2016 - Brian Sites

The Sites family

What do professional wrestling and North Yarmouth have in common? The answer is Brian Sites, our 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year!

Our story begins in Virginia, where Brian grew up and earned his undergraduate degree in English from James Madison University. After a short stint teaching English in Brazil, Brian moved to Atlanta. He landed a job with World Championship Wrestling and got his first taste of television production. His interest in new technology led to him producing some of the first internet broadcasts back when AOL was still flooding our mailboxes with CDs.

In 2002, he married Dee Madore, a Maine native from Fort Kent and Bangor, living in Atlanta at the time. In 2005, they moved to Virginia to start their family, welcoming daughters Sabine and Simone. Brian worked at a tech start-up while studying for his master’s degree in public administration. As a graduation gift, his father-in-law took him on a 5-day trip to the Allagash. Although they visited Maine 2–3 times each year, Brian fell in love with Maine on this particular trip and decided this was the place to raise his children. He was quite surprised when his wife, the native Mainer, replied “No way!”

Shortly thereafter, Brian returned from a lengthy business trip and found most of their belongings packed, as Dee was readying the house to be put on the market. She had reflected on the schools, sense of community, and quality of life she had enjoyed as a child and decided that Maine was indeed the place to be. In May 2011, they settled on a house in North Yarmouth. Having grown weary of the city and busy suburban life, they were drawn to the location and loved that they could ride bikes for many miles in any direction and still enjoy the rural countryside. They also discovered how great it is to be within a 30-minute car ride of pretty much everything you need.

Brian began donating his time and expertise soon after moving to town. He realized his background in media would be helpful with the School Board’s Communications Committee. In 2012, he received enough (unsolicited) write-in votes to get elected to the Budget Committee.

When the Safe Bike and Walkways Committee was established, Brian joined and became the chair. Later, that committee was combined with the town-chartered Parks Committee which would be renamed the Parks and Recreation Committee. He is chair of this newly structured committee.

In 2015, while looking at a map and thinking about a way to connect the town’s trails together, Brian saw a triangle shape that reminded him of a waypoint. The “Start Here” concept began germinating in his mind. He worked with Selectman Alex Carr to form a town branding group with chairs from other town committees. After several brainstorming sessions at Stones Café and the hiring of local graphic designer Cindy Guernsey, the current “Start Here” logo took shape. Brian’s brainchild has been featured on signs at each town park and on most pieces of town correspondence and media since!

Last November the decision to rebuild Wescustogo Hall was approved by the voters. A committee formed to research and present recommendations on location, function, and design of the new Wescustogo Hall. The committee is a diverse group — new volunteers and frequent volunteers, young and old, those who are new to town and those who grew up with the old Wescustogo Hall. Brian was selected to chair this group and sees it as a force for positivity. In his words, “I want my children to be as passionate about rebuilding Wescustogo Hall—should disaster strike again—as the children and grandchildren of those who came together to build the original Grange Hall. This is an incredible opportunity to re-engage that community spirit.”

Brian is the point of contact for wood donations for the Cumberland Wood Bank — which is now located in North Yarmouth! He also serves as a deacon at the Cumberland Congregational Church and has volunteered with town elections. Like all parents, his children keep him very busy with their school and athletic activities.

Brian accomplishes all this while maintaining a career as Vice President of Business Development and Implementation for Volunteers of America. His main focus there is finding opportunities to aid northern New England’s most vulnerable citizens.