FORT KENT, Maine – Longtime businessman and community volunteer James Thibodeau was recognized for his work and named the 2009 Fort Kent Citizen of the Year during the annual Chamber of Commerce dinner last week.

Professionally, Thibodeau, 59, worked in and eventually headed up the family business, Thibodeau Insurance Agency, starting in 1971 through 2006.

But he is best known around this border town as a tireless volunteer and community advocate.

Over the years Thibodeau has volunteered his time with organizations including Lonesome Pine Ski Trails — where he was instrumental in several major fundraising activities — the Fort Kent Rotary Club, the Fort Kent Chamber of Commerce, LifeFlight of Maine Foundation, Fort Kent Jaycees, Aroostook County Partnership for Progress, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, the Fort Kent Boy Scouts, the 10th Mountain Ski Club, Northern Maine Medical Center and the Northern Maine Regional Airport.

Most recently Thibodeau, a licensed private pilot, was involved in bringing regularly scheduled flights back to the Frenchville airport.

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Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.