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ďƒœbangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

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Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

BUSINESS

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Machias Savings Bank opens

new branch in Brewer

BY BRIAN SWARTZ, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS EDITOR  more at www.machiassavings.com

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y opening a new 12,000-square-foot branch at 581 Wilson St., Brewer on Monday, April 2, Machias Savings Bank “let the whole world know who we are,” said CEO Edward L. Hennessey Jr. “We’re in the Bangor-Brewer area to stay.” As its name implies, Machias Savings Bank traces its roots to Down East Maine. However, the bank operates a 14-branch network stretching from Houlton to Rockland and extends its services statewide via online banking. Machias Savings Bank was well known in the lower Penobscot Valley long before Brewer Branch Manager Ken White opened the doors at 581 Wilson St. on April 2. After providing commercial-lending and businessbanking services in the region for decades, the bank had opened a branch at 1126 Hammond St., Bangor seven years ago, according to President Larry L. Barker. That branch “has been very successful,” in fact so successful that despite a significant building expansion completed not long ago, “we are bursting at the seams in Bangor,” he said. “We have a large customer base in the greater Bangor area,” Barker said. “We have many customers already in Brewer. We wanted to provide another convenient location in the greater Bangor area for our existing customers and for new customers.” “We’re very excited,” said Traci Sanborn, senior vice president for marketing. “We’ve had such a tremendous success at our Bangor branch, and we feel we’ll have just as much success in Brewer.” “Our consumer banking has expanded rapidly since we opened the [Bangor] branch,” Hennessey said. “We’re consistently among the top-four generators of mortgage loans in Penobscot County.” Bank and local officials attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Brewer on Thursday, April 5; an official grand opening will take place on Friday, April 27. The Brewer branch lobby is open Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 noon. The drive-up window is open MondayFriday, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 noon. Located next to the drive-up window, the ATM is available 24 hours a day.

SUPERIOR CUSTOMER SERVICE

“Machias Savings Bank” and “Since 1869.” “I’m excited about what Brewer means for Machias Savings Bank,” Donnelly said. “It’s a real statement about our long term commitment to our customers. I love the keystone … over the front door that says, ‘Since 1869,’” a reference to the year that Machias Savings Bank was granted its charter by Maine Gov. Joshua L. Chamberlain. “Not a lot of [Maine] banks can say they have that long-term commitment to our communities,” he said. “If you take our commitment from that date to where we are now with our new president, Larry Barker, the truly exciting part is we’re just getting started.” According to Sanborn, the “MSB difference starts the moment you come inside” from either vestibule. Customers enter a spacious, naturally lit lobby featuring a décor that emphasizes “the feel of Maine,” she said. “That is where we live, that is what we are,” Sanborn said. The lobby’s four columns blend fieldstone bases and vertical surfaces painted to resemble white birch. The fieldstone represents “the rugged coast of Maine,” the white birch the state’s forests, she said. Bordering the lobby are two “pods,” with two employees assigned to each pod. “When you walk into the Brewer branch, our employees will come out and greet you,” Sanborn said. Employees can assist customers at a particular pod or in a conference room beside the front entrance. Along an interior wall is a coffee bar, a counter where a customer can pour a cup of coffee and relax while visiting the bank. Beside the coffee bar is an interactive touch-screen TV that displays information about MSB products and services. The lobby features a waiting area with a 70-inch TV screen and a children’s area with a 60-inch TV screen and “a game center for kids to enjoy while their parents are banking with us,” Sanborn said. In this area, a child can also feed loose change into a coin machine and receive a receipt to exchange for cash. Just off the lobby is a large vault accessible via biometrics and a key. Biometrical access involves a customer undergoing a hand scan to enter the vault; a key opens the customer’s deposit box.

BDN Photo by Michael York

The Machias Savings Bank employees excited to welcome customers to new branch at 581 Wilson St., Brewer are (front, from left) Teller Katie Stevens, Teller Ashley Noyes, and Financial Services Specialist Emilie Madden; and (rear, from left) Financial Services Specialist III Pat Fish, Branch Manager and MSB Vice President Ken White, and Customer Service Supervisor Heather Libby.

“We are truly focused

on building relationships with our customers, understanding their needs and meeting their needs.”

Machias Savings Bank decided to open a Brewer branch because the greater Bangor area “has been a tremendous market for us,” Barker said. “Our success there is for the same reason that we are successful in all our markets: a very strong emphasis on taking care of the customer and building relationships with the customer,” he said. “We do it one customer at a time, one phone call at a time, one interaction at a time. We work very hard to take care of the customer.” “It’s an attitude. It’s in our blood. It’s what we’ve always been. It’s what we always intend to be,” Barker stated. “We call it ‘The MSB Way.’” “The only thing we can do different than anybody else is to provide better service,” Hennessey said. “We provide exceptional service.” “We are truly focused on building relationships with our customers, understanding their needs and meeting their needs,” said Jim Donnelly, executive BDN Photo by Michael York vice president of business banking. Customers standing inside the lobby of the new Machias Savings Bank branch at “That has been the winning formula for 581 Wilson St., Brewer can view the front entrance and the others on either side of it. Machias Savings Bank for a long time.” “At the end of the day, it’s the customer service and the From the front vestibule, customers can use an elevator relationships that are allowing us to continue to grow or stairs to reach the second floor. Located there are our business,” Barker said. “The customer is our No. 1 offices for MSB business bankers and business services priority. That is the Machias Savings Bank difference.” representatives — and a 1,560-square-foot community room that overlooks outer Wilson Street and the Dedham Hills. BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE IN BREWER As at its Bar Harbor, Ellsworth (Mill Mall), and In designing the Brewer branch, MSB officials looked Machias branches, the bank offers the community room to the future — and the past. for public use at no charge. In Brewer, the community Located next to Pizza Hut, the two-story building room will have two 70-inch TV screens and one 60-inch incorporates design elements from a branch that TV screen, and “one end will be set up to hold up to Machias Savings opened on Cottage Street in Bar 30 people in a U-shape setting” with stadium seating, Harbor a few years ago, according to Hennessey. Sanborn said. This section was designed “for people “If you look at the outside of both branches, they’re who want to use it for training [purposes], perhaps a very similar,” he said. “We’ve used brick veneer on both smaller company that would like to use it during the day of them. The shape the buildings is similar, although the or at night,” she said. Brewer branch is much larger. Some of the interior of The community room will be available days, nights, each is very similar.” and weekends. Individuals or organizations should Customers can access the Brewer branch from Wilson contact the Brewer branch to reserve the room. Street or a driveway that intersects the Green Point “We will give you a key,” Sanborn said. “This gives Road next to Gunn’s Sport Shop. This driveway lets you access to our front entryway and the stairs and customers reach the bank via Dirigo Drive, which elevator to the second floor. People using the community parallels Wilson Street. room can use the bathrooms and kitchen area, which “In the summer, the traffic on Wilson Street is has a natural gas-fired stove, refrigerator, sink, and terrible,” Hennessey said. “We have made it more dishwasher. convenient for the customer to access our facility “We want the community to come over and enjoy this without using Wilson Street.” building as much as we’re going to enjoy it,” Sanborn Customers can enter the bank via the front or rear said. “It’s an absolutely beautiful, gorgeous building to entrances. A historical reminder awaits those customers have meetings in.” using the front entrance, above which are emblazoned Hennessey, who has visited the Brewer branch several

JIM DONNELLY, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS BANKING

times, described the building as “state of the art. We’ve done it right. We’ve built for tomorrow” by “including room for future growth.” With oil prices the topic of many Maine conversations nowadays, the Brewer branch emphasizes energy efficiency. “We see this branch as being there for a hundred years, and we built it accordingly,” Barker said. “With energy costs continuing to escalate, we wanted the building to be efficient.” Among the building’s energy-efficiency features are roof-mounted solar panels, additional insulation, natural gas-fired boilers, and lighting. “We partnered with ReVision Energy to install a 10-kilowatt photovoltaic roof-mounted array,” said MSB Facilities Manager John Hayward. The solar panels produce electricity that “we will use … before purchasing power,” he indicated. Hayward thinks that when the bank is closed on sunny days, the solar panels “will produce all the energy required to maintain our building.” Near noon on one recent sunny, but cool day, the panels were producing 4.6 kilowatts of power fed directly into the building’s electrical system. To insulate the Brewer branch, “we used ‘closed cell’ spray foam insulation … 7 inches in the ceilings and 3 inches in all exterior walls,” Hayward said. “It gives us a complete air-and-moisture barrier along with a sound barrier. “We installed two Lockinvar stainless-steel, condensing natural gas Knight XL boilers,” he said. The boilers emit fewer emissions than do traditional boilers and “are extremely efficient at approximately 94.6 percent,” he said. “We partnered with Efficiency Maine and installed energy-efficient lighting throughout the building, using only T-5, T-8, and compact fluorescent lamps along with LED signage and exit lights,” Hayward said. “We have installed occupancy sensors to control lighting in bathrooms, closets, and areas where lights are frequently left on.” Exterior lights will “not only protect the ‘night sky,’ but are designed to cut off light at property lines and streets and be directed only to the areas that require lighting,” Hayward said.

BUSINESS BANKING STATEWIDE With the Maine economy facing tough times, Barker stressed that “we do plan to grow in 2012. We see opportunities out there.” Growth will occur in consumer and business banking, he indicated. “We’re very committed to rural Maine. We’ve been very successful in rural Maine,” Barker said. “A lot of the bigger banks are closing their doors in some of those markets. We see an opportunity for us to grow market share there.” Despite intense competition, Machias Savings Bank has expanded its commercial activity “quite a bit … over the last 10 years,” said Donnelly. Although its name implies a strong Down East connection, Machias Savings Bank has “commercial

or business customers from Kittery to Caribou, from Jackman to Eastport,” he said. “We’re not constrained by zip code. We go to where our customers are.” The bank’s 14 business bankers — including Barker, Donnelly, and Hennessey, who all have commercial portfolios — and four business services representatives support the bank’s far-flung customers. Donnelly, two other business bankers, and the four business services representatives transferred to the Brewer branch from Bangor in early April. Three business bankers and an assistant are assigned to the Bangor branch. Each business banker works with specific customers, many of whom are located far from the nearest MSB branch. According to Donnelly, Machias Savings Bank offers many online products and services, such as MSB ECorp Online Banking & Cash Management services, that let a business owner transact banking business while seated at a desk, whether in the office or at home. “When you look at our geography, at where we have our branches as opposed to where many of our customers are located, there is a heavy reliance on technology,” Donnelly said. “Machias Savings Bank supplies high-quality, technologically advanced products.” “Between your computer and a device called a ‘express deposit machine,’ its like putting a bank on your desk,” he said. “You can access just about every service available at the bank through that your computer and this device with the exception of writing yourself a loan. “Our online products have really changed the way banking is done,” Donnelly said. “The transaction counts that are being done online and with remote capture have been going up exponentially since the introduction of these services.” “Across the state, we have customers very satisfied with the service we are providing,” he said. Among such customers, many refer other business owners to Machias Savings Bank. “About 80 percent of our business comes from referrals. It’s huge,” Donnelly said. “Existing customers that are happy have a friend, may be in Portland or in York County or Aroostook County. They’ll call [the friend] and make a referral. “There really is nothing more rewarding than having” a customer “put their name on the line to recommend you and convince other folks that they ought to be doing business with” Machias Savings Bank, Donnelly said. “We have customers who are an extension of our family, and they are looking for how to help Machias Savings Bank grow,” he said. “They know that their friends and other business owners will benefit by doing business with us.” For many business owners, financing remains paramount. “You hear about banks not lending,” Barker said. “We never stopped lending. We’ve originated over half a billion dollars in new loans in the past three years. “We’re looking for opportunities to make loans. That’s what we do for a living,” he said. “We were the No. 2 SBA lender in Maine in 2011; we work closely with our business customers.” “The borrowing demand so far in 2012 has been strong on the business side,” said Donnelly, who senses “some pent-up demand … for buildings, for equipment.” Lending has also been spurred by retirees selling their businesses and entrepreneurs “looking to develop a new business,” he indicated. “And it isn’t one industry over another” in terms of lending activity, Donnelly said. The bank has financed projects in such sectors as agriculture, fishing, hospitality, light manufacturing, and logging. “More to come,” he said. According to Barker, Machias Savings Bank works with its customers no matter the economic conditions. “It’s easy in the good times,” he said. “When the times are tough, we do what we can to help our customers make it through as opposed to telling them to find somebody else to do their banking with. “We value our customers. They are very, very important to us,” he said.


bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

EXCEPTIONAL

BANKING HAS COME TO

BREWER You’re invited to join us April 27, 2012 for our

Grand Opening Celebration! Visit our new Brewer Office and celebrate our grand opening on April 27, 2012! Come meet our staff and enjoy free refreshments and giveaways. And while you’re here, be sure to register to win one of the following:

While celebrating with us ask about our

Ultimate Green Checking Account With great features like:

Premium Interest*

• A Trip for two to London (airfare, hotel + theatre tix)

Online Banking with No Minimum Balance* Nationwide NO FEE ATMs*

• 55” Smart 3D HDTV (with Sound Bar System + 3D Glasses)

• $3,000 Cash

Welcome to Your New Brewer Office Lobby Hours:

M – F 8:00-5:00 SAT 9:00-12:00

Drive Thru Hours:

M – F 7:30-5:00 SAT 8:00-12:00

Address:

581 Wilson Street Brewer ME 04412

Main Number:

(207) 989-3019

Branch Manager:

Ken White

©2012. Machias Savings Bank. Member FDIC. No purchase necessary to win. A purchase will not improve an individual’s chances of winning. This is a limited time offer and may be withdrawn without notice. Visit the Brewer branch for complete sweepstakes rules.

SCAN FOR

SOMETHING EXCEPTIONAL

*Must meet monthly criteria. Check with a Machias Savings Bank Associate for details.

Also, new Ultimate Green Checking Account customers who sign up for BillPay and use it to pay at least 10 bills between April 27 and June 27, 2012 will receive a deposit of $50 into their account.

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BUSINESS

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Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

Business banking services benefit customers across Maine BY BRIAN SWARTZ, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS EDITOR  more at www.bhbt.com

or many people, “Bar Harbor” means Acadia National Park, a rock-bound coast, and lazy summer days. For many business owners and professionals across Maine, however, “Bar Harbor” means business banking at its best, as in Bar Harbor Bank & Trust (BHBT). “We are doing business banking statewide,” said Adam Robertson, a BHBT vice president for business development. “We’re known throughout Maine. People see our name on a construction site sign in southern Maine,” Robertson said. “They tell us, ‘I didn’t know you were in this area.’ “We are. We’re in Portland. We’re in Brunswick, Lewiston/Auburn, Augusta, and beyond. We have an office in downtown Bangor that allows us to easily serve the Bangor/Brewer area. With our business banking services, we are everywhere in Maine,” he stated. All of BHBT’s business banking officers have customers statewide and travel regularly while delivering creative financial solutions. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust offers businesses and non-profits a full suite of products and services, from commercial loans and cash-management services (including remote deposit capture) to online banking. “We have the technology to assist our business customers in meeting all their banking needs, no matter where in Maine they are located,” Robertson said. That technology extends to keeping in touch with customers, too. Robertson, based in Bangor at BHBT’s Trust and Financial Services Office, works with customers in many places. While he’s happy to travel to visit a customer, face-to-face meetings are not always necessary. “With my laptop and a Blackberry I can quickly respond to customer needs even if I’m not right next door,” Robertson said. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust has many business customers outside its traditional service area, he indicated. “We’re strong in the Bangor and Brunswick markets,” and the bank maintains a sizable customer base in the Greater Portland and Augusta areas, he said. Even though BHBT doesn’t have any branches south of Rockland, the bank has developed an excellent customer base throughout Midcoast and southern Maine, Robertson said, “This is partially due to referrals from our customers, attorneys, CPAs, and other professionals with whom we’ve worked well over the past several years to develop relationships. We are grateful for this positive word-of-mouth as it has really helped us expand throughout the state.” In the greater Bangor, Lewiston/Auburn, Augusta, and Portland markets, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust works

with many business sectors, such as engineering firms, commercial real estate development, health care-related health-care agencies, nursing home and long-term activity, and hotel/motel development. Robertson care facilities, medical practices, real estate developers, recently helped arranged financing for a hospitalitymanufacturing, industrial, auto, and recreational vehicle sector project in Piscataquis County. industries. “There are some good agri-based businesses that are Expanding its business customer base into central doing well,” including specific potato growers, woods and southern Maine has opened many commercial operators, commercial fisheries, and businesses affiliated lending opportunities for Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. with the low-bush blueberry industry, he said. “After 2008, the lending environment got tough at some The bank has financed “different types of housing, banks, but Bar Harbor Bank & Trust kept looking for condominium development or retirement communities. good lending opportunities,” Robertson said. “This has There’s some of that going on in Maine, from Bangor become a win-win situation benefitting the bank and south,” Robertson noted. “We also like to finance many companies looking for financing.” construction, forestry equipment, and documented Lending opportunities developed as other financial vessels where opportunities present themselves. institutions established rigid lending requirements that “Geographically we’re ready to do commercial lending often cut off credit for “perfectly good businesses,” from the top of Maine to the bottom of Maine and from the he said. Some banks opted not to finance projects New Hampshire border to the Canadian border,” he said. involving particular industries. The hospitality and fishing industries are two such examples, according to Robertson. “We understand these industries because of our 125-year history on Mount Desert Island, where the hospitality industry employs hundreds of people each summer to serve the more than two million visitors who explore Acadia National Park and the rugged coast. The fishing industry is particularly strong on MDI, too,” he said. “We have assisted many businesses during this challenging economic time,” Robertson said. “The perception is that no one is lending. But we have been Adam Robertson, VP [lending] all along, and we’ve helped businesses grow and expand.” For business owners, a one-onOne of the best parts of one relationship with a business my job is getting to know banker is important, Robertson my customers, sharing indicated. “One of the best parts their dreams, and helping of my job is getting to know my customers, sharing their dreams, them achieve their goals. and helping them achieve their ADAM ROBERTSON, VICE PRESIDENT goals,” he said. “A lot of Maine companies want to keep a relationship with a Maine bank; we’ve always been Maine-based, and I think our customers appreciate that. We’re invested in Maine communities to help improve the economy and create jobs,” Robertson said. “The job spin-off can be quite large” with the commercial projects that Bar Harbor Bank & Trust helps finance. This helps keep Maine communities strong with employment opportunities for its residents. Among the projects BHBT has financed are

Need a partner to help your business grow?

Meet Bar Harbor Bank & Trust’s Business Banking Team

Still local. Still listening. Still lending. Statewide.

We make it easy to get the financing you need. Our Business Bankers are responsive and helpful. They’ll think ahead and make sure things run smoothly. With professionalism, they’ll guide and assist you through the process. This hardworking team is ready to accommodate your specific request with knowledge and understanding.

For 125 years, Maine businesses have partnered with Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Call us today!

Visit us on the web at www.BHBT.com or call us at 1-888-853-7100.

Member FDIC |

Equal Housing Lender


bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

CELEBRATING TWENTY-FIVE SEASONS Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway

Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live Monday, April 23 at 7:00 pm

Saturday, May 5 at 8:00 pm

Recognized as America’s favorite zookeeper, Jack has made countless television appearances since 1983 on shows such as Good Morning America, CNN’s Larry King Live and the Late Show with David Letterman.

Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway shines the spotlight on some of the finest theatrical moments from the greatest musicals of the century. Featuring five of Broadway’s finest stars direct from New York City.

The StepCrew Tuesday, May 1 at 7:00 pm Welcome to The StepCrew, an unbelievable show which brings together three styles of exhilarating dance forms — Irish Stepdance, Ottawa Valley Stepdance, and Tap. This amazing company, which includes six virtuoso dancers, five musicians and one vocalist, is led by Cara Butler, Jon and Nathan Pilatzke, and Dan Stacey. Soloist Cara Butler is best known as The Chieftains’ top Irish dancer for the last two decades, while the Pilatzke brothers and Dan Stacey are undoubtedly Canada’s leading and most exciting Ottawa Valley Stepdancers. The StepCrew is accompanied by some of the most virtuosic musicians from the Celtic, traditional and rock genres.

Buy tickets online at www.CollinsCenterfortheArts.com 24 hours a day For tickets or more information, call (207) 581-1755 or 800-622-TIXX.

NEIL BERG’S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY

SPONSORED BY MACHIAS SAVINGS BANK

2011–2012 SEASON SPONSOR

CELEBRATING TWENTY-FIVE SEASONS

One of Maine’s public universities

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Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

A conversation with Camden National Bank

BUSINESS

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president & CEO Greg Dufour

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BY DAVID M.FITZPATRICK, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS WRITER  more at www.camdennational.com

he Camden National Bank home office and branch, all brilliant brick and stylish arched windows, stands prominently in downtown Camden, perched where five streets converge. The current building reflects the architecture of the original, established at that very location in 1875. Perhaps being at the same location for 137 years is an ideal feather in the cap of a community bank. “We have a great history of strong community banks in the state, but we’re not as many as we used to be,” said Greg Dufour, president and CEO of Camden National Bank. “In the mid-1970s, Maine had over 150 independent banks. Now we’re down to 28.” Dufour said local presence for any of Camden National’s 38 branches statewide is a vital part of the company’s mission. “It’s something that we try to make sure we bring to every location that we have,” he said. “In every community, we want people to understand that it’s local decision-making, and we have people you can talk to. You’re really dealing with your neighbors.”

Viewpoints & Technology Dufour said Camden National has been busy recently streamlining and improving many things. Anything considered was done so through the lens of how the customer would view it. “We always try to see things through our customers’ eyes,” Dufour said. “Customer requirements have changed significantly over the past few years, so we’ve had to streamline and improve our processes to keep up with customer requirements.” This required Camden National to make significant

investments in technology. When the Web was new and banks first ventured into online banking, customers were timid about trying it out. But in just 25 years, we’ve gone from checks to ATMs to debit cards to online banking, and now many customers want to do everything from their smartphones. Banks have to move quickly to keep up with customer demand. “The smartphone-technology adoption rate from the general public is just huge,” Dufour said. “To me, that really puts banks like Camden National in a position where we’ll change the way we do business to meet those new and evolving customer expectations. I get excited about how we can reposition ourselves with that while still maintaining our traditional service in branches.” Last year, Camden National rolled out a comprehensive online-banking package to better serve its customers. It’s another delivery channel, like providing branches or checks. And even the checks will take a high-tech turn; instead of physically taking a check to the bank, soon you’ll be able to snap a picture of it with your camera phone to deposit it. In fact, the sort of software that used to be big-bankonly is becoming more affordable to smaller banks. And “software” doesn’t mean “Microsoft Office” or “QuickBooks”; it means specialized banking software you won’t find at the office store. What was once prohibitively expensive is becoming financially manageable. Meanwhile, Camden National’s informationtechnology personnel not only keep the company’s network and computers running but contemplate what customers want and find software solutions. The

Information Security team works with the IT crew to ensure the security of customer data. “Security is always of the utmost importance to us, whether we’re making sure the vaults are locked up at night or that, on the Web, your information’s secure,” Dufour said. “We have to make sure that, as we’re adopting technology, our information security efforts are keeping up with it.” Camden National is also streamlining many of its procedures, for customers and internally. For example, when you apply for a mortgage online, you’re using the same process as if you went into the mortgage originator’s office, which saves time and is more efficient. Behind the scenes, the company recently formed a team of employees from around the company to look at various ways to streamline, reducing duplicate paperwork and processes and improving service. Dufour knows firsthand how well it works. Recently, he refinanced his mortgage online just to go through the process. It was easy and flawless, and when he needed to talk to bank personnel, they didn’t give their president any breaks when it came to security protocols. The experience was one of, once again, seeing things from the customer’s eyes. “I think it was Warren Buffet who said, ‘You have to eat your own cooking,’” said Dufour. “We like to Greg Dufour, CEO pride ourselves on that here.”

Recession & Recognition

“We all saw the past few years as an opportunity

to really show our customers — and, more importantly, people who weren’t customers of ours then — what a real community bank can do,” Dufour said. “I think that was probably one of the things that resulted in us having record earnings last year.”

GREG DUFOUR, PRESIDENT & CEO

Camden National opted to invest significantly in technology early in the recession. “We had the attitude that we could meet those challenges head-on and be proactive, or we could re-trench and wait out the storm,” Dufour said. “We were very proactive and made investments that have really paid off for us.” Interestingly, there wasn’t much trepidation about pushing forward — from the board of directors, management, or staff. “We all saw the past few years as an opportunity to really show our customers — and, more importantly, people who weren’t customers of ours then — what a

real community bank can do,” Dufour said. “I think that was probably one of the things that resulted in us having record earnings last year.” The bank’s efforts have certainly been recognized. For the second time in three years, Camden National was named the bank of the year by the Finance Authority of Maine. But recently, another award took the bank completely by surprise: Forbes called to say Camden National had been named one of its 100 Most Trustworthy Companies in America. “What these companies have in common is what they don’t have: problems that indicate elevated risk,” GMI Chairman James A. Kaplan told Forbes. “Those problems can range from high executive compensation or incentives that are not aligned with shareholder interests to inconsistent application of accounting principles, or the occurrence of negative events.” GMI rated over 8,000 companies traded on American exchanges. Only those with the top 15 percent accounting and governance ratings earned “conservative” ranking. And only 1.25 percent of them made the list. Companies could not apply for the listing, which is why the award was a surprise to Camden National. Dufour said that he’s quite proud of it, and earning that recognized level of trustworthiness echoes the company’s values. “We manage our organization by a set of core values that is part of our culture,” he said. “We talk about them in just about every meeting that we attend.” Key to that is building trust and confidence in customers by what Dufour explains as “seeing things through the customer’s eyes.” “But that’s just what we do here in Maine,” he said. “All over the state, there are companies and people that do these really unique, impactful things, and we’re pleased that Camden National was recognized for being one of them. I think it’s part of that Maine mystique; you never know the interesting things people or companies do here. So it’s nice to be recognized.”

Andrew Lowe, Patrick Lowe, Jeffrey Weymouth, Camden Fire Department

Everyone looks up to athletes and astronauts. We celebrate holidays and wedding days. But what about every day? We’re for its heroes. Here’s to the ones we can count on. The trustworthy. The resolute. The people who are always there when we need them the most. We salute the real heroes. Here’s to the anchors of every day.

°

° 800.860.8821 ° CamdenNational.com ° Member FDIC


bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

Maine can manufacture – see how and why

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BY JOSH HAYWARD, BDN BLOGGER  more at www.haywardseconomatters.bangordailynews.com

ur country remains to be the world’s largest manufacturer, representing one fifth or 20% of the global manufacturing output. In 2009 our manufacturing output was $2.15 Trillion. Yes enough to make it the 6th largest economy in the world on a standalone basis. The next largest was China at about $1.5 trillion. The U.S. is bigger than the U.K., Germany, Japan and Italy combined. It’s big! The next staggering number is the output or productivity of the U.S. manufacturing worker. It has tripled since 1972 and was at $180,000 in 2009. We have the most productive manufacturing workers in the world! So what’s the problem if we are the biggest and the most productive? 1 – Well we still feel like we have lost something because the total number of U.S. manufacturing jobs has declined by about 7 million since the peak in the late 1970’s. While total output has grown almost every year since that time. 2 – And our reliance on the Pentagon to spend and spend more has become increasingly critical to our manufacturing growth and total output. The Pentagon spent about $768 Billion on military defense in 2011. That doesn’t include the $200 Billion on Veterans and military aid. Of the $768 spent on defense I can find at least $200 Billion spent on procurement and research/testing. That means a minimum of 10% of our manufacturing in the U.S. is derived from our own Pentagon. With the combined need to have to a balanced federal budget and the ever-increasing productivity of workers, we do face challenges in our manufacturing sector. However, “all of the jobs” have not actually gone over seas. In the early 1970’s U.S. factories accounted for about 25% of the total world output while today we are still just above 20%. We are still a big player, in fact the biggest. So how does Maine take this knowledge and information and turn it into opportunity for itself. First – don’t build up an increased reliance on defense spending unless your customers are other countries and even then be cautious. Second – Let the past be the past. Certainly a small chunk of the 7 million jobs lost have come from Maine’s paper and shoe industries but that is the past. Third – Focus on the technologies being created right here at the University of Maine in technology centers like: The Maine Process Development Center, The Laboratory for Surface Science and Technology, The Advanced Structures and Composites Center and the Advanced Manufacturing Center. We have a great deal of opportunity to develop manufacturing jobs here in Maine simply by commercializing some of this technology.

Fourth – Continue to bring private equity to Maine as we have done with the Blackstone Group. Matching dollars with the technologies we are developing is critical. Fifth – Last but not final, remember that through training and development we can compete with anyone in the world. Cheap labor can’t steal jobs when the jobs require skills and intellectual capital that cheap labor lacks. We must focus on training and education to support the ‘Technology Corridor’ we have sitting on our doorstep.

“Cheap labor can’t steal

jobs when the jobs require skills and intellectual capital that cheap labor lacks. We must focus on training and education to support the ‘Technology Corridor’ we have sitting on our doorstep.”

JOSH HAYWARD, BDN BLOGGER

Maine can succeed. It can move away from Welfare. It can become a younger state and leave the position as the ‘oldest’ state in the U.S. Yes we have more people over 65 as a percentage of our total population than any other state. We can turn the trends of our recent decades. We must avoid any tax increases. Support investment and incentives requested by young ventures. Focus on type and quality of education and not volume. With these simple variables being managed I do believe the overall equation can be changed to deliver a positive outcome. And don’t be afraid to stand firm on a balanced budget for our Federal Government. Our debt poses the single largest threat to our future solvency and security.

 Josh Hayward blogs for bangordailynews.com. His

blog, “Hayward’s EconoMatters,” shares a unique perspective developed over years of experience in a range of settings. Josh believes Bangor can grow to become a leader of innovation and growth in medical, energy and other key business sector technologies. 

youtube.com/thebankinggame

Illustration by Danby

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BUSINESS

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Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

BE THEIR GUEST

Eaton Peabody Hospitality Services Group makes service priority 1 BY DEBRA BELL, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS WRITER  more at www.eatonpeabody.com

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ometimes even those who work in “Vacationland” need a hand. At Eaton Peabody, the firm’s Hospitality Services Group is ready to provide that support for those who serve others. That’s because Hospitality Law doesn’t begin and end with black fly season. And it doesn’t impact strictly seasonal businesses. According to the staff at Eaton Peabody, the hospitality industry drives billions of dollars in annual sales of goods and services and employs over 140,000 people throughout the state. In fact, the “hospitality industry” encompasses five major employer categories: lodging, restaurants, experiential businesses, health, and travel. So it’s no surprise that Eaton Peabody attorneys work with business owners on a variety of issues. That’s one reason why Eaton Peabody has started a new internal group: Hospitality Services Group. The attorneys who make up this particular group include David M. Austin, Esq., Christopher E. Goodwin, Esq., P. Andrew Hamilton, Esq., Matthew S. Raynes, Esq., Jeffrey W. Spaulding, Esq., Matthew C. Worthen, Esq., and Consultant Tanya Bentley. “More and more attorneys in our practice are growing around [hospitality],” said Eaton Peabody’s P. Andrew Hamilton, Esq. “One thing that’s great about this is that it’s about the client. We’re in business to serve the client.” Hospitality law, Hamilton said, is more than just working with hotels, restaurants, and seasonal work. It also encompasses areas that are practical to business owners, including construction, design, permits, licenses, employment law, commercial loans,

Matthew Worthen Esq

David Austin Esq

P. Andrew Hamilton Esq

workforce housing and contracts. By tapping the experience of lawyers already in tune with these needs, the Hospitality Law arm of Eaton Peabody can provide a team of experienced professionals working together to ensure success for the business. “The advantage with Eaton Peabody is that we are truly a full service law firm in the hospitality industry,” Hamilton said. “We have [lawyers] that do everything from permitting the construction of a guest house to attorneys handling defense claims brought against any member of the hospitality industry. We can provide a full spectrum of services in one place.” Couple that advantage with offices located in the hospitality hotspots of Bangor, Ellsworth, Brunswick, and Ellsworth, and it’s an advantage that’s hard to ignore. Further enhancing the new Hospitality Services Group is marked growth within the hospitality industry, including the development of degree programs in hospitality at Husson University, the University of Maine, and Eastern Maine Community College. According to Hamilton, these programs are training the next generation of business owners that need to be acquainted with the legal aspect of running a business in the hospitality field. Add to that a thriving arts community in Maine, and there couldn’t be a better time to launch this specific legal services group. “We want the tourism and hospitality sector to know that we have the capabilities, interest, and experience to serve them,” Hamilton said. That’s important to note, said attorney David M. Austin.. “Hospitality law practice is not new,” Austin said. “We have been helping [businesses] in the hospitality and tourism industry for years. This [new group] was developed in large part because of a concerted effort to focus and grow with [the industry] in terms of clients.” According to Austin, the development of this new internal group is a focused way of discussing challenges and successes of clients in a team environment. “We’re sitting down and talking more about what are

clients are facing,” Austin said. “This is a value-added service. It’s important that we’re communicating with each other while focused on the industry, monitoring changes and laws, as well as trends affecting this industry. This is not just an ad hoc committee. We’re planning around the sector. Just as these businesses are planning, we’re planning too.” Sometimes, Austin said, that planning comes from helping a business transition from generation to generation. “We can help them with all phases of their business’s life cycle.” Depending on the region, hospitality can be a major economic contributor. Case in point: Ellsworth’s resurgence as a destination for business, life, and leisure. According to Matthew Worthen, an Eaton Peabody attorney based in the firm’s Ellsworth office, Ellsworth is in the midst of a cultural and economic renaissance. “Ellsworth is positioned as a service center for the region,” Worthen said. “It was the largest growing city in Maine last year, and there’s no doubt that tourism services are an absolute driver.” Another driver, Worthen said, is the leadership of the area. In his job with Eaton Peabody, he represents business owners from a variety of economic sectors. Worthen is also on the Ellsworth economic development council and is involved with the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce. As a resident of Ellsworth, he understands that being in touch with the area’s challenges is imperative to helping business owners thrive. “One of the benefits of Eaton Peabody is that we have a large legal firm with attractive specialities,” Worthen said. “We are now better able to provide client updates and advice on changes in the law. This is a collaborative effort. We’re rewiring how we can connect with each other and how we deliver that experience to the client.”


bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

9

Front Street Shipyard spurs

economic growth in Belfast

BY BRIAN SWARTZ, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS EDITOR  more at www.cityofbelfast.org expanded into several buildings, including the new Building 5, which houses a marine travel lift that can move boats weighing up to 165 tons. That building stands on land, 1.5 acres in all, that Front Street Shipyard has leased from the city. “In a show of good faith they went ahead and built the building,” Kittredge said. “They are negotiating a lease to buy the property. The city does not own the building; it was built by the shipyard.” Open about a year, Front Street Shipyard recently hired its 75th employee. “They’re ahead of their own schedule in terms of their employment numbers,” Kittredge said. “I think they’ve surpassed their own ex-pectations in the first year.” City officials worked closely with the shipyard’s investors “to make this a success,” he said. “There had been different plans for the property. Stinson Seafood failed. The condos failed. The site was an eyesore. “Nothing was a working waterfront type of proposal as this has been,” Kittredge said. He credited Belfast City Manager Joseph Slocum and Belfast City Planner Wayne Marshall for “their hard work” in “making this happen.”

Belfast Harbor Walk

BDN Photo by Brian Swartz

A contractor’s excavator and construction materials occupy the site of Building 1, currently under construction at the Front Street Shipyard in Belfast. Since opening slightly more than a year ago, the shipyard has hired 75 employees and has constructed a large building that houses a marine lift. “The Front Street Shipyard has been a very important economic development project,” said Thomas Kittredge, the Belfast economic development director.

E

xpansion activity at the Front Street Shipyard heralds good economic news for Belfast, where a 0.75-mile walkway will soon connect the Armistice Bridge with the Belfast Boathouse at the foot of Commercial Street. “The Front Street Shipyard has been a very important economic development project. It’s certainly been the most important project [in Belfast] since MBNA came and the arrival of Athenahealth,” said Thomas Kittredge, the Belfast economic development director. In mid-January 2011, several investors purchased a 3.9-acre site from Belfast Bridge LLC, a development company that had attempted to build a $12 million luxury condominium project on the land sandwiched between Front Street and Belfast Harbor. The lot was once home to Stinson Seafood. Planning to construct Front Street Shipyard on the land were Taylor Allen of Rockport Marine; Ken Priest, the Augusta-based Kenway Corp. president and CEO; J.B.

Turner of the Kenway Corp.; and Steve White, Brooklin Boat Yard president. The four men envisioned the new shipyard as serving commercial and recreational boats. Demolition began immediately on the abandoned seafood-processing plant. The shipyard has since

“We have a very nice,

authentic downtown that is attracting a lot of business.” THOMAS KITTREDGE, THE BELFAST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

“There has been a very close relationship between the city and the shipyard,” Kittredge said, and the new Belfast Harbor Walk slated for construction later this year will physically strengthen those ties, he indicated. “We will be building all of the Harbor Walk, the West Side portion, that is, starting in mid-August,” Kit-tredge said. The walkway will ultimately cross the Armistice Bridge to East Belfast. Project backers originally envisioned Harbor Walk as a 10-12-foot-wide paved path that would follow the route taken by the Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad. The tracks have been removed, according to Aurele Gorneau, the Maine Department of Transportation project manager assigned to overseeing According to Kittredge, the walkway will actually shift to “a harbor view” along the cluster of Front Street Shipyard buildings nearest the Armistice Bridge. “It will actually use their deck … for around 600 feet or so, and people will have a great view of the harbor,” he said.

empty storefront on Main Street in the downtown, and it is my understanding that much of the second floors are taken up as well,” he said. “We had a lot of people considering starting a business, and I think they queued in on other people starting their businesses downtown,” Kittredge said. “We have a very nice, authentic downtown that is attracting a lot of business.” New restaurants have opened downtown, and Stephens Waring Yacht Design relocated to 92 Main St., Belfast not long ago. Joel White of Brooklin Boat Yard founded the company in 1960; owned today by Rob-ert W. Stephens and Paul W. Waring, the company is a self-described “distinctive yacht design firm work-ing at the cutting edge of tradition.” Business has been so successful that Stephens Waring Yacht Design opened a Seattle office earlier this year. With the downtown storefronts occupied, city officials “think the next construction may be on one of the vacant lots downtown,” Kittredge said. “There isn’t much room downtown now. “We’re having a lot of people coming into my office and asking about starting a business,” he said. On Route 1 near the Little River, Coastal Farm and Foods Processing has leased the former Moss Tent building. The company will process agricultural products grown in Maine, according to Kittredge. “That is an interesting project to key into the agricultural sector of our economy here in Waldo County,” he said. “They will ‘tunnel freeze’ blueberries and other foods. It’s really going to help the local [food] growers.”

Downtown revitalization Belfast officials have proposed a $750,000 downtown revitalization project “to make some streetscape and infrastructure improvements in an area that we have designated in two places along the waterfront,” Kittredge said. The city is seeking a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant to help fund the project. Among the improvements proposed for the project are: • Constructing some 40 parking spaces on Cross, Front, Miller, and Spring streets; • Building new sidewalks on those four streets, with the Harbor Walk included in this section; • Improving the stormwater system along Cross, Miller, and Spring streets; • Installing new signs and an informational kiosk in the affected area.

A vibrant downtown According to Kittredge, a long lost vibrancy has appeared in downtown Belfast, where “there are a lot less vacancies than there were two years ago. “You look at our downtown. Now there is no

Return on the State’s Investment

College of Engineering We’re Growing Maine’s Economy

M Power Grid Research

aine’s economic growth requires a healthy supply of engineers and investment in engineering education and R&D. The College of Engineering is working for Maine to educate and train the next generation of engineers to meet the growing technological needs of the state, and to develop the innovations needed to power Maine’s economy.

“If you want good manufacturing jobs, one thing you could do is graduate more engineers.” — Jeffrey Immelt, CEO General Electric

Advanced Structures and Composites (AEWC) Wind Blade Research

From 2007–11, the UMaine College of Engineering powered economic growth with: • $12 million in contracts and grants with industry

Annual Economic Impact The College of Engineering generates $16 of economic activity in Maine for every $1 of state appropriation.

$3.7 MILLION in state support for the College of Engineering

GENERATES

$7.8

MILLION Tuition & Fees

$1.7

MILLION Industrial Support

$20.2

$1.4

MILLION R&D

MILLION Private Gifts

$31 MILLION in direct impact

EQUALS

$60 MILLION TOTAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IMPACT of the College of Engineering

The College of Engineering at the University of Maine is the sole institution in Maine to offer 11 engineering and engineering technology majors, and full M.S. and Ph.D. programs.

• 5 spin-off companies • 21 U.S. patents issued • 94 invention disclosures submitted

“In the emerging economy of the new century, the team with the most engineers wins.” — Neil Freeman, Maine Heritage Policy Center

• 13 licensed technologies • over $68 million in federally funded expenditures LASST Sensor Research

engineering.umaine.edu One of Maine’s public universities

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Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

Cross Insurance provides Road, bridge projects will solutions for

and answers only to its clients

BY DAVID M. FITZPATRICK, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS WRITER

nsurance can be daunting. For Jonathan Cross of Cross Insurance, it’s important for him to know that he has the trust and reliance of his clients. “There’s a tremendous amount of pride that goes into that, when somebody comes back and says ‘This is my home, this is my car, this is my jewelry, my collections,’” Jonathan said. “It does add a lot of pressure — which is the business that we’re in. You can’t take it casually.” To some insurance agencies, it might be just another day at the office, but at Cross, Jonathan says it’s vital to treat every client’s needs as the most important thing in the world — because, to the client, it is. That’s the typical work ethic at Cross, which stems from the company’s proud history. Woodrow Cross founded the business in 1954 at his dining-room table and slowly built it over the years. He bought his first agency in 1963 and grew slowly over the next 30 years. In 1993, the company acquired the Fenderson Insurance Agency, which began the company’s steady expansion. Today, it has branched into New Hampshire and Massachusetts and insures the likes of the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. And at age 95, Woodrow Cross still comes to work six days a week. “My grandfather’s slowed down some,” Jonathan said. “He only works a half-day on Saturday now. He says quite often he just wishes he had the energy he did when he was 80.” Woodrow’s story and the example he sets is at the forefront of Cross Insurance every day. “He had very humble beginnings, and we don’t forget that,” Jonathan said. “We spend a lot of time talking about that. You’ve got to stay humble; you don’t want to be too full of yourself. Then you stop being client-focused.”

The Power of Questions Everyone should have insurance, but many don’t know what we need. If you own property or a vehicle, it seems easy: you need property and liability insurance. Renters might assume they don’t need property insurance, because the landlord’s insurance covers them. Right? Wrong, and that common misconception is just one of many. If your apartment burns, you’re on your own, so you’d better carry renter’s insurance. Not doing so is choosing a unwise level of risk, especially since renter’s insurance is generally inexpensive. “They say, ‘Well, we can’t afford to buy the renter’s policy,’” Jonathan said. “Then we’ll ask, ‘If you were to lose it all in a fire, can you go out and buy it all?’ You can’t afford not to have it.” Cross agents apply deep experience to ask the right questions. Where is the property? Is it near water? Are there natural hazards? How close is

it to other buildings? What is the construction quality? What’s inside the home? Meeting clients’ needs all comes down to what amounts to detective work and knowing what to ask. “You’ve got people on one side that have a need that has to be met, with a whole lot of things they don’t think about,” said Royce Cross, son of the founder. “On the other side, you’ve got an insurance company… that has a lot of things they do think about. No two people are the same, and no two risks are the same.” Finding out the particulars, and mitigating insurer concerns, is key. For example, Cross insures many coastal properties. Various insurers have different requirements, so Cross knows what to ask to determine where the best fit is. Is there wind exposure from the ocean? Is there an island that serves as a wind break? Is the property right on the shore or elevated above the water? Is there a history of wind or water damage in that area? The same is true of any situation, such as addressing potential safety issues or hazards on the property. Insurance companies are often quick to deny coverage based on such worries, but Royce said that, very often, such things are either easily solved — or already have been. “One thing that I have found is that a lot of the problems the customer has already solved if we ask the right questions,” he said.

Finding Solutions Many insurance agencies are publicly held companies, and often are operated by banks or other companies for whom insurance isn’t their first game. Cross is privately owned, answers only to its clients, and has done only insurance for 58 years. “This is our life, and our product portfolio isn’t really large; we sell property and casualty and employee benefits — that’s it,” Royce said. “Everything we do is within that narrow spectrum. The company is not run by financial gurus or investment bankers; it’s run by insurance people.” A company like that doesn’t solve clients’ problems by giving up, either. Royce offered a real-world example of a current client who needs to safely store and insure explosives. Needless to say, his last agency released him from representation, and insurers were balking at the situation. That’s no way to solve a client’s problems. “He’s coming from someone else who abandoned him,” Royce said. “We’re not going to abandon the guy. We will solve his problems… A lot of it is the presentation and just staying long enough to understand what the problem is, explain

improve Midcoast transportation infrastructure

BY BRIAN SWARTZ, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS EDITOR

BDN Photo by Brian Swartz

Later this spring, a contractor will remove the overpass that carries Church Street over Route 1 in Stockton Springs. Priced at $1.22 million, the construction project will involve replacing the 55-year-old, triple-span bridge with an 83-foot single-span bridge. Construction should be completed this fall.

F

rom Stockton Springs to Lower Penobscot Bay, construction projects slated to take place this summer will improve an airport, bridges, and roads. Motorists will soon encounter a major construction project in Stockton Springs, where a contractor will replace the Church Street overpass across Route 1. According to MDOT Project Manager Stephen Bodge, the existing 126-foot bridge was built in 1957. “It’s got some pretty severe cracking and spalling of the concrete, where the concrete deteriorates to the point where it starts to fall off,” Bodge said, explaining why the MDOT will replace the bridge. “Most of that is on the substructure units, the piers and abutments. “The deck is in poor condition as well,” he said. The MDOT regularly inspects the bridge; with the spalling, “we don’t want to take any chances over roadways,” Bodge said, referring to concrete possibly falling onto the highway. “That’s why we replacing it,” he said. Project bids were opened on March 21. The apparent low bid of $1,221,997.75 was submitted by the Lane Construction Corp. of Cheshire, Conn. “It’s a good price. Our original estimates were higher than that,” Bodge said. As for the construction timeline, “we’ve been talking about a mid-May [start] date,” he said. The existing bridge has three spans: one apiece extending from each abutment to the nearest pier and the third extending between the piers. “We’re going to replace that with a single-span bridge” undergirded by five steel beams, Bodge said. Currently “the two piers are on the edges of

the road,” he said. The new bridge, which “will be quite a bit shorter” at 83 feet in length, “will have two abutments on the edge of the road. “We’re going to use MSE abutments, Mechanically Stabilized Earth abutments,” Bodge said. Each abutment will be formed from compacted gravel, and “the outside of that will be faced with concrete panels,” he explained the MSE concept. “We’re going to use gravel and [geotextile] fabric in the abutments. As the gravel stacks up, it will be compacted,” Bodge said. The construction project will not affect Route 1 traffic “except for two times when we take down the existing bridge over the road and we place the new beams over it,” Bodge said. The project schedules “two overnight closures for a total of five nights,” with traffic being diverted onto Main Street in Stockton Springs, he indicated. The contract calls for Church Street to reopen by Oct. 21 and for the project to be completed — including landscaping and paving — by Nov. 21. “We fully expect them [the contractor] to be ahead of that schedule,” Bodge said. Two other Stockton Springs projects may ramp up as the overpass project winds down next fall. According to MDOT Project Manager Sean Smith, these projects involve highway safety improvements and Safe Routes to School bicycle/pedestrian improvements. “Those two [projects] are hand in hand,” he said. The highway safety-improvements project involves repairing or replacing catch basins and a closed drainage system along Main and Church streets. Plans originally called for the project to extend

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bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

11

Husson University’s online

MBA program meets students “where they’re at”

BY DEBRA BELL, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS WRITER  more at www.husson.edu

Photo courtesy of Husson University

W

hen it comes to pursuing higher education opportunities, having flexibility is important — especially for graduate degrees. Today’s graduate student is unlike the “typical” college student. Often, they are working, have families, and may not live close to any “bricks-and-mortar” campus. To assist these students reaching their educational goals, Husson University has developed a master of business administration degree that can be completed online or through a combination of online and on-campus classes. This program had a soft opening in the 2011-2012 academic year and will officially launch for the 2012-2013 academic year.

As education has evolved, we saw that there was a real need in the market, especially in Maine and New England. These areas have many adult learners who live quite a distance from any campus. So this is a great opportunity to provide for the needs of these students.

KRISTEN CARD, DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE ADMISSIONS

“The online MBA program is a great option for students who are looking for a quality program but with additional flexibility,” said Kristen Card, Director of Graduate Admissions. “This new program has all of the strengths of the current MBA program. It has an accomplished faculty with the expertise necessary to excel as teachers in their respective fields. It also provides the option for online students to pick up some of their classes on any of our campuses in Bangor, Presque Isle, or South Portland. They’ll be able to do the degree as a hybrid.” For students who work at the Jackson Lab, Husson University recently started a partnership that provides courses to be taken onsite. According to Card, the development of this program is more than just about providing an option for taking classes online: “It’s about meeting students where they are—on their terms,” Card said. “This online program is more of a social and professional network community,” Card said, explaining that students will interact online with faculty and other classmates through the online courses. In essence, it’s the virtual equivalent of a traditional college class, but with the flexibility of participating from anywhere. “Some classes are held at a [pre-determined] time, using a webinar format” Card said. “They’re also all recorded and uploaded so that if the student

has to miss class, they have the opportunity to view the recording at their convenience. Students can interact in a “collaborative workplace” setting, and there are special assignments where they’re required to interact online and work as teams.” All students in the online MBAdegree program offered by Husson will be required to have a webcam to enable them to Skype and participate in webinars, Card said. In addition, technical support will be available 24/7, she said. The university will provide virtual test proctoring for students who are unable to visit the campus to take proctored exams. In today’s college climate, online courses are customary. With more students coming from the working world or changing careers altogether, this option was a logical fit, Card said. “More and more courses are being offered online,” she said. “As education has evolved, we saw that there was a real need in the market, especially in Maine and New England. These areas have many adult learners who live quite a distance from any campus. So this is a great opportunity to provide for the needs of these students.” MBA courses, she said, have always been offered on campus in the evenings and on Saturdays. Yet it’s still difficult for many students to make it to campus for these classes. That’s a challenge that Joe Blanchette knows firsthand. He works for the Jackson Lab in Bar Harbor and lives there. As a husband, father, and employee, Blanchette said that making it to Bangor to earn his MBA would be unlikely. Instead, he’s earning his MBA through Husson by taking online courses plus onsite classes at Jackson Labs. “It’s really great to be able to take courses with my colleagues,” Blanchette said. “I’ve wanted to get my MBA for a long time, but the timing was not right.” Now Blanchette is able

to take advantage of attending classes for his MBA at The Jackson Lab, as well as online. “It’s really great to have the flexibility,” he said. “I have young children and really like that I can take one class online and one here [at Jackson Lab]. I can work on my own because the online course is self-paced.” Another reason Blanchette postponed earning an MBA was the cost. The Jackson Lab has a tuition reimbursement program, which helps defray some of the costs. Travel was another factor. Now, with gas hovering around $4 per gallon, students like Blanchette are even more mindful of the cost of commuting to class. According to Card, enabling students to overcome obstacles such as time and cost is a major reason why Husson has already begun to receive applications for the program. “It’s important to give prospective students the flexibility of completing a bachelor’s degree or pursuing a graduate degree based on their schedule,” she said. “Husson’s affordable tuition makes the MBA degree a good investment for your career. This is an absolutely unique program. Many of the online universities [don’t have] an actual campus. We have three in Maine.” Online classes also help enhance technology skills that will give the Husson graduate a competitive advantage in the workforce, thanks to the experience gained from using current information and communication technology. And students who enroll in Husson’s MBA program have the added opportunity to take advantage of resources found on any of the University’s campuses. “We really want our online students to feel like they are part of the Husson community by also giving them access to our traditional college campus community,” she said. For more information about Husson University’s online MBA program, contact the Husson University Graduate Admissions Office at (207) 992-4994.

Photo courtesy of Husson University

I’m learning the difference between being in business and succeeding in business.

Learn more about the new online MBA and the online “2+2 Program” for those with an Associate degree at Husson.edu

Nicole Morgan

> College of Business

For the business professional with the drive and determination to advance your career, furthering your education with Husson University is the next step up the ladder. Top-notch faculty, online and in-class course options, and a reputation for excellence are just a few reasons why. Discover many more, including everything that will make U & Husson such a winning partnership at Husson.edu.

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Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

BUSINESS

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Saint Joseph’s College Oxford Networks

new online graduate program in accountancy

offers

BY SAINT JOSEPH'S STAFF  more at www.sjcme.edu

s Saint Joseph’s College celebrates its Centennial this year, the first graduates of its online Master of Accountancy program will walk across the graduation stage this May. Online business programs director Nancy Kristiansen says the program, launched in August 2010, was conceived in response to new requirements that have been established nationally for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) state licensure. “We knew that aspiring CPAs would have to meet new state licensure requirements,” says Kristiansen. “We wanted to help students accomplish that, plus we already had an online Master of Business Administration degree. It was a good fit.” Kristiansen’s plan was to offer a program catered to accountants and accountantsto-be, including those who had already passed the CPA exam and those who hadn’t. With courses devoted to taxation, audits, and financial reporting, that’s exactly what she did. “The program’s designed to prepare students to work as accountants, primarily CPAs,” says Kristiansen. Yet she distinguishes the Saint Joseph’s MAcc as more than a “test prep program.” Though focused and technical, dialogue-intensive courses in leadership and management integrate foundational business practices into the curriculum, too. “Students aren’t working in isolation,” explains Kristiansen. “They need to know how to communicate. They need to think critically, they need to process diverse perspectives, and they need to apply this combination of skills to their work.” Joshua Wiseman serves as a good example of Kristiansen’s ideal student. A member of the first graduating class, Wiseman said that a Veterans Affairs educational advisor recommended him to Saint Joseph’s College. He enrolled in the first term offered and completed the program within 18 months. Since then, he’s used his degree for more than accounting; he now owns his own business in southern Maine. “I’ve expanded my services and consultation business, Crux Business Solutions.” says Wiseman. He credits his education at Saint Joseph’s College in part for his professional success

– particularly his faculty and advisors. “One day I was frustrated with some new material, so I called the professor, Douglas Abbott. He happened to live close by. We met for dinner, and I left laughing and feeling as though I had a usable knowledge of the formulas,” Wiseman says. When asked about his advisor, Sandy Leblanc, Wiseman describes her as “a friend with answers.” Loretta Austin Burleson, another MAcc graduate, shares his opinion of Leblanc. “I loved her,” says Burleson. “She was the best advisor. She was so understanding and supportive… She was very helpful with any concerns I had.” Burleson, a student from North Carolina, juggled being a full-time accountant, wife, and mother while earning her master’s degree. Still, she loaded up on classes and worked to graduate in as short a time as possible, which she did. After first hearing of her plans, however, one of her professors feared she might be pushing too hard. “If the professor thinks there’s any problem, they’ll contact the advisor,” says Burleson. “Everyone’s on the same page: the student, the advisor and the teacher. That’s a good thing.” Having earned her undergraduate degree through distance education, Burleson knows online learning, and she knows Saint Joseph’s support system is unique. “Saint Joseph’s College has very caring and supportive advisors and faculty members that are attentive to the students’ performance and understanding … it’s something I’ve never experienced before,” she says. Saint Joseph’s College offers more than 30 online graduate and undergraduate programs in business, criminal justice, education, health administration, nursing, and theology. Online courses are open 24/7, providing the flexibility of attending class and participating in discussion at times convenient to each student’s personal schedule. At the start of each program, we connect students with a personal academic advisor who acts as a coach and mentor, guiding them through their program of study to help them achieve their goals. For more information, call 800-752-4723 or 207893-7841 or log onto http://www.sjcme.edu/gps.

launches

commercial data center!

BY OXFORD NETWORKS  more at www.oxfordnetworks.com

O

xford Networks has created a high-security commercial data services center called the Oxford Networks Data Center, located at the former high-security Brunswick Naval Air Station. As part of the data center launch, Oxford Networks has also acquired IT consulting firm Norton Lamb & Company to provide managed IT services at the new facility. Norton Lamb & Company will play a major role in managing the Oxford Networks Data Center, in addition to serving their existing clients and bringing advanced services to Oxford Networks’ customers. “In the fall of 2011, Oxford Networks made an initial investment in Brunswick-based Resilient Tier-V data center. Over the last six months we have worked to create a commercial data center that will meet the needs of our customers now and into the future,” said Oxford Networks President and CEO Craig Gunderson. “Oxford Networks has fully acquired the assets related to the commercial data center in Brunswick, and the Oxford Networks Data Center is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxford Networks,” he said. “We are confident that this facility will bring added value to our customers and enhance our existing telecommunications products and services while positioning Oxford Networks to become a leading next generation communications provider.” The Oxford Networks Data Center boasts multiple discrete broadband paths to major backbones and multiple network entry points, making it accessible to businesses across the country and worldwide. The facility will provide server collocation space, managed IT services, disaster recovery services, secure vault data storage, and virtualization services. As a re-purposed former high-security military communications center, the data center provides military grade infrastructure capable of securing an organization’s most sensitive information. The company has also acquired Norton Lamb &

Company, a 20-year-old IT consulting firm located in Falmouth. Norton Lamb & Company provides outsourced Information Technology solutions for manufacturing, healthcare, retail/distribution companies, and government entities in New England and beyond. With the addition of Norton Lamb & Company to the Oxford Networks team, the company will be uniquely positioned to provide stateof-the-art data-center services to the commercial market. “Ron Shink and his team at Norton Lamb & Company bring a wealth of technology knowledge and experience to Oxford Networks,” said Gunderson. “Oxford Networks Data Center is not only one of the most secure data centers, but with the technology professionals from Norton Lamb & Company on board, it will provide managed IT services from an extremely talented and well-respected team. We are very pleased to have them join Oxford Networks.” With the addition of the Oxford Networks Data Center and the acquisition of Norton Lamb & Company, Oxford Networks will add 20 new people to its staff of 120 employees. Matt Jacobson, former gubernatorial candidate and Maine & Company President and CEO, has been named Executive Vice President of Sales for Oxford Networks. “The Oxford Networks Data Services Center is a wonderful asset for the state of Maine and for the private sector,” Gunderson said. “Now more than ever, data security is on the mind of every business owner. For a business owner or CEO to know that their business’ most important information is safe and being properly managed is critical to their peace of mind and to their business success. “We are confident that the Oxford Networks Data Center will meet and exceed the needs of the commercial market,” he said.

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bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

13

The trends are

looking “up” at Bangor International Airport

T

BY BRIAN SWARTZ, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS EDITOR  more at www.flybangor.com

he trends are positive at Bangor International Airport, which recently gained daily service to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. and a fourth daily flight to Philadelphia. “Last year our passenger count increased 11 percent from 2010,” said Tony Caruso, BIA’s interim airport director. “And we were up 15 percent this January over January 2011. “I think there are a number of factors,” he said. “There is certainly strong demand in our community. We have a solid-to-good economic base here in the region. “Through our secondary catchment area that extends into New Brunswick, we see a great influence” from Canadians “coming down to utilize Bangor,” Caruso said. “We did a survey recently and found that 30 percent of the folks are Canadian that are using our airport.” “Strong connectivity to some of the major hubs” is another reason why BIA passenger traffic is rising, he indicated. “Over this past year we were excited because Allegiant Air introduced direct service to Fort Lauderdale [in November 2011]. That was a nice addition to our market,” Caruso said. In late March, US Airways started offering daily BIA-Reagan National service. “That helps us,” he said. “Washington, D.C. is in our top five in terms of destinations from Bangor. I think there’s going to be some increased connectivity out of Reagan National Airport. “We have good connectivity to the New York area. Detroit is still strong, Philadelphia continues to be a strong market for us,” Caruso pointed out. While higher passenger numbers mean more revenue for the airlines that serve BIA, as well as the businesses based in the domestic terminal, one issue has arisen — and Caruso described it as “a good problem to have. “We’ve seen with the influx and the numbers that we’re experiencing, right now our demand for vehicle parking is exceeding our [on-site parking] capacity,” he explained. The “time period from February through early April … is peak demand for parking here. A lot of the snowbirds like to head south. There’s the school vacations, the college spring breaks. I know [that] Canada has their spring breaks as well.” Caruso believes that airport and city officials will address the parking issue “sooner than later,” but he is not sure that an airport parking garage first proposed a few years ago “can be supported year round. “We need to look at the overall parking demand throughout the year,” Caruso said. One possibility might

BDN Photo by Brian Swartz

be to create a satellite park-and-fly parking lot nearer Union Street “on a temporary basis,” he commented. International traffic is a key business activity at BIA, which “in the aviation industry, has a strong reputation,” Caruso said. “We are the leader the transatlantic technical stops.” He explained that a “technical stop” involves “basic services,” including refueling, clearing U.S. Customs, cleaning lavatories, and taking on water. Customers utilizing BIA for such services range from troop flights to corporate jets to air-cargo carriers. The BIA staff also handles aircraft diverted to Bangor for mechanical reasons, a medical emergency, or bad weather elsewhere. The airport has “an aircraft maintenance division that handles a lot of the wide-body aircraft that come through,” Caruso said. The aircraft-maintenance staff can perform “some immediate maintenance if warranted” and assist with serious repairs, he indicated. Airport activities also extend to general aviation. “We own and operate the fixed base operation,” which is located at the general aviation terminal off Maine Avenue, Caruso said. Later this spring, the Sargent Corp. will start rebuilding the general aviation apron to upgrade its underground-drainage system, relocate the tie downs for smaller aircraft, and “strengthen up the ramp so we can handle the larger corporate jets,” Caruso said. Designated an Airport Improvement Project, the reconstruction will be financed 90 percent by the federal government, 7.5 percent by the Maine Department of Transportation, and 2.5 percent by Bangor. The existing ramp can handle aircraft weighing less than 100,000 pounds. The rebuilt ramp will handle 150,000-pound aircraft, including the Boeing Business Jet. Once the ramp project has been completed, BIA’s marketing staff will inform potential clients about the airport’s ability to service larger corporate jets. Marketing is also ongoing with domestic and international carriers and in the United States and overseas, especially “in Europe … because a lot of our traffic starts or ends” there, Caruso said. “We let them know that Bangor is here, and we’re open if you should need a stop

for any kind of serv-ice,” he said. “We are truly 24/7 service. There aren’t many airports or even ground handlers that can lay that claim,” Caruso said. The City of Bangor acquired the airport after the Defense Department closed Dow Air Force Base in 1968. Much of the former military airfield has been redeveloped; among the current occupants are the Gen-eral Electric Corp., the Bangor Public Works Department, Union Street Athletics, three banks, and the University of Maine at Augusta. Actual airport operations are managed by the Airport Department, which “is a city department,” Caruso said. The department has 83 full-time workers, all of whom are city employees. Airport revenues pay for airport operations; “no local taxpayer money … goes into the operation of the airfield,” Caruso stressed. “We operate as an enterprise fund. All revenues are put back” into BIA operations. “Generally speaking, the airport is in a good position financially,” he said. “The previous [airport] directors, and I point to all of them, and their crews have helped

A US Airways regional jet taxis toward the runway while preparing to depart Bangor International Airport in late March. position the airport to where it is now. “That’s certainly a tribute to them and their leadership,” Caruso said. “Certainly I would be remiss if I did not mention the city leadership as well,” he said. “They’ve been fully supportive of the airport. The current city council continues to be very supportive. We’ve re-established the Airport Committee.” While pleased with the positive trends at BIA, Caruso noted that challenges exist. Bangor currently lacks direct connections to Boston and Chicago, and “the reduction in military flights remains a concern for us,” he said. “We will continue to look at rising fuel costs and how that will impact the airlines” that now use BIA, Caruso said. He expressed his concern about the airlines’ potential response to their Bangor service if fuel prices increase too much. “We will continue to advertise and market our other key business segments to help support the operation of the airfield,” Caruso said.

BDN Photo by Brian Swartz

Tony Caruso is the interim airport director at Bangor International Airport, where passenger traffic increased 11 percent in 2011 and jumped 15 percent in January 2012. He credits a strong consumer demand and “strong connectivity to some of the major hubs” as among the reasons that BIA is attracting more passengers.


Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

BUSINESS

14

New Portland Bridge on

Budget on Time and in style,

contractors say

BY SETH KOENIG, BDN STAFF

P BDN Photo by Brian Swartz

In Rockland, the Maine Department of Transportation will spend between $119,000 and $138,000 to install new traffic lights at the intersection of Park Street (Route 1) and Broadway (Route 1A). The project will improve traffic flows at this key intersection.

Road

 FROM PAGE 10 0.67 miles from the Main Street-Route 1 intersection near Just Barb’s to the Cape Jellison Road. Costs have since reconfigured the project so that it stops at the Stockton Springs Town Office, “which is just short of the Cape Jellison Road,” Smith said. The Main Street drainage system has received “some minor repairs” in the past, and drains running beneath the street “are in relatively good shape,” he said. “It’s the drainage along the sides [of the street] and the catch basins that are in terrible shape. We will replace the entire drainage system on the [sidewalk] side” of Main Street. The Safe Routes to School project involves rebuilding the sidewalk along Main Street and along Church Street as far as the Route 1 overpass project. “The old sidewalk is in various stages of disrepair,” Smith noted. “These projects will go out to bid later this fall. We’d like to see some of the drainage work done this year prior to snowfall. Then we would finish everything up next year,” he said. Smith is also the project manager for a road project that starts at the intersection of Routes 105-220 in Washington and extends 0.13 mile north to Old Union Road. “There’s an old drainage system there currently,” Smith said. “It needs to be replaced. The metal is starting to show its age.” Although the existing drainage system “is functioning … before too long it will start to cause us problems,” he said. “About eight years ago, our maintenance folks did some minor maintenance.” “When you come into the Village of Washington by the post office, there’s a monument in the middle. We’re starting there and working back down to the [Medomak] river,” Smith said. Currently estimated to cost between $64,400 and $75,200, the project will go out to bid soon, possibly in May, and “we expect to be done this summer in its entirety,” he noted. The MDOT has scheduled several paving projects in interior Knox and Waldo counties. “We’re working from Augusta to Jefferson [for 12.58 miles] on

Route 17, and we’ve got a project from Unity to Dixmont on Route 202,” Smith said. “We’re working on a Searsmont-to-Belmont Route 3 project.” According to Smith, the MDOT will “shim” some road stretches with “a leveling course,” while “in some areas we may grind the road up and pave another 4 or 5 inches of new mix over the existing base. “A lot of what we do now is preventative maintenance, trying to get rid of the wheel ruts and add some structure to the highway,” he explained. “If we don’t try to pave and try to get the water off the road, it’s going to continue to deteriorate.” Other light paving projects currently in the planning or bidding stages include: • Route 73 in Saint George and South Thomaston; • Route 141 in Monroe and Swanville; • Route 173 in Lincolnville; • Route 215 in Jefferson; • Route 220 from Route 1 in Waldoboro to Friendship Village; • The North Palermo Road in Palermo and Freedom; • The River Road in Cushing; In Rockland, the MDOT plans to build new pilings and floats and install electrical pedestals at the Rockland Public Landing, which is popular with summer boaters. The project’s estimated cost is $94,200 to $110,000. The MDOT also plans to install new traffic lights at the intersection of Park Street (Route 1) and Broadway (Route 1A) in Rockland. The project will cost between $119,000 and $138,000. Out on Penobscot Bay, the MDOT has scheduled a resurfacing project at the airport on Matinicus Island. The project’s estimated cost range is between $163,300 and $190,000. And on North Haven, the MDOT plans to replace a bridge that crosses Pulpit Harbor Cove on North Haven. The bridge provides a key connection between the North Shore Road and the Middle Road. This project has been estimated to cost about $500,000.

ORTLAND — The new $63 million Veterans Memorial Bridge is on budget and on schedule to be open this summer, and builders say the massive structure will have a 100-year life span. In addition to the extra durability, designers point out the new bridge will have something else its 1954 predecessor lacked: style. Mark Johnson, senior landscape architect with SMRT Inc., described the extra-wide 12-foot pedestrian lane, three stylized overlooks decorated with historical displays and sculptured aluminum reeds, and small landscaped plazas on both ends paying tribute to America's armed forces. "A major stakeholder concern early on was a reaction to what the old bridge was, which is basically a viaduct," Johnson said Tuesday during a media tour of the new bridge, which is under construction and about three months away from opening. Johnson said his team of designers set forth to draw up a structure with the personality of a "gateway" from the highway to the Portland downtown, "instead of an interstate." In came the urban-looking streetlights and substructure lighting, as well as the balconylike semicircles along the bicycling and walking lane, with markers describing aspects of Portland's military heritage. Johnson noted that the 1954 span being replaced by the new bridge is also called the Veterans Memorial Bridge, but there are no veterans memorials associated with it. The new version, which runs roughly parallel to the old one across the Fore River connecting Portland with South Portland, aims to rectify that. Construction began on the new bridge in the spring of 2010, and will finish in late June or early July. At

MDOT Photo

This artist's rendering, provided by the Maine Department of Transportation, depicts one of the lighted and stylized pedestrian areas included in the designs for the new $63 million Veterans Memorial Bridge connecting Portland to South Portland. that point, the nearly 22,000 vehicles that cross over the river at this location each day will begin using the new structure, and contractor Reed & Reed Inc. will start the painstaking dismantling of the earlier one. The Maine Department of Transportation had deemed the old bridge to be deteriorating badly enough to need outright replacement. The flare that distinguishes the new bridge from the old one noted by Johnson is not yet visible. Dustin Littlefield, assistant project manager for Reed & Reed, said crews are preparing concrete curbing and installing steel handrails. A retaining wall supporting the South Portland end of the project is nearing completion, he said. "Things are coming together smoothly," Littlefield said. "We're on time and on budget."

Cross Insurance  FROM PAGE 10

the problem — and people will solve it.” Royce’s brother, Brent Cross, specializes in risk management, even teaching it at Husson University. And asking the right questions involves a deep understanding of what the client does, so he has to step beyond just being an insurance agent. Like a translator who has to know two languages, the agent needs to understand insurance and his client’s business. And for Cross Insurance, it starts with a tour of the client’s facilities. “You have to get at the origin and the process that flows through the business,” Brent said. “When you follow the processes, you uncover a lot of the risk challenges that the company faces. You have to see it with your own eyes.” Recently, Cross had a situation with an insurer panicking over a client that installs geothermal wells.

The insurer, making assumptions of perceived dangers, didn’t want to insure the client. Enter Cross Insurance. “We met with an expert, learned what a geothermal well was, and explained to the insurance carrier what a geothermal well is,” Brent recalled. “Everybody said, ‘Oh, that’s not anything to be concerned about.’” The “crisis” was averted, the client was insured, and everyone was happy. Brent says not all agencies are geared to step out of the comfort zone of prepackaged insurance products and deal with such crises, and that’s okay. “I think they’re making the right decision,” he said. “They’re better off sending them on to someone who has the skill set to help someone solve their problems. We set ourselves apart by taking on these challenges.”


bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

15

Varney Agency provides

A

vital identity-fraud service for many clients

BY BRIAN SWARTZ, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS EDITOR  more at www.varneyagency.com/

re you who you really think you are? The question seems silly, but for people who insure their homes and automobiles with the Bangor-based Varney Agency, the answer saves them money and time. The question involves identity fraud, a crime that affected 8.1 million adult Americans in 2010 and cost the average victim $631 in out-of-pocket expenses per incident*. And while you think you know who you really are, a smart identity thief can convince retailers, banks, and even the U.S. Postal Service that you are somebody else. After obtaining critical information about an individual, an identity thief poses as that person to “steal” cash and services. The victim may not realize a crime has occurred until a strange invoice arrives in the mail or unexplained charges appear on a credit card statement. For years people believed that ID thieves lurked in the shadows around mailboxes and trashcans to steal mail that might contain personal information. Today, though, ID thieves also “work” the Internet, where potential victims often place personal information on social networking sites. Not even email is safe. A few months ago, a freelance writer sent me an email that requested I look at a particular site. Trusting her judgment, I clicked on the link — and muttered “oh, my” when it opened. Knowing this writer would never, ever find such a prurient video to be entertaining, I contacted her immediately. Other email “contacts” had already notified her, fortunately, and she quickly changed her compromised email address. A month later, another friend saw his email address hijacked, too. For several days, he was not who he was supposed to be, at least on the Web. “Identity theft can affect anyone at any time,” said Jeannie Stanhope, personal lines manager at the Varney Agency. “It’s a major problem, here in Maine and across the country.” In 2005, “we started protecting our customers who insure their primary homes and autos with us,” she said. All such customers receive enhanced identitytheft protection through IDentityTheft 911. This

service is designed to protect policyholders and their household members from fraud that can occur at various times in their lives, from birth through death. “We’re the only agency in the State of Maine that offers this service free of charge to our customers,” Stanhope said. “Tim Varney has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to protecting our customers. He made the investment to offer identity-theft protection.” A customer who suspects identity fraud should contact the Varney Agency “immediately,” Stanhope said. “One reason you have an agent is so we can give you that personal assistance,” she explained. “The moment you believe your credit or identity has been compromised, you want to speak to someone you trust. You do not need to be a victim of full-blown identity theft to use the service. You can call your agent at the Varney Agency.” A customer can also call or visit the nearest Varney Agency branch, she indicated. The agency has 22 branches in Maine and one in New Hampshire. After identity fraud has been reported, a Varney agent will transfer the customer “over to IDentityTheft 911 while you’re on the phone with us or sitting here [in the branch] talking with your agent,” Stanhope said. Then IDentityTheft 911 assigns a fraud specialist to work with the Varney Agency customer. The fraud specialist “steps in immediately to stop fraudulent activity involving that person,” Stanhope said. According to Stanhope, an IDentityTheft 911 fraud specialist works with the Varney Agency customer to resolve all issues related to ID theft. Services range from contacting creditors and law-enforcement agencies to guiding a Varney Agency customer through the intricate steps involved in replacing stolen documents, such as a driver’s license, insurance cards, a passport, a birth certificate, or an ATM or debit card. “Sometimes you misplace your wallet, or it gets stolen,” Stanhope said. “IDentityTheft 911 will help you file a police report, report the lost charge cards to your credit card company, [and] help you obtain replacement documents.” According to Stanhope, an IDentityTheft 911 fraud specialist also educates a Varney Agency customer about the necessary steps being taken to resolve ID fraud and offers tips and practical advice on how the

customer can avoid additional fraud-related problems. With the IDT 911 “fraud specialist working for and with you, you don’t need to worry about what you need to do to get your identity back,” she said. “It can take a great deal of time and effort to convince a creditor or a government agency about your true identity,” Stanhope said. For example, if an ID thief opens a charge account in a victim’s name, the financial institution that issues the card “really has no way of knowing if the person who actually opened the account is the victim or not,” she said. “You say you didn’t open the account,” but it has the victim’s name, address, and perhaps other pertinent information, Stanhope explained. Proving that an ID thief opened the account “can be difficult and time-consuming, she said. “That’s where IDentityTheft 911 is really important,” Stanhope said. “IDentityTheft 911 works closely with you and everyone else touched by the identity theft to resolve all issues.” A Varney Agency customer can still incur expenses, such as the costs related to replacing a driver’s license or a passport or the funds lost if an identity thief used a stolen debit card to empty a checking account. However, the IDentityTheft 911 fraud specialist can build evidence that could be used in court proceedings against an identity thief, Stanhope said. And once the Varney Agency has placed a customer in contact with IDentityTheft 911, “there is no cost to you,” she stressed. “Every service that IDentityTheft 911 provides will be free of charge. “We value our customers,” Stanhope said. “That’s why we offer this service to them.” To learn more about IDentityTheft 911, log onto www.varneyagency-idtheft. com, call 1-877-947-8637, or chat with a Varney Agency insurance agent. * Source: Javelin Strategy & Research BDN Photo by Brian Swartz

Jeannie Stanhope is the personal lines manager and the human resources manager for the Varney Agency.


Perspective | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra

BUSINESS

16

C

Advanced construction solutions impact

Bangor landmark revitalization

BY CONSIGLI CONSTRUCTION STAFF  more at www.consigli.com

onsigli Construction Co., Inc. (Consigli) of Portland, ranked as Maine’s #1 Best Places to Work of 2011, is in the middle of an extensive three-year building renovation and energy-efficiency upgrade of the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building. A City of Bangor landmark since 1967, the three-story, 180,000-square-foot building houses multiple federal agencies. Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the phased building renovation is scheduled for completion in late 2013. While working to minimize disruptions and maintaining critical government operations at all times, Consigli has already completed a significant number of renovations at the building, including: • Full replacement of mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; • A new elevator and stairs; • Installation of a geothermal heating and cooling system; • Advanced heating, cooling, and lighting controls; • New windows, electrical systems, and security systems. The first new tenant moved into the former post-office area this past winter. This summer, construction will begin on a new glass entry pavilion designed by Teng & Associates, Inc. of Chicago to impart a more open and inviting entrance for the public. Combined with plaza improvements, including new public art, the completed entry area will provide a welcoming public space in downtown Bangor. Throughout the renovation, Consigli

has incorporated the use of advanced technology, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) and Vela Systems to help meet the owner’s objectives and ensure that the project stays within the budget and on schedule. Construction of the specialized interiors has involved significant use of advanced building technologies to update the building to current energy-efficiency, safety, and security standards. Using BIM, Consigli proactively plans how the design and layout of the mechanical systems can be improved to ultimately reduce the project schedule and cost and to further drive conversations around choices that could enhance the efficiency of the installed systems. “Building Information Modeling allows us to plan and coordinate all of the trades using three dimensional models prior to installing anything on site,” said Matt Tonello, Area Manager for Consigli. “It allows us to anticipate problems virtually and to prevent them from becoming problems on site.” In particular, Consigli’s utilization of BIM played a large part in the planning and careful

weaving the

of new

and electrical system, including new boilers, chillers, air handlers and switchgear, into the back of house areas of the massive building. The planning efficiency gained by using BIM in the pre-construction phase enabled Consigli to successfully coordinate this extensive work within a fully operational, occupied building prior to any mechanics starting work on site. Ultimately, no disruption to occupants occurred due to scheduling construction during nights and weekends. By employing Vela Systems solutions to review project progress on mobile digital devices on site, Consigli’s project team can streamline the project checklist and close-out process and pinpoint the location of each checklist item precisely. Vela is also used to enhance the commissioning process

completion, the building owner will receive a model with all the associated equipment information, making maintenance over the entire lifecycle of the building much more efficient. Consigli’s investment in technology and the consistent training of its people have contributed immensely to the value of the firm’s projects by preventing delays and other costly issues. The revitalization of Bangor’s landmark Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building is proof positive.

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bangordailynews.com/browse/business-extra | Saturday, April 21, 2012 | Perspective

Heavy Trucks Shift to

Local Interstates

Safety proponents applaud law allowing heavy trucks on interstates BY BRIAN SWARTZ, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS EDITOR

W

hen Maine’s 12-month flirtation with heavier interstate-highway trucks ended on Dec. 17, 2010, “a day later, we got a call from [Sen. Susan] Collins’ office, saying, ‘We need to regroup and move forward,’” said Brian Parke, Maine Motor Transport Association president and CEO. In December 2009, Congress had authorized a year-long test to determine if allowing 100,000-pound trucks on interstates in Maine and Vermont would improve road safety. The move had been long sought by truck-safety proponents and many businesspeople in both states. In Maine, 100,000-pound trucks could use only the Maine Turnpike; federal law barred such trucks from Interstates 95, 195, 295, and 395. In the Portland area, the ban pushed heavy trucks (primarily fuel trucks) onto Route 1 to reach Midcoast destinations. North of the turnpike’s Exit 113 in Augusta, the ban pushed heavy trucks onto Routes 2, 9, and 201, depending on the region.

“ The interstate was built

for heavier weights; many of Maine’s secondary roads were not.”

BRIAN PARKE, CEO

These routes required truckers to travel through cities and towns and share local roads with smaller vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Trucks consumed more fuel and spent more time traveling between destinations on secondary roads. For some years, large trucks surreptitiously bypassed Bangor, but only until the federal government intervened. “For a very long time, those five- and six-axle trucks were actually using [Interstate] 395, so they were bypassing downtown Bangor,” said Bangor Police Chief Ron Gastia. When notified about possible truck-weight violations

on I-395, the U.S. Department of Transportation threatened to withhold federal highway funds if Maine did not ban overweight trucks from the highway. “So the state police began enforcing the truck weight laws on –395,” Gastia said. “That forced the trucks to take … the designated truck route … through downtown Bangor and over onto Route 2 or Route 9 or wherever they were going. “When that happened, we began to see a significant increase in the number of these five- and sixaxle trucks in the downtown area,” he said. For years, commercial carriers, public-safety personnel, and industry groups like the MMTA had argued that the federal government should allow heavier trucks on Maine’s interstates. “Everybody realizes it’s safer to have commercial truck traffic on the highway,” Parke said. “The interstate was built for heavier weights; many of Maine’s secondary roads were not,” he said. “Trucks go past schools, playgrounds, through downtowns, through railroad crossings, always in close proximity to people and traffic.” “It’s a safety issue,” said Tim Doyle, MMTA vice president. Gastia agreed. After large trucks appeared in Bangor, “I saw that as a significant safety issue, for both our pedestrians and our vehicular traffic,” he said. “These trucks were operating on some of our side streets because they were trying to avoid traffic lights.” Gastia described how some truckers, while inbound on Hammond Street (Route 2), would turn right onto Cedar Street to avoid the Hammond-Union traffic light and a subsequent right

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 CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE turn onto busy Union Street. These truckers would “take Cedar Street down over the hill and cut across [Main Street] and hit the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge,” he said. “From their perspective, I assumed some of them thought it was a safer way to go because they didn’t have the traffic lights where they were constantly stopping and starting, particularly in the wintertime,” Gastia said. “But it created a safety issue for our residential population, because they were cutting through our residential neighborhoods,” he pointed out. Efforts by Maine’s congressional delegation to change federal law led to Congress approving a 12-month test period in mid-December 2009. No sooner did the law take effect than many 100,000-pound trucks shifted immediately to I-95. The year-long test expired on Dec. 17, 2010 “because of the continuing [spending] resolution,” which “needed to be clean of policy,” Parke said. Heavier trucks immediately shifted from the interstate to local roads. Collins then led efforts in Congress to lift the 100,000-pound ban on Maine interstates. Backers “knew the issue was supported by those people responsible for public safety,” including police chiefs, rescue personnel, and several government agencies, Parke said. “Our goal was to make them the face of why it made sense for … Maine.” “I had a number of conversations about this problem with Sen. Collins, with her office staff,” Gastia said. “I wrote letters for her in support of this [bill], which she told me [that] she shared directly with the [congressional] committees.” As did those of other supporters, his letters focused on “the safety of these vehicles (trucks) being on our city streets and rural roads versus our highways,” he said. “I became a very strong proponent of this bill,” Gastia said. The educational effort focused on Congress. “In state, the support has always been there,” Parke said. “It’s always made sense. For us, it’s been about convincing people from away that it’s a Maine solution.” Collins arranged for congressional staffers

Bangor Police Chief Ron Gastia was a strong advocate of congressional efforts to raise the truck-weight limit on Maine interstates to 100,000 pounds. Moving the trucks to the local interstates “improved the safety of our roads and our residential neighborhoods,” he said.

working for members of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee to visit Husson University and meet with truck-weight supporters on Aug. 17, 2011. The staffers also: • Examined two trucks — a five-axle and a sixaxle — “parked nose to nose to show there was no change in truck length,” Doyle said. “One argument that [truck-weight] opponents raise is we’re going to put larger trucks on the road. The staffers realized this isn’t true. It simply involves adding a sixth axle” to better distribute a truck’s weight on the road surface. • Toured the routes that 100,000-pound trucks took through Bangor. “We wanted them (staffers) to see this was a Maine safety issue to benefit Mainers,” Doyle said. “It allowed the staffers to go back and brief their bosses in D.C.” The effort to raise interstate truck weights received strong support from Congressman Mike Michaud, whose 2nd District encompasses much of Maine’s commercial forest. On Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011, Congress approved a transportation bill that included a provision to allow 100,000-pound trucks on Maine and Vermont interstates for 20 years. The vote was lopsided: 298-121 in the House of Representatives and 70-30 in the Senate. “Letting heavier trucks use the interstate reduces fuel consumption, cuts emissions, reduces travel times and reduces the competitive disadvantage between Maine and our neighbors,” Michaud wrote in a press statement released that Thursday. When President Barack Obama signed the bill on Nov. 18, 2011, “it was almost too good to be true, somewhat surreal,” Parke said. Word reached Maine truckers immediately after the signing. “I literally had a guy standing in my [office] doorway. He’s on his cell phone calling his truckers, telling them to get out on the highway,” Doyle said. “The trucks were diverting again out onto the interstate, where they belong.” “Why did we wait so long to do this?” asked Brian Souers, owner of Treeline Inc. in Chester. He and other truck owners are pleased with the weight change. Local roads are now “much safer,” Souers said. His company harvests and ships logs, a product typically banned from I-95 until last November. According to Souers, Treeline trucks using the interstate burn “less fuel due to [less] starting and stopping” and experience less mechanical “wear and tear.” He cited “less driver fatigue” as another benefit, along with lower fuel costs and better deliveries due to “less chance of time variations on [road] trips.” Treeline customers “have been able to keep the cost of hauling their products more stable than they would have been in light of rising fuel prices,” Souers said. With the large trucks gone from city streets, Bangor police officers can now “focus more” on other traffic issues, Gastia said. Moving the trucks to the local interstates “improved the safety of our roads and our residential neighborhoods.”

Fourth-quarter truck-driver turnover makes surprise drop After a year of quarterly increases, the turnover rate for truck drivers at large truckload fleets unexpectedly dipped one percentage point to an annualized rate of 88 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011, American Trucking Associations Chief Economist Bob Costello said. “This reprieve, while surprising, is likely temporary,” Costello said. “As the economy continues to recover, freight volumes should continue to grow, which along with regulatory challenges related to hours-of-service and the government’s CSA fleet oversight program, will continue to cause the driver market to tighten and the turnover rate to rise.” Turnover among large truckload fleets had risen to 89

percent in the third quarter of 2011 after bottoming out at 39 percent in the first quarter of 2010. For all of 2011, the large truckload turnover rate averaged 83 percent, the highest average since 2007 when churn averaged 117 percent. At small truckload firms, with less than $30 million in annual revenue, the turnover rate dipped to 55 percent from 57 percent in the previous quarter. The fourth quarter turnover rate for less-than-truckload fleets fell to just 7 percent from 10 percent in the third quarter. By Sean McNally American Trucking Associations


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Bangor Arena Construction

T

Continues Apace at Bass Park

BY DALE MCGARRIGLE, CUSTOM PUBLICATIONS WRITER

he “face” of old Bangor, Paul Bunyan looms over the southern end of Main Street. But growing behind Paul is the “face” of new Bangor, the new Bangor Arena and Conference Center that city leaders hope will become the new look of Bangor. The $65 million project, which is expected to be completed in August 2013, is anticipated to be the next and biggest part of the revitalization of Bangor’s downtown, which began with the refurbishment of the waterfront

area, especially Hollywood Casino. The facility will replace the 1955-era Bangor Auditorium and the Bangor Civic Center, built in 1978. The fairgrounds and racetrack area will remain untouched, while the auditorium and civic center will be demolished and replaced by a parking lot. What the new construction will lack in sentimentality, it will more than make up for with present-day viability. According to a market study commissioned by the city in 2009, the existing auditorium and civic center have deficiencies that hinder the city’s ability to attract meetings and events to Bangor. Speaking as a member of the business community, Yellow Light Breen, executive vice president for

Bangor Savings Bank, explained: “The current Bangor Civic Center complex — despite the efforts of a great staff — is simply put a very antiquated and worn-out facility which is substandard for many meetings and conferences. It is too small for many events — even for trade groups and conferences from larger groups inside Maine let alone from away. Audiovisual and lighting equipment as well as cooking and catering equipment are either unavailable or really subpar for many needs. The new,  larger facility, with modern and more flexible configurations and equipment, is going to better retain existing business and attract greater use and command higher rental prices than today.” Most Bangor residents realized there is a need,

with the arena/conference center gaining a 75-percent approval at the May 4 referendum vote. The project is an updated design by architect Don Dethlefs; the contractor is by Pittsfield construction firm Cianbro Corp. The project calls for construction of a U-shaped arena with 5,800 fixed seats spread across event, concourse, and suite levels. Arena seating can be expanded to 8,050 seats for certain events. The attached conference center of about 16,000 square feet can house as many as 2,800 people for specific events. Mike Dyer, Bass Park executive director, said the new Arena has a regulation-size floor of 200-feet-by-85-feet,

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 CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE which means that any show that plays the TD Garden or Madison Square Garden could fit into the Bangor building as well. This means that shows such as Ringling Brothers Circus, Cirque du Soleil, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and any concert that needs to sell more than 5,000 tickets to make the stop worthwhile are more likely to consider Bangor.

This is a project which has blossomed right in front of the citizens’ eyes. Other advantages cited by Dyer include: • Rigging steel in the roof, which will allow shows to move in quicker; • The Arena and Conference Center will meet the March 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act standards; • There will be sufficient food and beverage sales areas (and restrooms) to meet customer demand; • The Conference Center will be serviced by a professional, in-house kitchen and staff; • The Arena will feature only upholstered seats, with backs and cupholders, and no bleachers; • The Arena and the Conference Center will be air-conditioned and heated with natural gas; • Meeting-room inventory will nearly triple (from seven to 18) in the new Conference Center. To fund the construction, the city will borrow $57.6 million over a 30-year period. After a $7 million down payment, that translates into

an annual debut of about $3.7 million. Two revenue sources are projected to pay for the Arena: proceeds from Hollywood Casino and business property taxes. Bangor receives 1 percent of the 39 percent tax on Hollywood Casino revenue that is paid to the state, and also 3 percent of net revenue directly from Hollywood Casino. It has been projected that the city will gain $2.3 to $3.4 million annually for the next 30 years from the casino, and that estimate does not include any potential table-game revenues in future years. The city generates $2 million in property taxes annually from its downtown tax increment fund and would appropriate $750,000 annually toward the Arena project. The city is hoping to cash in on a new source of revenue as well. The City Council has approved a contract with Front Row Marketing Services to sell naming rights to the facilities, skyboxes, premium seating and signage. The city would receive at least 80 percent of such revenue. This is a project which has blossomed right in front of the citizens’ eyes. Thanks to the warm winter weather, construction has remained on schedule. “It certainly helped us from not having to spend April making up for any lost time,” explained Jon DiCentes, senior project manager for Cianbro. Jim Ring, project manager for the City of Bangor, added, “It’s going very, very well. We’re very pleased with every aspect of how the project’s going.” In 3½ months, the “bones” of the arena are in place, with five of the seven large arena roof trusses and the bar joists between them installed. Steel framing for much of the concourse and suite levels is complete, and roof metal decking is installed. Quite a bit of overhead construction under the arena roof structures has

commenced. Also, concrete foundation and underground utilities for the Conference Center have been completed. Over the next month, the remaining two main trusses will be installed and with them will be continuation of the rest of the precast concrete bowl units and the roof enclosures. Also, the framing for the conference center is likely to get started. As the buildings are enclosed, the interior work can begin. Ring cautioned that, despite the obvious progress, there’s still a lot to do over the next year and a half. “It’s like building a house,” he explained. “A crew can get the walls up quickly. But most of the work has to be done on the interior.” Breen is looking forward to the finished facilities: “The new [conference center] is going to be a much greater attraction for meeting and conference business, with the attendant increase in economic impact in the Bangor economy. The same will go with events and entertainment in the auditorium part of the venue. The direct economic effect will be important, but so too will be the intangible impact on quality of life in the area and through increasing Bangor’s visibility with business leaders, tourists, event goers and others who may bring their shopping dollar or even their businesses to the area over time.” Dyer is excited about the future, but also melancholy about the past. “It will be great to be able to say, ‘Yes, we can do that,’ as opposed to ‘Let’s see if we can make it work,’ “ he said. “To be able to offer state-ofthe-art amenities to patrons will certainly make us happy [to say nothing of the customers’ reaction]. “That being said, we’ll all miss the old building, but memories of all the good times that were had by hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years will only grow sweeter with the passage of time,” Dyer said.

BDN Photo by Brian Swartz

Construction workers gradually “close in” the new Bangor Arena as the building takes shape at Bass Park in mid-April.

Image courtesy of Architect Don Dethlefs

When completed in summer 2013, the new Bangor Arena will present a striking view to people passing along Main Street.

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