Community Volunteer of the Year
Aroostook County holds a special place in the heart of Heather MacKinnon, and that love for her community is helping to move it forward. Volunteering with several area youth organizations, reaching out to neighbors in need, and instilling a commitment to the community with her children, have earned Heather the honor of MMG Community Volunteer of the Year.
Working for a Cause, Not Applause
Heather MacKinnon, a Technical Specialist in Personal Lines who has worked at MMG for 20 years, says she was “extremely surprised to be named Community Volunteer of the Year because I don’t volunteer for the recognition. I do it because I enjoy working with children and serving on boards that help children. It’s all about the kids in my opinion.”
MacKinnon has channeled her passion through Junior Achievement, Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute, and Momentum Aroostook, with a focus on work readiness, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship to young students.
“I love the opportunity to visit schools, talk with the students, and share my passion,” she says. “I want them to understand what’s out there, what’s available in Aroostook County, and that they can come back and find really good career opportunities here.”
MacKinnon also serves on the Board of Aroostook Aspirations Initiative (AAI). AAI awards scholarships to and guides high school students through college. AAI events celebrate students’ achievements and gives them opportunities to network with local business leaders.
“I joined AAI last May and haven’t looked back,” says MacKinnon. “They do so much for our community and I’m incredibly thankful to be a part of the organization.”
MMG is really flexible and supportive of my participation in programs that benefit my community. I’m fortunate to work for a company that allows me to pursue my passion of working with the kids.Heather MacKinnon, API, AINS
A Hat Trick of a Family
MacKinnon’s volunteering also finds her rinkside at Presque Isle Youth Hockey with her two sons joining in giving back to the community. “I’ve served six years on the board and nine years as team manager,” she says.
MacKinnon comments she’d like to see their two sons stay in Aroostook County. “Ian, our oldest, has volunteered through the Presque Isle Rec. Center. He’s on their Board of Directors and he’s just 16 years old,“ MacKinnon says proudly. “Owen, our youngest, is 14, and he knows volunteering is important,” she says with equal pride. “He hopes to volunteer for youth hockey once he gets to high school.”
Caring for Neighbors
MacKinnon enjoys working with the young people of the community as well as the elderly.
“For several years, I would take care of my elderly neighbor while his wife would winter in Florida,” she recalls fondly. “He didn’t like the heat so he stayed in Maine. I would clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping, make meals, prepare his medications for the week and spend time with him.”
MacKinnon says, “We had a bond like no other.”
“He let me keep Christmas presents at his home. Before Christmas, we had a standing date on Saturday nights; I would go wrap at his house while we watched Christmas movies or old Westerns.”