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May 14, 2013

A dozen cos. take home Maine Family Business Awards

Six winners and six finalists received 2013 Maine Family Business Awards May 13 at the Marriott Hotel in South Portland.

The awards were announced by the nonprofit Institute for Family-Owned Business in partnership with the law firm Verrill Dana. They showcased family businesses whose strategies, practices and values impact the community.

The six winners and judges' comments are as follows:

Agren Appliance & Television, Auburn, won the Morong Falmouth award for a large business (25 or more employees). Judges commented, "It was our near-unanimous choice for its ability to build customer loyalty."

D. Cole Jewelers, Portland, won the Maddy Corson award for small business (fewer than 25 employees). Judges said, "We recognized a sound business philosophy and carefully measured strategies that kept this family enterprise flourishing … in the only location it has known for over 30 years, Portland's Old Port."

The Wolak Group, Falmouth, won the Shep Lee award for Community Service. Judges said, "…What grabbed us was the way in which they nurtured other things…often times unlikely stuff like their international intern program, plus a ton of community work."

Hannan's Electric, South Portland, won the Customer Service award. Judges noted, "We were awestruck by the way this company of only five employees dedicated itself to making life easier for its customers, daily employee meetings and a user-friendly website being just a few examples."

Central Street Farmhouse, Bangor, won the First Generation award. Judges said, "We were stunned by the way they told their story about their downtown retail store, a business that successfully translates its strong family values to its mostly urban customers and a do-it-yourself lifestyle."

Close Buy Catalog, Portland, won the Innovation award. Judges said, "This owner turned an old, time-worn and uninteresting idea into something that is fresh and appealing, and in doing developed a school fundraiser that is benefitting everyone involved."

Other finalists were Butterfield Technologies, Portland; Elizabeth Moss Galleries, Falmouth; Karkos Group, Lewiston; Now You're Cooking, Bath; The Maine Sportsman, Augusta; and Wizbe Innovations, Manchester.

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