Sharon Young chose the community of Gray to settle in when she returned to Maine in 1997 after spending 20 years raising a family and building a career in Dracut, Massachusetts. Sharon had been born and raised in North Belgrade Maine, spending her summers at the family camp on the shore of Great Pond throughout her youth. Her return to Maine brought her back to the Maine lakes where she now lives on the west shore of Little Sebago Lake.
Sharon’s professional career has centered in the financial services industry. She entered the industry at the ground floor of a fledging mortgage lending company in Massachusetts in 1984, learning all aspects of the industry as that company grew, and later bringing that expertise back to Maine with her where in 1999 she helped found, and later became President of, Maine Street Mortgage Company, Inc. headquartered on Roosevelt Trail in Windham. She managed the business as it grew and expanded from a one-man shop to a company with 15 employees in four branches in southern and central Maine, and with $110M in annual closings at market peak. Sharon managed daily operations of the growing company from its inception while maintaining the highest standards for fiscal management practices and business ethics and adhering to all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. She handled all accounting needs, hired and trained staff, developed process and procedure in line with growth, created media advertisements and marketing campaigns, all the while originating, processing, underwriting, and selling production to secondary markets. Unfortunately, during the financial crisis in 2008, mortgage markets crashed, and the business closed. Sharon used down time to further her education and obtained an accounting degree. She then joined CEI Capital Management, an Investment Management Company facilitating and managing financing of real estate projects and operating businesses using the power of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program, where she served as Loan Servicing & Cash Manager. Sharon’s duties included maintaining balances, and reconciling bank statements for 150+ investment accounts, maintaining loan portfolio in excess of $600M with specific emphasis on compliance, file & data maintenance, and assisting with review of legal documents for complete and accurate set up of large commercial transactions.
Sharon recently retired from full time employment and is keeping busy with bookkeeping, volunteering, and enjoying family and friends. Sharon’s family includes husband Dave, 4 adult children, and an even dozen grandchildren. In addition to town governance, she is involved with Little Sebago Lake Association, and previously participated in Rotary International of Windham, and The Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce. At present her primary volunteer focus is shared between issued relating to the needs of Maine’s aging population and the environmental protections of the lakes’ ecosystems.
Among other things, on the aging front; Sharon serves on Maine Council On Aging’s Task force currently formulating a Dashboard of Data that will help identify steps that can be taken at the municipal level to facilitate healthy aging in place for our residents. It is important to give those wishing to age in their own homes the assistance they may need to be able to do just that. On the environmental side, Sharon coordinates a Loon Monitoring and Conservation program on Little Sebago, where loon reproductive successes is measured and habitat stability best practices put in place. The lake is an important part of the beauty and economy of Gray, and the loons an important indicator of the health of the lake and our natural environment.
Before serving as Town Councilor, Sharon had become involved with municipal government when a small group of west Gray residents sought to secede from the town. Although a resident of that west Gray area, she was among many residents who strongly opposed any thought of leaving Gray. She used her voice locally and at the State House in support of the community she had chosen to call home. She later also led a successful grass route effort to establish Gray’s first Fireworks ordinance.
As Town Councilor Sharon uses her voice to encourage conservative municipal spending, knowing that there are many citizen homeowners that are being priced out of their homes and just cannot afford property tax increases. Sharon’s hope is that Gray can maintain just the right combination of small- town rural character combined with economically sound development and growth. Maintaining that character and managing the direction of growth with minimal impact to the community’s character is one of the utmost importance tasks facing leadership in the years to come in Gray. Sharon’s business management background and financial acumen are skills she has relied on during her term as Town Councilor when making leadership decisions for the Town of Gray.