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Updated: March 20, 2023 From the Editor

Leadership comes in many forms

Mainebiz has expanded the annual Business Leaders of the Year program this year to include more categories, and to try to bring a greater range of not only people but industries and interests.

One theme I noticed this year was that leaders were making an extra effort to include their teams. While we tend to choose just one “leader” from a company or nonprofit, we do acknowledge that organizations are made up of teams of people with varied backgrounds and skills. Brought together, the teammates work toward a common goal.

I think what’s interesting about this group is that we have a number of people who lead by example.

I’ll single out retiring Maine State Chamber CEO Dana Connors, since he’s receiving the “lifetime achievement” award and is winding down this chapter of his professional career. During the pandemic, Connors and his team started a video podcast called “The Maine Take with Dana Connors,” on which I was a frequent guest. Rather than being an iron-fisted “leader,” I was struck by how gracious and respectful he was with guests, whether they were senior U.S. Senators or people on the ground running small businesses. That kind of leadership is sometimes taken for granted, but it’s the best kind.

Same, too, with Travis Mills, who has been a great inspiration as a wounded Army veteran that’s started a foundation to help other vets and their families. You’ll read in his profile that it was his daughter Chloe that made a major impact on him, as they were both learning to walk at the same time — she as a toddler and he as a quadruple amputee.

This year we honor nine Business Leaders of the Year. We think you’ll find their stories compelling. Profiles start on Page 12.

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