Several milestones were set at Tuesday’s Maine Family Business awards, the annual event presented by the Institute for Family-Owned Business.

More than 400 people turned out for the gala — a record — and nearly 190 nominations, also a record, were received for the awards that recognize companies demonstrating excellence in family involvement, business success and commitment to employees, customers and community.

An independent panel of judges, facilitated by Maureen Costello Wedge of Sun Media Group, selected the winners from among 24 finalists, according to a release from IFOB. Sun Media Group and Maine Today Media have the same owner.

The event was held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland.

Among those honored:

DM&J Waste of Winterport received the Varney Agency Environmental Leadership Award for the big impact this small company is making in waste stream reduction and recycling. The husband-and-wife team behind the company has doubled its business since taking over in 2009, expanding to three waste facilities in Down East Maine and adding a new compost facility later this summer.

Howe & Howe Technologies of Waterboro won the People’s United Bank Innovation & Technology Award in recognition of its national reputation for extreme vehicle fabrication and design focused on life-saving strategies and technologies. The company also operates a nonprofit organization, Outdoors Again, that is dedicated to helping wheelchair users, particularly veterans, return to outdoor activities.

The Holiday Inn by the Bay First Generation Award was presented to Washburn & Doughty Associates Inc. of East Boothbay, builders of commercial boats. The judges were particularly impressed with the company’s perseverance in the wake of a devastating fire at their boatyard five years ago.

Blueberry Fields Bed & Breakfast in Washington was named the Chalmers Insurance Group Customer Service Award winner. This property, located among acres of blueberry fields and a busy maple sugaring operation, was recognized for its commitment to accommodating guests’ needs and consistently exceeding expectations.

The Shep Lee Community Service Award, named for one of the founders of IFOB, went to Rinck Advertising, a Lewiston-based agency that has been recognized nationally for its creative work and community involvement. The company donates substantially through pro bono work, and supports through volunteers, numerous organizations, particularly in the areas of health, education, arts and culture, and animal welfare.

Hardypond Construction of Portland received the Maddy Corson Small Business Award, presented to an exemplary business with fewer than 25 employees. In a male-dominated industry, this woman-owned business stands out for its commitment to its employees and practices that keep people working, including employing 33 percent women—more than six times the industry average. The company is known for challenging projects, including the transformation of the historic Humpty Dumpty potato chip factory.

Woodlands Senior Living Center of Waterville was named the Renys Large Business of the Year, designated for companies with more than 25 employees. This fourth-generation company continues to expand its memory care services, with 12 facilities in seven locations, a success the family attributes to its commitment to old-fashioned family values.

Also announced at the event was the first student selected for the Timothy B. Hussey Internship Program at Colby College, a program introduced this year to support students interested in working with family-owned businesses in Maine. The internship was named in honor of Tim Hussey, the late CEO of seventh-generation family business, Hussey Seating Co., who was a founding member of IFOB. Caitlin Rogers, a junior at Colby College, was selected to receive a $2,500 stipend to intern this summer at the fourth generation, family-owned Bangor Daily News.

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