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June 20, 2014

MaineWorks, Garbage to Garden among SCORE winners

File PHOTo / Tim greenway
File PHOTo / Tim greenway
Tyler Frank, president of Garbage to Garden, has 12 employees at his Portland business.

A temporary staffing company that uses veterans and others who face barriers getting hired and a company that recycles kitchen waste were among the success award winners at the SCORE luncheon in Portland, where the national organization that offers free business mentoring also celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Brendan Ready, who co-founded lobster distribution company Ready Seafood with his brother John, was the keynote speaker, and described how the duo grew from living on the wharf and sleeping in bunk beds in 2004 to three companies now with about 100 employees. He credited SCORE mentors with helping him keep focus and grow the wholesale part of his business.

"The things that keep me up [at night] are the opportunities and possibilities on your fingertips," he told a room full of other entrepreneurs and mentors. "I have so much energy that I scare people in the morning."

Nancy Strojny, chairwoman of the Portland chapter of SCORE, in announcing the seven success awards, said winner Margo Walsh, founder of MaineWorks, currently is talking with CEI about an equity position, and has doubled revenues the past few years to $1 million in 2013. She said the company expects to double revenues again in 2014. MaineWorks gives veterans reentering the workforce, immigrants, recovering drug or alcohol abusers and those with previous nonviolent convictions a chance to work temporarily at industrial construction jobs. Walsh won in the category of Successful Innovative Small Business.

Tyler Frank, founder of a Portland curbside recycling service called Garbage to Garden, won in the Successful Green Small Business category. Frank also recently graduated from the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development's Top Gun program. Garbage to Garden also won a SCORE national award, one of 12 companies to do so, and will be honored at an August ceremony in Washington, D.C., to be attended by First Lady Michelle Obama.

The other winners were Dr. Dan Mingle of Mingle Analytics, a health care informatics company, in the Encore Entrepreneur Aged 50+ category; Pam Laskey of Maine Foodie Tours, which Strojny says now supports 43 other Maine businesses and is in three locations, in the Successful Woman-Owned Small Business category; Scott Fleurant of Impact Fitness Center, an affordable fitness company that has received funding from Bangor Savings Bank, among others, in the Successful Funding from Business Plan Execution category; Charles Friedman from recycled material wallet maker Flowfold won in the Successful Young Entrepreneur Under 30 category; and Louis Waterhouse of L.A.W. Calibration LLC, which provides precise calibration services to Cianbro, Tempus Jets, Maine Department of Transportation in Bangor and others, won in the Successful Veteran-Owned Small Business categories.

The winners worked with mentors at various chapters of SCORE in Maine, which has locations in Downeast, Portland, Lewiston-Auburn, Bangor, Oxford Hills and Augusta.

Correction: An earlier version of the story identified Margo Walsh of MaineWorks as Mary Walsh. We regret the error.

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