note, Breen said he is thankful to be driving around Maine with two ‘Hopeful’ signs in his trunk by artist Charlie Hewitt “to pop up and spread inspiration where needed.” 

For even more inspiration, here’s what some other Maine movers and shakers told Mainebiz they're most thankful for this year.  

'Sense of community'

Krystal Williams
File photo / Tim Greenway
Krystal Williams

Krystal Williams, Providentia Group: “I am thankful for the sense of community that we have in Maine. There are many individuals and organizations working to ensure Maine is inclusive and provides equitable opportunities for its residents; the care we have for each other is palpable. I am truly grateful to link arms with so many like-minded Mainers.” 

Amanda Rand
File photo
Amanda Rand

Amanda Rand, Spinnaker Trust: “This Thanksgiving season I am most grateful for the health and safety of my family, friends and co-workers. I feel tremendous gratitude to live and work in the place where I grew up: a state and community of which I am so proud to be a part.  Maine people are good people, and I am thankful to be counted among them.”

Ray Ruby
File photo / Tim Greenway
Ray Ruby

Ray Ruby, Maine Cancer Foundation: “I could fill each one of these pages with what I am thankful for, but I’ll start with everyone here at Maine Cancer Foundation. They are committed to easing Mainers' struggles and making life better, whether you're up north, down the street, or sitting at their dinner tables.”

Margo Walsh
File Photo / Tim Greenway
Margo Walsh

Margo Walsh, MaineWorks: ‘I am grateful for the expansive and supportive business community in Maine, especially with the awesome events hosted by Mainebiz.”

portrait of man in suit
Provided photo
Jim Darroch

Jim Darroch, United Insurance: "I'm profoundly grateful to be part of a business community where so many innovative and exciting things are happening, and your next great connection is just a networking event or coffee conversation away. Maine is a magical place and I appreciate living and working here more than ever.”

'Thankful for the simple things'

Jim Tselikis, Cousins Maine Lobster: “As another year comes to a close, I am thankful on the business side for our hard-working, world-class and resilient franchisees and corporate staff at Cousins Maine Lobster. It is always a joy to see us grow as a brand together. But being a husband and a father to my girls (daughters Olive and Coco, and doggy Tilly) will always take the cake. I am endlessly grateful for my wife, Maggie, and my daughters for making every day the best day.”

File photo
Jim Tselikis

"I am surrounded by women, but they are my world,” he added. “I am most thankful for the simple things, the smiles from my girls, the excitement we witness on their faces as the holidays come around, their laughs, and new developments.”

A shout-out to teachers

Steve Tenney, Great Diamond Partners: “I am thankful for my teachers who share their wisdom and understanding. They help me sort through challenges and opportunities in a genuine manner that makes all the difference.”

Steve Tenney in his office
File photo / Jim Neuger
Steve Tenney of Great Diamond Partners

Heather Kenvin, Cardigan Associates: “I'm thankful for the women who allow me the privilege of working with them on job searches and career development, for my family, friends and colleagues who graciously offer their time to network with my clients, and for businesses who value and support employees who are also parents and caregivers.”

Photo / LinkedIn
Heather Kenvin

Kenvin, a Portland-based career coach helping women return to paid work, will be volunteering at Preble Street’s Food Security Hub on Thanksgiving morning.

After that, she'll head to the beach with some turkey sandwiches to share with a few other single women friends who are also far from family this Thanksgiving.

That sounds like a meaningful way to spend a holiday devoted to gratitude, family and friendship.

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