In The News

Institute for Family Owned Business Presents: Let's Mingle and Jingle!

Falmouth, ME – (November 27, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to present our end-of-the-year celebration and holiday party: “Let’s Mingle and Jingle”! This event will take place on Wednesday, December 13th  from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Portland Country Club, which is located at 11 Foreside Road in Falmouth. It is open to members and future members of the IFOB, and reservations are required! Visit http://bit.ly/2zm4F9f for complete details.  

 

Please join the Board of Directors, Advisory Board, and Catherine Wygant Fossett, the Executive Director, for an evening of appreciation for all who have supported and parcipated in the many Institute programs for the year. Warm up with delicious hors d’oeuvres, beverages, and a cash bar which will be available. Ring out the 2017 IFOB year with our amazing community of family businesses, Associate Partners and sponsors.

 

“With over 40 programs throughout the year, it’s nice to unwind, reflect, and have some holiday fun with our members and future members” said Catherine Wygant Fossett, Executive Director of the Institute for Family-Owned Business. “I’m excited to get everyone together to celebrate!”

 

To further transition us into the holiday spirit, we’ll be welcoming back caroling and sing-a-longs. This year, we’re featuring Andrea Delan Unplugged, otherwise known as the Institute’s very own Andrea Parker Michaud from Michaud Accounting Solutions! Andrea has been playing guitar for 20+ years and enjoys playing covers along with original songs she’s written over the years. Join the IFOB on December 13th for this event!

 

The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives, and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned businesses.

 

 

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Institute for Family Owned Business Presents Next Gen Holiday Social - with a Twist!

South Portland, ME – (November 21, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to present our end-of-the-year Next Gen event: “Holiday Social – with a Twist”! This event will take place on Monday, December 4th   from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Easy Day, which is located at 725 Broadway in South Portland. It is open to members and future members who are part of the Next Generation of the IFOB, so all are welcome! Visit http://bit.ly/2zm4F9f for complete details.  

 

For our “Next Gen Social Mixer” – with a Twist, we’ll be gathering at Easy Day for an evening of socializing and bowling! (Those who plan on bowling will want to arrive 15 minutes prior in order to be fitted for shoes.) Throughout the program, join the IFOB executive director, Catherine Wygant Fossett , Janet Cole Cross of Cole Cross Connections (who leads these groups) and fellow Next Geners to learn about these Next Gen groups and events.

 

“We thought bowling would create a fun environment for our Next Geners” said Catherine Wygant Fossett, Executive Director of the Institute for Family-Owned Business. “We’re looking forward to chatting as well as signing members up for our affinity groups for 2018!”.

 

Peer advisory groups are small, confidential discussion groups of about 8-10 members that meet regularly and are facilitated by one or more local family business advisors. The group allows individuals to share experiences and learn from each other in a safe and open environment.  These groups are for those actively working in a family business or who are interested in joining the family business, are IFOB members and in non-competing businesses. The groups for 2018 will include Next Gen Senior, mid-management employees; and Next Gen Executive, members who are working at top management levels within their company. We’ll have more information on the different groups available at Easy Day, so join us!

 

The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives, and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned businesses.

 

 

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Institute for Family Owned Business Presents Women in Family Business - Maine Women Magazine Panel

Portland, ME – (October 17, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to present a Women in Family Business – Affinity Group program called “Maine Women Magazine MWM Panel”. This event will take place on Thursday, November 2nd from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at The Woodlands Club, which is located at 39 Woods Road in Falmouth, Maine. It is open to members and future members of the IFOB, so all are welcome! Visit http://bit.ly/2g5t9vN  for complete details.

We’ll discuss work life blend, credibility, equality, and dynamics in the workplace.  Katie Shorey, Community Development Specialist at People’s United Bank will moderate the panel. Our four panelists include Gena Cannning, Managing Partner at Pine State Trading Co.; Deirdre Wadsworth, President of Hardypond Construction; Marie Hansen, J.D. Ph.D., Dean of the College of Business and New England School of Communications (NESCom) at Husson University; and Lee Hews, Publisher for Maine Women Magazine.

 “It’s an extraordinary opportunity to hear about what these fabulous women in the workplace experience every day” said Catherine Wygant Fossett, Executive Director of the Institute for Family-Owned Business. “It’ll be a comfortable and fun environment for our women in family business members to discuss these topics - I cannot wait to hear what our audience has to ask our panel!”

We’ll learn from each of these professionals about their personal journeys in their diverse fields. Along with the audience, we’ll discuss what challenges and triumphs we encounter along the way as it relates to gender in the workplace and our personal lives. Relax with a glass of wine, delicious hors d’oeuvres and fabulous company! This program is sponsored by Baker Newman Noyes and Maine Women Magazine.

The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives, and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned businesses

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Institute for Family-Owned Business Announces A-R-T of the Family Business Part III: 

 Free Federal and State Resources for Family-Owned Businesses and IFOB Associate Partner / Member Services Showcase

Portland, ME – (October 11, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to present the final installment of A-R-T of the Family Businesss program with Traction: Free Federal and State Resources for Family-Owned Businesses and IFOB Associate Partner / Member Services Showcase. This A-R-T Part 3 event will take place on Wednseday, October 25th from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Lundt Auditorium, Oceanview at Falmouth, 74 Lunt Road, Falmouth, Maine. It is open to members, including those who would like to exhibit, and future members of the IFOB, so all are welcome! Visit http://bit.ly/2y6QjZA   for complete details.  

We kick off this program with two family-owned businesses success stories.  Kate McAleer, founder and owner of Bixby & Co., an artisan confectionary producer and Steve Tselikis, CFO of Cousins Maine Lobster of Shark Tank fame.  They will discuss how they’ve benefited from federal and/or state resources. 

We’ll then bring in our panel of experts including George Gervais, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development; Brian Whitney, President of Maine Technology Institute; Amy Bassett, District Director of U.S. Small Business Administration; and Stephen Veazey, District Director for SCORE Maine. They will share information on access to capital (funding your project or growth), access to technical assistance (free and confidential training on how to accomplish what you have set out to do) and navigating the state licensing and permitting processes.

“Our goal for the final part of our A-R-T of Family Business program was to provide free federal and state resources for our members” said Catherine Wygant Fossett, Executive Director of the Institute for Family Owned Business. “By ‘Traction’, we mean giving  your family business tangible resources to grow your business.”

The formal program is about an hour, followed by questions and networking.  We will then lead into our "IFOB Associate Partner  / Members Services Showcase” that highlights our Associate Partners currently at over 40 members so that family businesses can network and see what services they provide.  We will also include family businesses that have services that can help family businesses as well.  All members and future members can get to know other members who they could work with as well.

“We’re excited to give our Associate Partners and Members an opportunity to showcase what they can do to help their network of family businesses” said Wygant Fossett.

This program is sponsored by Albin, Randall & Bennett and Mainebiz. The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives, and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned businesses.

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 Institute for Family-Owned Business Announces Let's Engage and Play with Our Four Legged Friends!


Portland, ME – (September 25, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to present the final installment of this  year’s Family Business Spotlight event that highlights deeply committed and supportive family-owned businesses. This Family Business Spotlight: Business After Hours event will take place on Monday, October 2nd from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Planet Dog store, which is located at 211 Marginal Way in Portland, Maine. It is open to members and future members of the IFOB, so all are welcome! Visit http://bit.ly/2w8G2YU for complete details.  

 

Since incorporating in 1997, Planet Dog has been known as the industry's leading socially responsible, values-based design house, bringing people and dogs together for fun and mutual support. What gets their tails wagging is creating, innovating, and developing premium products "made for dogs, by dog lovers" all while being fully dedicated to satisfying both you and your furry best friend.

 

“I’m so excited to be included in the IFOB’s Spotlight, “ stated Colleen McCracken, CEO & Partner for Planet Dog and IFOB chair.  “We are so committed to our four legged friends and family-owned businesses and we’re thrilled to bring the two together for this unique and fun networking event.”

 

·         Planet Dog’s Mission - Making our planet a better place by unleashing the power of play.

·         Sustainability - Their commitment to you, to their customers, and to their industry.

·         Their Pack – Meet the incredible team that makes Planet Dog what it is each and every day.

·         Durability Rating - A guide for you to choose the best chew toy for your dog.

·         100% Guarantee – All of their products are guaranteed 100%. Learn more about their promise to you at www.planetdog.com.

·         Planet Dog Foundation – Since 2006, the Planet Dog Foundation has donated over $1.5 Million in dollars and products to service dog programs. 

 

This program is designed to promote family-owned businesses and members of the IFOB. Bring your four legged friends to our event and learn about:

 

·         The changing landscape of retail and how Planet Dog is responding to retail in the pet space.

·         Enjoy great food & beverages with Blue Elephant Events & Catering and doggie treats for your four-legged best friend.

·         Enter a raffle for a gift basket

 

The Family Business Spotlight Series will continue with two family-owned businesses for the year 2018. This program is sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Planet Dog and Blue Elephants Events and Catering.

 

For more information on how your family-owned business can participate, contact Catherine Wygant Fossett at catherine@fambusiness.org.

 

The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives, and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned businesses.     

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Institute for Family-Owned Business Announces 10 Leadership Practices that Positively Impact Employee Motivation and Profitability

Portland, ME – (September 18, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased announce the next  Next Gen Open Program.  This seminar will take place on Thursday, September 28th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Husson University’s Southern Campus, which is located at 340 County Road in Westbrook, Maine. Participants can attend in person or remote in via the Internet. It is open to members and future members of the IFOB, so all are welcome! Visit http://bit.ly/2vTdZwf for complete details.

Current national trends clearly show through recent data released by Culture Amp that development opportunities and leadership have 3-4 times a greater impact on the retention of star employees than their relationship with their immediate boss. As far as recruitment of employees, organizations must do much more than engage employees if they want to recruit and retain high potentials.

The 10 Leadership Practices program will showcase and further explore the Chalmers Insurance Group, a fourth-generation, family-owned business, and their approach to leadership practices in order to tailor a highly-motivated work force. Speakers for this seminar include Vince Pelote, Founder and Partner of da Vinci Consulting, Steve Cote, President of Chalmers Insurance Group, and Dottie Chalmers Cutter, Vice-President of Chalmers Insurance Group.

“This program is designed to provide the audience with a greater understanding of the relationship between leadership practices and employee motivation, “stated executive director, Catherine Wygant Fossett. “Upon leaving, attendees will be able to walk away with common sense technique that can then be implemented into the work place,” she concluded.

The Next Gen Series will continue with its next and last open program of the year: Next Generation Holiday Social to learn about our Peer Advisory Groups, as well as signing up for 2018. This event will be held on December 7th from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., location TBD. To stay informed on this event, visit http://bit.ly/2h2EA7r.

This program is sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, da Vinci Consulting, Chalmers Insurance Group, and Husson University. The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives, and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned businesses.

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Institute for Family-Owned Business Announces Second Installment in ART of Family Business Series

Portland, ME – (August 10, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to present the second seminar in their three-part educational series on growing and protecting your family-owned business. This seminar will take place on Wednesday, August 23rd from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Husson University’s Southern Campus, which is located at 340 County Road in Westbrook, Maine. Participants can attend in person or remote in via the Internet. It is open to members and future members of the IFOB, so all are welcome! Visit http://bit.ly/2vIa6Of for complete details.

“I wanted to play up the idea of mastering the art of family business with this series,” stated Catherine Wygant Fossett, executive director of the IFOB.  “I used the word “Art” as an acronym for Action, Reaction, and Traction and based our 3-part series on these three important components of family business,” she explained.  “It is imperative to take ACTION by kick starting your succession plan, you must develop a good REACTION to manage taxes that may come up now and in the future, and you should gain TRACTION by learning about the free Federal and State resources that are at your disposal as a family business.”

The ART 2 seminar centers around taxes, including a discussion of the rules and opportunities for individual business owners, business tax strategies, and tax planning for ownership transitions. Speakers for this seminar include Francis J. O’Shea, CPA/ABV, CVA of BerryDunn, Andrew Smith, CPA of Baker Newman Noyes, and William Becker III, CTFA, CWS of Key Private Bank.  

This program is designed to provide the audience with a framework to incorporate tax savings strategies into the conduct of their business activities.  It will cover the best practices in minimizing taxes now, and in the future, including upon the transfer of the business.  It will answer questions such as:

1. "How can I reduce the family's effective tax rate?"
2. "What type of entity should be used for my business?"
3. "Is a Captive Insurance strategy right for my business?"
4. "How can I reduce or eliminate taxes on the transfer of shares from my parents to me, and on the transfer of my shares to my children?"

    Frank O’Shea states, “Bring your questions for our panel and take this opportunity to pick our brains for strategies for your business.”

    The ART of Family Business Series will end with the following program: Traction: Free Federal and State Resources for Family-Owned Businesses and IFOB Associate Partners / Member Services Showcase on Wednesday, October 25th 8– 12:00 noon at the Lunt Auditorium, 74 Lunt Road, Falmouth

    This program is sponsored by Albin, Randall & Bennett, BerryDunn, Baker Newman Noyes, Key Private Bank, Husson University, and Mainebiz. The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening, and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives, and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities, and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned businesses.

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    Institute for Family-Owned Business Announces First Installment in ART of Family Business Series
    Portland, ME – (July 10, 2017) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to announce the kick-off to their three-part educational series on growing and protecting your family-owned business. The first seminar will take place on Wednesday, July 19th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus, 340 County Road, Westbrook.  Participants can come in person or remote in via the Internet.  It is open to members and future members. All are welcome!  Visit http://bit.ly/2tNI7I2 for complete details.

    “I wanted to play up the idea of mastering the art of family business with this series,” stated Catherine Wygant Fossett, executive director of the IFOB.  “I used the word “Art” as an acronym for Action, Reaction, and Traction and based our 3-part series on these three important components of family business,” she explained.  “It is imperative to take ACTION by kick starting your succession plan, you must develop a good REACTION to manage taxes that may pop up now and in the future, and you should gain TRACTION by learning about the free Federal and State resources that are at your disposal as a family business.”

    The first seminar will center on the topic of succession planning. Research by White Horse Advisors, shows that 96% of business owners agree it’s important to have an exit strategy.  Yet only 13% have a plan that is current and written.   “We wanted to highlight how to kick-start a succession plan for just this reason”, stated David Jean, principal with Albin, Randall & Bennett who spearheaded this panel.  “Careful planning is so important to a successful transition and we want to educate family businesses on best practices for taking this important step.”

    Tony Payne, IFOB Board member and VP of Business Development from Clark Insurance, will moderate a panel that includes:  David Jean from Albin, Randall & Bennett; Timothy Benoit from Perkins Thompson; Jim Lyon from Summit 9 Consulting; and Jeannine Pendergast from Spinnaker Trust.

    Each panelist will share their own unique experiences in helping business owners with succession planning. The panelists will address key questions that owners need to ask themselves at the outset of the process. The goal for this seminar is to prepare business owners and family members for the succession planning process.

    The ART of Family Business Series will continue with two other programs:

    1.     Reaction: Best Practices to Manage Taxes Now and in the Future led by Baker Newman Noyes and BerryDunn
    - Wednesday, August 23rd; 8-10:30 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Maine Campus, Westbrook
      2.     Traction: Free Federal and State Resources for Family-Owned Businesses and IFOB Associate Partners / Member Services Showcase
      - Wednesday, October 25th; 8 - 8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast and networking, 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. Program, 10:00 – 12:00 noon IFOB Associate   Partner / Member Services Showcase at the Lunt Auditorium, 74 Lunt Road, Falmouth

        This program is sponsored by Albin, Randall & Bennett, Perkins Thompson, Clark Insurance, Husson University, and Mainebiz.  The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.  

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        Maine's family-owned businesses recognized at gala event

        Mainebiz Article - May 18, 2017


        Courtesy / The Institute for Family-Owned Business

        Courtesy / The Institute for Family-Owned Business

        The 2017 Renys Large Business of the Year winner is Capozza Tile and Floor Covering Center. Family members receive the award at the Maine Family Business Awards gala at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland on Wednesday night.

        Event sponsors included:

        • MEMIC
        • Maine Magazine
        • Renys
        • Chalmers Insurance Group
        • Holiday Inn By the Bay
        • People's United Bank
        • Machias Savings Bank
        • Verrill Dana
        • HUB/Norton Insurance & Financial Services
        • Murray Plumb & Murray
        • Norway Savings Bank
        • Lee Auto Malls
        • ReVision Energy
        • Blaze Partners
        • Cross Insurance
        • Morong Falmouth
        • Burgess Advertising & Marketing
        • DMM
        • Mainebiz
        • Sun Media Group
        • Bangor Daily News
        • Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram
        • The Derek Volk Show

        A diverse group of companies from across the state were honored at the Maine Family Business Awards gala at the Holiday Inn by the Bay Wednesday night.

        Presented by the Institute for Family-Owned Business in partnership with MEMIC, the awards recognize exemplary Maine firms that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success, and commitment to employees, customers and community.

        An independent panel of judges, facilitated by Maureen Costello Wedge of Sun Media Group, selected the winners from among 20 finalists. With 166 nominations, a record 52 semi-finalists competed to receive seven awards, now in their 18th year.

        Here are this year's honorees:

        OceanView at Falmouth received the HUB/Norton Insurance and Financial Services Environmental Leadership Award, recognizing the sustainable practices that make it Maine's "greenest" retirement community. The company's many sustainable practices include recycling 95% of the waste it generates; a robust composting program to manage food waste; and use of solar energy.

        Guilford-based Puritan Medical Products won the People's United Bank Innovation and Technology Award in recognition of the company's ability to adapt to a changing marketplace and preserve more than 200 manufacturing jobs. Founded nearly a century ago to produce wooden toothpicks, ice cream spoons and other consumer products, Puritan is now a leading, FDA-registered producer of single-use specimen collection devices used by the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Homeland Security, among others.

        The Holiday Inn by the Bay First Generation Award was presented to Custom Composite Technologies Inc. of Bath, which was started by a husband-and-wife team to help custom boat builders improve and lighten their product design. Today, the company serves diverse industries, including robotics, defense, art and architecture, in addition to boat builders.

        Hanson Enterprises LLC of Ogunquit was named the Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award winner. The two-generation hospitality business, which comprises three lodging properties and a restaurant in the Wells-Ogunquit area, has received consistently high marks from guests and has earned industry honors from leading travel companies like Trip Advisor and Expedia.

        The Shep Lee Community Service Award, named for one of the founders of Institute for Family-Owned Business, went to Geaghan's Pub and Craft Brewery, a popular Bangor eatery and the ninth largest production brewery in Maine. The business was recognized for the many ways it is immersed in the community, supporting dozens of nonprofit and civic organizations including its own fundraising event to support cancer research. Geaghan's received the Governor's Award for Business Excellence and the Maine Restaurant Association Restaurateur of the Year in 2016.

        Highland Avenue Greenhouse of Scarborough received the Maddy Corson Small Business Award, presented to an exemplary business with fewer than 25 employees. This nearly 70-year-old company was acknowledged for the ways it has continued to evolve, adding services that provide value and convenience to customers and adopting new approaches to make their business more environmentally friendly and sustainable, such as switching to biological pest control in the greenhouse and adding a commercial kitchen at its farm stand to produce baked goods, soups, sandwiches and prepared to-go meals.

        Capozza Tile and Floor Covering Center was named the Renys Large Business of the Year, designated for companies with more than 25 employees. The company, founded in 1974 by Joseph Capozza, Jr., is now run by the third generation of Capozzas and has grown to three locations, including its newest location in Lewiston. The company provides a full range of flooring solutions for residential and commercial customers throughout southern and central Maine.

        Who are the 20 Maine Family Business Awards finalists?

        Mainebiz Article - April 28, 2017

        The Institute for Family-Owned Businesses has selected 20 finalists for its 18th annual Maine Family Business Awards, which honor exemplary companies that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success and commitment to employees, customers and community.

        The top 20 were chosen from 166 nominations and a record 52 semi-finalists.

        Here are this year's finalists:

        • AC Inc., Beals Island
        • Capozza Tile and Floor Covering Center, Portland
        • Cook's Lobster and Ale House, Bailey Island
        • Custom Composite Technologies Inc., Bath
        • Geaghan's Pub and Craft Brewery, Bangor
        • Gifford's Famous Ice Cream, Skowhegan
        • Good To-Go, Kittery
        • Hanson Enterprises Inc., Ogunquit
        • Highland Avenue Greenhouse, Scarborough
        • Maple Lane Farms, Charleston
        • Moody's Coworker Owned Inc., Gorham
        • Oak Hill and Dunstan Ace Hardware, Scarborough
        • Oceanview at Falmouth, Falmouth
        • Puritan Medical Products Co., LLC, Guilford
        • Ramblers Way, Kennebunk
        • Rosemont Market & Bakery, Portland
        • Ted Berry Company Inc., Livermore
        • William A. Day Jr. & Sons Inc., Porter
        • Windham Millworks Inc., Windham
        • Words@Work, Falmouth

        The institute defines family business as a business wherein one owner either shares ownership or works in the business with at least one other family member and has a commitment to the continuation of the enterprise.

        Award categories include:

        • Renys Large Business Award (more than 25 employees)
        • Maddy Corson Small Business Award (fewer than 25 employees)
        • Shep Lee Community Service Award
        • Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award
        • People's United Bank Innovation & Technology Award
        • Holiday Inn By The Bay First Generation Award
        • HUB/Norton Insurance & Financial Services Environmental Leadership Award

        Presented in partnership with MEMIC, the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses will announce the winners at a gala awards ceremony on May 17 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.

        The event will be hosted by WCSH-6 anchor, Cindy Williams, and will feature Lucas St. Clair, whose family foundation, Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. donated 89,000 acres to the National Park Service to create the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in 2016.

        Event sponsors include MEMIC, Maine Magazine, Renys, Chalmers Insurance Group, Holiday Inn By the Bay, People's United Bank, Machias Savings Bank, Verrill Dana, HUB/Norton Insurance & Financial Services, Murray Plumb & Murray, Norway Savings Bank, Lee Auto Malls, ReVision Energy, Blaze Partners, Morong Falmouth, Burgess Advertising & Marketing, DMM Direct Mail of Maine, Mainebiz, Sun Media Group, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, and The Derek Volk Show.

        The institute also announced that this year's event will be net carbon neutral thanks to ReVision Energy, the first-ever Clean Energy Sponsor. The company will purchase the carbon credits needed to offset the estimated carbon emissions generated by the event, as calculated by www.carbonfund.com based on number of attendees, estimated round-trip commute to the event, and other factors.

        “Supervising the Multigenerational Workforce” concludes the 3 Part HR for Family Business Series from the Institute for Family-Owned Business

        Portland, ME – (April 17, 2017) As the final in a 3-part series on HR for the Family Business, “Supervising the Multigenerational Workforce”  this workshop  will continue the overall theme of the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) year:  Growing and Protecting your Family Business.   Leigh G. Mundhenk, PhD, career consultant with Anton/LeMieux Financial Group, a family business member, will do a presentation and lead a lively discussion with panelists from each generation including Traditionalists, Boomers, Generation Xers and Millennials.

        Join the IFOB on Thursday, April 27, 8:00 - 10:30 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus in Westbrook.  Unable to come in person, no problem, remote in!  Register & RSVP athttps://instituteforfamilyownedbusiness.wildapricot.org/event-2443593

        Mundhenk explains “Family businesses are often comprised of three (four if we include traditionalists) generations. Each brings work style preferences and values to their work, formed by the particular experiences of their generations. These differences can create stylistic differences in work behaviors that can lead to misunderstandings and frustration!”  She further adds, “This can be especially true when older generations work with millennials. Yet understanding these generational differences can help leaders drive productivity.”

        We’ve gathered a unique panel from four prominent family businesses.  We’ll have Emily Machesney, Management Trainee from Pratt Abbott Cleaners representing the Millennials; Jeff Messer, president of Messer Truck Equipment representing the Generation Xers; Paula Mahony, president of Words@Work representing the Baby Boomers and Joseph “Buddy” Capozza, founder of Capozza Tile Co. representing the Traditionalists.

        “I’m delighted to highlight these family businesses as they represent their unique generations,” stated Catherine Wygant Fossett, executive director of the IFOB.  “We always have a great turn out when we feature our families in our programs and we always have very candid discussions.” She went on to say, “I’m excited for everyone whether you’re part of the family or not, to learn how and why the generations are different, strategies for managing members of each generation and how to manage conflict in relationships caused by generational differences,” she concluded.

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.  Join us on May 17th for the 18th annual Maine Family Business Awards and help celebrate Maine’s family-owned businesses at www.fambusiness.org.

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        Catherine Wygant Fossett helps family businesses thrive

        ‘They are the backbone of any community’
        By  SUZI THAYER Posted:  Boothbay Register Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 8:00am

        Catherine Wygant Fossett on the deck of the Tugboat Inn & Restaurant, an IFOB member, in Boothbay Harbor. SUZI THAYER/ Boothbay Harbor

        A  family-owned business can be both a joy and a headache. Working for, or with, a family member can be rewarding, but it can also bring rivalries and family history to the forefront, causing friction.

        Catherine Wygant Fossett is the executive director of the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB), a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting and empowering family-owned businesses in Maine.

        Business is challenging, and even more so when you add family dynamics into the equation,” Wygant Fossett said. “There’s a three percent chance that a family business will go from the first generation to the fourth.”

        A family business is defined by IFOB as “a business wherein one owner either shares ownership, or works in the business with at least one other family member (contemporaneously or over time) and has a commitment to the continuation of the enterprise.”

        Prior to joining IFOB in 2014, Wygant Fossett, a graduate of Bates College and the Maine Association of Nonprofits’ Executive Leadership Institute, was executive director of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce. Before that, she was director of marketing at Hewins Travel, and director of sales at Hurley Travel Experts.

        The daughter of a retired ambassador, Wygant Fossett grew up living in Russia, Africa, Australia and Micronesia. Among her life’s adventures was working for a treasure hunter who went after a Spanish galleon that sank in Saipan in 1638. She edited the story about it that appeared in the September 1990 issue of National Geographic.

        Wygant Fossett came to Boothbay to marry Todd Fossett, from New Harbor, in 2011, and learned that some of her ancestors hailed from Bristol Mills. “Todd’s and my ancestors were on the same boat, the Fortune, that came from England to the U.S. in 1623,” she said. “I am also a decedent of John Alden. And Captain Myles Standish’s (who came on the Mayflower as the military officer) second wife, Barbara Standish, was on the Fortune along with (some of) Todd’s ancestors. Three hundred eighty-eight years later Todd and I moved to where our ancestors originally settled a few peninsulas over.

        “So while many think I’m from ‘away’ (I was born in Northampton, Massachusetts), I really do have deep roots to this region and after living all over the world. In 2011 I moved to Boothbay, 2.5 miles from my first cousins Graham and Laura Wright, who have lived in Boothbay for over 20 years."

        She works out of her home when she’s not on the road to Portland, Bangor, or Lewiston to meet with family businesses and associate partners, and to attend the programs she organizes for IFOB.

        The only staff person for the statewide organization, Wygant Fossett she oversees and organizes over 40 programs. “We're trying to show people the different ways they can transition their business, either from one generation to the next, or in some cases, to employees.”

        About 90 family-owned businesses and 37 associate partners – accountants, lawyers, insurance brokers, bankers and consultants – are members of IFOB, according to Wygant Fossett. An annual membership can cost from $200, for family businesses with annual gross revenues less that $500,000, to $2,000 for an Associate Partner membership for a non-family-owned business.

        Benefits include over 40 programs tailored to the specific interests of members; networking with other members; a company logo, business history and description on the IFOB website; social media interactions; promotions and notices of educational programs offered by members; and discounts on business-related publications.  

        For a schedule of the programs offered to members and non-members, visit the IFOB website. Wygant Fossett said the most important part of the organization is the networking and sharing of experiences with its members. “This is priceless!”

        Now in its 20th year, IFOB holds an annual awards night, the Maine Family Business Awards, that celebrates family businesses. Held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay, last year over 350 people attended. One hundred eighty nominations got narrowed down eventually to 20 finalists; seven winners received awards.

        “I love what I do,” Wygant Fossett said. “It takes all my different skill sets, and it's a really nice feeling to know that I'm helping these family businesses. They are the backbone of any community.”

        Wygant Fossett is now looking for nominations for the 2017 Maine Family Business Awards. Anyone who meets the specifications of a family business is eligible. So go to the IFOB website and nominate your favorite.

        Nominations Open for 18th Maine Family Business Awards The Top Maine Family Businesses to be Honored

        PORTLAND, MAINE, January 25, 2017 –For the 18th year, the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) will honor the best Maine businesses owned by families.  Nominations are open now and will close February 17.

        The Maine Family Business Awards honor companies for their leadership, innovation, and community service.  The awards will be presented at the Holiday Inn by the Bay on May 17.  The gala evening will begin with a networking event, followed by the awards ceremony.  The awards are presented in partnership with MEMIC.

        A nomination can come from anyone inside or outside the business and you do not need to be a member of the IFOB to be nominated.  The online nomination form and other information can be found at www.fambusiness.org or by contacting the Institute at 207-798-2667.

        Categories include:

        • Renys Large Business Award (more than 25 employees)
        • Maddy Corson Small Business Award (fewer than 25 employees)
        • Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award
        • Holiday Inn By The Bay First Generation Award
        • People’s United Bank Innovation & Technology Award
        • Shep Lee Community Service Award
        • HUB/Norton Insurance & Financial Services Environmental Leadership Award

         An independent judging panel will select winners based on criteria that include:

        • Business success
        • Positive business and family linkages
        • Contributions to the community and industry
        • Family participation
        • Work environment
        • Communication
        • Innovative business practices or strategies

        2016 award winners included Planet Dog of Portland and Rising Tide Brewing Company in Portland , Blue Elephant Events and Catering of Saco, Fish Bones American Grill of Lewiston, Bowman Constructors of Newport, King Eider's Pub in Damariscotta and Maine Beer Company of Freeport.

        For the purposes of the awards a family-owned business is a business wherein one owner either shares ownership or works in the business with at least one other family member (contemporaneously or overtime) and has a commitment to the continuation of the enterprise.

        This celebratory night would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors who include:  MEMIC, Maine Magazine, Renys, Chalmers Insurance Group, Holiday In By The Bay, People’s United Bank, Lee Auto Malls, HUB/Norton Insurance & Financial Services, Verrill Dana, LLP, Blaze Partners, IRC Industrial Roofing Companies, United Insurance, Morong Falmouth, Norway Savings Bank, DMM, Mainebiz, Sun Media Group, Burgess Advertising & Marketing and the Derek Volk Show.

         Media Contact:
        Angie Helton
        207-653-0365
        nema@maine.rr.com                                                

         About the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses:
        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit 501 © 3 organization dedicated to supporting family-owned businesses, which represent about 80 percent of all businesses in Maine. Through consulting, seminars, workshops, and networking, the Institute assists family-owned firms in meeting the unique managerial challenges associated with operating and sustaining a successful family enterprise. Additional information is available on the Institute’s website, www.fambusiness.org.

        ###

        From the Sidelines, to the Front Line: Learning to Lead – A Panel Discussion of Next Gen IFOB Leaders

        Portland, ME – (October 11, 2016) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to announce a unique panel and breakout session on Thursday, October 20 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus, 340 County Road, Westbrook.  Participants can come in person or remote in via the Internet. We invite the incumbent and the next generation to join us for this panel and breakout discussion.  It is open to IFOB members and future members, all are welcome!  Visit http://fambusiness.org/event-2200759 for complete details.

        “Family-owned businesses make up over eighty percent of Maine’s businesses.  In any five-year period nearly 40% of family businesses will pass the baton to the next generation, “stated Catherine Wygant Fossett, executive director of the IFOB.  She added “we asked our Next Gen group what they need to prepare for this transition and found that leadership training is a primary focus so we’ve developed a top notch panel to give their thoughts on this topic.”

        Our panel discussion includes Next Gen senior managers who are all enhancing their leadership skills through an outside coach/consultant to help them as they adjust to their new roles.  The panel includes:  Lindsay Skilling, Chief Executive Officer, Gifford's Ice Cream and IFOB Board member; Kimberly Wolak-Garrett, Chief Operating Officer & Franchise Owner, The Wolak Group and IFOB Board member; Dottie Chalmers Cutter, Vice President - Operations, Chalmers Insurance Group and Joe Capozza, Vice President, Capozza Tile & Floor Covering Center.  It will be moderated by Janet Cole Cross, Cole Cross Connections and IFOB Advisory Board member.

        We'll ask them the following questions:

        • How and when did you decide you needed a leadership coach / consultant?
        • How did you choose the one you are working with now?
        • What have you gained from this relationship?
        • What would you recommend for others seeking this type of professional development?
        • What other resources are available?

        For the 2nd half of the program, we'll have breakout sessions to further dive into this topic, facilitated by our panelists.  We'll also have a fun Food Truck and adult beverages to enjoy.  Attendees will have the chance to share their experiences and ask questions along with networking with other businesses.   

         The program is sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Husson University.

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

         ###

        Institute for Family Owned Business Holds Final Program in Succession Planning Series for 2016

        Portland, ME – (September 14, 2016) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to announce the final program in a 3-part series on succession planning.  The program is on Thursday, September 29 from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus, 340 County Road, Westbrook.  Participants can come in person or remote in via the Internet.  It is open to IFOB members and future members, all are welcome!  Visit http://fambusiness.org/event-2261965 for complete details.

         “We’ve had a very successful series with over 100 people coming to learn the basics of succession planning and conflict resolution,” stated Catherine Wygant Fossett, executive director of the IFOB.  “Our final program for this year touches on research by White Horse Advisors that shows that 96% of business owners agree it’s important to have a transition strategy.  Yet only 13% have a plan that is current and written. We want to showcase succession options for an inside sale,” she concluded.

        Audience members should take away the nuts-and-bolts understanding of a range of options (structures and processes) for sustaining a family business when a principal is planning retirement, for possibly transitioning within the family, to a Co-op or an ESOP ownership option.  The program will cover basics and give relevant examples and leave as much time for audience discussion as possible.  In addition, guest speakers who are owners who have gone through each type of transition option will be there to give their perspective.

        The program will be facilitated by Seth Webber, principal with BerryDunn, who will lead the discussion.   Panelists include the following: Steve Tenney, senior vice president, Family Wealth Management Partners, UBS with

        Jim Costello, Jr., vice president, operations, Sun Media Group in Lewiston; Rob Brown, director of business ownership solutions, a program of the Cooperative Development Institute with Susanne Ward, founder and owner of Rock City Roasters and Rock City Café in Rockland and Jeannine Pendergast, vice president, senior ESOP client advisor, Spinnaker Trust with Danielle Moody, resource management director, Moody’s Collision Centers in Portland.

        The program is sponsored by Family Wealth Management Partners, UBS, Perkins Thompson, Spinnaker Trust, BerryDunn, Mainebiz and Husson University.

         ###

        Succession Planning 101: An Integrated Planning Model for the Family Business

        Portland, ME – (July 11, 2016) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) is pleased to announce the kick-off to their three-part educational series on Succession Planning with the first workshop on Wednesday, July 20th from 8:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus, 340 County Road, Westbrook.  Participants can come in person or remote in via the Internet.  It is open to members and future members, all are welcome!  Visit http://fambusiness.org/event-2261959 for complete details.

         “Success and succession are from the same word” states, Jane Hilburt-Davis who will be leading the first seminar.  Hilburt-Davis is president of Key Resources, LLC, a Boston-based consulting firm and serves on the Board of the IFOB.   She further explains that “Succession of your business, whether it stays in the family, is put up for sale, transitions to an ESOP or Co-op, depends on what you’ve done to plan for success as well as succession.  It depends not only on professionalizing the business but must include professionalizing the family. Bottom line: a company that’s not organized for success is also not ready for succession so working on both together is critical.”

         

        The IFOB series consists of three seminars/workshops all at Husson University that all fall under the umbrella of Succession Planning: an Integrated Planning Model and we are reminded that “It’s not One thing but Many!” The three programs are as follows:

         1.       Succession Planning 101: An Integrated Planning Model for the Family Business presented by Jane Hilburt-Davis  - Wednesday, July 20; 8-10:30 a.m. This program will:

        • Introduce you to IFOB’s Succession Planning workshop series and to a useful Integrated Planning model
        • Define ‘hard and soft issues’ that are critical to any succession planning
        • Offer a check list for planning and evaluating your own progress to assess what is going well and what needs work in your business in order to plan for both success and succession
        • Develop a work sheet for your next steps.

         2.       Awareness, Communication & Conflict Resolution in Succession Planning:  The Game of Ten Played presented by Steve Barton & Elizabeth Reuthe (graduates of Gestalt International Study Center) – Wednesday, August 24; 8-10:30 a.m.  This program will cover communication and conflict resolution in succession planning.

         3.       Succession Strategies Panel Discussion:  Estate Plans including Family Transition / Co-op / ESOP Ownership-Thursday, September 29; 8-10:30 a.m. This program will have a panel of three professionals who work on succession planning and three owners who have successfully transitioned their business to one of these models.

        Hilburt-Davis is president emeritus of the Family Firm Institute and past Academic Director of the Global Education Network. She received the prestigious Richard Beckard Practice Award in London for her outstanding contributions to family business practice. She is the author of many articles and case studies, and has trained, mentored and coached hundreds of family business advisors.  She is senior author of the widely acclaimed book, Consulting to Family Businesses and co-author of Family Enterprise: Understanding families in business and families of wealth both published by Wiley. She serves as consultant and advisor to family businesses, throughout the United States, and has taught in the family business field in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.

        This program is sponsored by Key Resources, LLC, Family Wealth Management Partner, UBS, Perkins Thompson, Mainebiz and Husson University.

        People & Business: June 15

        By The Forecaster on June 14, 2016

        Maine Family Business award winners announced at 17th gala

        A diverse group of companies, including some of Maine’s best-known brands as well as some rising stars, were honored June 7 at the 17th annual Maine Family Business Awards gala.

        Presented by the Institute for Family-Owned Business in partnership with law firm Verrill Dana, the awards recognize exemplary Maine firms that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success, and commitment to employees, customers and community. An independent panel of judges, facilitated by Laura Foye of TD Bank, selected the winners from among 20 finalists. A record number of nominations – 180 in all – were submitted for this year’s awards.

        Maine Beer Company, a Freeport-based craft brewery, received the IRC Industrial Roofing Companies Environmental Leadership Award for its strong commitment to earth stewardship, which includes donating 1 percent of company profits to green initiatives, as well as an emphasis on sustainable practices in their facilities and operations.

        Bowman Constructors of Newport was selected as winner of the People’s United Bank Innovation and Technology Award. This multi-generation family business has distinguished itself, in an industry that does not always make innovation easy, by developing creative solutions that save smaller clients money and by creating a unique, replicable and efficient model for senior living.

        Fish Bones American Grill of Lewiston received the Norton Insurance and Financial Services First Generation Award, which recognizes an exceptional company that has not yet transitioned from one generation to the next. The business is not only contributing to the vitality of Lewiston, but is helping foster the next generation of hospitality professionals through training and mentoring opportunities.

        Blue Elephant Events and Catering, based in Saco, was the judges’ choice for the Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award, exemplifying what it means to consistently go above and beyond clients’ expectations. Numerous customer testimonials submitted with the nomination attested to the event planning company’s excellent attention to detail and service.

        King Eider’s Pub of Damariscotta received the Shep Lee Award for Community Service. Several family members in the business contribute to the community through nonprofit boards and volunteering. The family has been instrumental in creating and sustaining a community fuel assistance program that has raised more than $1.2 million over the past decade to keep their neighbors warm.

        Rising Tide Brewing Company of Portland was honored with the Maddy Corson Small Business Award, recognizing an exceptional company with fewer than 25 employees. The company has not only distinguished itself for producing popular brews, but their leadership and advocacy have helped grow Maine’s reputation as a craft-brewing powerhouse. They have also helped transform the Bayside neighborhood in Portland into a destination stop.

        Planet Dog, based in Westbrook, won the Renys Large Business Award, which honors an outstanding company with more than 25 employees. The multi-generation company has distinguished itself as a leader in its industry, selling its products well beyond Maine, and as supporters of causes that align with their mission, through their philanthropic foundation.

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting family-owned businesses, which represent about 80 percent of all businesses in Maine. Through consulting, seminars, workshops, and networking, the Institute assists family-owned firms in meeting the unique managerial challenges associated with operating and sustaining a successful family enterprise. Additional information is available at www.fambusiness.org.

        Tom’s of Maine founders expanding U.S.-sourced clothing line

        www.pressherald.com/2016/06/06/chappells-u-s-sourced-clothing-line-booming/

        By J. Craig Anderson Staff Writer [email protected] | @JCraigAnderson | 207-791-6390

        A Maine-based apparel business with a strong pedigree and a desire to take “Made in the USA” to the extreme is about to expand significantly.

        Ramblers Way Farm, founded by Tom’s of Maine’s Tom Chappell and his wife, Kate Chappell, plans to open three new retail locations in the coming months, one in Portland and two in New Hampshire. The company, which makes high-quality wool and cotton garments for men and women, opened its first store in Kennebunk in November.

        Tom Chappell, who founded Tom's of Maine, and his daughter Eliza are pictured in the production space for Ramblers Way Farm, which creates high-end wool clothing. Eliza is stepping up to take over leadership of the business. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

        Eliza Chappell, daughter of Tom's of Maine's Tom and Kate Chappell, appears in the retail store of Ramblers Way Farm in Kennebunk. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

        2016 Maine family business awards

        What: 2016 Maine Family Business Awards

        Where: Holiday Inn by the Bay, 88 Spring St., Portland

        When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday

        Organizer: Institute for Family-Owned Business

        Guest speakers: Tom and Eliza Chappell

        Tickets: $95

        To register, visit fambusiness.org.

        Search photos available for purchase: Photo Store →

        The Chappells founded Ramblers Way in 2009, about three years after selling an 84 percent stake in Tom’s of Maine to New York-based Colgate-Palmolive Co. for $100 million.

        In an interview, Tom Chappell said that after two years of running Tom’s under Colgate-Palmolive’s ownership, he was not yet ready to retire and become a full-time philanthropist. He needed a new challenge, and that’s exactly what he got.

        “I asked myself what product category we might make a difference in,” he said. The Chappells settled on the idea of domestically sourced and manufactured clothing.

        Ramblers Way products are nearly 100 percent made in the United States, including the raw materials from which they are assembled. Only the occasional button or zipper is not American-made.

        But starting up a domestically sourced apparel manufacturing business in the U.S. wasn’t easy. For starters, there were no domestic suppliers left from which to buy materials. Ramblers Way had to create a market for those materials and convince potential suppliers to sell into it.

        For example, Tom Chappell said he traveled to various sheep ranches and made agreements with ranchers to set aside their super-fine Rambouillet Merino sheep’s wool for Ramblers Way products.

        In addition, all of the garments are assembled either in Kennebunk or at a partnering facility in Chicago. The company had to track down highly skilled stitchers – a profession that has all but disappeared in the U.S. – to make the clothes. Stitchers at Ramblers Way are paid a starting wage of $14 an hour plus benefits.

        Aside from U.S. military contractors, no other American company has made 100 percent domestically sourced and manufactured garments since the bulk of apparel manufacturing moved overseas decades ago, said Nate Herman, senior vice president of supply chain for the Washington, D.C.-based American Apparel & Footwear Association. Herman said he and others in the organization are rooting for Ramblers Way’s success.

        “We’re looking to support U.S. apparel manufacturing wherever we can,” he said, noting that the association has invited Tom Chappell to speak at an event it is hosting in July.

        There is one major drawback to Ramblers Way’s business model: The clothes are, by necessity, expensive.

        On the company’s website, prices for a men’s T-shirt range from $30 to $105, depending on the style. Women’s sweaters range from $120 to $155. Jackets and dresses can cost more than $200.

        “We’ve been criticized for being expensive ever since we started,” Tom Chappell said. Selling the products through independent retailers has added another 25 percent to 35 percent to the cost, he said, which is one reason why Ramblers Way is making a major shift toward direct sales by opening its own stores.

        Tom’s of Maine products always have been sold through other retailers. That’s where the Chappells’ comfort zone lies. But to make Ramblers Way products more accessible, they are stepping out of that zone.

        “It was a cultural, major strategic shift for me,” Tom Chappell said.

        Fortunately, there is another Chappell involved in the company who has a passion for both fashion and retail.

        Eliza Chappell, Tom and Kate’s daughter, joined Ramblers Way in 2010. She is now the company’s women’s wear designer, creative director and retail manager. In addition to designing all of Ramblers Way’s women’s apparel, Eliza Chappell is deeply involved in the process of opening the new stores.

        Other family members also are involved. Eliza’s brother, Chris Chappell, is website and e-commerce director, and her brother-in-law, Nick Armentrout, is supply chain director. Tom and Eliza Chappell are scheduled to be the keynote speakers at the Institute for Family-Owned Business’ annual Maine Family Business Awards dinner Tuesday in Portland.

        Eliza Chappell said she is working on opening at least two more Ramblers Way stores by the end of the year. The company is looking at potential spaces in Portland, as well as Portsmouth and Hanover, New Hampshire.

        “We have to find a lease and a location that works for us,” she said.

        Meanwhile, the company will continue to design and manufacture products in Kennebunk. Eliza Chappell said the company is deeply committed to the principles her father instilled in his previous venture: adhering to ethical business practices and creating American jobs.

        “Obviously, we’re American-made,” she said. “What that means is we’re providing jobs to people right here in town.”

        Even the design and materials that go into Ramblers Way clothes follow a principle, Eliza Chappell said. The company makes high-quality clothes with classic designs that can be worn for years.

        “Sustainability is a huge part of it, too,” she said.

        Maine Family Business Award Finalists Announced
        -
        Tom Chappell of Tom’s of Maine and his daughter Eliza Chappell of Ramblers Way Farm will be Guest Speakers at Annual Awards Gala

        PORTLAND, MAINE – The Institute for Family Owned Businesses (IFOB) announced the finalists for the 2016 Maine Family Business Awards.
        IFOB presents awards to exemplary Maine firms that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success, and commitment to employees, customers and community.  This year’s 20 finalists, selected by an independent panel of judges from a record number of entries, include:

        • Bixby & Co., Rockland
        • Blue Elephant Events and Catering, Saco
        • Bowman Constructors of Maine, Newport
        • Bow Street Market, Freeport
        • Coutts Brothers Incorporated, Randolph
        • Eastern Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning, Scarborough
        • Fish Bones American Grill, Lewiston
        • F.M. Abbott Power Equipment, Inc., East Waterboro
        • King Eider’s Pub, Damariscotta
        • Maine Beer Company, Freeport
        • Monhegan Brewing Company, Monhegan Island
        • Mosquito Squad of Southern Maine, Scarborough
        • Oak Hill & Dunston Ace Hardware, Scarborough
        • OceanView at Falmouth
        • On Target Utility Services, Gardiner
        • Planet Dog, Westbrook
        • Pratt Abbott, Westbrook
        • Rising Tide Brewing Company, Portland
        • The Bankery, LLC Custom Cakes and Pastries, Skowhegan
        • Woodin & Company Store Fixtures, Inc., South Portland

        Any business where one owner shares ownership or works in the business with at least one other family member is considered a family-owned business for the purpose of the award. Categories include:

        • Maddy Corson Small Business Award (fewer than 25 employees)
        • Renys Large Business Award (more than 25 employees)
        • Shep Lee Community Service Award
        • Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award
        • People’s United Bank Innovation & Technology Award
        • Norton Insurance & Financial Services First Generation Award
        • IRC Industrial Roofing Companies Environmental Leadership Award

        Presented in partnership with Portland-based law firm, Verrill Dana, IFOB will announce the winners at a gala awards ceremony on June 7, 2016, hosted by WGME CBS 13 anchor Gregg Lagerquist. Featured guests Tom Chappell, founder of Tom’s of Maine, and his daughter, Eliza, will speak about family business and sustainability, about bringing the next generation into the family business. The Chappells will also talk about their efforts to bring clothing manufacturing back to Maine and opening new retail stores through their latest venture, Rambler’s Way.

        Event sponsors include Verrill Dana, Maine Magazine, Renys, MEMIC, Chalmers Insurance Group, People’s United Bank, Norton Insurance & Financial Services, Lee Auto Malls, IRC Industrial Roofing Companies, Live and Work in Maine, Clark Insurance, Derek Volk Show, United Insurance, Morong Falmouth, Norway Savings Bank, Burgess Advertising & Marketing, Lafayette Hotels, DMM Direct Mail of Maine, Mainebiz, and Sun Media Group.

        ###
        A
        bout the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses:

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting family-owned businesses, which represent about 80 percent of all businesses in Maine. Through consulting, seminars, workshops, and networking, the Institute assists family-owned firms in meeting the unique managerial challenges associated with operating and sustaining a successful family enterprise. Additional information is available on the Institute’s website, http://www.fambusiness.org.

        Family Business Spotlight: Business After Hours with Opus Consulting Group

        Portland, ME – (April 6, 2016) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) kicks off the "Family Business Spotlights" season with the Opus Consulting Group.  Several times a year, the IFOB features a member so others can learn about their family business and their secrets to success. It also allows a fun casual way for members and future members to mingle, network and learn about the IFOB.

        Please join us for “April in Paris – Fall in Love with Family Businesses, this Monday, April 11th from 5-7 pm at Opus Consulting Group, 130 Middle Street, 2nd Floor Portland.  It is complimentary for members of the IFOB, for local Chamber members, members of the Manufacturers Association of Maine and $10 for future members.  Register & RSVP at: http://fambusiness.org/event-2190852

        Opus Consulting Group is a business management and corporate strategy firm founded in 2009 by Jacques and Patricia Santucci in Portland. The couple moved to Maine from Paris, France in 1999 and came to see Maine as home, and realized that their approach to business management was in need.  The couple’s business has grown to a team of 7 associates and partners with companies in defining moments of their evolution. Through business acceleration, corporate renewal and exit strategy services, Opus has an excellent track record in helping clients and businesses achieve their goals. Whether the company is in its infancy, its prime or preparing for an exit, the company provides objective analyses followed by a tailored solution to meet client needs.       

        • We invite you to learn their secrets to success including their rejuvenation and growth plans for 2016.
        • Network with other family-owned businesses and our associate partners.
        • Enjoy door prizes, French beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided by Blue Elephant Innovative Events & Catering.

         The program is sponsored by Opus Consulting Group, Blue Elephant Events and Catering, The Derek Volk Show, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Mainebiz. 

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.     ###

        Portland Press Herald Article, Local & State, Posted Yesterday 3.27.16 at 4:00 AM Updated 51 mins ago

        Competing demands of raising families and caring for elderly squeeze workers

        Maine's high percentage of baby boomers means 'sandwich generation' issues are drawing attention. By J. Craig Anderson Staff Writer

        canderson@pressherald.com | @JCraigAnderson | 207-791-6390

        SarahJoy Chaples’ mother was diagnosed with late-stage cancer in February. Despite surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy to slow the cancer’s spread, Chaples anticipates that her mom’s caretaking needs will only increase in the weeks and months ahead.

        But like thousands of working adults in Maine, Chaples cannot afford to drop everything and become a full-time caretaker to an aging or seriously ill parent. She is a single mom raising a 4-year-old son, and she has a career as a teacher. The pressure on working adults to meet daily job and family responsibilities can feel overwhelming when a parent becomes gravely ill.

        SarahJoy Chaples






        Heidi Farber and her daughter Carly, 18, left, talk to Maria Jesus, 15, a student from Chile whom they are hosting in their Portland home. (Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)




        Sandy Hendrickson, 85, and Tom Hendrickson, 88, are the parents of Portland resident Heidi Farber. The couple lives in Indianapolis, and over the past year they have relied heavily on Heidi and her siblings to help them cope with serious health problems. Sandy has debilitating osteoporosis, and Tom suffered a stroke in 2015. (Photo courtesy of Heidi Farber)




        SarahJoy Chaple receives help from her son Brian as she makes a snack for him after her workday. Kevin Bennett Photo




        Westbrook resident Colleen McCracken, who was caring for her mother and has children, is part of the "sandwich generation." Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

         “It’s like being at the bottom of the mountain waiting for the avalanche to come, not being able to move,” said Chaples, who lives in Bangor.

        The number of working adults in Maine who are caring for both children and parents is on the rise, according to professionals who work on aging and women’s issues. They have dubbed those caught between dependent children and parents “the sandwich generation.”

        There are no definitive, Maine-based data on how many people this phenomenon affects, but organizations that offer resources for working families say it’s real. Reasons for the increase in sandwich generation members include the growing senior population, the decision by many adults to wait until their 30s or 40s to have children, and the exorbitant cost of professional 24-hour care.

        The trend is especially challenging for women, who are twice as likely as men to become the designated caretaker for an aging or ill parent.

        “This is an issue that comes up for the women that we serve, and one that many of our staff and colleagues are facing – whether they are working or managing their own business,” said Gilda Nardone, executive director of New Ventures Maine, a nonprofit organization based in Augusta that focuses on business and career development.

        For Colleen McCracken, it started with a visit to see her 73-year-old mother in Florida.

        McCracken, CEO of Planet Dog in Westbrook, said a friend of her mom’s had called with some disturbing news. She had been acting confused and forgetful, even showing up at other people’s houses thinking they were her own. McCracken suspected that her mom had developed Alzheimer’s disease.

        After consulting with doctors, McCracken decided to bring her mother to Maine to live with her. But like most working adults, McCracken could not be there to watch and protect her mother 24 hours a day.

        One night, her mom fell down the stairs. She recovered from the fall, but the accident forced McCracken to realize that an assisted living situation would be better for her mom.

        Even with her mother in a safe place, McCracken said it can be difficult to balance her caretaker duties with other family and work responsibilities.

        “I would say the hardest part is the time,” McCracken said. “Where do you find the time?”

        CONVERGING FACTORS

        In addition to being a deeply personal phenomenon, the sandwich generation trend is also an economic one, said Rebecca Ness, owner of Senior Planning Advisors and a board member of the Alzheimer’s Association Maine Chapter.

        Ness, McCracken and other women business leaders spoke about the challenges of the sandwich generation at a February seminar in Falmouth organized by Women in Family Business, part of the Institute for Family-Owned Business.

        In Maine, which has nearly 20 percent more baby boomers than the national average, about 50 more people turn 65 each day.

        Given the high cost of 24-hour professional care in Maine, most seniors who need care are attended to by family members. According to the 2010 census, 27.1 percent of Maine households contain at least one senior, compared with 24.9 percent nationally.

        “In the Greater Portland area, the average cost for assisted living is over $66,000 a year,” Ness said. “Medicare does not cover long-term custodial care services,” and has limited coverage for skilled care in nursing homes.

        The impact of senior care on employees and their employers is staggering, according to Ness. Nationally, 61 percent of those caring for parents are employed, she said, and 68 percent of those workers say they’ve had to make adjustments to their work schedule. A 2010 MetLife study of the sandwich generation pegs the value of lost productivity in the workplace at $33 billion.

        According to the San Francisco-based Family Caregiver Alliance, a national study of working women caregivers in 1999 by MetLife Mature Market Institute, National Alliance for Caregiving and the National Center on Women and Aging found that 33 percent had to decrease their work hours, 29 percent passed up promotions, assignments or training opportunities, 22 percent took a leave of absence, 20 percent switched from full-time to part-time work, and 16 percent simply quit their jobs.

        Portland resident Heidi Farber said that since her 88-year-old father suffered a stroke in 2015, she has traveled to visit her parents in Indianapolis about 15 times. Her mother, who is 85, has debilitating and painful osteoporosis.

        Farber, who works for Hospice of Southern Maine as a fundraiser and events manager, said she spends two to three hours a day taking care of various tasks for her parents such as paying bills, making calls on their behalf and coordinating their 24-hour professional home care.

        “I call it my other job,” she said. Farber also has an 18-year-old daughter, and the family is hosting two exchange students, one from China and the other from Chile. “I would say I’m very tired, and it presses upon every intersection of my life.”

        OTHER CONSEQUENCES

        Being a member of the sandwich generation can devastate the caretaker’s personal finances, said Karen Milliken, vice president and portfolio manager at the investment firm R.M. Davis Inc. in Portland. She said the key to avoiding disaster is to begin a financial dialogue with aging parents long before a potential crisis hits.

        Many children of dependent parents know little about the parent’s financial situation and feel uncomfortable asking, Milliken said. They don’t understand the costs of long-term care, the varying levels of care, or the types of insurance coverage available for such care.

        In some cases, caregivers sacrifice their own financial future for the sake of their parents’ health, Milliken said, one of the cardinal sins of personal finance.

        “Don’t raid your retirement savings to pay for your child’s education or your parents’ health care,” she said.

        Some states have begun to tackle the sandwich generation problem at the policy level, said Eliza Townsend, executive director of the Maine Women’s Lobby and Maine Women’s Policy Center in Augusta.

        New Jersey, Rhode Island and California all have created emergency funds from a portion of payroll taxes that can be used to supplement long-term caregivers’ lost wages, Townsend said. Maine law requires employers to let workers take a leave of absence for long-term care, but it doesn’t require them to pay workers anything while they are on leave.

        “One of the most important things we can do is adopt a system of paid family leave,” she said. “It’s overwhelmingly women who step out of the workforce to care for children as well as elderly parents. They pay a significant financial penalty for this.”

        Farber noted that there has been a significant upside to taking on the role of caretaker to her parents. It has brought her closer to them, and she also sees it as an opportunity to show them her gratitude for all of the things they have done for her over the years. Farber added that her husband, daughter, brother, sister and colleagues at work have been very supportive and helpful.

        “It has been very meaningful for me, and I feel privileged to be making a difference,” she said.

        This story has been changed to correct a reference to the scope of Medicare coverage.

        J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

        canderson@pressherald.com

        Twitter: jcraiganderson

        _______________________________

        “HR for Family Business:  Leadership Development for All Employees”
        Portland, ME – (March 16, 2016) – Join the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) for a unique workshop on leadership: What is it and why is it important to the success of your organization?  As part of a series on HR for the Family Business, this workshop will continue the overall theme of the IFOB year:  Succession Planning in the 21st Century:  A bridge to Successful Transitions. 

        Led by IFOB member Sharon Dorsett and her colleague Laurie Davis, this program will demonstrate why leadership is a role for every employee in a family business, and the value of developing leadership skills in all of your employees.  It will show how and why you should align leadership competencies with the mission, vision, and values unique to your business.

        The workshop is on Wednesday, March 30th from 8-10 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus, 340 County Road, Westbrook.  It is complimentary for members of the IFOB and $25 for future members.  Remote options are also available to login to the presentation.  Register & RSVP at:  http://fambusiness.org/event-2131641

        Steps to take when crafting a leadership development strategy will be offered and leadership issues specific to the family-owned business will be discussed. Participants will leave with actions they can plan for immediately. This informative, interactive workshop will include exercises such as case studies or work situations volunteered by participants. Attendees will have the chance to share their experiences, ask questions and network with one another.

        Examples of topics we will cover include:

        • What is “leadership”? Why is it important to the success of your organization?
        • Leadership versus Management/Supervision
        • Creating a culture of leadership: “Everyone can be a leader.”
        • Development: There is no one right way. Leadership must fit and be aligned with the strategy developed out of your mission/vision/values.
        • Leadership development issues unique to family-owned businesses
        • Crafting a leadership development strategy that aligns with your succession approach.

        Sharon Dorsett, PhD, is the President of Dorsett Organizational Dynamics and her practice focuses on leadership, team and organization development. “I’m passionate about helping businesses solve problems by uncovering and targeting actions toward root causes rather than symptoms.”  It’s all about coaching leaders and teams to improve collaboration and gain confidence, “she stated. 

        Laurie Davis is the founder of CultureWorx has over 28 years of experience as a facilitator, curriculum designer, and coach for executives and owners.  “During my career in healthcare, I delivered countless leadership development and team building workshops, led a long-range culture change effort at Maine Medical Center, and served as Director of Organization Development at Central Maine Healthcare, “she added.  “I’m excited to work with the IFOB on this topic.”

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        “Challenges and Tools for the ‘Sandwich’ Generation – How everyone needs to plan ahead!”

        Portland, ME – (February 18, 2016) – Join the Women in Family Business (an affinity group designed by women for women at the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB)) for a unique discussion on the ‘Sandwich Generation’. 

        According to Investopedia, this generation is made up of individuals who are pressured to support both aging parents and growing children. They are so named because they are effectively "sandwiched" between the obligation to care for their aging parents - who may be ill, unable to perform various tasks or in need of financial support - and children, who require financial, physical and emotional support. Add in the unique challenges of a family-owned business and you have – double jeopardy! 

        The workshop is on Thursday, February 25th from 4-6 p.m. at the Portland Country Club, 11 Foreside Road, Falmouth. It is complimentary for members of the IFOB and $35 for future members.  Register & RSVP at:  http://fambusiness.org/event-2152605

        We’ll hear from two experts in their fields.  Becky Ness, a Certified Senior Advisor and owner of Senior Planning Advisors LLC, works with seniors and family caregivers on age related issues.  As a Portfolio Manager with R.M. Davis, Inc., Karen Milliken manages people’s money and provides financial advice to families in these situations.  They will discuss how family dynamics, having “The Conversation” with aging parents, and the unexpected can affect your business, your family and your employees – all of whom may be dealing (or soon will be) with this issue!

        They’ll share some amazing statistics on how care-giving employees impact business (19% of retirees stopped working because of caregiver responsibilities!);  how much it costs to be in assisted living, long term care and a retirement community;  budgeting tips to help plan for your retirement, your children’s education, and more!

        We’ll also hear from our IFOB Board Chair, Colleen McCracken, CEO & Partner, Planet Dog and fellow Board member, Shauna Miller, Vice President Maine, TD Bank. They are both living in this sandwich generation and will share their experiences, the tools they use to cope with this phenomenon, and how it relates to managing a business.

        “As the new chair of the IFOB, I find this topic particularly dear to my heart as I’m living in the sandwich generation,” stated Colleen McCracken. “Whether you own a family business or not, the challenges of caregiving for both children and elderly parents can be a huge challenge to employees not to mention their employers.  The numbers are staggering for lost productivity, increased absenteeism, higher health costs, loss of experienced workers and increased recruiting costs”, she concluded. 

        We’ll break the audience into groups lead by the panel members. In these groups, the attendees will have a chance to discuss their situations and who to lean on for support. The panel members will then reconvene to discuss the take aways and enjoy some great hors d’oeuvres, wine and plenty of time for networking!

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        ###

        Institute for Family-Owned Business Announces Board Leadership Changes and Welcomes New Directors
        PORTLAND, Maine--The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) announced that Colleen McCracken of Planet Dog is the new chair of its board of directors. John LeMieux of Anton/LeMieux Financial Group has been named vice chair.

        McCracken succeeds outgoing board chair John Isaacson of Lee Auto Malls, who joined the Advisory Board, along with Maureen Costello Wedge from Sun Media Group. Frank O'Shea of BerryDunn, Founding Sponsor of IFOB, continues his role as treasurer.

        Theresa Cloutier, who had previously served as a director of IFOB, is rejoining the board to serve a new term. Theresa is a Managing Partner, along with two siblings, at DMM, Inc. of Scarborough, a privately held manufacturing company her father founded in 1983.   The company specializes in digital document and direct marketing solutions and was named a Xerox Global Service Provider.  Cloutier is responsible for the marketing and customer experience as well as board governance.  She has a BA in Psychology and Marketing from the University of Southern Maine and a Master’s in Educational Psychology from Boston College. Recently named the 2015 recipient of the Crystal & Company FFI GEN Scholarship in Family Business from The Family Firm Institute in Boston, she is also a graduate of USM’s FastTrack Program for entrepreneurs, serves on the board of the New England Direct Marketing Association and a member of the MyPlaceTeen’s 500 Club. 

         “I’m delighted to be returning to the IFOB Board as it is such an exciting time for the Institute, “Cloutier said.  “We have more than 30 programs scheduled around the theme ‘Succession Planning in the 21st Century: A Bridge to Successful Transitions,’ and I look forward to sharing our expertise with fellow family businesses.”

        David Ciullo, President of Career Management Associates (CMA), has also joined the IFOB board.  CMA, headquartered in Portland, is a human resources services firm that provides a wide array of HR solutions, including staffing, executive coaching, outsourcing, compliance, compensation, training and outplacement. In November 2015, his company acquired Dale Carnegie Maine, the local franchise of Dale Carnegie Training. Ciullo is also the host of the “HR Power Hour,” a talk show airing weekly on WLOB-1310AM and streaming worldwide at www.hrpowerhour.com. He was elected president of Lincolnshire International and serves on its board of directors. Ciullo is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), the Human Resources Association of Southern Maine, Seacoast Human Resources Association, and serves as a director of the Northern New England Association of Personnel Services. Ciullo graduated from Norwich University with a BS degree in Business Administration, a minor in management, and had four years of ROTC in the Norwich Corp of Cadets. 

         “Maine’s family-owned businesses are key to the Maine economy, and thus the IFOB mission has never been more important than it is today. I am honored to be part of this great organization’s board of directors,” said Ciullo.

        Ciullo and Cloutier join the following Board members:  Geoff Alexander, R.M. Davis, Inc. (Founding Sponsor); Stephen Barton, Barton and Associates, LLC; Catherine Buffum, Androscoggin Bank; Mike Davis, Industrial Roofing Companies; Catherine Duranceau, MEMIC (Founding Sponsor); Kimberly Garrett, The Wolak Group; Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, Gifford's Ice Cream; Jane Hilburt-Davis, Key Resources, LLC; Thomas Hussey, Hussey Seating Company; Melinda A. Irish, Baker Newman Noyes (Elite Partner); Alan D. MacEwan, Verrill Dana, LLP (Founding Sponsor); Shauna Miller, TD Bank (Founding Sponsor); Peter P. Sowles, Morong Falmouth; and Dan Thornton, People's United Bank. 

        The IFOB is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.                            ###

        Institute for Family-Owned Businesses Seeks Nominations for

        17th annual Maine Family Business Award The Best in Maine Family Business to be Honored in June

        PORTLAND, MAINE, January 26, 2016 – Family businesses have a proud tradition in Maine, comprising more than 80 percent of all businesses in the state. For the 17th year, the Institute for Family-Owned Business will honor the best and brightest with the Maine Family Business Awards.

        Nominations are now being accepted and may be made by those inside or outside the business. An online nomination form and other information are available at www.fambusiness.org or by contacting the Institute at 207.798.2667. The deadline for nominations is Friday, March 11.

        Presented in partnership with Portland-based law firm, Verrill Dana, the awards will be presented at the Holiday Inn by the Bay on June 7th. The gala evening, hosted by WGME-TV 13’s Gregg Lagerquist, begins with networking and ends with awards presented to Maine firms that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success, and commitment to employees, customers and community. Categories include:

        • Maddy Corson Small Business Award (fewer than 25 employees)
        • Large Business Award (more than 25 employees)
        • Shep Lee Community Service Award
        • The Wolak Group Customer Service Award
        • People’s United Bank Innovation/Technology Award
        • First Generation Award
        • Environmental Leadership Award

         An independent judging panel selects winners based upon varied criteria, including:

        • business success
        • positive business and family linkages
        • contributions to the community and industry
        • family participation
        • work environment
        • communication
        • innovative business practices or strategies

        Honorees in 2015 included: Renys; Cross Insurance; TideSmartGlobal; DeLorme; Lucy’s Granola; Volk Packaging Corporation; Suger and Kingsley Pines. Though there are many acceptable definitions of family business, for the awards' purposes it is 2 or more family members working, or owning, a business together isconsidered a family-owned business.

        About the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses: The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit 501 © 3 organization dedicated to supporting family-owned businesses, which represent about 80 percent of all businesses in Maine. Through consulting, seminars, workshops, and networking, the Institute assists family-owned firms in meeting the unique managerial challenges associated with operating and sustaining a successful family enterprise. Additional information is available on the Institute’s website, www.fambusiness.org.

        Media Contact: Angie Helton, 207-653-0365, nema@maine.rr.com  ###                                               

        Challenges and Successes in Taking on the Reins of a Family-Owned Business

        Portland, ME – (November 23, 2015) – Join the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) as we continue our Next Generation series with the “Challenges and successes in taking on the reins – a panel discussion with those who have taken the lead in the Next Generation.”  The panel will take place on Tuesday, December 1st from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus, 340 County Road in Westbrook.  All generations of members and future members welcome! All costs are complimentary for members.  There is a $35 fee for future members, which includes a continental breakfast or $15 to remote into the panel discussion.  Visit http://fambusiness.org/event-2047792 for complete details.

         “Family-owned businesses make up over eighty percent of Maine’s businesses.  In any five-year period nearly 40% of family businesses will pass the baton to the next generation and, when that occurs, statistics are alarming: only 30% survive to the second generation, 13% to the third generation, and 3% to the fourth, “stated Catherine Wygant Fossett, the executive director of the IFOB.  “We reached out to our Next Generation group and they have identified the following topics of interest which we discussed at our October meeting with mentors and will continue the theme with our panelists,” she added.

        1.            Balancing personal and professional life in your family business

        2.            Financial decisions- Knowing when to take risks

        3.            Learning from experience- How to turn failures/setbacks into lessons

        4.            Understanding transparency- How much is too much?

        5.            When to be passionate vs. when to be practical

        The panelists include:

         Jason Agren, president of Agren, Maine’s largest independent retailer of appliances and mattresses.  Founded in 1969, Agren is a family-owned and operated second generation business with retail stores in Auburn, Norway, South Portland, and Topsham. Since taking over as president, Agren has been responsible for rebranding and expanding the company. Most recently, Agren built a new location in Topsham and renovated their original store on Minot Ave, in Auburn. Agren regularly supports the community that has supported his business. Corporate social responsibility has been, and always will be, a founding block of the company.

        Joe Capozza is vice president of Capozza Tile & Floor Covering Center and part of the 3rd generation now managing the family company.   Joe joined the family business as a Commercial Project Estimator & Project Manager in 2009 and was named Vice President in 2014. In addition to overseeing the operations of Capozza’s Residential, Commercial and Specialty Divisions, Joe’s main focus has been initiating a Leadership Team to implement the company’s strategic plan to strengthen the company and promote growth for the future.  

        Maureen Costello Wedge is vice president, Human Resources at Sun Media Group and part of the fourth generation ownership who manage the business, which includes a daily newspaper, 12 weekly newspapers and their websites, a commercial printing division, real estate holdings and a software development company.  Wedge has worked at the Sun Journal since 1988 and has served in leadership positions in a variety of industry and community associations.  She has extensive knowledge in all aspects of managing a family business, including human resources, employee relations and benefits and compensation.

        The panel will be moderated by Theresa Cloutier who is the managing partner at DMM, Inc. She runs the business with two sibling’s partners; DMM, Inc. is a manufacturing company her father founded in 1983.   The company specializes in digital document and direct marketing solution’s and was named a Xerox Global Service Provider.  Cloutier is responsible for the marketing and customer experience as well as board governance.  She has a BA in Psychology and Marketing from the University of Southern Maine, a Master’s in Educational Psychology from Boston College, she was recently named the 2015 recipient of the Crystal & Company FFI GEN Scholarship in Family Business from The Family Firm and is a graduate of USM’s FastTrack Program for entrepreneurs. 

        Attendees will have the chance to share their experiences and ask questions along with time to network with other businesses.   Sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Mainetoday.com and Husson University.           

        The IFOB is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        ###

        Stress Management & Mindfulness: A stress busting workshop for busy women

        Portland, ME – (November 16, 2015) – Just in time for the holiday madness, join the Women in Family Business (an affinity group designed by women for women at the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) for an inspirational program with Joni Altshuler, LCSW from The Way Home for a session on “Stress Management & Mindfulness”.  The workshop is on Thursday, November 19th from 4-6 p.m. at PretiFlahery, One City Center in Portland. It is complimentary for members of the IFOB and $35 for future members.  Register & RSVP at:  http://fambusiness.org/event-2077714

        “We’re thrilled to have Joni help us step away from our everyday stresses and teach us tools to cope at this busy time of year,” stated, Catherine Fossett, executive director of the IFOB. “Joni has been a community educator on “Stress Management”, “Mindfulness Practices “and “The Emotional Body” and she will lead us through a series of exercises and experiences for the mind and body that we can do in our business attire and have tangible “take home” tools”,  she added.  “We’ll have plenty of time to network and enjoy light hors d’oeuvres, wine and fun door prizes too!”

        As a licensed clinical social worker, Altshuler has been helping individuals, families and groups become their “best” selves for over thirty years.  Early in her career she had the opportunity to be the clinical supervisor of the New Jersey Center for the Healing Arts, one of the first integrative mental health models on the North East.  The center considered “cutting edge” at that time integrated counseling and psychotherapy with best practices of conventional, alternative and complimentary medicine.

        Upon moving to Maine, she opened a private practice The Way Home, and continued her quest to learn and build a holistic approach to help those she served. She completed an extensive training in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body oriented talk therapy for the treatment of trauma and attachment. She has completed levels I and II as an EMDR therapist as well. For the last two years she has been an active member of a study group devoted to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy.

        Her strong mindfulness and body oriented approach led her to completing a 200hr yoga teacher training with master teacher Jacqui Bowell. Altshuler has been an adjunct teacher at Southern Maine Community College as well as the University of New England. Along with her private practice, she currently teaches yoga classes to the refugee community in Portland Maine as well as a Trauma Sensitive yoga class for women with histories of sexual abuse and trauma.

        As a consultant she enjoys sharing her integrative approach with therapists new and old to the field. She believes passionately in the power on mindfulness practices to help individuals and groups act by the values most important to them in order to live more purposeful and meaningful lives.  The Women in Family Business series is generously sponsored by Baker Newman Noyes, one of the nation’s top 125 accounting and consulting firms, who is celebrating its 20th year of business.         

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

         ###

        Family Business Spotlight: Business After Hours with the Capozza Family

        Portland, ME – (November 4, 2015) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) final "Family Business Spotlights" for the 2015 season is among us!  Each quarter the Institute of Family Business has featured a family business that has had a long relationship with the Institute and is deeply committed to supporting family-owned businesses in Maine.   We are wrapping this series up with a spotlight on Capozza Tile Co., Inc. 

        Please join us and see why they are So Much More Than a Tile Store on Monday, November 9th from 5-7 pm at Capozza Tile & Floor Covering Center, 267 Warren Avenue, Portland.  It is complimentary for members of the IFOB, for local Chamber members, members of the Manufacturers Association of Maine and $10 for future members.  Register & RSVP at:  http://fambusiness.org/event-2059897

        We invite you to learn the Capozza’s family secrets to success and network with other businesses.  You’ll have the chance to “Design Your Own Bathroom with the Latest Tile Trends,” enjoy Mr. C’s famous meatballs, and enjoy other great Italian foods deliciously prepared by Blue Elephant Events and Catering.

        The program is sponsored by Capozza Tile & Floor Covering Center, Old Port Specialty Tile Company, Blue Elephant Events and Catering, The Derek Volk Show, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Mainebiz. 

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        For more information contact: Catherine Wygant Fossett catherine@fambusiness.org / 207.798.266

        ###

        A casting call for mentors & protégés

        Portland, ME – (September 29, 2015) – Join the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) as we put out a casting call for mentors and protégés for an informal mixer to share each other’s expertise on Tuesday, October 6, from 5-7 p.m. at The Press Hotel. Members and future members welcome, all generations! The cost is complimentary for members and $35 for future members and includes hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.  Visit http://fambusiness.org/event-2047717 for complete details.

        “While there are highly organized formal mentoring programs that have goals, schedules, and evaluations,” stated executive director, Catherine Wygant Fossett, “at the IFOB, we would like to have an informal next generation mentoring program for the professionals that will be leading the family business.” She added “We’re excited to host this unique program at The Press Hotel and play off their brilliant combination of the “old” and the “new”.

        Mentoring describes a developmental relationship between a mentor who is an experienced and trusted adviser and a protégé who is a person who is guided and supported by a more experienced person.  We reached out to our Next Generation group and they have identified the following topics of interest they would like guidance from mentors.

        1.            Balancing personal and professional life in your family business

        2.            Financial decisions- Knowing when to take risks

        3.            Learning from experience- How to turn failures/setbacks into lessons

        4.            Understanding transparency- How much is too much?

        5.            When to be passionate vs. when to be practical

        Register yourself today as either a 1) mentor or a 2) protégé to discuss these topics.  All attendees will have the opportunity to mix and mingle in a casual setting to make a possible connection with a mentor or a protégé in an area of expertise regardless of age. We’ll identify who is who and we’ll have five mentors in particular who will share one on one’s with the protégés covering these topics.  Our hope is that mentors will get to know protégés and then they could meet at a future time over coffee, on the phone and help guide the protégé with some of the mentor’s knowledge and expertise.  By building this unique relationship, each participant will have a chance to grow and learn from each other.

        We’ll also hear from a successful mentoring and protégé relationship fostered by the IFOB.  This program is generously sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, The Portland Press Herald / Maine Today Media and The Press Hotel. The IFOB is a non-profit 501 ( c) 3 organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.    

        HR for Family Business: a roadmap to success & hiring/retaining top talent

        Submitted by Captain NEMA on Wed, 2015-09-16 08:46  Release Date: 

        2015-09-16

        Message: 

        Portland, ME – (September 16, 2015) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) will be hosting an educational seminar on Wednesday, September 23, from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus in Westbrook . The cost is complimentary for members and $25 for Future Members in person and $15 remotely. Visit
        http://fambusiness.org/event-2013235 for complete details.

        Dave Ciullo, president of Career Management Associates and guest speaker, commented that “Navigating the challenges of having just employees, not to mention employing family members, can be a challenge but it is critical to your success. Arming your company with a well-planned road map including best practices as well as policies and processes to insure you are staying legally compliant will protect your business and hopefully bring you many years of fun family vacations.”

        Join IFOB members, Dave Ciullo and Tawny Alvarez, Attorney from Verrill Dana, as they discuss:
        1. Why HR compliance is critical to running a Family Business
        2. How to Hire and Retain Key Family and Non-Family Employees
        3. Family Business Compensation
        4. Proposed changes for 2016 in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) & Independent Contractors & Minimum Wage

        Dave directs a HR Services firm headquartered in Portland, ME that does Search, Staffing, Executive Coaching, HR Outsourcing, HR Compliance Compensation, Training and Outplacement. He is also the talk show host of the HR Power Hour (hrpowerhour.com), a national HR focused radio show and the elected President of Lincolnshire International and serves on its Board of Directors. He is a Member of SHRM, the Human Resources Association of Southern Maine, Seacoast Human Resources Association, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern New England Association of Personnel Services.

        Tawny is a labor and employment attorney who centers her practice on the understanding that the employment landscape is ever-changing—from medical marijuana’s effect on drug testing, to the effect of social networking in the workplace and mobile devices’ effect on wage and hour issues. In this evolving landscape she recognizes that for companies to remain profitable and successful they must be proactive, as opposed to reactive, to these employment issues. Tawny advises small and large companies on employment issues and represents them before state and federal agencies and in court. She is the 2008 recipient of the Adolf Homburger Humanitarian Award and prides herself on giving back to the community. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Greater Portland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB) and serves on the Portland Museum of Art Contemporaries Steering Committee. She obtained her BS from Thomas College and her JD at Pace University School of Law.

        Attendees will have the chance to share their experiences and ask questions along with time to network with other businesses. This HR workshop is sponsored by Key Private Bank, CMA Career Management Associates, Verill Dana, LLP and Husson University.

        For more information contact: Catherine Wygant Fossett at catherine@fambusiness.org / 207.798.266
        Tawny Alavarez, Attorney at Verrill Dana, LLP and David Ciullo, President of Career Management Associates (CMA)

        Family Business Spotlight: Business After Hours with Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream

        Submitted by Captain NEMA on Tue, 2015-08-25  Auburn, ME – (August 25, 2015) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) announced today its third in a new series called the "Family Business Spotlight." Each quarter, the IFOB features a family business that has had a long relationship with the Institute and has a deep commitment to supporting family-owned businesses in Maine.

        Join us on Monday, August 31st from 5-7 pm at the Gifford’s Ice Cream Stand in Auburn at 910 Minot Avenue for a Business After Hours program. It is complimentary for members of the IFOB, for local Chamber members, members of the Manufacturers Association of Maine and $10 for future members. Register & RSVP at: http://fambusiness.org/event-1982093

        At the event, participants will have the opportunity to learn the Gifford’s family secrets to success and network with other businesses. Everyone can create their own unique Sundae featuring Gifford’s delicious ice cream and there will be balloons and kids activities. In celebration of Gifford’s many years in business, this summer the family also launched a program called “Got My Gifford’s,” which is a sweepstakes that runs through August 29, 2015. Each week, contestants from all over New England can win a $50 gift card to use at any Gifford’s stand. The grand prize is an exclusive week-long Family Vacation in Maine that starts in Portland, heads to Bar Harbor and ends in Bethel. The prize is valued at $4,500. Enter by visiting www.GotMyGiffords.com by August 29 or by taking a photo of your favorite Gifford’s flavor and posting it on Instagram using the hashtag #gotmygiffords. Every post is a chance to win.

        At the “Ice Cream Social” you’ll learn about Gifford’s expansion last year into the Washington, DC market with their unique Ice Cream Truck and they’ll announce the winner of the “Got My Gifford’s” Sweepstakes. Bring the kids! Enjoy door prizes, family friendly activities and more!

        “We are a fifth-generation family owned business that started in the late 1800s in Pawcatuck, Connecticut,” explained Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, Gifford’s general manager. “Eventually our family forged a splendid path that led us all to Skowhegan, Maine, and the birth of Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream,” she continued. “Today, we sell 1.7 million gallons of ice cream each year and we serve more than one million cones each summer from our five family-owned and operated ice cream stands. We’re very involved in the IFOB and their many programs. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our Auburn stand on August 31st, just in time for a special treat before the kids go back to school,” she concluded.

        The Business After Hours Family Business Spotlight program is sponsored by Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, The Derek Volk Show, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Mainebiz.

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        For more information contact: Catherine Wygant Fossett catherine@fambusiness.org / 207.798.266

        4th Annual Family Business Summerfest Luau

        Submitted by Captain NEMA on Thu, 2015-08-06 08:16
        Release Date: 

        2015-08-06 Message: 

        A casual and fun after hours event to celebrate family-owned businesses

        Yarmouth, ME – (August 6, 2015) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) celebrates its 4th annual fun(d)raising event tailored for family-owned businesses to network and enjoy themselves on the picturesque Royal River in Yarmouth at Yankee Marina & Boatyard.

        Summerfest on August 13th is a casual family friendly event starting at 5 p.m., designed for Institute members to connect and for newcomers to learn more about the Institute. Hosted by owners Deborah Delp and Mathew and Ben Stevens, Yankee Marina is located at 142 Lafayette Street.

        New for 2015 is the Hawaiian Luau theme complete with a Hawaiian shirt contest and fabulous prize including a gorgeous tropical presentation boutique with exotic flowers. We’ve also added TapSnap, the latest in photo entertainment that lets you take home unlimited complimentary 4x6 high quality prints with digital props, share your photos of Facebook, Twitter and email your friends to show them all the fun you're having at Summerfest! Bring the whole family as we also have kids’ games including face painting, lawn dice and other activities.

        Blue Elephants Events & Catering will be cooking up tropical themed delights and we’ll have beverages for all to enjoy. We’ll have Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream and Dunkin Donuts coffee for dessert. Back by popular demand is Elmore Twist a five piece band that will keep your toes tapping and entertain you as you have the option to bid on over $35,000 worth of silent auction items from sports and music memorabilia to Maine-made items including: signed guitars by Sting, Hunter Hayes, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Taylor Swift and Keith Urban; David Ortiz World Series signed mini batting helmet; Tom Brady signed jersey & photo collage; jewelry, consulting services, custom colored area rug, Red Sox Tickets, overnight stays at Sugarloaf, The Press Hotel and more!

        The cost is $45 per person (kids under 16 are free), whether an Institute member or not, with registrations accepted at www.fambusiness.org or 207.798.2667.

        “Summerfest provides an ideal venue for celebrating family business and we invite all generations to join us on this special occasion,” reports Catherine Wygant Fossett, executive director.

        Summerfest is sponsored by Corporate Finance Associates, Mainebiz, Bangor Daily News BDN Maine, Sun Media Group, TapSnap Phototainment, Clark Insurance, MEMIC, Allagash Brewing Company, Anton/LeMieux Financial Group, Baker Newman Noyes, Blue Elephant Events & Catering, Close Buy Catalog, The Derek Volk Show, DMM, Inc., Eco-Kids, Key Resources, LLC, Lee Auto Malls, One Stop Event Rentals, and R.M. Davis, Inc.

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        For more information contact: Catherine Wygant Fossett at catherine@fambusiness.org / 207.798.266

        Portfolio: Biddeford company thinks outside the box … literally

        Meanwhile, a Scarborough paper-cutting company keeps growing, and fond memories of Jim Costello Sr. are shared.

        By Carol Coultas, Portland Press Herald - Posted July 14, 2015

        It’s not often you hear a respected businessman say he took a cue from drug dealers in marketing his latest product.

        But Derek Volk, CEO of Volk Packaging, a manufacturer of boxes and packing materials in Biddeford, said it was exactly the right approach in getting Super Shield, a waterproof corrugated box his company makes, into the market.

        “You give them the product for free and then they’re hooked and then you go back and make the sale,” said Volk, chuckling over the reference. “It totally worked for us.”

        The box, developed by Volk using research from the Gulf of Maine Institute and a Canadian paper company, is designed to replace waxed boxes commonly used to transport food products.

        Volk said the Super Shield boxes are being used by several of his clients, including Cape Seafoods, Inland Seafood and Cozy Harbor Seafood, to transport lobsters and other seafood. The boxes are designed to retain their strength no matter how wet they become.

        And they appeal to companies adopting sustainable practices. The Super Shield boxes are 100 percent recyclable, giving them a market advantage over waxed boxes, which have to be separated from conventional cardboard in the recycling stream, he said.

        The company did its beta testing and sampling last year. Volk said he expects the Super Shield boxes will provide about 10 percent of the company’s revenue this year, and he sees even greater growth as its reputation for sustainability and durability spreads.

        “We spent three years working on it – there was a lot of trial and error,” he said. “But the (market) reaction’s been great.”

        CONNECTING WITH COMMUNITY

        I was sad to hear of Jim Costello Sr.’s passing last week.

        I worked at the Sun Journal for 22 years, nine as managing editor, and Jim was a great guy. Not only was he an astute businessman (savvy management through three generations of Costellos left the company without debt, which allowed it to make heavy investments in modernizing its printing and mailroom operations back in the early 2000s), but he had a fierce sense of community.

        That’s probably best reflected in his five children, all of whom are involved in the company and serve on multiple boards and associations in the Greater Lewiston-Auburn community.

        Jim thought if you operated a business in a particular community, you had an obligation to do more than just sell products or services to it. You needed to be invested in its well-being, and that meant rolling up your shirt-sleeves and lending a hand.

        It’s a legacy already embraced by the fourth generation of Costellos and likely to be passed on to the next.

        Carol Coultas, business editor, can be contacted at 791-6460 or at:

        ccoultas@pressherald.com

        Family Business Spotlight: Business After Hours with “The Best Seat In The House”

        Submitted by Captain NEMA on Wed, 2015-06-17 08:14


        Portland, ME – (June 17, 2015) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) celebrates its second in a new series called the "Family Business Spotlight." Each quarter we feature a family business that has had a long relationship with the Institute and has a deep commitment to supporting family-owned businesses in Maine

        Join us on Monday, June 22nd from 5-7 pm at Hussey Seating Company in North Berwick for a Business After Hours program. It is complimentary for members of the IFOB, a Chamber and the Manufacturers Association of Maine and $10 for future members. Register & RSVP at: http://fambusiness.org/event-1919590

        The program is designed to have participants learn about Hussey Seating Company’s secrets to success. Meet their managers and hear from the family about the challenges and successes of running a family business. See their unique Product Show Room and tour the Hussey Family Museum. Participants will have a chance to win a Portable Clarin Seat with a Patriots, Red Sox or Sea Dogs logo with a game of musical chairs! Enjoy door prizes, beverages and hors d’oeuvres provided by Blue Elephant Innovative Events & Catering.

        “We are a sixth-generation family owned business started by William Hussey in 1835”, explained Tim Hussey, CEO. “Hussey Seating opened their doors 56 years before the invention of modern basketball. 45 years before the invention of American football. 4 years before the invention of modern baseball. And 40 years before the invention of modern ice hockey. On Monday, we will give away “the Best Seat in the House” and celebrate our history of making the finest stadium seats,” Hussey chuckled. “It will be a lot of fun and a great way to showcase our Product Showroom and give some insights into running a family business and how we’ve been involved with the Institute since its inception over 20 years ago,” he concluded.

        The program is sponsored by Hussey Seating Company and Blue Elephant Events and Catering. The series is sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Mainebiz.

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        For more information contact: Catherine Wygant Fossett catherine@fambusiness.org / 207.798.2667

        Family firms’ leaders share strategies

        During a panel discussion at Husson University, six describe how they deal with common pitfalls.

        By J. Craig Anderson Staff Writer The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

        canderson@pressherald.com | @JCraigAnderson | 207-791-6390

        In a state dominated by family-owned companies, success can be a tricky business.

        As family-owned firms grow and are passed down through the generations, conflicts and complications arise that can threaten their existence. Top executives at six family-owned businesses in Maine met Wednesday to share their strategies for avoiding common pitfalls.

        They participated in a panel discussion at Husson University in Westbrook that was sponsored by the Portland-based Institute for Family-Owned Businesses, which estimates that roughly 80 percent of all businesses in Maine are family-run. The panelists were Gene Geiger of Lewiston-based promotional products distributor Geiger Inc.; Kevin Hancock of Casco-based Hancock Lumber Co.; Michael Barriault of Lewiston-based beverage distributor Central Distributors Inc.; John Isaacson of Auburn-based Lee Auto Malls; Robert Moore of Bangor-based oil and propane supplier Dead River Co.; and Steven Cote of Bridgton-based Chalmers Insurance Group.

        They tackled questions about a number of problems common to family-owned companies, particularly those related to growth and succession.

        Family dynamics add a layer of complexity to the trials and tribulations of the family-owned business executive, they said. Family members may be owners, board members and/or employees, which creates inherent conflicts. Concerns about favoritism, entitlement, sibling rivalry and the influence of spouses only increase the level of difficulty, they said.

        It’s important for top executives at family-owned companies to focus on the needs of the business and not get drawn into family squabbles, Barriault said.

        “As a leader, you have to keep your head above the BS,” he said.

        The panel was evenly split between executives whose forbears founded their companies and those who were brought in from outside the family. Geiger, Hancock and Barriault are descendants of their company’s founders, while Isaacson, Moore and Cote are not.

        Members of each group said they could see certain benefits and drawbacks to their situation.

        For those whose businesses bear their names, there is a sense of family pride that drives them to succeed, but they said it is also possible to lose a sense of individual identity.

        Non-family executives said their mere presence can inspire other managers who know that a different last name does not limit their prospects within the company. However, they said the shadow of a semiretired patriarch may yet loom over them, making it more difficult to exercise executive authority.

        “Family members don’t retire easily,” said Isaacson, who is a shareholder in Lee Auto but not a member of the founding family.

        Each of the six companies represented on the panel has taken a slightly different approach to dealing with the challenges of balancing family and business interests.

        Some said they rely on outside advisers to resolve family disputes or mentor younger relatives within the company. Others said they have placed iron-clad policies in place that leave little room for argument or misunderstanding.

        Geiger said problems often arise when family members who work within the company feel as though they are not getting their fair share.

        “Managing compensation and perks and things is really tough,” he said.

        And when it comes time to choose a new leader, there may be pressure to place a family member in the top spot who isn’t ready for the job, Cote said. Family-owned businesses should not preclude themselves from looking outside the family for a new president or CEO, he said, even if it is just a temporary move until the right family member can be properly groomed.

        “Any time there’s going to be a succession, you should at least think about it,” Cote said.

        The panelists said that while strong executive leadership is important, so is making sure family shareholders have a sense of involvement and an understanding that their input matters.

        “As soon as owners start thinking of themselves as investors, it’s the beginning of the end,” Moore said.

        Family Business Forum – Learn from the Best: Challenges and Successes of the 3G’s (Generations)

        Submitted by Captain NEMA on Tue, 2015-06-09 10:15
        Release Date:  2015-06-09


        Message: 

        Portland, ME – (June 9, 2015) – Join the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) as we continue our Family Business Forum created to help family businesses navigate through successful succession planning and the ups and downs of the economy. The Forum will be held on Wednesday, June 17 from 7:30-10 a.m. at Husson University, Southern Campus, 340 County Road in Westbrook. For those who can’t attend in person, the IFOB is piloting a new program for participants to be able to dial in remotely. To do this the participant needs to have hi-speed Internet access and a camera. To register go to: http://fambusiness.org/event-1865649

        Family-owned businesses make up over eighty percent of Maine’s businesses. In any five-year period nearly 40% of family businesses will pass the baton to the next generation and, when that occurs, statistics are alarming: only 30% survive to the second generation, 13% to the third generation, and 3% to the fourth.

        We have gathered two panels of experts who have successfully navigated this transition of the “3Gs” - family businesses that have beaten the odds and successfully passed the business to the third generation and beyond. Not all companies used a common recipe for their success, they all took different paths to become who they are today and sometimes the best way to keep the family business was to not keep it in the family.

        The first panel is comprised of owner operators including Gene Geiger - CEO, Geiger - 4th generation; Kevin D. Hancock - President, Hancock Lumber Co. - 6th generation and Michael D. Barriault - President, Central Distributors - 4th generation. This panel is moderated by Steve Tenney – Sr. VP, Family Wealth Management Partners, UBS who states, “I met with over 50 professionals that advise family owned businesses and with about 20 family owned businesses that have lasted for at least three generations. From these meetings we’ve created this unique program and I’m thrilled to be moderating the panel.”

        The second panel represents non-family leaders in the family business and includes John A. Isaacson - CEO, Lee Auto Malls – 3rd generation; Robert Moore - Chairman and CEO, Dead River Co. – 4th generation and Steven P. Cote - President, Chalmers Insurance Group – 4th generation. It is moderated by Nancy Forster-Holt, PhD, MBA, CMA - Assistant Professor in Husson University’s College of Business; Executive Director of Entrepreneurship and the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business. “When family business leaders are brought together, they often express surprise at how many lessons they are able to teach us. We are going to wish we had the whole day! As someone who researches owners’ exits, teaches the next generation of business leaders, and as co-owner of the 157 year old family-owned business, Shaw & Tenney, I’m delighted to be a part of this forum,” added Forster-Holt.

        Attendees will have the chance to share their experiences and ask questions of the panel along with networking with other businesses. As panelist Kevin Hancock commented, “I think the uniqueness of this forum is the opportunity to ask a set of family CEOs and a set of non-family CEOs—in the same venue—how they think about running a family business. I am very interested in listening to where the perspectives of both groups are similar or unique. What are the advantages and challenges of being a family CEO? What are the advantages and challenges of being a non-family CEO? I have been to a number of family business conferences, but I have never seen two focus groups (one family CEO / one non-family). I think it represents a cool opportunity for perspective.”

        The IFOB is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Family Business Forum is sponsored by Family Wealth Management Partners, UBS and Husson University. ###

        Contact Name: 

        Catherine Wygant Fossett

        Contact Company/Organization: 

        Institute for Family Owned Business

        Contact Telephone: 

        207-798-2667

        Society Notebook: Families who work together

        An annual awards event spotlights the strength and reach of family-owned businesses around the state.


        By Margaret Logan

        Maine Sunday Telegram / Sunday, June 7, 2015

        Winners of the Large Business Award Cameron Jordan and her husband, Adam Reny ,of Round Pound, join family members Faustine Reny and her husband, Nicholas Plumer, of New Harbor at the cocktail reception celebrating the 16th Annual Maine Family Business Awards.


        Margaret Logan photo

        Haven’s Candies. DeLorme. Kate’s Creamery. Minuteman Signs. Lucy’s Granola. Cross Insurance. These are but a few of the 32 Maine family businesses recognized at the 16th annual Maine Family Business Awards held recently at the Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks in South Portland.

        “One of the great things about Maine is there are a lot of family-owned businesses here,” explained Michael Cianchette, who works with his father Eric, owner of The Portland Regency Hotel & Spa in Portland’s Old Port. “It’s these kinds of businesses that really hold up the community.”

        Cianchette attended the awards ceremony with his wife, Michelle Cianchette, and his cousin David Tamulevich, general manager of The Regency.

        “It’s a hard place to make a living,” said Eric Cianchette, who knows a thing or two about family business. “But Maine is a great state and it’s home for us.”

        Hosted by the Institute for Family-Owned Business, more than 360 guests mingled over cocktails before sitting down to a dinner and awards presentation.

        Cameron Jordan and her husband, Adam Reny, of Round Pond attended with family members Faustine Reny and her husband, Nicholas Plumer, of New Harbor. Bob and Mary Kate Reny chatted with friends Susan and Bryan Dench, who is board chairman at Skelton, Taintor & Abbott in Auburn.

        “I know I’m from away and I’m OK with that,” said native New Yorker Alex Fisher, who attended with his wife, Brianne. He started Planet Dog in Portland 18 years ago and it’s now an international company. “Our home base of Portland is what’s most important to us. I love Maine and I know we are living the life.”

        Before the 2015 award winners were announced, journalist Gregg Lagerquist of WGME 13 moderated a panel from the stage entitled, “The Family Element,” featuring Lindsay Gifford Skilling of Gifford’s Ice Cream, Alan MacEwan of Verrill Dana, Casey Prentice of Prentice Hospitality Group and Meredith Strang Burgess of Burgess Advertising & Marketing.

        Geraldine Brewer of Portland attended to show support for her son Rusty, founder of M.R. Brewer, a millwork and construction company in Portland.

        “We’ve been in business for 28 years,” said Rusty Brewer, who attended with his wife, Patricia. “We’ve got old-school kind of values, and I’m only as good as my guys. We’ve got good people. I’ve got two boys in the business. Makes it go a little easier.”

        For more information about the Institute for Family-Owned Business and the recipients of the 2015 awards, please visit www.fambusiness.org.

        Margaret Logan is a freelance writer who lives in Scarborough. She can be contacted at:

        mlogan@maine.rr.com

         More women taking leading roles in Maine’s family-owned businesses

        More women taking leading roles in Maine’s family-owned businesses

        With sons less likely to attend college, daughters with degrees are getting executive opportunities, and they're expected to become the go-to offspring within decades.

        Kimberly Garrett had pursued careers outside the family business – which now owns nearly 100 Dunkin’ Donuts stores – when her father asked her to join the company in an executive role. Now she’s vice president of operations at The Wolak Group in Falmouth.
        Photo credit:  Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer Portland Press Herald

        Kimberly Garrett had pursued careers outside the family business – which now owns nearly 100 Dunkin’ Donuts stores – when her father asked her to join the company in an executive role. Now she’s vice president of operations at The Wolak Group in Falmouth. Whitney Hayward/Staff Photographer

        Kimberly Garrett had no intention of going into the family business. In fact, her father actively discouraged it.

        Not because Ed Wolak, founder of The Wolak Group in Falmouth, thought his daughter couldn’t handle getting up at the crack of dawn each day to make the doughnuts at the company’s small chain of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises.

        Running a doughnut shop can be a tiring and thankless job. Garrett remembers her father coming home with burns on his arms from being splashed with hot oil.

        Garrett went off to college, then pursued careers in the film and wine industries in California, got married and became a mother. Meanwhile, The Wolak Group was rapidly growing and changing back in Maine. It grew to more than 70 franchises in three states, and the company opened an automated production facility with more than enough capacity to supply doughnuts and other baked goods to all of its stores.

        Like a growing number of family business owners, Wolak eventually asked his daughter to join the company – which now owns nearly 100 Dunkin’ Donuts stores – in an executive role.

        “There was so much at stake from what he had grown,” said Garrett, who is now Wolak Group vice president of operations and a franchise owner herself. “I didn’t feel there was anybody else as fit to protect that as I was.”

        Nationally, the share of family-owned businesses headed by women has increased sixfold since 1997. At that time, only 5 percent of such businesses had a woman in the top executive role, according to a survey conducted by Mass Mutual and Arthur Andersen.

        By 2014, that share had increased to 30 percent, according to the Family Firm Institute, a Boston-based trade association for family-owned businesses. Over the next 20 years, daughters are expected to eclipse sons as the go-to offspring for taking over the family business, it said.

        Maine’s family-owned business community is dominated by companies with male top executives, but more women have been rising through the ranks, said Catherine Wygant Fossett, executive director of the Portland-based Institute for Family-Owned Business, which hosted its 2015 Maine Family Business Awards ceremony Monday night.

        Of the Maine institute’s more than 65 member businesses, eight are led by women – about 12 percent. Even so, Wygant Fossett said 40 to 50 women regularly participate in the institute’s training and leadership-development programs.

        The institute has created a number of programs aimed at women executives in recent years, she said. It even has a program to teach golf to its female members who aren’t proficient at the game.

        “A lot of times in the business world, a lot of work is done on the golf course,” Wygant Fossett said.

        The institute started a Women’s Affinity Group in 2011 to specifically address some of the issues that confront women in leadership positions within family-run businesses. The group members offer support and advice to each other and an opportunity to collaborate, providing encouragement not only as women, but as leaders in family-run businesses, which often don’t survive past the third generation.

        One reason that more women are being groomed to take over the family business is that women have surpassed men as the gender more likely to enroll in college, said Jane Hilburt-Davis, institute president emeritus and a board member.

        In 2012, the share of young women enrolled in college immediately after high school was 71 percent, compared with 61 percent for young men, according to an analysis by the Pew Research Center. Just a decade earlier, the share of young men and women enrolling in college was roughly the same.

        Hilburt-Davis, president of Key Resources LLC, a consulting firm to family-business owners, said they often look to the best-educated child as the lead candidate for succession. In a growing number of cases, that child is a daughter.

        “Twenty years from now, we know more women will be leading family-owned businesses than men,” she said.

        Although some daughters are poised to take over national firms – as Abigail Johnson, granddaughter of Fidelity Investments founder Edward C. Johnson II, did in 2014 – it is much more common for women to take over smaller, family-run companies where the hierarchy isn’t as deep. Nationally, only 4.8 percent of Fortune 500 companies were headed by women in 2014.

        Lindsay Gifford Skilling, general manager of Skowhegan-based Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, always hoped to work for the premium ice cream business started by her grandparents and developed further into the company it is today by her father and uncle.

        “I knew at a young age that I wanted to join the family business, if they’d have me,” she said.

        Gifford Skilling earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and in 2006 joined Gifford’s as assistant to the controller. Since then she has risen rapidly to the top management position. Her brother, John Chester “JC” Gifford Jr., and sister, Samantha Gifford, also hold leadership positions within the company.

        Gifford ice cream, which is closing in on annual production of 2 million gallons per year, is sold at its five ice cream stands and at hundreds of grocery stores, independent ice cream shops, colleges, universities and restaurants as far west as Nevada.

        Gifford Skilling, who is 31, said it was intimidating at first to be a young female executive in an industry dominated by men. But with support from her family and an eagerness to learn, she developed the confidence to run a successful and fast-growing business.

        “My dad and uncle just kind of saw something in me, I guess, so here I am,” she said.

        Maine Family Business Awards honor family-owned companies

        Large and small firms are recognized for their role in providing jobs and services.

        A diverse group of companies was honored Monday at the Maine Family Business Awards gala. Presented by the Institute for Family-Owned Business, a nonprofit organization that supports family-owned businesses, the awards recognize Maine companies that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success and commitment to employees, customers and community.

        An independent panel of judges, facilitated by Colleen McCracken of Planet Dog, selected the winners from among 32 finalists, the most ever for the awards program, now in its 16th year:

        TideSmart Global, an experiential marketing company based in Falmouth, received the inaugural Green Environment Award for its commitment to sustainability. In addition to embracing solar power, offering open-access charging stations for electric cars and a wide array of perks for its employees, TideSmart recently built Maine’s first net-positive building, meaning it generates more energy than it uses.

         DeLorme of Yarmouth won the People’s United Bank Innovation and Technology Award in acknowledgment of the company’s leadership in navigation technology. The company’s inReach satellite communications device is credited with saving many lives since its launch in 2011.

         Lucy’s Granola of Blue Hill received the First Generation Award, which recognizes an exceptional company that has not yet transitioned from one generation to the next. Founder Lucy Benjamin started selling her product at local festivals and farmers’ markets, and it is now on shelves nationwide.

        Volk Packaging Corp. of Biddeford was the judges’ unanimous choice for the Wolak Group Customer Service Award, exemplifying what it means to go above and beyond expectations.

         Suger, a Biddeford fashion boutique and home of Angelrox designs, received the Shep Lee Award for Community Service. Founder and designer Roxi Suger and her husband and business partner, Julian Schlaver, have made numerous contributions to the city of Biddeford since relocating their business from Brooklyn, New York, in 2013.

         Kingsley Pines, a summer camp based in Raymond, was honored with the Maddy Corson Small Business Award, recognizing an exceptional company with fewer than 25 employees. For more than 30 years, the camp has provided memorable camp experiences to of children from across the U.S. and around the world.

         Renys, based in Newcastle, won the Large Business Award, which honors an outstanding company with more than 25 employees. The iconic retailer, known by many as “Maine’s department store,” started out of the back of founder R.H. Reny’s Hudson in 1949, and now has 16 locations and more than 500 employees across the state.

        Bangor-based Cross Insurance received an honorable mention in the large business category for its growth into the largest insurance agency in New England, employing more than 750 people.

        Maine Family Business Award Finalists Announced

        Submitted by Captain NEMA on Fri, 2015-04-03 08:20 Release Date:  2015-04-03 Message: 

        PORTLAND, MAINE – The Institute for Family Owned Businesses (IFOB) announced the finalists for the 16th annual Maine Family Business Awards.

        IFOB presents awards to exemplary Maine firms that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success, and commitment to employees, customers and community.

        This year’s 32 finalists include:

        Acme Body Shop, South Portland
        Ames True Value Supply, Wiscasset
        Blue Elephant Events and Catering, Saco
        Bruno's Tavern, Portland
        Buoy Sports, South Berwick
        Caverly Farms LLC, Clinton
        Central Distributors, Lewiston
        Cousins Maine Lobster, Saco
        Crocketts Cove LLC, Vinalhaven
        Cross Insurance, Bangor
        DeLorme, Yarmouth
        Downeast Toyota & Downeast Auto Body, Brewer
        F.O. Bailey Real Estate, Falmouth
        Grand Central Café, Waterville
        Haven's Candies, Westbrook
        Hebert Construction, Lewiston
        Higgins Corporation, South Portland
        Kate's Creamery, Old Orchard Beach
        King Eider's Pub and Stone Cove Catering, Bristol
        Kingsley Pines, Raymond
        Lucy's Granola, East Blue Hill
        M.R. Brewer, Portland
        Minuteman Signs, Inc., Augusta
        One Stop Event Rentals, South Portland
        Renys, Newcastle
        Shaw & Tenney Inc.,Orono
        Strategic Media, Portland
        Suger, Biddeford
        The Animal House, Damariscotta
        The Regency, Portland
        TideSmart Global, Falmouth
        Volk Packaging Corporation, Biddeford

        An independent panel of judges selected the finalists and will determine the award winners. This year’s judges are:

        Masey Kaplan, Close Buy Catalog
        Lesa Ouellette, Hannan’s Electric
        Dean Bingham, Dean’sSweets
        Mike Davis, IRC Industrial Roofing Companies
        Laura Foye, TD Bank
        Stephen deCastro, Key Private Bank
        Kim Garrett, The Wolak Group
        Denise Cole, d. cole jewelers
        Moderator: Colleen McCracken, Planet Dog

        Any business where one owner shares ownership or works in the business with at least one other family member is considered a family-owned business for the purpose of the award.

        Presented in partnership with Portland-based law firm, Verrill Dana, IFOB will announce the winners at a gala awards ceremony on May 18, 2015 hosted by WGME-13’s Gregg Lagerquist. Before the presentation of the awards, a panel of four prominent family-owned business leaders will share the innovative, effective, and unconventional ways they’ve learned to navigate the “family element.” Panelists include:

        Meredith Strang Burgess, Burgess Advertising & Marketing
        Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, Gifford’s Ice Cream
        Alan MacEwan, Verrill Dana
        Casey Prentice, Prentice Hospitality Group

        Sponsors of the event include The Wolak Group; UBS Family Wealth Management Partners; Norton Insurance/Financial; Lee Auto Malls; MEMIC; Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram; People’s United Bank; IRC Industrial Roofing Companies; Agren; The Derek Volk Show; Mainebiz; Current Publishing; Sun Media Group; DMM, Morong Falmouth; Burgess Advertising & Marketing; and the Bangor Daily News.
        ###

        About the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses:

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting family-owned businesses, which represent about 80 percent of all
        businesses in Maine. Through consulting, seminars, workshops, and networking, the Institute assists family-owned firms in meeting the unique managerial challenges associated with operating and sustaining a successful family enterprise. Additional information is available on the Institute’s website, http://www.fambusiness.org.

        Family Business Spotlight: Business After Hours with “Corrugated Olympics”

        Release Date: 
        2015-03-17
        Message: 

        Family Business Spotlight: Business After Hours with “Corrugated Olympics”

        Portland, ME – (March 17, 2015) – The Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB) kicks off a new series called the “Family Business Spotlight”. Our Mission at the Institute is to be the premier resource for family-run businesses in Maine, predominant source of outreach programs for family-owned businesses and recognized expert in and networking resource for family-business issues. Each quarter we will feature a family business that has had a long relationship with the Institute and has a deep commitment to supporting family-owned businesses in Maine.

        We start this series with Volk Packaging Corporation. Derek, Douglas and Kenneth Volk were honored to receive the very first “Family Business of the Year” Award from the Institute in 2000. They also were named one of Maine’s “Best Places to Work” in 2011, they were a recipient of the 2012 “Health Innovator Award” from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and won the Governor’s Award for Business Excellence in 2012.

        Join us on Monday, March 30th from 5-7 pm at Volk Packaging Corporation at 11 Morin Street in Biddeford for a Business After Hours program. It is complimentary for members of the IFOB, a Chamber and the Manufacturers Association of Maine and $10 for future members. Register & RSVP at: http://fambusiness.org/event-1827876

        • We invite you to learn their secrets to success and network with other businesses.
        • Try out Volk’s now famous “Corrugated Olympics” complete with trophies!
        • Enjoy door prizes, cash bar and hors d’oeuvres provided by Blue Elephant Innovative Events & Catering.

        The Volk family takes great pride in becoming the IFOB’s Spotlight Company for the first quarter of 2015. When presented with the honor, company President Derek Volk said, “Volk Packaging has always appreciated the work of the Institute for Family Owned Business. Many of our customers are great family businesses so we know that Maine’s economy depends on organizations like the IFOB to help them stay strong. Doug and I take the responsibility of keeping the company healthy very seriously, not only for our family but for the 75 families that work with us.”

        Tour Volk’s facilities including the famous “Wall of Fame” which has over 500 signed celebrity autographs from presidents, actors and athletes including George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Florence Henderson, Barbara Walters, Bob Barker, Jack Nicklaus, Curt Schilling and Paul Pierce. Meet their employees and hear from the family about the challenges and successes of running a family business. Enjoy great food from Blue Elephant a boutique family-owned catering company that creates unique and memorable designer events and weddings.

        The series is sponsored by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Mainebiz. Harvard Pilgrim is a full-service health benefits company serving members throughout Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Mainebiz helps businesses succeed. They are a media organization providing business news, information and analysis for Maine's business owners and decision makers.

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit organization committed to supporting, strengthening and empowering family-owned businesses throughout the state of Maine. The Institute serves family business owners, executives and employees through a wide range of continuing education programs, networking opportunities and consulting services. The Institute is a comprehensive resource for family-owned business.

        For more information contact: Catherine Wygant Fossett catherine@fambusiness.org / 207.798.266

        ---------------------------------

        Mike Davis, vice president of Industrial Roofing Companies and president Ken Ross, Clark Insurance give advice in the Portland Press Herald article below:

        With snow piling up, is it time to hit the roof?

        Worried Maine homeowners wonder whether they should shed the weight or just wait it out. The answer isn't always clear.

        Portland Property Services employees Larry Goodno, left, and Lewis Jarrett clear snow Wednesday off a house on Brighton Avenue in Portland. For homeowners who want to do the work themselves, if they don’t already have a roof rake they might not be able to find one in the sold-out stores.
        Portland Property Services employees Larry Goodno, left, and Lewis Jarrett clear snow Wednesday off a house on Brighton Avenue in Portland. For homeowners who want to do the work themselves, if they don’t already have a roof rake they might not be able to find one in the sold-out stores. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

        Homeowners in Maine have probably asked themselves the same question in the past couple of weeks.

        Should I call someone to clear all that snow off my roof? Or should I (gulp) try to do it myself?

        There’s no clear answer, and opinions conflict on how necessary it actually is.

        Advertisements for roof snow removal abound, with some even foretelling catastrophes if homeowners don’t act soon. Forecasts calling for even more snowfall can add to the sense of panic.

        Even public officials have sounded alarms, warning residents to clear the rising inches of snow.

        Steven Boucouvalas, emergency management director for the city of Saco, issued a media release Tuesday advising people that removing snow and ice buildup from roofs “is extremely critical and can’t be over-emphasized.”

        But others say Maine roofs are built to withstand a certain amount of weight and are pitched to ensure that the full weight of the snow doesn’t directly push down on the roof.

        As Mainers continue to shovel out from record levels of snow in the past couple of weeks and look ahead to another potentially significant snowstorm this weekend, many are still nervous about whether to leave the piles alone.

        “I normally don’t worry about it, but there are some drifts on my roof that concerned me,” said Robert MacArthur of South Portland, who was shopping for a roof rake Wednesday afternoon at Home Depot.

        A store employee informed MacArthur that the store – and nearly every other Home Depot in Maine – had been cleaned out of roof rakes.

        “I guess I’ll look somewhere else,” he said. “I don’t really want to pay someone to go up there.”

        HOW MUCH SNOW ON ROOF IS TOO MUCH?

        There are no hard and fast rules for clearing snow off roofs, in part because there are so many variables in home construction, how much insulation a home has, and how steep a roof is.

        In general, though, engineers say most homes can handle even the record snowfall that Maine has seen so far this year.

        Bruce MacLeod, a structural engineer based in Gorham, said most roofs in Maine are built to withstand 40 pounds per square foot, sometimes more.

        The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety estimates that 1 foot of fresh, average snow is equal to about 1 inch of water, which is the equivalent of about 5 pounds per square foot.

        The institute uses 20 pounds per square foot as a safe standard, which means you could theoretically leave 4 feet of snow on your roof without any problems.

        However, snow gets heavier as it packs down over time. The Insurance Institute says 6 inches of packed snow is also equivalent to 5 pounds per square foot, meaning the snow on a roof shouldn’t exceed 2 feet.

        MacLeod said that in his experience, most Maine homes can handle about 3 feet of average snow before a roof’s integrity might be compromised.

        Helen Watts, an engineer from Bowdoin, agreed.

        “If a home is built to code, it should be fine,” she said.

        FLAT ROOFS ALLOW THE MOST BUILDUP

        Most houses in Maine, whether they are one-story ranches or two-story capes and colonials, have pitched roofs that help keep snow from piling up.

        Fortunately, the recent heavy snow has mainly been the fluffy variety. And temperatures have remained cold, so there has been no rain that would saturate and weigh down the snow.

        Flat roofs, however, are more problematic because the snow can’t slide off.

        Many businesses in Maine have flat roofs. Mike Davis, vice president of Industrial Roofing Companies, based in Lewiston, said his crews have been busy assisting many such firms in the past two weeks.

        Davis said that although his company makes money clearing roofs, that doesn’t mean clearing is always the best route.

        “We don’t want to go up there unless we have to,” he said.

        BE ALERT FOR ICE DAMS, RAINY WEATHER

        One sign that a roof might be in trouble is when interior doors begin to stick, a possible signal that the frame has been distorted. Similarly, cracks in the plaster or drywall around doors could be a sign.

        But Jim Thibodeau, an engineer from Falmouth, said most wood-frame structures are “extremely resilient.”

        “Most can handle even substantial snow loads,” he said. “But if you have buildings that are older or have had problems before, then you want to be a little more careful.”

        The more significant danger, engineers say, are ice dams that form on roofs when the snow melts, runs down the roof, refreezes and clogs gutters. As more snow continues to melt and block the gutters, water can seep under the shingles and leak inside a house.

        One sign of potential ice dams is an excessive number of icicles. A home with a well-insulated and well-ventilated attic is less likely to produce icicles and less likely to be subject to ice dams.

        Portland-based Clark Insurance is warning customers to keep an eye on their roofs, even if they look fine.

        “Though the 10-day forecast in the region calls for temperatures in the teens and twenties, a major thaw or an unexpected rainstorm could sweep into New England and produce disastrous results, from collapsing roofs and decks to basement flooding,” said President Ken Ross. “We are only 39 days away from spring, which is a reminder that temperatures and weather conditions can change dramatically in a matter of days.”

        HESITANT TO CLIMB, OR PAY OTHERS TO DO IT

        Homeowners can buy length-adjustable roof rakes, which start at about $40, to clear snow themselves. The cost to have a roof professionally cleared is likely to be $200 or more.

        But even clearing a couple of feet of snow from the edge of the roof can make a difference.

        Nate Hull, who owns a three-story apartment building in Portland’s West End, said he’s never considered having his roof cleared before, but found himself outside last weekend clearing a stubborn drift.

        “I think there is a struggle for many owners, particularly here because the buildings are vertical,” he said. “You don’t want to go up there yourself, but it can be costly to hire someone.”

        Cross Insurance Pavilion to open at Gillette Stadium
        Portland Press Herald:  Business Posted
        Updated at 8:37 AM

        The Maine-based company and sponsor of the Patriots will rent out the facility at the Patriots' home field for a variety of events.

        Maine-based Cross Insurance is deepening its ties with the New England Patriots with a new pavilion to be opened this summer at the NFL team’s home in Foxborough, Massachusetts.

        Officials at Gillette Stadium, the home of the Patriots, said Wednesday that the Cross Insurance Pavilion and Business Center will be built inside the Bank of America entrance on the west side of the stadium.

        Cross Insurance is the official insurance broker of the Patriots.

        The 20,000-square-foot facility can be rented year-round and includes an outdoor terrace and connection to the stadium’s lower-level seating area, along with a meeting space inside the building.

        Gillette Stadium officials said it would be marketed to those looking for space to host business meetings, trade shows, dinners, cocktail receptions and proms. On days when a game or concert is scheduled, the space will be used to complement the stadium’s clubs and field house by providing reception space.

        A little closer to home, Cross Insurance bought the naming rights in 2012 to a new arena in Bangor, now dubbed the Cross Insurance Center, and last year bought the naming rights to the renovated Cumberland County Civic Center, which is now called the Cross Insurance Arena.

        Cross Insurance is an insurance agency based in Bangor. It has more than 35 offices in New England, 650 employees and about 100,000 customers.

        Society Notebook: Jan. 25, 2015


        The Best in Maine Family Business to be Honored in May

        Release Date:2015-01-14
        Message: Institute for Family-Owned Businesses seeks nominations for

        16th annual Maine Family Business Awards

        PORTLAND, MAINE, January 14, 2015 – Family businesses have a proud tradition in Maine, comprising more than 80 percent of all businesses in the state. For the 16th year, the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses will honor the best and brightest with the Maine Family Business Awards.

        Presented in partnership with Portland-based law firm, Verrill Dana, the awards will be presented at the Marriott Sable Oaks on May 18, 2015. The gala evening, hosted by WGME-TV 13’s Gregg Lagerquist, begins with networking and ends with awards presented to Maine firms that demonstrate excellence in family involvement, business success, and commitment to employees, customers and community. Categories include:
        • Maddy Corson Small Business Award (fewer than 25 employees)
        • Large Business Award (more than 25 employees)
        • Shep Lee Community Service Award
        • The Wolak Group Customer Service Award
        • Innovation/Technology Award
        • First Generation Award
        • Green EnvironmentAward—new for 2015

        Honorees in 2014 included Messer Truck Equipment; Lamey Wellehan; Will’s Shop ‘n Save; Chalmers Insurance Group; The Meadowmere Resort; Eco-kids; and the Chebeague Island Inn.

        Nominations are now being accepted and may be made by those inside or outside the business. An online nomination form and other information are available at www.fambusiness.org or by contacting the Institute at 207.798.2667. The deadline for nominations is February 13th.

        An independent judging panel selects winners based upon varied criteria, including:
        • business success
        • positive business and family linkages
        • contributions to the community and industry
        • family participation
        • work environment
        • communication
        • innovative business practices or strategies

        Though there are many acceptable definitions of family business, for the awards' purposes it is 2 or more family members working, or owning, a business together is
        considered a family-owned business.

        ###

        About the Institute for Family-Owned Businesses:

        The Institute for Family-Owned Business is a non-profit 501 © 3 organization dedicated to supporting family-owned businesses, which represent about 80 percent of all
        businesses in Maine. Through consulting, seminars, workshops, and networking, the Institute assists family-owned firms in meeting the unique managerial challenges associated with operating and sustaining a successful family enterprise. Additional information is available on the Institute’s website, www.fambusiness.org.

        Contact Name: 
        Angie Helton
        Contact Company/Organization: 
        Northeast Media Associates
        Contact Telephone: 
        207-653-0365


        The damage done to the Market Basket supermarket chain, which nearly collapsed amid family acrimony this summer, doesn’t mean that’s the future many family-owned companies will face, an expert on corporate governance says.

        Jane Hilburt-Davis said the Demoulas family, which owns the chain, came close to proving the conventional wisdom that just 3 percent of family-owned firms will survive only three generations.

        And Hilburt-Davis, who has written two books on family-owned businesses and owns Key Resources, a Boston company that provides consulting to family-owned companies, said the situation is getting better. She said the “30-13-3″ rule – referring to the percentage of companies that survive each generational change in control – isn’t even true anymore because those figures include companies that are sold or reincorporate to make different products or provide new services.

        That doesn’t necessarily suggest that the company failed, she said.

        Family-owned companies are doing better, she said, because more entrepreneurs are willing to set up a corporate board that includes, or is even dominated by, independent directors whose allegiance is to the firm and is uncomplicated by family connections.

        Even those that defer establishing a board of directors will usually lean on informal advisers who can see a big picture that is unblurred by family issues.

        Hilburt-Davis, who will be a key speaker at a meeting on corporate governance put on by the Maine-based Institute for Family-Owned Business later this month, said no matter how smoothly a family-owned company runs, it is likely to hit a wall.

        Often, that’s when the issue of succession comes up and the company founder will need to decide who will take over when he or she steps aside.

        It’s a situation filled with the likelihood of bruised feelings, Hilburt-Davis said, and those feelings can often affect company operations.

        Many companies, she said, have set up family councils – yearly retreats that give family members who aren’t working for the company information on how it’s doing and what’s expected in coming years. Succession issues are often discussed in those settings, allowing a consensus to emerge on who can best take the reins.

        Having a family get-together to focus on the company has helped Hussey Seating of North Berwick, a company that makes arena and gymnasium seating, survive through six generations, said Tim Hussey, the company’s president and chief executive officer.

        A meeting with all 33 family members who are connected to the company, Hussey said, helps those who don’t work in the business feel they’re on close-to-equal footing as those who do.

        “It’s a process that works to align family members on an agenda,” he said. “It’s a process and a part of our family culture. We’ve worked hard to have common goals and aspirations and to keep communicating.”

        Equally important, Hussey said, has been a seven-member board of directors with four independent board members, with no family ties to the other three.

        “That’s taken the family drama out of it. If there are family differences, there’s a neutral board there that’s charged by the family to do the right thing,” he said. “Having an independent board is a savior. Many times, it saves the family from itself. You keep the emotional decision-making out of it.”

        Hussey Seating also represents what Hilburt-Davis said about companies that change directions and remain successful. The family company began as a plow manufacturer in 1835, later changing to a steel fabricator and then shifted to bleacher manufacturing in 1931.

        To remain family-owned through those shifts helped create a strong bond between the company and the family, Hussey said.

        “The motivation for us is stewardshop and a continuous legacy,” he said. “It’s a long-term view of how we keep this going and then give the next generation a shot at it.”

        John Isaacson, chairman of the Institute for Family-Owned Business, said CEOs of family businesses need to pay attention to family relationships as well as the corporate balance sheet.

        “In the end, it’s important that the business succeeds and moves from generation to generation, but just as important, or maybe more important, is that the family stays happy,” Isaacson said.

        He said the test of the strength of a family-owned business usually comes when control passes from one generation to the next. Everyone needs to know who will take over running a business and why, along with an explanation of the roles of those who work in the business and those who don’t, but own a share of it.

        “The more that can be communicated, the easier it is to make that transition, but a lot of peple won’t talk about it or can’t talk about it,” Isaacson said. “Many times, the business gets sold because of that.”

        Hilburt-Davis said that ultimately, the Market Basket saga showed the deep divisions that can form in a family-owned company.

        But it also showed one of the strengths of a company run by a family when the workers banded together to demand the return of the president they trusted and not the CEOs brought in from outside.

        “In family-owned businesses, there’s a lot more loyalty,” she said. In the case of Market Basket, with 25,000 employees, “the quantity of the loyalty was unbelievable, but the quality of the loyalty was not.”

        Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream served up in D.C. (July 22, 2014)


        By Matt Hongoltz-Hetling Morning Sentinel mhhetling@centralmaine.com | @hh_matt | 207-861-9287

        Roger Gifford, Lindsay Gifford-Skilling and John Gifford are shown at Gifford’s Ice Cream in Skowhegan. Gifford’s was served at the office of Maine Sen. Angus King as the company works to open a new market in Washington.

        Roger Gifford, Lindsay Gifford-Skilling and John Gifford are shown at Gifford’s Ice Cream in Skowhegan. Gifford’s was served at the office of Maine Sen. Angus King as the company works to open a new market in Washington. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/2011 Press Herald file

        A ‘nonpartisan ice cream social’ at the office of Maine Sen. Angus King is designed to help the ice cream company scoop out a niche in the mid-Atlantic region.

        The efforts of Skowhegan-based Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream to make an impression in the nation’s capital got a boost Monday when the brand was served up at a “nonpartisan ice cream social” in the office of independent U.S. Sen. Angus King.

        King and U.S. Sen. Susan Collins both attended the event, which was held to mark the official launch of Gifford’s publicity tour in the Washington, D.C., area.

        The move, designed to help the ice cream company scoop out a niche against much bigger competitors in the mid-Atlantic region, was staunchly supported by the state’s top politicos, said Lindsay Gifford-Skilling, general manager.

        “We reached out to our senators and our congressmen,” she said. “We were amazed at how supportive and welcoming they have been.”

        The politicians offered ice cream-themed quips at the event.

        King said the ice cream is “something even the most ardent Washington partisan can rally around,” while Collins said it could “even help melt some of the partisan gridlock.”

        U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud of Maine did not attend in person but sent statements of support.

        Gifford’s has maintained a relatively quiet presence in the Washington area for nearly three years, ever since it acquired the similarly named but unrelated Gifford’s Ice Cream & Candy Co.

        Early this summer, the company announced plans for an aggressive two-pronged effort to penetrate the Virginia and Maryland markets.

        In the first, largely out of the public’s eye, a sales force began knocking on the doors of ice cream distributors such as restaurants, ice cream stands and grocery stores.

        That has paid off with freezer space in several retail locations, including Whole Foods Market and area grocery chains such as Balducci’s and Wawa.

        The second has been a public push to make the region’s consumers aware of the brand, which includes Maine-themed flavors such as Mt. Katahdin Crunch, Maine Moose Tracks, Golden Pond Butter Brittle and Muddy Boots.

        The two-month push in D.C. is designed to take market share away from larger national ice cream brands. The competition is more fierce there, because ice cream sells better in the South, with its year-round warm weather, than it does in Maine and other markets in cooler climates.

        According to an ice cream market research report by IbisWorld, the ice cream market shrank by half a percent each year between 2009 and 2014, to an estimated $8.1 billion. Analysts said profits were hurt by rising costs for raw materials such as milk and sugar, while some consumers turned away from ice cream because of health concerns.

        But a different market research report produced earlier this year by the research firm Canadean found that premium brands such as Gifford’s are poised to take advantage of a rebounding economy and a spreading urban culture.

        As a premium product, Gifford’s can’t undercut the prices of competitors, so it relies on a base of customers who have tried the product and are loyal to it.

        With that in mind, the company has worked hard for the past four weeks to put ice cream into the hands of as many D.C.-area consumers as possible.

        On June 29, an ice cream truck began blitzing the region, handing out thousands of free samples and coupons at 70 locations, beginning with an L.L. Bean store in McLean, Va..

        “We just like to share our love and passion to give them a taste of Maine,” Gifford-Skilling said.

        Many Mainers take pride in Gifford’s as a homegrown business success story.

        The Gifford family bought its first small dairy in 1971 in Farmington and bought a second in 1974 in Skowhegan, which remains the center of the company’s operations.

        By 1987, the Giffords were running five ice cream stands in Maine and had begun selling their product across state lines. Today the company includes fifth-generation Giffords and moves 1.7 million gallons of ice cream a year to areas including New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Michigan.

        Company sales for the month of June were the highest in the company’s history, according to a statement released Monday.

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