PRESQUE ISLE, Maine— Gov. John Baldacci joined Aroostook County business and economic development leaders Friday afternoon to herald the opening of a new business started by a Presque Isle-born entrepreneur.
The opening of Balance BPO in the site most recently occupied by MBNA and Connect North America on Green Hill Drive was attended by nearly 100 people. Tim Lavin, the co-founder, president and CEO of the company, welcomed guests to his new establishment and Lavin’s son cut the ribbon to officially welcome his father’s business to the city.
Balance BPO is an inbound customer service organization that partners with Fortune 500 and blue-chip companies to handle their inbound customer service and technical support calls across multiple channels, including telephone, e-mail and chat. It also will use the facility to develop its own propriety software.
The new teleservice company, based in Texas, will share the building with another company, TxVia. Each company anticipates hiring 100 employees over the next 12 months.
The Presque Isle branch of Balance BPO will serve as its “Center of Excellence,” and its mission will be to create and refine the Balance BPO culture and improve upon the company’s proprietary software infrastructure and processes.
“We intend to change the face of the BPO [business process outsourcing] industry,” Lavin told the crowd.
He said that he negotiated with the Northern Maine Finance Corp. to establish his Presque Isle business and was happy to be back in The County. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development provided funding to support the project as well.
Lavin said he wanted to base his business in Presque Isle because of the Aroostook County work ethic.
“We intend to do everything we can to attract Fortune 500 and blue-chip clients to create jobs in this region. We will create an environment where people want to come to work.”
Baldacci attended the ceremony and congratulated Lavin and his family on their new venture.
“We are pleased that Balance BPO and TxVia have chosen the location for their Center of Excellence here in Presque Isle,” Baldacci said. “Balance BPO decided in part to locate here because of the high-quality work force in Maine. They have also singled out the leadership by local and state government to welcome them to this area.”
Balance BPO has begun the process to become Pine Tree Zone certified.
U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins were not able to attend the event due to prior commitments but sent written remarks, which were read by their representatives.
Snowe congratulated the company on becoming established in the city, saying that Balance BPO will bring “renewed vitality not only to the building, but to the community as a whole.”
Collins called the company “a welcome addition to the Presque Isle community and Aroostook County.”
Rep. Mike Michaud also sent his regards in a written statement. He said that it is “a compliment to both the company leadership and to the local community” that Balance BPO chose to expand its operations into The County.
Balance BPO is a privately held corporation.