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Angela Ferrari of Story Spectacular

Angela Ferrari of Story Spectacular

Have you ever wondered if you could go for it, and make a living as an artist? Angela Ferrari is a children’s book author & illustrator based in Portland Maine, and the host of the of Story Spectacular podcast. We discuss how she got her business off the ground, what the first steps were, and Maine business resources like CEI and Small Business Development Centers.

I loved the ‘finding your routine’ advice. Here’s a link to the Simple Habit app.

Find out more about Angela and listen to her show here.

Also here is a sneak peek of what she has in store for the Story Spectacular Thanksgiving Special. It’s the “Quirky Turkey” Music Video!!! Enjoy😎

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PJ Rose and Haj Carr of TrueLine Public Relations

PJ Rose and Haj Carr

Do you know why you do what you do? Have you found your why?

We’ve had Haj Carr on before. Through his entrepreneurship journey he has pivoted away from purely focusing on making money to running a business with a purpose. He creates believers, naturally and intuitively. That partnership has been part of TrueLine Publishing, which tends to work with national clients. But how can Maine businesses amplify their online presence? That’s the intention of his new venture, TrueLine Public Relations. So we invited the head of this new local business, PJ Rose, on with us too.

This is an interesting contrast to the previous episode with Steve Woods of TideSmart Global, who focuses on out of state clients, bringing in ‘traded dollars’ from outside the Maine economy. In fact, we started with a great discussion of traded dollars. The question is: are donut shops good for the Maine economy?

Then we get going with Haj and PJ on how they coach clients to start with why. This company goes deep with their clients. They’re not mechanics, “if this then that” guys. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe, who stand for what you stand for.

Plus, PJ gives up his best fly fishing spots. That’s nuts, PJ! You’re way too giving!

Here’s the YouTube reference: Simon Sinek Start With Why



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Steve Woods, CEO of TideSmart Global

Steve Woods of TideSmart Global

Steve Woods is CEO of TideSmart Global, a Falmouth, Maine based experiential marketing company. Seems like someone in marketing could come up with a shorter term for the field, but anyway, it’s a growing and important area of marketing – actually experiencing and interacting with a product, in a live setting in which you have to put down your phone. It’s what many CMO’s in the world of automotive and retail are looking for, and TideSmart Global provides it, all over the world. The company also has a strong focus on environmental sustainability, and developed and built Maine’s first Net Zero office on the campus, where the interview was recorded (using batteries! really!).

Steve has hosted his own podcast and radio show for many years, ran for Governor in 2014, and has strong opinions about the growth and direction of Maine’s economy. We’ll explore them more deeply in the episode, but the basic question is, do we let growth and entrepreneurship bubble up, or do we pick winners and losers?

I’d love to hear your opinion. Which approach will net greater growth for Maine’s economy?

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Margo Walsh of MaineWorks

Margo Walsh with crew

Margo Walsh is the founder and CEO of MaineWorks, which provides day labor to industrial construction sites. The company is growing quickly, not just in spite of – but because – it has a developed a specialty in working with people in recovery. Finding success by helping to solve a difficult, pressing problem. Remarkable. I hope you enjoy this episode.

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Janine Cary of the Maine International Trade Center

Janine Cary as Grow Maine Show Logo

In 2016: 2,264 Maine companies exported $2.8 billion in goods and services to 168 countries. International trade supports nearly 1 in 4 Maine jobs. The Maine International Trade Center, led since 2005 by my guest Janine Cary, makes it all happen by advising Maine companies on both the technical and the operational sides of exporting.

If your growing business is looking to begin exporting, Maine International Trade Day on May 25, 2017 presents a unique opportunity to get a rocket start. Sign up here.

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The Importance of Engineers in Growing Maine’s Economy, recorded at Maine State Chamber of Commerce Engineering Workforce Summit

Maine Engineering Workforce Summit

A little self-aggrandizing here, since I’m a chemical engineer myself, but I very much enjoyed this talk by Charles “Chuck” Lawton, well known newspaper columnist and consulting economist. The take is that engineers create jobs, and moving engineers into the Maine workforce is a good thing.

Special thanks to the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, who always put on good events, and Headlight Audio Visual, for the great work on the audio for the event.

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Three Rural Maine Businesses Succeeding Because of Broadband Internet

Sean DeWitt and Our Katahdin

John Hafford of DesignLab, Rick Levasseur of 5 Lakes Lodge, and Sean DeWitt of Our Katahdin addressed a group of State Legislators, including myself, back in January. During lunch in a pine paneled room at the Northern Timber Cruisers snowmobile club in Millinocket – at an event curated by the Maine Development Foundation – they made a good case for rural broadband expansion, and maybe made fun of each other a little bit too. In a nice way.

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Derek Volk of Volk Packaging Corporation

Derek Volk with Rocky

Derek Volk is president of Volk Packaging Corporation, a Biddeford-based maker of custom packaging. He’s also the author of ‘Chasing the Rabbit – a Dad’s Life Raising a Son on the Spectrum‘, about raising a child with autism.

This episode was a lot of fun to do, with a discussion of both business in Maine and adapting the workplace to the needs of employees. Derek and the entire company have remained leaders in this area and are to be commended for it.

Of note is that Derek’s son Dielawn Volk is now offering autism coaching services. This is a brand new, and I think very innovative service. It’s suitable for both prospective employees or for prospective employers. An initial 1/2 hour consult is free. You can get started here, at the YouTube Channel.



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Ben Sprague, Bangor City Councilor, Host of The Maine Show, and VP at The First

Ben Sprague

I very much enjoyed my conversation with fellow podcaster Ben Sprague. In addition to hosting The Maine Show, a podcast which features entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the State, Ben is a Bangor City Councilor and VP of Business Development at The First (a Bangor-based community bank).

Ben is a much admired city councilor with excellent perspective and an interesting background. His podcast is highly recommended. It was a great pleasure to have him on the show. Here’s the episode:

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