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Sponsored by: CN Brown

CN Brown

PHOTO Courtesy of CN Brown Kurt Jones, President of CN Brown Company, and Jeff Jones, COO of CN Brown Company, with MDA in Maine State Ambassador Evan Riley.

A special relationship with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in Maine

PHOTO Courtesy of MDA
Ashley King, Executive Director MDA Maine, and Pon Yantakosol, CN Brown, at the 27th Annual Miracle Ball.

In 1988, during the weekend leading into Labor Day, CN Brown held its first fundraiser, a 48-hour car wash to support a team member who recently lost their child to muscle disease. Although the weather shortened their event to 36 hours, the event raised $700. Pon Yantakosol, then marketing manager called then-President of CN Brown, Harold Jones, requesting he chip in a donation of $300 in order to bring the check presentation for the annual MDA telethon to $1,000. From that moment, the fundraising efforts for the MDA in Maine took off within CN Brown Company. Thirty years forward, Pon Yantakosol, CN Brown Company’s Purchasing & Category Manager, is the committee chair for the annual MDA Miracle Ball. In March, the 27th annual Vintage Vegas themed Gala raised over $125,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Together with the year-round canister campaign and Shamrock and Apple Pinups that are sold twice per year in the Big Apple Stores and CN Brown Service Stations, CN Brown Company has raised over $6 million for MDA and the families it serves.

Karen Lewis Alexander, MDA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Philanthropy Officer, speaks enthusiastically about the partnership with CN Brown.

CN Brown has truly embraced our families and our mission. For that, I, personally, will always be truly grateful.

“In my first months with MDA, I traveled out to meet Kurt Jones and the CN Brown team. I came away inspired by their longstanding and determined commitment to our families. Through their generosity, MDA is able to provide vitally needed funds in support of research for better treatments and cures for those living with neuromuscular disease. With the CN Brown team’s support, we can provide multidisciplinary care through a network of care centers, and we can offer best-in-class programs that support MDA families in a multitude of ways. CN Brown has truly embraced our families and our mission. For that, I, personally, will always be truly grateful.”

CN Brown Company President Kurt Jones was asked his reason for staying passionate in supporting the MDA in Maine.

“There are many worthy causes to support,” Jones said. “Our company chose the MDA in Maine to partner with for the last 30 years to help find a cure for this debilitating disease. We’ve chosen to stay the course to help make a difference in the lives of families in Maine struggling with Muscular Dystrophy Disease. I would encourage other companies, large and/or small, to do their part to make the sun shine on the organization of your choice.”

PHOTO Courtesy of MDA
Shamrock Ambassador Maddy admires the shamrocks displayed throughout the Big Apple location in Bangor.

Finding breakthroughs

Families are at the heart of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s mission. The MDA Team wakes up every morning to create more hope and answers for families living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases that take away physical strength and mobility. This is done by finding research breakthroughs across diseases, caring for kids and adults from day one of diagnosis and empowering families with services and support in hometowns across America. These goals are achieved so that families can live longer and grow stronger. MDA takes a big-picture perspective across the full spectrum of neuromuscular diseases to uncover breakthroughs that accelerate treatments and cures. The power in the research approach is that research can be applied from one disease to achieve progress in others to bring urgently needed answers to families.

In April, CN Brown joined MDA Maine in a visit to The Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor to see how the remarkable scientists there are working to find treatments and cures for neuromuscular diseases.

“It’s remarkable, the work being done at the Jackson Laboratory in the fight against muscle disease and other rare diseases,” states Ashley King, Executive Director of MDA Maine. “It’s an honor to have Dr. Burgess and team as a recipient of MDA grant funding, right here in Maine. Progress is on the horizon for families. Since 2015, there have been more drugs in development and approved by the FDA than in the last 50 years.”

A family business

CN Brown Company is a family-owned business that started in 1948 as a retail and wholesale lumber company in Lovell, Maine. The company expanded its business and territory to include petroleum products in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

In the early 1970s, management recognized the changing lumber industry and began concentrating its efforts in the convenience store, gasoline and heating oil business. At about this time, Carlton N. Brown hired Harold D. Jones, a district representative from Phillips Petroleum, to be CN Brown Company’s General Manager/CFO and lead the company into these new markets.

This marked the beginning of a new era for CN Brown Company. The company began a program of purchasing and building new convenience stores, along with its steady expansion of its heating oil business.

The company, now owned and operated by the Jones family, has provided communities with steady employment for over 70 years. CN Brown Company currently owns and operates 76 Big Apple Convenience Stores, 26 Heating Oil Offices and 11 Service Stations, plus services over 100 gasoline dealers. CN Brown Company has positioned itself to be a major contender in the competitive petroleum market throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts.

PHOTO Courtesy of MDA
Front L-R; Cathleen Lutz, Ph.D. (Jackson Lab), Jasmine McLoughlin (MDA), Jackie Reis (MDA), Lynn Mills (CN Brown), Dave Roberts (CN Brown), Ashley King (MDA). Back L-R: Robert Burgess, Ph.D. (Jackson Lab), Katrina Waite (CN Brown), Tina Chasse (CN Brown), Greg Cox, Ph.D. (Jackson Lab).

New energy

In 2012, CN Brown Company began supplying Electricity and Natural Gas to customers in Maine to further diversify energy offerings. This enabled CN Brown Company to bundle product offerings for added savings to valued customers.

In January 2018, CN Brown Company’s electricity division and heating oil division were rebranded to CN Brown Energy. A new energy website was launched on January 9.

CN Brown strives for customer loyalty and continued growth in a competitive market, so they believe in investing in the right tools for success. Improvements in delivery efficiency have opened the door to successfully growing the customer base and the company. CN Brown is ready to take on the future.

A generous company

MDA Maine has no words that can fully express how grateful it is to CN Brown for its commitment and support. This is a company that does not just stop at the bottom line: It’s truly about community. Its support has been vital — and we are beyond proud of its association with our work.