Kevin Hancock Honored with Edmund Muskie “Access to Justice” Award | Earlier this week over four-hundred and fifty leaders from local and statewide businesses, members of Maine’s legal and judiciary communities, the Hancock family, Hancock Lumber employees, and other civic and nonprofit leaders gathered to celebrate Kevin Hancock during an incredibly memorable evening.
The 2016 Hon. Edmund S. Muskie Access to Justice Award dinner honored Kevin Hancock, President of Hancock Lumber, a champion of fairness and justice for all and a leader in the cause of civil legal aid. Kevin was recognized for his leadership in the community and the impact he has had in furthering access to justice in Maine and beyond.
In addition to being a former high-school history teacher, a lover of history, and the CEO of Hancock Lumber, Kevin has taken on other leadership roles in his industry and in Maine’s communities. He has served as the chairman of the Northeast Retail Lumber Association, and then became the youngest chairman ever to serve on the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers’ Association. At home, he has led committees to save community centers and re-organize school districts, has served as president of the board of trustees at Bridgton Academy, co-chaired the local fair known as “Casco Days,” and, for twenty years, coached the eighth-grade girls’ basketball team at Lake Region Middle School.
In the fall of 2012 Kevin Hancock took on an additional direction. After reading an article in National Geographic about the Lakota Sioux, Kevin broke rank on his own and started traveling to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to learn about what modern-day life was like there and to simply do something more for himself.
Six months after his first visit to Pine Ridge, Kevin travelled back to the Rez; there was something about the land, the history, and the people that kept pulling him back. This journey and multiple trips to the Rez led Kevin to keep a journal which became the basis of his first published book, Not for Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse. Since being published in September of 2015, the book has been honored as a National Indie Excellence Award (NIEA) winner in the leadership category and a finalist in the Spirituality category. Additionally, Ellen Reid, CEO of NIEA, has selected the book for a 2016 Sponsor’s Choice Prize!
A longtime mentor, business associate, and former Hancock Lumber board member, Senator Angus King commented on Kevin receiving the prestigious award, “What a great guy for this award. He is a true ‘Pillar of the community’. A pillar of the community is someone who holds up the community, who holds up our social structures and I think Kevin Hancock fits that description ‘to a T’. He’s not only a successful business guy, but he takes care of his community and his community includes the entire state of Maine.”
While many people spoke about Kevin’s contributions to his sixth-generation family business, Hancock Lumber, and the organizations and boards he’s served on over the years, his daughters reflected on their father’s dedication and commitment to every role he plays in his life, and fully living in the moment and truly being present. Abby and Sydney Hancock left the room laughing and crying with their memorable speech about their Dad. Kevin’s ‘off-stage’ performances speak volumes about his character and devotion to being “all-in” in every aspect of his life.
The Muskie Fund for Legal Services is a nonprofit fund with 501(c)3 status that was established to support the direct provision of legal services to low-income and needy elderly Maine residents.
The Fund has created a permanent award that is designed to recognize outstanding individual efforts to promote access to justice in Maine. Each year the Fund holds a fundraising dinner to honor the individual and raise money for legal services. Exclusive of actual dinner expenses, 100% of Fund proceeds are distributed to the Fund beneficiaries each year. Donations to the Fund can be made throughout the year and are used to provide support for Maine’s legal service providers.