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May 16, 2018

Seven top family-owned businesses honored at awards gala

Photo / Brian Peterson
Photo / Brian Peterson
Receiving the Maddy Corson Small Business Award, at left, is Hardypond Construction's Deirdre Wadsworth and her father, Bob Gaudreau. Receiving the Renys Large Business of the Year award are Woodlands Senior Living Center's Matthew Walters and Jennifer Walters.

Tuesday's 19th Annual Maine Family Business Awards gala in Portland drew a drew a record crowd of more than 400 to celebrate companies large and small from around the state. From a record 186 nominations, 39 semi-finalists competed to receive seven awards.

An independent panel of judges, facilitated by Maureen Costello Wedge of Sun Media Group, selected the winners from among 24 finalists. The event at the Holiday Inn by the Bay was hosted by News Center Maine anchor Cindy Williams, who interviewed three members of the Renys family about their department-store business before the awards got underway.

A number of recipients were visibly moved as they accepted their awards, starting with Cyd and Deb Zeigler, owners of the Blueberry Fields Bed & Breakfast in Washington, as they accepted the Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award. Deb paid homage to her grandmother, an innkeeper in Cape Cod from whom she learned about the importance of customer service and keeping a clean establishment.

Other winners are as follows:

DM&J Waste of Winterport received the Varney Agency Environmental Leadership Award for making a big impact in waste-stream reduction and recycling.

Howe & Howe Technologies of Waterboro received the People's United Bank Innovation & Technology Award in recognition of its national reputation for extreme vehicle fabrication and design focused on life-saving strategies and technologies. The company also operates a nonprofit, Outdoors Again, dedicated to helping wheelchair users, particularly veterans, return to outdoor activities.

The Holiday Inn by the Bay First Generation Award went to Washburn & Doughty Associates Inc., of East Boothbay, builders of quality commercial boats including tugboats, passenger vessels, fishing boats, barges, ferries and research vessels.

The Shep Lee Community Service Award, named for one of the founders of IFOB, went to Rinck Advertising, a Lewiston advertising agency that has been recognized locally and nationally for its creative work and community service.

Portland's Hardypond Construction received the Maddy Corson Small Business Award, presented to an exemplary business with fewer than 25 employees. The company's president, Deirdre Wadsworth, was a 2017 Mainebiz Woman to Watch. She accepted the IFOB award on Tuesday with her father, Bob Gaudreau, who founded the company in 1990.

Woodlands Senior Living Center of Waterville was named the Renys Large Business of the Year, designated for companies with more than 25 employees. The fourth-generation company has 12 facilities in seven locations across Maine.

Also announced was the first student selected for the Timothy B. Hussey Internship Program at Colby College to support students interested in working with family-owned businesses in Maine. The internship was named in honor of Tim Hussey, the late CEO of Hussey Seating Company and a founding member of IFOB. Caitlin Rogers, an East Asian and Global Studies double major at Colby, was selected to receive a $2,500 stipend to intern this summer at the Bangor Daily News.

Event sponsors included MEMIC, Renys, Gorham Savings Bank, Chalmers Insurance Group, Holiday Inn by the Bay, People's United Bank, Verrill Dana LLP, Machias Savings Bank, Varney Insurance Agency and Bonding, Norway Savings Bank, Cross Insurance, Lee Auto Malls, DMM Direct Mail of Maine, Bangor Savings Bank, Morong Falmouth, Burgess Advertising & Marketing, Mainebiz, Sun Media Group, Bangor Daily News, and Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

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