Maine Senator Rod Whittemore Awarded 2018 Jim McGregor Government Service Award

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 by Curtis Picard

Retail, Legislative, Swipe Fees, Surcharge, Award

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Augusta, ME – October 9, 2018 – Senator Rod Whittemore of Somerset has been selected by the Retail Association of Maine Board of Directors to receive the organization’s 2018 Jim McGregor Government Service Award.


The Retail Association of Maine named this award after its retired director of government affairs, Mr. Jim McGregor, in 2010. Jim’s decades of hard work in the public policy arena paved the way for setting the standard for an award that recognizes an individual who goes above and beyond in support of Maine’s retail community.


Senator Rod Whittemore has been a leader in advocating for small businesses and retailers. As a successful businessman, Senator Whittemore is able to share his real-life experience in formulating sound public policy. He worked with the Retail Association of Maine and other interest groups to clarify that retailers can properly advertise a cash and credit price to consumers. Without Senator Whittemore’s leadership and advocacy, a number of retailers and gas stations were in danger of running afoul of the Maine law that prohibited this practice. Senator Whittemore brought together regulators and stakeholders from all sides to help clarify how retailers can properly advertise pricing.


Throughout his legislative career, Senator Whittemore is a voice of reason who works with members of both parties. He chairs the Insurance and Financial Services Committee which frequently deals with the cost of health insurance for small businesses and Mainers. Senator Whittemore often shares his perspective of running a small business and relaying the impacts of potential legislation on how it will impact small business. Senator Whittemore owns Whittemore and Sons, Inc, an outdoor power equipment dealership in Skowhegan, Maine. Additionally, Senator Whittemore sponsored legislation to make it easier for franchised equipment dealers to be properly compensated for warrantied repair work.


 “Senator Whittemore rightfully deserves recognition for fighting for Maine’s small businesses and his willingness to reach a reasonable middle ground on difficult issues. We are sad to see him leave the Maine Senate, but his service to the people of Maine should be heralded,” said Curtis Picard, President and CEO of the Retail Association of Maine. The Retail Association of Maine is pleased to honor Senator Whittemore with the Jim McGregor Government Service Award for his commitment to maintaining a prosperous retail climate.


“It has been an incredible honor to represent the people of Somerset County in the Maine Senate. To make our state strong, we must support our business community – especially our small, local businesses,” said Senator Whittemore. “I am honored to receive this award, and proud of the work we have accomplished for small businesses.”


Senator Rod Whittemore is a Republican state senator serving in his 8th and final year in the Maine Senate and is the Senate Chairman of the Insurance and Financial Services Committee. Senator Whittemore is a native of Skowhegan, Maine and also served six years in the military. Senator Whittemore and his wife of 51 years have 3 married sons and 8 grandchildren. 

Nearly 50 years ago, Senator Whittemore and his wife swept out the old chicken coop and started a business in the Outdoor Power Equipment industry. Today, Whittemore and Sons, a retail sales and service dealership, employs 20 people. Senator Whittemore’s son Chad and his wife Shelley have the reins of the company allowing the Whittemore’s to retire in January 2019. They plan to travel across country with our RV and sailing the east coast from Maine to Florida.

The award will be formally presented on Wednesday, October 10th at the Summit, at Pineland Farms. The award presentation will begin at 12 noon.


The Jim McGregor Government Service Award has been presented annually to a wide list of state and local officials. In 2017, State Representative Martin Grohman received the award. Past recipients include: Senator Amy Volk (2016), Senate President Mike Thibodeau (2015), Dr. Kenneth McCall of the University of New England (2014), U.S. Senator Susan Collins (2013) and Attorney General Janet Mills (2006).


About the Retail Association of Maine

The Retail Association of Maine is a statewide, non-profit trade association representing more than 300 businesses in the state, from large chains to small independent retailers. Incorporated in 1937, the Retail Association of Maine serves as the voice of retailers in Maine and concentrates on preserving the state's strong retail climate. For more information on the Retail Association of Maine, please refer to the web site at or call the Retail Association of Maine office at 207-623-1149.

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