Governor's Awards for Business Excellence Presented to Six Maine Companies

The 21st Annual Governor’s Awards for Business Excellence were presented Tuesday at the Hall of Flags in the State House to six Maine companies. The awards, administered by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and sponsored by FairPoint Communications, were presented by Governor Paul LePage to recognize Maine companies that demonstrate a high level of commitment to their community, employees and to manufacturing or service excellence.

Governor LePage said, "This year's award winning businesses are representative of the commitment to excellence, top quality workmanship, commitment to community and service that Maine is known for. I am pleased to honor them all as distinguished members of our community. We also are grateful to Fairpoint Communications for sponsoring the awards and to Mike Reed, Fairpoint's President, for being here today. Their dedication to enriching our community is commendable."

"Each one of these companies characterizes what it is that makes a business not only great to work for, but a true asset to their communities," stated George Gervais, Acting Commissioner of DECD.

This year's Business Award recipients are:

Duratherm Window Corporation - Vassalboro, Kennebec County: Duratherm is a manufacturer of finely crafted custom wood windows and doors for use in commercial, residential and institutional buildings. Founded by Phil Cole, and incorporated in 1967 and has contributed pieces to some of the nation’s most notable buildings, including Phillips Exeter Academy, the Ronald Regan Presidential Library and the Pro Golf Hall of Fame. Over the past five years, Duratherm has contributed over $50,000 to local organizations and causes including the Maine Special Olympics, the Waterville Rotary, Bicycle Coalition of Maine, the Maine Homeless Shelter, Winslow Project Graduation, Vassalboro Food Pantry, Belgrade Fire Department and many others. They have also designed, built and installed donated windows at local churches, libraries and fire stations.

Duratherm illustrates a strong commitment to employees, providing an excellent benefits package that equates to $3 for every $1 in salary and includes a three percent 401K contribution that does not require a match. Despite a significant decline in the housing and construction industries over the past couple years and a reduction in revenues and profitability, the company has not laid off any employees.

Hardwood Products Company LP - Guilford, Piscataquis County: Hardwood Products Company is a leading manufacturer of wooden food stick products. Their affiliate company, Puritan Medical Products was formed in 2002 and is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of medical swabs for wound and forensic applications. The company began as a toothpick manufacturer in 1919 using locally-sourced white birch and consistently providing local jobs, even through the Great Depression and currently employs nearly 400; they added about 60 new employees in 2010.

As part of their commitment to community, Hardwood Products Company offers $1000 scholarships to graduating seniors going onto higher education for employees’ children.

JSI Store Fixtures, Inc. - Milo, Piscataquis County: JSI Store Fixtures, Inc., founded in 1990 and manufactures custom displays for many of the nation’s largest supermarket chains, including Hannaford, Whole Foods, Giant, Wegmans, Sweetbay and several others. JSI ships 95% of its products out of Maine and is estimated to generate $20 million in sales in 2011. This also provides nearly $4 million in payroll (not including benefits) to their over 112 employees in the Milo area. JSI is proof that rural Maine can be economically successful; the company was named as the state’s SBA Small Business of the year in 2004. Demonstrative of their commitment to community, JSI received the 2010 Maine Education Association’s Corporate Award in honor of their commitment to area youths and the Distinguished Service Award in the same year from the Milo/Brownville Kiwanis.

Mid-State Machine Products - Winslow & Waterville, Kennebec County: Mid-State Machine Products is a globally-competitive precision manufacturer of complex components for a broad range of customers. With around 200 people at two facilities, they focus on developing talent and leadership among staff. MMP works on turning employee-driven company improvements into reality, with 100% of their internal teams’ ideas being adopted. Recognizing a shortage of the skilled workers that they needed, instead of relocating, Mid-Maine Machine partnered with Kennebec Valley Community College and Maine Quality Center to custom design and create a 19-month Machinist Development training and educational program for existing and potential employees.

Snowman Printing & Presort Express - Hermon, Penobscot County: Snowman Printing, established in 1932, is a full-service commercial printing company that has grown tremendously to offer additional services to customers large and small. They offer a diverse array of services from high-end corporate pieces, to rubber stamps with company insignia to a walk-in customer who needs to refill their business card supply. The Presort Express arm of the business provides customers with custom, automated bulk mailing capabilities. REMM Financial Services, added in 2008 was enabled by the addition of a SAS 70 security system that allows for the printing of bank and other financial statements. In 2010, the company built a 10,000-square foot addition to their 17,500 facility and added the Eagle Direct division. This arm of the business provides ancillary merchandise to U.S. banks and several international clients. The company began with 3 employees, but has grown to 35.

Treworgy Family Orchards - Levant, Penobscot County: Treworgy Family Orchards is a family-owned farm that has been in operation since 1995 and is focused on promoting the agritourism branch of farming. They have expanded and now provide a petting zoo, pick-your-own apple orchard, corn maze, horse-drawn farm tours, cafe and a full-service ice-cream bar. They offer the farm up for group events like birthday parties and family reunions and run a summer day-camp. Over 15 members of the family work there and hope to give the thousands of visitors each year a taste of the rural Maine farming life.