MILBRIDGE — Wyman’s is pleased to announce the promotion of April Norton to vice president of human resources.

Norton has been an integral part of Wyman’s success and growth since joining Wyman’s in 2015. She has been responsible for overseeing recruitment, retention, succession, compensation, benefits, compliance, and workplace safety for the Milbridge-based company. Wyman’s, which is family owned, has more than 200 full-time employees, and another 300 seasonal workers.

Wyman’s was recently recognized with a 2022 MEMIC Award for Safety Excellence, for deeply integrating workforce safety into all operations and building a culture of care and accountability. The award honors employee involvement to prevent on-the-job injuries, participation in safety workshops, on-site training, and pre-project safety planning. Wyman’s is one of just four companies in the U.S. to receive this honor.

Wyman’s also has an outstanding retention record: the average employee tenure at Wyman’s is nine years, nearly twice the industry average of 5.5. More than one-third of Wyman’s employees have worked for the company for more than a decade. And 15% of Wyman’s workers have been on board for 20 years or more.

“We are fortunate to have an incredible team and culture at Wyman’s, and April has led the charge in creating the strategies, practices, and policies so that the team can thrive in their personal and professional lives,” says Wyman’s President and CEO Tony Shurman. “In addition to helping build our award-winning team, she’s developed and implemented programs that deepen our ties to the communities where our employees work and live, and helped Wyman’s support organizations and initiatives that are moving Maine forward.”

While Wyman’s has long been a supporter of organizations like Maine Seacoast Mission, Women’s for Healthy Rural Living, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Norton has spearheaded the company’s deeper involvement with community organizations.

Norton led the launch of Wyman’s “Wildly Better Days” — which give employees dedicated workdays to volunteer with local organizations, including Rock Maple Cemetery in the Town of Harrington, Women for Healthy Rural Living, and Gateway Milbridge, a local nonprofit revitalization organization.

“Our employees really want to give back,” Norton says. “We all want to live and work in nice, safe, engaging communities, where everyone feels welcome. As a larger employer in our areas, we can tackle a lot within our walls. But I truly believe that there’s so much we can do outside of our company to help the community, which has some amazing groups.”

Norton is on the board of the Sunrise County Economic Council, as well as Maine Seacoast Mission. She grew up in Garland and holds a bachelor’s degree in justice studies from the University of Maine. Norton recently earned certification as a Registered Maine Guide.

Based in the Washington County town of Milbridge, Wyman’s was founded in 1874 by Jasper Wyman and is in 5th generation of Wyman family-ownership. Wyman’s has grown into one of the world’s leading growers, processors and marketers of wild blueberries, and the country’s No. 1 brand of frozen fruit in retail. The company owns 55,000 acres of land throughout Maine and the Canadian Maritimes and works with partner farmers around the world to source their full portfolio of delicious fruit. The company provides more than 200 year-round jobs in addition to hundreds of seasonal jobs during the harvest seas

Wild blueberries, vaccinuim angustifolium, are Maine’s most iconic crop. The low-bush berries took root in Maine 10,000 years ago, after the glaciers receded, and Maine is the only state in the U.S. where wild blueberries are commercially grown. These berries are “wild” because they grow in their natural ecosystem — there‘s no artificial breeding or genetic modification, and the soil is never tilled.

Decades of research have shown that wild blueberries have up to twice the antioxidant activity of ordinary high-bush blueberries. Wild blueberries are rich in anthocyanins, the plant compounds that give wild blueberries their deep purplish-blue hue, which have been proven to boost brain, heart, and vision health, and deliver a host of other health benefits.

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