PRESQUE ISLE – Leaders Encouraging Aroostook Development (LEAD) and Momentum Aroostook are pleased to announce that nominations are being accepted across the county for Aroostook’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, giving recognition to progressive young business founders/owners/operators in northern Maine.
LEADERS ENCOURAGING AROOSTOOK DEVELOPMENT (LEAD) Vice Chair Virginia Joles announces the countywide search for Aroostook’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year as Nathan Berry, who serves as president of both the LEAD and Momentum Aroostook, looks on.
In conjunction with National Entrepreneurship Week, the first annual search is being launched for Aroostook’s outstanding young entrepreneur, specific to individuals age 16 through 40 who own, operate, or are involved in a partnership within northern Maine and who inspire others with their vision, leadership, and achievement.
According to Virginia Joles, vice president of LEAD, the Aroostook’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award will be given to a business leader who demonstrates excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their business and community.
“The winner will be awarded a plaque of recognition, receive a check for $500, participate in the June 2009 LEAD/Aroostook Partnership for Progress annual meeting, and outreach as a speaker and role model to area educational programs focused on business and entrepreneurship,” said Joles.
Community nominations must be received by April 1. There is no fee for nominations and self-nominations are encouraged. LEAD and Momentum Aroostook members and their relatives are eligible to participate, as well. Teachers are also urged to nominate students who have developed a successful business. Program details and a nomination form are available for download at http://www.leadaroostook.com and http://www.momentumaroostook.com. To be eligible for consideration, nominees must be the founder, owner, or manager of a private or public company; be primarily responsible for the recent performance of the company or organization; and be an active member of top management. The company or organization must have been in operation at least one year.
A panel of six judges, one representing each of the sponsors, LEAD and Momentum Aroostook, and the supporting organizations, Husson University, Northern Maine Community College, the University of Maine at Fort Kent, and the University of Maine at Presque Isle, will select the 2009 finalist. If the judges warrant, applications may be narrowed to three top finalists, at which time additional information may be requested and interviews scheduled before they make their final decision. The names of the three finalists will be released to the media May 22, and the recipient of Aroostook’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year award will be announced at the June annual meeting of LEAD/Aroostook Partnership for Progress. The other honorees will also be recognized at the annual meeting.
Nathan L. Berry, president of Momentum Aroostook, a co-sponsor of the program, said, “Aroostook’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year annual awards help encourage the growth and success of companies that provide jobs, keep talent in our region, and provide young business owners a sense of personal satisfaction. Further, these awards are a key part of identifying individuals who may be operating a unique, successful business worthy of honorable mention, mentoring, and encouragement.”
Entrepreneurship is the driving force of the U.S. economy. During the past 15 years, businesses less than five years old have accounted for about 70 percent of the net job creation in the United States. However, while America presently maintains the edge as an entrepreneurial society, there are clear signs of massive economic competition, challenge, and change.
“We are pleased to join other entrepreneurs and economic development organizations to celebrate National Entrepreneurship Week and recognize northern Maine business ingenuity and promote innovation in order to stay ahead of change and economic challenges,” Joles said.
Anyone interested can send completed nomination forms to: LEAD Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Attn: Nathan Berry, P.O. Box 807, Presque Isle, Maine 04769.