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ACAP Among First Community Action Agencies Nationwide to be Recognized in Pathways to Excellence Program


Aroostook County/New Orleans – Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP) is among the first Community Action Agencies in the country to be recognized for its commitment to excellence by the National Community Action Partnership (NCAP) under a new program designed to highlight best practices.

ACAP was honored for earning Bronze Tier status in NCAP’s Pathways to Excellence Program at the Management and Leadership Training Conference, a gathering of more than 400 Community Action Program leaders held February 8 through 10 in New Orleans. The voluntary program empowers agencies nationally in their pursuit of excellence through an intentional process of assessment, planning, and capacity building based on known best-in-class practices from the Community Action network and outlined in 35 Standards of Excellence.


“We are thrilled to recognize ACAP with the Bronze Tier Award in the National Community Action Pathways to Excellence program,” stated Denise Harlow, CEO for the National Community Action Program.  “We turn frequently to ACAP when seeking peer to peer programmatic excellence in two-generation/whole family approaches to addressing poverty and it is exciting to see ACAP be recognized for its internal agency strength as well.  ACAP is a leader in the Community Action movement nationally and we can’t wait to see what the agency does in the future!”

The Community Action Partnership’s Standards of Excellence are based on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and specifically adapted for the Community Action Network. They represent the very best practices for agencies as implemented by top-performing CAPs across the national network.

“This honor is to the credit of all members of the ACAP Team who work tirelessly each day to serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community of all ages across Aroostook County. Even through the most challenging of times, our 200 team members strive for excellence,” said Jason Parent, ACAP Executive Director/CEO.  “Our recognition, as among the first nationally to earn this designation, is also indicative of the outstanding support we receive from our Board of Directors, hundreds of volunteers, and a most caring community that supports what we do.”

ACAP’s Bronze Tier recognition comes after forming an Agency Excellence Team, completing an Organizational Profile, participating in the Standards of Excellence e-course, and receiving Board commitment to pursuing excellence. NCAP is in the process of developing a digital badge recognition system.  As soon as the system is launched, ACAP will be provided with a verifiable, electronic badge that will be used to publicly share the agency’s achievement.

ACAP’s Excellence Team is co-chaired by Jamie Chandler, Chief Operating Officer, and Sherry Locke, Director of Advancement.  Team members include: Eva Kirk, Judy Jandreau, Meg Hegemann, Rachelle Roy, and Sue Powers. 

The only other CAP agency recognized at the recent NCAP conference was Newcap in northern Wisconsin. Newcap was recognized as a Silver Tier organization a few months after having earned their Bronze Tier status. In the Silver Tier, agencies complete a self-study in two Standards of Excellence categories and receive written feedback from trained Excellence Peer Reviewers.  ACAP’s Excellence Team is looking forward to working toward Silver Tier designation in the coming months.


About Aroostook County Action Program 
Celebrating over 50 years of service to the people of northern Maine in 2022, Aroostook County Action Program provides the people of Aroostook County with services and resources that help individuals and families achieve greater economic independence. As a leader, or in partnership with others, ACAP provides guidance to the community in responding to emerging human needs in the areas of community health, early care and education, energy and housing, and workforce development services. Aroostook County Action Program continues to accept new clients as well as serve existing clients through a vast array of programming. To learn more about available services available, contact the ACAP Team at 207- 764-3721. 

ACAP Executive Director/CEO Jason Parent (right) accepts a sign congratulating the Agency for earning Bronze Tier status in National Community Action Partnership’s Pathways to Excellence Program at the NCAP Management and Leadership Training Conference in New Orleans recently.  Presenting the honor are Dalitso Sulamoyo, NCAP Board Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Champaign County Regional Planning Commission in Urbana, Illinois, and Denise Harlow, NCAP Chief Executive Officer.