Progressive Business 2018

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PROGRESSIVE BUSINESS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • January 26, 2018

Photo by Ashley L. Conti | BDN file Snowmobile racers leap over a jump during an East Coast Snocross race at Bass Park in Bangor.

Photo by Ashley L. Conti | BDN file The Dexter Regional High School girls basketball team celebrates after defeating George Stevens Academy during the Class C girls basketball championship game in Bangor.

Progressive Business • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • January 26, 2018

Sixty-five and still growing:

Employee opportunity equals success for Hammond Lumber COURTESY HAMMOND LUMBER COMPANY

Hammond Lumber Company is celebrating its 65th birthday after enjoying the most successful year in its history. The Maine family business that began in 1953 as a tiny sawmill in Belgrade is now one of the largest independent building suppliers in New England, and it’s still growing. In 2017, Hammond Lumber achieved its largest sales volume ever and now employs more people than ever. According to personnel director Rod Wiles, there are currently 475 people working at the company. They include 140 who have worked with Hammond for more than ten years, 61 for more than twenty years, and 23 for more than thirty years. “All that experience is the key,” said Wiles. “It adds up to an enormous knowledge of how the industry works, how the company works, and how best to serve the needs of our customers.” BANGOR THRIVING, TOO There are 13 Hammond retail stores throughout the state, including the one on Hammond Street in Bangor, which the company opened in 2002 after buying the facility from Wickes Lumber. As have the other Hammond stores, Bangor has continued to thrive. Its staff of 39 workers includes 17 who have been there for five years or more, 8 who have been there for ten, and 4 who have been there since the store opened. Skip Hammond started the business with $50 he borrowed from his wife, Verna, who also worked in the company until several years ago. Now in their 90’s and still living a mile up the road in the house they built around the same time they acquired the sawmill, they still visit the store regularly. In fact, they’re often spotted driving around the yard and sawmills to see how things are going. Skip and Verna’s son, Don, who started the retail side of the operation in 1967, handed off the roles of president and CEO to his own son Mike a year ago, though now as vice president he remains just as active as he’s ever been. Mike and his sister, Sarah Hammond Krizo, helped out at the Belgrade store while growing up, and Mike later served as vice president until last year. Sarah also works full-time for the company and oversees Hammond’s marketing effort. “They’ve all worked in the yard, stocked shelves, crunched numbers and waited on customers,” Hardy says. “They understand what it takes to do each job, and they give the rest of us the opportunity to grow along with them. The harder you work, the more you’re recognized.” OPPORTUNITIES TO GROW Hardy himself started out working in the pine bin in Belgrade in 1997. His other jobs included picking orders to be transferred to other Hammond stores, working in the door & window shop, cutting logs for the company’s Maine Pine Log Home packages, and also training in sales. He worked in Skowhegan and served as assistant manager of the Fairfield store before taking the reins in Bangor. Wiles’ path to his job as personnel director also started out in the yard at Belgrade. That was 31 years ago. He then advanced into sales and also became a product buyer. In 1997, he assumed responsibility for advertising and marketing, then trained in personnel and ultimately became head of the department last year after the retirement of Bob Thing, who had started in the yard as a teenager. Hardy credits the training offered by Hammond Lumber for not only empowering employees to advance their careers, but also for continuing to expand the scope and quality of customer service. “The amount of time, effort and money the Hammonds devote to training is amazing,” he says. “They never stop.” The Bangor store is located on Hammond Street and can be reached by phone toll free at 866-439-2264 or 945-9416. Directions for driving to the store are available by phone and email, as well as by visiting Customers may also call 1-866 HAMMOND toll free, and they will be connected with the store nearest where they are calling from.



PROGRESSIVE BUSINESS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • January 26, 2018

10 lessons learned about starting your own Maine business BY JOELLEN EASTON

At the “Dirigo Speaks: The Next Act” event at the Bangor Public Library on Nov. 14, three Mainers shared their stories about starting a business after the age of 50. Inspired by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Bangor educator Patti Rapaport has invented and patented a wearable silent alert early warning system for schools, which will enable school employees to silently communicate warnings, hazards, lockdowns and other emergencies. Rappaport and her partners are seeking funding to develop a working prototype. After a career in pharmaceutical sales, Cheryl Michaud opened West Market Square Artisan Coffee House in Bangor in 2016. In doing so, she has realized a longstanding dream and created a “third space” for the community to gather. And at 64, Stan Makara is about to retire from his job as a commercial airline pilot. He has been preparing by developing a lobster boat tourism business. He doesn’t want to sit back, and has traveled globally and frequently for work, so now he’s looking forward to letting the travelers come to him. Despite these wide ranging past careers and new businesses, Rapaport, Michaud and Makara shared with moderator Meg Haskell that they have learned surprisingly similar lessons. This list isn’t comprehensive by any stretch, but it holds good advice for anyone thinking about starting a business, no matter how old you are or what kind of business you want to have.

1) Get versed in the state licensing rules before you get started. This information is easy to find on the Maine Professional and Financial Regulation website. 2) Don’t neglect or undervalue networking. The people you know and the people you meet can connect you with the right location, a manufacturer, a partner, etc. And you’ll never know if you aren’t out there talking with people. 3) If you go the crowdfunding route, choose the right one. They are all a little different, and finding the right match for your project and your audience matters. (For example, if you don’t raise enough money to meet your goal, Kickstarter makes you give the money back. Indiegogo does not.) 4) Find the deals. Buying new adds up quickly. 5) Have a plan when you start talking with an attorney - their fees add up quickly, too. It is a good idea to work with an attorney for choosing a name (and running an incorporated names search to make sure no one else is using it), deciding on the structure of your company, getting a tax ID, procuring a lease, filing a patent and other paperwork, etc. 6) Choosing how to advertise depends on who you are trying to reach. And the answers can be surprising. Be creative, and don’t leave this up to chance. In-theater premovie advertising is surprisingly affordable, memorable and effective. 7) Get a checklist. Use one from a resource center, make one yourself, however you do it. But make one and use it. 8) Even if you aren’t opening a nonprofit business, you can find grant support. Grant writing is its own skillset, and don’t be afraid to look for help from a professional grant writer. 9) The same goes for a business plan. If you want anyone to invest in you, you need one. If you haven’t written one before, get some help with it. Don’t go in blind. A business plan is all about your story: Who are you, what are you trying to do, and how are you going to do it?

Progressive Business • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • January 26, 2018 10) And last but not least, there are a wealth of resources to help people start businesses right here in Maine - use them! Here are just a few, namechecked by our panelists. - Maine Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a comprehensive resource center for new businesses, offering checklists, templates for business plans and financial plans, Maine-specific information and more. - Eastern Maine Development Corporation (EMDC) can help on a wide range of issues, from loans to hiring needs, networking, workshops and on the job training. - SCORE Maine connects people planning a new business with mentors who have a wide range of expertise, and provides free assistance on everything from writing a business plan to financial planning and market testing. - The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) can help you find grants and other funding sources, write a business plan, and more. - The University of Maine Office of Innovation and Economic Development offers a “business gateway” online with information people starting a new business need, as well as guidance for growing a business, and information about licensable UMaine-developed technologies as well as facilities and equipment that can be used.

- Husson’s Dyke Center for Family Business has a range of resources available for family-owned businesses. - The Bangor Public Library offers a semi-regular Legal Services Day. - If you aren’t sure that you want to hire a lawyer, or want to handle the legal items yourself, Legal Zoom has a wide array of legal services online (not free). - Many community colleges, including Eastern Maine Community College, have small business programs and resource centers. - The Bangor Public Library’s Business Center has many of the perks of any coworking space, with private rooms, meeting rooms, in-demand software, and staff knowledgeable about a range of resources for people starting businesses. Dirigo Speaks is sponsored by AARP Maine and is a project of AARP Maine and the Bangor Daily News. Dirigo Speaks Presents: The Next Act - Starting A Business Over 50 was also sponsored in part by SCORE Maine. Follow BDN Events at This article originally appeared in the Bangor Daily News November 17, 2017.

© grapestock / Adobe Stock



PROGRESSIVE BUSINESS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • January 26, 2018

Photo by Ashley L. Conti | BDN file The Pride of Maine Marching Band’s Zach Fox (center) amps up the crowd during the opening parade of the 2017 American Folk Festival at the Bangor Waterfront.

Photo by Ashley L. Conti | BDN file Coleman, a service dog, lays on the deck next to his owner, Travis Davis, at their home in Bangor. Davis, a retired Army corporal, suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from his service in Afghanistan.

Progressive Business • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • January 26, 2018

Photo by Aislinn Sarnacki Derek Runnells walks along the ridge of Mount Chase in northern Maine.

2018 Progressive Business

Publisher: Richard J. Warren Editor: Matthew Chabe Special Sections Sales: Jeff Orcutt, Linda Hayes Creative Manager: Michele Dwyer Creative Services: Marcie Coombs, Coralie Cross, Callie Picard, Carolina Rave


Photo by Micky Bedell | BDN file Eric Gallandt, president of the Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing Organization, makes his way down the Pushaw Stream in Old Town with canoe partner Nicole Grohoski.


PROGRESSIVE BUSINESS • Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section • January 26, 2018

After 100 years,

Katahdin Trust still committed to community COURTESY KATAHDIN TRUST

For 100 years, Katahdin Trust Company has provided a broad range of financial services to the people of Maine and prides itself on a longstanding commitment to give back to the communities it serves. “Community Banking At Its Best!” is not just their slogan. It’s a way of doing business, a mindset, and a promise to each person who walks through the door. “We’ve never lost sight of our founders’ original vision, which was to be responsive to the financial needs of our communities while providing comprehensive solutions and impeccable service,” said Jon Prescott, Katahdin Trust’s president & CEO since 1997. “It’s really thanks to our customers, employees, and communities that we’re celebrating a century of community banking at its best. We’ve come a long way together.” As the 19th century rolled into the 20th, business leaders across the nation began opening independent, community banks to meet the financial needs of families and business owners largely ignored by big-city banks. In northern Maine, Katahdin Trust was such a bank. It opened its doors in Patten on March 7, 1918. Today, Katahdin Trust is proud to celebrate 100 years of service to its many generations of customers with 16 branch locations throughout the state. And while the bank’s founders wouldn’t recognize today’s modern banking methods and technologies, they would appreciate the commitment to personal service afforded by Katahdin Trust employees. Katahdin Trust has a strong reputation as a leader in supporting community-based events and programming. Partnerships with non-profit organizations go beyond the bank’s radio advertising efforts and is lived out in the hours of service given by its employees. In 2017, 174 Katahdin Trust employees volunteered more than 7,500 hours to hundreds of local organizations across Maine. Customer service, employee engagement, and commitment to community are the hallmarks of Katahdin Trust and its 100 year history. “Our work is so much more than opening accounts or making loans,” said Annette Beaton, vice president, Houlton branch manager and retail services officer. “We help people purchase their first home, start a business, or help them through difficult times. The relationships we have with our customers, our co-workers, and our communities are precious. We don’t take any of it for granted.” “We haven’t forgotten who built this bank - fiercely independent people and families who needed a financial partner they could count on to be there for them,” said Bill Lucy, senior vice president, commercial services. “That’s as true today as ever. Those roots run deep and show that we’re in this for the long haul. Here’s to the next 100 years!”

Photo courtesy Katahdin Trust Members of the Katahdin Trust bowling team participated in the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Maine Bowl-A-Thon at the Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes recently.