By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,647)
Last night at its 18th annual business awards at Ocean Gateway at the bottom of Munjoy Hill, three businesses were honored for their contributions that have increased the vitality of Portland for all who live, work and play here. The three businesses honored this year were: Custom Float Services, Inc., Putney and Public Market House.
Singled out for recognition was Charlie Poole, proprietors of Union Wharf and owner of Custom Float Services, Inc. Poole has long been a leader on waterfront issues that include the rezoning of the “waterfront central zone” a few years ago. Mayor Michael Brennan told Poole that “nothing defines Portland more than the waterfront. Your family has always stood by the waterfront when it was needed most.” Poole responded: “The waterfront is a huge piece of what makes Portland fly. We have a lot of hope for the future of the waterfront.” Poole has been a leader in many civic waterfront organizations as well. The Poole family has owned Union Wharf since the 1800s. Numerous Poole family members attended, including his 85-year old mother, Victoria.
Jean Hoffman received the 2013 Business of the Year Award for founding Putney in 2006. It’s a leading provider of high quality, bioequivalent and specialty drugs supporting the US veterinary community. Putney is committed to quality pharmaceuticals, investing in programs that support the practice of high-quality veterinary medicine, while offering cost-effective medicines for pet owners. Hoffman now employs 75 people, most of whom attended the award ceremony last night. In her acceptance remarks, Hoffman dedicated her award to A.C. Alves, whose funeral she had recently attended. He worked for the city’s Department of Public Works. She thanked the good teachers and firefighters in Portland who help make her business successful. “Portland is a well-run city,” she added.
Winning the Small Business of the Year award was Market Vendors, LLC. The four original vendors, from the now defunct Portland Public Market, the brain child of the wealthy ? Noyes, took a calculated risk when they started up the Public Market House, a historic spot in downtown Portland, 28 Monument Square. That happened in 2006. Notable is the recent purchase of the Market House Coffee, second floor, by Jim Keithley, reporter for Channel 8 news. Accepting the award for the Market Vendors was Bill Milliken. Milliken was also one of the founders of the St. Lawrence Arts Center, on Munjoy Hill, along with Deirdre Nice.