A dozen Maine businesses and their owners were recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration for achievement and excellence in the agency’s annual awards.

Among those honored:

Veteran owned: Louis Waterhouse of LAW Calibration in Saco. The company provides calibration and testing services to a number of industries. Waterhouse, a service-disabled veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was recognized for his leadership and determination.

Young entrepreneurs: Melissa Law, Benjamin Whalen, Abigail and Jeffrey Fisher, owners of Bumbleroot of Windham, were recognized for the growth of their 89-acre organic farm. The team was able to diversify and expand the operation to have a much broader impact.

Exporter: Ray Oneal and Sasha Long of Arcast Inc. in Oxford. The company designs and manufactures advanced metallurgical processing equipment. The pair were recognized for using technology and innovation to build their business to the point where 50 percent of its revenue is from exports.

Home-based small business person of the year: Bethany Weisberger of Gneiss Spice was recognized for her commitment to the community. The spice business, located in Albany Township, donates 5 percent of profits to local and national nonprofits focused on food security, financial literacy and education.


Jeffrey Butland family-owned business of the year: Pratt Abbott of Westbrook was recognized for its longstanding success, family ownership and contributions to the southern Maine community, such as its Coats for Kids campaign. The third generation of the Machesney family is being groomed for management of the company.

Micro-Enterprise of the year: David Jacobson, owner of Jacobson Glass in Montville, was recognized for his blown-glass manufacturing and instruction business. He recently learned new skills through a trip to Prague and also developed products for creative new markets.

Small Business Development Center excellence and innovation: Joshua Nadeau, center director of the Maine Small Business Development Center at Northern Maine Development Commission, was recognized for doing an outstanding job assisting entrepreneurs in Aroostook County. Nadeau provides no-cost one-on-one confidential business advising services to startup and existing businesses there.

Woman-owned small business of the year: Heather Chandler, owner of The SunriseGuide in Portland, which publishes a variety of print, mobile and digital formats including The SunriseGuide, the Green & Healthy Maine Visitor’s Guide and the Green & Healthy Maine HOMES magazine. She was recognized for her business growth over the past 11 years, and her commitment to local and sustainable economies.

Small business person of the year: Beth Shissler, president, and Don Oakes, CEO of Sea Bags in Portland, were recognized for the growth of the business, and the support the leadership team has shown for the small business community in Maine. Sea Bags makes totes and accessories from recycled sail cloth and now operates 13 stores.

Manufacturer of the year: Jennifer Scism, CEO, and David Koorits, COO, of Good To-Go in Kittery, a company that makes gourmet dehydrated meals for backpackers and campers. Scism and Koorits started the company in 2014 in their home, before expanding to the current 4,000-square-foot facility in 2016.

Financial services champion: Sandra Stone, chair emeritus of Maine Angels, was recognized for innovations while leading Maine Angels, which allowed the organization to expand its reach and improve access to investment funding for business owners. Stone served as chair of Maine Angels from 2011 until 2015.

Minority-owned small business of the year: Ben Okafor, owner of the independent Eastport Family Pharmacy in Eastport, was recognized for serving many communities in Washington County, a part of the state underserved by pharmacies. Okafor is a registered pharmacist originally from Nanka, Nigeria. He opened the Eastport pharmacy in 2014 and operates a home delivery program.

All the honorees will be recognized at a ceremony May 1 at the Harraseeket Inn in Freeport. For more information about the event, contact Keith Lind at [email protected] or 622-8551.

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