Small business is big business in central Maine. If you are thinking about starting a business or expanding your business, what do you need to know? What resources are available to you and your enterprise? Kennebec Journal business reporter Jessica Lowell will lead a conversation with local owners, investors and developers to get advice and insight.

Doors open at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and networking until 8:00 a.m. when program begins. Program ends at 9 a.m.

The Michael Klahr and Holocaust and Human Rights Center is at 46 University Drive, Augusta. Parking on-site is free.

About the moderator:

Jessica Lowell covers business and economic development and general news in the Gardiner area. A University of Maine graduate, she has worked for newspapers in New Hampshire, upstate New York and Wyoming, where she has won awards for investigative and explanatory journalism. She’s a fellow of the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources.

About the panelists:

Mike Duguay, Executive Director, Harold Alfond Institute for Business at Thomas College

Mike Duguay has spent over 20 years in economic development at the state, regional and local levels in Maine where he became an advocate for small business and entrepreneurship. He was the first employee and lead the start up effort of Summit Natural Gas of Maine. Mike joined Thomas College in November 2016 to start up the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation which focuses on growing the innovative and entrepreneurial capacity of both the residents and business community within Central Maine.

Tobias Parkhurst, President, O&P Glass

Tobias Parkhurst earned his BA at the University of Hartford and for 10 years traveled the world as a professional skateboarder. He returned to Maine in 2008 and is now the President of Oakes & Parkhurst Glass. Since 2009 he has bought and refurbished three Water Street historical buildings and enticed two successful restaurants downtown. He currently has two other buildings under construction on Water St. He is also the landlord and a partner in Cushnoc Brewing Co., which opened in late 2017. He currently serves on the Augusta Board of Trade, The Colonial Theater Board, The Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation Advisory Council and The Augusta Parking District. In his spare time Tobias still likes riding his skateboard and going on motorcycle trips with his friends. Tobias lives in Augusta with his wife Jennifer and two little boys, Xavier and Julien.

Brad Swanson, Director & Master Certified Business Advisor, Maine Small Business Development Center

Bradshaw Swanson received his BA in Psychology from the University of Maine at Orono, in 1977 and his MBA from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at UNH in 1986. Since then he has focused his work on small business growth and development in rural communities and personal and organizational development and leadership. Currently he leads a team of six full-time certified Business Advisors from around the state and manages two service centers in Augusta and Brunswick for the Maine SBDC at CEI. He also operates Waters Over Stone, providing leadership coaching, training and consulting to select individuals and organizations, nationwide. Swanson is a graduate of the Maine Development Foundation’s Leadership Maine program. He loves to fly fish, heads the Merrymeeting Bay chapter of Trout Unlimited and is a Registered Maine Guide. He and his wife and their two dogs live in Harpswell.







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