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June 16, 2017 | last updated June 18, 2017 12:19 pm

Floating tank center, zero waste spice maker among SCORE award winners

Photo / Lori Valigra
Photo / Lori Valigra
SCORE Oxford Hills mentor Steve Veazey (left to right) with Beth Weisberger of Gneiss Spice and SCORE Portland Chapter head Nancy Strojny. Gneiss Spice won in the home-based business category.

Noting that the SCORE Maine mentoring organization helped entrepreneurs start 386 new businesses that created 578 new jobs in 2016, Portland Chapter head Nancy Strojny named the winners of the annual SCORE Success Awards.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers ranked SCORE Portland No. 8 in client engagement," Strojny told more than 100 attendees at the event, which was held Thursday at the Portland Regency Hotel.

Mike Roylos, owner of Sidewalk Buttler of Portland, won in the green small business category. Roylos said his four-year-old company, which makes containers for cigarette butt disposal, has installed more than 200 Buttlers in Portland and picked up one million butts that otherwise would have landed on the sidewalk. His product is sold in 22 states. Cigarette butts are the most common form of litter around the world, he noted.

Roylos did try earlier to get Shark Tank's investors interested in the product. "They said it wasn't sexy enough," he said.

Just off their $50,000 Gorham Savings Bank LaunchPad win on June 6, Jennifer Scism and David Koorits, owners of Kittery-based natural dehydrated meals company Good To-Go, won the SCORE Success Award for business plan execution. The company sells through REI, EMS and L.L.Bean, and said it opened international sales to Canada this month with MEC, an outdoor recreation gear and clothing company based in Vancouver. It also started the onboarding process to sell in Whole Foods.

"We used SCORE mentors for our marketing, finance and growth strategy," Scism said.

Jen Fullmer, who gained 501(c) nonprofit status in 2016 for her South Portland-based Boots2Roots company, won in the nonprofit category. The company helps soldiers transition back into civilian life after they leave the military. Fullmer got the idea for the company after she left the Air Force in 2015.

Photo / Lori Valigra
Photo / Lori Valigra
SCORE Portland mentor Kathleen O’Donnell (left to right) with Sharon Herrick, owner and designer of Illuminated Me by Sharon Herrick; jewelry designer Nabaa Al Obaidi of Illuminated Me; and SCORE Portland Chapter head Nancy Strojny. Illuminated Me won in the woman-owned business category.

Illuminated Me by Sharon Herrick won for a woman-owned business. The Portland-based jewelry company actively seeks to employ immigrants, Herrick said. She has one full-time employee, designer Nabaa Al Obaidi, who holds a degree in interior design and once had a cake bakery in Baghdad.

Another jewelry company, Arthlin Jewelry of Auburn, won a second award for a woman-owned business. Owner Lincey Biel sells through Amazon Prime and craft website Etsy, and focuses on custom designs.

Rebecca Woll and Tom Kropf, owners of Shift, a Portland-based personalized training and fitness center, won for young entrepreneurs under 35.

Innovative small business winners James and Amy Harder of Float Harder Relaxation Center in Portland, have two employees and have been in business a year. They plan to expand to eight employees, saying their center's strategy that lets people float in water helps relieve pain and stress.

Beth Weisberger, owner of Gneiss Spice of Bethel, won in the home-based business category. Her refillable, magnetized spice containers can hang off of a refrigerator to save space. She said her company aims to attract people with a zero waste lifestyle. She sells organic spices in compostable bags online. The former New York City school science teacher started the business in 2009, and has revenues topping $500,000 and one full-time employee.

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