The Star-Herald

ACAP leaders earn national designation

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — On Thursday, Sept. 2, three of Aroostook County Action Program’s very own — Jamie Chandler, chief operating officer; Sue Powers, senior director of programs; and Amy Murchison, program coordinator — received Certified Community Action Professional program endorsements. 

CCAP is designed for those who are current and emerging leaders in the community action profession. By attaining the certification, these three leaders are positioned to further ACAP’s service to the community in the areas of nutrition and other basic needs. 

The rigorous certification process for CCAP involves each prospect to first complete a candidate data form which requires the candidate to detail their community action agency management or executive experience, along with other relevant professional involvement. Next is for the candidate to develop an executive skills portfolio where a written sample and four essays are composed to highlight the candidate’s community action vision and values, before finally completing the last step for CCAP, which is to pass a written exam. 

Chandler has worked at ACAP since 2013. During her career she has supported the community through a number of programs and most recently leads programs with a focus on comprehensive services delivery and program improvement. She serves as COO and works locally, regionally and nationally. 

“I cannot express the pride I have in being recognized as a certified community action professional. This acknowledgement reflects an ongoing commitment to community action, understanding its deep-rooted history while building its future,” Chandler said. 

“As a CCAP, I will operate under the CCAP code of ethics to lead ACAP toward achieving its mission. The national community action tagline is ‘Helping People, Changing Lives,’ and that is what we do.” 

She lives in Mapleton with her husband, Derrick, and their two children. 

Powers supports and leads operations for early childhood education, wellness, health and prevention programs at ACAP. Through an agency-wide lens, she has been instrumental in ACAP’s transformation to a whole family approach for comprehensive service delivery. In addition, she supports the agency’s work in becoming a trauma informed organization. 

She currently serves as a Gov. Janet Mills appointee to the Early Child Care Advisory Committee of the Maine Children’s Cabinet. She is committed to developing systems and structures that support the health and well-being of families, children, and communities. 

“For 40 years, I have made it my life’s work to support communities and families in an ever changing environment,” said Powers. “The path to becoming a Certified Community Action Professional was a comprehensive approach to the demonstration of my leadership, management and collaboration to build systems and structures to support the vision and values of Community Action.

“I am honored and proud to have achieved this nationally recognized credential.” 

Powers and her husband, Joe, live in Mapleton.

Murchison began her career at ACAP in 2014 as an Early Head Start home visitor and is currently a program coordinator in the Early Care and Education program. Shehas worked closely with agency leadership to implement the whole family approach and comprehensive service delivery at ACAP. 

“I am extremely proud of becoming a nationally Certified Community Action Professional,” Murchison said. “The process taught me the rich history of Community Action management and leadership skills that I will use in my position at ACAP to support the vision and values of Community Action in Aroostook County.” 

With the addition of the three new CCAPs at ACAP, there are a total of six in the entire state of Maine. ACAP officials said the leadership these employees bring to “Make Life Better” for those in need is a true representation of the service model ACAP seeks to maintain as a community action agency.  

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