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Penquis undertakes collective impact initiative

    BANGOR — Penquis has announced its Collective Impact Initiative, a new program designed to better address the needs of low-income citizens in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox Counties using a collaborative approach. Collective Impact, a new strategy for community development, is centered on group collaboration and a shared vision for change. It allows groups to pool their resources and efforts and maximize the expertise of its members to bring large scale changes to communities.

    Penquis is currently seeking partners who are interested in using the Collective Impact model, especially for housing-related initiatives. “Penquis is committed to incorporating the Collective Impact approach into our work,” said Charlie Newton, Penquis CEO. “It’s a great way to support positive change in our communities and raise awareness of existing resources.” Collective Impact is designed to tackle “big picture” issues, such as increasing affordable housing opportunities or reducing homelessness in a community.
    Stacy Gambrel of Bangor was recently hired to lead the Collective Impact Initiative. She is responsible for developing and implementing Collective Impact strategies, working with community stakeholders to identify critical needs, developing problem-solving strategies, and advancing shared goals using the Collective Impact model.
    “Stacy has extensive experience with community organizations. She has worked in Maine’s nonprofit sector for the past 12 years on a variety of multi-sector, collaborative projects. She’s brought together diverse coalitions involving public, private, and nonprofit sectors to successfully undertake innovative projects and we feel very fortunate to have her spearhead this initiative,” said Jennifer Giosia, Director of Housing and Energy Services for Penquis.
    Gambrel also has expertise in the field of geographic information systems (GIS) and has served as a mapping consultant to Maine nonprofits and municipalities. She holds a bachelor of science degree in urban and regional planning from Michigan State University and a master of Public Administration from the University of Maine.
    “I am eager to meet with community members to discuss their project ideas and how Collective Impact can help,” said Gambrel. “Maine tends to be a very civic-minded place. There are many groups out there doing wonderful work with a shoestring budget and no staff. I think we could all benefit from a Collective Impact approach. It would allow us to pool our limited resources and draw on each other’s expertise.”
    The Collective Impact Initiative is based at the Penquis office at 262 Harlow Street in Bangor. 
    Those interested in talking with Gambrel about potential projects and collaborations can contact her at 973-3545 or via e-mail at at
    The Collective Impact Initiative is funded with a Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) from the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Penquis primarily serves individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis, and Knox counties.

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