Maine Center for Entrepreneurs Announces Inaugural Class of Compass Outdoor Industry Program

PORTLAND, Maine, March 10, 2022 – The Maine Center for Entrepreneurs (MCE) together with its partner Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB), announced the participants in the inaugural MCE Compass training program launched this month.

The new ten-week program provides Maine businesses in the outdoor industry with valuable learning sessions, contacts and insights from subject matter experts with experience from national outdoor brand companies. MCE Compass is made possible by a grant awarded from the Maine Community Foundation; financial support from Maine Outdoor Brands, along with sponsorships from a number of public and private supporters including Norway Savings Bank.

“The outdoor recreation industry in Maine has been growing steadily, supporting 40,000+ direct jobs, and is projected to more than double from $2.7B in 2017 to $5.6B by 2030. Despite its importance, until now there’s been no dedicated business training specific to this sector, similar to what’s offered to other important industries in Maine such as high tech and aquaculture”, said Tom Rainey, Executive Director, MCE.

“Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB) was established as a trade association in 2017 to advocate on behalf of its 130+ members and aims to bring more visibility and resources to this critical industry. We are thrilled to provide this new program to the brands in our network through this exciting partnership,” Said Jenny Kordick, Executive Director, MOB.

The partners engaged Edgard “Ponch” Membreno, a MOB board member, and 20+ year veteran of business development in the outdoor industry, to serve as the program coordinator of MCE Compass program.

We are pleased to list the following 19 companies as our inaugural Compass Cohort:

Armanda Davis, Experience Maine

Mark Rodrigue, Rogue Life Maine

Samantha Andrews, Blissed Outside

Louis Zeppieri, Northern Echo Custom Sewing

Stephanie Noyes, 360Sleeves

Brian Fish, Maine Casual, LLC

Christopher L Paine, Daily Fly Fishing

Lindsay Currier, Still Peaking

Mish Sommers, Happier Outside

Eldon Loblein, GameTiks

Mark Ferguson, Brant & Cochran

Amanda Hatley, She Summits Co

Lisa Montogomery, Penobscot Consulting Services

Norman Patry,  Summer Feet Cycling and Walking Adventures

Cathy Streifel, Pyxie, LLC

Phinny Baxter White, Governor Baxter

Paul Sannicandro dba Moose Woods Guide Service, LLC

Brenden Westin, DuraBike

Sara Hammond, Business name still to be determined

Program Manager Ponch Membreno said of the class, “We are so happy we were able to attract such a wide range of participants. We have companies representing all parts of the industry – from service providers to product designers, manufacturers, and sellers. We have others just beginning their entrepreneurial journey as well as those hoping to scale. I’m excited to see how this group, equally split by gender, will engage in our sessions, and contribute to Maine’s emerging outdoor industry. “ 

Outdoor industry focused entrepreneurs will meet weekly via Zoom and have the opportunity to work with industry leaders from companies like L.L. Bean, Toad & Co., Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, 1% for the Planet and more. Speakers will cover a range of topics including scaling up operations for national and international markets, supply chain sustainability and social responsibility, and new product innovation using design thinking, among others.

About Maine Center for Entrepreneurs:

Established in 1997, MCE’s mission is to build and lead a community of growth-oriented businesses in Maine, by providing the training, connections, coaching and mentors they need to commercialize and grow their ideas, products, and services so that their companies will drive the growth of Maine’s economy. Over its 25-year history, the organization has accelerated the growth of hundreds of businesses and established a mentor network of over 200 members. Please visit www.mced.biz.  

About Maine Outdoor Brands

Maine Outdoor Brands continues to work to unite, grow, and give a voice to the state’s outdoor recreation industry, supporting knowledge sharing, collaborative marketing, and commerce efforts and access to professional resources. MOB is committed to seeing Maine-based products, services, and retail brands thrive, and today has over 150-member brands that are a part of the mission. www.maineoutdoorbrands.com