We had a great visit in Bangor back in March. It was our first On the Road reception of 2012 and several of us Mainebiz editorial folks were able to sit with a group of Bangor-area CEOs and business owners for a reader roundtable. We hold these roundtables around the state to solicit feedback on our editorial products and ways we can improve them, as well as to pick the brains of our target audience.
The Bangor participants were eager to talk about what was going on in their business communities, and to suggest stories on business trends or innovative companies that were flying under the radar.
We were listening. Back in May, we did a story about an influx of Canadian shoppers who were having a big impact in the Bangor area retailers (enhanced by recent tax law changes that gave Canadians incentives to shop often and extend their stays across the border). The tip came from one of our Bangor roundtable members. In this issue, which focuses on Bangor-area businesses, you'll see the manifestation of another tip: a profile on innovative mapmaker Kappa Mapping, which is growing by leaps and bounds through mastery of new mapping technology. If your familiarity with maps is limited to AAA's TripTik and the compass you used in Scout camp, check out Senior Writer Jim McCarthy's profile, "Finding its way," starting on page 24.
We also hear from Tanya Pereira, economic development specialist in Bangor, who writes about the economic importance of a vital arts and cultural sector, in "Building on the arts," on page 23.
The focus is rounded out with a great story by Staff Writer Matt Dodge, who takes us on an energy exploration from cow pies to home heat, in "Waste not," on the cover. Stoneyvale Farm in Exeter has installed a renewable energy system based on digesters that convert cow manure into enough power to satisfy the energy needs of 800 homes a year. The system not only provides cheap and green energy to power the farm, it also supplies a revenue stream to help stabilize the volatility of milk markets for this fifth-generation dairy farm.
This issue also marks the first contributions of Mark Jeanneret, our new editorial assistant. Mark is in charge of managing the reams of press releases announcing new hires, promotions, realty transfers and more that make their way into each issue of Mainebiz. We're glad he's here.
And finally, mark your calendars for the Sept. 20 reception honoring our 2012 Women to Watch, profiled in our last issue. These are remarkable business executives and you will be inspired by their stories. For details on the reception, go to mainebiz.biz and click on the events tab.
While you're there, go ahead and nominate someone you think is shaping Maine's economy. Nominations close Aug. 24 for our 2012 Next List. We love identifying Maine's movers and shakers, a recognition we've been doing for 10 years now. Like we say, it's like networking with the future.