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People and Business: Nov. 25

Community

People and Business: Nov. 25

UNE, Kepware, BioProcessing
earn business awards

PORTLAND — The Downtown Portland Corporation presented its 14th annual business awards to three local businesses in recognition of playing a major role in developing Portland's economic vitality.

This year's awardees are the University of New England, Kepware Technologies and BioProcessing Inc.

The University of New England received the 2009 Economic Development Achievement Award for its newly constructed College of Pharmacy on its Portland Campus on Stevens Avenue. The $17 million, 48,000 square foot building built to LEED sustainability standards opened its doors this past September.

The 2009 Business of Year Award was presented to Kepware Technologies. The downtown Portland information technology company has more than 45 employees and is now considered a world leader in communication software for automation. CEO Corson Ellis expects to increase emloyment levels within the next two years. Additionally, Ellis has established the Kepware Scholarship in computer science at University of Maine, Orono, as a means of supporting the local workforce skill set.

BioProcessing, Inc. received the 2009 Small Business of Year Award. Founded in 1991, BioProcessing manufactures specialized raw materials for diagnostic use. Gary Goodrich, founder and president, moved BioProcessing, Inc., from Scarborough to Riverside Street in Portland in July 2006, and built a 10,000 square foot state of the art facility. The company currently employs 20 people. 

PORTopera receives
fundraising challenge

PORTLAND — PORTopera has been presented with a fundraising opportunity from a long-time donor. The donor has pledged a $100,000 donation with the condition that the money will be a match to an additional $100,000 that the opera company must raise through new donations.

If PORTopera is able to complete the challenge, the money raised will total $200,000 and will solidify the future of the opera company.

With the help of the fundraising challenge, PORTopera hopes to return to the stage at Merrill Auditorium next summer with a full-length production. The opera company is planning a version of Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" for 2010 in anticipation of acheiving the donor match.

For more information about PORTopera and the fundraising challenge, please visit www.portopera.org or call 879-7678. 

Portland 2009-2010
Arts Guide released

PORTLAND — The free 2009-2010 Arts Guide Portland has recently been released by Portland's Downtown District Corporation.

The guide serves as a resource for the city's gallery listings, First Friday Artwalk information, and features articles on the current arts scene and performances held in Portland. Every artist and venue that is open to the public in the city of Portland receives a free listing in the guide.

The guide can be picked up at Portland's Downtown District's office at 549 Congress St., Portland galleries and museums or ordered online at info@portlandmaine.com. 

Northeast Hearing and
Speech celebrates 85 years

PORTLAND - Northeast Hearing and Speech is celebrating 85 years in business with a new office facility allowing for expanded services.

NHS moved to the historic Portland Star Match Building at 75 West Commercial St., in Portland in September. In addition to its former amenities, the larger facility houses a second hearing aid lab, a computer lab, classroom and meeting space for group therapy programs, and an outpatient therapy program for adults.

To mark this new development for NHS, Andrew Rice of AER Creative, designed a new logo to reflect the goals of the organization.

Northeast Hearing and Speech, a non-profit speech and hearing center, has a staff of three audiologists, 13 speech-language pathologists, and five office staff. 

New Ventures

South Portland artist and instructor Ruth Gorton is offering art classes from her studio on Ridgeland Avenue. Classes include morning programs for homeschoolers; afternoon classes for school age children; adult classes in afternoons and evenings; and therapeutic recreational painting classes for children and adults. For more information visit www.ruthgorton.com.

Lockard's Collision Center has moved from its Allen. Ave. location to 238 Riverside St. in Portland, across from Home Depot. The new facility is twice the size as its former location and features state of the art collision repair equipment.

The World Affairs Council of Maine has formed a partnership with the University of New England and will now have their offices located on the UNE Portland campus at 716 Stevens Ave. The council will offer its educational programming featuring its annual speakers and event series from its new location.

CTN channel 5 has debuted a new show, Poet's Cafe, which features Maine poets and musicians and is hosted by Portland poet laureate, Steve Luttrell. Poet's Cafe can be viewed on Wednesdays at 8 p.m., Fridays at 3:30 p.m., or Sundays at 7 p.m.

The Peace Food Market has recently opened on Chestnut Street in Portland. Owned and operated by Ghulam Rabbani of Gorham, he designed the store to appeal to the growing Muslim community by stocking specialty items like halal food, as well as offering items such as "Bulldog slushies" for students at nearby Portland High School. 

Maine's Institute for Italian Studies, founded by Maria Luisa De Luca and Paola D'Amato, has expanded and renamed itself the Institute for International Studies and the Institute for Spanish Studies chapter. The Institute for International Studies will continue to offer Spanish studies and plans to introduce Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, German and French language studies in 2010. For more information, please visit the new IIS website at www.iismaine.com.

Scarborough-based Blue Sky Mortgage Company Inc. was approved as a FHA Title II mortgagee for the State of Maine, and are accepting applications for FHA home loans. The FHA home loans are government-backed and allow home buyers to borrow as much as 96.5% of the new home purchase price at low interest rates. Blue Sky Mortgage was founded by Steven Osborne of Scarborough in 1994. David Gooch of Falmouth serves as president of the company. 

The Opus Consulting Group, located at 2 Market St. in Portland, was recently founded by Jacques Santucci to provide corporate renewal and restructuring, financial management services and strategic business planning for business owners. Santucci has a master's degree in business and has worked for international groups based in Europe and in the United States.

Spectrum Generations, the Central Maine Area Agency on Aging, has opened a new center at 12 Main St. in Topsham, serving Brunswick, Harpswell, and Sagadahoc County. The Topsham center will offer a variety of activities, classes, and health and wellness opportunities for active seniors.