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Interim Economic Development Director to Explore New Opportunity

Monday, August 8th, 2011

New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy announced today that he will be leaving the Department of Resources & Economic Development to take a consulting position in the Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Department effective August 19th.

“I’m certainly sad to leave a great group that has accomplished so much over my ten years with the Division of Economic Development, but am extremely excited to take on a new challenge in creating jobs and helping businesses grow,” Duddy said. “I leave steadfast in the belief that the team we’ve built is well prepared to keep moving the economy forward and feel blessed to have served with such dedicated professionals.”

Under Duddy’s direction, the State economic development office has garnered both local and national awards and served thousands of local companies looking to become more energy efficient, explore export opportunities, secure financing and pursue expansion.

In his two years as Interim Division Director, Duddy shepherded the Department of Resources & Economic Development’s participation in the state’s broadband application, presided over the Division’s foray into social media with the development of an award-winning presence on Facebook and Twitter, coordinated the activities of the State’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program that helped local companies secure 940 contracts totaling over $200M and managed the expansion of the state’s energy efficiency options. He also served on a number of boards including the Community Development Finance Authority, New Hampshire Advanced Manufacturing, the Economic Development Advisory Council and the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network.

“Roy has been a tremendous advocate for the state’s business community and brought an energy and passion to the position that resulted in some great programs and services,” said New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald. “He deserves a great deal of praise for all that he has done for New Hampshire.”

In his new position with PSNH’s Economic and Community Development Department, Duddy will assist companies with their growth plans and carry out initiatives that create economic activity and jobs.

NH’s Secret Salesman Luring Massachusetts Firms

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Check out this great article in today’s Boston Globe regarding our Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron and his stellar efforts in recruiting companies to New Hampshire:

NH’s Secret Salesman Luring Massachusetts Firms
by Jenn Ableson, Boston Globe

New Hampshire pays Michael Bergeron to be a full-time thief, sending him across the border in an unmarked black sedan to poach Massachusetts companies.

NH Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron welcomes a MA business owner who was taken by donated limousine by Capital City Limousine to the Big & Rich concert at the Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion as part of a business recruitment promotion.

To help keep his missions undercover, the business recruiter even scraped the New Hampshire state seal off his Ford Fusion. Equal parts real estate agent, financial adviser, and deal fixer, Bergeron has lured dozens of Massachusetts companies to the Granite State over the past few years with promises of lower tax bills, cheaper office and industrial space, and fewer regulations.
John Hancock Financial and Liberty Mutual Group are among the high-profile firms that recently moved significant parts of their operations over the state line – partially because of Bergeron’s pitches. And an increasing number of small and midsize firms are considering migrating as a way to reduce costs in uncertain economic times.

“New Hampshire has become an easier place to do business as Massachusetts has become more difficult,’’ said Bergeron, who works as a business development manager for the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development. “It’s a lower cost to do business here and you still have the availability of the skilled workforce in Massachusetts.’’

His PowerPoint presentations highlight what New Hampshire officials say is Massachusetts’ bad-business reputation. They cite expensive real estate, drawn-out permitting processes, and higher taxes.

There are no official statistics from Massachusetts or New Hampshire on the number of companies that have moved north. But Bergeron estimates that at least 5,000 new jobs have been created over the past five years as a result of Massachusetts businesses moving to his state.
Massachusetts officials and business leaders deny that a mass exodus is underway, although they acknowledge that New Hampshire’s aggressive recruitment tactics can’t be ignored.

The constant assault on Commonwealth companies is more irritating than ominous, said Greg Bialecki, Massachusetts’ housing and economic development secretary.

“They haven’t done any serious damage,’’ he said of New Hampshire’s efforts.

Nonetheless, Bialecki said, officials have tried to make the state more enticing to businesses. In recent years, for instance, Massachusetts has lowered its corporate tax rate, offered tax incentives and other funding, and streamlined the permitting process through its new permitting ombudsman and Permit Regulatory Office.

Massachusetts has historically had to fend off New Hampshire’s business recruitment campaigns, said Paul Guzzi, president of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

“I used to kid that one of my major jobs as secretary of state of Massachusetts was to defend ourselves against New Hampshire,’’ said Guzzi, who held that position from 1975 to 1978. “But there are incredible assets in Massachusetts that no other state has,’’ he said, such as prestigious universities and cutting-edge research labs.

Still, the 45-minute ride from southern New Hampshire to Boston makes it easy to access those benefits without paying the price of being based in Massachusetts, according to Bernhard Mueggler, who runs Untha America, an industrial shredding company that moved last month from Newburyport to Hampton, N.H.

Mueggler expects that by relocating 15 miles he will cut his operational costs by 10 percent annually.

“We needed to grow, and this is the right place to do it,’’ said Mueggler, who hopes to nearly double his workforce to 12 over the next two years.

CCS Presentation Systems, which installs video-conferencing equipment and other electronic gear, initially hesitated about abandoning its Chelmsford headquarters because many of the company’s clients are based in Boston. But after Bergeron whisked CCS through his whirlwind pitch a year and a half ago, the company couldn’t say no.

CCS found a building that was twice as big as a property it was considering in Massachusetts, and a price that was $1 million less. Bergeron helped speed the permits and in June 2010, CCS moved its 20 employees to Nashua.

“It is amazing what you can get just going over the border,’’ said CCS vice president Chris Gamst. “It was a shock to me.’’

Bergeron came in handy months later when CCS applied for a $40,000 annual tax credit. In February, he drove 60 miles through a snowstorm back and forth between Concord and Nashua to get the required signatures.

And when CCS needed to hire more employees, the firm tapped into a New Hampshire program aimed at getting unemployed workers back on payrolls. It allows companies to try out employees for six weeks while they keep receiving unemployment checks.

CCS still has some connections to Massachusetts – a small satellite sales office in Woburn, and the company’s old telephone number.

“We have to pay extra for that,’’ said Cheryl Gamst, CCS president. “The one thing we couldn’t get in New Hampshire – a good phone number.’’

When revenues slumped during the recession, many Massachusetts businesses eliminated jobs, shut stores, and did away with benefits. Now, as executives adjust to the slow-growth reality of the new economy, they are searching for ways to reap long-term savings. For some, that means New Hampshire.

One Massachusetts small business owner said he is considering the move for his company and family. The owner, who asked to remain anonymous because his 11 employees are not aware of the potential change, ticked off a long list of New Hampshire pluses: no capital gains tax, no inventory tax, no personal income tax, better rents, no sales tax, no Internet tax.

“We love Massachusetts,’’ he said. “But it’s hard to ignore New Hampshire.’’

Bergeron, a former Boston real estate broker, said he is excited by interest from companies of any size. In the spring, Fidelity Investments disclosed plans to close its Marlborough office and move workers to Merrimack, N.H., and Smithfield, R.I. The financial services powerhouse has not said how many jobs will shift to New Hampshire, but Bergeron estimates it at nearly 600.

His skills as a salesman are especially important because of the threadbare $100,000 marketing budget New Hampshire sets aside for recruiting businesses. Massachusetts, meanwhile, spends about $600,000 a year on efforts to attract new companies and keep existing ones.

To compensate for the meager funding, Bergeron and other state officials tap into the generosity of local businesses that supply free limos, hotel rooms, and lunches to help court Massachusetts companies. In return, the New Hampshire firms get their logos on the state’s economic development website.

Two weeks ago, Bergeron arranged for a 2011 Cadillac – donated by Capital Limousine Service in Concord, N.H. – to pick up the vice president of operations of a Massachusetts energy company that is weighing a move to New Hampshire. They toured five sites in the southern part of the state and met for lunch with economic development officials in Salem. Bergeron launched into his signature PowerPoint presentation as they ate roast beef sandwiches, dill pickles, and chocolate chip cookies – paid for by private sponsors.

It was a more subdued gathering than the “Get Big and Rich in New Hampshire’’ event Bergeron planned two years ago. For that extravaganza, limos escorted several Massachusetts prospects to a concert by country music performers Big and Rich at The Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, N.H., which hosted the outing with funding from Public Service of New Hampshire. The executives got backstage access and downed shots of Crown Royal whiskey with band members, Bergeron said.

None of the businesses ending up moving, but Bergeron said frequent rejection goes with the job.
“If you have 20 leads, then that turns into five prospects, and then one company actually comes,’’ he said. “You never stop pitching.’’

Bialecki, Massachusetts’ housing and economic development secretary, said that for all their work to get Massachusetts businesses to pull up roots, New Hampshire officials actually do need companies to prosper south of the state line.

“They should be hoping for our continued success,’’ Bialecki said. “Because the better we do, the better they’ll do.”

NHBSR Spring Conference Planned

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility’s (NHBSR) Spring Conference, “Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into Your Core Business Strategy,” will take place on Monday, June 13, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Grappone Conference Center at the Courtyard Marriott in Concord, NH.

nhbsr“Corporate social responsibility isn’t just a good business practice, it also adds to your company’s bottom line,” said NHBSR Interim Executive Director Kate Luczko. “This conference will not only help your business to better meet the needs of your clients and employees, it will also provide you with information you need to grow your business in a sustainable way.”

The conference features a lively morning networking session, the presentation of the NHBSR Cornerstone Award, four educational breakout sessions, and an afternoon CEO panel.
These educational sessions, which will offer real world suggestions that are appropriate and applicable to any size company, include “New Hampshire’s Changing Workforce: The Growing Need for Flexibility,” “Successfully Integrating Corporate Social Responsibility into Your Core Strategy and Culture,” “Current Trends in Managing Corporate Citizenship,” and “Managing Sustainability Performance with the Balanced Scorecard.”

At noon, Lisa Hardin Berghaus, Marketing Specialist, Monadnock Paper Mills, NHBSR Board Member and Spring Conference Co-Chair, will introduce Governor John Lynch who will present NHBSR’s annual Cornerstone Award to a company that exemplifies the principles of corporate social responsibility and promotes the concepts of CSR to the greater business community within the state of New Hampshire. The finalists for this year’s Cornerstone Award are: Antioch University, Sequoya Technologies Group, and Northeast Delta Dental.

“NHBSR is delighted to recognize one of our members with this award. It’s a fantastic way to highlight outstanding work in the field of social responsibility and sustainability and provides a important example to our New Hampshire community,” Luczko said.

C&S Wholesale Grocers was the proud recipient of the 2010 NHBSR Cornerstone Award for their efforts in feeding the hungry, promoting environmental awareness and encouraging employee volunteerism.

Here’s a brief overview of this year’s nominees:

Northeast Delta Dental
Northeast Delta Dental specializes in the administration of dental programs. It is their mission to be the leading force in the dental prepayment marketplace by offering quality, versatile and affordable dental programs to benefit their purchasers, subscribers, and participating member dentists. They have created a corporate environment built upon high trust and mutual respect. They are a values-driven company that successfully balances profitability and socially-responsible initiatives. Their leadership team follows the principles of servant leadership, enabling all employees, customers, and stockholders to be free from bureaucratic red tape, to self-actualize, and to have a delightful experience with Northeast Delta Dental.

Antioch University New England
Since its founding in 1964, Antioch University New England (ANE) has supported the tenets of Corporate Social Responsibility, and as its mission, provides transformative graduate study education through scholarship, innovation, and community action for a just and sustainable society. Antioch University New England supports CSR in three ways. Antioch operate the business of running a university using CSR principles, they educate their students in CSR principles, and through many of their student practices and internships, they help businesses and organizations locally and throughout New England recognize and begin to adopt CSR principles.

Sequoya Technologies Group
Sequoya is a managed IT services and software design firm specializing in meeting the needs of small businesses in southern New Hampshire. They’re located in Peterborough and provide IT support throughout the greater Monadnock region, including Keene, Concord, Manchester, and Nashua. They’ve also performedsoftware development projects for clients in New York, Denver, and beyond. They have a dedicated team of technicians, network engineers, and software developers. Sequoya truly believes in the values of a supportive and enjoyable work environment, with many benefits that are unusual for a company of only seven people, including flexible work schedules, paid vacation and sick leave, health insurance for both full-time and part-time staff, and more.

Following the Cornerstone Award Presentation there will be a CEO Panel Discussion, a new feature for the conference. The moderator is Jon Greenberg, Executive Editor at NH Public Radio, and panelists include Gerardine Ferlins, President/CEO of Cirtronics Corporation, Nannu Nobis, founder and CEO of Nobis Engineering, Inc., Doug Vincent, President and CEO of Design Mentor, Inc, Walter Chapin, Co-founder and CEO of Company C, Inc., and John Hamilton, Vice President of Economic Opportunity at the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. Following the CEO Panel Discussion there will be a short break and the Educational Breakout Sessions from the morning will repeat.

Over twenty-five socially responsible exhibitors will be showcasing their products and services throughout the conference, as well as the Silent Auction and Sustainability Book Store.

This event is made possible by the generosity of many sponsors.  Conference Leaders: FairPoint Communications, Normandeau Associates, the New Hampshire Community and Development Finance Authority, Monadnock Paper Mill and Hannaford. Conference Partners; Public Service of New Hampshire, and PAX World. AM Networking sponsor is Nixon Peabody LLP. CEO Panel sponsor is NH Community Loan Fund. Carbon Offset for this event was sponsored by C&S Wholesale Grocers. The Tote-bag sponsors are Northeast Delta Dental and Hypertherm. Design, paper and printing were provided by Baker Salmon Design, Monadnock Paper Mill and RAM Printing. NHBSR web marketing is sponsored by SilverTech.

The cost is $125 for any NHBSR member, $150 for non-members, $50 for non-profits and $30 for students.

For more detailed information about the Spring Conference, please visit http://www.nhbsrconference.org/ or contact Interim Executive Director, Kate Luczko at kate@nhbsr.org, (603) 391-7437. For more information about NHBSR, visit our website at www.nhbsr.org

15th Annual NH Economic Development Summit to Explore “Growing on Solid Ground”

Thursday, November 4th, 2010

Want to succeed in business? Try putting a smile on your face. Productivity and the power of positive thinking are inextricably linked in today’s global economy according to Paul Boynton, author of Begin With Yes, and keynote speaker at the 15th Annual NH Economic Development Summit to take place at Southern New Hampshire University on December 1st from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.   

"Begin With Yes" Author Paul Boynton

"Begin With Yes" Author Paul Boynton

“The world’s most successful entrepreneurs have all discovered that whatever you focus your attention on is what you attract into your life,” Boynton said. “Thinking happy, productive and positive thoughts leads to the type of bottom line results that make the difference between a good idea and a Fortune 500 company. It sounds simple, but those who’ve mastered this philosophy swear to its effectiveness not only in the boardroom but in life.” 

Boynton, an award-winning human services CEO who has been recognized for distinguished service and excellence in nonprofit management, published Begin With Yes last year and embraces its message, donating 10% of all book sales to non-profits. A personal coach, corporate consultant, and motivational speaker with degrees in social work and counseling, Boynton writes the column Making Good Things Happen at Work and hosts the weekly television talk show, Begin with Yes on MCTV. 

Boynton was a fitting choice for this year’s Annual NH Economic Development Summit which has set “Growing on Solid Ground” as its theme. Presented by the NH Division of Economic Development in cooperation with Public Service of NH, Sales Protocol and media sponsor NH Business Review, the Summit features three panel discussions – “Innovation and Inspiration – the New Hampshire Entrepreneur,” “Look Beyond the Label – Workplace Inclusion Makes Perfect Business Sense” and “Keeping It Young – Youth Retention in the Granite State.”    

Songwriter/Musician Jim Tyrrell

Songwriter/Musician Jim Tyrrell

“We really wanted this year’s event to demonstrate that New Hampshire’s economy remains vibrant, strong and creative,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “We are well positioned for growth both in-state and in terms of business attraction, so why not accentuate the positive and showcase some excellent programs and people?” 

“Public Service of NH is once again pleased to sponsor this summit which brings together economic development practitioners, elected officials, business professionals and educators to gain insight into the economy,” said Public Service of NH Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott who will provide an overview of the Hydro Quebec Project. “Information sharing is key to ensuring the strength of our business community and this event gives us a chance to network with and learn from some of the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds in New Hampshire.” 

For the third consecutive year, Scott Spradling of The Spradling Group will serve as the guest emcee of this daylong event that will also feature the “Commissioner’s Awards for Economic Development Excellence.” Songwriter/musician Jim Tyrrell, who recently released his third full-length album Onward to Yesterday, will perform throughout the day at the Summit. 

Admission is free but is limited to the first 200 people. To register, contact Leslie Sherman at lsherman@dred.state.nh.us.

Inaugural Flickers North Country Film Festival a Success

Thursday, October 7th, 2010

It’s always nice to be able to pass on good news about an inaugural event that finds success in the Granite State. With that in mind, I bring you the following press release from our friends at The Balsams Grand Resort which recently held the First Annual Flickers North Country Film Festival. Great job by Gary Armitage and the staff of the Balsams and special thanks to Public Service of NH for splitting a sponsorship package with the Division of Economic Development to support this economic development diversification project in the North Country.


Dixville Notch, N.H. – (Oct. 6, 2010) – The inaugural FLICKERS North Country Film Festival (FNCFF) was a major success on all fronts. The first-time event exceeded expectations of the organizers, while attracting hundreds of visitors over four days; including filmgoers from throughout New England and filmmakers from Canada.  

flickers1The non-profit festival aims to promote New Hampshire’s Great North Woods as a regional center for the arts, and also benefits The Brattleboro Retreat, a mental health and addiction treatment center that provides a wide array of services for children and adults. 

“For a first-time event the film festival was an amazing success. We had filmgoers from across the New England region attending. People traveled from Montreal specifically for the festival,” said Gary Armitage, VP of Sales and New Business Development, and one of the festival’s organizers.  “Our goal is to continue to grow this festival so that it spreads out into local communities like Colebrook and throughout Coos County.” 

FNCFF is in partnership with the Rhode Island International Film Festival (RIIFF) one of the largest and most respected in the country.  Sixty films were screened at FNCFF, including 37 short films, 6 feature narrative films and 18 documentaries.  The international flavor of the Festival was reflected with 21 countries being represented.   

Highlights of the weekend included a presentation from Hollywood screenwriter Chris Sparling, whose credits include the recently released and critically acclaimed suspense thriller BURIED starring Ryan Reynolds, and an upcoming film produced by M. Night Shyamalan.  Sparling gave a presentation called “Making It” in the film industry that included the ups and downs of more than a decade of perseverance that paid off with his “overnight success” with BURIED.  (Portions of Sparling’s presentation can be seen on The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel and FLICKERS North Country Film Festival Facebook Pages). 

Other special guests at NCFF included actress and filmmaker Marlyn Mason, who has appeared in more than100 films and television shows with stars like Elvis Presley and Bruce Lee, as well as well-known filmmaker Paul Sanderson III of “Our Town Films” who created the PBS documentary “Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture.”  

“The FLICKERS North Country Film Festival built immediate momentum,” said George T. Marshall, one of the FNCFF organizers and founder/director of the Rhode Island International Film Festival.  “I have been organizing film festivals for nearly 30 years and this event has such amazing potential. This first year makes it clear that the FNCFF can grow to become a ‘destination’ festival.’ People will travel not only to see the incredible films, but experience the foliage and world-class cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere that you don’t find at other festival.”

Next year’s festival has already been scheduled for Thursday, September 29 through Sunday, October 2, 2011.  Plans to expand the festival that are being discussed include student judges from local schools and other community educational and cultural events.

Flickers North Country Film Festival – 2010 Awards

(Portions of the Awards Presentations with filmmaker speeches can be seen on The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel and FLICKERS North Country Film Festival Facebook Pages). 

Louise and Neil Tillotson Flickers North Country Film Festival Award

Celebrating the passion of creativity within the world of cinema and the arts: Flickers North Country Film Festival recognizes outstanding writers, directors, actors, and film talent for their contributions to this vital art form and who embody the spirit of Louise and Neil Tillotson.  Neil Tillotson was an entrepreneur and owner of The BALSAMS who started out by selling penny balloons during the Depression and built a business empire.  Neil and Louise were also generous philanthropists who supported a variety of causes including the Arts, children and education, and were dedicated supporters of the prosperity of the North Country of New Hampshire.

–          Chris Sparling – Writer/director

Sparling is the first recipient of this award, in part for his perseverance in overcoming a number of obstacles in his quest to become a writer/director and for his continued support of the Arts and student writers and filmmakers in his home state of Rhode Island through teaching and speaking engagements.


Presented to an emerging artist whose outstanding work and vision epitomizes a new voice that must be heard; a filmmaker whose talent will have a positive impact in the future.

–          Sandra Boynton, Author/director


Presented semi-annually to an outstanding artist whose vision promotes tolerance, compassion and understanding. Named after the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams, who established an American tradition of religious freedom and individual liberty that was encoded in The Bill of Rights. This award honors a truly unique American whose ethics, philosophy and conscience reflects that of Roger Williams, who provided a refuge from rampant religious persecution, an open door to all people; a safe harbor in a vast sea of tyranny and oppression

–          Marlyn Mason, Actor/Writer

 Best Feature

GRAND: Cup Cake, Directed by Colin McIvor, Ireland/United Kingdom, 2010

Best Documentary

GRAND: Afghanistan: Defying Silence, Directed by Stacia Teele & Ed Robbins, U S A / Afghanistan, 2009

Best Short

GRAND: Toute Ma Vie (The Story Of My Life), Directed by Pierre Ferriere FRANCE, 2009

FNCFF Emerging Filmmaker- Rhonda J Zabinsky, Vancouver, B.C, Canada
Healing on The Edge – 100m, Canada, Poland, 2010


Best Feature

GRAND: “Listen to Your Heart ” Directed by Matt Thompson, Produced by Luke Moran and Kent Moran, USA, 2010 

Best Documentary

GRAND:  Just Like Us, Directed by Ahmed Ahmed, Egypt, Kuwait, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, U S A, United Arab Emirates, 2010

Free Business Recruitment Session to be Held

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Business incentives, job training and financing will be the main focus of a free State of New Hampshire presentation to be held for companies in southern Cheshire County on Tuesday, June 1st at 5:30 p.m. at the Winchester Town Hall.

Senator Molly Kelly

Senator Molly Kelly

Organized by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development (DRED) and hosted by Senator Molly Kelly (D-Keene), this session will discuss how towns can recruit new companies to the area and will also provide an overview of free government incentives for in-state businesses. Guest speakers will include New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Business Development Manager Michael Bergeron and Business Recruiter Cindy Harrington as well as New Hampshire Business Finance Authority Director Jack Donovan and MicroCredit-NH Regional Manager Peggy O’Keefe.

“This is a great opportunity for local business owners and prospering entrepreneurs to learn what’s available in terms of resources and programs,” said Senator Kelly. “Economic development is of vital importance to community vitality and this presentation will provide participants with an excellent forum to discuss new ideas and growth strategies.”

There are various State incentives available to the business community including energy audits, ERZ tax credits, opportunities to sell products and services to the federal government and research and development tax credits.

“Having knowledge of these opportunities can help a company to grow rapidly and maximize profits,” said New Hampshire Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy. “Getting educated makes perfect business sense.”

Public Service of New Hampshire is sponsoring free light refreshments at the session. To pre-register and learn more, contact Michael Bergeron at (603) 271-2591 or mbergeron@dred.state.nh.us.

14th Annual NH Economic Development Summit to Venture “One Step Beyond”

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

In announcing plans for the 14th Annual NH Economic Development Summit to take place at the Radisson Hotel Nashua on December 15th from 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., NH Division of Economic Development Interim Director Roy Duddy had a simple message to the business community – explore your creativity and be prepared to take “one step beyond.” 

“In today’s challenging economy, we all need to reexamine the way that we’ve traditionally done business and employ more creative and innovative strategies,” he said. “There has never been a better time to take chances and to pursue new ideas that might stimulate activity and lead to business growth.”

tomhayesbwFittingly enough, “One Step Beyond” is the theme of this year’s Annual NH Economic Development Summit. Presented by the NH Division of Economic Development in cooperation with Public Service of NH and media sponsor NH Business Review, the Summit will feature two keynote speakers, Tom Ticknor of Ticknor & Associates who will present “Building a Brand – Positioning Your Community for Success” and Tom Hayes, master salesman and life motivator, who will tell how he grew his Fuji Medical Systems sales territory from $200,000 to over $50M a year by building and motivating a top sales team. Selected by Showtime Networks as a “Funniest Person” award winner, Hayes lives by the motto, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much space.”

Workshops at the Summit will include “Granite Greatness – Tales of NH Entrepreneurship” featuring Laura Boucher (Hunter IdeaNeT – creator of the Snow Sleeve snow removal device), Michael McGloin (The Mountain – creator of the wildly popular “Three Wolf Moon” t-shirt) and Nancy Brown (Three Acre Kitchen – creator of outstanding balsamic based specialty foods), “New Mediums, New Messages – How Social Media is Transforming Communication” featuring Epiphanies, Inc. Owner Allen Voivod and “Mission Transmission – The Hydro Quebec Project” featuring Public Service of NH Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott and Public Service of NH Municipal Relations & External Affairs Specialist Allison McLean.  
Three Wolf Moon t-shirt image

Three Wolf Moon t-shirt image

“Public Service of NH is once again pleased to sponsor this summit which provides economic development practitioners and business owners with the latest information they need to keep New Hampshire’s economy moving forward,” said Public Service of NH Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott. “New Hampshire continues to outpace its New England neighbors in terms of business growth and we welcome the opportunity to highlight some of our emerging companies at this showcase event.”

For the second consecutive year, Scott Spradling of The Spradling Group will serve as the guest emcee of this daylong event that will also feature the “Commissioner’s Awards for Economic Development Excellence.”

Admission is free but is limited to the first 200 people. To register, contact Leslie Sherman at lsherman@dred.state.nh.us.

A Great Day for Sociability

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

About four months ago, I was invited to poke my head in a meeting which would ultimately change the way that our Division conducts its business outreach.

allen-and-laniAt the meeting, I was introduced to Allen and Lani Voivod, a young couple with a Lakes Region-based social marketing firm called Epiphanies, Inc. (www.epiphaniesinc.com) I was intrigued by their thought process and their passion for the power of social media in bringing people together. They seemed to be the type of entrepreneurial, forwarding thinking people who could infuse some new energy into our marketing efforts.

In a lot of ways, the first couple of meetings with Allen and Lani reminded me of the X-Men movie where the mutant students are gathered at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. They were superheroes of the highest power, with the ability to throw out creative thoughts and not to dismiss any concept, no matter how impossible it sounded. They would not be constrained by red tape or logistical hardships, nor would they accept the premise that positive action couldn’t be achieved. They wouldn’t let “the man” get them down. Clearly, I had found a pair of kindred spirits.

Fast forward to the present – we now have a fully operational blog, a Twitter account and a presence on Facebook. We also celebrated the success of the First Annual Social Media Business Summit, a standing room only event that took place at Public Service of New Hampshire (www.psnh.com) yesterday.


It was entirely fitting that the first summit was held at a facility called “Energy Park” because the atmosphere in the room was nothing short of electric. Ideas were generated, information was shared and all attendees left the event ready to incorporate social media into their companies’ communications strategies.

I’d like to thank Allen and Lani for their hard work as well as moderator Mo Bresee (www.mobresee.com) and logistical expert Leslie Sturgeon (www.wiwnh.com) for crafting a fabulous day. Thanks also to Public Service of New Hampshire (especially Pat McDermott and Nancy Rheinhardt) for their generous sponsorship and to the “Stay, Work and Play” initiative (especially Matt Cookson from the University System of NH -(http://www.usnh.edu/initiatives/55_swpincentive.shtml) for their partnership.

If you haven’t do so already, please further our social media efforts by signing up for our blog as well as our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Information is POWER.

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director