Making it in LA

“Make it, make things, make products, make your life here, make your dreams come true here,” explained Beckie Conrad the Executive Director of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce on the first episode of the #ProvenProfitable Podcast, Season 2 kickoff interview. Beckie came on the podcast hosted by Justin Starbird & Matty Boutwell to discuss the possibilities of building a business and building a life in the Lewiston Auburn region that inspired the promotional campaign that the Chamber recently launched.

The LA Metro Chamber is playing an essential role in growing the Maine economy. Today more than ever, Beckie and her team are heavily focused on establishing a regional image for the second largest economy in Maine. The recently launched campaign to promote the region, called “Make it Here,” is centered on the manufacturing history, but includes the arts, tourism, and the unique history of the area and pride that accompanies each facet.

At the upcoming Maine Business Expo, the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is serving as a Dirigo Partner for the event.  The Maine Business Expo is taking place at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland on November 14thand the Chamber’s Beckie Conrad will be attending the event to showcase the region’s thriving business community.

The Chamber’s goal is to promote a positive image of the area and simultaneously develop the workforce, as the two should work hand in hand. A positive image will draw educated workers and in turn enhance the workforce. It includes supporting young folks who want to pursue trades, as well as those looking to utilize their PhDs.

Building a qualified workforce is a challenge and continuous objective for almost any community. The LA Metro Chamber is looking to proactively solve the dilemma through integrated marketing plans, educational system support, and local business collaboration. By first focusing on the youth in the area, the Chamber hopes to develop skilled individuals who become part of the community, acquire purposeful jobs, and start families. Ideally, the community members are supporting non-profits, attending sporting events, and utilizing local educational systems for their children to keep the cycle moving in a positive direction.

As recent graduates think about where to start their first job, the Lewiston and Auburn region needs to be a consideration to make the area thrive. In order to make this happen, the Chamber is partnering with educational institutions, including five very busy colleges where students have already chosen the community for continued education. Once their education has been completed, it is imperative that the region have both options to begin a career and the appeal to start a family when graduates accept their first job.

Recently, the LA Metro Chamber partnered with WGME to showcase their image campaign.  In working to attract advertisers to be part of the campaign, they hope to layer in a lot of the work they’re doing, spread it across the community, and tie it into the “Make it Here” campaign. By making it in the LA Metro area, individuals and their families can make memories here and make their lives here.

One great example of how individuals play a prominent role in the LA community and show just how possible it is to make it, is Dianna Pozdniakov. Dianna owns Sofia Fima and relocated to Lewiston from New York. She has renovated a building on Lisbon Street and opened her design studio for high-end pocketbooks here. Diana is a chamber member and her story is important to share. She’s really utilized the Chamber’s resources and assisted in the LA area’s economic growth.

“Diana is making it in the LA area and wants her customers to come here and make it here too,” added Conrad.

At the Maine Business Expo, one of the topics is going to specifically be about workforce and business development. At this event, Chambers will come together and form a statewide dialogue around key issues impacting the economy at the moment.  Through the gathering, the LA Metro Chamber hopes to reinforce the idea that they are a statewide resource that will do great work with other organizations. They also hope to portray themselves as a leader in Maine’s future, playing into the Dirigo meaning of “I lead.”

“It’s great to have the opportunity to pull these people together, have a conversation about things that need to get done, showcase the people that have done it, and apply those templates and roadmaps to different communities,” said Justin Starbird.

With fall quickly approaching, the community is breathing in the fresh, crisp air, as they look to make action plans and start fresh. The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce’s strategic planning process is underway, programs are launching, and the structure is changing to focus on executing projects.

Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute – New & Improved for 2018!

Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute – New & Improved Format, Begins September 12

The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Uplift LA present an updated version of the Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute (ALDI).  ALDI will run weekly September 12 – November 14 and help participants foster stronger working relationships, learn to communicate and motivate and gain skills needed to advance their careers. Beckie Conrad, LA Metro Chamber President & CEO stated, “I’m pleased that Uplift LA has taken the lead for the Chamber to redesign and refresh the Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute to meet the needs of our rising professionals and expand their capacity to increasingly take on leadership roles within local businesses and organizations.”

Hone your leadership skills – Be it managing a team, running a nonprofit, or starting up your own business, ALDI is the place to hone the skills that will make you a successful leader and manager. The 2018 Program is designed for first time to middle managers who are interested in developing their communication, strategic planning, and core leadership skills.

The Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute is designed to provide rising leaders the real world skills needed to have a tangible impact on their businesses and communities. The program will challenge participants to use learned skills vital for today’s managers and leaders. Additionally, ALDI will address complex challenges facing businesses today. The program culminates with a capstone that will bring real expertise back to your workplace and community!

ALDI is a 3 month program combining classroom learning, interactive sessions, and hands on experiences designed to enhance leadership skills, cultivate strengths, and strengthen weaknesses. Participants will learn from experts in their fields who have demonstrated success in communication, networking, strategic planning among others. The program prepares its graduates for success in the business, nonprofit and government worlds, ensuring they have a foundation capable of meeting the pressing demands of today’s ever-changing workforce.

Member & non member cost is $750 until 9/5/18, on 9/6/18 the cost increases to $1,000. Registration is limited! Sign up today! All classes will be held in Lewiston and Auburn. Register online at www.LAMetroChamber.com. Questions? Call 207-783-2249.

Class Schedule: 

September 12, 5-8pm – Intro to course – Orientation, ice breakers, structure of program, expected outcomes, discussion of capstone, start thinking about specialty areas, background data. Facilitated by: Dan Bourgeois-Capozzi, Androscoggin Bank

September 15, 9am-3pm – Core Skills – Behavioral Identification – Participants will use a behavior assessment in class. The facilitator will help participants understand their own behaviors and identify how to best interact and communicate with others. Facilitated by: Ann Burrill, Androscoggin Bank

September 19, 5-8pm – Core Skills – Communication and Demeanor – using behavioral results to apply to these areas, role playing activities, networking will be briefly covered. Facilitated by: Ann Burrill, Androscoggin Bank

September 26, 5-8pm – Core Skills – Networking – importance of internal vs. external; difference between initial introductions and building a professional network; what to do after; career pathing. Facilitated by: Shelly Prey & Kendra Wheeler, Bangor Savings Bank

October 3, 5-8pm – Local Issues – Employers of participants will receive a survey upon sign up to find out what’s important to them, a panel discussion will be built around that data. Facilitated by: TBD

October 13, 9am-1pm – Core Skills – Strategic Planning – how to build one, take a look at the health and wellness of the organization, potential futures, complexities involved, continuous improvement, successful cultures build this in to overall operations; Harvard Business Review case study. Facilitated by: Paul Beaudette, Leading Edge Business Solutions & Shanna Cox, Project Tipping Point

October 24, 5-8pm – Local Issues (2nd session) – Employers of participants will receive a survey upon sign up to find out what’s important to them, a panel discussion will be built around that data. Facilitated by: TBD

November 1, 4-8pm – Specialty Areas – Participants will be given 5 topics (Entrepreneurship, Managing a Team, Change Agility, Nonprofit, Civic Policy) and asked to select top 3 areas for deeper discussion. Groups split up based on choices. Participants will create a deliverable from each specialty area (capstone). Facilitated by: Varies

November 7, 4-8pm – Specialty Areas (2nd session) – Participants will be given 5 topics (Entrepreneurship, Managing a Team, Change Agility, Nonprofit, Civic Policy) and asked to select top 3 areas for deeper discussion. Groups split up based on choices. Participants will create a deliverable from each specialty area (capstone). Facilitated by: Varies

November 14 – Presentation of Capstones & Celebration – Wrap up course, present capstones to business leaders. Learn about the Top Gun program for those interested in entrepreneurship. For: Participants and their employers

Chip Morrison Scholarship Scramble

The 19th Annual Chip Morrison Scholarship Scramble will be held Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at Turner Highlands Golf Course.

The golf tournament funds scholarships for students at Central Maine Community College and regional high schools.

For many students, a college education would not be possible without financial assistance. The Scholarship Scramble has been an important source of scholarship funds. These funds provide critical resources for need based and merit-based financial assistance, helping students on the path to a successful career and a brighter future. Please sponsor today to make a difference tomorrow.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities click here!

 

LA Metro Marketplace

The LA Metro Marketplace is a showcase of the greater Lewiston Auburn area. Under one roof we will capture an inspiring representation of the many facets of our communities. As you explore the LA Metro Marketplace, you’ll be captivated by the number of world class products made here, the top notch services provided and overall how much we have to be proud of right here in our own area. Anyone walking into the Marketplace that day will leave with a positive image of our area

Register today!

LA Metro Marketplace

2018 Chamber Member Employee Scholarships – Applications Available

The purpose of the LA Metro Chamber Member Employee Scholarship Program is to recognize an employee of a LA Metro Chamber investor who has shown effort in advancing his or her education at the college level.
Scholarships of $1000 each will be awarded annually. The scholarships will be awarded directly to the recipient. One award will be made per individual, although the award may be divided to apply to two semesters of college work.
Eligibility. Applicants will…
  • Be employed 20 or more hours by an investor in good standing of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
  • Begin course(s) within 6 months of receiving award
  • Be applying to or matriculated in college-level coursework applicable toward an Associates, Bachelor’s or Master’s degree
  • Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • If already matriculated, proof you are a student in good standing from the college you are attending
Deadline! The completed application and employer verification form must be received by May 4, 2018. Recipients will be notified by June 1, 2018 (recipients will be notified by mail/e-mail.)
Download the application below or contact Jenny Moulton at 207-783-2249 or Jenny@LAMetroChamber.com.

Purchase a limited edition print today!

View of Lewiston from Auburn Riverwalk, 2017 by Kenneth Harvey

Selected “Best in Show” and reproduced as 100 limited edition prints to celebrate the 130th Anniversary of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce.

Kenneth Harvey, from Sabattus, Maine is a self-taught watercolorist. After working for a major corporation for 32 years, he retired to follow his lifelong dream of becoming a full-time artist and paints primarily en plein air, mostly in the Boothbay coastal area of Maine.

The prints are for sale at the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, 415 Lisbon Street, Lewiston. $100 each, limited supply!

Help Brighten the Holidays! Stuff the Bus!

The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, Uplift LA and Northeast Charter & Tour are joining forces to brighten the holidays for local families in need.

From now until December 12 you can donate NEW toys and clothing, appropriate for children ages 0-18. All donations received will be distributed by representatives of Advocates for Children, Boys & Girls Club, Tri County Mental Health Services, Trinity Jubilee, Tedford Housing, Safe Voices, and Sandcastle Clinical & Educational Services and will stay within our community, assisting only local families.

Where can you make your donation?
*At the LA Metro Chamber, 415 Lisbon Street, Lewiston by December 8
*Drop off at one of our participating bus stops before December 11
(List available here)
*Business After Hours at Lost Valley on Tuesday, December 12

 

Annual Award Nominations Being Accepted

Deadline is November 15! Nomination someone today! Click here.

The following is a list of awards to be presented at the annual dinner on Thursday, January 25, 2018
Eligibility:
  • Nominees must be members in good standing of the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (individuals must be employed by a member e.g. owner, staff) or be an individual member.
  • Individual award nominations may not be active members of the LA Metro Chamber staff or Board of Directors.

Ray Geiger Chamber Champion Award
The Ray Geiger Award is the highest honor given to a member by the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce. It is our most prestigious award. It is given to an individual who has proven to be a champion of and for the LA Metro Chamber. The award is presented to an individual who has invested a great deal of time, energy, and resources into furthering the LA Metro Chamber’s mission and working toward bettering our communities.

Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award 
The Theresa Samson Women’s Business Leadership Award honors a successful woman business owner or primary manager for her business success, career achievements and contributions to the community. Businesses led by women are and will continue to have a noticeable impact on the economy. This annual award helps inspire the continued growth of women leading businesses in our community.
Ken Additon Small Business Advocacy Award
The Ken Additon Small Business Advocacy Award goes to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to small-business advocacy above and beyond policies that specifically impact their own business or industry and a proven history of volunteer efforts to advance and improve the overall small-business community, as well as success in advocating for pro-small business policies and success and growth as a small-business owner.
Community Service Award
The Community Service Award honors outstanding individuals or organizations that give their time and expertise to the community, above and beyond their own field of endeavor, and demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in all they do. The recipient is an inspiration to the community, both in their profession and in their efforts to make the LA region a better place to live, work and play.
Business Leadership Award
A business, agency, organization, community or non-profit corporation, which has helped invigorate the economic health of the area while also contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual or physical well-being of the LA region.

Deadline is November 15! Nomination someone today! Click here.

Call for Art

The Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (Chamber) invites Maine artists to submit an original two-dimensional artwork to be selected for reproduction as a limited-edition print.

The creative direction is any two-dimensional image that represents a distinctive, classic, iconic theme, landmark, environmental or structural detail, texture, tone or representation of the LA region of today and tomorrow. Past examples of local iconic images are canals, skylines and streetscapes but visions of the future are encouraged. Works can be created in any medium; photography, illustration, paint, etc. that can be reproduced at a high-quality resolution. The maximum size of the finished piece cannot exceed 24” x 18”.  Each piece should be titled.

USE OF IMAGE

Twenty pieces will be selected by a jury of Chamber board members, staff and local arts professionals for display at the Chamber’s 130th Fête d’anniversaire on Friday, November 3, 2017. A cash prize of $700 will be awarded to the artist whose piece is judged “Best in Show” and that image will be reproduced as 100 limited-edition prints. The original will be framed and auctioned as part of a live auction and all other submissions will be displayed for audience judging and silent auction at the 130th Fête d’anniversaire. A $300 cash prize for the “People’s Choice” award will be given at the event. Each piece should be assigned a value for sale following 50-50 gallery standards, including a minimum reserve. The Chamber will promote the names of each participating artist when marketing the 130th Fête d’anniversaire. The reverse of the limited-edition print will feature text on the artist and their work. Pieces that do not meet their reserve for sale on November 3rd will be returned to the artist following the event.

APPLICATION PROCESS

DEADLINE = September 30, 2017.  Work may be dropped off at the Chamber Office during business hours, Monday-Thursday, 8AM-5PM and Fridays 8AM-3PM. Eligibility is open to professional, practicing artists who reside in Maine. For more information contact Beckie@lametrochamber.com.