Partnership seeks local entrepreneurs

AROOSTOOK COUNTY — The Aroostook Partnership announced March 2 it is soliciting nominations for the 2018 Aroostook Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Aroostook’s Entrepreneur – 2018 Award will go to a business leader who demonstrates excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation and personal commitment to their business and community.

Aroostook Partnership President Bob Dorsey said the competition is a way to promote business startups and expansions, as well as highlight successful business people in the region.

“It is important to stress and encourage entrepreneurial efforts; they play a key role in economic development, and we have some excellent examples that we need to reward and celebrate,” said Dorsey.

A panel of eight judges, one from each of the supporting organizations, Husson University, Northern Maine Community College, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Presque Isle and four business representatives will select the finalists and ultimate winner.

Nominations must be received by April 20 at 2 p.m. There is no fee for nominations and self-nominations are encouraged. Previous nominees are eligible to be nominated again. Program details and a nomination form are available for download at

To be eligible for consideration, nominees must be the founder, owner or manager of a private or public company; be primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company or organization; and be an active member of top management.

Organizers will recognize nominees and present a plaque and $1,000 check to the winner at a special recognition dinner, tentatively set for May 24 at Northern Maine Community College in Presque Isle. Second and third runners-up will receive $500 and $250, respectively.
Dorsey said entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the growth of the U.S. economy. Per the Small Business Administration, small businesses provide 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all net new jobs since the 1970s.

This is the ninth time the Entrepreneur of the Year competition has been held in Aroostook.

Last year’s winner was Josh Rich of JL Rich Logging in Fort Kent. In 2016, the Buck family in Mapleton was recognized for establishing the Maine Malt House. Other previous winners include David Harbison of Bison Pumps in Houlton, Matt Bell of Northeast Pellets in Ashland, Northern Maine Distilling’s Jessica Jewell and Scott Galbiati (formerly of Houlton), Troy Haney of Haney Building Specialties in Caribou, Corey LaPlante of Northern Prosthetics in Presque Isle and Josh McLaughlin of J. McLaughlin Construction in Houlton.

Also last year, The Partnership added a Vanguard Award, which went to David Gordon of Katahdin Cedar Homes.

For more information, contact Dorsey at 498-9103 or

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