December 2019 Edition
Sponsored by People's United Bank
5 Qs with Dylan Veilleux
Founder of TreeFreeHeat, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space, and Senior at Thomas College
1. You founded TreeFreeHeat to bring a renewable heat source, hemp, to market. Why did you choose hemp? 
[Dylan Veilleux]: Hemp is a valuable source of fuel because its growth cycle is significantly shorter than that of trees - hemp matures in only 3-4 months. In addition, hemp burns with similar efficiency as wood and all hemp farmers & processors have difficulty disposing their hemp waste efficiently. TreeFreeHeat repurposes hemp waste into a valuable product.

2. What form does your hemp heat source take?
[DV]: Currently, TreeFreeHeat offers firestarters and biobricks . I convert hemp into firestarters on my own and I am working with my partners Wood & Sons (in Sanford, ME) to scale a biobrick operation. Once I accomplish hemp biobricks at scale, I would like to take it to the next step and create hemp pellets and biofuel, which I believe is the future of hemp energy.

3. Who is your target market?
[DV]: My target market for my firestarters include Maine adventurers who want a no-hassle and renewable way to start a fire . Each firestarter lasts for 30 minutes, enabling the adventurer plenty of time to build upon the fire. Though that may be my ideal target market, anyone who would like to keep warm and not deal with the hassle of building a fire would love my product.   

4. What resources, partners, and mentors have been helpful to you as you progress with TreeFreeHeat?
[DV]: If it wasn't for all of the amazing resources I have been offered, TreeFreeHeat would have never taken off. It initially started with Thomas College , where faculty began to mold my entrepreneurial skills. Mike Duguay (of Thomas College) later introduced me to my current mentors RJ Anzelc (of Bricks Coworking & Innovation Space ) and Nick Rimsa (of Eariously ). RJ and Nick gave me guidance to find an idea I really love and that I am willing to spend everyday working on. RJ later introduced me to the team at Central Maine Growth Council - Garvan and Elaine have given me a great deal of knowledge that you don’t get in college (Elaine was actually the one who gave me the confidence to tackle this idea!). I am in their debt for helping me get to where I am.

5. You'll be pitching on Greenlight Maine's Collegiate Competition. When can we expect to watch your pitch?
[DV]: Yes, I am pitching for the Greenlight Maine Collegiate Competition, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it. My experience has already been incredibly positive, and it is inspiring to meet other entrepreneurs who are in the competition. I will be pitching January 6th and the air date will be within February and March . Wish me luck! 
Top Gun 2020 Application Open
Top Gun returns to Waterville for a second year at Thomas College's Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation .

The business accelerator is open to all industries (whereas last year was focused on specialty food and beverage), and combines learning sessions with high-impact mentoring , culminating in a statewide pitch competition and trade show .

Applications are due December 15 .
Small Business K now-How
Risk Management for Retirement Plan Sponsors
Many small business owners who offer qualified retirement plans to their employees don’t realize that, as the plan sponsor, they are also the plan fiduciary, which means they’re accountable if anything goes wrong. In this issue we’ll detail what it means to be a plan fiduciary and outline what a small business can do to protect against the risks involved in plan sponsorship.
Business Investment
Top Stories of November 2019
Local Confectioner Candy Hollow Relocates, Expands in Downtown Oakland - the whimsical candy shoppe is doubling its space by moving to 54 Main Street, where it will be able to host private events alongside its extensive selection of homemade fudge and retro, nostalgic, modern, and novelty treats.

South Korean Official Lays Groundwork for Business Collaboration in Central Maine - South Korean Consul General Yonghyon Kim met with local business and educational institution leaders in Oakland and Waterville to strengthen relationships and build opportunity for investment and trade.

Final Beam Placed as Lockwood Hotel and Waterville Build Toward Future - Business and civic leaders gathered to celebrate the "topping off" ceremony of the Lockwood Hotel, which will open on the site of the former Crescent Hotel in downtown Waterville by late 2020 with 53 rooms and a restaurant.
Welcome CES, Inc. as a new CMGC investor
CES, Inc. is a Maine-based fully-integrated consulting firm of engineers, surveyors, and environmental scientists founded by two UMaine graduates in 1978. The firm has grown to eight offices (including Waterville) and provides technical services and expertise to municipal, industrial, commercial, and institutional clients throughout Maine and New England.
Central Maine Real Estate Spotlight
Featured Commercial Property Location :
Space Available: 3,116 sq.ft.
Sale Price: $279,900
Property Features:
  • Excellent visibility from the I-95 off-ramp at Exit 132
  • 20 paved parking spaces
  • High-traffic area on Rt. 139 with close proximity to U.S. Rte. 201 and I-95
  • Municipal water and sewer
Contact : Don Plourde | 207-660-4000 |
Workforce Investment
Employer Spotlight: Sheridan Corporation
The shrinking supply of Maine’s workforce has made it difficult not only to recruit new talent but also retain incumbent employees as competitors up the ante with additional perks and benefits.
Sheridan Corporation, a commercial construction firm based in Fairfield, ME, has created a culture of long-term commitment, resulting in an average employment tenure exceeding 10 years, more than double the construction industry average as calculated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“We work hard to make our people feel part of the team – to understand what goals we’re trying to achieve and how their work helps achieve those goals,” explains Sheridan Corp. President Mitch Sammons. “We encourage our superintendents and leads to mentor younger workers and show them that they can build a career with Sheridan – we’re not hiring people for just one job. We’ve been in business for over 70 years, and we’re shooting for 100.”

In addition to mentorship, Sammons attributes Sheridan’s strong workplace culture to its comprehensive in-house training program, complemented by the training resources provided by Butler Manufacturing Company , Sheridan's emphasis on safe work practices, and physical identification with the company through branded gear.
We hope you enjoy learning about local talent recruitment and retention strategies, and if your business has an innovative strategy or unique culture, please share with us!
Workforce Training & Professional Development:
Supporting Businesses in the Trades
The trade industries are critical to our economy and need qualified workers as do many other industries in the region. KVCC works closely with local businesses to provide relevant, high quality training to meet its employment needs. Starting in January 2020 , KVCC will be offering the following courses to support this industry:
  • High Pressure Boiler/Steam Engineering – This 45 hour course provides students with the knowledge and techniques needed to operate a boiler steam generating plant in a safe and efficient manner. The course is designed to prepare the student for the Maine High Pressure Boiler Operator's licensing exam. Class dates: January 9, 202 – April 16, 2020; Thursdays 6:00pm – 9:00pm ($595.00)
  • Oil Burner Technician - This course prepares students with the education and skills necessary to acquire a State of Maine Journeyman 1&2 Oils – Up to 15 GPH license and become NORA Certified at the Bronze Level. Students can anticipate 110 +/- hours of lecture/discussion and 90 +/- hours of lab activities. Class dates: January 21, 2020 – May 9, 2020; Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 6:00pm – 8:00pm; some Saturdays 8:00am – 12:00pm ($3,300.00)
  • Ductless Mini Split Heat Pump - This 40-hour course will provide professionals with the basics of refrigerant cycle theory and explain how the cycle produces heating and cooling. (EPA 608 required for heat pump installers). Class dates: January 13, 2020 – January 17, 2020; Monday - Saturday 8:00am – 4:30pm ($995.00)
  • EPA 608 Refrigerant Certification - The EPA 608 Refrigerant Certification for Small Appliances is a Self-Study course at KVCC designed to prepare technicians for the live EPA 608 certification exam. Register now to receive the self-study materials. Exam date: January 18, 2020; 8:00am – 2:00pm ($195.00)
  • Heavy Equipment Operation - In this training students learn site safety, basic operational techniques, operation of on road dump trucks, loaders, excavators and skid steers. With simulation training and live equipment students will have entry level experience to begin a career in heavy equipment operation. This program is funded by a Maine Quality Center grant. Class dates: January 28, 2020 – March 19, 2020; Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 6:00pm – 9:00pm (free of charge - registration is based on eligibility)
Quality of Place
Sponsored by MaineGeneral Health
Shop Local at Common Street Arts' 7th Annual Holiday Bazaar
Local arts programming organization Common Street Arts has curated a one-of-a-kind retail experience for the holiday season, featuring exclusively handmade crafts from over 60 Maine artisans.

The Holiday Bazaar, located at Hathaway Creative Center (10 Water Street, Waterville) is open during the following hours:

M-F - 9am-5pm
Sat - 10am-4pm
Sun - Closed
November 21 - December 23
Partnering in the Community: MaineGeneral and the Alfond Youth & Community Center
Thanks to the Peter Alfond Foundation, more Kennebec Valley families have access to health and wellness programs right in their community at the Alfond Youth & Community Center (AYCC).

The Peter G. Alfond Pathway to Wellness includes MaineGeneral services provided by MaineGeneral's Prevention & Healthy Living and MaineGeneral Sports Medicine.

Learn more about this exciting collaboration 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
Michael Heavener, vice chair – Town of Winslow
Beth Gibbs, treasurer – Thomas College
Lucille Zelenkewich, secretary – Peoples United Bank
John Dalton, past chair – Northern Light Health - Inland Hospital
Elizabeth Fortin – Kennebec Valley Community College
Paul Stein – MaineGeneral Health
Darlene Ratte – Best Western Plus
Michael Roy – City of Waterville
Gary Bowman – Town of Oakland
Michelle Flewelling – Town of Fairfield
Brian Clark – Colby College
Michael Runser – Valley Beverage
Allan Rancourt – Kennebec Federal Savings
Lisa Hallee – Bill & Joan Alfond Foundation
Donald Plourde – Coldwell Banker Plourde Real Estate
Tom Meucci - Huhtamaki

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