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No Bull Blog

Government Contracting: Uncle Sam Needs Your Business

July 30th, 2014

NHPTAPThe government is an untapped market in need of what New Hampshire businesses produce and there is assistance available for those companies who would like to do business with Uncle Sam.

The New Hampshire Procurement Technical Assistance Program (PTAP) offers free training and events to help businesses of all sizes tap into this viable market. (Click on the free training link for upcoming events).

“The US government spent over $100 billion on contracts with small businesses last year,” said David Pease, program manager of NH-PTAP.

The introductory and training seminars PTAP conducts are held in every region of the state, many aimed at the specific types of businesses in those regions that can fill the various needs of the government.

For example, in the Seacoast area, there are contracts for painting, environmental services and more. Around Keene and Claremont, there are companies that could fill the government’s needs for parks maintenance with landscaping, fuel delivery and other project opportunities. In the Manchester area, there is a constant need for companies to handle security contracts, hospitality services and more. The Lakes Region needs caterers and the North Country needs food products for the federal prison in Berlin. In all these areas, the government could do with contracts for commercial real estate.

With all these opportunities available what is holding New Hampshire businesses back from reaching for the government contacts available? For many, it is the intimidating rules and regulations that come with these contracts.

“The reason PTAP exists is because the government is a very large market and it is so different from regular business,  that it takes knowledge to be competitive,” Pease said.

This is where NH-PTAP becomes a valuable resource.

NH-PTAP assisted a company in Dover that makes strap-based products in securing a government contract to make seatbelts for shopping carts. In Epping, a fire arms training school won a federal contract to teach various classes. Up north in Dalton, Team O’Neil won a contract to instruct US Special Forces in high level driving skills.

What need can your product fill for the government? Contact NH-PTAP at 603-271-7581 or online. If you have any questions, contact Amanda Duquette or call 603-271-7581.


Alicia Gagne


NH Division of Economic Development



New Hampshire Export Data

July 17th, 2014

Lots of talk about New Hampshire exports this week: Here’s how we found out about our record growth last February from the US Department of Commerce, which compares New Hampshire’s export activities with 49 other states.

For a look at New Hampshire commodities, click over here.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                  Contact:        Justin Oslowski (603) 953-0212

February 11, 2014                                                                 Curt Cultice (202) 482-2253

2013 New Hampshire merchandise exports are up 23 percent from last year

WASHINGTON – The International Trade Administration (ITA) today announced that new data show New Hampshire merchandise exports increased 22.6 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, growing from $3.5 billion to $4.3 billion.  New Hampshire’s strong performance in 2013 helped the United States reach an all-time record for exports of U.S. goods and services, reaching $2.3 trillion in 2013 and supporting nearly 10 million American jobs.

“U.S. exporters continue to pursue new avenues to world customers, offering some of the most advanced and cutting edge products and services in the marketplace today,” said Ken Hyatt, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade. “Through the National Export Initiative, President Obama is committed to helping U.S. businesses maximize their export potential which support good, high-wage jobs for the working men and women in New Hampshire and across America.”

New Hampshire’s merchandise export sales in 2013 outpaced the 2012 figures in many top destinations, including: the Czech Republic (+236 percent); Saudi Arabia (+196 percent); the United Arab Emirates (+161 percent); Colombia (+130 percent); and Canada (+109 percent). Key merchandise export categories include: computer and electronic products; oil and gas; machinery manufactures; fabricated metal products; and electrical equipment.

“These export numbers show that New Hampshire exporters continue to take advantage of international growth opportunities to diversify their market portfolios and grow their businesses, which benefits the local economy,” said Justin Oslowski, Director of the U.S. Commercial Service in Durham. “By selling internationally, many of these exporters are better able to weather changes in the economy while building their global competitiveness and supporting jobs here at home.”

With more than 100 offices across the United States and in American Embassies and Consulates in more than 70 countries, ITA’s U.S. Commercial Service connects U.S. companies with international buyers. In 2013, ITA helped U.S. businesses facilitate nearly 15,000 export successes. Companies interested in exporting should contact their local office in Durham at (603) 953-0212 or visit www.export.gov/NewHampshire<http://www.export.gov/NewHampshire>.

For more information about the impact of exports on individual states, including fact sheets for all 50 states, please visit the Trade Policy & Analysis web page at www.trade.gov/mas/ian<http://www.trade.gov/mas/ian>.

New England Governors, Eastern Canadian Premiers Meet in New Hampshire

July 15th, 2014

Once a year, the governors of the six New England states and premiers of the five eastern provinces of Canada come together for a day to look at the common issues and challenges they face … and ways to solve them.

This year, for the first time in about 20 years, they met in New Hampshire, at the Omni Mount Washington Hotel (where, by the way, delegates from 44 Allied nations met 70 years ago this month to stabilize Europe and the world following World War II). By the end of the day at the 38th annual conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, the leaders adopted resolutions relating to energy, economic development and transportation.

“The economies of the New England states and Eastern Canadian provinces are linked, and further collaboration on economic development and energy will help create jobs, protect our natural resources and improve the economies of all our states and provinces,” said Gov. Maggie Hassan, who co-hosted the event with Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Tom Marshall.


Christopher Wrenn, NHADEC ~ Commissioner Jeffery Rose

Discussing the regional economy was a priority of Hassan’s and she assembled a panel from both sides of the border for the session, Strengthening Partnerships for Regional Economic Development, which was moderated by Commissioner Jeffrey Rose of the Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Aerospace was one of the topics and was a great platform for discussion of New Hampshire’s efforts in helping one of its fastest growing industries take off. Christopher Wrenn, chairman of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium, talked about the organization’s evolution over the past 18 months, including the signing of an MOU last December with AeroMontreal, concluding that the consortium “is poised to do great things.”

Martin LaFleur, a senior director with AeroMontreal, called it a “promising partnership,” in line with his organization’s goal of establishing an aerospace corridor in the northeast.

“Our competition isn’t between ourselves,” he said, “but emerging countries.”

At the conclusion of the session, the governors and premiers agreed on an economic development resolution. It calls for the NEG/ECP’s coordinating committee to establish a process of identifying challenges to regional economic development and trade, as well as opportunities enhancing the region’s competitiveness.

Expect an interim report due at next year’s conference in St. John, Newfoundland, and a final report at the 2016 conference.

The other resolutions include: Directing the Northeast International Committee on Energy to organize a Regional Forum in late 2014 for a public-private sector dialogue on the ongoing changes to the region’s energy landscape and the Transportation and Air Quality Committee  to continue its work to enhance transportation choices.


Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development

Add the Government to Your Client List – Sign up for a FREE PTAP Seminar

July 2nd, 2014

Government contracting.

These two words can be intimidating, especially for small businesses that can’t dedicate a team to keep up with the ever-changing rules and regulations that guide the process.

Intimidation aside, however, the fact is government contracting offers a steady revenue stream from a reliable business partner. Obtaining a government contract can be a timely and complicated process, but typically turns out to be more than rewarding for the effort expended.

PrintAnd while a small business may not have the acumen to navigate the process itself, it can count on help – free help – from the New Hampshire Procurement and Technical Assistance Program (NH-PTAP).

NH-PTAP provides technical assistance, workshops and training events aimed at small businesses, educating them about the process. Our staff maintains a calendar of training seminars, which are held all over the state.

The government buys a huge variety of products and services and businesses considering adding it as a customer should carve out time to attend an informative seminar in Keene on July 10, Introduction to Government Contracting and Support Services.

Think of it as Government Contracting 101. Those attending will get an idea of what government contracting is, what it entails and how NH-PTAP can help. The seminar will cover the structure, scale and diversity of government contracting; how it differs from business-to-business contracting; getting through red tape and other solutions. Businesses will also get an assessment of how ready they are for government contracting and setting realistic expectations as they get started.

On July 17, the Subcontractor Training seminar is offered in Berlin, which is one event beneficial for businesses looking to get their foot in the door on government contracting, or just wants a better understanding of what it might entail. Topics covered include how to partner with a company already contracting with the government and how to do business with the prime contractors.

As the dog days of summer come on, it’s a good time for businesses to take a look at their goals and plans for the rest of the year and government contracting may well offer a great opportunity to expand and grow.

For more information and to register online, visit the NH-PTAP website or call program manager David Pease at 271-7581.


Alicia Gagne


NH Division of Economic Development




NH Turkey Trade Mission: Extraordinary Experience

June 27th, 2014

(Commissioner Jeffrey Rose returns today from Turkey, following a week-long trade mission to that country, led by Gov. Hassan. Also accompanying the governor were representatives of seven New Hampshire businesses – Comptus of Thornton; Conductive Compounds of Hudson; Demers & Blaisdell of Concord; Hinkley Allen of Concord; Mae Consulting of Deerfield; Rokon of Rochester and Ulysses Advisory Group of East Kingston.)


Gov. Hassan delivered the keynote speech to the Kaza Women and Business Association.

Our trade mission to Turkey has been an extraordinary experience. Our companies had over 100 business-to-business meetings and are returning home with dozens of high quality leads. Gov. Hassan went non-stop over the past week, meeting with many of the most senior business people in the country and receiving high praise from the more than 200 businesses she directly connected with during the mission. Some of the most gratifying moments of the trade mission came in her meetings with women business leaders and how inspired they were by her.

Financing being a key factor in international trade and economic development, we met with Garanti Bank, the leading private bank in Turkey.  The U.S., through the Overseas Private Investment Corp. (OPIC), has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Turkey, with a particular emphasis on women-owned businesses.

Garanti Bank’s contributions have made a positive impact here and since nearly 20 percent of OPIC’s investments have been projects in Turkey (our long-standing NATO partner), this underscores its importance to the U.S.

During the trade mission, I met with numerous senior level executives representing companies eyeing expansion into the U.S. market – a receptive audience for outlining the benefits of expanding to New Hampshire and to map out potential options for their consideration.

Of note is a fast growing international company seeking a potential warehouse/distribution center here in the Northeast.  Its overseas investment director was very interested in our lower cost of doing business, compared to rest of the region.  Another company that stood out is a leading forest-products company in Turkey, interested in our timber and mill capacity.  The company is very successful in Turkey and looking to grow in markets around the globe.

Thursday was another busy day for Gov. Hassan, the seven New Hampshire businesses taking part in this trade mission, and our team from DRED. Starting with breakfast, joined by a diverse group of Parliament members, it was followed by a robust discussion about government processes in Turkey and U.S, as well as how important international trade is in providing opportunities and benefits for both countries.

The opportunity to talk about New Hampshire’s growing aerospace and defense sectors came in a meeting I, and members of the New Hampshire Aerospace and Defense Export Consortium, had with leaders of the OSTIM Defense and Aviation Custer of Turkey.  We had a spirited discussion about the important role the sector plays in both our economies and the collective efforts to organize and promote emerging clusters in both countries.  It was an opportunity to highlight two New Hampshire companies on the trade mission – Rokon of Rochester and Conductive Compounds of Hudson – and develop networking opportunities for them to engage with the Turkish industry.  We also discussed best practices and picked up some dynamic ideas to bring back to our growing NHADEC organization.

To talk more about the opportunities for New Hampshire businesses to make strategic investments into Turkey, I met with Ahmet Erdem, head of Investor Services Department with the Republic of Turkey Prime Ministry Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT).  We discussed the emerging sectors within the rapidly growing Turkish economy and incentive programs there to help spur international investment.  The country’s investment system targets geographic locations, strategic sectors, R&D, and duty/tax reductions.  With its growing purchasing power and its location at the cross roads of Asia, Middle East, Africa and Europe, Turkey is attracting lots of foreign investment.

I enjoyed the opportunity to meet with Metin Deger, head of the Ministry of Economy for the Republic of Turkey, and speak about the benefits of Turkish companies investing in New Hampshire.  He is responsible for counseling Turkish companies on overseas investments and helps identify markets for companies.  He was impressed with what the Granite State offers foreign investors, particularly our strategic geographic location, skilled workforce and low tax structure.  It was a great discussion and once we provide some more information, he will promote New Hampshire to a variety of industries, associations and business groups.

I need to again thank our hosts – the Turkish Cultural Center and TUSKON – for their efforts in making our trade mission with Turkey so successful. Those efforts, which included months of planning and highly coordinated logistics, were extraordinary.

I am confident this is just the beginning of a long term relationship that will continue to yield fruits for both countries as we seeking opportunities to grow trade between New Hampshire and Turkey.


Jeffrey Rose


New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development

Welcome to New Hampshire, EIT!

June 26th, 2014
Cutting the ribbon on EIT's new location in Salem.

Cutting the ribbon on EIT’s new location in Salem.


With a snip of the scissors, a red velvet ribbon was cut last Thursday in Salem to mark the opening of one of New Hampshire’s newest companies, Electronic Instrumentation and Technology.

Joined by workers, clients, suppliers and supporters (including our own Cynthia Harrington, who assisted in the relocation from Methuen, Mass.), EIT officials celebrated the Virginia-based electronic manufacturing service provider’s fifth location, an electronic manufacturing facility.

Employees, customers and vendors celebrated EIT's move to Salem.

Employees, customers and vendors celebrated EIT’s move to Salem.

“The new EIT Salem facility shows EIT’s commitment to our customers and the entire New England region,” said David Faliskie, EIT president and COO. “In January, EIT will begin our 38th year in business. EIT’s physical resources, along with our dedicated staff, create a situation which allows us to meet our customer’s requirements and keep EIT as a premiere EMS provider.”

Nearly a year ago, EIT acquired a contract manufacturer in nearby Methuen, Mass., and began planning to move operations to New Hampshire. Its new facility at 19 Keewaydin Dr., is double in size, to 30,000 square-feet and features ESD flooring, new energy efficient lighting and new and upgraded equipment. The Salem plant supports both prototype and production builds.

Harrington, business recruiter for the Division of Economic Development, worked with the EIT team as it considered relocating to New Hampshire.

“In terms of distance, the company is just a few miles from its previous location in Massachusetts, but the business climate is vastly different,” she said.  “A combination of New Hampshire’s business climate, pool of highly skilled and highly educated workforce and available commercial real estate made this a logical choice for a growing company like EIT.”
Alicia Gagne


NH Division of Economic Development

New Hampshire in Turkey: Gov. Hassan’s Trade Mission Making Strong International Connections

June 25th, 2014

(Commissioner Jeffrey Rose is accompanying Gov. Maggie Hassan and representatives of seven New Hampshire businesses on a trade mission to Turkey this week and provides some highlights from his schedule of meetings. — Ed.)

The second day of Gov. Hassan’s trade mission to Turkey is winding down; two intense days of business meetings and visits with companies as interested in the possibilities of doing business with New Hampshire, as we are with companies in Turkey.

These have been busy and informative days here in Istanbul and I am confident the connections we’ve made this week will be the start of a great relationship between the Granite State and Turkey.

One person who will help us nurture this is Burak Duruman, a successful Turkish businessman and a graduate of  Southern New Hampshire University.  He has been instrumental in making strategic connections and he is eager to foster economic growth in both countries. As the president of the Turkish Cancer Society, he is looking at the US healthcare system as the model to expand services to the Turkish people.

A towel manufacturer is seriously considering NH as a location to expand its line.

A towel manufacturer is seriously considering NH as a location to expand its line.

We visited with officials at a soon-to-be launched international textile company, which produces high quality woven towels here in Turkey and are looking to expand to  a U.S. location to manufacture their product. We explained the benefits of doing business in New Hampshire and they are now seriously considering the Granite State as a potential home for that expansion.

Our favorable business climate is of great interest to those we speak to here. Earlier today, I enjoyed speaking to members of TAiK (the Turkish-US Business Council) about the benefits of doing business in New Hampshire.  Members expressed an interest in learning about our state’s transportation system, strategic geographical location and emerging sectors.

Several entrepreneurs expressed an interest in bring their products to market in the U.S. through New Hampshire.  I even had the chance to try some of the products out first hand … literally first hand.


Commissioner Rose tries out the Flying Finger in Istanbul.

MK Teknoloji began about two years ago with a goal of going international with its wearable technological devices. Its R&D team developed ergonomic equipment, such as the Flying Finger, a glove-like device that turns the hand into the control ball at the computer.

This is an example of Turkey’s entrepreneurial spirit, one of several with whom we have met and one which we hope to see more of in the future.

As well as meeting with Turkish companies, we’ve participated in several media briefings and news conferences. Over the next few days, journalists are spreading our New Hampshire story, such as this piece in Today’s Zaman, including our favorable business climate, our high tech industries and skilled workforce and as a great place in which to expand and invest.

Jeffrey Rose


Department of Resources and Economic Development

One Giant Leap for Nanotechnology: Nanocomp Technologies Tripling Size

June 6th, 2014

We love business success stories and New Hampshire celebrates another one today, as Nanocomp Technologies in Merrimack celebrates its 10th anniversary with the announcement that it will triple its manufacturing capacity, creating at least 70 jobs.


Peter Antoinette and Gov. Hassan at Nanocomp Technologies celebration

We often say that New Hampshire is home to manufacturers who make a product that is made no where else in the country, if not the planet.

Nanocomp Technologies is one of those companies. It is the only commercial producer of carbon nanotube-based sheets, tapes and yarns. It has been working closely with the Department of Defense to reduce the weight of body armor for our troops, while maintaining the level of performance for soldiers and law enforcement.

In fact, this ambitious expansion is made possible by an $18.5 million contract from DoD. By year’s end, Nanocomp will triple its manufacturing capabilities and adding 70 new jobs.

“This is a great day for our company,” said Nanocomp CEO and president Peter Antoinette. “Ten years ago, we had two employees; today we have 76, with plans to more than double that over the next year.”

More than 100 people attended the festivities at the company’s plant in Merrimack, including US Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

“Nanocomp’s expansion reinforces that our tax-friendly enviroment, responsive state government, highly skilled workforce and quality of life make New Hampshire as attractive state for business as any in the country,” Hassan said.

Congratulations, Nanocomp!

Lorna Colquhoun

Communications Director

NH Division of Economic Development


Commissioner Rose: The Value of Trade Missions to New Hampshire

June 2nd, 2014

Later this month, Gov. Hassan and I will accompany representatives of seven New Hampshire companies on a trade mission to Turkey, the first in several years. We are excited about the prospect of making connections in a country whose economy is vibrant and eager to do business with us.

International trade plays a vital role in our state’s economy and the legislature recognized this when it passed the bipartisan budget, which included funding for the state to resume trade missions. The International Trade Resource Center has organized trade missions over the past 15 years, to countries including Brazil, Chile, England, France, India, Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands. The cumulative result of these trips was tens of millions in contracts to businesses and manufacturers right here at home and relationships that helped to keep our state strong in challenging times.

A key to growth and prosperity for any company is the ability to find new customers. Securing global markets diversifies their bottom line. Trade missions offer connections and opportunities for our companies, which typically don’t have the means to hire export specialists. With a trade mission, we can offer resources to open many doors in a short time, such as partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce and local business organizations in the host country to find potential partners.

Having the governor lead the mission elevates our companies as they meet with business and government organizations. This would not happen for a business going it alone.

When New Hampshire, and the nation, suffered through the recession a few years ago, we weathered it far better than some of our neighbors. This was, in large part, because our businesses sought out overseas markets to diversify their customer base, gain more orders and, most importantly, keep their employees working. That’s why in 2010, we set a record for exporting, sending $4.4 billion worth of goods around the world.

In 2013, New Hampshire led the nation in export growth, increasing its merchandise exports by more than 22 percent, to $4.3 billion. This demonstrates that our businesses and manufacturers can design, create and make products and components that are in demand around the world.

The momentum continues into 2014. Planning began months ago for the state’s first overseas trade mission since 2011 and included months of research, discussion about the needs of our businesses and where the demand is for their products and services.

Turkey quickly emerged as an important market for several reasons: It’s our 12th largest trading partner – last year, we sent $79 million in goods and services there. Its geographical location, at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, makes it an attractive hub and there are increasing opportunities for our businesses, especially in areas such as aerospace and defense, health and medical technologies, education and construction machinery.

With the assistance of the Turkish Cultural Center in Manchester and the partnership with TUSKON (representing seven business federations, 202 business associations and over 50,000 entrepreneurs), we have arranged five full days of introductions, meetings and networking for our businesses in Istanbul and Ankara, as well as a news conference providing even wider exposure for the state.

In March, the state was running $25 million ahead of its revenue plan for the year, a solid fiscal position. April revenues fell significantly short of the previous year, although the state continues to run $3.9 million over its projections.

As a precaution in case revenues continue to fall, Gov. Hassan issued an executive order that includes a freeze on out-of-state travel. At that time, the governor and I, our businesses and our partners had discussions about whether to cancel the trade mission.

But the state, the participating companies and our partners in Turkey had already made significant financial investments into this trade mission, months before revenues dropped and the freeze was enacted.

I cannot overstate the value of international trade to New Hampshire’s economy and how eager our businesses are to explore exporting and to send their goods to global markets. The legislature agreed.

To cancel this trade mission would result in significant losses not only to our businesses, but in potential economic growth for New Hampshire.


Jeffrey Rose is the commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Congratulations Graduates! Parting Thoughts to the Class of 2014

May 17th, 2014

In this season of graduation and commencement, Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, was the keynote speaker Friday at the hooding ceremony at the UNH Paul College of Business and Economics. His remarks follow. Best wishes to the Class of 2014.

Thank you to Dean Garron for your warm introduction.  It’s truly an honor to be here this afternoon and be a part of the UNH Paul College of Business and Economics Hooding Ceremony.

Commissioner Jeffrey Rose

Commissioner Jeffrey Rose

I am especially pleased to be a part of this event and your graduation weekend, as it’s one of those magical moments in your life; it’s an experience anyone who has donned a cap and gown will not soon forget.  It’s a moment to pay respect to your past and to anticipate and embrace your future.

For the graduates, it’s a time of reflection – thinking about the adventures and experiences that have brought you to this moment. But also about the opportunities and journeys that are about to begin.  Today is a day to be inspired – by your fellow classmates, your professors, and all those who are wishing you well in your next endeavors.

For me, being here today prompted me to revisit my graduation a few years ago – ok – close to 20 years ago – and remember the speaker at my commencement.  At the time, former NYC police chief Ray Kelly had just returned from an assignment in Haiti and his words were especially powerful, even all these years later.

His comments focused on the importance of speaking the truth, being loyal, and acting in an ethical fashion.  All very relevant and wise comments, but there was one other interesting point he made – never to follow a job just because of the money.

While that may be hard to digest with looming college loans just around the corner, thinking about it more closely – there is a deeper message in the comment – and one that has been a driving force behind every opportunity I have encountered.


Passion is the currency that will bring riches to your life, not the numbers on a paycheck.

This has not always been a truth that I’ve known, but upon reflection, it’s been a steady driver in the successes of each phase of my life.  I’ve worked to harness my passions through every activity – playing sports, enjoying the outdoors, connecting with friends and family, and certainly in the career choices I’ve made.

And when you follow your passions, a willingness to lead, to discover and to be happy is much closer to your grasp.  It allows the all the pieces to fold together and make the whole all the greater.

Following my passions have served me well – to be a positive contributor to causes, beliefs, and values that I hold true and dear.  They are filters and guideposts in times of challenging decisions and incredible opportunities.

This has kept me here in New Hampshire – a place I knew early on I did not want to leave – and led me to a career opportunity that fuels one of my greatest passions – public service.

Serving the state I love as the commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development is extraordinarily rewarding.

Every day is a new challenge, challenges that are offset each morning knowing that I have the opportunity to make a difference, by preserving, protecting and promoting the elements here that we all love and which collectively help produce the amazing quality of life for which New Hampshire is known.

Whether it’s our remarkable landscape and natural resources, our parks and historic sites, promoting our attractions and destinations or nurturing our distinctively friendly business environment, I have the opportunity to make a contribution – a positive impact in every corner of the state – each and every day.

This was never a career I thought possible, and in all honesty, I had not even thought much about … especially when I was wearing a cap and gown 20-years ago.

At that time, I would have scoffed at the suggestion that following my passions would land where I am now … in a career I love for its rewards and challenges.

Following my passions uncovered personal riches and happiness, which are priceless.

As you move forward with the next chapter in your lives and assess your career options, I encourage you to find your passions.  To play to your strengths, beliefs and ideals that are true to you.

You are New Hampshire’s freshly-minted business leaders and I suspect you are all eager to make a difference.   With an open mind and heart, your passion can be your inner compass that steers you forward in a direction that will bring great rewards.

With our boundless technology giving businesses new ways to be competitive, the opportunities to make a difference are waiting for you to grab.

Working with businesses every day, I see owners and managers looking for leaders to add to their teams. They seek leaders with a passion, drive and a sense of purpose in what they are doing.

I can tell you this … businesses are starving for the next generation of thinkers, doers, creators and dreamers.

And to think of the path that remains before you is incredibly exciting.  To think about the advances you will see in technology, in social responsibility, in global connectivity, and personal opportunity are only limited by your imagination.

I hope you will pursue your passions and be among those that bring vision and drive to our economy in New Hampshire.

As you know, it’s such a distinctive state, characterized by its hardworking, honest, and community oriented people.  We are a state that relies heavily on having a healthy business environment and consistently ranks at the top of the lists of best states to live, work, and raise a family – and maintaining this enviable climate is going to need drive, determination … and yes … passion.

To sustain our advantages, we need to constantly infuse our workforce with skill and enthusiasm. We need people from various perspectives and diverse backgrounds to help bring out the best thinking and creativity.  We need people like you, who have received a first rate education from our state’s university, to step forward, with your passions, to lead our state – our economy – beginning today.

Along with your education, there is something else I encourage you to carry with you as far and as long as you can …  and that is the connections you have made through the years.

While it’s never been easier to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues through technology, it’s the personal relationships that you forged here, that have the potential to make a difference in your lives.

Look around, there is a lot of talent around you, don’t be afraid to tap into that talent as you build your network.  Collectively you share a common connection, a link to your past, but perhaps even more important, a seed to your future.

In seeking out your passion, know that you will find it enhanced by the people sitting beside you and the people seated beside them. This is the start of a network that will be both a guide and an inspiration. Learning from others, seeking role models, and identifying attributes from colleagues that inspire you – is a powerful tool.

Throughout my career, I’ve been blessed to work with so many talented people.  I have tried to take life and career lessons away from each of my experiences, and most of these people probably have no idea how much they’ve affected me.

I have learned to focus on what’s important and not get too caught up in the hustle of what others deem to be urgent.

I’ve learned to focus on the things you can control and that you do well, and not dwell on things you don’t have the ability to impact.

And I’ve learned that each moment shall pass – and upon reflection it’s never as good as it seems and never as bad as it might seem.

Being steady, focused, thoughtful and grounded, will allow you to see through the clutter and noise and make more rational and consistent decisions.  It has allowed me to be true to my passions and to make meaningful contributions.

I hope you will take your passions – all of them and in whatever state of development they are in – and allow them to be a guide. I hope you will follow them and that they will follow you.

In the months and years to come, when the demands of work, family and life compete for them, resist the urge to cast those passions aside … for you will find that they have brought you to where you are and, more importantly, to the places for which you are destined.

It is these passions what will bring you riches and rewards and allow you to be true to who you are.

Congratulations to the Paul College class of 2014 and I wish you all the very best in pursuing your passions.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day.

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