We're a group of doers.



2016 Community Investment Process

Members of the Brick & Beam Society invest their time, skills, and finances to make a measurable difference in their community. Brick & Beam invests in projects that:

  1. benefit early childhood education and childhood poverty,
  2. and are high-impact, sustainable, replicable, innovative, holistic, and collaborative.

The Brick and Beam Society made its 2016 community investments in two phases.

Immediate Impact Summer Investments ($10,000)

On June 10, 2016, the Brick & Beam Society Impact Investing Committee (IIC) made a series of immediate impact investments to address the summer learning gap:

  • Portland Public Schools’ Summer Reading Program: Books and reading comprehension activities for 40 students in grades 3-5 ($3,800).
  • Portland Public Schools’ Summer Math Component for Elementary Summer Program: Online math learning software at one school ($2,000).
  • A Company of Girls’ “Art in the Parks” Program: Books for children at weekly art activities program in Portland ($2,200).
  • Feeding Bodies and Minds’ Summer Picnic for Children: Starting Strong tote bags with materials, lunch, and books ($2,000).

Community Night ($50,000)

On October 27, 2016, the IIC unanimously decided to award $50,000 to the Congolese Community of Maine (CoCo Maine) for their Dual Generation Program for Early Childhood Education, which will offer English language classes, family literacy initiatives, parenting activities, and outreach to parents and children ages 2-5. Their goal is to prepare children and their families for a better transition to kindergarten by providing early opportunities for learning English.

This grant was awarded following a process that received applications from thirteen organizations and presentations from finalists to Brick & Beam members during an event at the Portland House of Music. In addition to the $50,000, the Brick & Beam Society has committed to providing member volunteer hours to assist in the success of CoCo Maine’s Dual Generation program.



Greater Portland’s leadership will change dramatically over the next 10 years, and the need for connected problem-solvers and visionary leadership will be as great as ever.

The Brick & Beam Society was created to carry the torch and invigorate the next generation of philanthropic and community leaders. We are inheriting a well-loved community and feel a responsibility for making it even stronger.


We’re doers. The Brick & Beam Society offers a meaningful way to forge strong relationships, take action, leave a mark, and make a local difference.

Members take a broad view of the community, bring leaders together, and build momentum for action. The Brick & Beam Society thoughtfully selects and explores an area of focus, and then tackles it holistically. We also leverage United Way of Greater Portland’s rich history, resources, knowledge, and relationships to get results.

Brick & Beam members invest their time, skills, and finances to make a measurable difference.


Throughout the year, the Brick & Beam Society will offer:

  • Thoughtful philanthropic events with local and national leaders that help members shape their personal giving philosophy.
  • Hands on education and volunteering opportunities to truly understand the issues.
  • Purposeful, topical conversations and workshops with executives and thought leaders.
  • Impact investing where Brick & Beam Society ultimately determines how its dollars are used to make the biggest difference.


We support early childhood education with a focus on reducing the impact of childhood poverty in Cumberland County.


The Brick & Beam Society is cultivating a community of purposeful philanthropic leaders that is impactful, personally meaningful, and inclusive. Annual membership contribution is $1,000. A three-year, step-up option is available that starts with an initial contribution of $500.



Emily Hopkins (Chair), Unum
Tim Griffin (Vice Chair), H.M. Payson

Annie Drew, WEX
Sam Elsner, 
Kepware Technologies
Desmond Gillard, WEX
Lisa Jacques, WEX
Sarah Oliver, Unum
Sydney Pate, Unum
Oliver Smith, Forge 360
Mike Young, Unum