WATERVILLE — Pamela Kick is a perfect example of someone who takes new ideas and turns them into profit.

She does so by using her years of business experience and the expertise of her employees, whom she maintains are paramount to the success of her growing company, Pinnacle IT.

If you ask Kick, who was named the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year for 2011, what the award means to her, she immediately talks of her employees.

“I’m very passionate about the community, and this offers the opportunity for me to share that passion,” Kick said. “And that really means a lot to me. The company means a lot to me. The people mean a lot to me. It’s also an opportunity to really recognize employees because I’m constantly saying to them, ‘This is your business. This is your company.'”

Kick will receive her award March 28 at the chamber’s 49th annual awards dinner at Waterville Elks Banquet & Conference Center.

Her company specializes in custom software, web application development, NET programming and mobile application software.

Pinnacle’s offices are at 10 Common St. downtown, as well as at the TD Bank building on Exchange Street in Bangor, but it has clients all over the U.S. The company has about 20 employees and contractors, with some employees working out of their homes.

Kick, 57, of Vassalboro, started the company in 1995. Her clients include L.L. Bean, Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Pine State Trading, Fabian Oil and Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

Kick, a Waterville native, is vice president of the Waterville Development Corp. and is involved in the Waterville Opera House, Waterville Main Street and Hardy Girls, Healthy Women, among other organizations.

Kimberly Lindlof, the chamber’s president and chief executive officer, said Kick is committed to growing her business in central Maine.

“Each year, she adds new staff that earn decent wages and she volunteers to make Waterville a better place to live,” Lindlof said. “Pam was intimately involved in Waterville’s branding process and quickly took up a leadership position in the Waterville Development Corp. Moreover, she made sure that Pinnacle’s office space in downtown Waterville was renovated in top-notch fashion so that it’s a fun place to work.” Sara Todd, communications specialist at Pinnacle, praised Kick as someone who encourages workers to enter new territory and stay at the forefront of technology.

Todd, who nominated Kick for the chamber award, said her boss steered Pinnacle’s pursuits into the in-demand arenas of digital commerce, mobile application development and web marketing and design, while developing the company’s core competencies of IT and high-level custom programming.

“Examples of this dual growth include Pinnacle’s signature iPad application — the Pinnacle Reader — which makes it easy for mobile sales forces to keep their documents ready in a wireless, digital format” Todd wrote in her nomination letter.

Todd said Kick is always moving and growing.

“Her multi-tasking, exuberant energy can be contagious to those around her. She sets an example for every member of her team by the long hours she works and her tireless devotion to the company she built from the ground up.”

Kick is a 1973 Waterville High School graduate, and has a bachelor’s degree in business and an associate degree in computer science, both from the University of Maine.

After high school, she traveled and settled in northern California, where she attended Humboldt State University to study business and College of the Redwoods to study graphic design. She managed a health food store and then a wholesale health food distributor.

She returned to Maine and worked at the Augusta branch of MaineGeneral as budget and reimbursement manager, responsible for a $60 million budget. She became vice president of IT and accounting for the former New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland. She also took courses in health care finances at Temple University and Indiana State University.

She started a company that provided health care consulting and financial services before moving back to Waterville. Then, she started Pinnacle and other companies, including Symphony Property Management, as well as OakBridge Online, which is home of ZenJournals.com, an online storefront with a physical location at Kick’s Common Street office.

Ask Kick where her business acumen comes from and she cites her parents, Patricia Kick, of Waterville, and her late father, William Kick, who started a bank in Waterville and ran it for 20 years.

Kick recalled working for her father at Kennebec Valley Industrial Bank, which was on Main Street, from the time she was 11.

“He was a real inspiration to me,” she said.

She recalled walking to the bank twice a week after school when she was a junior high school student.

“I started out cleaning and then he had me counting the cash, and when I was in high school, he had me doing the daily ledger,” she said. “Boy, I had to be accurate to the penny or he would be upset.”

She also cited as influences her “parents adopted by affection,” Don and Chris Parker, who live in Utah and whom she met years ago.

“He was a business person,” she said. “He gave me so much wise advice. He’s still there for me to consult with. I talk to him all the time.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

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