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Terry Johnson of Practical Decisions

Terry Johnson

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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Joe Bruno of Community Pharmacy

Joe Bruno

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

Khaled and family

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

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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Sam Hotchkiss, CEO & co-founder of Reconnect

Sam Hotchkiss 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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Brett Wickard of Bull Moose & Fieldstack

Brett Wickard

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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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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Jack Moore of Harpswell Advisors

Jack Moore

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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Whit Richardson of Maine Startups Insider

Whit Richardson

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.

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