AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul R. LePage presented eight Maine companies with a 2014 Governor’s Award for Business Excellence during a reception Friday at Southern Maine Community College in South Portland.
The 24th annual awards, administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and sponsored by FairPoint Communications, recognize Maine businesses that are successful in a variety of ways.
“These businesses represent the best of the best here in Maine,” said LePage in a press release. “All eight of these companies are committed to quality workmanship, maintaining a loyal and dedicated workforce, and giving back to the communities they do business in. Their leadership and direction is solid and I am honored to recognize their efforts and I thank them for doing business here in Maine.”
This year’s Business Award recipients are:
— Priority Real Estate in Topsham: Priority Real Estate Group is a commercial real estate investment and development company. Established in 1998, Priority has built, owns and manages over $100 million of professional, medical, educational, retail, manufacturing, and industrial space. While achieving success locally, Priority is also invested in their community. Ninety percent of their financial contributions go to organizations that support children, provide heating assistance and address hunger prevention. Their biggest community development project to date is the Veterans Resource Center at Brunswick Landing. The Center provides assistance to veterans and their families in obtaining benefits, services and resources to meet their needs and support their reintegration into the community.
Kepware Technologies in Portland: Kepware Technologies is a software development company. Established in 1995 and now distributed in more than 100 countries, Kepware provides a portfolio of software solutions to help businesses connect diverse automation devices and software applications. From plant floor to well site to wind farm, Kepware serves a wide range of customers in a variety of international vertical markets including manufacturing, oil and gas, building automation, power distribution, and more.
Winxnet in Portland: Since 1999, Winxnet has been helping organizations reduce their information technology costs, lower risk, and achieve greater returns on investment on technology initiatives. With offices throughout New England and the southeast, Winxnet works with corporations, healthcare organizations, non-profits and public sector entities of all sizes. Winxnet’s business is based on establishing relationships with clients, understanding their unique challenges and then helping solve even the most complex of problems.
Hall Internet Marketing in Portland: Hall Internet Marketing is a 15-year-old organization that builds and markets retail and B2B websites. Hall has become a national player in search engine marketing by creating some really powerful technology, with support from The Maine Centers for Entrepreneurial Development, The Maine Department of Economic and Community Development, and with funding from The Maine Technology Institute. Their 20 employees enjoy an innovative corporate culture that has earned four consecutive Best Places to Work in Maine awards. A founding member of the Casco Bay Technology Hub, Hall’s continued support for start-ups and new ideas adds a bit of a Silicon Valley feel to the Maine economy.
Huhtamaki in Waterville: For more than 100 years, Huhtamaki, Inc. has developed, manufactured and distributed a wide range of molded fiber articles including more than 400 different products in 100 different sizes. The finished goods are distributed across the United States and Europe thanks to the efforts of nearly 500 full-time employees. Huhtamaki is the birthplace of the famous Chinet® brand thanks to the invention of Martin Keyes, founder of the Keyes Fibre Company. Mr. Keyes invented molded fiber technology in 1903; and in 2013, the company donated nearly 2,000 cases of Chinet® plates to non-profit organizations throughout Maine.
GAC Chemical in Searsport: GAC Chemical Corp. and its 65 employees are proud to be celebrating 20 years of business in Maine. GAC manufactures and distributes industrial, specialty, and fine chemicals. Primary markets include: Pulp and Paper, Power Plant, Industrial Manufacturing, Potable Municipal Water, as well as Waste Water. GAC is the worldwide leader in the production of high purity ammonium sulfate used in markets such as pharmaceutical, food, and water treatment. In 2013, GAC partnered with a manufacturer based in Mexico. This company’s multi-million dollar project at GAC marked the first Foreign Direct Investment from Mexico into Maine and allowed GAC to become certified as a Pine Tree Zone business.
Fluid Imaging Technologies in Scarborough: Fluid Imaging Technologies manufactures a proprietary digital-imaging particle analysis system called FlowCAM. The Company is a spin-off of Bigelow Laboratories and its initial “headquarters” was located above a garage in East Boothbay. In the last 15 years, the company experienced rapid growth and to accommodate the expanding team, Fluid Imaging Technologies moved to its fourth location last summer. This new location is equipped with a state-of-the-art testing laboratory, a dedicated product development area, and expanded production capability. They have sold more than 500 FlowCAMs in about 45 countries, so Maine represents the global geographic epicenter of their markets and the company takes pride in being able to live and work in this state.
Haven’s Candies in Westbrook: Herbert Haven founded Haven’s Candy Kitchen on Forest Avenue in Portland in 1915. Over the past century, Haven’s has stuck to its heritage of creating the finest handcrafted confections by using the best ingredients and timeless recipes. Haven’s operates out of a chocolate factory in Westbrook, with satellite retail stores in Portland and Scarborough. Haven’s employs 28 people, many of whom have made a career with the company in the confection trade. The name Haven’s has truly become a Maine brand and the owner and employees take great pride in being stewards of a company with deep local roots and enthusiastic customers.