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Archive for August, 2010

Introducing – the Business Road Warrior!

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Business is an awful lot like a long and winding road – sometimes fraught with potholes and other times an opportunity for a smooth cruise down a great stretch of highway.

catherine_blakeCatherine Blake is a sales and marketing professional who has spent much of her career helping CEOs navigate their journey to business success. As founder of Seacoast-based Sales Protocol International, she has twenty years of sales and marketing experience with both FORTUNE 500 corporate giants such as EMC, GTE and IBM Corporation and start-ups.

Her assignments have taken her outside the United States to Chile, Ecuador, China, Australia, Germany, Sweden, England and France. In her tenure, some of her key clients have included NBC TV, ESPN, Raytheon, DeBeers, Daimler-Benz and the United States Navy. She has survived some of the best sales training on the planet, including walking across a bed of red hot coals to establish self-control and focus.

We’re glad that Catherine has now joined the “No Bull Business Blog” as a contributor with her “Business Road Warrior” column. Her new entry explores the world of lean manufacturing and how it is transforming the business marketplace and improving the prospects for a number of local companies. Check it out at:  http://www.nheconomy.com/biz-road-warrior/!

State of NH and Local Businesses Get Creative to Help Job Seekers

Friday, August 27th, 2010

We received a great account of Wednesday night’s Gainful Employment Seminar held by our friends at Savvy Workshop.  Special thanks to Print Savvy President Lisa Landry for sending along this release as well as for offering such an excellent resource for citizens looking for work.


By all accounts, last night’s Gainful Employment Seminar at Savvy Workshop was a huge success. Initiated by Lisa Landry, President and CEO of Print Savvy, Inc. and the Savvy Workshop, the meeting was well attended and facilitated by Fran Allain, Employee Retention Project Manager for the State of New Hampshire’s Division of Economic Development.

NH Division of Economic Development Employee Retention Project Manager Fran Allains shares her experiences with local job seekers.

NH Division of Economic Development Employee Retention Project Manager Fran Allains shares her experiences with local job seekers.

Fran shared her heart-wrenching story about her own difficult layoff and her personal journey to finding meaningful employment again, after reinventing herself and her career. Having had the experience herself, she understands and empathizes with those affected by economic downturn. She gave us an overview of the programs, job boards and support systems available through the available through the State of New Hampshire, the NH Works offices and the Office of Workforce Opportunity to those currently looking for work.

Also on hand were Greg Fall, Vice President at Career Management Associates of Bedford, NH and Pam Oliwa, the Rapid Response Coordinator for the NH Office of Workforce Opportunity. Both Greg and Pam shared ideas and strategies for getting hired. Greg also gave an extensive class on resume development and met one on one with each candidate to discuss specific strategies that will help them to stand out and differentiate themselves from the crowded field of applicants that might be also seeking the same position.

Rapid Response Coordinator Pam Oliwa talks about resources available to help citizens pursue new career paths.

Rapid Response Coordinator Pam Oliwa talks about resources available to help citizens pursue new career paths.

Together, they explored the best ways to increase a job seeker’s value in the marketplace. Most attendees were unemployed an average of 18 months – but some as few as three or four weeks. Also in attendance were currently employed individuals, looking to make a change, recent college grads and underemployed professionals looking for more gainful employment.

“I’ve been in the job market for over 25 years, and this is definitely the most difficult job market I’ve ever seen,” said Lisa Landry. “My inbox has been flooded with resumes for the past two years. Most of these folks are talented, hard working, experienced professionals that I know and have worked with in the past. I wanted to do something to help them and to let them know their value is still there – and that there is light at the end of the tunnel!”

The Savvy Workshop will be hosting a second session to further support our friends and colleagues who are seeking gainful employment on Sept 8, 2010 from 6 – 9 PM. Dawn Cerrato of Synergy Management Associates will be presenting. Registrations are now being taken at http://www.gainfulemployment2.eventbrite.com.

Savvy Workshop is a multi-channel marketing organization, leveraging print, web, social media, email and event marketing to help our clients succeed. They can help you do it, too!

Savvy Workshop
55 So. Commercial Street
Manchester, NH 03101

Infused With the Spirit….

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Every once in awhile, something hits my email box that gives me a great creative charge – it’s always inspiring to be surrounded by talented people and we at the Division of Economic Development are blessed to be working with some incredible folks.

With that in mind, I’d like to share the following video clip that was created by Lani and Allen Voivod over at Epiphanies, Inc. As our personal “social media gurus,” this dynamic duo has consistently raised the bar in terms of our creativity, willingness to try new things and bring State communications efforts to a whole new level.

The Epiphanies gang was not only an active participant in our Greenerpalooza event, they are also furthering their commitment to green causes by volunteering as members of our Granite Green Team at tomorrow night’s Pat Benatar/REO Speedwagon concert at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion.

Thanks for always walking the walk and for giving us this incredible video package Team Voivod!

-Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

Business & Personal Inspiration and Success Groups Launched

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

This is very cool news from our friend Leslie Sturgeon over at Women Inspiring Women – aspiring and active women business owners alike have much to rejoice about with this announcement:

Business and Personal Inspiration and Success Groups have been launched by Women Inspiring Women and begin on September 9, 2010 in Manchester. Each group will be comprised of individuals with a deep commitment to success, either personally or for their business, and will involve sharing of challenges and ideas, receiving peer guidance and recommendations, developing an action plan for optimal results and accountability.  

women-inspiring-women1The Business Success Group is ideal for entrepreneurs seeking assistance from other like-minded individuals in all areas of business ownership including marketing, operations, expansion, customer service and sales. The Personal Success Group will focus on helping women with career, financial, motivation, assertiveness, personal goals and other challenges.  According to Leslie Sturgeon, founder of Women Inspiring Women, “There is no denying that when women come together to support and motivate each other that amazing results are achieved.” She went on to say that “These types of groups help women who oftentimes feel they are going solo in their businesses and lives, and it also gives them a supportive environment with impartial people who are committed to success.” 

“The groups will be very structured with action plans and accountability a key component,” Sturgeon added. The groups will run once a month for 4 months beginning on September 9, 2010 at the Manchester Country Club. Other groups will be added this fall if interest exists for other NH regions, but will be held all over NH beginning in January.

For additional information, contact Women Inspiring Women at (603) 744-0400, via email at info@wiwnh.com or their website at www.winh.com. Women Inspiring Women is NH’s largest organization for women’s empowerment, motivation, personal development and networking. In addition to the success groups, they hold inspirational and networking events twice per month throughout NH.

2nd Annual NH Social Media Business Summit Scheduled

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

A whopping 500,000 of Facebook’s 500 million global users live in New Hampshire. Twitter recently crossed the 100 million user threshold and became the third largest search engine in the world, besting all but Google and YouTube. More than 80% of companies, recruiters, and human resource professionals report scanning online channels – including social networking sites – to research candidates, find prospects and weed out applicants.

Epiphanies Inc.'s Allen Voivod holds court at last year's Social Media Business Summit.

Epiphanies Inc.'s Allen Voivod holds court at last year's Social Media Business Summit.

In an effort to bring this ever-growing impact and power of social media to more New Hampshire businesses, organizations and professionals, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, in partnership with social marketing and success strategies firm Epiphanies, Inc. and Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH), will host the second annual “A-Ha!” NH Social Media Business Summit at PSNH, 780 North Commercial Street, Manchester, on Monday, September 27th. To ensure content is geared to the needs and skill levels of the attendees, the Summit will be split into two three-hour sessions for two different audiences, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

“The shift in how we connect and communicate is changing the way business is done in New Hampshire and beyond,” says New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Communications & Legislative Director Steve Boucher. “If you want to be competitive and relevant to your target market, your community, and in your industry, you have to actively explore what’s happening – and what’s possible – in the social media realm. This Summit is the place to do exactly that.”

The Morning Session, from 9:00am to noon, is designed for social media beginners, small business owners, professionals in mission-driven organizations and passionate entrepreneurs. Presentations include “Social Marketing on a Shoestring Budget” and “Facebook on Fire: Tips, Tricks, and Shortcuts to Fuel Your Success on the World’s Hottest Social Network.” The last hour will feature the NH Entrepreneur Success Panel, featuring: Christy Cegelski, Drink Skinny, LLC; Stacey Lucas, Veggie Art Girl; Bill Rogers, Now or Never Media; and Steve Varnum, Communications and Marketing Director, NH Community Loan Fund.

The Afternoon Session is geared for people who are already running with one or more of the major social media platforms – including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and blogging. Ideal for social media enthusiasts, community leaders, marketing mavens, brand managers, bold entrepreneurs, and visionaries of mission-driven organizations, the afternoon’s presentations include “Facebook Marketing: Customization, Fan Building, and Advertising” and “Engaging the Social Senses: Listening, Monitoring, and Measuring.” Additionally, there will be a Cross-Industry NH Success Panel, featuring Erica Murphy, Director of Communications and Community Relations, The Common Man; Paul Boynton, Author of Begin With Yes and CEO of Moore Center Services; Steve Boucher, Communications and Legislative Director at the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development; and Abby Fitchner, Microsoft’s Developer Evangelist for Startups.

Summit Sessions will be presented and moderated by Lani and Allen Voivod, co-owners of Epiphanies, Inc., whom Boucher calls the Division’s “social marketing gurus,” and who’ve delivered workshops, webinars, slidecasts, and boot camps online and off, for Chambers of Commerce, trade associations, and business development events throughout the Granite State and for clients and entrepreneurs across the country.

“We received tremendously positive feedback from last year’s New Hampshire Social Media Business Summit,”  PSNH Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott said. “We’re proud to help bring these ideas and strategies to the business owners, entrepreneurs and community leaders who play such an important role in New Hampshire’s economic growth and vitality.”

“Our goal is to connect the dots, empower action, and incite attendees to thrive with these tools, channels, and platforms,” said Lani Voivod. “The opportunities are here waiting for them.”

“With social media as with business, belief is everything,” Allen Voivod added. “We aim to help people believe in their own bigger picture of possibility and success.”

As a special gift to New Hampshire’s business community from the Division of Economic Development and PSNH, admission to this event is free. However, there are only 100 seats available for each session, so early registration is strongly suggested. To register, go to www.AhaNH.com. For more information, call Epiphanies, Inc. at (603) 524-5248, or email events@EpiphaniesInc.com.

Five Companies Receive Job Training Grants This Month

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Gov. John Lynch today announced that five more New Hampshire companies have received Job Training grants in the month of August. 

nh-job-training-fundJob Training grants are aimed at keeping good jobs in New Hampshire by helping companies train their workers with new skills to compete in a changing economy. Gov. Lynch made it a priority to reinstate the Job Training Fund, which distributes up to $1 million annually in matching grants to allow companies to train new workers or retrain longtime employees.

Since the Job Training Fund was reinstated in late 2007 ago, nearly 7,500 workers from across New Hampshire have received training and enhanced skills through the matching grant program.

“New Hampshire is leading the region in economic activity, it is important that we continue to invest in New Hampshire workers and New Hampshire companies if we are to continue leading the way,” Gov. Lynch said. “Job training grants are helping our companies compete and grow, and meet the demands of a changing marketplace.”

The August 2010 recipients of the Job Training grants are: NH Ball Bearings in Laconia; Kheops International of Colebrook; Southeastern Container, Hudson; Airmar Technology Corp. in Milford; and Families in Transition in Manchester.

“The connection between business growth and an investment in professional development is undeniable,” said Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “I commend these exemplary companies for making a commitment to improving the skills of their workers and for adding to the economic vitality of the state.”

Since the Job Training Fund was re-established, companies from across New Hampshire have received state grants totaling more than $2.6 million. Companies receiving grants have contributed nearly $5 million, bringing the total amount invested in new training for workers to nearly $7.5 million.

For more information about the Job Training Fund, go to www.nhjobtrainingfund.org.

Diversification Leading to a New North Country Economy

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Economic diversification is the key to building a world class state economy. To that end, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development would very much like to tip its hat to The Balsams Vice President of Sales and New Business Development Gary Armitage, a visionary thinker who is bringing a world class film festival to the North Country.

For years, we have been preaching the gospel of communities taking a community inventory of assets that are unique to their region, and through the creation of this festival, Gary has embraced that message. The North Country economy isn’t just about paper mills and machine shops (though they are certainly a big piece of the puzzle); it’s also about the Jericho Park ATV Festival in July that brought 2,000 visitors into the region and gave a quick boost to local stores, restaurants and motels; it’s about entrepreneurs with great ideas choosing the scenic North Country as a great launching pad for their business; and yes, it’s now about the First Annual FLICKERS North Country Film Festival as well.

The Balsams' Gary ArmitageI was fortunate enough to join Gary at lunch along with WTPL’s Jack Heath and Shelly Breer who have been spreading the word about this great event. I was incredibly impressed with everyone’s enthusiasm for creating a festival that would develop a new regional awareness of the beauty of the North Country as well as the untapped opportunities for its economic potential.

Good luck to Gary and the rest of The Balsam’s team for great success with the Festival. We at Economic Development and the “No Bull Business Blog” stand firmly behind this effort and will do our best to make it as successful as possible. By giving new visitors a ticket to a first class event, Gary is doing his part to build a new economic reality in an area that is about to learn how positive and profitable diversification can be.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director


Dixville Notch, N.H. – The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel is pleased to announce that it will host the first annual FLICKERS North Country Film Festival.  The non-profit festival aims to promote New Hampshire’s Great North Woods as a regional center for the arts, and is expected to bring celebrities, audiences and international filmmakers to the area.  This exciting event will be held September 30 – October 3, 2010 with screenings of a variety of films in multiple locations and gala events.

The FLICKERS North Country Film Festival is in partnership with the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIF) one of the most respected in the country, and is a qualifying event for Academy Award short film submissions. 

north_country_film_festival_logo“We are thrilled to be bringing this film festival to the North Country,” said Gary Armitage, Vice President of Sales and New Business Development at The BALSAMS.  “Through this unique event, we hope to encourage cultural tourism and support area businesses.  The beauty of our area is a natural draw for filmmakers and producers, and we aim to bring them here.  The film festival is a first step in what we hope to grow over time, spreading the event into our local communities.  Also, the date allows us to extend the tourism calendar beyond the end of the typical season and our goal is to attract visitors to experience Coös County and the North Country of New Hampshire.”

There are multiple events planned during the festival.  Audiences will be treated to the world premier screening of “Indian Stream Schoolhouse,” produced by Pittsburg, NH resident Roy Amey.  The “best of” winners from the August 2010 RIIF will also be screened along with the work of outstanding independent filmmakers from across the globe. As many as five films will be projected at once in areas throughout The BALSAMS, including the Ballot Room and The Switzerland of America Ballroom.  Shorts, feature length films and animated films across several genres including comedy, drama, fantasy and romance, to North Country and Franco-American culture will be screened. Watch for updates and announcements at http://northcountryfilmfestival.org/index.htm.

The non-profit festival is seeking individual and corporate sponsors. Contact Gary Armitage at 603-255-2669 or garmitage@thebalsams.com for more details. 

A black-tie gala event will also be held on Saturday, October 1 to benefit the Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center that provides a wide array of services for children and adults. Its newest program for uniformed service professionals is designed for police, firefighters, correctional officers, EMTs and military personnel who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder as a consequence of their duty.  The Retreat works with patients from Hollywood, CA to Hallowell, ME.  (www.brattlebororetreat.org)

For more information about the first annual FLICKERS North Country Film Festival, visit http://northcountryfilmfestival.org/index.htm.  The BALSAMS is pleased to be joined by Public Television of New Hampshire in supporting this first-ever event. 

The BALSAMS is a premier New Hampshire resort hotel, featuring award-winning dining, outdoor wilderness adventures, unique events, endless activities, and fun for the entire family.  Our 8,000-acre mountain resort features everything from golfing on a Top 100 ranked, Donald Ross designed course, a Top 25 ranked tennis program, hiking and biking, whitewater rafting, kids’ summer camp, private alpine and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and more.  For more information go to www.thebalsams.com or call 800-255-0600.

The FLICKERS: Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF), has secured its place in the global community as the portal for the best in international independent cinema, earning the respect of domestic and foreign filmmakers, filmgoers and trend watchers. This confluence of art and commerce brought together world-class celebrities, award-winning filmmakers, new talent and audience members in record numbers last year. Ranked as one of the top 12 Festivals in the United States, RIIFF is also a qualifying festival for the Short Film Academy Award through its affiliation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. There are 65 film festivals worldwide which share this distinction and RIIFF is the only festival in New England. The next Festival will take place August 10-15, 2010. For more information about the festival, please visit www.rifilmfest.org.

Collaboration Focus of Manufacturing Summit

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Charles E. “Gus” Whalen Jr. has boldly gone where other business owners can only dare to dream. In addition to operating the Warren Featherbone Company, a major children’s wear manufacturing facility in Gainesville, GA, Whalen has overseen the development of the Featherbone Communiversity, a collaborative, cross-generational learning alliance that allows entrepreneurial ideas to take flight. Clearly, this isn’t your “grandfather’s CEO.”

Gus Whalen

Gus Whalen

Whalen, keynote speaker at the Eighth Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing & High Technology Summit scheduled for September 28th from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester, also directs the efforts of The Warren Featherbone Foundation and is author of “The Featherbone Principle,” “The Featherbone Spirit,” “The Gift of Renewal” and “Hooked at the Roots – the Evolution of Featherbone Communiversity.”

“Warren’s work has not only transformed the manufacturing industry, but also the way that communities are built and sustained,” said New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership Director of Operations Zenagui Brahim. “By constantly reinventing his company and taking the additional step of creating innovative learning centers like the Communiversity, he has proven to be one of our nation’s true visionaries.”

Developed by the Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development and the New Hampshire High Technology Council, the summit will bring together industry leaders for a day of information sharing, networking and best practices.

In addition to the keynote address by Gus Whalen as well as a related interactive session, the summit will feature a series of workshops including “Is Everyone In Your Organization Working Effectively Toward the Same Ends?,” “How Are You Sustaining Lean?” and “Advancing Talent Management.” New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald will also give an overview of the state’s manufacturing industry.

The 8th Annual Governor’s Advanced Manufacturing & High Technology Summit is sponsored by Citizens Bank, BAE Systems, APICS, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers and media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review. The registration fee is $95 per person and includes lunch. For more details, visit www.nhbia.org.

NHIRC Seeking Proposals for Granite State Technology Innovation Grants

Friday, August 20th, 2010

The New Hampshire Innovation Research Center (NHIRC) is seeking proposals for its Granite State Technology Innovation Grant, which supports research partnerships for New Hampshire companies with college and university laboratories.

tech7The grants support research projects in new technologies under development in the private sector. It is a competitive process, with oversight by representatives from industry, government and academic institutions. Projects vary from proof-of-concept to a substantial investment in engineering or process design. Companies are required to provide matching funds or services.

A nonbinding letter of intent on company letterhead is due September 20, 2010. The Request for Proposals, with topics of interest and instructions, is posted on the NHIRC website, www.nhirc.unh.edu.

Past recipients include:

• Celdara Medical, LLC in Lebanon, with Charles Sentman, associate professor, microbiology & immunology, Dartmouth College
• Velcro Group in Manchester, with Glen Miller, professor, chemistry, UNH
• Itaconix LLC in Hampton Falls, with Yvon Durant, associate research professor, materials science, UNH
• Presstek, Inc. in Hudson, with John Tsavalas, research assistant professor, and Donald Sundberg, emeritus professor, materials science, UNH
• Roy Matheson and Associates in Keene, with John Lacourse, professor, electrical & computer engineering, UNH
• ImmuRx, Inc. in Lebanon, with Mary Jo Turk, assistant professor, microbiology & immunology, Dartmouth College

The NHIRC is administered by the Office for Research Partnerships and Commercialization at the University of New Hampshire.

Monadnock Paper Mills Named 2010 Greenerpalooza Award Winner

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

Monadnock Paper Mills was green before green was cool. Back in 1973, the company installed its own wastewater purification facilities before federal regulations for the Mill were even established. That was just the beginning of a long, fruitful and enduring relationship between the Bennington-based paper manufacturer and the environment.

For its long history of environmental stewardship, Monadnock Paper Mills, Inc. was recently presented with the 2010 Greenerpalooza Award as part of the Greenerpalooza III festivities at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion. Presented by the New Hampshire Business Resource Center and the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in coordination with key sponsors Public Service of New Hampshire, Citizens Bank and media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review, Greenerpalooza is a celebration of energy efficiency efforts in the state of New Hampshire. With the backdrop of a Sheryl Crow concert, attendees were able to learn more about the latest energy efficient products and services offered in the Granite State.

(L. to R.) Citizens Bank President Cathleen Schmidt joins Monadnock Paper Mills CEO Richard Verney, Public Service of NH Economic and Community Development Manager Pat McDermott, NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy, Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion Marketing Director Chris Lockwood and NH Business Review Advertising Consultant Trudy Sutherland at Greenerpalooza III.

(L. to R.) Citizens Bank President Cathleen Schmidt joins Monadnock Paper Mills CEO Richard Verney, Public Service of NH Economic and Community Development Manager Pat McDermott, NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy, Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion Marketing Director Chris Lockwood and NH Business Review Advertising Consultant Trudy Sutherland at Greenerpalooza III.

“Monadnock Paper Mills is a model of how businesses can both ‘go’ and ‘remain’ green,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy in making the announcement. “Long before there was a strong national push to become more energy efficient, Monadnock was demonstrating corporate citizenship of the highest order.”

Amongst the company’s many accomplishments, Monadnock generates electrical power with five turbines on four low-impact hydroelectric dams along the Contoocook River. Over the course of a year, the normal flow of the river allows the company to produce up to 50 percent of its electric needs, a clean, renewable energy option that reduces Monadnock’s overall dependence on fossil fuels.

In addition, four years ago, Monadnock replaced over 1,000 facility lighting systems from old fluorescent fixtures to new fluorescent fixtures with QHEL Supersaver electronic ballasts, reflector and supersaver lamps. They also replaced over 100 standard on/off switches and ceiling mounted fixtures with occupancy sensors. The quantity of energy saved is approximately 794,948 kWh per year, with an estimated annual savings of $115,124.

Perhaps most impressive, the mill’s solid waste, or short paper fiber extracted during the water purification process, is 100 percent reclaimed and used by New Hampshire’s local farms in applications such as compost and animal bedding as well as in the production of manufactured topsoil.

“There’s no doubt that this company is an example of how a business can not only be profitable, but also be environmentally aware and helpful to its neighbors,” Duddy added. “The Greenerpalooza Award is designed specifically for model companies like this.”  

To learn more about Monadnock Paper Mills, visit www.mpm.com. To discover the latest happenings with Greenerpalooza, visit Greenerpalooza III Facebook page at www.facebook.com/greennh.