The First recently presented a $2,500 sponsorship donation to the Knox/Waldo Regional Economic Development Council. Dan Daigneault, President and CEO of The First Bancorp, and Eric Belley, senior business relationship officer of Knox County, presented the check to Alan Hinsey, executive director of KWRED.

“We at KWRED want to thank you for your commitment to economic development for the Knox and Waldo county region. The investment by the First in the KWRED will go a long way to help us meet our objectives for 2010,” Hinsey said in a news release. “As you know, we are committed to strong and sustainable economic growth strategies for our region and we believe that a coordinated approach is the best way to realize our goals. We also believe that to be truly successful it’s important for leading businesses in our region, such as The First, to become investors in, and advisors to, the KWRED Council.”

The Knox/Waldo Regional Economic Development Council was formed in 2006. KWRED focuses exclusively on the regional economic development strategies for the unique business and cultural communities that make up Knox and Waldo county. The mission of KWRED is to stimulate long-term, robust economic growth for the Knox and Waldo county region through job creation and retention, advocacy, and regional collaboration.

“We see KWRED as a point of contact for businesses and their communities, and we work hard to link our region’s three economic hubs — the greater Rockland, Camden and Belfast areas — together,” Hinsey said. “Each of these communities have different cultural personalities and business needs, but they can all work together to attract and retain and grow businesses.”

Belley said he has seen KWRED’s accomplishments in the communities in which he serves.

“In my role as both a senior business relationship officer for The First and board chairman of KWRED, I am committed to creating and maintaining a sustainable and vibrant economy for our region,” Belley said. “The investment in KWRED from The First and other business leaders in the region sends a message to those who choose to do business here that the business community supports economic development and understands the importance of a strategic and unified economic development engine which KWRED provides to the region.”

For more information on KWRED, visit kwred.org or call 691-3227.

Founded in 1864, The First, N.A. is an independent community bank serving Midcoast and Down East Maine with 14 offices in Lincoln, Knox, Hancock and Washington counties. For more information about The First, call 800-564-3195 or visit the1st.com.