REM Award Honorees (2007) — Gregor Smith (Kotlas Connection)

The Kotlas Connection is very happy to honor Gregor Smith as its volunteer of the year for 2007.

Greg has been involved with the Connection since 1991. That was the year he took a class in Russian Language and Culture as part of the adult education offerings at Waterville High School. The class was organized by the Kotlas Committee, which later became the Kotlas Connection. During that class, Greg expressed his desire to get involved with the Connection and travel to Kotlas with the Connection later that year. Greg has since been there two more times in 1996 and 2005. Greg has been a member of the Kotlas Connection Executive Committee almost continuously since he joined.

In early 1992, Greg succeeded Jean Ann Pollard as editor of the Kotlas Connection newsletter. Except for a sabbatical in 1995, Greg edited the newsletter until the fall of 1999. He has also served as publicity director for the Connection, as well as one two-year term as secretary of the organization. He was a co-organizer of the two humanitarian aid shipments to Kotlas.

In 1997, Greg launched the Kotlas Connection’s web site as a single page with a couple of paragraphs of text and a few scanned postcards of Kotlas. The site has moved a couple of times and grown considerably since then, but he continues to update and expand it. The address is He also maintains the web sites for REM and Summertime in the Belgrades, a weekly newspaper published between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

He also enjoys choral singing with the Colby Kennebec Choral Society, foreign language study, and acting in community theater. His latest acting achievement was with the Gaslight Theater’s production of Lucky Stiff in Hallowell in June.

Greg is a man of many talents and has been a great asset to the Connection. His fellow members on the Executive Committee are proud to name him their volunteer of the year.

Editor’s Note: Gregor Smith was also honored this year by REM itself as its volunteer of the year.

For more information about the Kotlas - Waterville Area Sister City Connection, please visit its website.

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