Transformational Growth Ideas from Maine Business Leaders
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Networking
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Program/Contest
Hosted by the Institute for Family-Owned Business (IFOB), the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mainebiz, SPARK! offers an opportunity for current and future members of the IFOB and the Chamber to learn about transformational growth ideas from Maine business leaders.
Four business owners from different industries and background will each present a transformational idea that led to meaningful growth in their respective company. Each contestant will have ten minutes to showcase their idea in a format similar to "TedEx" or "Battle of the Bosses."
After each contestant has had a chance to present, audience members will vote for their favorite transformational growth idea. As the votes are tabulated, the four business leaders will gather on stage for a 30-minute Q&A moderated by Steve Tenney of Family Wealth Management Partners, UBS.
Last years contestants:
1. Margo Walsh (2018 Winner), Founder/ President at Maine Works (Maine Recover Fund)
2. James Morin, COO at Flowfold (Maine Women's Fund)
3. Tyler Frank, President at Garbage to Garden (The Foodscape Garden Project)
4. Leigh Kellis, Founder at Holy Donut (In Her Presence)
The winning business leader will receive a custom artistic redition trophy and a $1,000 prize to be donated to their charity of choice, and each of the runners up will receive $500 to do the same. Each contestant is thrilled with a friendly competition to donate to their charity of choice.
For James, if he wins, he'll donate the winning prize, on behalf of Flowfold, to Maine Women's Fund. "Women employed full time in Maine are paid just 84 cents for every dollar paid to a man." Morin said. "That's a yearly difference of $7,650. That's groceries. That's mortgages and rent. It's childcare and tuition payments. If Maine Women's Fund is going to support changing the paradigm, then we'll support them."
Guest Speaker Bios and Charity Information:
In the spring of 2010 Margo attended a Cumberland County Chamber of Commerce function where the attorney F. Lee Bailey was presenting about the challenges of felon employment. Frustrated that the hiring outlook was dismal for this population, she started a business that would employ only convicted felons. Margo started MaineWorks in 2011 with enough money, borrowed from her sisters, to cover workers’ compensation and a few weeks payroll. She developed a client base by knocking on construction site trailer doors and hired workers directly out of the county jail. Every morning Margo would drive the inmates to the worksites and then back to jail at the end of the day. At the same time she started working with sober houses and probation officers to find more potential employees, the employee base and clients grew through word of mouth.
The Maine Recovery Fund received its 501(c)(3) status on May 23, 2017. Since that time, they have assembled a small professional staff and a strong Board of Directors. Maine Recovery Fund has provided: over 5,600 safe rides to work and 1,25 bus passes; over 175 warm jackets and 425 pairs of steel-toed boots as part of a “Worker Starter Kit” for those just getting to work; and over 90 crisis interventions for those in need of immediate assistance. Forty-two percent (42%) of Maine Recovery Fund clients are successful in their recovery and rebuilding their lives.
Leigh Kellis founded the Holy Donut in Portland, Maine. It is an old fashioned donut shop with 3 locations. The secret ingredient in Maine potato and everything is from scratch. The business was created to bring a comforting, old-world donut shop experience to Portland and to employ many. Leigh's mission is also to support community enrichment by paying her employees time-off when they help others.
In Her Presenceis organized and led by immigrant women living in Maine, who strive to bring together immigrant women from across communities and generations to ensure that Maine’s economic agenda includes the aspirations and needs of immigrant women. They create spaces that support women’s empowerment and personal ambitions without losing their unique identity and connect immigrant women and girls for collective empowerment in their communities to address common challenges and issues.
James Morin, a Maine native and 2010 UMaine alum, started his sales career at a fortune 500 Medical Device company. From there, he joined Putney, a Portland-based startup speciality pharmaceutical company that raised $60M in fundraising and sold for $200M in 2016. Following the acquisition, James became a co-owner of Flowfold, a company he’s been affiliated with since college. Flowfold is an American made manufacturer whose mission is to craft the most sustainable, durable, and functional gear on the planet.
The Maine Women's Fund is a public foundation that transforms the lives of Maine women and girls through strategic grantmaking, community engagement and support to nonprofit organizations dedicated to social change. We believe that when Maine women and girls thrive, communities prosper. The Fund provides grants to organizations which benefit women’s education, financial skills & literacy, healthcare, leadership, personal safety and/or public policy in the State of Maine. Annual grants are made up to $10,000, and Swift Social Justice Grants are made up to $1,500.
Tyler Frankstarted Garbage to Garden 6 years ago out of his apartment with $300 and an old pickup truck. Today, Garbage to Garden has 20 full-time employees working together to make it possible for over 10,000 households, businesses, and schools to compost.
Before founding Garbage to Garden, Frank co-founded a web development company and worked in sales for Lee Toyota. He grew up in North Yarmouth and now lives in Windham with his girlfriend and two dogs.
Maine Foodscapes Garden Project(FGP) educates and inspires individuals and families to grow their own food. They do this by providing free gardening resources to those experiencing limited income throughout Cumberland and York Counties. Garden recipients receive raised beds or container gardens, high quality soil and compost, trellising, seeds, seedlings, and a growing guide.
This program is a creative approach to building food security and contributes to creating healthy and resilient communities where all people have access to good food and well-being.
Click here to register and join us for an exciting night! *
Cost: IFOB & Chamber Members $20
Future Members $25
* You will be directed to the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce Website as we are partnering with them for this event.
Thank You to Our Event Sponsors!
Thank You to Our Stage Sponsors!