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Posted on: December 10, 2019

City Honors Five Local Businesses at Annual Business Awards

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Five local Portland businesses/organizations will be recognized on Wednesday, December 11 by the City of Portland and the Portland Development Corporation (PDC) at this year’s annual awards ceremony for their role in expanding the city’s economic vitality and quality of life. Kevin Bunker and Developers Collaborative will receive the 2019 Economic Development Achievement Award. Receiving the 2019 Legacy of the Year Award is Paradigm Window Solutions. Certify, Inc., will receive the 2019 Business of the Year Award, and Bayside Bowl will receive the 2019 Small Business of the Year Award. The 2019 PDC Client of the Year Award will go to Drifters Wife

The PDC was created by the Portland City Council in 1990 to foster economic development, providing commercial loans and grants to Portland businesses and nonprofits through a variety of programs. 

“All of these businesses play a vital role in ensuring we have a healthy and growing economy, and it’s my pleasure to recognize them for their contributions to our great city,” said Mayor Kate Snyder. “The award recipients are credited with having significant impacts on the vitality of Portland’s economy through affordable housing and smart growth, windows that match our diverse climate, innovative cloud-based software solutions, fun entertainment, and delicious food and wine.”   

Members of the PDC Board, Mayor Kate Snyder, Portland City Council members, Economic Development Chair Justin Costa, City Economic Development Staff, and company awardees will be joined by their constituencies, representatives from the city’s housing and business communities, and anyone from the public who would like to attend in honoring these award recipients.  The event is free of charge. 

WHEN:  Wednesday, December 11, 2019 from 4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
WHERE:  Ocean Gateway, One Commercial Street, Portland

Additional Information on Each Award Recipient

2019 Economic Development Achievement of the Year Award:
Kevin Bunker – Under the leadership of Kevin Bunker, Developers Collaborative (DC) is a real estate development and management company interested in projects that build community. As founding principal of DC in 2007, Kevin Bunker provides consistent direction for core themes like smart growth, environmental sustainability, affordable housing, and innovative design. DC employs a community-based approach to planning and building, and frequently participates in public-private partnerships to achieve public goals. The Developers Collaborative team has years of experience developing and structuring financing for complex projects with a community benefit. DC also works on real estate solutions for some of Maine’s most iconic businesses, including The Jackson Laboratory and L.L. Bean.

DC, based in Portland, has redeveloped many historic properties into beneficial uses throughout Maine.  Examples in Portland include the Nathan Clifford School redeveloped into apartments, and the Motherhouse (Sisters of Mercy property in the Deering Center neighborhood) redeveloped into a mix of affordable and market rate rental senior housing. In 2017, DC responded to the City’s RFP for the sale and reuse of the former Reed School building and property and was awarded the project.  A portion of the property has been redeveloped into a new facility for Children’s Odyssey, a pre-school for children with learning challenges.  The rest of the property will be redeveloped into eight residential units.  The company is now focused on further redevelopment of the former Sisters of Mercy campus, particularly the former Maine Girls’ Academy (formerly Catherine McAuley High School).  Also, DC is renovating 66 State Street into an affordable housing project, with a lodging house with 38 rooming units and 30-units of rental housing.

2019 Legacy of the Year Award:
Paradigm Window Solutions - For more than 30 years, Paradigm Windows has been building EnergyStar rated, premium quality vinyl windows for residential and commercial applications. Paradigm operates on a distribution-based business model servicing the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest regions. 

Not all windows are created equal – this is a statement that Paradigm Windows thrives on. The Paradigm product line was built from the ground up, with the intention to fill a market gap in the vinyl window industry at the time, to satisfy the diverse climate needs in New England. As a company that is focused on innovation, new construction and replacement windows are coupled with a diverse set of options and accessories that aren’t commonly found in the vinyl industry. Their premium-quality products are designed and fabricated in Maine and exceed requirements of the American Architectural Manufacturing Association (AAMA) Gold Label Certification for integrity and quality. 

Currently, the company employs 230 people and offers benefits, paid time off, tuition reimbursement, and bonuses. For 37 years, Paradigm Window Solutions has been a steadfast employer of choice for new Mainers, as well as graduates from area high schools, career/technical education centers, and colleges.  Presently, Paradigm Window Solutions has employees from 15 countries. In recent years, Paradigm has partnered with multiple educational and job-seeking oriented organizations to implement programs that facilitate career growth. As the workforce began to shift from local high school graduates to New Mainers, the company adapted training procedures to support ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) employees. Paradigm has a long and valued legacy in the city of Portland. 

2019 Business of the Year Award:
Certify, Inc. –  Named one of the best places to work in Maine, 4 years in a row, Certify is disrupting the world of spend management with a simple and innovative cloud-based solution that’s scalable for companies of every size and industry. Certify offers all of the energy and opportunity of a startup, plus the strength and stability of a revenue-positive industry leader. For professionals in technical, sales, marketing, or administrative roles, Certify is the place for employees to bring their talents and truly love what they do for a lifetime. 

 Founded by Bob Neveu and his brother Alan in 2008, Certify is proof that companies can grow fast, hire talented employees, and develop world class software right here in Portland. Certify employs over 130 employees in Portland, 45 in San Diego, and operates another small office in London. As a private equity backed firm, Certify has been involved in a significant amount of mergers and acquisitions activity over the past few years and has expanded its reach even further. With sister companies spanning from Los Angeles to Toronto, the Certify family has grown far beyond initial expectations.  

Due to its rapid growth, position as an industry leader, and the footprint made on the Portland employment market, Certify is aptly named the 2019 Business of the Year. 

2019 Small Business of the Year Award:
Bayside Bowl - Bayside Bowl has brought new life to Bayside consistent with the Bayside Vision. It opened in the Summer of 2010 and immediately became the anchor for everyone wanting great food, bowling, and live music. With its expansion in 2017, it now offers 20 USBC sanctioned lanes, a taco truck, four unique bar spaces, event spaces, and a one-of-a-kind rooftop deck.

Bayside Bowl is also the home of the PBA Elias Cup. Forty of the world’s greatest bowlers come to Portland every year to compete live on Fox Sports for this made for TV team championship. It also hosts over 600 bowlers in bowling leagues all year round. The business is owned by Justin Alfond and Charlie Mitchell.

 2019 PDC Client of the Year Award:
Drifters Wife – Maine & Loire borrowed funds from the PDC’s commercial loan program in 2014 to start a Wine Shop at 63 Washington Avenue, selling only natural wines (organically or biodynamically farmed).  A few years later, owners Peter and Orenda Hale incorporated into the Wine Shop a small wine bar called Drifters Wife which also served food. When a larger space on the block opened up at 59 Washington at the beginning of 2018, they moved into it with the Wine Shop on one side and an expanded Drifters Wife restaurant on the other. This August, Drifters Wife was named to Bon Appetit’s Hot 10 2018 list of America’s best new restaurants.The award was announced shortly after Portland was named 2018 Restaurant City of the Year. Drifters Wife is a valuable member of the Portland foodie niche. 


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