VOLUME 3, ISSUE 5 • MARCH 2016
BY LOCAL BUSINESS. FOR LOCAL BUSINESS
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Making it in Makerspaces BY TERRENCE WILLIAMS, COO & PRESIDENT Next month, Keene State College (KSC) holds a symposium on makerspaces, which are growing in popularity and can be effective and efficient ways communities can boost small business. Such spaces are often central locations that can incubate a number of like-minded operations, sharing equipment or resources to get those companies off the ground. Neighbor Made, formerly of Dunbar Street in Keene, was one such enterprise and featured several business owners producing packaged foods in a commercial kitchen. These foods were sold locally and regionally, but Neighbor Made closed last October. The Discerning Palate, one of the businesses that worked out of Neighbor Made, has started a makerspace in Meredith called Genuine Local. And there are others, including MakeIt Labs of Nashua, which
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VOLUME 3, ISSUE
5 • MARCH 2016
opened in 2010 and focuses on industrial, trade and technical startups. MakeIt, a 501C nonprofit, just landed Community Development Finance Authority funding to expand. Members there can work in several thousand square feet of space that features tools and equipment for a variety of processes including metalworking, welding, machining, automotive work, electronics, 3D printing and more. Port City Makerspace in Portsmouth offers similar resources and focuses on metal, wood, electronics and bicycles. Such spaces offer classes on a variety of skills, along with the camaraderie of members to spark ideas and suggest advice. The symposium at KSC will feature experts in this arena and a panel discussion on the possibilities. KSC and the Regional Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing (RCAM) will host the event, “bringing together a diverse group of people involved in makerspaces, ranging from experts to potential users, to explore the possibility of establishing a community makerspace for the western Monadnock Region,” according to the KSC announcement on the event. It’s April 1, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the TDS Center at Keene State. Keynoting the event is Douglas Webster, board member for Generator, a makerspace in Burlington, VT. What is appealing about such operations for communities like Keene is that they provide yet another way in which business can be developed locally. Will they lead to multi million operations? Possibly, but more likely they are another platform upon which local success can incubate.
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The 2016 Business Monadnock Trendsetters. Top row from left: Dave Levasseur, Amanda Bemis, Ben Wyatt, Sophie Lafleur, Elizabeth Cardine. Second row: Jen Ramey, Zach Luse, Meghan Spaulding, Shannon Hundley, Tara Kessler. Third row: Kimberlee Abrams, Tricia Wadleigh, Jake Nonweiler, Jessica Gelter, Will Schoefmann. Bottom row: Ben Fournier and Jason Wilder. See page 16 for profiles. BILL GNADE/THE KEENE SENTINEL
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Features Making it in Makerspaces Terrence Williams............................................................................................2 NH Entrepreneurs Ride a Wave of Success Terrence Williams............................................................................................4
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About our Towns Caroline Tremblay...........................................................................................6 Changing the World through Culture, Art and Creativity Melanie Plenda................................................................................................8
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NH Entrepreneurs Ride a Wave of Success BY TERRENCE WILLIAMS / PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL GNADE
he adage goes, when one faces uncomfortable pressure, “never let them see you sweat.” For the three young entrepreneurs behind Surfset Fitness, a Manchester company that’s gone global with its unique training regimen and equipment, a more apt motto might be, “never stop sweating.” Mike Hartwick, 32, Sarah Hartwick, 27 and Bill Ninteau, 30, are the dynamic trio who conceptualized, brought to market and grew Surfset Fitness to a multimillion-dollar operation in five years. Sarah was the keynote speaker at the March 9 Business Monadnock Trendsetters event at Keene State College. “It’s been a ride,” says CEO and founder Mike Hartwick at the company’s mill building office, located next to the Merrimack River and the Fisher Cats baseball stadium. “It’s been a ride,” repeats Sarah, speaking the next day from Florida, where, as the company’s training director and brand manager, she’s on a sales trip. The added emphasis on “ride” is appropriate
when one considers the plunge the three took – an all-in, go-for-broke, and, as Ninteau describes it, “burn-the-ships” commitment. It’s the meteoric stuff the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, ABC’s Shark Tank, Good Morning America and dozens of other media outlets have featured. Mike Hartwick is credited with the idea behind the company. A former professional hockey player, he’s also a surfer. He found hopping on a board to be the best pre-season training for the rigors of his sport. The balance required and the core strength needed to stay upright were transferrable to the ice, he found. “I didn’t have to take the pounding from weight lifting,” he says. “It was amazing, getting on my skates. I felt better from a balance and cardio standpoint.” Hartwick, a native of Bedford, and best friend Ninteau, then of Litchfield, played hockey together at Bishop Guertin High School in Nashua. The two kicked around a broader use of surfing as a training technique. But one on land. In the garage belonging to Ninteau’s mother, the two worked on surfboards mounted on sus-
pension systems that would replicate riding a wave. They conceptualized exercises that could be completed on the board and the amplified benefit achieved by trying to stay upright. Consider, for instance, doing a “plank” while trying to stay level on an unstable, well, plank. By then, Hartwick and Ninteau, now the company’s head of operations and business development, had met Sarah (then Sarah Ponn), at a gym in Boston. Sarah, a certified personal trainer, talked with them enthusiastically about launching a company. She envisioned a business well beyond boards, where small group training at gyms, service of those gyms and certification of the trainers, would all be the revenue drivers. “I knew it was going to be something that would spread by word of mouth once we got people on the board,” she remembers, adding that she bought in immediately. “I’m doing this.” Surfset Fitness surfaced at a time when all three were at crossroads in their young careers. Mike, a Dartmouth College graduate who played his pro hockey in England, had, by then, stopped playing, and had taken a job at Morgan Stanley. WAVE OF SUCCESS CONTINUED ON PAGE 60
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Mike Hartwick, founder and CEO of Surfset Fitness.
About our Towns COMPILED BY CAROLINE TREMBLAY PETERBOROUGH
Community Awards Gala March is a time to celebrate at the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce’s annual Community Awards Gala, which will be held on the 17th at the Shattuck Golf Club’s Cathedral Ballroom in Jaffrey. The event honors the accomplishments of locals who made significant contributions to enhance the quality of life in our communities in 2015. It also sets a standard for continuing to make the greater Peterborough area a wonderful place to work and live. This not-to-be missed event includes dinner, and there will be a cash bar. Tickets sold out last year, so if you’re interested in attending, it’s recommended that you act quickly. Go to www.peterboroughchamber.com/events to find more information and to register. BRATTLEBORO
Nonprofit Workshops In March, Brattleboro will host a series of workshops at Marlboro College Graduate Center as part of the 2016 Board Leadership Institute. The Institute was created to address the need expressed by local nonprofit board members for support in transforming their culture and becoming more effective leaders and champions for their organizations. Workshops will be offered throughout the month of March, and each will address a different topic relating to serving as a nonprofit board member. Topics include roles and responsibilities, legal responsibilities, board recruitment and development, effective communication in the midst of tension, fundraising, messaging your mission, and fiscal responsibilities. To learn more or to register, visit www.brattleborochamber.org/event.
Management Idea Exchange
Need to set some new goals for 2016? Attend a free, lunchtime MIX (Management Idea Exchange) workshop sponsored by the Center for New Leadership at Marlboro College on March 15 from 12 to 1:30. Led 6
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
by Beth Neher, the workshop will focus on writing clear, SMART objectives to clarify what you’re going to do and what successful completion looks like. For more information or to sign up, go to www.marlboro.edu/community/cnl/hotmix.
On the 23rd, the Center for New Leadership will also host a day-long learning event titled Grant Management Essentials. It will focus on organizational requirements for solid grant management, such as tasks, responsibilities, practices, and real-world situations grant managers face. Learn more at www. brattleborochamber.org/event/grant-management-essentials. JAFFREY
Local Biz Breakfast The Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce will be hosting its March breakfast at Millipore on the 9th, beginning at 7:30 a.m. It’s a great opportunity for local business people to connect, catch up, and learn about new happenings in the community. There will also be a featured speaker. Tickets are $10 for Chamber members and $15 for non-members, and you can purchase via the website, www.jaffreychamber.com.
After Hours Meet & Greet
Another chance to mingle is the Chamber’s Business After Hours gathering, which is scheduled for March 23 at 5:30. This month’s event will take place at Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough. Again, visit the website for further details. Attending one of the Chamber’s events might also be the perfect way to meet some of its newest members; there are many since the start of 2016. Wind River Environmental, a residential and commercial septic and grease pumping company serving Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire recently joined. More information about the business can be found at www. wrenvironmental.com.
Another new member is Studio 105 Hair Design, which is located at 93 Grove Street in Peterborough. See examples of their work and stay up-to-date on the latest offers at the salon by following them on Facebook at www. facebook.com/studio105hairdesign. And the newest member of the Chamber is the Peterborough Chapter of a nationwide organization called 100+ Women Who Care. The group of local women are focused on supporting their communities by contributing to local charities. They are always looking for new members and will be hosting an Open House Event on March 22nd at the Peterborough Community Theatre. There is no need to RSVP; however, you can find information at www.100womenwhocarepeterborough.com. WALPOLE
New Locations After 67 years of operating in what began as Everett and Esther Houghton’s home located at 9 Elm Street, Everett E. Houghton Co., Inc. made an exciting move at the start of the new year. They relocated their office and remaining shop inventory to 279 Main Street, directly across the street from the Walpole Fire Department. Though they will miss being located in the heart of town, they are eager to get settled into their new home and thank everyone for their support and patience. They welcome anyone to stop by and say hello to them in their new space. Linda “Sue” Webb, MA, LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist), and Sheenagh Donato, MA, LMFT, have also relocated their offices. They are now located at 8 Westminster Street in Walpole (next to Ruggles & Hunt) in the space formerly occupied by Monadnock Family Services. Both Sue and Sheenagh, as marriage and family therapists, practice individual, family and family systems, and couples therapy. They specialize in trauma and PTSD, depression, anxiety, as well as other mood disorders. For additional informa-
tion, Sue can be reached at (603) 762-0463 and Sheenagh at (603) 313-2281.
Making a Difference Online Having been prominent in downtown Walpole for 40 years, Clark-Mortenson closed their office at the beginning of February. With several other office locations in operation and more business being conducted online these days, it no longer made sense for the business to maintain their Walpole location. However, they are still deeply committed to supporting Walpole and its residents.
Quail Financial Group As one door closes, another opens, and Walpole is happy to welcome a new business, Quail Financial Group. Founded by Seth and Tyler Quail with a combined 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, the company specializes in insurance and retirement planning for families and small businesses. As fathers and business owners themselves, they know it can be hard to make time for financial planning. Their goal is to
make it a manageable task by creating a plan that will keep you on track. Quail Financial Group is also an independent agency, which allows them to work with multiple Insurance companies. In addition, they offer complimentary business services including informal business valuations and buy-sell reviews. They can provide a planning report based on five commonly used valuations methods, at no cost to you. Whether you want to create a market for the sale of your business or provide protection in the event of unplanned events, they believe creating a solid financial plan and identifying your priorities can benefit your financial future. Quail Financial Group can be reached at 603-904-4088 or by email at email@example.com. Visit them on the web at www.quailfinancialgroup.com or www.facebook.com/quailfinancialgroup.
Writing Workshops with Pam Bernard
Beginning in early April, award-winning author Pam Bernard continues her ongoing,
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8-week series of memoir/personal narrative writing and reading workshops at her home in Walpole. If you don’t tell your story, who will? The workshops are aimed at exploring the genre to learn the ground rules, to experiment with different approaches to making the personal universal, and to develop your unique voice and style to bring your story to life. Each member is encouraged to participate at his or her own pace and comfort level. Workshops fill quickly, so if you’re interested in participating, you should sign up soon. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit pambernard.com, or call 603-756-4177 for more information. Pam Bernard, author of four books, is a poet, painter, editor, and adjunct professor at the New Hampshire Institute of Art and Franklin Pierce University. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College and BA from Harvard University. Her awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and a MacDowell Fellowship. ■
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BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
The Launching of Business in the Monadnock Region Danya Pugliese, left, and Rebecca Hamilton of Machina Arts, with a metal sculpture by Pugliese.
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Changing the World through Culture, Art and Creativity BY MELANIE PLENDA / PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL MOORE
here in the world could a sculptor and a fire dancing economic botanist find a place to call home for a for-profit artist collective and bar? The Monadnock Region, of course. At least that’s what Danya Pugliese and Rebecca Hamilton are banking on with their start up, Machina Arts. Their three-year-old baby, currently incubating at Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, started out bringing pop up interactive art installations to unexpected venues throughout the region, but these days is busy transitioning itself into a proper art collective where the community can attend gallery exhibits, take a class, hold a workshop, perform and generally revel in all that is artsy. But Machina Arts is ultimately the result of a bit of serendipity. Hamilton’s family owns W.S. Badger Company Inc., which makes natural body care products in Gilsum. With an eye toward
helping the family business create a product development department, Hamilton set off to study for Sustainable Business and Economic Botany, first in Hawaii and eventually Massachusetts. However, in the process, she discovered something about herself. “When I was 18 I started fire dancing,” Hamilton says. “When I moved out to Hawaii I joined a troupe of fire dancers and performers. “When I moved back to this area, I reached a point where I was really conflicted because I wanted to stay here in New Hampshire, because my family is here and my business is here, but I didn’t feel settled in this area because I really feel at my core, I enjoy manifesting and I enjoy being a performer.” Meanwhile, Pugliese, who grew up in Portsmouth and earned her bachelor’s of fine art from the Maine College of Art in Portland, had set off for New York City to make her way as an artist. Around 2012, while as-
sisting and apprenticing other artists in the city, one of them asked if Pugliese would come to her home in Nelson to help with a project. Her first day in town, Pugliese met Hamilton. They got to talking and quickly found the other was a kindred spirit. They talked about how much they loved the area but dearly missed the on demand culture of the big city. “So Danya and I realized that in order for us to be able to feel happy about being in the area we had to create this artistic outlet, for her, for visual arts and for me more on the performance space,” Hamilton says. “My experience has been - because I’ve traveled to these other places like Hawaii and I lived in San Francisco for a short time - there would be these people all around, who would come up with this crazy idea to create some art piece and 10 people would say, ‘That’s a great idea,’ and they would spend the next five weekends working with you to
CULTURE, ART AND CREATIVITY CONTINUED ON PAGE 58
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
8 Top-Notch Tools to Enrich Your Business’ Visual Identity BY CAROLINE TREMBLAY / PHOTO BY BILL GNADE
s spring approaches, we all feel the urge to spruce things up and bring color and life back into the world. Why not do the same for your website, blog, or social accounts? If you’ve gotten into some bad habits over the winter (as most of us have), seize the change of season as a chance to renew the energy behind your business’ online look, feel, and messaging. If you’re in need of some inspiration to get you started, look no further than these eight excellent, web-based tools that will help you achieve a richer, more fully-developed visual identity for your business. Typography Fonts trigger an immediate response from readers, and that can be a good or bad thing depending on how thoughtful you are about your choices. While a font that looks as though it’s handwritten might be optimal for an indie clothing company, it probably wouldn’t carry the correct tone for an accountant’s website. Though that example uses a significant contrast, the impact of fonts can also be much subtler. It’s important to decide whether to go bold or understated, simple or ornate, and of course, you must always consider readability. With so many fonts out there to choose from, finding the one that’s ideal can be frustrating. But there are resources available to make the process stress-free. Font Picker This is an app which you can download or use online, and it offers a faster, more efficient approach to narrowing down your favorite fonts. First, it recognizes all of the fonts installed on your computer and creates a list. Then you type in a few words of sample text, for instance, your business’ name or tagline. Font Picker shows you how that text appears in each font; you select the keepers by clicking the check mark and delete the one your dislike by clicking “X.” By displaying samples of all your fonts in one place, Font Picker speeds up the process of finding the precise typeface for a particular project. Type Genius The other tricky task related to fonts is matching. Design teams often spend immense amounts of time selecting pairs or small groups of fonts for business style guides. And if you don’t have a design background, finding complementary text types can be mind boggling. It’s generally suggested that you stick to just a couple fonts because more than that can be distracting. Given that recommendation, Type Genius offers a brilliant answer. All you have to do is go onto the site, select a starter font from the dropdown list, and wait a second for the next screen to appear. Type Genius will automatically generate a match for your font and show you sample text in the form of “The quick brown fox…” You’ll also see a screenshot of a sample website with the same font combination so you can really get a sense of how they work together. Colors Similarly to fonts, colors have a remarkable influence on our perception of what we see and our emotional response to it. Color theory is 10
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a fascinating topic that drives organization’s choices in branding, store design, uniform choices, and so on. So why wouldn’t you pay as close attention to your color palette online? Pinterest Pinterest is a social site with which you may already be familiar. It’s known as a hub for visual idea sharing and design inspiration, which is why it’s a smart place to go if you’re picking a palette from scratch.
Instead of agonizing over color-matching, let other pinners do the work for you. If you type “color palette” in Pinterest’s search bar, you’ll instantly be rewarded with more color scheme options than you ever could have imagined. The best part – as you go along and find arrangements that speak to you, you can pin them to your own board and store them all in one place. Revisit your pins at any time to narrow down the options and land on the palette that communicates exactly what your business is all about. Pictaculous Often, our ideas for color come from an existing image, a particular color scheme we’ve seen somewhere (maybe even on Pinterest). Pictaculous allows you to turn that spark into a cohesive color palette. Provided by the popular email marketing tool, MailChimp, the easy to use Pictaculous generates a palette for you based on any image you choose. It must be in a recognizable format and can be no larger than 500K, but any picture meeting those requirements is fair game. Browse, upload, and wait for your results to appear. Pictaculous will match the color scheme in your image and provide you with digital swatches and hex codes that you can download, email, or share right from the site. In addition, you’ll see a sampling of related palette recommendations you may find helpful. Design Bringing together all the design elements to create cover photos or posts for social media, graphics for a blog, or banners for a website was once an involved process if you wanted to do it yourself. But now the Internet offers a plethora of tools with basic design options. And
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putting them to use can add a new dimension to your small business’ online approach. Canva This simple design tool allows you to create graphics of all sizes and styles with an assortment of images, text options, backgrounds, illustrations, and more. Many of the elements are free, and you can easily put together an attractive design without spending anything. But if you like having free rein, there’s an abundance of options for just a dollar. Make something powerful or snazzy; make a statement or create something fun. What would bring new energy to your business? PicMonkey For all your image editing needs, this is the place to go, and it’s also a one-stop shop for design and collage-making as well. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, range of useful tools, and flexible uploading from Facebook, the cloud, or your computer, PicMonkey has become a popular option for photo touch-ups and arrangements. Placeit A smart way to get potential customers thinking about exploring your website is to show them an image of someone doing just that. Companies employ this useful marketing strategy all the time by placing a screenshot of their website, social site, or blog onto the screen of a tablet, laptop, or phone in a stock image. But unless you’re savvy with Photoshop, it can be pretty tricky and tends to come out sloppy or noticeably “homemade.” Not anymore. Placeit can seamlessly plug your screenshot into a diverse range of sophisticated mockups – no Photoshop necessary. The result is clean and attractive and might be just the thing to bring a new level of refinement to your website. ■
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Weinreich in her 51 Marlboro Street offices, Keene.
Improving the Quality of Team Relationships in the Workplace BY MADDIE WEINREICH / PHOTOGRAPHY BY BILL GNADE
or the past 16 years, Maddie Weinreich Coaching has been a leader in the development of Relationship Systems Team Coaching for businesses. Strengthening the interpersonal relationships within a business is the newest and most effective way to enhance performance in todayâ€™s workplace. By focusing specifically on the relationships that exist within an organization, Maddie Weinreich Coaching has helped hundreds of teams learn how to navigate change, increase productivity and improve the quality of relationships in the workplace. Our staff of professional coaches works globally and locally with senior leadership and mid-management teams in a wide variety of industries including: banking, publishing, manufacturing, trading and investment, entertainment, health care, educational institutions, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. Business teams engage in Relationship Systems Team Coaching for a variety of reasons. Often there are challenges with ineffective communication that may impact the organizationâ€™s ability to resolve minor or major disagreements. There can be a lack of engagement and ac-
countability among team members, as many teams attempt to operate without defined working agreements or conflict protocols. This can result in harmful gossip and, at times, create an intolerance for diverse work styles. Having an overall feeling of negativity in a business team can also result in high turnover, low morale, and decreased efficiency. Individuals can experience resistance to change and team members can become disenfranchised. This is not fun for anyone. It is becoming a common practice for successful leaders and high performing business teams to routinely enlist the services of a coaching company to further support their development. Increasing profitability and functionality by helping teams to overcome obstacles, clarify objectives, and achieve common goals is what Relationship Systems Team Coaching is all about. Recently, a well-established marketing and public relations firm from Chicago came to Maddie Weinreich Coaching. There was a high level of hostility between some of the team members in one department and two of the individuals were keeping the rest of the group from moving forward. They were each convinced that their approach RELATIONSHIPS IN THE WORKPLACE CONTINUED ON PAGE 56
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Despite Global Economic Woes, US Economy Should be Just Fine in 2016 BY TONY PARADISO / PHOTO BY BILL GNADE
oming off an unsuccessful effort to slow the Trump for President juggernaut, I figured I’d double down and see how foolish I can appear by interpreting the economic tea leaves meaning to the small business community. Following a similar move in Europe, Japan’s central bank recently took the drastic step of going negative on interest rates. Negative interest rates mean that banking institutions pay to park their money with the Bank of Japan. The average citizen who is seeking a safe haven for their capital will also have to pony up. The benchmark 10-year government bond was recently yielding minus 0.005 percent, meaning investors will get back less than they put in despite having invested their money for 10 years. The good news is that at least one bank still offers interest on saving accounts. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group gives savers a whopping 0.001 percent interest on their accounts. Translation: over a year’s time a deposit of $1,000 yields a one penny profit. And you thought the interest on your savings was bad. The theory behind negative interest rates is that it will increase lending thereby fueling growth. The key word in that sentence is “theory.” It’s the type of thing that economic academics advise be done when you’re out of options. There’s one problem with the idea: it takes two to tango. If businesses don’t want to borrow, charging banks to stockpile cash isn’t exactly going to change their behavior. And if people don’t want to spend there are other options. For example, the Japanese people reacted to the government’s desperate attempt to create growth by driving up the sales of safes. That makes at least one industry that thinks that going negative on interest rates is a great idea. On June 23rd the British will vote on whether to remain in the EU. A ‘Brexit’ - as it has been coined - would not be good for the global economy. Even if as polls indicate the decision will be to remain in the Union, the process will leave scars. As a condition of maintaining the status quo Prime Minister Cameron attempted to negotiate a “special” deal. Most of what he asked for was rejected, but not everything. The particulars are unimportant. What is important is that once you’ve made concessions to one member - regardless how minor - other members will feel slighted. The EU’s unity has already been tested by the Greek fiasco and now by the debate over Syrian immigration. Combined with the EU’s structural flaw, you have an ominous trend. No review of the global economy is complete without including China. No question that China’s economy is slowing, but this is to be expected: it’s the law of big numbers. It’s why the U.S. economy will likely never experience 5 percent annual growth again. But China’s recent stock market plunge, the speculation about previous overbuilding, and its rapidly increasing debt does give one pause. According to Standard & Poor’s in 2008 China’s corporate debt
was equal to 98 percent of its GDP. Today it’s at 160 percent of GDP. As a reference point, in the U.S., corporate debt is at 70 percent of GDP. China’s level of corporate bonds increased 25 percent last year alone. More alarming is that 70 percent of the bonds issued were from the already heavily indebted real-estate and constructions sectors. And this is at a time when home prices are falling in China’s smaller cities. The Chinese government says that the rise in corporate debt is part of a plan to relieve the banks from bearing the bulk of the risk. Translation: China is attempting to offload the banking system problems on to the private section. None of this is going to lead to an immediate meltdown, but keep an eye on China’s debt and its real estate market. If things worsen considerably, it will put further downward pressure on overall growth. Domestically the big story is the price of oil. If you believe the ECONOMIC WOES CONTINUED ON PAGE 59
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
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Selection Panel Bryanne Kingsbury was born and raised in the Monadnock Region. After attending the University of San Francisco where she received a BA in International Studies with an emphasis in Economics she moved to Boston for a short while before settling with her husband, Bryan, in his home town of Harrisville, NH. Today Bry is an Insurance & Business Solutions Advisor with Clark-Mortenson Insurance. Bry sits on the boards of the Monadnock Humane Society and The Monadnock Center for History & Culture and she is active on committees for both the Keene and Peterborough Chambers. Bry was a participant in the 2014 Leadership Monadnock program and was honored with the 2014 Trendsetter Award. In her free time, Bry enjoys traveling, running, hiking, and is a lover of all things outdoors and NH!
Ingrid Ayala is currently the eBanking Officer at Savings Bank of Walpole where she is responsible for the day-to-day operations and customer service of eBanking Services. She is a certified Accredited ACH Professional (AAP) and is currently working on completing her Bachelor of Science in Business Studies- Operations and Project Management at Southern New Hampshire University. Ingrid is Board Secretary at The Community Kitchen and is an active member of the Rotary Club of Keene. She is also an advisor to the Keene Interact Club and has been a chaperone and translator in service trips to El Salvador and Nicaragua. A native of Puerto Rico, Ingrid now resides in Keene, New Hampshire with her daughter, Isabella and fiancé, Kyle Hebert. Ingrid was featured as a 2015 Monadnock Trendsetter.
Andrew Richardson has been the Branch Manager for Citizens Bank in Keene, NH since 2011. A trendsetter in 2015 Andrew also serves on the Hannah Grimes Center and Keene Young Professional Network Board of Directors. In addition Andrew serves as the Vice President of the Keene BNI-ABC chapter. Through Citizens Bank he also contributes to local non-profits through their charitable giving campaign and is a Citizens Bank Credo Honor Roll recipient for his volunteer hours in the community.
Susan Newcomer was the workforce development coordinator for the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce prior to her retirement and is highly active in the community through volunteerism and civic engagement. She continues to be involved with the chamber through her facilitation of its Leadership Monadnock Program.
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
An Imagined Destination Turned Reality BY SARAH SHERMAN / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
ressed in jeans and a blue plaid shirt, with her long dark hair pulled back into two braids, Elizabeth Cardine looks more like one of the high school students in her class than a teacher. She’s just spent the last two hours in a horse barn with a student who is working on a hippotherapy internship at Miracles in Motion, a therapeutic horseback-riding program in Keene – and she’s still trying to warm up. At 35, Cardine saw three years of hard work come to fruition in August when Making Community Connections – or MC2 Charter School’s Monadnock campus opened its doors to 57 high school students. Housed on the second floor at The Center at Colony Mill on Emerald Street in Keene, enrollment is now up to 62 students, and Cardine, lead teacher and co-leader of the school, says it’s been a relatively smooth startup so far. “It’s going phenomenally well,” she says. “It’s such hard work starting anything, but the re-
sponse from both the students and parents has been overwhelmingly positive.” Students come to MC2 for a variety of reasons, she explains. Some need a more handson learning style, while others want to continue the charter school or homeschooling experience. A small population are seeking an alternative to the public school system. MC2 aims for a collaborative rather than competitive relationship with local public schools. Education runs strong in her blood and in her life. A graduate of St. Joseph’s Regional School and Keene High School, Cardine’s parents have both taught at Monadnock Regional High School for more than 30 years. Her husband, Andrew, an engineer at Entergy, is also the son of teachers. After high school, Cardine pursued a double major in physics and studio arts at Connecticut College in New London, Conn., but says she knew she would pursue her alternative certification for teaching. Her father-in-law, Curt Car-
dine, a former superintendent of the Monadnock Regional School District, was a supporter of the original MC2 school in that district, and encouraged Cardine to meet with school director Kim Carter, who was looking for a teacher with a creative problem-solving skill set. “I fell in love with the model,” Cardine says of the school where she started teaching in 2003. The school closed in 2010 due to a number of factors, but Cardine captured the interdisciplinary and real-world learning lessons of the model and channeled them into starting the QED Foundation (taken from the Latin phrase “quod erat demonstrandum”) where she could pass on the knowledge as an educational consultant and teacher trainer. Realizing that a site was needed to truly showcase the practices of the model and to support educators, an application was submitted to the state to reopen MC2 as a charter school in 2012. The charter was for a network of sites, the first opening in Manchester, where Cardine was involved in staff development, technical assistance, offsite consultation and mentorship. In 2013, Cardine became the startup coordinator for MC2’s Monadnock campus. Other locations were considered, but believing that the community’s memory was still strong CARDINE CONTINUED ON PAGE 38
Trendsetter Reveals Paths Less Traveled BY PAMELA BUMP PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
or drivers, destinations like Drummer Hill, the North Bridge, Keene Forest Park and Goose Pond may be missed in the rearview mirror. With pedestrian and bicycle safety in mind, Will Schoefmann wants to change that. Schoefmann, a lifelong resident and explorer of Keene, is the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Technician for the City Planning Department. Using software and organized data, he surveys, maps and presents information about various areas and projects in the city. He explains that each day, he works toward increasing “transparency” between residents and the Planning Department. “One of my long-term goals is getting information out into the public so it’s at (a resident’s) fingertips — just a couple of clicks away,” Schoefmann explains. Most recently, Schoefmann created an app to help voters find their polling place before the primary election. He has also helped to create the Keene Paths website, which allows users to see pedestrian trails and bicycle paths. In the next five years, he plans to release similar apps that go along with the city’s Capital Improvement Project. “Opening up information to the public through apps; making roadways as safe and enjoyable as possible; and maintaining what we have are all goals,” he says. “They probably seem like mundane things, but I think the trail system and bicycle pedestrian facilities enhance quality of life in the Keene community.” He began his career as an intern at the department and later returned to the offices when the GIS position became available. Schoefmann has made the trails of Keene one of his priorities, saying that he would like people to know about all the destinations that don’t need a car to be reached. “Bicycle pedestrian planning lends itself quite nicely to my skills surrounding GIS,” Schoefmann says, adding that much of the GIS data he collects is used to apply for
Will Schoefmann grants that may fund improvements or new projects. At a state level, he is a municipal representative for the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Bike Pedestrian Transportation Advisory Committee. In this position, he travels to Concord to advise DOT staff of the “direction to go in with pedestrian planning initiatives.” He says the initiatives he discusses with the DOT are, “all connected from local level, to a regional level, to a state level. Every level needs to be on the same page for these plans to work.”
On a local level, he has hosted interns from Keene State College, his alma mater. For him, his goal as a supervisor is to give geography students useful projects that can help the city. “My experience (at Keene State) was good, but what I found was lacking was real-world experience, applicability and feeling like something I was doing was making a difference,” he says. “It gives students the opportunity to go out and interact with someone and manage an overall project.” While Schoefmann oversees a student SCHOEFMANN CONTINUED ON PAGE 39
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Keene State College congratulates the recipients of the 2016 Trendsetter Awards. As New Hampshire’s public liberal arts college, we are giving people the power of a liberal arts education – to think critically, act creatively, and serve the greater good.
Wisdom to make a difference. 229 Main Street | Keene, New Hampshire 03435 | keene.edu
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The Lifeline of Keeping Arts Alive BY TERRENCE WILLIAMS / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
essica Gelter’s passion for the arts is such that she and her husband, James, found a way to keep that ever present - with some help from Shakespeare. “Forget any other home but this,” it says on her wedding band, famously expressed by Juliet in the balcony scene of Romeo and Juliet. On James’ ring? “Heaven is here,” from Romeo when he finds out he is banished. Gelter, 31, is executive director for Arts Alive!, the unique Keene-based nonprofit whose mission is to promote and celebrate the rich arts community and offerings in the Monadnock Region. A Brattleboro resident, Gelter has taken her diverse arts background and a growing expertise on creative economies, to help grow Arts Alive! into a robust resource that local artists can tap to enhance their work and careers.
Consider just a few projects in which she’s been instrumental in her short, two-years at the helm of Arts Alive!: • Sponsoring and helping to stage the New England Foundation for the Arts Creative Communities Exchange last spring. The CCX, only the fourth held in New England and the first in New Hampshire, brought together experts to discuss the ways and means to build sustainable arts and cultural economies. • Being a lead organizer of the Ruth and James Ewing Arts Awards, held last summer at Redfern Arts Center, during which 15 performing and visual artists were recognized for excellence. • Acting as Arts Alive’s central player in Discover Monadnock, a regional effort to bring more attention to the southwestern
corner of New Hampshire as a place to visit, start a business and lay down roots. • Playing the lead in a new study, through Americans for the Arts, that will measure the economic impact of the arts on the Monadnock Region. This will update a 2008 report that suggested the arts are a $13 million business here. This work supplements an active professional career that includes, with her husband, writing, directing and staging annual outdoor performances connected to Brattleboro’s Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center. “These are plays in the woods, lit by torches,” she says. “They all have an environmental tie-in.” Last year, the couple produced a “mashup” that focused on global warming in which actors had to defeat a dragon. Another year’s play focused on a 1920s circus that gets lost in the woods; the audience has to help the troupe escape an evil clown. “I have been doing theater since I was eight years old,” she says, adding that the work has helped her “build relationships with people and the community.” GELTER CONTINUED ON PAGE 40
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
A Passion for the Community BY DAVID LANIER / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
abletops feature sports photos, both local and national. The menu includes nods to local teams like the Keene State Owls and semi-pro football Monadnock Marauders, and the function room regularly hosts fundraisers for benefit 5K runs and other causes. Ben Fournier made Scores Sports Bar & Grille not just another stop for a beer and a burger, but a key member of the Keene community. “We had to get the community behind us,” Fournier, 31, says of the business metamorphosis that started when Scores opened off Railroad Square in September 2013. “We had to show our character, what we were going to be. This town is close-knit, and we worked 22
hard to be a part of that, to be active. Community was the whole pitch. “Now it’s a family-oriented place, a sports bar, something this town needed, where sports fans can go and socialize with other sports fans and watch multiple games. It’s a safe place. We did that. We totally turned it around.” Scores also holds theme nights like Trivia Night and Open Mic Night, stages weekly pong tournaments, hosts area bands and stages giveaways. Most recently, a lucky patron won a Winter Classic sweater worn by Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. The sports bar also serves as home base for a weekly running club and regularly offers its banquet room for fundraisers.
“Ben decided immediately upon opening that helping out in the community was his first priority,” says Beth Truman, who nominated Fournier for Trendsetters recognition. “Scores constantly is implementing new ideas and opportunities to support the community, local nonprofit and the local economy.” That wasn’t necessarily the focus at 82 Main St. in previous years. Scores is in the same location as the former Railroad Tavern, once a siren for Keene State students and something of a headache for others. The Railroad had a checkered run, racking up 15 state liquor commission violations, $5,000 in fines and 12 days with a suspended liquor license in its first eight years. Police also were dispatched to the scene frequently for a number of incidents, including a stabbing a month before the tavern was sold. Now, some Keene police officers hold their fantasy football draft at Scores, which hasn’t FOURNIER CONTINUED ON PAGE 41
Following a Destiny BY PAUL MILLER PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
he life-is-good smile stands out first. For Meghan Spaulding, it seems an immoveable object. But why shouldn’t she beam; these days she has a lot to be happy about. As program director for the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Spaulding is front and center of where she would first want to be: working with children, in a setting where activity is the focus, and where the potential to instill positive lifelong values and habits is in her hands. Spaulding, 29, has more far-reaching career goals, to be sure, but right now, professionally, it doesn’t get any better. “I’m young,” she says, “but I’ve already learned a lot about myself and about what I do. One of those things is a reminder that you can always inspire a child’s life just by being there…just by showing up.” Those who know her best, and she herself, will tell you she is doing not only what she loves, but also what she feels is the result of something that’s part mission, part destiny. It’s hard to imagine something else, she says; it’s as if stars were aligned. Spaulding grew up in northern New Hampshire, in the small town of Littleton. Her four brothers are all older. All five children played sports. “It was awesome,” Spaulding recalls, again with the trademark smile. “It was a very active household.” Her father, Mike, worked as the supervisor of maintenance for the town’s parks department; her mother, Kim, a native of nearby Lancaster, worked for many years at Woodsville High School and its Jobs for America’s Graduates ( JAG) program. “It was a close-knit community; we were a close-knit family,” Spaulding says. There was nothing else on her radar when she enrolled at Keene State College but to pursue a degree in recreational sports. She was a jock, having lettered in three varsity sports in high school, and recreation was a way of life in the Spaulding home. She realized after her sophomore year of
college that she didn’t want to be a physical education teacher; it was a box, she says, that struck her as too confining. Two transformative events that would ultimately shape her career path lay ahead. One was a senior-year internship with the recreation department she now works for; the other was the beginning of her involvement with the Brantwood Camp in Greenfield. The camp hosts primarily low-income and/ or inner-city boys and girls who live in the Northeast. A Keene State friend, the camp’s executive director, brought her into the fold
six years ago. She began as a cabin counselor; she rose to junior program division director. She says the work was more rewarding than she could ever have imagined, and, in ways large and small, life changing. “It’s always a little tough working with kids in general because they do say the darndest things, and they do unexpected things, but you learn patience. And at the camp, where the children are underprivileged, you learn what’s important. “We might sleep under the stars, go for a SPAULDING CONTINUED ON PAGE 42
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Shannon Hundley The Art of a Working Mother BY KENZIE TRAVERS / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
tore Manager at Your Kitchen Store; youth group leader and junior church teacher; member of the Christian Education Board; cochair of the Keene Downtown Group; and, most importantly, a working mother of three. Shannon Hundley, as her nominator put it, “multi-tasks as only a woman can; balancing her husband, children, greater family, work, church and volunteerism.” Beside all this, Hundley is a breath of fresh air. Her bubbly personality makes it impossible to not laugh with her, or feel like you’re with a great friend. Hundley, a resident of Keene who moved to the Monadnock Re-
gion with her family at age 16 from Pennsylvania, is modest in saying she doesn’t feel like she does anything out of the ordinary. “I feel like I don’t really do anything special,” she says, “or anything that really sets me apart from anyone else. I just do what I feel needs to be done.” And there is a lot of that. Upon moving here, which was something she was not delighted about, her parents “made” her get a job. “It ended up being good,” she laughs. She began working in retail at Fashion Bug, where she worked her way up to management. “If you work hard,” she says, “you move up, and that’s what I did.” Hundley also loves art, so working in a place with fashion merchandise and accessories fit that niche. After about a decade, and with the closing of Fashion Bug, Hundley began looking for something else. She applied to Your Kitchen Store (YKS) thinking she didn’t have a chance, despite her experience in management. “I couldn’t cook,” she says, “and when I did (get the job) I was shocked. I remember getting the phone call and being very surprised.” She familiarized herself with the culinary environment by reading HUNDLEY CONTINUED ON PAGE 44
A Desire to Fulfill his Civic Duties BY STEVE GILBERT PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
enjamin J. Wyatt is a history buff, a student of the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, roots planted in childhood and nurtured throughout his academic and professional journey. And, really, at age 35, the founder and managing partner of Wyatt & Associates PLLC is just getting started. In late 2014, he formed Cheshire County’s first and only law firm that centers primarily on labor and employment legal matters for local businesses and employees. The office, which includes three other attorneys and support staff, is in the former MacMillin Co. building on Elm Street in Keene. Wyatt can trace his love of civics back to elementary school. “I was that dorky kid who in 5th grade was reading Proust’s 3,000-page volumes,” he says with a grin, referring to Frenchman Marcel Proust’s massive “Remembrance of Things Past,” considered the longest novel ever written. Wyatt and his wife, Allison, an MIT graduate and human capital and executive search partner at Edgility Consulting, fell in love with Cheshire County after the urban life of New Haven, Conn., and Boston. He graduated a Juris Doctor from Yale Law School, with numerous academic accolades. He and Allison have settled into Chesterfield with their three sons: Jacob, 5, Nathanial, 3, and Lucas, 1. “We wanted to find a place to put down roots,” Wyatt says. “Frankly, we were just captivated as soon as we came to this area.” Similarly, with the opening of his law office, Wyatt has put down professional roots in the Monadnock Region. Wyatt & Associates assists both employers and employees with legal advice and representation during litigation. The closest firms that specialize in employment law are in Manchester, Nashua and Springfield, Mass., he says, so he found “there was a real demand for our services.” He lists three key components in representing employers: 1) proactively advising
Ben Wyatt clients before problems exist, such as crafting rights policies, payment policies and human resource department practices; 2) offering counsel to employers who may be having a single-issue problem with an employee; 3) representing employers after a problem exists, be it through labor audits, wage claims or a lawsuit. For employees, the firm provides guidance on contract signings, non-competition clauses, severance pay and complaints of unfair terminations among other services. The key, Wyatt says, is recognizing that every case is singular, and clients have varying priorities. One may want an attractive severance package while another may want to file a
legal claim. “One size does not fit all,” he says. “Our emphasis is really employment law for both employers and employees.” Wyatt gained experience working for large corporations, including most recently at C&S Wholesale Grocers Inc., based in Keene, where he was senior labor and employment legal counsel. “It allowed me to build on the many experiences I had gained working for other large employment firms,” he says. Before C&S, he worked at one of the largest law firms in Boston advising multiple Fortune 500 companies. But it wasn’t merely aptitude in jurisprudence that prepared him to start his own firm. It was learning that a WYATT CONTINUED ON PAGE 45
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Dave Levasseur Designing a Path for the Future BY CHEYENNE VAUGHN / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
t the heart of David Levasseur’s work is a passion for serving others. Despite having many varied interests drawing and design, teaching, skiing and biking - he has found cohesion by using what he loves to help others. This led him to a career at Bensonwood, where he has come to focus on windows and doors. “Your home is your secure place,” he says. “It’s somewhere you want to go and be safe and be in your little comfort bubble and be happy there.” Levasseur studied architectural engineering at Vermont Technical College, but his interest in design began with a family full of artists. He says he has always been doodling, 26
sometimes outside drawing landscapes and other times inside designing anything. He jumped into work at Bensonwood after moving to the area with his wife from his home state of Vermont. It began in the drafting studio with anything that needed to be done, but he says the role quickly evolved from anything to everything. In the past nine and a half years he has worked for every department in the company. “Menial tasks mostly,” Levasseur says, “but it’s a good overview of what we do here.” He says it’s nice to be able to integrate wherever he is needed and that he can do this because of Bensonwood’s guiding principle of focusing on the greater good, rather than a strict hierarchy. He appreciates that everyone
is in it together, “to make this company great and grow, and make the community great and grow.” Ultimately, he says, this gives him a sense of ownership and pride in his work. “It’s not coming to a job every day; it’s not coming to work every day; it’s coming to feel good about it and to actually feel like I’m doing something,” he says. Although his days remain varied, the time now revolves around windows and doors. “There are so many different choices,” he says. “We know their strengths and their weaknesses and put them in the right house to really make that house a beautiful place.” He says he’s constantly striving to improve his work and to make it “that much better.” It’s an exciting time to be working in the field, with more choices and more improvements, he says, as the mainstream market gets on board with energy-efficient homes. He predicts that it is only going to get betLEVASSEUR CONTINUED ON PAGE 46
Taking Initiative at an Early Age BY STEVE GILBERT PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
manda Bemis has sure been busy. She’s Lead Client Partner at Carlisle Wide Plank Floors in Stoddard, in charge of a team responsible for the company’s growth and success. What else? She went on a two-week safari to Africa last fall; has traveled to Australia, Mexico and Mongolia; started working at age 14 at Dunkin’ Donuts; worked as a Subway “sandwich artist” and waitress at East Hill Farm; runs in local races; and was a residential counselor in Boston thanks to a psychology degree (with honors) from the University of New Hampshire. More? She saved up and bought her first car at age 16, an Oldsmobile that died on Route 12; bought a Mercury Tracer; totaled her Mercury Tracer; took a home-ownership class; bought a home; manages the Adopta-Family program in Keene that provides holiday gifts to a family in need; partakes in community wellness programs; is a volunteer fundraiser for her niece’s pre-school program at The Jack and Jill Nursery in Keene. Bemis is only 29. Dan Harper, sales associate at Carlisle and a colleague of Bemis’s, sent in a four-page (single spaced) letter nominating her for the Trendsetter award. He’s not shy in commending her leadership ability, both in and out of the office. “She is ambitious – she is driven – and it is contagious,” he writes, extolling her skills in overseeing a six-person team at Carlisle, and her enthusiasm for embracing life. She joined Carlisle in 2011, and says her position has fostered both professional and personal growth. As lead client partner, her team has a wide swath of responsibilities and must ultimately ensure the product reaches the buyer as promised. Plenty can go wrong in the process, with lots of moving parts, and Bemis describes it as a very complicated position. “You have to make decisions to the best of your ability and take responsibility for them if things don’t go right,” she says. Harper writes that Bemis is tenacious in
seeking solutions to problems, and is quick to assist colleagues who need help. She is not shy in offering fresh perspectives during internal discussions, and always keeps up with evolving trends in the flooring market. She’s also adept at training new employees. “She is literally the glue that holds all departments together,” Harper writes. Bemis says travel has shaped much of her perspective, even helping her to deal with personal tragedies. A graduate of Monadnock Regional High School and a member of the National Honor Society, she first traveled out-of-country on a high school diplomacy exchange to Australia.
Since then, she’s traveled around the globe, but not so much as a tourist. She went on a safari to Zambia last fall, hiking to Victoria Falls and its famous Devil’s Swimming Pool. “I thought the lions would be cool, but I loved the elephants,” she says. “All of a sudden I felt tears coming down my face.” She joined friends Jim and Julie Moulton of Vermont in Mongolia, where they were stationed as Peace Corps workers for more than two years. “I like to immerse myself in the local culture as much as possible,” Bemis says. “It BEMIS CONTINUED ON PAGE 47
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Abramson, Brown & Dugan, is again the only firm in the state to have all of its partners recognized as New England Super Lawyers in Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice Litigation and the only firm in New Hampshire to have a Rising Star in Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice Litigation. Mark Abramson and Kevin Dugan have been recognized as two of New England’s Super Lawyers in Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice Litigation every year since 2007. Holly Haines has been recognized as a Rising Star by New England Super Lawyers every year since 2008.
THE PRACTICE FOR MALPRACTICE. Throughout New Hampshire, our law firm is recognized for our advocacy on behalf of injured clients and victims of medical negligence. With extensive experience in medical malpractice and other complex personal injury litigation, Abramson, Brown & Dugan has won a number of cases which have set precedents in state law.
In Keene, you’ll recognize us by a familiar face... Former Cheshire County Attorney Peter Heed manages the Keene office of the firm. A Keene-area resident since 1980, Heed also serves as adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at Keene State College. If you have a potential medical malpractice or personal injury case, call Attorney Peter Heed at the Keene Office (603) 354-3000
1819 Elm Street, Manchester, NH (603) 627-1819 Fax: (603) 666-4227 Colony Mill, 222 West Street, Suite 28, Keene, NH (603) 354-3000 Fax: (603) 354-3029
ww w. ar b d. c om 28
A Natural-Born Planner BY SUSAN REING / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
ara Kessler doesn’t like to leave anything to chance. So she plans. She plans a lot. And that’s probably a pretty good thing since Kessler has a master’s degree in regional planning and works as an urban planner for the city of Keene. It might seem like an unusual choice for a woman who describes herself as a nature enthusiast and likes nothing more than to be out running or hiking or ascending a mountain. But Kessler, 31, sees nothing odd about it at all. She sees the environment, the economy and human equity as interconnected, and thinks good planning can eliminate barriers to people’s access to nature, a living wage and a vibrant, diverse community. Good planning can blur socioeconomic lines, combat institutional racism and correct social injustices, she says. That means encouraging residential development where it’s appropriate – away from industrial sites with aesthetic and potential safety and health problems, and close to appropriate goods and services. It means thinking about the many modes of transportation, from cars to bikes to pedestrians. And then there’s public transportation, which is hard to find outside the city limits but a necessity for some of the population and a need that will become greater as the current population ages in place.
Yes, there’s a lot of mind-numbing detail that goes into planning, and many people can only hear so much about setbacks and curb cuts and zoning regulations before their eyes glaze over. But for Kessler, these are all tools in the city’s and region’s toolbox, ways she can help shape the future and level the playing field so everyone has a voice in how the city should look five, 10 or even 20 years from now. “Planning, by nature, is so diverse,” Kessler says. “There’s transportation, the environment, the economy, the culture. You have to see the relationships between them.” She has some experience doing that. She’s only been employed by the city since July, but she spent six years before that as senior planner for the Southwest Region Planning Commission, which serves 34 communities in the Monadnock Region. In her former capacity, she worked to develop Monadnock Region Future, a regional plan that covers all the usual bases as well as broadband access, the effects of climate change, public health, emergency preparedness and education, among many other issues. “Her motivation is driven by a passion for improving the quality of life in the Monadnock Region,” says her former boss, Southwest Executive Director Tim Murphy. “She has the ability to value the positive attributes we are blessed with in the Monadnock Region and also understand the complex challenges we face today and can expect in the future.” Kessler says her former job gave her great exposure to the communities that surround Keene and the role small towns play in forming Keene’s future, and vice versa. “I really love the region,” says Kessler, who grew up in Rhode Island but had family in the Dublin-Peterborough area whom she would visit regularly. She says she’s been very impressed by what some of these KESSLER CONTINUED ON PAGE 48
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
A Trendsetter with Superhuman Qualities BY SHAWN CYR / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
ennifer Ramey sees things that most people, regular people, can’t handle. Wounds and scrapes from sexual assaults. She hears things that most people, regular people, can’t stomach. Stories of how a child was sexually abused. Stories that fall on the deaf ears of their own family members who refuse to hear the hideous truth. And then there’s the stuff that can break your heart. “Some kids will ask, ‘Can I come home with you,’” Ramey says. “And I’m like, ‘Oh, I wish you could.’” A detective in the Keene Police Department, Ramey, 34, primarily investigates child abuse and sexual abuse against children. Some cases last days, others last years – many of them feature the absolute worst humankind has to offer. 30
“At the end the day sometimes, I’m like, ‘Oh my God,’” Ramey says. “You know, is there a timeframe how long you can do this? I don’t know. I’m like, I know I do my job, and I do it to the best of my abilities, so would someone else do it? I don’t know. I see some other places that don’t investigate them properly, and that hurts.” She also handles other cases, such as robberies – “We’re not a huge department,” she says – and she helps when something big happens such as a homicide. But her primary role is looking into the faces of pure innocence and asking them to talk about the act of pure evil that has just occurred. It’s one of those “only-a-certain-type-ofperson-can-do-this” kind of jobs. Ramey, a Swanzey resident, is one of those people. “There are some tough days, but when you
get a kid to finally share that, because they’re so scared to share it, you know, it’s pretty amazing,” Ramey says. “I think they feel like something’s been lifted off their shoulders. “Children are definitely empowered when nobody’s believed them, or they’re scared to tell someone, and finally it’s like someone is listening.” The time, the patience, the energy – it’s worth it, Ramey says. It also makes her weeklong snowboarding trips to Jay Peak in Vermont extra special; she’s been boarding for 14 years. She appreciates that get-away time she uses for kayaking, hiking, playing softball or cheering like heck for her favorite Boston sports teams. (She went to the World Series in 2007 when her beloved Red Sox swept the Colorado Rockies. “It was an expensive day, but it was all worth it,” she says.) She’s earned it. Keene police Chief Brian Costa, in a letter nominating Ramey as a Business Monadnock Trendsetter, said if you ever need help, Ramey is exactly the person you want to arrive. “People call and email or say, ‘Hey, I know you. You helped this person; can you help me with this?’” Ramey says through a smile when RAMEY CONTINUED ON PAGE 49
Things Started Early for this Business Owner BY CHEYENNE VAUGHN PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
ven before he founded Paragon Digital Marketing, Zach Luse was an entrepreneur at heart. He started in 3rd grade, making and selling cedar benches, and then, by high school, he had created his own lawn mowing business. It wasn’t a short path between making benches growing up in Iowa and Paragon Digital Marketing in Keene. Luse first moved to New Orleans for school, then to Minneapolis, and finally to Chicago, where he met his wife, Jen, who would ultimately bring them to Keene for work. Once Luse reached Keene, he realized that although the area had much to offer him in terms of outdoor adventure — he snowboards, mountain bikes, camps and sails — there weren’t many people in the area working on digital marketing at the level he imagined. So, four years ago, he founded Paragon Digital Marketing to fill that void. Paragon has since expanded to employ nine people and has moved from Luse’s home to an office space in the expanded Hannah Grimes Center on Roxbury Street. Geographically, Luse says, Keene is an ideal place to live. His company works with clients in Boston and Chicago, helping them to advertise their companies online, and Zach and Jen’s two boys, 9-year-old Ian, and 5-year-old Finn, are in school. “It’s more our speed and much better quality of life than spending three hours of my day commuting in Chicago and kind of being part of the rat race there; all of the traffic and everything,” he says. This makes giving back to Keene, as well as the wider New Hampshire community, an important part of what he does. This has meant being active on local boards — Live Free & Start, Monadnock Buy Local and Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship, to name just a few — as well as rolling up his sleeves to help Keene’s Main street businesses update their online presence. Luse explains that adding information like
interior views and confirming hours and locations makes these businesses more competitive online and easier for visitors to find. “When people are visiting from out of town and might not know what’s here, they’re a lot more likely to see all the options they have for shopping and eating and exploring the area,” he says. One board with particular relevance for Luse is Stay Work Play New Hampshire, a nonprofit started in 2009 to promote the state as “a favorable place for young workers and recent college graduates,” according to the organization’s mission statement. Being able to find and keep young, skilled
workers was something Luse identified early on as a potential challenge for Paragon Digital as the company began to grow. Before he moved to New Hampshire, all Luse knew about the “live free or die” state was its motto and its first-in-the-nation primary, and now he wants to help other young professionals discover what he has since learned. To this end, he has helped Stay Work Play rebuild its website and manages the company’s paid search campaigns. In an effort to attract and retain recent grads, Paragon Digital LUSE CONTINUED ON PAGE 50
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Fulfilling a Childhood Dream BY SARAH SHERMAN / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
ith a 100-watt smile and an engaging laugh, Sophie Lafleur admits that even at a young age she liked to be in charge. She always had to be the teacher when she played school with her younger sister, Hannah. Now an educator at Jonathan Daniels Pre32
school, Lafleur, 28, spends her days in charge of a classroom of precocious three- to fiveyear-olds, an integrated classroom that includes both typically developing and special education students. With a broad spectrum of needs, her class-
room is one of four at the preschool, totaling 105 early childhood education pupils served by the Keene School District. The preschool was moved to Jonathan Daniels from Wheelock Elementary School last fall. As a child, Lafleur’s family moved around a bit before settling in Westmoreland when she was in second grade. She went to Keene High School and spent a semester at Roger Williams University, but wasn’t quite clear on a career path. She decided she needed some time off and took a job as an inclusion tutor in Cindy Bunn’s first-grade class at Fuller Elementary School. “Cindy was my role model and mentor,” Lafleur says. “That’s when I decided to go into education.” She enrolled at Keene State College, majoring in elementary education and developmental psychology. Her parents are both in the mental health field; her father, Daniel Lafleur is a school psychologist in the Keene School District and her mother recently retired from her position as a psychiatric nurse at Cheshire Medical Center/DartmouthHitchcock Keene. After graduating, she took a nanny position in Lebanon, where her boyfriend, Andrew Robel, owns an auto rental and transportation company. Eventually, she was offered three positions and chose Wheelock Preschool, where she started working in 2013. “This was just the right fit,” she says of her decision. “I love this age because they (the children) are so enthusiastic and eager to learn – and the things they say are hilarious. I’ll be teaching colors and a student will want to show me his dance moves. Anything is possible at this age.” She pursued her Alternative 4 teaching certification in early childhood special education while working her first year at the preschool and was supported at every step by her co-workers. Lafleur is part of an education team that includes specialists, paraprofessionals and tutors, a team whose support, experience and guidance she says she couldn’t function without. Kathi Hildreth, Joanne Mulligan, Pam Town and Kathi Blair, who all nominated Lafleur for the Trendsetter award, are all mentors, she says. “They never make me feel bad for asking questions or for help,” Lafleur says. “They understand. We’re like a little family – it’s definitely a team effort.” Blair described Lafleur as “a team player who thrives on collaborating with other LAFLEUR CONTINUED ON PAGE 51
Jake Nonweiler Making a Splash in the Local Economy BY TERRENCE WILLIAMS / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
f one sits for any length of time with Jake Nonweiler, it’s quickly clear he possesses the vision, smarts and work ethic to drive a business, if not a local economy. No question. But can a small city such as Keene hold onto such young professionals in ever-increasing numbers so that such futures can be secured? Yes, but there are questions. Nonweiler, born in Texas and raised in Oklahoma, is program director at the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship. He came to the HGC from C&S Wholesale Grocers, where, among many functions, he was part of the company’s intensive Leadership Development Program. At 24, he’s just a couple of years removed from Middlebury College where he majored in geology and environmental studies, and was part of the college’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
Shortly after his arrival in Keene, he volunteered at HGC, and it didn’t take long for Nonweiler to recognize the center was a match for his skills and his interests. “I think Hannah Grimes is thought of as the marketplace,” he says, referring to its successful for-profit business on Main Street. “But it’s the broader, economic development that interested me. “That piece is very interesting,” he adds. “How do you make entrepreneurship successful?” HGC is a thriving collective of small businesses utilizing the center’s space, programs, training, wisdom and experts to gain traction and grow. It’s a buzz of activity with about 85 percent of its incubator companies finding success and eventually leaving the nest for larger space and more employees. Being
among this bustle is energizing, says Nonweiler, not that he needs much in that arena. “Jake has taken a critical position – program director at Hannah Grimes – and infused energy and thinking in a matter of a few months,” say the two who nominated him for a Business Monadnock Trendsetter Award. Mary Ann Kristiansen, HGC’s executive director, and former board member Meredith (Speranza) Rochwarg cited many other attributes, too. “Jake was able to put his program management skills to good use, pull from his past experiences and contribute creativity and energy to vital programming that benefits businesses, nonprofits and the community,” they wrote. “He has a designer’s eye and is able to add professionalism to marketing pieces and communication outreach.” Nonweiler is now also running the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA), which was set up by Rochwarg a year ago. This program enrolls middle and high schoolers who have started – or intend to start - their own businesses, and exposes the youth to experts in management, marketing and financial development. NONWEILER CONTINUED ON PAGE 53
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
A Nurturer at Heart BY JESSICA RICHMOND / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
imberlee Abrams’ life is just like The Sopranos: heaps of laughter, enough family to warrant a truck full of lasagnas and a calling to help others. OK, maybe it’s not just like The Sopranos, but she did meet Edie Falco - Mrs. Soprano herself - once while working as the front-end manager at the Hancock Inn. Growing up the oldest of six, her siblings had a mantra: “Kim will know what to do.” And now, as her family has expanded to include 11 nieces and nephews, they turn to her even more so for guidance.
That love for her family led to her second career in teaching even if she, as she says, took the long way there. Early in life, Abrams felt a pull to teaching but talked herself out of it for any number of reasons, including lack of pay or not wanting to go back to school. Eventually though, her involvement with her nieces and nephews and teaching them simple things led her to realize teaching was her calling. “Every time I thought about what I really wanted to do, I went back to teaching,” she says. At 34, Abrams went back to Keene State College and six years later, in December, graduated with her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. After that, things moved pretty quickly; her final day of class was a Monday, she had a job interview on Tuesday and she had the job as a Title I teacher at the Symonds School in Keene on Wednesday. Title I teachers provide students who need extra help in the classroom with one-on-one instruction. Her ultimate goal is to be a classroom teacher, but she was surprised to find how much she enjoys working on such a smaller scale. ABRAMS CONTINUED ON PAGE 52
A Dedication to Community Involvement BY PAUL MILLER PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
ason Wilder likes life’s backstage lighting best. He’s a get-things-done kind of manager, a business visionary and a leader, but he can do without the attention his role and community efforts sometimes bring. “This is even hard; it’s not something I would ever ask for or want to do,” he says, referring to this profile. Wilder, who turns 40 in April, is sales and marketing manager for Electronic Imaging Materials, a nearly three-decade-old, familyowned business in Keene. He joined the firm in 1995, while still in high school, sweeping floors. In four short years, while still completing his degree at Keene State College, he was tabbed production manager, part of a fourperson management team. Wilder played an important role in the company’s shift from a founder-driven startup to a professionally managed company, says Alex Henkel, company president. Electronic Imaging Materials makes custom barcode labels; its specialty, while not exclusive, is production of labels that can endure tough environmental conditions, like the oily, greasy surface of an engine block, or a pathology department, where strong chemicals are sometimes used. Today, the company employs 30 people and offers some 250 products. At last tally, Wilder says, it does business domestically and in more than 80 countries. Flags of those countries hang in an office at the firm’s Forge Street facility. Wilder is a native of the region; he grew up in Marlborough, graduated from Keene High School and today lives in Troy. Under his leadership, Electronic Imaging Materials is setting sales records, Henkel says. These days, he divides his workday time with time he spends in the role of chair for the 10-member board of directors for the Community Kitchen in Keene. He began his term in April of last year. He says the work is challenging and rewarding. “There are a lot of things from a nonprof-
it perspective that you’re not aware of until you’re in a nonprofit setting,” he says. “The challenge is great now because (all nonprofits) are looking for money from the same pool.” He says it’d be a wonderful thing if the community didn’t have folks in need to feed, but reality is different. “No one wants to admit that we have this sort of clientele in our backyard,” he says, “but we do, and these folks are our neighbors, and this is a need that never seems to go away. How do we message ourselves so that awareness is at the forefront? That’s part of our mis-
sion. Sometimes the kitchen gets a bad rap; it’s unfortunate it has to be that way.” Wilder comes across as mature and business savvy for his age. He says he was at one time a high-strung person who would act impulsively and “shoot from the hip.” But that was then, he says. Today, it’s “mellow yellow.” His newfound composure is easy to account for; his father Don’s near-death experience, the result of a heart attack at age 62, awakened him in a way he says he couldn’t imagine. “I now live knowing that you don’t WILDER CONTINUED ON PAGE 54
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Playing a Vital Role in Public Health BY ANIKA CLARK / PHOTO BY MICHAEL MOORE
own the stairs to Tricia J. Wadleigh’s office in Keene, nothing suggests she spends her days preparing for disaster. The sunny room is in a walkout basement, not a bunker, the shades aren’t air-raid black and there are no visible stockpiles of dehydrated food, water-purification tablets or potassium iodide. But among the 50-some binders stretched across surfaces and stacked on shelves are signs of the scope and seriousness of her work. The spine of one is labeled for point-ofdispensing drills – exercises in distributing medicine or vaccinations in a hurry. “It could be something for weaponized anthrax or a radiological emergency or ... a pandemic,” says Wadleigh, 28, a Wilton resident who just finished nearly four years as the public health/emergency preparedness coordinator for the Greater Monadnock Public
Health Network. Between this, her new promotion to partner manager with Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene and roles such as co-director of the Greater Monadnock Medical Reserve Corps, her tasks are as diverse as the challenges she helps confront. The through line seems to be her work as Team Player Extraordinaire, collaborating, opening communication, serving as a point person and making connections to help keep the community safe. She’s worked with police and emergency management directors to coordinate active shooter drills, for example, and fielded an area fire chief ’s request for a rundown on Zika virus. Among the responsibilities of her new job, she’ll build local capacity for the strategies of the Healthy Monadnock 2020 initiative, and she has helped long-term care and
assisted living facilities stay up to date with licensing requirements. She’s trained community members about how to use the opioid overdose antidote Narcan. And as New Hampshire grapples with a heroin crisis, she’s used education to battle the stigma of addiction. “If you can try to think of addiction as the medical condition that it is, then it changes people’s perspective a little … It’s less of a moral failing, and more of a medical issue,” says Wadleigh, who serves on Monadnock Community Hospital’s Be the Change-Behavioral Health Task Force. And she draws a clear link between public perception and public funding. “We need people to not be ashamed to talk about this subject – to be educated and empowered to talk about this subject,” she says, “and to talk to their legislators who are doling out their dollars ... saying that this is important to us for various reasons, and we want more of our tax money allocated to prevention, mitigation, treatment, recovery.” With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in public health, and two years under her belt WADLEIGH CONTINUED ON PAGE 55
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CARDINE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 18
for the original MC2, Keene was eventually chosen to be the school’s home. “We knew the key players and had allies here,” Cardine says. “One of those key allies was Surry Village Charter School, which had laid the groundwork for charter schools. Matora (Fiorey, the school’s director) has done great work here. We also had great connections at Monadnock Waldorf School and St. Joe’s.” Part of Cardine’s connection to St. Joe’s comes from the fact that her three sons, Martin, 9, Francis, 8, and Thomas, 6, are students there and Cardine coordinated restarting a Destination Imagination program at the school, previously known as Odyssey of the Mind. She now helps with coaching teams. Destination Imagination is a program that Cardine has been involved with since she was a 4th-grade student at St. Joe’s. She also contributed to starting the program at Keene High as a freshman. Last year, 40 percent of St. Joe’s students participated in Destination Imagination, an extracurricular program where teams work together and compete against other schools on creative problem-solving tasks. Teams solve a
problem that they choose from a menu, coming up with a solution that uses a blend of methods also chosen from a menu. Teams compete at a regional, state and global level. She met her husband, Andrew, through Destination Imagination when he competed against her on the Monadnock Regional High School team. They were on a team together their first year of college and were married in 2004. “Destination Imagination was my best preparation for teaching in this kind of model, where a challenge that first seems insane uses creative problem-solving skills,” Cardine says. “It shows an ability to be spontaneous and think off-the-cuff as a team.” A Destination Imagination team is in the works at MC2 as well. A team of 24 students built a catapult for the Monadnock Pumpkin Festival’s pumpkin-chucking competition last fall using similar strategies and the interest in forming a team is strong, Cardine says. Last year, Cardine volunteered with the Monadnock United Way on the agency’s allocations effort, which includes several committees that review requests for funding from partner agencies and visits sites to determine funding. The committee requires 36 volunteers, working in teams of six for up to 100 hours per person.
“It was very eye-opening to realize how impactful the United Way is and to learn how other nonprofits function,” Cardine said of the process. “It was a lot of work, but I was grateful for the opportunity.” Opportunity and community have been repeating themes in Cardine’s work that will, no doubt, continue as the school moves forward and cements its place in the community. Cardine credits the dedicated staff and students for all of the school’s success and feels a sense of excitement for the future as the students venture out to find new learning opportunities. “None of it feels impossible,” she says. Cardine is looking to form new connections with local businesses for student internships, and through involvement with the Keene Young Professionals Network and Keene State College’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy. “We hear all this talk about New Hampshire being a graying state,” she says. “We feel that if kids feel rooted in the community they will give their hometown a shot. It’s beneficial to have students making a connection to the community. These are empowering experiences for kids.” ■
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SCHOEFMANN CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19
group each year, he also identifies as a team player and an advocate for recreational sports. Growing up as a hockey player, he played “every position but goalie,” but in the last few years he says he’s developed a close bond with his rugby team. “We are known as the Wolfpack,” the bearded technician says, smiling. With missions of respect and team involvement, Schoefmann points to rugby as a sport that relies on a sense of community. A rugby motto Schoefmann notes is, “There’s a position for everyone.” On Carpenter Street Field, Schoefmann plays in the prop position, but for the Monadnock Rugby Football Club, his role has involved community outreach. He brought the club from Jaffrey to Keene and was president from 2011 to 2014. Off the field, his “Wolfpack” crew has participated in events such as the “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” fundraiser and other charitable activities. The rugby club is for adults only, but he says it is tossing around the idea of creating a youth team as a spring alternative to football. With his young step-children — Delilah, Jamen and Keegan — and wife, Amy, he embraces family tradition by participating in French and Indian War reenactments. As a “history goober” looking to get a real experience of life in the 1700s, Schoefmann began attending reenactments with his late father. Years later, “The whole family goes on these journeys. The boys, Keegan and Jamen, love guns and stuff. Delilah loves dressing up and cooking and she always asks to help.” He has spent much time exploring reenactment spots, from Charlestown’s Fort at No. 4, to areas of New York State. “All the sites are just car drives away.” ■
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BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
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GELTER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21
So, no surprise, she met James in a theater. They are parents to 7-year-old Evelyn. Gelter is quick to dismiss or deflect comments about her talents, but this is a young woman who had career options from which to choose while she attended Boston University, where she studied theater. She toured and performed as part of theater conservatory programs in New York City and Washington, DC, but she didn’t see acting as a long-term objective. Instead, she gravitated to the directing side. “What I came away with was I took an alternative track, focusing on new theater and making new work,” she says. This has suited her well in Arts Alive! As the only full-time employee (she went fulltime in January), she needs organizational, business and leadership skills. It would seem her directing work is in good use. “I’ve learned to work with other creative people and make that jive with everyone and not disparage ideas. “It’s been good training for what I’m in now,” she says. “It’s a wonderful crossover for diplomacy and care for others.” 40
Her efforts have been noticed, particularly among members of her board of directors. “Jessica combines being an energetic advocate with an appreciation for the work of others and the region’s cultural heritage,” says Carl Jacobs, board member and the person who nominated Gelter for a Business Monadnock Trendsetter Award. “…She has formed strong working relationships with artists and community leaders alike.” Gelter’s emphasis at Arts Alive! might be best described as knitting together the resources to bolster the Monadnock region’s strong reputation in the creative world. One also sees that in her work on behalf of Discover Monadnock, which among its many goals, is to promote the value of the arts as a means to attract and retain businesses and employees. “I’m working on building community outreach efforts, getting more people to know what our resources are,” she says. Gelter finds this region rich in the creative arts, but under-appreciated beyond its borders. “I think there are two really exciting things (about the Monadnock Region’s arts commu-
nity),” she says. “One, there are so many opportunities to be engaged, and, two, the New England heritage and tradition that is incredibly impressive here.” She adds a third component, which she has experienced directly in her job: cooperation. “The spirit of collaboration here is incredibly valuable,” she says. “It’s why I love working here very much.” Gelter says she’s been thinking a lot these days about her personal goals, her one-time “dream job” to be an artistic director for a theater company and other aspirations. “…Now that I’m here, and have been sitting in (this job) for almost two years, I’m realizing what I do now is in many ways my dream job,” she says. “I can do so much to strengthen my community. “On top of that, I have been finding such fulfillment from working in community theater - getting my ‘fix,’” she adds. “From bringing people together and starting community conversations, not high-end production value or flawless acting. “I have found such a great place to be,” she says. “I feel really blessed.” ■
FOURNIER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 22
incurred a single blemish on its liquor license since opening, Fournier says. “We changed the place — 180 degrees,” says Fournier, who recently left Scores for business reasons and to pursue other opportunities. “We wanted to make it the cleanest place in town, have great service and provide a really fun environment with multiple things to offer. “That’s what we created,” he says. Scores initially adopted a loose dress code on weekends in the beginning in an effort to shake the property’s past. Fournier and coowner Nick Leighton focused on hiring good people and taking extra steps to attract a clientele that more closely modeled the entire community, and not just the selfie generation. “It took a year for people to stop saying ‘the old Railroad, the old Railroad,’” Fournier says. “Now it’s just Scores. I’m proud of that.” Fournier went to high school at Moultonborough Academy, where he helped the baseball team to a pair of state titles with his father, Gary, as coach. He enrolled at Keene State, where he played outfield for a pair of
teams that made the NCAA Division III tournament and graduated with a degree in physical education. Before opening Scores, Fournier taught PE at Cornish School for five years. “I love teaching — I could go back to it someday,” Fournier says. “When we started Scores, I couldn’t do both. I’m not a person that does it 50 percent here and 50 percent there. I’m 110 percent or nothing. That’s just how I am.” Fournier isn’t short on energy. He plays in the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League. He played on the Scores softball team that won a Keene Men’s League title last summer and helped organize a Keene State alumni baseball game. All that while running one of the busiest venues in the Monadnock Region. “What struck me most about my first meeting with Ben was that he ‘got it,’” says Truman, a key figure in the building of Keene’s new ice arena. “He immediately understood the dynamic of this community...That is, we support each other. He wanted to know how
he could help the community build a new ice rink and help improve the community in meaningful ways.” Under Fournier, Scores, the Keene Sentinel Readers’ Choice Award winner as best sports bar, also helped with events for the Keene Community Kitchen, the Keene Chamber of Commerce, Keene Young Professionals Network, the Clarence DeMar, Syd’s Fund, the Red Cap Run, the Keene Fire Department, the Keene Music Festival, Keene State alumni functions, and more. Scores also has sponsored and assisted the Marauders, Keene Swamp Bats, Keene State and Franklin Pierce athletics. “I worked 100 hours a week for two years straight,” Fournier says. “It’s a passion. I love talking to people, talking to the customers. I enjoyed hosting events in the function room, meeting people, planning and executing it. It’s awesome to see people coming in and having fun, enjoying themselves and being safe. “It was great; a cool thing to see.” ■
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
SPAULDING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23
swim in the lake, or maybe take a hike,” she says. “But you’re there; you can’t go anywhere. I can’t shut the door to my day like I can if I’m home. I’m working with kids and staff and living with them in the cabin. It is the
“...You can always inspire a child’s life just by being there…just by showing up.” most fun.” Spaulding first joined the parks and recreation department as recreation coordinator, a part-time position, in 2012. She assumed all duties of supervising summer seasonal staff and after-school staff. In 2013, she was promoted to full-time recreation programmer for
the city. Right away she successfully expanded adult programming options for the community, Andy Bohannon, the recreation department’s director says. “She also developed great relationships with her staff,” he says, and took over full management and enhancement of the center’s social media marketing. “Our marketing is paying off; it’s been huge,” Spaulding says, noting that more than 40 youths now participate in youth soccer and basketball programs. She says there will continue to be a strong focus also on coordinating approaches and programming for childhood health, such as “Catch,” a national initiative to help combat childhood obesity. It involves, among other things, bringing cooking programs from nutrition students at Keene State to the children at the recreation center, Spaulding says. In 2005, she adds, they had about 10 children involved; today the number is more than seven times that. It’s done twice a week. “She implements creative programs,” says Rebecca Landry, IT director for the City of Keene, noting the popular Snowshoe 3K event, and in a lot of ways “she is putting Keene on the map.”
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Spaulding doesn’t see her work as special, but says the community in which she works is, as are her colleagues. She’s single, she enjoys hanging out with family and friends, and she finds quiet time to hike with her 3-yearold chocolate lab, Riley. Away from work, she serves, or has served, the community in numerous volunteer capacities, including working with Monadnock Leadership and serving as its alumni chair; Keene Young Professionals Network, past board member; and Keene State College, student internship committee. Someday, she says, she’d like to be the director for a parks and recreation department. “Being a part of parks and recreation is like being part of a big family,” Spaulding says. “Most people say raising a child takes a village, and working in recreation, working with people’s children daily in youth sports, afterschool programs, summer camp, swim lessons – my job could not be done with the help of all staff, full-time, seasonal, volunteers. “I’m happy and proud to be a part of this community, which believes in us to provide quality programming for their sons and daughters.” ■
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Williams-Sonoma books and picking the brain of her sister, a pastry chef. “I was raised with the mentality that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything,” Hundley says. “I just think you have to try, and that’s really all it takes. You can put half the effort in, and get by, but if you really want to do something, you need to put effort forth and stay with it.” Owner of YKS and Hundley’s nominator, Dean Eaton, wrote: “She quickly (virtually immediately) grasped the finer points of the products we sell, thousands of items from hundreds of vendors...Shannon moved us into the digital and social media age...She is creative and inventive and has instituted many programs to further our sales, presentation and image in the community… “Nothing flusters her, and customers leave with a sense of being valued and having been well served. Her great sense of humor and constant calmness and pleasantness add to that. She is simply the cream
“Nothing flusters her, and customers leave with a sense of being valued and having been well served. Her great sense of humor and constant calmness and pleasantness add to that. She is simply the cream that rises to the top.” that rises to the top.” “I can cook really well now,” Hundley remarks. At YKS, Hundley has her toes dipped in a bit of everything. She coordinates and schedules cooking classes; has taught kids cooking classes and performed demos; she’s on the floor overseeing sales and registers; in the back office doing accounts payable; assists in the buying; and manages the social media pages. Hundley credits her faith for where she is in life right now. She says her parents chose Keene as a place to live because a family friend was a pastor at the Sturtevant Chapel, where Hundley now serves as a youth group leader with her husband. “They became an extended part of our family,” she says. In her church role, Hundley works with teens through trips, weekly meetings and game nights. The really “cool” thing about it, she says, is that you do things that aren’t typical for adults - like exploding watermelons. Said Eaton in his nomination, “Because they are teenagers, she has had to deal with some difficult situations involving their personal and 44
home lives. She has done it with professional responsibility and great compassion.” Hundley says that faith is “number one, hands down, the most important thing to me.” It is something she was raised with, and hopes she can instill in the youth community. “It’s not a binding faith,” she says. “I want them to know that there is hope in this dark world, having faith in God can help that...People generally think of religion as rules and regulations of things you can and cannot do, and that is not how we are called to live. I want them to see that and see there is hope and joy. “I know that without my own personal faith I would not be here today. If I can just help one of them, it will be 100 percent worth it.” Plus, she says, when volunteering - for anything - you always get more out of it than you put forth. Her efforts as a youth leader have taught her patience, she says, which helps in parenting her own children: Bayleigh, 9; Buddy, 8; and Travis, 6. In her down time, along with reading - five to six books at a time, and always reading the last page first - Hundley most enjoys spending time with her friends and family. She and the kids love playing The Game of Life, cooking, playing instruments and going to the farmers’ market. Bayleigh has even taught some demos at YKS. “She makes these really awesome quesadillas,” Hundley says. Hundley also loves art and history, which she says influences her work at YKS. “There is a lot of history in technique and chefs, and how different things have evolved over time. There is a lot of culture in food,” she says. Through her work there, she has learned a good deal about the local economy as well. “I’ve become more invested in Keene once I started working here,” she says. “The importance of what local businesses do for nonprofits and people around town; it’s all integrated.” Hundley’s additional church work as co-chair for the Christian Education Board and as a junior teacher for the children’s ministry allow her to help kids become future leaders. “They need to be nurtured and invested in,” she says. “I want to do that.” In becoming more invested in the community, Hundley realizes the struggle to retain young professionals in this region. She says although there is movement in the right direction, she’d like to see more opportunities for young families like networking events and support. “If you want something to be different,” she says, “you need to be part of the solution.” Hundley puts efforts toward this in her work as a member of the Keene Downtown Group, thinking of events to unite the community. It’s important to keep up with the changing world, though. At YKS, she says she is always challenged to grow. “I’m always learning something new to cook, bringing our classes to the next level, and I’m currently taking a social media course and learning ways to attract customers; discovering new products,” she says. Hundley seems to be managing everything on her plate with pleasantness. Fitting of her personality, you can often find her in the bright and colorful fiesta ware aisle of the store, no doubt thinking about how to balance it all. “It’s a juggle,” she says, “but we make it work.” ■
WYATT CONTINUED FROM PAGE 25
business “is a reflection of what you are,” and its employees are an extension of that. That means discarding a cookie-cutter culture, and figuring out the right formula for each employee. “I wanted this to be the best employer they had ever worked for and would ever work for,” he says. Jake Nonweiler, program director at the Hannah Grimes Center, nominated Wyatt for a Trendsetter award. Nonweiler writes that Wyatt means what he says about the workplace environment. “Ben firmly believes that close and honest work relationships, including integrating ‘caring’ and ‘fun’ into the workplace, fosters a strong firm culture that ultimately benefits the whole firm and its clients, not to mention creating a more pleasant work environment for all involved,” Nonweiler writes. Wyatt was born in Greenfield, Mass., and lived in several small towns in northwest Massachusetts. He went to Northfield Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Mass., and earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Wesleyan University, where he graduated with high honors from the College of Social Studies. As his 5th-grade reading material may sug-
gest, he became interested in political science at a young age, particularly campaign finance reform. He pushed for the Massachusetts Clean Elections law, approved by voters in a referendum in 1998, then whacked by its state
“I was that dorky kid who in 5th grade was reading Proust’s 3,000-page volumes.” Legislature five years later. In Connecticut, he continued to immerse himself in politics and business. “New Haven was a fascinating town, where there was huge wealth and huge poverty,” he says. “It was very inspiring to see people trying to start a business in those trying times.”
Wyatt’s acuity for community involvement didn’t change when he moved north. His law firm started within the Hannah Grimes incubator program that supports new businesses, local entrepreneurs and their workers. He has collaborated with Hannah Grimes as well as the Young Professionals Network, Keene Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Monadnock Society for Human Resources Management and other local civic organizations to provide trainings on a variety of employment-related legal subjects. He’s in the state and Cheshire County Bar associations, serves on the Cheshire YMCA Board of Directors and is active in the Heritage Travel program for local students. He’s been volunteering since law school. “I gained a new focus and feeling of how I could apply my legal training to help people,” he says. “That passion has continued to this day.” At home, he’s an amateur orchardist with 25 to 30 fruit trees in his backyard. And there’s nothing like a walk in the woods. “It allows for a certain peace and a certain focus,” he says. “Some of my best ideas have come from that.” ■
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ter — for the rest of the country and the rest of the business. One way in which he is striving to make things so is by volunteering in the community. The context doesn’t matter, he says; what’s important is helping people find their hidden talents, even if it’s just by being a friend to them. “It’s extremely gratifying, and I think helps out the world in general,” he says. Levasseur speaks with animation about the things people can sometimes achieve with a little assistance, but gives a modest shrug when asked about his own role in the local community. He says Keene, by its history and nature, lends to a climate of people helping others. “I really find a lot of joy in volunteering and in serving others,” Levasseur says. “You help people experience things they might not be able to or be even allowed to, or think they could be capable of.” In Keene, this has meant working with children. He is a Youth Council chair and a youth group leader at Monadnock Covenant Church. He also participates in the Snow
Sports School at Granite Gorge by teaching children of all ages and abilities to ski. Levasseur prides himself on being a planner, but he says his own future is unscripted. He says although he doesn’t know specifically where his path will lead he does know it will include personal and professional improvement. Levasseur also continues to consciously balance these important aspects of his life. When asked how, he responds “carefully, very carefully.” Tedd Benson, founding owner of Bensonwood, is quick to point out Levasseur’s admirable qualities, including an ability to effectively self-manage and possessing irrepressible good humor. “We value his commitment to his family, his community and his faith,” Benson says. “As we always need to be reminded that the proper balance is weighted on the personal over professional.” ■
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makes me very grateful for the things I’ve attained, and also gives you an understanding of our over-commercialization.” For instance, the open sewers in Mongolia may be a shock to foreigners, but it’s everyday life for its residents. Travel offers insight that’s impossible to glean from sitting on the couch. “When you go to Mongolia and you see cities that don’t have plumbing or clean water – well, you realize the kids don’t know the difference,” says Bemis, who is planning a trip in May to Germany. Bemis bought her own house in Swanzey in 2014, despite her family’s nervousness over her young age and being single. Marriage, though, can wait, she says with an ever-present sense of humor. She shares the house with her sister and beloved “Nana,” Sally Lazzaro. “I was ready to call something mine,” Bemis says, smiling. “I take an immense amount of pride in being a homeowner, just being in my garden. People have always said I’m a wise old soul – I blame it on my Nana.” Born and raised in Swanzey, Bemis opted for a job over soccer at age 14 so she could save and buy a car at 16 – the Olds that “crapped out on Route 12,” and the Tracer that she totaled. “That was one of those life’s-not-fair lessons,” she says. She always enjoyed writing in school, and later applied it as a valuable skill in problem solving. At UNH, she majored in psychology, then settled in Boston for several years. One of her jobs was as a residential counselor in a group home for mothers with psychiatric disorders. “It definitely gave me a very different perspective and experience that I wouldn’t have about the world,” she says. But Bemis missed home and moved back to the Monadnock Re-
gion, eventually taking the job at Carlisle. She’s mulling going for her master’s degree, although student-loan debt and a mortgage take a chunk out of her financially. She’s involved in several community endeavors, including the Adopt-a-Family program that she organized and has managed for
“I was ready to call something mine. I take an immense amount of pride in being a homeowner.” four years. She’s an avid runner and completed the DeMar Half Marathon in September, her first half-marathon. “I’ve been fortunate to be put in this type of leadership position and it’s certainly been a great experience,” she says. “I’ll continue to see where the road goes.” ■
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KESSLER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 29
smaller communities – most with no professional staff, just a cadre of dedicated volunteers – have come up with: ambitious, dynamic master plans to guide the development of their towns. But Kessler doesn’t work in a vacuum, by any means. The one thing she does more than plan is listen. She sees her job as getting a community as actively involved in the process as possible so that the goals she’s working toward are the ones residents and businesses want to see. “I’ve never seen my role as anything more than as a facilitator,” she says, “helping to guide the process. My job is to help other public groups navigate and advocate for what they want. I try to make people comfortable in voicing their opinions. I respect the public process a lot.” To that end, she sits on a lot of subcommittees and commissions, dealing with everything from historic preservation to town-gown relations to broadband access; listening, taking notes, trying to identify common themes and goals among these various focus groups and developing strategies to make those goals happen. Right now, she’s working to revamp the city’s zoning regulations, trying to ensure that the city is actually working to carry out the goals of its master plan, an ambitious 10-year plan for shaping future growth in ways residents want. “We’re not only looking at whether the regulations are fair, but to engage the public and be transparent,” she says.
“Are we thinking of everyone’s needs? Does everyone have a voice?” Making her job all the more difficult, the future is a moving target. Will we be driving the same kinds of cars in 20 years? Will traditional parking lots go the way of the hitching posts? Will climate change have a major impact on flood plains, energy costs, infrastructure development? Will technological advances profoundly change the way individuals and groups operate and behave? Some things she does know: the city – and the region – is getting older, the need to attract young professionals is more acute, the need for more affordable housing is already being felt, and the days of major new industrial and retail developments have passed. “Growth will slow even more in the next 30 years,” she says. “So it’s important to question what planning should look like. Planning isn’t a way to control growth; it’s a way to encourage growth. “Planning on its own is useless,” she adds. “You have to implement what you plan.” ■
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hearing about Costa’s remark. “Most of the time, I’m pretty easy going, and so I feel approachable. “I like to talk to people and I don’t think people think I’m judging them if I talk to them.” Originally from Randolph, Mass., Ramey moved to Keene to join the department 12 years ago after graduating from Westfield State University with a degree in criminal justice. In that span, she coached in the Keene High softball program for a couple of years. She played softball in high school and now enjoys it in the summer recreation leagues. She won an award from Hands of Hope for her work with children this past year. She ran the Boston Marathon to help raise more than $23,000 for the Martin Richard Charitable Foundation. And she was on the front lines of the riots during the Keene Pumpkin Festival in 2014. “It was nuts,” says Ramey, who, not surprisingly, says she doesn’t miss the festival. “If I could enjoy it as a regular person, I think it’s a great family event. When I don’t get to en-
joy it, and I’m wearing a helmet to work, it’s not enjoyable. You know, I’m working 18-19 hours and until I can’t feel my limbs anymore. “I mean, when I’m watching full liquor bottles – I’m sure they weren’t full, they drank some – but empty liquor bottles getting thrown and cue balls, pool table, stuff that they were throwing … It was very overwhelming. It was crazy. Something I had never experienced,” Ramey says. Another escape sends her back to Boston. Even if it’s just for a night, “it feels pretty nice,” she says. Her family still lives mostly in or around Boston, save for her father, who lives in Richmond, Va. She has a twin sister, who lives in North Andover, Mass., who gets mistaken for Ramey any time she visits Keene. Ramey – that’s Jen, “with one ‘n,’ ” she stresses – says she can’t go anywhere in Keene without being recognized. While the interactions are mostly positive, the public’s feeling toward police officers and the acts of violence on both sides over the past couple years have colored how some people see her. She had to remove herself from social media because “it
was bothersome to read some of the stuff that people were saying,” she says. “Black lives matter, this life matters – well, all lives should matter,” she says. “Even the thing with the ‘police lives matter,’ well it should be universal that everybody’s lives matter.” As New Hampshire struggles in its war against heroin and opioid addiction, it’s her family that provides a personal connection. Her oldest brother – the only one of her four siblings she doesn’t speak to regularly – has been battling a heroin addiction since he was prescribed pain medication for a skull fracture when he was 21. He’s now 36. “It’s hard,” Ramey says. “It makes my understanding of this heroin epidemic even more real.” Ramey says she understands exactly what the families of addicts are going through, because she’s seen the carnage first hand. But, then, she’s used to seeing things that most people – regular people – couldn’t handle. ■
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is also a participating member of Stay Work Play’s Challenge Grant Program that offers recent grads who join New Hampshire businesses $8,000 over four years toward paying off student loans. Paragon Digital Marketing also partnered with the Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship to create the New England Web and Tech Collective, or NEWT, because, Luse says, he would like to see the area become “more techy and progressive.” The area is lacking in technical training schools and Internet access can be spotty, but Luse thinks the NEWT can make a little bit of a difference, “by getting people together, teaching and learning from each other, and providing some of those resources and tools if they have that interest.” This is a personal passion for Luse, but he also believes it is important economically for the area. “Otherwise,” he fears, “the jobs will go elsewhere, and the money won’t come into the community. It’s an economic thing that has to happen if we’re going to stay the vibrant community we are.” Luse looks forward, as Paragon Digital
Marketing grows and gets better at what it does, to a point when he will have more time for things like sailing in the Caribbean with his boys. Until then he enjoys the strategic aspect of growing the business. And although the connection between the
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benches he made with his hands growing up and the conceptual, strategic work he does now may not seem intuitive, Luse says that, to his view, it clearly is. “I’m creating something; I’m building something,” he says, “it’s just not tangible.” ■
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professionals… to provide the best program possible.” One of Lafleur’s biggest challenges, she says, is meeting the needs of every student in her classroom because there is such a range in developmental level and disabilities, from autism to speech and language delay to emotional and medical needs. The paraprofessional in her classroom, Christie Hamel, is another co-worker whose support is key for Lafleur. “I couldn’t survive without her and the laughs that we have every day,” Lafleur emphasizes. This year she has a number of students who require a little more assistance with coping skills, and that calls for more calming strategies in the classroom, such as a cool-down area, weekly yoga with an occupational therapy assistant, books about feelings and puppets. Preschools in the state have to follow the New Hampshire Readiness Guidelines, as well as state and federal regulations for special education services. At this point, there are no Common Core standards at the preschool level, and Lafleur believes preschools should refrain from setting an academic focus. “They need to play,” she says. “Our focus is child-directed play. They need to be able to explore.”
Lafleur remembers comforting her younger sister Hannah who had anxiety as child in school settings, and that memory drives her to make her classroom a welcoming, happy place where children feel safe and loved. “We work with the families and children to make the community a better place,” she says. “We’re partners with the families… They want what’s best for their children. It’s their first educational experience, and we want to set a positive outlook at school so they enjoy the experience.” She also volunteers her time at David’s House in Lebanon, where families of children being treated at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center can stay. In the past, she has worked at the front desk, but now volunteers at events and hopes to return over the summer months. “It’s such a special place,” she says. “The minute you walk in, your heart just fills.” She, Robel and their cat Moseby now live in Cornish, a rural town – turkey-filled, she says – between Keene and Lebanon. They’ve been together for six years and spend their free time hiking, snowshoeing, trying new restaurants and visiting friends in Boston. “I’m like a preschooler – I go to bed at 8 p.m.,” she laughs. “They wear me out – in a good way.” ■
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While going to school, Abrams started working full-time at the Hancock Inn. Jarvis and Marcia Coffin own the inn, and they say that Abrams goes out of her way to give personal time and attention to everyone, whether they’re a guest or a bus boy. She truly does do it all for the inn; she answers phones, takes reservations, takes reservations for the restaurant, checks people in, runs the servers, waits tables, tends bar and somehow keeps a smile on her face and the face of others. In addition, the Coffins say, she serves the role as a mentor to a lot of the younger staff at the inn. Abrams says teaching has allowed her to take that nurturing nature to the next level. “For a long time I had zero direction with what I was going to do in my life and then once I decided and once I started working toward it, everything in my life kind of clicked together,” she says. “It’s a really nice feeling because I was really lost for a long time...Now that things are starting to line up it really made it easier to start helping other people do that.” Her drive to help others led her to volunteer for the Child Advocacy Center and the Rotary Club. The day of this interview was the night before her third service trip to Nicaragua with the Rotary Club. She is chaperoning a group of high school students as they work to build water towers for elementary schools. The students raise the money for the trip and materials and then actually get to build the project using the materials they paid for. Her trips to Nicaragua have changed how she sees the world, and she finds it equally rewarding to see the students experience that change. “I went from an ‘I want to do this for me’ thinking, and you know what? It’s such a better feeling to do stuff for other people,” she says. “It’s so rewarding you can’t help but want to do more.” The decision to go to Nicaragua the first time came in the form of a call from a friend giving her 15 minutes to decide if she could fill in for a chaperone who dropped out; it was only three weeks from the departure date. She didn’t speak Spanish; she didn’t know anyone on the trip; she had never been that far out of the country, but she said yes anyway. “And that’s how I changed my outlook on life.” ■
NONWEILER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 33
“Jake immediately came to mind,” says Kristiansen and Rochwarg, “as someone who would be interested, someone able to jump right in and roll up his sleeves and someone who students, parents, investors and participants would gravitate to.” Additionally, Nonweiler is an advisory board member for the Economic Development Council of Southwest Regional Planning Commission and the Cheshire County Conservation District. And he and a friend have their own company called the Apollo Data Group, which specializes in data analysis. As a consulting business, Nonweiler says, Apollo may not be scalable, but what could emerge are innovative tools that can be offered to businesses. As if it were not obvious, his nominators say, “In his relatively short time living in the area (18 months), Jake has made a big splash.” Starting businesses is of particular interest to Nonweiler. He is “passionate” about food systems and environmental matters, and sees opportunities there. “There’s not a super strong food scene like Vermont here,” he remarks. “It’s pervasive in Vermont.” On his list of goals, as well, is an MBA, and such endeavors could easily lure him from this region. As a young professional, he is keenly aware of the factors that make this region less attractive than others as place to lay down young roots. Affordable living, for one, he says. “One of the obviously difficult things for me is housing,” he says. “It’s hard.” This is not to say Nonweiler is impatient to leave. He is invigorated by what he does at HGC, and he sees bright lights in the local economy, started by young people. He mentions Taqueria Odelay, a Mexican Restaurant on Main Street downtown. “Economic development opportunities like that happen,” he says of the unique establishment. “All the people my age go that place. It has an aura that is unlike any other place.” Nonweiler should know a thing or two about auras. Ask anyone who has sat with him. ■
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WILDER CONTINUED FROM PAGE 35
know what will come with each next day. My father almost dying opened my eyes.” It has a lot to do, he believes, in his want to give back as a volunteer. Besides his board role with the Community Kitchen, he has helped to organize and run Electronic Imaging Materials’ annual Monadnock United Way Day of Caring, which is central to the firm’s community involvement campaign, Henkel says. “In over 15 years that we’ve participated, he’s never missed the opportunity to help,” Henkel says. “Over two-thirds our employees now regularly participate.” Wilder says the day of caring is a big part of what the company is all about, and that it gives three quarters of its staff a day to be involved says a lot. The second-generation family firm was started by Paul Henkel, who worked formerly at Markem Corp., now Markem-Imaje. Wilder says the company has been “very good” to him, and he is grateful for its support of his outside volunteer work. He called it an admirable part of the company mission. “They’re doing something right,” Wilder says of the company. “Twenty eight years and never a layoff. It’s a very nimble business; we can change our message and shift our focus quite rapidly. And I’m lucky to have a marketing staff that’s eager to look at things a bit differently.” For years, he says, they were lucky to operate in “their own little world” with successful niche products. Now, he says, “our biggest challenge is to keep up with the competition.”
He adds: “Some of the people there have become like family. Is it the perfect job? Maybe not. Is it something that still motivates me? Absolutely.” In the run-up to his position as sales manager in 2009, Wilder completed the UNH Center for Family Business Leadership Development Program. His marketing responsibilities were tacked on just this past year. He works on staff development, and when the firm took on a Keene High School Co-op student recently, it was Wilder who took the student under his wing. The student had recently lost his father, Henkel says. “Jason patiently coached him in both technical skills and the soft skills needed to do well in business environments.” Wilder says he is still in touch with the student, who is enrolled in the engineering program at the University of New Hampshire. Wilder has a girlfriend, Karen, and a one-eyed cat, Dexter. He loves the outdoors; he skis, bikes and snowmobiles. He lived in Maryland for several months a long time ago, he says, but soon realized how for granted he had taken the area in which he was raised and educated. Since his return he has not looked back. “For me,” he says, “my grand plan is just to enjoy what comes my way and not get caught up trying to plan my future. I now realized it’s possible it might not get here. It’s too much stress. “Ultimately, though, I think someday I’d like to own my own business.” ■
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working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Maricopa County, Ariz., Wadleigh speaks the language of her field. But while dropping terms like “post-exposure prophylaxis” one moment and “zoonotic” the next, she finds joy in making the complex digestible. “I enjoy educating people. I enjoy talking to people. I like to do all the research and find all the information that might seem cumbersome to someone else and be able explain it simply so that then they can use that information to make different decisions,” she says. The roots of her work reach back to Wilton’s Florence Rideout Elementary, where the young Wadleigh was a frequent visitor to the nurse’s office. But it wasn’t earaches or “owies” that drew her in – at least not her own. “I wanted to help the other kids,” she says, remembering how she’d take a temperature or put a cold compress to a forehead. “I’d look through ... the big magnifying glass with the light,” she adds. “Kids are getting their heads checked for lice, and I’m like, ... ‘What’re you all doing in here?’” The interest held through high school, during her time at a teen clinic with sites in Milford and Nashua, where she’d give peer-to-peer education to newcomers seeking services. In the process, she’d cover subjects that could be awkward even between people at an age less prone to embarrassment – STDs, condoms, anatomy. Wadleigh enjoyed it. “Those are topics that not a lot of people ever want to talk about, and I’m just talking to a bunch of teenage strangers about them, while using props, and having a conversation that’s open, and honest, and true,” she says.
From Florence Rideout to Florida – the University of Tampa, to be precise – Wadleigh wanted to be a nurse. “And then chemistry happened,” she says. But so did her discovery, while also finding other reasons nursing wasn’t the best fit, that what she was searching for in medicine was waiting for her in public health: education, prevention, helping others and working on the ground level with many people at once. On an adviser’s suggestion, she took a public health course – “and I
“...as New Hampshire grapples with a heroin crisis, she’s used education to battle the stigma of addiction.” haven’t looked back.” But she is looking forward – to her new role, to new collaborations and to potential threats even before they leap to the general public’s radar. And while not certain just where in the field she’ll end up, she’s clearly found her niche. “Public health is so broad and so diverse that you constantly have opportunities for new challenges,” she says. “So I think this field, in general, will hold my interest forever.” ■
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RELATIONSHIPS IN THE WORKPLACE CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12
to doing things was the best way. The tension that had developed between these two individuals was palpable and created uneasiness within the rest of the team. Meetings were stalled and progress was frequently curtailed. On occasion, one team member might storm out of a meeting in a huff and leave everyone else feeling uncomfortable. Conversations sometimes centered around who was doing what to whom, rather than on what the team needed to do for their client. This team began their coaching experience by taking a comprehensive assessment that indicated low levels of productivity and high levels of negativity within the system. The team was not surprised with the results of the initial assessment. A closer look at the team revealed that there were three generations represented, baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), generation X (born between 1965 and 1980), and millennials (born between 1981 and 2000). Working with different generations within an organization can often present a variety of challenges and opportunities for businesses today. Each generation has their own values and ways of accomplishing tasks. The baby boomers tend to be competitive and believe that people should pay their dues. They are the first generation to favor work over personal life. Compare their values to generation X, who are responsible for creating the work/life balance concept, and you’ve got friction before anyone even engages in a conversation. Having multiple generations on a team may also provide a rich and productive landscape if the team is synergistic. By drawing from the experience of the older team members and leaning into the energy, vitality, and potential of the younger members, teams can flourish. Synergy, however, was not happening on this team.
The two individuals who were fighting with each other were members of Gen X. Gen X folks tend to be very independent thinkers and doers. They prefer to receive the assignment and then find their own unique way of accomplishing the work. Typically, they are not very interested in taking input from others. The team leader, a baby boomer, could not understand why these two individuals did not want to be team players. This contrasted with the younger team members, the Millennials, who were all about teamwork. Yet there was a something additional about the Millennials that the Boomer team leader also did not understand. The boomer felt somewhat disrespected when the Millennials responded to his requests by text rather than coming to speak with him directly. The boomer team leader also became annoyed when the younger folks asked to work at home or take days off. “Where is their work ethic?“, he would complain. It seemed to him that there was no way to develop some of the younger team members into the important leadership roles within the department. The younger team members felt judged by their Boomer leader who didn’t seem to understand their values around balancing work life and home life. After each team member became clear about the importance of resolving their differences, they had the opportunity to step into each other’s shoes though an engaging coaching exercise. The team members in each generational group were then able to communicate about how they liked to get things done and what they valued in leadership. Team members began to ask questions about the values that were important within the other groups, and were soon able to get a better sense of what each group was striving to achieve.
Once they were able to understand each other empathetically, the team members had the experience of feeling validated by one another. This was the catalyst that created a shift in the relationship system, and allowed the tension in the group to dissipate. The team members were then able to design and create a new way of working together that brought forth the very best from each generation and from each individual. This is just one of the numerous examples of how Relationship Systems Team Coaching is benefitting organizations throughout the world. Developed in the early 1990’s, Organization and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC)™ is now recognized internationally as the leading coaching modality for helping business teams to become stronger and more productive. High performing teams are taught how to build on their strengths and navigate the diverse landscape of change. The ORSC program is based on the concept of Relationship Systems Intelligence (RSI)™, which builds on the work of many innovators in the field of relationship development. One of these pioneers, Daniel Goleman, formulated that Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is about being able to understand and take responsibility for our own emotions. He discovered that Social Intelligence (SI) occurs when we are able to empathetically understand the emotions of others. Studies now indicate that leaders who possess both Emotional and Social Intelligence (ESI) are among the most successful in the workplace. From the perspective of Relationship Systems Team Coaching, each member of an organization contributes valuable information pertaining to his or her company. We do best when we think of the team as a puzzle, in which every member holds an important piece of information about the system. To reveal the
complete picture of the entire team, every piece is needed. In a coaching culture it is possible to hear all of the voices in the system and recognize that each represents a vital perspective for the system. Learning how to listen for this and then utilize the new information is one of the many skills that leaders and teams can develop through Relationship Systems Team Coaching. ■ Maddie Weinreich is dedicated to
improving the quality of organizational development and team leadership. Her company provides team coaching, leadership coaching, and training programs for businesses, consultants, coaches, and HR departments in the United States, Canada, Europe, South Africa, China, and Dubai. Maddie is a senior faculty member at CRR Global, a Certified Organizational and Relationship Systems Coach (ORSCC), a Certified Professional Co-Active
Coach (CPCC), and a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaches Federation (ICF). Maddie Weinreich Coaching also provides mentoring services and consultation to professionals working in the field of relationship growth and development. Maddie has lived in the Monadnock region for more than 30 years and, with her husband Roger, has raised two sons, Adam and Max.
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
CULTURE, ART AND CREATIVITY CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9
make it happen,” Hamilton says. “And here, I would have some crazy idea and Danya had the same experience, and everyone would say, ‘Well that’s nice, maybe I’ll look at it - if you create it.’” So they did. Machina started as something they would do on the side, creating pop up events complete with an offbeat venue, theme and temporary artist installations. But the women wanted more than just a fun, ephemeral party, here and gone with the last sip of champagne. The reaction was instant and enthusiastic. Artists began coming out of the woodwork wanting to be involved while others commended their efforts as something necessary and vital to the region. Because, while the region has an embarrassment of natural riches and opportunities, for artists and art enthusiasts, events serve as mere oases in a cultural desert. “That’s important to young people,” Hamilton says. “That’s actually a major issue right now: How do we keep younger people in this area? It’s more than just jobs.” Pugliese adds, “It’s the reaction we got from people...as soon as we provided an outlet for that type of creativity and a venue and a community for people to focus their energy around, people were just so happy and so appreciative and recognized that there’s a real genuine need in this area. And that’s part of what led us to want to take this to a different level.” And that’s where the women are right now. The plan is to have a real brick and mortar art business, Pugliese says, complete with an art gallery as well as workshops, classes, after school programs and performances spaces. Though artist collectives typically run as nonprofits, the women are taking a different tack and will be operating as a benefit corporation. Hamilton explains that this will allow them to explore funding options that aren’t normally available to nonprofits - such as having a bar that funds the art portion of the business and gives them the flexibility and agility to be able to change course if need be. Most importantly: not spend all their time fundraising. That said, because it’s a benefit corporation, the sole purpose of the business is not increasing profits. Instead, they can create a space with a dual purpose, profit and providing an essential service to the community. This is something, Hamilton says, that be58
BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Danya Pugliese, left, and Rebecca Hamilton of Machina Arts.
cause they are a benefit corporation can be built right into the by laws of the company. And, Pugliese says, they wanted to send the message to artists that it is possible to make money from their art. The next steps for the women include continuing to develop their business plan before beginning formal discussion sessions with members of the community who will help shape and define the business. Later this year, Hamilton said, they will begin fundraising and looking for a space to call home for the business. In the meantime, Machina Arts is still
coordinating and producing pop up events, which are announced on their Facebook page and website www.machinaarts.org. The women encourage anyone with suggestions and ideas or those who want to get involved or just talk art to contact them at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. “Our goal is to do something that is going to positively impact the community,” Pugliese says. “And that’s the really driving force behind this and art is the vehicle. …We want to create a space that anyone can go and enjoy and be a part of even if they are not an artist.” ♥
ECONOMIC WOES CONTINUED FROM PAGE 14
business media bobble heads, oil’s decline is causing the downward volatility in the stock market. And like politicians, they make these utterances with the utmost sincerity. The plausible argument in support of a correlation between stocks and oil prices is that a decline in oil demand signals a decline in economic activity. But demand is only one part of the price equation. Supply is the other. And the theory doesn’t seem to take into account lower demand resulting from greater energy efficiencies. In other words, this is nothing more than another stupid media rationale to explain the market’s machinations. To test my “stupid is as stupid does” Wall Street spin I reviewed oil supply and demand since 2007. For the purpose of this exercise I used the U.S. Energy Information Agency’s data. What you see is that the price supply/ demand theory holds true. Oil prices were at their highest in years when consumption outstripped production. The exception was 2008 when consumption was 500,000 barrels/day lower than supply. Curiously, that was the year oil prices
peaked at $147 a barrel. Can you say Wall Street manipulation? Oil prices started dropping last year when supplies exceeded demand. But here’s the kicker: demand has steadily increased - not contracted - since 2007. So what does that say about the correlation between economic activity and oil prices? The answer would be zero. It’s virtually all about supply and demand. The wild card is Wall Street, which uses oil solely to fuel its own collective net worth. Sadly, oil has gone from a strategic commodity to a money-making enterprise and that’s why we see such wild price swings. In days gone by, OPEC was able to regulate supply and thus regulate pricing. Because OPEC no longer dominates the world’s oil supply, its control over pricing has diminished, but not fully disappeared. Could the reason oil has tanked to $30 a barrel be because OPEC (Saudi Arabia) wants the price to be low? That seems counter intuitive, but what if OPEC is attempting to drive U.S. oil producers - particularly frackers - out of business?
At $30 fracking doesn’t make economic sense. That’s bad news for the economy of North Dakota but good news for consumers. And prices are likely to remain low through this year and perhaps through all of 2017. So here’s the moral of these stories. The global growth is slowing. Some countries may even experience a recession, but not the U.S., at least not this year. That’s because the latest global events impact the smallest segments of the U.S. economy. Under current conditions it’s beneficial that we’re a consumer-driven economy. For the average driver, oil’s price decline is tantamount to a $1,000 tax cut. It’s funny that Wall Street would hail Washington enacting a tax stimulus but they discount the value to Main Street - and small businesses - of lower oil prices. Combine this consumer windfall with a relatively good employment picture and low inflation and it bodes well for the small business community. In the present economic scenario those likely to suffer include the luxury goods, major metro real estate, multi-nationals, and Wall Street. And that’s a refreshing change. ■
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WAVE OF SUCCESS CONTINUED FROM PAGE 4
Ninteau, who played hockey at and graduated from Stonehill College, was then working at Fidelity. And Sarah, who received a degree in journalism from the University of London, was back stateside. Bill retells the discussions with Mike about their unhappiness in their jobs. “What can we do to get out of finance?” he asked. “What can we do to ditch the cubicle?” Mike and Sarah quit their jobs, found income at Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough as a bartender and server. Bill, still at Fidelity and squirreling away cash, was taking many trips to The Home Depot, gathering materials for the boards he was assembling in mom’s garage. By October 2011, they had, in the nomenclature of their sport, “carved” a route for their business. On Halloween, a blizzard hit New Hampshire, knocking out power pretty much everywhere, including the garage. While snow piled up, they could not have foreseen what was ahead: a dizzying number of stops, over-the-top media attention, launch parties, sketchy hotel rooms, mixing with celebrities and little sleep. Loosely, those coming months broke down as follows: Boston. New York. Wall Street Journal. 60
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New York Times. Good Morning America. Shark Tank. Boston was the proof-of-concept stage. They rented space at Boston Athletic Club in “Southie” to hold two weeks of demonstrations/classes featuring 11 boards and training and using the few that were constructed in the garage. At more than 100 pounds each, it was a workout just getting this early-stage equipment into the space. Sarah had identified the potential value of at least three influencers for their newborn business model – trainers, bloggers and the Internet. She convinced the deal website, Gilt City, to offer 30 percent discounts for people to try an exciting, “exclusive” new way to train, using surf boards. She got Sarah Fit, a Boston blogger, to do a piece on the unveiling. And they sold out. All 38 classes. The results were gratifying, if not exhausting. “We were driving back and forth to New Hampshire every night with the boards,” says Sarah. About those boards. Bill and Mike conceived the devices freely admitting, as Bill says, “we didn’t know a lot about engineering.” The original concept
came from Mike, trying to stay in shape posthockey by sticking a surfboard on an inner tube and doing a bunch of exercises. It was a rudimentary contraption in the Boston club that Mike and Bill first showed Sarah, starting the conversation that would lead to Surfset Fitness. Bill and Mike returned to New Hampshire, focused on developing the suspension system that would replicate a board-on-water experience. The suspension, which went through several iterations, including balls and sockets, springs and other machinations, settled on a series of air bubbles. The board is called the RipSurfer X. Manufacturing moved from the Litchfield garage, to a company in Conway, before finding its way to a firm in Ohio. Bill and Mike exchange funny looks and a few chuckles remembering trying to get to scale with the boards. Bill worked with the Conway manufacturer trying to ramp up. One is certain he wasn’t laughing then. “I don’t think I showered for five days,” he says. Today, the new boards are created through a process called rotational molding, meaning pellets of plastic, melted under heat, are dispersed against a hollow mold, settling evenly as the de-
vice is rotated slowly. Upon cooling, the board emerges far lighter than a traditional surf board. It’s then attached to the base, the suspension and with a few enhancements, it’s ready for use – less than half the original weight. Next was New York. Despite the success of Boston, there were more than a few moments of trepidation for Mike. He had earned an MBA in England while playing hockey, and his focus on numbers had him questioning everything. “We are losing money,” he says of the time, remembering, “My MBA is the biggest waste of time in the world. You want to learn about business, start a business.” “It’s not sustainable,” Bill recalls Mike saying. Sarah said panic set in on the trip to New York, trailer and 11 boards in tow. “We’re driving to New York and Mike says, ‘we’re not going to make it, let’s turn around,’” she says. They kept going. And, as Sarah, says, “The whole process went out of control….” Following a similar formula to Boston, they rented space at the prestigious Sports Center at Chelsea Piers. Urban Daddy, a hip website focused on entertainment and lifestyle, announced the “pop-up” workout sessions this way: “Each class is led by an instructor (yes, she looks like an extra from Blue Crush) who’ll school you in how to pop up, duck dive, water walk, carve and shark kick (okay, that last one you’re already pretty well versed in). After 40 minutes’ worth of surf-inspired interval training under a ceiling of surf-inspired projected movies, the lights will be dimmed, the pace will be slowed, and you’ll wind down while stretching to the soothing sounds of the ocean.” Sound intriguing? The Wall Street Journal thought so, running a feature on Surfset in December. The New York Times followed with a January story. The bright lights of TV captured them with a spot on Good Morning America, part of the show’s New Year’s focus on new workout trends. Gilt City sold more deals to attend the training classes, but Sarah hatched on a breakthrough publicity concept that sold itself. Finding a website that ranked the best trainers in the city, she reached out to the fitness elites, offering an “exclusive” (there’s that word again) opportunity to train on the boards. These were the fitness pros in the city, those who worked with celebrities, including Madonna and contestants on the TV Show, “The Biggest Loser.” They showed up, and the accompanying classes sold out. “We didn’t understand how the PR world
worked,” Sarah says, but she knew the value of content to bloggers through her journalism training, and this touched off the whirlwind of attention. “We never have gone to a PR company. It came to us. “We wanted to make everything exclusive. Make everything sell out,” she says. Getting celebrities to try out their boards and training programs continues to be a focus of Surfset. For instance, The Surfset New York City Facebook page reveals Victoria Secret model Martha Hunt on a board. The Meredith Vieira Show’s Facebook page shows her training on the equipment. Huffington Post Health Director Meredith Melnick and Senior Editor of Health and Fitness Sarah Klein climbed on the boards, wobbly-kneed to be sure, but raved about the workouts. Said Klein, in their blog, “…the best part of all was that not once did I ask myself, ‘When is this going to be over?’ In fact, it was easy to forget I was exercising at all…” The two weeks in New York led to an additional two months at another club. The three went back to New Hampshire briefly to build seven more boards, bringing their total to 18 and held dozens of packed classes. And then, Shark Tank. The ABC show features billionaire tycoons “sharks” deciding whether to invest thousands of dollars in fledgling companies in exchange for a share of ownership. Back when the Hartwicks and Ninteau only had a concept, Sarah sent the show the idea, asking to be featured. “In the email pitch, we had nothing, had just thought of the idea and were getting ready to start building the board,” Sarah says. It didn’t happen in that season. It did the next, with taping in July 2012 and airing two months later in September. From the Halloween storm to the Shark Tank taping? Eight months. Sarah admits she doesn’t remember much of the appearance on the show, a blur, she says. But a viewer won’t see nervousness on the part of either her or Mike, or the pro surfer they brought in to demo the product, Laura Louise “Lakey” Peterson. Mike and Sarah asked for $150,000 in exchange for 10 percent of their company. In a rare display of interest, all five sharks made offers with tech guru Mark Cuban, also the owner of the Dallas Mavericks NBA team, upping the deal to $300,000 for 30 percent of Surfset. Then, after the show, Daymond John, a multi-line apparel leader and branding expert, invested $50,000. They have both been paid off, says Mike. There is mixed sentiment on the impact of
Shark Tank. No doubt it shortened the distance to broad brand recognition and drove demand for the boards. But there were numerous legal agreements and covenants that came along for the jaunt. “It certainly gave us so much publicity,” says Sarah. “We had national exposure. We had people who were pulling for us. We did a lot of sales every time it re-aired.” Says, Mike: “We were legitimized through the show.” It also put pressure on the company to keep up with the demand for the boards. And another unintended consequence was it produced at a copy-cat company, trying to knock down Surfset Fitness with a knock-off board. Sarah says they were confronted by this development at one of the largest fitness shows in the country, held in Las Vegas. The two competing booths were not far from each other. But attendees gratefully gravitated to the original, Sarah says. “People knew who we were,” she says. “They recognized us. They said, ‘we know you are the real deal.’” The business model for Surfset Fitness is elegant in its design. Sell boards at a profit to both gyms and individuals; provide certification (and recertification) to trainers on the use of the equipment; and service those gyms and individuals with web-based training programs, updates and enhancements. Revenue flows from each channel. Certification, for instance, costs $1,800 per trainer per year. The newest models of the RipSurfer X retail for $550. Large gyms like Retro Fitness may feature 30 boards for classes. About 7,000 boards have been sold. Training is offered in 350 gyms worldwide, with 23 established as Surfset-exclusive studios. Also, license deals have been struck abroad in 32 countries. Surfset Fitness uses independent contractors to push sales. The Manchester office serves as headquarters, and the dream is to get all manufacturing back to New Hampshire, say Mike and Bill. The three don’t discuss projections for 2016. Sarah says it’s safe to say “multi-million dollars” in revenue. Amid all of the expansion and all of the attention, Mike and Sarah got married last August in a ceremony at private home in Sunday River, Maine. How was the time found? Says Sarah, “We run a company together; we can plan a wedding.” What a ride. ■ BUSINESS MONADNOCK MARCH 2016
Advertiser Index ABRAMSON, BROWN & DUGAN�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������28
H & R BLOCK����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������37
ANDERSON & GILBERT������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������52
ANN HENDERSON INTERIORS���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45
ARC MECHANICAL CONTRACTORS����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������42
K & J BUILDERS.���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������59
KEATING PLUMBING & HEATING����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������46
BEST WESTERNWAXY O’CONNOR’S������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������59
KEENE SENTINEL PROMOTIONS�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������62
KEENE STATE COLLEGE��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������11, 20, 47
CHESHIRE MEDICAL/DARTMOUTH HITCHCOCK KEENE�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������38
LUCA’S MEDITERRANEAN CAFÉ�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������41
CITY OF KEENE�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������55 CITY TIRE OF KEENE������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������52 CLARK MORTENSON AGENCY��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������15 NORMA COUTURE, REMAX TOWN & COUNTRY���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������37 CSE SEPTIC EXCAVATING��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������52 CREATIVE ENCOUNTERS����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������2 DOUGLAS COMPANY�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������9 DOW’S SHOE STORE�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������53 EDWARD JONES�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������54 ELECTRONIC IMAGING������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������11 GEMINI SCREENPRINT & EMBROIDERY����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������50 GEM GRAPHICS���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������59
THE KEENE SENTINEL PRINTSHOP������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������63
MILLER BROS NEWTON�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������20 MONADNOCK OIL & VINEGAR��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������49 NEW ENGLAND FABRICS���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������3 PARAGON DIGITAL MARKETING����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������39 THE PUB RESTAURANT�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45 SAVINGS BANK OF WALPOLE����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������43 DANIEL V. SCULLY ARCHITECT�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������47 STAN’S AUTO BODY������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45 NANCY THOMPSON�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������7 TRUE NORTH NETWORKS������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������37 U-SAVE CAR RENTAL�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������47 WELLER & MICHAL ARCHITECTS������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������7 WOODWARD,THE������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������7 YOUR KITCHEN STORE���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������3
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Innovation requires leadership. CONGRATULATIONS to Bensonwoodâ€™s own Dave Levasseur and all the Keene Sentinel award-winners. Trendsetters are those around us working to provide new ideas, challenging the status quo, and ultimately, creating new paths for us to live more, and achieve more. Fads pass. But trendsetters point the way to an improved future for us all.