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Michaela York shares insights on Mobius, Inc. with the Bristol Lions 05/22/2017

Posted by DS in club business.
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Michaela York, Director of Integrated Services at Mobius, Inc. (right) is thanked by Bristol Area Lions Club president Brendan Donegan with a contribution to her organization. (Photo courtesy Alfred Ajami)

Mobius Inc. is a service organization with an economic impact. That was the message of Michaela York’s presentation to the Bristol Area Lions. She joined the Lions as the evening’s guest on May 15 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor, offering her insights after dinner. 

A transplant from Iowa, York moved to Maine for study at the University of Southern Maine and then to Damariscotta, when she married Donovan York, who currently teaches math at the Bristol Consolidated School. She started work at Mobius as a manager. Eighteen years later, she is essentially the chief operating officer, serving currently as the Director of Integrated Services.

Mobius was founded almost forty years ago by parents seeking to provide a better life for their children with intellectual and mental disabilities. The name and company logo were inspired by the concept of the Mobius strip, a continuous surface, never ending and evolving. It is evocative of the core objective to enable devalued people in society to be reintegrated through both growth and change. Mobius sees itself as the agent for this evolution from devalued to valued  by providing work support, community support and residential services.

The first stages of the company’s growth as a provider of social change dating to the early eighties through nineties focused on running group homes for persons with various disabilities. The tactical approaches expanded over the following twenty years to include counseling, job training and worker placement by a network of local employers, with a mix a paid and volunteer jobs for Mobius’ clients. With the advent of a new Director in 2014, two additional components have been added to the business model, property development and a move toward establishing an endowment through capital campaigns.

In the last year, Mobius demonstrated its ability to attract visibility by undertaking the purchase and renovation of a property on Academy Hill Rd in Newcastle, which will become a set of residential apartments and sustainable housing, known as Chandler House. The company also recently acquired an renovated a location at 3 Chapman St. to house the behavioral- and mental-health services group and the L.E.A.D program for young adults. Expansion into the arts with Creative Expressions  stands as another recent innovation garnering good press. 

In her concluding remarks, York emphasized that one activity still requires more work to insure Mobius’ future. The community needs to know that Mobius comprises far more than just a building at 319 Main Street. It is one of the top five employers in Lincoln county. Although it’s five million dollar plus budget is currently based primarily on Medicare wavers and state aid, Mobius returns more than 20% of that figure back into Lincoln County’s economy, from purchase of goods and services and in connection with the expenses of  22 living sites it runs from Wiscasset to Warren (in Knox County). On the money side, Mobius is good at squeezing more for less in the face of public assistance budget cuts. It will do even better if contributors in the area it serves economically step up to the plate and help build its endowment for the future.

The next meeting will be held at 6 pm on June 5 at the Willing Workers Hall in New Harbor, with dinner again catered by Deb’s Bristol Diner and staff. Laura Moskwa, new owner (with her husband Tony and son Ross) of the Bradley Inn is scheduled as guest speaker.  Her topic will be “Garden to Table”.  To make reservations, please contact John Janell at 207-563-7402. To learn more about the Bristol Area Lions Club, serving Bristol and South Bristol, call Walt Johansson at 207-677-2584.

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