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Maine Connections April 2010
Thaxter Trafton

Greetings from DECD!

Last week we had the privilege to present the 2010 Governor's Awards for Business and Nonprofit Excellence at Colby College on behalf of Governor Baldacci. It was a pleasure to honor these Maine companies
for their high level of commitment to their communities, employees and service excellence.

I also want to commend Colby on the outstanding event they hosted.

We Mainers should be proud to know we have these truly remarkable companies in our state. They are not only providing many people with great jobs with good benefits, but they are contributing to their communities and making a real difference. To read more about the 11 award winners, check out the 3rd article in this issue of Connections.

We've added a new, easy way to access all of the State's business assistance programs - just click the red button to the right!

All the best,

Thaxter Trafton signature
Thaxter R. Trafton

In This Issue
New England Products Trade Show
Maine Boatbuilders Show
Governor's 2010 Awards for Business Excellence
Maine Food Producers Alliance
Governor's Jobs Summit
MTI Awardee Focus
Upcoming Events
DECD assistance programs
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The 26th Annual New England Products Trade Show


The 26th Annual New England Products Trade Show (NEPTS), the country's only trade show featuring products exclusively from New England, ran March 13-15, 2010, at the Portland Sports Complex. NEPTS attracts around 2,000 retail buyers from across the country and showcases over 150 exhibitors. "It was excellent this year. I went Saturday, didn't finish and spent the whole day Monday finishing up. I ordered from most everyone since the quality and products were exciting and marketable. Great show!" said Diane Campbell, of Yikes! American Craft Gallery in Center Harbor, NH.


The show presents a juried selection of giftware, home furnishings, and specialty food from Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. The New England Products Trade Show is owned and managed by Giraffe Events, LLC.

Better Than Average - 2010 Best New Booth Honorable Mention.
Better Than Average - 2010 Best New Booth Honorable Mention

"The 26th Annual New England Products Trade Show illustrated what those of us in this area already know so well - New Englanders stick together and support one another," says Stefa Normantas, Show Producer. "Even in a challenging economic climate the majority of our exhibitors reported even greater sales than last year, some ranging as high as 50% increases. Overwhelmingly, our buyers let us know that this is one of their favorite shows due to the high caliber, local products that we showcase. Their customers are demanding top quality locally made products, and NEPTS is known as the tradeshow that delivers those products. We are so proud to organize a marketplace where some of New England's finest manufacturers meet with quality buyers from throughout the region and beyond to support small business and our local economy."


The 2010 Best New Product Giftware winners are:

  • Lorna's Wool, Spofford, New Hampshire (First Place)
  • ShellStone Inc., Portland, Maine (Second Place)
  • Laceypots, South Portland, Maine (Honorable Mention)
  • CHART metalworks, Portland, Maine (Honorable Mention)
  • Ikebana Ware LLC, Belfast, Maine (Honorable Mention)


The 2010 Best New Product Specialty Food winners are:

  • Sizzlin Sauces, LLC, Conway, New Hampshire (First Place)
  • Haven's Candies, Westbrook, Maine (Second Place)
  • The Nut Lady, LLC, Agawam, Massachusetts (Honorable Mention)



There are posted snapshots and booth photos from the 2010 trade show and award reception on the NEPTS Facebook Fan Page.

Maine Built Boats Holds Annual Meeting

Maine Built Boats organization held its annual meeting at the Maine Boatbuilders show March 20th. The marketing organization continues to grow its membership and has a strong Board of Directors, representing Maine's important boat building industry. Founded in 2004, with support from DECD, the organization encourages companies to collaborate and jointly promote their industry.  The organization and its membership has received national recognition as a successful example of what can be done to promote regional and economic growth on a local level.

French & Webb's innovative 29' Diesel/Electric launch "zogo" with carbon canopy, solar panels and Steyr Motors Hybrid Drive unit.
French & Webb- boat show

On March 19- 20, 2010, the Maine Boatbuilders Show was held at the Portland Company Complex.  The Maine Boatbuilders Show provides a local outlet for Maine boat builders of all sizes to showcase everything from small rowboats to power boats of every make and size, and supports the state's 400-year-old traditional industry.

The Board is made up (left to right) Paul West, West Bay Boats; Todd French, French & Webb; JB Turner, Kenway; John Hanson, ME Boats, Homes, Harbors Magazine; Steve Rowe, Great Island Boat Yard; Phil Bennett, Hinckley Yachts; John Kachmar, Wilbur Yachts; Steve White, Brooklin Boat Yard; Bentley Collins, Sabre Yachts; Chip Miller, Six River Marine; Sandy Spaulding, Sea Glass Capital; Cyler Morris, Morris Yachts; front row: Elaine Scott, DECD; Jane Wellehan, Maine Built Boats and Kerri Russell, John Williams Boat Company.
Maine Built Boats' Board of Directors at their annual meeting, held at the Maine Boatbuilders Show.
Maine Built Boats Board Meeting

Governor's 2010 Awards for Business Excellence


Commissioner Thaxter Trafton presented the 2010 Governor's Awards for Business Excellence and the Governor's Awards for Nonprofit Excellence at Colby College on April 1. The Award for Business Excellence, administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and sponsored by FairPoint Communications, recognizes Maine companies that demonstrate a high level of commitment to their community, employees, and to manufacturing or service excellence.

The Governor's Awards for Nonprofit Excellence, sponsored by Healey & Associates, Inc., are presented by the Maine Association of Nonprofits to the three Maine nonprofit organizations that have achieved significant results by utilizing ingenuity combined with sound management practices.


Governor's Awards

This year's Business Award recipients were Gifford's Ice Cream, Maine Manufacturing, Old Town Canoe Company - Johnson Outdoors, Sprague & Curtis Real Estate and Yankee Marina & Boatyard.

The Nonprofit award winners were Health Access Network; Woodfords Family Services; Portland Symphony Orchestra; Spruce Run Association; Hardy Girls, Healthy Women; and Youth Arts.

Maine Food Producers Alliance

The Maine Food Producers Alliance was formed in 2006, after a Maine Food for Thought Forum at Bowdoin College. With the help of a Maine Technology Institute Cluster Initiative award and DECD and the Maine Extension Partnership, a new association was created. Alliance members are Maine entrepreneurs and manufacturers who work together to create and sustain a collaborative environment for the development and growth of markets for value-added food and beverage products made in Maine.

Specialty foods are seen as an emerging cluster in Maine. Portland was recently named the "foodiest small town" by Bon Appetit  and the trend towards buying locally produced goods helps cut down on the carbon footprint. It also means people receive the freshest food available. Consumers like to buy products emblematic of Maine, knowing their purchase is fresh and of the finest quality.

Before the Maine Food Producers Alliance was formed, individual entrepreneurs worked on their own but now through the Alliance,  they're able to create a partnership that better positions them in the industry.

Members of the Alliance have direct access to buyers and markets, marketing and media opportunities, an easy way to connect with colleagues, contacts, referrals, resources and services and more. To learn more about the Maine Food Producers Alliance, visit http://www.mainefoodbiz.com/.

Governor's Jobs Summit Follow-Up

The 2010 Governor's Jobs Summit was a great success. Over 100 businesses, stakeholders, and policy advisors attended to discuss, listen, and recommend how the Governor can best assist with ensuring that business achievements in this down economy can continue. As a result of the Summit, there are four areas that need continued attention:

  • Regulation
  • Coordination
  • Outreach
  • Investment

Some of the requested actions that the Governor will put into motion include:

  • We will review use of DEP permit by rule with the goal of expanding it to additional, appropriate business activities.
  • DECD will designate a point person to facilitate business interactions with state agencies.
  • Following the Maine Chamber's lead, a link will be established between higher education students seeking internships/jobs and businesses needing their skills.


As next steps, there will be similar forums set up on a regional basis, which the Governor, DECD and the Maine State Chamber will organize and attend to help drill down on needs and ideas on a more regional level.

The Governor will continue to communicate with you providing updates on these actions through his Web site http://www.maine.gov/governor/baldacci/index.shtml.

Click on on the "It's Easy" button for more information on business assistance programs:
DECD assistance prorgams

MTI Awardee Focus: Ocean Renewable Power Company


Something exciting happened in Eastport recently that will put downeast Maine on the map for green, renewable energy. On March 2, 2010, Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) launched their pilot tidal turbine generator unit or TGU. The TGU has a capacity rating of 60 kilowatts, which means the generator could provide renewable energy to up to 85 Maine households. The TGU is the largest ocean energy device ever deployed in U.S. waters and nearly all of the TGU's parts were made or assembled in Maine as well. These are all things Maine can be proud of.

ORPC's Turbine Generator Unit launch in Eastport, ME on March 2, 2010

Headquartered in Portland with a development office in Eastport, ORPC is a recent Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF) awardee. MTI invest­ments have provided the much-needed capital to research and develop their proprietary technology. MTI's sup­port was also instru­mental in the compa­ny's decision to locate their headquarters in Maine, and ORPC is benefiting from that decision by partnering with over 40 local businesses to fabricate, assemble, deploy and maintain their equipment and make ocean energy a viable industry here.

ORPC employs 19 people full and part-time staff in Portland and Eastport. The company is still expanding and is responsible for over 80 positions being created or retained across eight Maine counties since 2007. The company believes that support for project development starts and ends locally.




Maine Technology Institute (MTI) has released a new request for applications for a third round of awards from the Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF). Universities and colleges, nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses are invited to apply. MTAF was financed by $50 million of the research and economic development bond that Maine voters approved in November 2007 and that MTI manages. In 2008 and 2009, the MTI Board awarded approximately $46 million to fund 26 projects in two competitive application rounds. This third round will award approximately $4 million in unused funds from the second round as well as position MTI to award an additional $3 million that may become available as a result of a bond referendum in June.  


A request for applications for the third round of MTAF awards is available on the MTI Web site at www.mainetechnology.org along with information about the program and application process. The required notice of intent to apply is due to be submitted electronically to MTI by May 4, 2010. The deadline to submit paper applications to MTI for this third round of awards is June 1, 2010.


Upcoming Events:

APRIL: The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) has scheduled workshops across the state beginning this month on how to apply to the Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF). Eligible are universities, non-profit research organizations and businesses looking to finance equipment, facilities renovation or construction focused on bringing technology to the marketplace. For the full schedule, click here.