July 2020 Edition
Sponsored by People's United Bank
5 Qs with RJ Anzelc
Founder of Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space and Director of Professional Services for ideaPoint (working remotely)
1. You've been working remotely for several years. Was there a point when you realized that working from home would require a more significant shift than just setting up a laptop on the coffee table?
[RJ Anzelc]: While I’ve been fully remote now for just over three years, remote work has been a part of my professional career for much longer, just on a “here and there” basis. With that, I had all the infrastructure in place; private desk, monitors, high-speed internet, etc. Within a month or so fully remote, however, I realized the physical infrastructure was the easy part - it was mental part that would be the challenge. How do you separate work from home when your office is down the hall? How do you not do your chores mid-morning, or go hang out on the porch when it’s nice out? What about the kids?

2. Remote work is praised as being more productive because you don't have the proverbial water cooler at home. But interpersonal camaraderie is an important part of work. How do you maintain this social aspect while working remotely?
[RJ]: I agree, and I do a few things to help with this : 1) made it a point to go into my office in Boston as often as possible, 2) work from somewhere else at least once a week, whether that was a coffee shop or my parents house, 3) get on the phone in a casual way with coworkers multiple times per week. There’s really two takeaways here: you’re going to go stir crazy if you don’t ever get out of your house , and you’re entirely right, having that relationship with your coworkers is incredibly valuable. This is something employers need to keep at the top of mind, as well, as often it’s those relationships that employees build that keep them around and keep them happy in their positions.

3. How can employers support their employees through the transition (and beyond) to remote work?
[RJ]: To the point above, employers need to encourage employees to socialize, whether it be a physical or virtual happy hour, in person meetings, or other events , it is vital that employees spend both professional and personal time with their counterparts. Aside from that, employers can empower their employees with the right equipment and software. How many employers do ergonomic checks at their employees home offices? How many provide sit-stand desks? Multiple monitors? Software that helps them video chat and share documents as if they were in the office? These are vital things to help fill the gap of being in an office that has all of these perks.  

4. You founded a coworking space for remote workers and entrepreneurs. Have you noticed any trends in demand as more businesses adjust to working remotely long-term?
[RJ]: Overall, I’ve seen a couple trends come out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting growth in remote work. First of all, currently, people are not as comfortable working in close proximity with others. This goes directly against what much of coworking and shared workspaces were built around. Second, people that once worked remote from time-to-time that are now fully remote are facing the same challenges I mentioned earlier, and looking for help. How can I stay as productive? How do I know what others are doing? For employers, it’s similar issues. That said, it is also opening many doors. For instance, employers embracing remote work now have an endless talent pool. Employees, likewise, are able to live and work where they want, even if those two things are in completely different geographical locations.

5. How can Maine capitalize on the growing acceptance of remote work, and what barriers must we overcome to fully take advantage of this movement?
[RJ]: As previously mentioned, the biggest positive coming out of this pandemic is the removal of walls for many employers in allowing remote work. This benefits not only them in recruiting talent, but also employees in finding work wherever they are. Maine, being Vacationland and having a tremendous quality of living, is the perfect landing spot for remote workers. The lack of employment they desired, which may have held them back from moving here, will no longer. This is a tremendous value-add for Maine, as bringing talented people back into the state will benefit us all in the long run.  

You can ask RJ your own questions about remote work during his Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) presentation on July 9 (details below).
July CMTN: When Working Remotely Is Part of Your New Normal
July 09 | 1:00pm | Click here for Zoom link

For many workers, remote work is no longer a short-term change from a normal office routine. Working remotely is part of the new normal, whether it is full-remote until the end of the year, a hybrid model of working remotely and going into the office once a week, or perhaps your office is shifting to be full-time remote for the foreseeable future.

How do you successfully work remotely when it is part of your long-term routine and not a temporary change? In his Tech Talk, RJ Anzelc, founder of Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space and remote worker for ideaPoint, will share what other companies are doing during this new normal, strategies for carving out a work-life balance, and technologies to help you manage and optimize your new routine.
Virtual CMTN Recordings
By moving to the virtual Zoom platform to comply with social distancing recommendations, Central Maine Tech Night (CMTN) has made its presentations available for viewing anytime. You can watch recordings of past CMTNs on the Tech Night web page .

June CMTN: Fiber Mapping & Broadband with VETRO FiberMap

May CMTN: Capital for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses During COVID-19 with FAME

April CMTN: COVID-19 Business Relief with the U.S. SBA
Small Business K now-How
Security Concerns in a New Work Environment
Hackers and scammers are quick to exploit a crisis like the current pandemic, but there are things you can do to help protect your business:

  • Stay informed and vigilant about coronavirus-specific scams and educate employees about how to avoid them.
  • Understand safe use of remote-work tools like videoconferencing, and the risks.
  • Monitor user privileges to access business systems and take necessary precautions with unsecure home networks and employee layoffs.

Read on for details on how to keep your business safe, whether your operations are business-as-usual or your employees are working remotely.
Business Investment
A New Way to Support Local Businesses during COVID-19 and Construction
Although downtown Main Street in Waterville is under construction and many businesses have had to alter their hours and services to comply with social distancing guidelines, our local shops are open and need your support.

Though you may need to walk a little farther and wear a mask, the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce has made it more fun to shop and dine downtown. With Waterville Works BINGO , you can support local businesses while entering to win a $50 Chamber gift certificheck, redeemable at hundreds of area businesses. This month, you'll also find a coupon sheet with offers from downtown retailers and restaurants.
New Dimensions FCU Opens New Location
New Dimensions FCU has opened a new branch location at 94 Silver Street in Waterville. This site will replace the credit union's 61 Grove Street building as the public-facing Waterville location, with 61 Grove transitioning to an admin-only building closed to the public.

The credit union purchased the 1.3 acre property in 2018, and construction on the 12,000 sq. ft. facility project broke ground in May 2019. Bowman Constructors was the general contractor.

New Dimensions welcomes the public to visit its branch while maintaining social distancing measures. Alternatively, you can check out their virtual open house here .
Top Stories of June 2020
Two Waterville-Based Startups Awarded MTI Software Development Grants - Easy Eats and Sklaza, both founded by Colby College students, will use the grant funding to expand their respective startups to additional Maine college and university campuses. Easy Eats specializes in dorm-door food delivery, and Sklaza provides a marketplace platform specifically for college students to buy and sell "Items Only Needed by Students".

Kennebec Savings Bank, Kennebec Federal Savings Announce Merger - The merger of the two central Maine financial institutions will yield a combined $1.25 billion in assets; locations and staff will remain in place but customers will have access to expanded services .

Credit Union Corner: Central Maine merger - Winslow Community Federal Credit Union and Connected Credit Union will merge as of June 27, 2020 . Combined under the Connected Credit Union name, the merged financial institution will have more than 8,400 members and over $100 million in assets.
Contact : Don Plourde
207-660-4000 dplourde@cbplourde.com
Central Maine Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Commercial Property :
Building Size: 22,000 sq.ft.
Sale Price: $1,250,000
Unit Price: $56.82 PSF
Property Features:
  • Well-established self-storage facility
  • 10 ft. ceilings
  • Renovated in 2006
  • Located on Route 139
  • Proximity to Interstate 95
Workforce Investment
How to Recruit New Hires Virtually
As routine office functions return as virtual alternatives of themselves, you may be wondering how to shift your recruiting strategies online. With two years' experience with virtual recruitment fairs, CMGC knows the low-cost technology and tips to help you successfully attract and interview candidates remotely. Call or e-mail us to discuss your recruitment needs and schedule a tutorial.
E-mail questions to Elaine at etcurrier@centralmaine.org or call 207-680-7300
If you’re currently unemployed, underemployed or have been displaced from your job as a result of COVID-19, check out Kennebec Valley Community College (KVCC) or other Maine Community Colleges for opportunities to grow your skills or start a new career. KVCC and the Maine Community College System have worked quickly to adapt training programs to online and hybrid models so that you can participate from the safety of your home and get back into the workforce . Programs include Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Advanced EMT, Phlebotomy, Medical Billing and Coding, Behavioral Health, and more.

For these and other opportunities check the Maine Community College System website by clicking here.

KVCC will also start back this fall with the regular training schedule that will follow strict COVID-19 guidelines to keep you safe. Programs include Welding, Aluminum Welding, Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump, Early Childhood Education, 3D Printing and more. You can find the fall schedule on our website .
If you have questions or would like to register, please contact Melissa at

KVCC is eager to ensure that the businesses of mid-Maine are best positioned to jump start our local economy as soon as possible.

Quality of Place
Sponsored by MaineGeneral Health
Outdoor Recreation Options For A Summer of Safety and Fun
The outdoors is always the best place to be in Maine during summertime, and it's an even better option in the time of COVID. As you explore the best Maine has to offer, make sure to check out the gems closest to home.

  • Kennebec Messalonskee Trails - over 40 miles of multi-use trails with trailheads in Benton, Fairfield, Oakland, Waterville, and Winslow. The network includes the trail systems of Quarry Road, Thomas College, Colby College, Northern Light Inland Hospital, and KVCC, as well as independent trails.
  • Town Farm Property (Oakland) - a 40-acre parcel with 1,100 sq. ft. of frontage on McGrath Pond, featuring a 4,000 ft. trail system.
  • Fort Halifax State Park (Winslow) - located at the confluence of the Sebasticook and Kennebec Rivers, the park's blockhouse is a National Historic Landmark.
  • Mill Island Park (Fairfield) - this park on an island in the Kennebec River boasts a pedestrian trail system, public greenspace, a playground, and picnic area.
  • Head of Falls (Waterville) - with a new RiverWalk and pedestrian Two Cent Bridge, this park in the heart of downtown offers incredible views of the Kennebec River.
  • Pleasant Point Park (Oakland) - located on McGrath Pond, this park offers swimming and boating access, along with trails and open spaces.
Peter Alfond Foundation Gift Expands Wellness Opportunities
The health of people in the Kennebec Valley region will be enhanced for years to come because of generous gifts from the Peter Alfond Foundation to MaineGeneral Health and the Alfond Youth & Community Center .

In May, these organizations were endowed a total of $48 million to expand community health and wellness .

Watch the press conference and read more about how the funds will benefit our area here .
Stay connected with CMGC:
If you are an investor in CMGC and would like to submit content to CMGC Intelligence , simply reply to this e-mail to speak with Elaine Theriault-Currier.
Board of Directors:

Chris Gaunce, chair – Central Maine Motors Auto Group
Beth Gibbs, treasurer – Thomas College
Lucille Zelenkewich, secretary – Bar Harbor Bank & Trust
Teresa Vieira – Northern Light Health - Inland Hospital
Elizabeth Fortin – Kennebec Valley Community College
Paul Stein – MaineGeneral Health
Michael Roy – City of Waterville
Gary Bowman – Town of Oakland
Michelle Flewelling – Town of Fairfield
Paul Fongemie - Town of Winslow
Brian Clark – Colby College
Michael Runser – Valley Beverage
Allan Rancourt – Kennebec Federal Savings
Donald Plourde – Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate
Tom Meucci - Huhtamaki
Ryan Poulin - New Dimensions FCU

 Ex-Officio Board Members:
Laura Cyr – Kennebec Valley Council of Governments
Christian Savage - Somerset Economic Development Corporation
James Dinkle – Kennebec Regional Dev. Authority / FirstPark