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Winners Celebrated at 8th Business Excellence Awards

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

It was a real pleasure for the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development to be a sponsor of last night’s New Hampshire Business Review “Business Excellence Awards” at Southern New Hampshire University. This was a great celebration of New Hampshire’s  best and brightest companies and the good folks at NHBR were rewarded for their hard work with a packed room.

Special congrats are in order for “No Bull Business Blog” guest blogger Dr. Russ Ouellette of Sojourn Partners who was recognized with an award in the “Business Services” category. Way to go Russ!!

Here’s a recap of last night’s festivities:

New Hampshire Business Review honored 14 individuals at the 2010 Business Excellence Awards, which recognize the efforts and achievements owners of businesses with 100 employees or fewer.

More than 50 nominations in 13 categories were received, making the job of the 14 judges that much more difficult.

More than 300 people attended the Oct. 20 event, which was held at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

Because of the extraordinary number of accomplished candidates, NHBR also named a tie in the Retail category and finalists in several other categories.

NHBR also announced two inductees into the Business Excellence Hall of Fame, which singles out people whose entire careers have been marked by a consistent and impressive record of accomplishments, both in their chosen fields, in their communities, and across the state and beyond. These honorees were selected by a separate panel of judges.

“Each of the businesspeople who receive these honors has a different story to tell,” said Sharron McCarthy, president of McLean Communications and publisher of NHBR. “But what they have in common is determination, industriousness and the ability to come up with innovative solutions that have allowed their businesses to survive and thrive, regardless of economic conditions, and a commitment to serving their communities.”

NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold

NHBR Editor Jeff Feingold

Jeff Feingold, editor of NHBR, said, “We would like to salute all of the nominees, the people who nominated them and the winners themselves for their contributions toward making New Hampshire a great place to do business.”

Emcee was Charlie Sherman, host of WGIR-AM’s morning news talk program.

A portion of the proceeds from the evening benefited Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, which advocates for New Hampshire children in the state’s court system in cases of neglect and abuse.

The winners of the 2010 NHBR Business Excellences Awards were:

"Business Services" winner Dr. Russ Ouellette

"Business Services" winner Dr. Russ Ouellette

• Excellence in Business Services — Russ Ouellette, Sojourn Partners LLC, Bedford
• Excellence in Construction — G. Hayden McLaughlin, Belknap Landscape Co., Inc., Gilford
• Excellence in Financial Services — Frank Teas, The Nashua Bank
• Excellence in Health Care — Joshua Siegal, M.D., Access Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, Exeter
• Excellence in Hospitality — Carol Sheehan, The Red Arrow 24 Hr. Franchising Inc., Manchester
• Excellence in Media & Marketing — Linda Fanaras, Millennium Integrated Marketing Inc., Manchester
• Excellence in Nonprofits — Peter Kelleher, Partnership for Successful Living, Nashua
• Excellence in Professional Services — Jonathan Halle, Warrenstreet Architects, Concord
• Excellence in Real Estate — Quentin Keefe, Regency Mortgage Corp., Manchester
• Excellence in Retail (tie) — Susan Lozier Robert, Frederick’s Pastries, Amherst; Curt Jacques, West Lebanon Feed & Supply
• Excellence in Technology — Jason Alexander, Alexander Technology Group, Bedford

The 2010 NHBR Business Excellence Hall of Fame Inductees were:

• Alex Ray, founder, Common Man Family of Restaurants
• Lew Feldstein, former chairman, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation

The judges for the 2010 NHBR Business Excellence Awards were:

• Jennifer Boulanger, loan officer at Capital Region Economic Development Corp. in Concord and former executive director of the Belknap County Economic Development Council based in Laconia
• Robin Comstock, president and CEO, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce
• Roy Duddy, interim director, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development
• Lou Guevin, former chairman, Junior Achievement of New Hampshire
• Julie Gustafson, president and CEO, Amoskeag Business Incubator, Manchester
• Richard Hanson, professor, accounting and taxation, Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester; executive director, Institute for Forensic Accounting and Fraud Examination, SNHU
• Mahboubul Hassan, professor, economics and finance, SNHU
• Lise Howson, vice president and business banking relationship manager, Citizens Bank
• Witmer Jones, New Hampshire district director, U.S. Small Business Administration
• Dave Juvet, senior vice president, Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire
• Patrick F. McDermott, economic and community development manager, Public Service Company of New Hampshire
• Tim Sink, president, Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce
• Ashley Smith, business editor, The Nashua Telegraph
• Chip Underhill, senior marketing manager, FairPoint Communications, Manchester

Sponsors of the event were FairPoint Communications, Laconia Savings Bank, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England, Public Service of New Hampshire, J Maze Design, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, Merrimack Street Volvo, WGIR-AM 610, New Hampshire Public Television and Southern New Hampshire University. — NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

Automated Export System Training to Be Offered

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

The New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center will be offering two hands-on training sessions of the Automated Export System (AES) on Tuesday, March 2nd with the first session to take place from 8-11 a.m. and the second from noon-3 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University.

aeslogo2Special guest Kenneth Soo of the AES Branch of the U.S. Census Bureau will be on hand to discuss how New Hampshire companies can avoid penalties and delays by having a firm understanding of how to file electronically through AES.

Topics to be discussed include how to check shipment status, how to make templates, the submission process for Electronic Export Information (EEI) and the ins and outs of AES’ sophisticated editing system.  

There are 28 seats available in each class; availability is first come first served. The cost for the session is $40 and full registration details can be found at www.exportnh.org/calendar/registration.aspx. For questions, contact Katy Reno at (603) 271-8444 or katy.reno@dred.state.nh.us

Administered by the New Hampshire Division of Economic Development’s Office of International Commerce, the ITRC plans, develops and administers programs for international trade promotion and foreign market development.  For more information about the ITRC, call (603) 271-8444, or visit their website at www.exportnh.org

Sig Sauer Captures Top State Economic Development Honors

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Sig Sauer was named “Company of the Year” as part of the “2009 Commissioner’s Awards for Economic Development Excellence” announced Tuesday at the 14th Annual New Hampshire Economic Development Summit held at the Radisson Hotel Nashua.

NH Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald (l.) and Governor John Lynch (r.) congratulate Sig Sauer Counsel Steve Shawver on Sig's designation as "Commissioner's Company of the Year."

NH Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald (l.) and Governor John Lynch (r.) congratulate Sig Sauer Counsel Steve Shawver on Sig's designation as "Commissioner's Company of the Year."

“Sig Sauer is a company that truly exemplifies the meaning of the word ‘innovation’,” New Hampshire Department of Resources & Economic Development Commissioner George Bald said. “With a skilled workforce that is forward thinking and dedicated to creative product development, Sig Sauer has built a world class firm that New Hampshire can be proud of.”

The Exeter-based handgun manufacturer and distributor is an ISO 9001 certified company with over 380 employees. Sig Sauer has more than tripled its workforce in the past 30 months, invested $18M U.S. dollars in state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and equipment and significantly expanded its engineering base.

Other category winners are as follows:

“Commissioner’s Special Achievement Award” – The Town of Colebrook for their community commitment to keeping Le Rendez-Vous bakery open when the business was in danger of closing due to a visa issue.

“Commissioner’s Exemplary Effort Award” – New Hampshire Manufacturing Extension Partnership Director of Operations Zenagui Brahim for his leadership in spearheading the Governor’s Manufacturing Leadership Series and the New Hampshire Advanced Manufacturing & High Technology Summit.

Pat McDermott (c.) was given a special commendation for his years of exemplary service to the economic development community.

Pat McDermott (c.) was given a special commendation for his years of exemplary service to the economic development community.

“Commissioner’s Teamwork Award” – WMUR, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Southern New Hampshire University for organizing the two WMUR Project Economy Job Fair & Career Expos that helped to re-employ hundreds of New Hampshire workers.

“Commissioner’s Award for Media Excellence” – Jack Heath of WTPL for his outstanding “New Hampshire Today” program and his “First Class Business” segment which highlights positive business happenings in the state.

“Special Governor’s Commendation” – Public Service of New Hampshire Economic & Community Development Manager Pat McDermott for his support of State business recruitment efforts and ongoing commitment to the New Hampshire business community.

The 14th Annual New Hampshire Economic Development Summit was sponsored by Public Service of New Hampshire with support from media sponsor New Hampshire Business Review.

Hopes, Dreams and New Hampshire Spirit

Friday, August 28th, 2009

They arrived at 6 a.m. full of positive energy, good humor and the hope that today might be the day.  They arrived in business suits, jeans, dresses and shorts. They arrived knowing that there were over 1,000 available jobs and 150 companies looking for skilled workers.

wmur-job-fair-ii-015Over 5,000 job seekers made their way to the WMUR Project Economy Job Fair & Career Expo sponsored by the State of New Hampshire, WMUR and New Hampshire Motor Speedway at the track yesterday. Several of the faces at the Job Fair seemed familiar – there was a bit of overlap from the First Project Economy Job Fair earlier in the year at Southern New Hampshire University. That event was notable for having to be closed down hours early when approximately 10,000 job seekers clogged streets and brought traffic to a standstill. It was also notable for employing over 500 citizens with many more hirings going unrecorded.

There were no such logistical issues yesterday at a venue that seats over 120,000 race fans at NASCAR events. Traffic moved briskly both on the road and in the four garages used to house displays from employers offering jobs ranging from IT technician to retail manager.

wmur-job-fair-ii-009Not only were job seekers able to speak with employers and distribute resumes, they were also able to learn resume writing and other employability skills at workshops that were jam packed throughout the day. Shortly after 10 a.m. when Miss New Hampshire Lindsey Graham stirred the crowd with the National Anthem, the word went out quickly that if you wanted to sign up for a workshop, you needed to be fleet of foot.

The New Hampshire spirit of volunteerism and neighbors helping neighbors was perhaps the most heartening  aspect of the day. In addition to the State team that joined with WMUR and New Hampshire Motor Speedway, there was a group of volunteers that gave their time, energy and passion to ensure that job seekers had a positive experience. There were the National Guard volunteers who whooped and hollered every time that the trams delivering the job seekers from the parking lot to the venue rode by, keeping spirits high and creating smiles. There was the team of workers young and old who arrived the day before the fair to set up tables and spread linens. There were also the event guardian angels who dealt with language barriers, crossed signals and endless questions, all with a genuine desire to just be part of a solution.

The Job Fair was not a place for singlemindedness. During the course of the day, I was a parking lot attendant, media representative, set-up crew member, tram assistant and official greeter for the Governor and Miss New Hampshire. I wasn’t the only one….not by a long stretch. Every member of the 90 person volunteer army was required to take on a number of different roles – when you’re trying to get folks employed, no job is too small or insignificant.

For me to thank everyone who played a part in the success of the event would be nearly impossible. What I will say is that anyone who played any part in taking care of their neighbors, friends, brothers, sisters at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on August 27th 2009 gave a part of their spirit and their soul to ensure that others would have a chance to put food on the table, provide for their children and contribute to our state’s economy and well-being. They deserve your thanks and your respect.

In closing, I happened to sit on a curb with an older woman midway through the day. She had just gotten laid off from her job on Monday and was hoping to get re-employed quickly. She was understandably down about her situation, but hopeful that one of the resumes that she dropped off would catch an employer’s eye and lead to a new opportunity.  I pray that she and all of the other hopeful faces I saw yesterday will receive the calls that they’ve been waiting for and can celebrate again…..but until then, please know that we all owe it to each other to look out for our neighbors and to lend a helping hand. After all, isn’t that what the New Hampshire spirit is all about?

– Steve Boucher, Communications & Legislative Director

NH International Trade Resource Center to Support OPIC Workshop

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

opicThe New Hampshire International Trade Resource Center (ITRC), which coordinates state efforts to enhance the New Hampshire business community’s ability to perform competitively in the global marketplace, will serve as a supporting organization for a workshop for minority- and women-owned businesses in the greater New England area conducted by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), OPIC Acting President Dr. Lawrence Spinelli announced today.

The Expanding Horizons workshop is the latest in a series that has educated more than 750 small and medium-sized business (SME) owners around the country about investment opportunities overseas and the OPIC products that can help SMEs take advantage of them. It will be held September 24 at the Westin Hotel at Copley Place in Boston.

Elizabeth J. Weber, co-founder and director of Edge Development Group, Inc. (EDG), a business consulting firm based in Ridgefield, Connecticut, will be the keynote speaker.
In an addition to customary workshop sessions on OPIC products such as political risk insurance and financing for SMEs, the Boston event will feature a new session on OPIC support for renewable energy and clean energy technology projects, a new area of focus for the agency.

OPIC held Expanding Horizons workshops in Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles during 2006, and in Miami, Newark, San Francisco and Houston in 2007. Combined attendance for the workshops was 765 participants, representing 22 states. Sixty-seven organizations supported the workshops.

The ITRC, managed by the state Office of International Commerce, also houses the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Southern New Hampshire University, USDA’s Food Export program, International Trade Data Network.  The Trade Center also partners with the United States Department of Commerce and with the New Hampshire International Trade Association. The team works on local, state, federal, national, and international levels to establish a network of programs, services, and contacts to benefit and enhance the efforts of the New Hampshire business community to perform competitively in the global marketplace.

OPIC was established as an agency of the U.S. government in 1971. It helps U.S. businesses invest overseas, fosters economic development in new and emerging markets, complements the private sector in managing risks associated with foreign direct investment, and supports U.S. foreign policy. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers.

OPIC’s political risk insurance and financing help U.S. businesses of all sizes invest in more than 150 emerging markets and developing nations worldwide. Over the agency’s 38-year history, OPIC has supported $188 billion worth of investments that have helped developing countries to generate over 830,000 host-country jobs. OPIC projects have also generated $72 billion in U.S. exports and supported more than 273,000 American jobs.

Visit OPIC on the web at www.opic.gov.

Online Registration Now Open for WMUR Project Economy Job Fair & Career Expo

Friday, July 17th, 2009

Governor John Lynch today announced that online registrations are now being accepted for the WMUR Project Economy Job Fair & Career Expo to take place on Thursday, August 27th from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (NHMS) in Loudon.

john_lynch“This job fair is a great opportunity for anyone in the job market, whether they are first-time job seekers or are in search of a new career,” Governor Lynch said. “I urge anyone seeking employment to sign up online as soon as possible.”

Thus far, 105 area employers have signed up to take part in the event. The first WMUR Project Economy Job Fair & Career Expo held April 9th at Southern New Hampshire University, drew an overflow crowd and resulted in the hiring of at least 450 workers.

bartlett-head-shot“We are happy to do our part to help bring jobs to the people of New Hampshire,” said WMUR General Manager Jeff Bartlett.  “Our Project Economy initiative is all about getting people employed, helping them find ways to save money and thriving during challenging times. Partnering with the State and New Hampshire Motor Speedway on another job fair is a natural fit for WMUR.”

Once again, the Project Economy job fair team has assembled a team of state and local partners that will bring together employers and job seekers for a day of networking, workshops and career connections. Southern New Hampshire University and its State colleagues will join to present resume writing, interviewing and job readiness workshops as part of the day’s offerings.

gappens_193“New Hampshire Motor Speedway is thrilled to be able to do its part to assist local citizens in their efforts to find good jobs and provide for their families,” said NHMS General Manager Jerry Gappens. “Being a community partner is a large part of our mission and we’re very pleased to be part of the great team organizing what’s sure to be a tremendous event.”

Job seekers are invited to register online at http://www.nh.gov/nhes/news/jobfairs_expos.htm. Businesses interested in taking part in the event are asked to register at visiting www.wmur.com/nh-job-fair. All questions about business registration should be directed to Business Registration Coordinator Stuart Arnett at (603) 219-0043.

Venue Change for Small Business Financing Fair

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009

It’s no secret that small businesses are the backbone of the New Hampshire economy. As just another example of the number of people who are interested in either starting or growing their own business, the venue of the Small Business Financing Fair being organized by Senator Jeanne Shaheen has changed to a much larger location. See below for all of the details.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen officially announced today that due to overwhelming demand, the June 29th Small Business Financing Fair will be moved to the Southern New Hampshire University’s Gymnasium located at the Athletics and Recreation Complex.  Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with more than 40 vendors, including 16 banks and lending institutions.


The Fair will provide current and prospective small business owners the opportunity to network with potential financing partners and learn about state, federal, and private funding resources.  Shaheen organized the Small Business Fair with the assistance of the Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center, New Hampshire Division of Economic Development, the New Hampshire Bankers Association, New Hampshire Employment Security and Southern New Hampshire University.

Those wishing to attend the Small Business Financing Fair must pre-register online at http://shaheen.senate.gov/services/rsvp/

WHAT:      Small Business Financing Fair hosted by U.S. Senator Jeanne

 WHEN:      Monday, June 29th, 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.

 WHERE:    Southern New Hampshire University Gymnasium
                      Athletics and Recreation Complex
                      2500 N. River Road
                      Manchester, NH