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The Premier Podcast for Maine Business







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Terry Johnson of Practical Decisions

Terry Johnson is an experienced business advisor and product and technology development professional. His experience and practice is in all aspects of business with focus on business models, innovation and innovation processes. He is a partner at Practical Decisions, manages the Maine Mentor Network for the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, is the President of ACE, and a member of the Manufacturers Association of Maine's Business Growth Services group.


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Steve Woods of A Healthy Conversation

Big news! I'm taking a break from producing The Grow Maine Show each week to focus on the fast growing opportunities at E2Tech! Steve Woods, CEO of Promerica Health, will take over the time slot at WGAN. To make the handoff smoother, I recorded an episode with Steve, who is quite an entrepeneur himself. Each week, host Steve Woods will engage national leaders and local experts from the clinical, business, scientific, academic, and political communities in an honest and upbeat dialogue about today’s healthcare realities and tomorrow’s developing opportunities. From emerging technologies to evolving policy work, personal fitness to public health, each show will showcase the thinkers and explore the thinking that will help us change the conversation – and ultimately change the world. A Healthy Conversation reflects the broad interests and eclectic experience of host Steve Woods. For over thirty years, through varied roles (marketing executive, sports agent, adjunct professor, business owner, civic leader, board member, and more), Woods has examined health and wellness from every vantage point imaginable. In his current role as president/CEO of Promerica Health, Woods is working with leading health care providers, brands, employers, and public health officials across the country to improve healthcare access and deliver better outcomes, including COVID-19 testing and future vaccination efforts.


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Sam Mateosian of Yarn Corp

Part designer, hacker, artist, and entrepreneur, Sam Mateosian is CEO and co-founder of Yarn Corporation, the maker of Driftspace - a new platform for creating and publishing stories in Virtual Reality combining immersive video and interactive 3D content. Our mission is to empower more people and organizations, from big brands to nonprofits, to share their stories using immersive media. We’ve published interactive VR experiences on a wide range of topics including: Maine island and coastal communities, Somali refugees, kelp aquaculture, migrant farming, promotions for mobile phone brands and service providers, and work supporting at-risk youth in India. Additionally, Sam is the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer for Big Room Studios, a software development firm that provides digital product design, consulting, and software engineering services for cutting-edge web and mobile applications.


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Stacey Giulianti of Florida Peninsula Insurance Co

Stacey A. Giulianti, Esq. is the Chief Legal Officer at Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, where he oversees the Claims, Special Investigations, and Legal Departments. He founded the company with his partners in 2005 and has since helped it grow to become the 6th largest homeowners insurance company in Florida. He has been a member of the Florida Bar since 1993. He is the Author of Florida Insurance Law, Thomson West Publishing, 2007-2019. Mr. Giulianti graduated from the University of Miami School of Law cum laude in 1993 (staff member, University of Miami Law Review). Stacey lives in Maine and offers great perspective on remotely managing a large company, and doing business in Maine vs. Florida. He is also adjunct faculty at Southern Maine Community College, teaching entrepreneurship.


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Joe Bruno of Community Pharmacy

Joe Bruno served as the State Representative for the towns of Raymond and Windham for 5 Legislative Sessions. He was a member of the Health and Human Services Committee, the Banking and Insurance Committee and the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee. He was elected House Republican Leader for two terms. He is the owner of Community Pharmacies, LP a nine store independent chain located throughout Maine. He was previously a Director of the Waldron Group of Companies. As Director, Joe served as CEO of Community Pharmacies before purchasing the company in September 2010. He has served as CEO of Goold Health Systems and Sable Oaks golf course in his capacity as a Director. After his departure from state politics, Joe was elected four terms to the Town of Raymond, Board of Selectmen and served as its parliamentarian and Chairperson. Joe serves as Town Meeting Moderator. He was appointed by Governor John Baldacci to serve on the Dirigo Health Board of Directors and was unanimously confirmed by the State Senate. He was appointed by Governor Paul LePage to Chair the Dirigo Health Board of Trustees in January 2011 and reappointed in September 2011where he guided it to its completion. Governor LePage also appointed him to the Maine Board of Pharmacy, where he serves as President. Governor LePage appointed him Chair of the Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Committee where recommendations to implement the Affordable Care Act were presented to the Governor and the Legislature. He also served on the Cumberland County Civic Center Board of Trustees and served as Chair of the Sports Committee. He served as chair of the Building Committee and chaired the committee providing oversight to the construction and renovation of the Cumberland County Civic Center. He served on a Streamlining Commission in 2011 to find $25 million in savings to balance the state budget. The Attorney General and Governor asked Joe to serve as Chair of the Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force to find a solution of the many issues dealing with prescription drug abuse and disposal. Every Friday morning he can be heard doing political commentary on WLOB Radio. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, is a corporator for Gorham Savings Bank, and previously on the Board of Connections for Kids. Joe is a graduate of the College of Pharmacy at Northeastern University with a Certificate in Nuclear Pharmacy and holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern Maine. He is a licensed pharmacist in Maine and was Pharmacist of the Year for Laverdiere’s in 1990. He has worked both as a pharmacist and as a development manager with two large retail pharmacy chains. In 2012, Joe received the distinguished Bowl of Hygeia award from the Maine Pharmacy Association in recognition of his contributions to pharmacy and his community service. In 2015 he received the alumnus of the year from Northeastern University. He served as Chairman of the Optometry Study Panel, a past President of the Maine Community Drugstore Coalition and served as Chair for the Quality Improvement Council for the Augusta Mental Health Institute. Joe has been a featured speaker at many local, state and national conferences.


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Corky Ellis, Entrepreneur and Angel Investor

Corky Ellis was previously Founder and Chairman of Kepware, an industrial software communications company that sold to PTC, a Boston-based enterprise software company, in January 2016. Ellis has served as Board Chair of Maine Venture Fund (MVF) and Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) and is currently a board member of Coastal Ventures, a Maine-based venture capital firm. Corky also invests in and advises software startups, serves on several technical investment boards, and supports the Lewiston, Maine public school system in their effort to institute a K-12 software coding curriculum. Don't miss this story of entrepreneurial guts and grit, pivoting to a smaller market niche -- and having that decision pay off and lead to a very successful exit and a new career of giving back to the next generation of Maine entrepreneurs.


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Lucky to be Different, with Khaled Habash of Blue Lobster Gift Shop and Scenic Route Maine Tours

Khaled and Jen Habash are both adventurers at heart. Khaled grew up in the deserts of the Middle East while Jen was raised on the farmlands of central Maine, yet both share the same wanderlust and love of travel. They have traveled both solo and together throughout the world. On a whim, Khaled packed his bags and headed for Juneau, Alaska; Jen soon followed. There, he sold shore excursions to cruise ship passengers and Jen spent her time as a tour guide. As luck had it, this set the blueprint for the next great adventure. After four great summers in Alaska, they came back home full of experience, enthusiasm and a family; thus The Scenic Route Maine Tours & The Blue Lobster Gift Shop were born. Don't miss this story of listening to the customer when your assumptions were wrong from Day 1, and using that management & learning style to handle the pandemic pivot.


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Graig Morin and Darrell Pardy of Brown Dog Carriers

Graig Morin has been in the Transportation industry for 21 years and President of Brown Dog Carriers for just over 3 years. Director of Business Development Darrell Pardy is an experienced entrepreneur who has led several Maine companies through strong growth, including Bristol Seafood &Thomas Moser. Together, they operate their steadily growing trucking company with safety and customers and drivers satisfaction as their top priority. Learn how a trucking company in southern Maine has positioned itself to be an enduring success.


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Pete Murray, CEO of DAVO Sales Tax

As the CEO of DAVO Sales Tax , Pete leads a talented team focused on removing the hassle of sales tax management from the to-do list of business owners and managers across America. DAVO integrates with popular Point-of-Sale systems such as Clover, Square, and Toast to set aside sales tax daily for merchants and then file and pay it to the state when due. With DAVO, merchants no longer need to even think about sales tax - “Sales Tax on Auto Pilot”. Joining DAVO on the back of a career in entrepreneurial businesses, Pete brings a strong technology background and proven leadership experience to DAVO. He believes that DAVO is the company to bring sales tax management into the modern age and is leading the DAVO team to deliver on this belief. Pete is also an avid sailor, skier and enjoys spending time with his family in Freeport, Maine.


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Nick Baudoin, Co-Founder of Powermarket

Nick Baudouin is the Co-Founder and Director of Business Development at PowerMarket. PowerMarket has grown to 20 people since it’s humble beginnings 6 years ago. Located in NYC (although scattered around New England at the moment), PowerMarket is the industry leader in bringing community solar management to solar developers and bill savings to households. He graduated with a Masters in Energy, Trade and Finance from Cass Business School in the UK and a BA in Human Geography and Economics from Boston University. Before PowerMarket, he spent time with a geothermal company doing project development around North America. He played professional baseball in Ireland while living in Dublin, however his baseball talents are mediocre at best.


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Sam Hotchkiss, CEO & co-founder of Reconnect

Sam combines technical skill with vision to identify markets and motivate teams. He's built and sold two successful tech companies, including Parka to Automattic, so he knows how to take on a problem and address it. When an acquaintance of his received a DUI, the difficult, outdated court mandated follow-up process struck him as an industry primed for disruption, as well as a place to do well by doing good. That led to the founding of Reconnect. Early in the process he would meet Ed Larson, an investor with a long history in the telco industry. The two would go on to found Call2test, a revolutionary tool for automated and randomized drug court check-ins. 2018 would see the release of ConnectComply, an app-based tool for participants to check in with just a selfie. Sam then saw another criminal justice market that needed disrupting; court-ordered monitoring. He asked the question “how do we replace bulky, expensive and stigma-inducing bulky ankle monitors?” and went on to rebuild them from the ground up. Launched in 2020, ConnectBands are lightweight, discreet, and easy to use while saving jurisdictions dollars on expensive monitoring systems. Don't miss this interesting story with one of Maine's most engaging and successful entrepreneurs, operating in a market you probably didn't know existed, changing things for the better along the way.


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Mike Davis of Industrial Roofing Co.

Mike Davis is an owner & President of the IRC Industrial Roofing Companies in Lewiston, Maine. With over 100 team members, and offices in both Maine and Massachusetts, IRC is Northern New England’s leading commercial roofing, siding, and service company. IRC has been a winner of numerous Safety awards and the Customer Service Award from the Maine Family Business Awards. Mike earned a chemical engineering degree from the University of Maine and an MBA from the New York Institute of Technology. In his spare time he enjoys skiing with his kids and chasing Striped Bass on Casco Bay. Don't miss this interesting story of a business leader in a sector that doesn't get much attention but is leading the way in renewable energy and running strong through the economic recovery.


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Brett Wickard of Bull Moose & Fieldstack

Brett Wickard founded his first company, Bull Moose Records, after his junior year at Bowdoin College. Wickard oversaw Bull Moose's rise to become the largest retailer of music, movies, games, and books in northern New England. Wickard then founded Crickery Wood - a provider of point of sale software and services. Wickard's newest company, FieldStack, fuses elegant inventory, point of sale, loyalty, and eCommerce modules with enhanced analytics, decision making and automation into a Lean Retail platform for medium to large sized retailers. This is everything the GrowMaine Show is passionate about -- being innovative, looking out for employees, building community, giving back -- in one remarkable business. Don't miss this interview with one of Maine's most innovative entrepreneurs operating with great success in a sector that most people think died when Blockbuster went away.


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Amanda O’Brien of 1820 Wines

Amanda started eighteen twenty wines in 2015 with a friend who had been home-brewing rhubarb wine. When she tried it, she had the same reaction everyone else does when they have it "this actually tastes good". Amanda has a strong background in marketing, had worked professionally in the wine industry, and wanted to take on the challenge of bringing a good wine to market made with local produce (rhubarb). She has taken her love of wine and Maine, her digital marketing experience, and constant curiosity to keep eighteen twenty growing. Amanda runs the business with a troupe of friends and family and some amazing local resources, including the Women's Business Center at CEI. Amanda also runs a monthly digital marketing event called Social Media Breakfast Maine, and is the mother to an awesome little boy named Emmett and a vizsla named Otto. She resides on Peaks Island.


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Richard Pfeffer of Gritty’s

Richard is co-founder and president of Gritty's Brew Pub, of Portland, Auburn and Freeport Maine. In this episode we discuss the founding of Gritty's, including Richard's background as a sailor and stockbroker -- prior to making a 32-year leap into entrepreneurship and building a company with more than 100 employees. Richard is a longtime member of Maine Technology Institute's Agricultural & Marine Technology tech board, and gives back to the community in many other ways, including Gritty's Community Nights. The pandemic began with Richard standing in an empty pub on a Saturday night -- but he never had to throw any beer away. Don't miss this episode with this influential brewer and Maine entrepreneur.


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Jim Robbins of Robbins Lumber

Jim retired as President of Robbins Lumber in 2013. He is staying involved with the company as a consultant but also enjoying his retirement to the fullest. He’s very active with the following organizations: Katahdin Area Council Boy Scouts of America, Searsmont United Methodist Church, Maine Forest Products Council, and North American Wholesale Lumberman’s Association. Jim is married and has three children and 12 grandchildren. In his spare time he enjoys hunting, fishing, white water canoeing, boating, hiking, cross country skiing, traveling, antique autos and spending time with his family. ​


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Dr. Sam Fratoni, Mentor and Angel Investor

Sam is a business executive with over 30 years of corporate leadership with Hewlett Packard Company and as Corporate Vice President for IDEXX Laboratories. He holds a BSCH degree from Bucknell University and a PhD in Analytical Chemistry from Purdue University. He also attended the Advance Management Program at Wharton and has over forty publications and presentations on chemistry, leadership, education, quality and management.After leaving the corporate world, Sam has focused on helping smaller organizations, both commercial and non-profit, apply proven leadership, management and growth techniques scaled to achieve success. This has included Board Chair for Breakwater Learning, Board Chair and mentor for The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs, and founding board member of Maine Outdoor Brands. He is an advisor to several companies, and executive coach for business and non-profit leaders in the community. He has been a resident of South Portland for almost twenty five years. Sam is an active angel investor, joining Maine Angels in April 2013 and Chair from 2015-2019. He is currently Chair Emeritus and founding member of the group’s Dirigo Angel Fund I Investment Advisor Board. He believes the key to Maine’s (and America’s) future economic growth and the source of creative solutions to current global challenges (e.g. climate change) is entrepreneurship and new startups. Sam is actively involved with many incubators, accelerators, pitch contests and individual startups as a mentor, coach, and advisor, in addition to being an investor.


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Jack Moore of Harpswell Advisors

Jack is President and Chief Investment Officer of Harpswell Advisors, a Maine based firm serving foundations and endowments throughout the United States. Harpswell embraces an OCIO approach that leverages the benefits of both passive and active strategies and creates custom portfolios for each institution it serves. Harpswell was named among the nation’s top 108 Charitable Investment Advisors in Investor.com’s 2020 study. Prior to Harpswell, Jack managed a market neutral hedge fund predominately for non-profit institutions and family offices. Jack also served as a Principal with The Vanguard Group where he was a Senior Analyst working directly for several of Vanguard’s funds and participated in the Chairman’s senior strategy efforts. Prior to joining Vanguard, Jack was a Vice President and Portfolio Manager with Bryn Mawr Capital (a hedge fund) overseeing the firm’s investments in energy and basic materials. Prior to his career in investment management, Jack served as the Press Assistant to the U.S. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell. Jack holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hobart College and earned his Masters of Science degree from the London School of Economics. A dedicated civic participant, Jack has been a lifelong volunteer and serves on several Boards and Investment committees.


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Rich Brooks of Flyte New Media

Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine, that’s been in business for over 23 years. He is a nationally recognized speaker on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media.He founded The Agents of Change, an annual conference and weekly podcast that focuses on search, social & mobile marketing. He recently co-founded Fast Forward Maine, a podcast and workshop series for growing Maine businesses.Rich is the author of The Lead Machine: The Small Business Guide to Digital Marketing, a popular and well-received book that helps entrepreneurs and marketers reach more of their ideal customers online.He has appeared in Inc. Magazine, The Huffington Post, FastCompany.com, CNN.com, the Social Media Examiner, and many other news sources for stories on digital marketing. He is also the “tech guru” on the evening news show, 207, which airs on the NBC affiliates in Maine. And Chris Brogan always calls him "Handsome Rich Brooks", so that can't be bad.


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Whit Richardson of Maine Startups Insider

Whit is an award-winning journalist and communications professional. After more than a decade in the newspaper business, during which time he won the prestigious Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, Whit took his experience crafting narratives and distilling complex topics into easy-to-understand terms to the corporate world. Until recently, he led communications and investor relations for 4Front Ventures, a publicly traded company operating in the legal cannabis industry. Whit led 4Front’s communications and marketing efforts from its nascent stages to emerging from stealth mode to ultimately going public in the summer of 2019. During that time, Whit was instrumental in developing the communications strategy that the company used to raise more than $35 million. Whit is also the founder of Maine Startups Insider, which provides news, resources, information, and events for Maine’s startup founders and innovation-focused companies.Learn more about Whit's consulting partnership, Brickyard Collective.