Kevin Hancock, President of Hancock Lumber Company, will share his experiences with being diagnosed with spasmodic dysphonia and how this condition changed his management style and his approach to life at the next L-A Senior College Food for Thought Luncheon on Friday, April 14.
Hancock never planned to join the family business. After graduating from Bowdoin College with a degree in American History, he taught and coached basketball at a postgraduate prep school. But when his father, David Hancock, learned he had lymphoma in 1991, Kevin went to work at one of the company’s stores. When David died in 1997, Kevin, then 32, became the company president.
Established in 1848, Hancock Lumber operates ten retail stores and three sawmills that are led by the company’s 460 employees. The company also grows trees on 12,000 acres of timberland in Southern Maine. Hancock Lumber is a multi-year recipient of the “Best Places to Work in Maine” Award. The company is also a past recipient of the Maine Family Business of the Year Award, the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence, and the MITC “Exporter of the Year” Award.
Hancock is a past chairman of the National Lumber and Building Materials Dealers Association as well as the Bridgton Academy Board of Trustees. He is a recipient of the Ed Muskie Access to Justice Award, Habitat for Humanity’s Spirit of Humanity Award, the Boy Scouts of America’s Distinguished Citizen Award, and Timber Processing Magazine’s Man of the Year Award. He also spent 20 years coaching middle school basketball for the Lake Region school district from which he graduated.
In 2012, Hancock read about the severe housing shortage at Pine Ridge, an Oglala Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Prompted by his ongoing interest in the history of the American West in the late 19th century, he became a frequent visitor to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota and a passionate student of the economic and social challenges faced by the Pine Ridge residents. In 2015, he published a book about his experiences with the Oglala Sioux Tribe titled “Not for Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse.” The book won the National Indie Excellence Award, first place in leadership and runner-up in the spirituality category.
Hancock remains an advocate of strengthening the voices of all individuals – within a company or a community such as Pine Ridge – through listening, empowering, and shared leadership. Copies of his book will be available for sale for $20 each at the luncheon.
Senior College presents this monthly luncheon program in Function Room 170 at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College. Doors open at 11:30 a.m. and the program begins promptly at noon. The cost, which includes lunch, is $7 with an advance reservation or $8 at the door. To make your advance reservation, call Senior College at 753-6510 by noon on Wednesday, April 12. Reservation calls received after this time will be considered “at the door.”