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May 17, 2019

MTI is Maine SBA’s 2019 ‘financial services champion’

Courtesy / MRRA Steve Levesque, executive director of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority speaks at the opening of the new composite layup area at Brunswick Landing's TechPlace in February. Also pictured are, at left, Steve Savoie, manager of the facility, Maine Technology Institute President Brian Whitney, and fourth from left, Gov. Janet Mills. On Wednesday, Whitney received on behalf of MTI the “2019 Financial Services Champion of the Year” by the Maine District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Levesque, who played a key role in the creation of MTI 20 years ago, nominated the organization for the award.

The Maine Technology Institute was named the “2019 Financial Services Champion of the Year” by the Maine District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The honor was presented during Wednesday night’s SBA Small Business Awards Celebration in Freeport, which recognized individuals and businesses making a positive economic impact in Maine.

Among the criteria used to select MTI were the amount and quality of assistance given to small businesses to obtain financing, its advocacy for changes to assist small companies, encouragement of the flow of investment capital to small ventures and measurable accomplishments to advance small business interests.

MTI was nominated for the award by Steve Levesque of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority, which oversees the redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station, now known as Brunswick Landing, which hosts 120 businesses that support over 1,800 jobs.

“I want to express my deep appreciation to former commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, Steve Levesque, for nominating MTI for this recognition,” said MTI President Brian Whitney.  “He was part of a team of visionaries who conceived of, and created, MTI during the King administration 20 years ago. He mentioned recently that it’s extremely gratifying for him to see what MTI has become, because it has exceeded all his original expectations.”

The award comes after a historic year for MTI in which the organization invested over $57 million in 175 projects. That funding effort is projected to create over 5,300 jobs in Maine and create $1.4 billion in economic impact over the next three years.

“Without question, MTI’s organizational success is the culmination of the work and commitment of its incredible 15-person board led by chair Donna Cassese and vice chair Sandy Spaulding, as well as its amazing professional staff and contractors, who are all deeply dedicated and passionate about MTI’s mission to support the success of entrepreneurs and innovative businesses in Maine,” said Whitney. “I also want to thank MTI’s technology board members, a group of 100-plus subject-matter experts who give freely of their time and expertise to help MTI review and evaluate funding proposals.” 

Whitney also thanked Maine SBA for the accolade.

“I truly value MTI’s wonderful collaboration with Maine District Office Director Amy Bassett and her entire team,” he said. “MTI looks forward to continuing its economic development work and strengthening and diversifying Maine’s economy.” 

Other SBA awards

Along with MTI, the following other award recipients were recognized:

  • Maine and New England Home Based Business of the Year — Katheryn Langelier, Herbal Revolution Farm & Apothecary LLC, of Union.
  • Maine Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Business of the Year — Wade and Susan Kelly, Tylor Kelly Camps, of Allagash.
  • Maine Small Business Exporter of the Year — Kathleen O’Heron, Jynx Productions LLC, of Yarmouth.
  • Maine Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year — Amber Elliott, Alternative Wellness Services of Biddeford.
  • Maine Young Entrepreneur of the Year — Tyler Frank, Garbage to Garden, of Portland.
  • Maine Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year — Brian Warren, the Village Woodworker, of Oxford.
  • Maine Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year — Ahmed Abbas, Ameera Bread LLC, of Portland.
  • Maine Micro-Enterprise of the Year — Jill Miller, Maine Pie Co., of Biddeford.
  • Maine Small Business Manufacturer of the Year — Rebecca and Troy Delano, Alfred’s Upholstery & Co., of Alfred.

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