Weekly business news

Posted Oct. 25, 2011, at 4:31 p.m.

Computer solutions

BREWER — Chris Downs of Brewer has opened his own business, chris downs computerroom, offering “affordable computer solutions in home or office.”

A native of Newburgh, Downs graduated from Hampden Academy and took electronics and computer classes at what is now Eastern Maine Community College.

He was employed for 28 years with the Bangor Daily News, most recently as an information systems specialist.

Downs offers general computer repairs; virus removal and protection; networking, wired and wireless; data backups; software installation and consulting; and computer upgrades.

He also plans to give computer training and and do classes on Skype and Facebook for retirement and residential complexes.

For information, call 217-2534 or visit cdcomputerroom.com.

Design company

BROOKS — Christopher Quimby has started a new business, NachoTree Design, in Brooks. The company will offer logo creation and design of brochures, business cards and other business items.

A native of Belfast and Winterport, Quimby graduated from Hampden Academy and earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies at the University of Maine.

He was employed with the Bangor Daily News for 11 years, most recently as a graphic designer. He also has performed standup comedy for the past 10 years as “Chris Quimby, CPC — Certified Public Comedian.”

For more information on NachoTree Design, call 557-3251, email chris@nachotree.com or visit http://www.nachotree.com.

Money-management class

BANGOR — Financing Your Future, a five-session class, explores attitudes and beliefs about money and builds money management confidence. One follow-up session will also be scheduled a month later. Classes will be held 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Wednesdays, starting Nov. 9, at Women, Work, & Community, UMA-Bangor campus.

This workshop can help you gain the skills and confidence you need to stretch your money, pay your bills, reduce your debt, find money for savings, and set personal financial goals.

Classes are free and confidential. Registration is required; space is limited. To register or to get more information, call 262-7842 or 1-800-442-2092.

New bank officials

BANGOR — People’s United Bank has announced that John Quesnel has joined the bank as vice president in Business Banking and is located at 201 Main St.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Quesnel began his banking career as a teller in 1982 for First Bank and later moved to Connecticut National, where he worked for several years in their branch system. For the next nine years, he worked at People’s Bank in various capacities and departments including credit card, consumer credit analysis, residential workout officer, and mortgage marketing officer. In 1998, he worked for Clayton National, Inc. as an asset manager until he relocated to Maine in 2001. Since living in Maine, he has worked at Camden National and The First, N.A. in their Special Asset areas.

Quesnel earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, Conn. Active in the community, he is chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Hampden Water District.

He and his wife, Bonnie, own Bradley Scottish Imports, LLC. They live in Hampden with their daughter, Samantha.

Also Cynthia (Cindy) L. Kenyon has joined the bank as assistant vice president and mortgage officer and is located at 366 Wilson St.

Kenyon brings more than 20 years’ combined real estate and banking experience to People’s United Bank.

She attended the University of Maine, Orono, with a concentration in finance and psychology. She held a Real Estate Broker license for seven years and was a member of a Million-Dollar Round Club and participant of an affordable housing committee for the Kennebec Valley Board of Realtors. She is a past committee member for the Greater Bangor Area Chamber of Commerce.

Kenyon has also been active in the community as a volunteer for Make A Wish Foundation, Walk for Education, United Way of Eastern Maine, March of Dimes, Folk Festival Bucket Brigade, SAD #22 School District, and various other community organizations.

She lives in Newburgh with her husband, David and daughter Margo. They also have two grown children and two grandchildren.

Small business advocate

AUGUSTA — On Oct. 6, Secretary of State Charlie Summers appointed Jay Martin of Stillwater as Maine’s first Small Business Advocate. This position was formed as part of LD 1, “An Act To Ensure Regulatory Fairness and Reform,” approved in a bipartisan vote then signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage on June 13. Summers will chair the Regulatory Fairness Board, to be staffed by Martin, which will hear testimony and report to the Legislature and the governor on regulatory and statutory changes necessary to enhance the state’s business climate.

Martin brings extensive business management experience to this position, including a 16-year career in the restaurant industry. Upon achieving his bachelor’s in English degree at the University of Maine in 1995, he played an instrumental role in expanding the popular Bangor-based Coffee News publication franchise across the U.S. His service to Washington Hancock Community Agency significantly increased funding for and awareness of its programs. At United Cerebral Palsy of Maine, he facilitated the agency’s acquisition of the Elizabeth Levinson Center. A Bangor native and son of local commercial artist Normand Martin, he lives in Stillwater with his wife Karen.

The Small Business Advocate will reach out and respond to small businesses of 50 employees or fewer that are addressing state regulatory concerns, with a focus on resolving enforcement actions. Secretary Summers states, “Jay will serve as an independent voice to advise and inform me of regulatory issues that create significant economic hardship for Maine’s small business community. This is the first position of its kind for Maine and the nation, and we project very positive results.”

New cellular site

CARMEL — U.S. Cellular continues to invest in its high-speed nationwide network with a new cell site in Carmel to help residents and businesses stay connected to the information and people who matter most to them. The new site will increase U.S. Cellular’s coverage in the towns of Damascus, Carmel, Levant, and Hermon, and is one of more than 325 towers U.S. Cellular has built across the state.

“Creating the best network in Maine to ensure that our customers stay connected is a top priority. We take pride in knowing our customers can rely on our network and enjoy the many features their cell phone has to offer no matter where they are,” said Eric Conlon, director of sales for U.S. Cellular in New England.

To select locations for new towers, U.S. Cellular has teams of system performance engineers who drive through the company’s network coverage area, sometimes hundreds of miles a day, to test the signal strength and call quality. U.S. Cellular also listens to customer feedback to help identify the communities that would benefit from another tower.

Gifford’s honored

SKOWHEGAN — Gifford’s Ice Cream has won an unprecedented second overall grand champion award at the dairy industry’s most important competition, repeating the honor it earned in 2010. Gifford’s World’s Best Chocolate ice cream was named Grade A & Ice Cream Grand Champion at the 2011 World Dairy Expo, an honor it earned in 2010.

No other business has won the Grade A and Ice Cream Grand Champion award twice, much less in two consecutive years.

The World Dairy Expo is the only international judging contest of its kind, and is considered the dairy industry’s most important competition. According to the Word Dairy Expo, this year’s contest featured a record 705 entries in all categories.

The Grade A and Ice Cream Grand Champion award is not the only recognition earned by Gifford’s at this year’s Expo. The fifth-generation, family-owned dairy also earned first place for French Vanilla ice cream, second place for Old Fashioned Vanilla and second place for Orange Sherbet.

Banker honored

CAMDEN — Steve Thomas, vice president and commercial banking officer in Camden National Bank’s Bangor Market, was honored with the bank’s Commitment to the Shareholder Award for continuously exceeding expectation and surpassing his goals while striving to do what’s best for both the customer and the company in every interaction.

Biomass payment

WASHINGTON — Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA will make payments to more than 160 energy producers in 41 states to support and ensure the production and expansion of advanced biofuels.

“Renewable energy production will create tens of thousands of direct, American jobs; thousands more indirect jobs, and clean electricity to power millions of homes. The payments I am announcing today represent the continuing commitment of the Obama administration to work with producers to provide the biofuel necessary to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources,” Vilsack said. “The payments support America’s growing advanced biofuel industry.”

Among those benefitting is Corinth Wood Pellets, LLC, in Corinth, which has been selected to receive a payment of $31,406.17 for producing and selling premium-grade wood pellets for the residential, industrial and commercial markets. The wood pellets were produced from sawdust and woodchip feedstock. A total of 18,224 metric tons of wood pellets were produced to generate 298,873,600,000 BTUs. This energy generation supports our efforts to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels by turning solid feedstock into alternative fuel to heat residential, industrial and commercial buildings.

The payments are authorized under the Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels.

Airport contest

BANGOR — On Nov. 17, Allegiant will start service from Bangor International Airport to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Entrants will have a chance to win the grand prize of a cruise on Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, round-trip airfare on Allegiant, and a two-night stay at the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel. The question is “Who would you choose to take with you?” Give BGR the answer and enter to win the cruise.

Entries can be made by going to www.flybangor.com and clicking on the contest button on the home page. The grand-prize drawing will be done at the inaugural flight press conference on Nov. 17.

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