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Maine Connections   October 2010

Thaxter TraftonIt's no secret to any of us that live in Maine that we have something special here. What you may not know is that people from across the country and even on the other side of the world are recognizing this too. Maine has become a focal point worldwide because of the products and technology we're creating and the ideas we are implementing.

From the harnessing of tidal power, to the production of fine wood products and tasty snacks, Maine is making a name for itself far beyond state lines. The importance of exporting and reaching beyond our borders cannot be underestimated. In any economy, the value of growing markets in other states and countries is immense. What's more, exporting helps our trade deficit, creates jobs and increases potential for growth in a number of areas.

DECD is proud to be able to help Maine companies learn about the opportunities presented by "going global" and exporting. Through the efforts of all of the offices in DECD, as well as partnerships with the Maine International Trade Center and the work of the new foreign investment attaché, Maine companies are getting increased exposure (as demonstrated in the stories below) and spreading the word worldwide that Maine is synonymous with quality and ingenuity...something I am fortunately reminded of every day.

All the best,

Thaxter Trafton signature
Commissioner Thaxter R. Trafton


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In This Issue
DECD Business Tip
Mobilize Maine Launches Website and E-Newsletter
Betterment Fund Receives Main Street Hero Award
New Foreign Investment Attache Hired
Visitmaine.com Honored with Web Award
Maine Made Products on the Move
MTI Receives Two Awards
Upcoming Events
DECD assistance programs
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DECD is proud to welcome the following new Maine Made members!
Bill's Turnings, Limerick

DECD Business Tip of the Month

MTI Can Help Fund and Grow YOUR Big Idea

Are you a business owner looking for early-stage capital and assistance to encourage innovation in the area of technology? The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) works with entrepreneurs, innovators, established businesses and institutions conducting research and development (R&D) to help them FUND and GROW their BIG IDEAS. Our programs help innovators accelerate progress to the market, leverage additional private and public investment, and ultimately, expand their economic impact in Maine.Visit the Maine Technology Institute website, for more information.

Mobilize Maine Launches Website and E-mail Newsletter

DECD has launched a new website and e-mail newsletter for the Mobilize Maine initiative to provide news and updates about the state's new regionally-based economic development strategy.
Mobilize Maine is a public-private
Mobilize Maine
The new Mobilize Maine website: www.mobilizemaine.com
partnership between the state, regional economic development organizations, and private companies and organizations. The initiative is supported by a grant from Fairpoint Communications with the cooperation of the Maine DECD, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and the state's federally-designated economic development districts. The purpose of Mobilize Maine is to encourage private businesses and local community leaders to take the initiative in shaping regional economic development initiatives in Maine in order to develop community-led goals and strategies that focus on leveraging a region's assets. The website and e-mail newsletter were designed by DECD as a clearinghouse for information pertaining to the statewide roll-out of Mobilize Maine.

"The mobilizemaine.com website is an important tool to keep Maine's business community informed of this new and exciting initiative as it starts to take root across the state," said Mark Ouellette, Director of the Office of Business Development, part of DECD.

Betterment Fund Receives Main Street Hero Award at MDF's Annual Meeting, Sept. 24

Betterment Fund

The Maine Downtown Center and the Maine Development Foundation, have presented the Main Street Hero award to The Betterment Fund. The Main Street Hero award is given annually to an entity who has demonstrated leadership in promoting downtown revitalization across the state of Maine. 

As co-chair of the Maine Downtown Center, Terry Ann Stevens (far right in photo), DECD Community Development Program Manager, presented the award. According to Terry Ann, the Betterment Fund is a true champion for the revitalization of Maine's historic downtowns. "They were one of the original supporters of the Maine Downtown Center over ten years ago and then again during a time of disappearing resources," said Stevens. "The Betterment Fund stepped in with a matching grant allowing us to access critically-needed USDA funding to keep our work moving forward.  Because of their leadership and commitment to ensuring the economic vitality of Maine's character-defining historic downtowns, the Maine Downtown Center is the strongest it has ever been. We are now serving communities in all 16 counties with a wide array of technical and supporting services plus our role as the State Coordinator in Maine for the National Trust Main Street Center is secure."

New Foreign Investment Attaché Hired

The Maine International Trade Center is pleased to announce the hiring of Annette Bossler as the state's new foreign investment attaché. Bossler brings over twenty years of professional experience in Asia, the U.S. and Europe, fluency in German and Japanese, and experience working for the renewable energy sector in Maine, to this role. As the foreign investment attaché, she will head the Foreign Investment Initiative for Maine's advanced materials and renewable energy industries.
Annette Bossler
Annette Bossler,
Foreign Investment Attache
The Foreign Investment Initiative is designed to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) dollars to Maine by attracting capital infusions to growing Maine companies, and by increasing industrial capacity by encouraging development of new operations in Maine. This initiative is supported by Maine industry, universities, and government and has received funding through the Maine Technology Institute (MTI). The initiative will connect Maine with key investment markets in Europe and Asia. The ultimate goal of this initiative is to create a self-sustaining global FDI presence for the State of Maine that can be utilized by all growing industries.

Visitmaine.com Honored with Web Award

The Maine Office of Tourism and its website contractor, Portland Webworks, recently received a top honor from the 2010 Travel Weekly Magellan Awards.
For the second straight year, the office of Tourism's website visitmaine.com won the Gold Magellan Award in the Destination Marketing/Website category. The Magellan Awards is the premier awards program Visitmaine.comhonoring the world's best in the travel industry. 

"Visitmaine.com does an outstanding job of informing potential visitors about Maine's activities and destinations.I am proud of the work of my team at the Office of Tourism and Portland Webworks," said Patricia Eltman, director of the Maine Office of Tourism. Find us on Facebook

Maine Made Products on the Move

DECD and MITC Showcase Maine Made Products Abroad
Products Exhibited at International Gardening and Outdoor Living Trade Show

Glee Trade Show
The Maine International Trade Center booth at Glee.
Several members of DECD's Maine Made program got international exposure recently at the Glee trade show in Birmingham, England.
The Maine companies displayed products at the Maine International Trade Center booth. Glee is the U.K.'s most comprehensive trade show for the garden and leisure industries. It draws more than 15,000 visitors including buyers, directors, and partners from every major U.K. garden center group, plus a broad range of key multiple
Glee Trade Show Reps.
Elaine Scott of DECD, Zeynup Turk of MITC and Camille Dubois of Hancock Lumber
venue retailers, online retailers, and buyer groups representing the complete spectrum of the outdoor living marketplace. Glee is a truly international show, with an audience representing more than 55 countries worldwide.
Maine companies, Deschaine Woodworks Deck and Garden (Dedham), Hancock Lumber (Casco), Ridge Bird Feeders (Dixmont), Roy Toy (East Machias) and Walpole Woodworkers (Pittsfield) were all represented at the booth. Zeynep Turk of the Maine International Trade Center, and Elaine Scott, Maine Made program director and DECD's marketing director, attended the trade show on behalf of members, along with Camille Dubois of Hancock Lumber.
A grant from the Softwoods Exports Council and support from DECD made it possible for the representatives to attend and showcase the products.

Maine Buck Nuts Included in Swag Bags at News & Documentary Emmy® Awards
Maine Made member, Maine Buck Nuts, was delighted to send their product to New York City to be distributed at The News & Documentary Emmy® Awards. Maine Buck Nuts' products were featured in swag bags for the event, which was held Sept. 26-28.
Saco-based Maine Buck Nuts' product line includes
roasted and flavored pecans, almonds, peanuts and cashews. " Kim "Buck" Knight and Sheila Speckin, founders and co-owners of the company, were excited at the opportunity to have their product featured in the give-away bags.  Find us on Facebook
Maine Technology Institute Receives Awards from
Maine Development Foundation and
State Science and Technology Institute

The Maine Technology Institute (MTI) was presented with the Champion of Economic Development award from the Maine Development Foundation at the annual meeting last month. The award recognizes commitment to economic growth in Maine, ability to collaborate and create partnerships, high professional standards and innovativeness.

MTI was also one of four national recipients of the Excellence in Technology-Based Economic Development Award from the State Science and Technology Institute (SSTI), a national nonprofit organization based in Ohio that leads efforts to improve state and regional economies through science, technology and innovation. MTI received the award for its Maine Technology Asset Fund (MTAF), a voter-approved $50 million bond-funded program that supports research, development and commercialization of technologies that boost Maine's economy and create high-paying jobs.

Upcoming Events:
Wednesday, October 27

Momentum Convention
9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Augusta Civic Center, Civic Center Drive, Augusta

Produced for Maine's business community, the Mainebiz Momentum Convention is where CEOs, marketing executives, human resources managers, business owners, sales managers, technology directors and professionals can spend a day with their peers to help build momentum for their businesses. DECD is proud to sponsor keynote speaker, Doug Hall.

Monday-Tuesday, November 8-9
Maine Innkeepers Association 89th Annual Meeting and Conference
The Cliff House Resort & Spa, Shore Road, Ogunquit

This two-day meeting and conference attracts more than 100 owners and managers of hotels, motels, inns, resorts and B&Bs from throughout the state. Attendees will have a chance to participate in a number of workshops, network with members and visit exhibitor booths.

Various Dates:
Maine Technology Institute (MTI) Webinars

Maine Technology Institute is offering several webinars for entrepreneurs to learn how to apply for funding to support business planning, market research, intellectual property filing, prototype development or later-stage R&D. For a list of webinar dates, times and topics, please visit: http://www.mainetechnology.org/.