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“Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”

Wednesday, April 18th, 6:30 pm
Rockport Opera House

Co-sponsored by the Rockport Public Library

Ever wonder what it’s like to be a woman in a male dominated field? Women have made great strides in gaining the skills, training and education to enter fields that were once considered solely the realm of men.  And while many have found success in these fields, the road to success is often a bumpy one. Hear how three women found their way and their voices by overcoming subtle and not so subtle barriers en route to achieving their goals.

Featured Storytellers:

  • Libby Schrum – Owner/Designer/Maker, Libby Schrum Design

  • Jan Campbell – President, Rockport Automotive, Inc.

  • Donna Dennison – Sheriff, Knox County

Moderator: Carrie Brezzo, Owner & Operator, CarrieSewFancy

Libby Schrum – Owner/Designer/Maker, Libby Schrum

 

As a transplant to New England, Libby has developed an aesthetic that marries her passion for the modern with her reverence for the tradition of craft.  In addition to creating custom furniture, she has built furniture and interiors for the luxury yacht industry and taught woodworking at both the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship and Anderson Ranch Arts Center. For the last four years she has opened her own studio to offer STUDIOcations, customized one-on-one experiential learning opportunities in both furniture making and design.

Libby is represented by the Grovewood Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina and has frequently exhibited at the Architectural Digest Design Show in New York City. In the Midcoast, her work can be seen at Periscope in downtown Rockland and this January, her Beføle stools were awarded ‘Best in Furniture’ and the ‘People’s Choice Award’ on opening night of Maine Wood at the Messler Gallery in Rockport.

Libby is a recipient of the prestigious John D. Mineck Furniture Fellowship and holds an MFA in Furniture Design from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Kinesiology/Business from Southwestern University in Texas.

 
 
Jan Campbell – President, Rockport Automotive, Inc.

 

As President of Rockport Automotive, Jan has handled account management, customer service, developing and implementing sales and training programs for 16 years.  She handles AR/AP, payroll, invoicing, ordering, ordering parts and scheduling.  Her career at Rockport Automotive began in August 2011. Jan grew up not a mile from the shop in Rockport where her parents owned and operated Seven Mtns. Motel.

Jan also spearheaded a seminar called the Sisterhood of Automotive Knowledge as a response to the lack of confidence her women customers sometimes expressed regarding automotive decision making and maintenance of their vehicles.  This “Knowledge is Power” program , now an annual event, is meant to boost women’s confidence through demonstrations and Q & A sessions.

 

 
Donna Dennison – Sheriff, Knox County

 

Donna Dennison is the Sheriff of Knox County, having won her first election in 2006 and her bids for re-election in 2010 and 2014, becoming the first female Sheriff in the State of Maine and the first democratic Sheriff in 70 years. Nearly 12 years after winning a razor-thin victory in a three-way race to become sheriff, she still finds it hard to believe she won. Sheriff Dennison will not be seeking re-election but instead will retire when her term ends in December. Now 65, she was born in Waterville and raised in the South Thomaston area. She quit school at 16 years old to get married. She sees dropping out as a mistake and if she had any advice for young people it would be to stay in school to increase their opportunities. Dennison later earned her GED. “The message to young girls is that you can do anything you want.”

She began her career in law enforcement with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office in 1985 as a corrections officer at the Knox County Jail. Over the next 21 years she worked her way up through the various ranks from Dispatcher, Patrol Deputy, Patrol Supervisor and then Detective. Dennison has said that she is most proud of having cleaned up jail operations in her first term. The county had faced multiple lawsuits over illegal strip searches prior to her election. Currently, the opiate crisis in Knox County is one of her most pressing concerns.