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A SALUTE TO

MAINE’S SMALL BUSINESSES

2018 Maine Small Business Persons of the Year

Beth Shissler, President & Don Oakes, CEO, of Sea Bags

“Each year the Small Business Administration celebrates National Small Business Week, highlighting the impact of small businesses by sharing their inspirational stories of success, resilience and determination. This year we are honored to recognize Beth Shissler, President, and Don Oakes, CEO, of Sea Bags as the 2018 Maine Small Business Persons of the Year. Beth founded the company in 2006, turning used sailcloth into fashionable totes and Don joined the company in 2013, helping grow the business to 13 retail outlets and over 100 employees as of 2017. We look forward to seeing Sea Bags continued growth and innovation and wish them much future success!”

—Amy K. Bassett, Maine District Director • U.S. Small Business Administration FRIDAY, APRIL 27, 2018 | ADVERTISING SUPPLEMENT • BANGOR DAILY NEWS • PORTLAND PRESS HERALD • SUN JOURNAL • MORNING SENTINEL • KENNEBEC JOURNAL • TIMES RECORD • JOURNAL TRIBUNE


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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section

April 27, 2018

SMALL BUSINESS PERSONS OF THE YEAR: BETH SHISSLER, PRESIDENT AND COO, & DONALD OAKES, CEO  SEA BAGS, LLC 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY NANCY STROJNY, PORTLAND SCORE

ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC images of Maine

In 2013, Beth brought in Donald Oakes as

is that of small boats traveling up and down the

Chief Executive Officer. Don had previously

mention the 600 tons of sailcloth the company

coast. But what happens to the bits of sailcloth

spent a number of years as a senior manager

left over once the boats are built? That was

at one of Maine’s most well-known businesses,

commitment

on the mind of Beth Shissler when she began

LL Bean. The combination of Don’s experience

entrepreneurial community. Employees are

building Sea Bags in 2006. Her vision was to

and Beth’s drive to build up Sea Bags proved

taught what it takes to start and run a successful

create a new product from the old, and capitalize

to be just what the business needed to begin

small business, and seven have gone on to do so.

on the Maine brand of quality, sustainable gear.

seeing more rapid growth. By 2017, Sea Bags

Beth also taps into her experience as she partners

recycles into fashionable totes. Even

more

impressive to

building

is

Sea up

Bags’ Maine’s

It didn’t take long for Sea Bags to begin seeing

employed nearly 100 people, had opened 13

with local organizations such as SCORE, Maine

success. The local style of the business was

retail outlets, and began planning for even

Venture Fund, Maine Women’s Fund, and the

perfect for Portland, a city where local artisan

more growth.

SBA (just to name a few) to put on workshops

products are highly prized. It also didn’t hurt

On its own, the success of the business

and roundtables for aspiring entrepreneurs.

that the business came about at a time when

would be remarkable enough, but the ethos of

“While it’s great we are named, it’s really a

Portland was seeing more and larger cruise

environmental stewardship Beth brings to the

reflection of the entire Sea Bags team,” said Don.

ships, bringing larger numbers of tourists

business truly sets it apart. She serves on the

Added Beth: “I credit the success of our business

searching for a unique souvenir of their visit

board of the Gulf of Maine Research Institute,

to our Sea Bags team, and to our customers who

to Maine. Sales began to grow and Beth began

and Don serves on the board of the Maine

find value in our product being made right here,

planning for an expansion.

Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, not to

in Maine, out of recycled sails.”

“I CREDIT THE SUCCESS OF OUR BUSINESS TO OUR SEA BAGS TEAM, AND TO OUR CUSTOMERS WHO FIND VALUE IN OUR PRODUCT BEING MADE RIGHT HERE, IN MAINE, OUT OF RECYCLED SAILS.” —BETH SHISSLER


April 27, 2018

A SALUTE TO

MAINE’S SMALL BUSINESSES

THIS PUBLICATION WAS PRODUCED BY Bangor Daily News

PUBLISHER Richard Warren

SENIOR EDITOR, SPECIAL SECTIONS Matt Chabe

PRINT SALES MANAGER Todd McLeod

TO ADVERTISE Contact Linda Hayes lhayes@bangordailynews.com 207-990-8136

CREATIVE SERVICES MANAGER Michele Dwyer

CREATIVE SERVICES

Amy Allen, Marcie Coombs, Coralie Cross, Ben Cyr, Callie Picard, Carolina Rave

ABOUT THE COVER

Beth Shissler, President and COO, & Donald Oakes, CEO of Sea Bags, LLC. PHOTO: COURTESY SBA © 2018 Bangor Daily News. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without express written consent. Requests for permission to copy, reprint, or duplicate any content should be directed to advertising@bangordailynews.com

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section

April 27, 2018

MICROENTERPRISE OF THE YEAR: DAVID JACOBSON GLASS, LLC  DAVID JACOBSON, OWNER 2018 Award Winner

“IT FEELS REALLY GOOD TO HAVE ALL OF MY HARD WORK AND ABILITY TO DEAL WITH ADVERSITY BE RECOGNIZED BY THE SBA.” —DAVID JACOBSON

NOMINATED BY DAVID HILL, SBDC

TODAY, MANY PEOPLE ARE focused on the

David focused on getting through the loss, and

center for troubled teenagers, providing them

innovative and high-tech sectors of the economy,

honoring her memory through the business.

an outlet for artistic expression, as well as

but just as vital are the traditional trades and

He rededicated himself to learning new skills,

students of the local alternative high school.

arts. David Jacobson knows this well, and has

finding ways to diversify, and creating new

“I give credit to the success of my business

built his business by combining modern tastes

designs, making sure the business would

to several things,” said Jacobson. “First and

and design, with the centuries-old tradition of

survive. Through his dedication and creativity,

foremost is that I love what I do. So I am willing

glass blowing.

he was able to stay on his feet following a

to put in all of the long hours, because this

devastating personal loss.

is what I would be doing anyway. But, also,

Since 1994, David has been interested in glass blowing, although it wasn’t until he set up his

“I’m excited and honored to win this award,”

I have to give credit to all of the incredible

LLC in 2014 that it officially became a business.

said Jacobson. “It feels really good to have all of

support I get from professionals, friends, and

Although glass blowing forms the basis of

my hard work and ability to deal with adversity

family. I think one of my strengths is that I

David’s business, like many other Mainers, he

be recognized by the SBA.”

know when I don’t know. I have learned to ask

has more than one revenue stream. He offers

David is not just dedicated to developing his

classes in glass blowing, sells his products

craft personally, he has also worked on building

“My future business plans continue to be

online, and manages an AirBnB that caters to

a new generation of glass blowers who can carry

influenced by what inspires me,” he said. “I’m

tourists wishing to engage in the craft as well.

on the tradition. He has worked with students

never sure what the next good idea is, but my job

at Ironwood, a school and residential treatment

is to stay open to new possibilities.”

After tragically losing his wife in 2016,

for help more often.”


April 27, 2018

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section

April 27, 2018

HOME BASED BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: GNEISS SPICE  BETHANY WEISBERGER, OWNER 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY STEVE VEAZEY, SCORE

MANY SMALL BUSINESSES start as a hobby, based out of the

As a socially conscious business owner, Beth sees giving as

owner’s home, and might spread out to a small online footprint.

central to the identity of her business. 5% of profits are donated

Gneiss Spice followed this trajectory and took it even further, as

to local and national nonprofits to support community needs. In

the business has gradually expanded over the past nine years and

addition, Beth developed a unique product called the “world salts

seen a move from Brooklyn to Maine.

charity kit,” the purchase of which finances a $25 microloan to a

Bethany Weisberger started Gneiss Spice as a hobby business

low income entrepreneur through the online platform Kiva. These

while she was living in Brooklyn and working as a teacher. The

efforts would seem impressive on their own, but Beth goes even

idea was to create a way to effectively store her spices in the small

further, as she has recently partnered with “A Home for You”,

space she had in her kitchen. Once she had her breakthrough of

a project in Oregon which provides tiny houses to the homeless

creating magnetic spice jars, Beth started selling them through

population in their community. Gneiss Spice has committed to

online retailers like Etsy.

providing the spice racks for each of these homes as they are built.

As the business took off, however, the 100-square-foot living

“I am very excited be [chosen for the] Home Business of the

room in New York was no longer large enough to meet the needs

Year award,” said Weisberger. “We heard that over half of small

of Gneiss Spice, so Beth moved to Maine and found the room she

businesses in Maine are home-based, so to be chosen for this

needed to grow. As she did so, the business was able to expand

award is a great honor! We currently employ four people in our

from the original spice jars, to provide their own spice mixes that

home business, and are growing at a rate of 30% a year. We were

are sent to customers in compostable bags, all a part of the Gneiss

excited to win this award this year, as I’m not sure how much

Spice vision of environmental sustainability.

longer we will be able to keep the business in our home!”


April 27, 2018

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SMALL BUSINESS EXPORTER OF THE YEAR: ARCAST, INC.  RAYLAND O’NEAL, PRESIDENT & SASHA LONG, VICE PRESIDENT 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY JACK LUFKIN, KEYBANK

CHANGES IN AN INDUSTRY often lead to the decline of

not hear about is the way that those materials are made.

to expand their operations around the world, with more than

one sector, and bring opportunity to another. That’s what

That’s when Arcast steps in. The company works with

half of their current sales coming from outside of the US, a

started the story of Arcast. The founders, Rayland O’Neal and

professors and researchers to figure out how to engineer

sales office being opened in the UK, and staff ready to travel

Sasha Long, had both worked in the RF (radio and television

the new metals, and then builds the equipment that allows

at a moment’s notice to close deals anywhere in the world.

equipment) industry for years, before the market for those

the metal to be created.

As owners of a Maine-based manufacturer, Rayland and

products declined. About a year later, they both started

While the customer base for these services is already fairly

Sasha have continued to focus on their local economy. Most

pursuing their new focus, advanced metallurgy, with demand

large, with interest from universities, aerospace companies,

of the business expenses are made locally, with suppliers

created by high-tech sectors.

consumer electronics and even the medical field, Arcast

and consultants from Maine being offered the opportunity

Many people may hear about exciting new materials and

sought to broaden their market even more. With an SBA

to expand their markets as they make contacts with Arcast’s

metal alloys, or new ways of using others. What they may

Export Line of Credit from KeyBank, the company started

customer network.

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Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section

April 27, 2018

VETERAN OWNED SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: LAW CALIBRATION, LLC  LOUIS WATERHOUSE, III, OWNER 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY NANCY STROJNY, PORTLAND SCORE

VETERANS ARE MORE LIKELY to open their

After receiving an honorable discharge in

skilled workers, Louis has provided workplace

own small business than the general population,

2000, Louis decided to bring these skills to

training skills and apprenticeships to local

and it should be no surprise why. The military

various companies for a time, to build on his

high school students. He has also founded a

instills a sense of leadership, as well as providing

experience and gain an understanding of the

board to promote public/private partnerships

training in a number of specialized skills. Louis

market. By 2010, he had resolved to open his own

to ensure that students are able to train in

Waterhouse is an example of a veteran who

business, operating out of his basement, and

the fields that will give them the greatest

brought the skills he acquired in the Air Force

LAW Calibration was born.

opportunity in the future.

home to start his own business.

In the years since opening his doors, Louis

“Winning this award was an unexpected

In 1996, Louis Waterhouse enlisted in the Air

has worked on a number of projects, providing

honor, and I’m very grateful and humbled

Force, where he received training as a precision

outstanding service on test equipment across

to

measurement equipment laboratory apprentice.

some of Maine’s largest industries, including

said

During his service, Louis worked on testing and

wood products, aquaculture, and beverages.

me the opportunity to learn the technical

diagnostics for equipment that needed precision

As word of LAW Calibration’s quality service

skills needed to become a metrologist and

to operate effectively, which included planes

has grown, so too has its footprint. Louis has

instilled the work ethic needed to become an

such as the F-16. This highly specialized training

expanded from the original basement office to

entrepreneur. Running a business is another

would prove useful later in his career, as he

a 14,000 square foot space in the Pepperell Mill

thing altogether, and I am very grateful to my

would be capable of providing a service that few

Campus in Biddeford.

SCORE mentor Nancy Strojny and the SBA for

others had the experience for.

In an effort to build the next generation of

be

recognized

Waterhouse.

for

this

“The

Air

distinction,” Force

gave

“THE AIR FORCE GAVE ME THE OPPORTUNITY TO LEARN THE TECHNICAL SKILLS NEEDED TO BECOME A METROLOGIST AND INSTILLED THE WORK ETHIC NEEDED TO BECOME AN ENTREPRENEUR.” —LOUIS WATERHOUSE

helping me along the way.”

WOMAN OWNED SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: THE SUNRISEGUIDE, LLC  HEATHER CHANDLER, OWNER 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY SARAH GUERETTE, WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER

IF MAINE HAS A defining characteristic of

season, it had resources to help homeowners

its “brand,” it’s wholesome, natural products

improve the energy efficiency of their homes.

and services, done in a sustainable way. And

It garnered a loyal following.

Heather Chandler’s SunriseGuide publications

In the time since the first versions of the were

being

published,

building Maine’s local and sustainable economy.

“I am excited and honored to receive this

Just like her business, Heather Chandler is

award,” said Chandler. “When we started in

truly committed to the values of community,

2006, sustainability and wellness had not yet

sustainability and health. For eight years

reached the mainstream. People were of course

have been helping consumers to find them for

SunriseGuide

the

she served on the board of Portland Trails,

interested in reducing their environmental

the past eleven years.

resources have grown to five publications

which manages over 70 miles of mixed use

impact, but they didn’t always know how and

Starting out in a business incubator in

between print, mobile, and digital formats,

trails in the Portland area, and now serves

it was challenging to find greener products

2006, with just one publication that only

providing resources for a statewide audience

as an advisory trustee. She also serves on the

and services. So our goal in creating the

provided information for residents of the

of both locals and tourists. Heather has moved

Revolving Loan Fund committee for Greater

SunriseGuide was to make it easy for Mainers

southern part of the state, the early editions

out of the business incubator and into a

Portland Council of Governments, the board

to learn about personal and environmental

of the SunriseGuide allowed readers to learn

downtown Portland office with three full time

of Discover Downtown Westbrook, and on the

health. I like to think we’ve had some impact.

about bringing sustainability into their lives.

staff members. This is in addition to the contract

marketing committee of Portland Buy Local,

We hear feedback from our readers and

The guide had articles on how to cook and

publishing that the business occasionally takes

all of which assist in strengthening the local

advertisers that we have. And that makes my

eat foods that were produced locally, and in

on for local organizations with similar visions of

small business economy.

heart full. It’s why we do what we do.”


April 27, 2018

“WE HEAR FEEDBACK FROM OUR READERS AND ADVERTISERS THAT WE HAVE [MADE IMPACT]. AND THAT MAKES MY HEART FULL. IT’S WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO.” —HEATHER CHANDLER

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April 27, 2018

YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS OF THE YEAR: MELISSA LAW, BENJAMIN WHALEN, ABIGAIL & JEFFREY FISHER

 BUMBLEROOT ORGANIC FARM LLC 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY SARAH GUERETTE, WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER

FARMING IS CENTRAL to Maine’s identity.

an expansion. As a result, they were able to

Fisher recently joined the SNAP committee for

One need only look at the image of a farmer

secure financing for an 89-acre farm, which

the Portland farmers’ market, enabling SNAP

present on the state seal to see the importance

allowed for a range of new possibilities.

recipients to enjoy the benefits of fresh, local

of farms to Maine’s culture. In many ways,

With the increased space, Bumbleroot was able

produce. The team also provides fresh produce to

the farms in the state represent both tradition

to focus on less intensive farming methods that

the My Place Teen Center in Westbrook, Wayside

and innovation, as change to the industry can

allow the soil to regenerate, as well as provide

Food Programs, and to the culinary arts program

often be rapid and unpredictable. The team

room for new vegetable processing space, and

at Creative Trails in Portland.

at Bumbleroot Organic Farm has shown that

two greenhouses for seedlings and growing

“We are excited and surprised to have

Maine’s new generation of farmers is more than

winter greens. As the farm has become more

received this distinction,” said Melissa Law.

up to the challenge of adapting to the modern

established, their offerings have expanded as

“We’re grateful to have been nominated by

agricultural landscape.

well, bringing over 100 varieties of vegetables to

Sarah Guerette at the Women’s Business

Bumbleroot began as a small farm run by two

the 80 families that participate in the CSA, three

Center, and our business wouldn’t be where we

young couples in 2014. They leased two acres of

farmers’ markets, as well as 15 restaurants in the

are today without the assistance and guidance

land where they grew vegetables, herbs, and

Portland area. In fact, 2017 saw Bumbleroot hire

we’ve received from Maine Farmland Trust,

flowers, which were sold at three farmers’

its first non-owner employees, with one full-time

Coastal Enterprises Inc., and Maine Organic

markets, and through a community supported

and one part-time employee joining the team.

Farmers and Gardeners Association. There is

agriculture (CSA) program. While this was a

As an organic farm committed to producing

a really strong agricultural community here

good start for a group of young farmers, the four

healthy, sustainable food, it should perhaps

in Maine and we feel very supported as young

owners wanted room to grow. After two years of

come as no surprise that Bumbleroot actively

farmers. We plan to continue working hard to

leasing their land, in 2016 they began meeting

supports their community. Ben Whalen serves on

connect people in our community with the land

with the Women’s Business Center to plan for

the boards of two farmers’ markets, and Abigail

and food that sustains them.”

“THERE IS A REALLY STRONG AGRICULTURAL COMMUNITY HERE IN MAINE AND WE FEEL VERY SUPPORTED AS YOUNG FARMERS. WE PLAN TO CONTINUE WORKING HARD TO CONNECT PEOPLE IN OUR COMMUNITY WITH THE LAND AND FOOD THAT SUSTAINS THEM.” — MELISSA LAW


April 27, 2018

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MINORITY OWNED SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: EASTPORT FAMILY PHARMACY  BENJAMIN OKAFOR, OWNER 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY RUTH CASH-SMITH, WOMEN’S BUSINESS CENTER

IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE two places more different than Nigeria

residents of the nearby Pleasant Point reservation

and Eastport, Maine. Nonetheless, Ben Okafor decided, after a

were unable to pick up medications on weekends,

number of moves, to settle down and start his own pharmacy in

when their health center was closed. As one of the few

the easternmost city in Maine.

local pharmacies, Ben saw his business start booming,

Ben was born in Nigeria, where the ambition instilled in his youth led him to become a pharmacist. Before long, he moved to London to

and before long purchased a new location that would allow for a doubling of the business’ space.

train in the British pharmacy system, working at a hospital there.

Despite being from a completely different part of

From there, Ben was recruited by Rite Aid to move to the United

the world, Ben has truly become a part of the Eastport

States, to address a shortage of pharmacists in rural areas. In 2007,

community. He contributes to local schools, the police

Ben was working in Bangor as a pharmacy manager for Rite Aid.

department, food pantries, and his church in Bangor. All

Going back to his drive and ambition, Ben began researching

of this is in addition to the invaluable service provided by

demographics and market trends in Maine, to see where he could

the business itself. Through hard work, and a willingness

find the best location to launch his own business. Eastport fit

to take risks, Ben has shown that he embodies the best of

perfectly with what Ben wanted to do. In 2014, Eastport Family

what America, and Maine, has to offer.

Pharmacy opened in a 600 square foot space, which also provided

“I am extremely proud to earn recognition for the

free home deliveries within 50 miles, which is a very big deal in

work that I and my entire staff do to make a difference in our

Eastport community for welcoming a stranger like me into

one of the most rural counties of the state. Before Ben opened his

community,” said Okafor. “It’s a validation of our dedication to

their midst and supporting my business with their patronage.

pharmacy, many people in the small towns of Washington County

bring quality pharmaceutical care closer to rural communities

They put a lot of trust in me and I am glad to repay them with

had to drive up to two hours to receive their medications, and

in downeast Maine. I give a lot of credit to my staff and the entire

dedication and exceptional service.”


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Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section

April 27, 2018

SMALL BUSINESS MANUFACTURER OF THE YEAR: GOOD TO-GO, LLC  JENNIFER JEAN SCISM, CEO, & DAVID KOORITS, COO 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY NANCY STROJNY, PORTLAND SCORE

THE BEST IDEAS often come about when

saw relatively modest sales, but it was only the

seemingly different passions are brought

beginning for the business. By working with

together, and that’s exactly what happened

advisors at Portland SCORE, and securing the

with Good To-Go. Co-owners Jennifer Scism

financing they needed to scale up production,

(previously a chef and restaurateur in New

Jennifer and David started to see growth very

York City) and David Koorits (an avid Maine

quickly. Today, Good To-Go meals can be

outdoorsman)—also

couple—

found in many retailers, as small as mom-and-

brought wildly different experiences and

pop stores, and as large as LL Bean, as well as

passions to the table, resulting in a new and

online stores like Amazon.

a

married

unique product: gourmet, natural food for backpackers and campers. In 2014, Jennifer and David began like many

As one might expect from a company based around excellent outdoor experiences, Good To-Go is active in supporting community

Maine small business owners, working out of

programs

their home, creating small batches of their all

between people and the natural world. As

that

build

strong

connections

natural dehydrated meals, and trying to get

members of the Conservation Alliance and

their names out to the retailers and buyers who

the White Pines Program, Good To-Go directly

would help their business grow. That first year

contributes to the preservation of Maine’s

FINANCIAL SERVICES CHAMPION: SANDRA STONE  CHAIR EMERITUS, MAINE ANGELS 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY NANCY STROJNY, PORTLAND SCORE

ONE OF THE GREATEST challenges a small

of the organization, she was instrumental in

2011, her efforts began to pay off, as connections

business owner can face is where to find the

establishing the Top Gun program, which

made with regional and national organizations

financing they need to start or grow. While

provides

with

provided her with information about new

an entrepreneur may have a great idea,

mentors, workshops, networking, and valuable

online investment tools, and organizational

that alone doesn’t guarantee interest from

experience in making pitches.

practices to streamline the process. Sandra

promising

entrepreneurs

a lender. That’s when angel investors step

Three years later, Sandra’s involvement

was able to implement these changes when

in. As Chair Emeritus of the Maine Angels,

with Maine Angels began. One of her clients at

she became the Chair of Maine Angels in the

Sandra Stone made sure that a lack of funding

MCED needed to find matching funds to satisfy

same year, and vastly improved the financing

didn’t hold back Maine entrepreneurs with

a grant, and she wanted to find a way to help.

process for business owners.

solid plans and big dreams.

Sandra’s investment advisor, a member of

While no longer the Chair of Maine Angels,

Maine Angels, told her about the organization

Sandra stays active in the organization and

and how they assist start-ups.

continues to assist small business people.

Since 2005, Sandra has been working to ensure that Maine’s small businesses had the resources they need to succeed. In that year, she joined

From the beginning, Sandra helped to shape

She encourages more women to participate

the Maine Center for Enterprise Development

Maine Angels. She encouraged women to join

in investing and starting businesses, and

(now the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs),

the group and began seeking ways to make the

regularly meets with entrepreneurs to share her

a nonprofit business incubator. While a part

process of financing easier on entrepreneurs. In

experience and insight.

AS CHAIR EMERITUS OF THE MAINE ANGELS, SANDRA STONE MADE SURE THAT A LACK OF FUNDING DIDN’T HOLD BACK MAINE ENTREPRENEURS WITH SOLID PLANS AND BIG DREAMS.


April 27, 2018

wonderful environment, and the programs that allow everyone to enjoy it. As a business, Good To-Go is also an active member of Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB), a trade association that advances and enhances the outdoor economy of Maine. “David and I are so thrilled to have Good To-Go named the SBA’s Small Business Manufacturer of the Year for Maine,” said Scism. “It’s a wonderful recognition of all the work we at Good To-Go have done over the last 4 years. Growing a manufacturing business,

particularly

a

food

business,

is challenging. This award reaffirms our mission, to create the most delicious meals using clean ingredients, for wherever your adventures take you.”

“GROWING A MANUFACTURING BUSINESS, PARTICULARLY A FOOD BUSINESS, IS CHALLENGING. THIS AWARD REAFFIRMS OUR MISSION, TO CREATE THE MOST DELICIOUS MEALS USING CLEAN INGREDIENTS, FOR WHEREVER YOUR ADVENTURES TAKE YOU.” —JENNIFER SCISM

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April 27, 2018

JEFFREY BUTLAND FAMILY OWNED SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR: PRATT ABBOTT  DAVID MACHESNEY, PRESIDENT 2018 Award Winner

NOMINATED BY CATHERINE WYGANT FOSSETT, INSTITUTE FOR FAMILY OWNED BUSINESS

74 YEARS is a long time, such a long time in

for bigger and better things. When the business

But adapting to changing times means more

cleaning services for Camp Susan Curtis, an

fact, that when Pratt Abbott Cleaners first

was bought by the Machesney family in 1991,

than just expanding, it means understanding the

overnight camp for disadvantaged Maine children,

started, the Second World War was still being

they began to bring their new ideas into play.

changing market, and the Machesneys understood

and a number of theater companies, and has done

fought. In the years since its founding, Pratt

First, they expanded, bringing the business to

what it took to adapt. Like many businesses in the

so since the 1990s.

Abbott has seen significant changes in their

13 retail locations across Southern Maine, and

‘90s, they began establishing an online presence,

“We’re excited and honored. This award

industry, in technology, marketing, and the

three production facilities. This allowed Pratt

which now includes active profiles on a number of

means a lot to our family and our entire

services needed by customers. It has been

Abbott to better compete for large customers, and

social media platforms. In addition, the inclusion

staff,” said Machesney. “Being a family-owned

through strong leadership, and a willingness

expand the service of their uniform linen division

of environmentally friendly cleaning products

business is a big part of our company culture.

to adapt to these changes that the business has

to the entire state and beyond. Home delivery

allowed Pratt Abbott to cater to customers

Local ownership and hands-on operation is

been able to survive so long.

began in the late 90s, with over 1,000 customers

looking for “greener” options as awareness of

something we’re very proud of. My father and

participating in the new service. All of this was

environmental issues became more prominent.

I studied every facet of the business, and my

In 1944, Pratt Abbott was a single dry cleaning location in Portland, but there was potential

good news for a business with a long history.

“IT’S WONDERFUL TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED FOR SOMETHING THAT’S SO IMPORTANT TO US, AND THAT RECOGNIZES BOTH THE PAST AND FUTURE OF OUR BUSINESS.” —DAVID MACHESNEY

Finally, no business can operate successfully for

kids grew up doing small jobs in the stores,

74 years without being a part of their community,

like sorting garment tags and bagging shirts.

and Pratt Abbott is no exception. Since the 1980s

Now my daughter is learning the business from

Pratt Abbott has worked with the Salvation Army

the ground up, just like I did. It’s wonderful

on their annual Coats for Kids drive, providing

to be acknowledged for something that’s so

cleaning services for all donations received, nearly

important to us, and that recognizes both the

15,000 coats a year. The business also provides

past and future of our business.”


April 27, 2018

2018 Award Winner

bangordailynews.com

SBDC EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION CENTER AWARD:

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER AT NORTHERN MAINE DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION  JOSH NADEAU, CENTER DIRECTOR NOMINATED BY DAVID SPOONER, NMDC

IT TAKES A LOT of work to get a business

travel to them, which in Aroostook County

started, and it also takes a lot of knowledge.

can mean a significant amount of time spent

Sometimes, entrepreneurs don’t know where

on the road. This commitment has clearly

to go for answers, and that’s where the Small

paid off for Josh’s clients, as they were able to

Business Development Centers step in. The

raise a combined $5 million in capital, start 22

SBDCs across the state provide invaluable

businesses, and create or retain over 150 jobs.

insight and resources to business owners and

Rural areas often face a number of

entrepreneurs as they start and grow, but one

challenges when it comes to economic

center in particular goes the extra mile to

development,

serve their clients.

individuals like Josh Nadeau helping out,

Despite being located in one of the more remote parts of the state—and, in fact, the

but

with

enthusiastic

the hurdles seem a little less steep, and the problems a little easier to solve.

country—Aroostook County is well covered by

“It’s always nice to get an award for

SBDC Center Director Josh Nadeau. Since the

something you’ve accomplished, but it’s

start of his time with the SBDC, Josh has worked

especially meaningful that this one comes

tirelessly to serve the business community of

from the SBA,” said Nadeau. “It’s nice to

Maine’s most northern communities.

know that hard work and positive results

Regular workshops are put together by Josh

don’t go unnoticed. I have an extremely

to provide specific information to clients,

great network of peers surrounding me at

in addition to the over 1,000 hours spent in

the Maine SBDC as well as here at NMDC.

one-on-one sessions per year. What makes

Everyone has the same core mission and it

Josh’s commitment to his clients even more

creates a positive environment that helps

impressive is the fact that he takes time to

facilitate positive results.”

“I HAVE AN EXTREMELY GREAT NETWORK OF PEERS SURROUNDING ME AT THE MAINE SBDC AS WELL AS HERE AT NMDC. EVERYONE HAS THE SAME CORE MISSION AND IT CREATES A POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT THAT HELPS FACILITATE POSITIVE RESULTS.” —JOSH NADEAU

SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

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SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Bangor Daily News Special Advertising Section

A TRUE STRATEGIC PARTNER FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND OUR COMMUNITY FOR OVER 100 YEARS

April 27, 2018

SBA 2018  

Meet the winners of the 2018 Small Business Administration awards.

SBA 2018  

Meet the winners of the 2018 Small Business Administration awards.