News : September 2015

New England Insurance Businesses Staying Green

Sep 30, 2015

Originally Published on Seacoast Online

By John Brescia

PORTSMOUTH – Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance (PAI) is an independent insurance agency operating throughout most of New England, and serves 2,000 clients in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont. PAI offers localized experience with options to suit their client’s specific needs, such as life, auto, health, and home and renter’s insurance, as well as financial services. The company recently celebrated its 10th anniversary this past June.

PAI not only covers costs, but also sustainability. As an insurance agency, PAI acts as an intermediary by purchasing policies from larger insurance companies, for their clients. While some believe they would spend less money by forgoing the insurance agency and buying the policy directly from the company, most save through working with PAI. This is because PAI gains the majority of their clients through word-of-mouth referrals, so their costs for customer acquisition are very low. However, their efforts to be green are very high

Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance aims to work with companies that are equally environmentally friendly.
Portsmouth Atlantic Insurance utilizes a paperless agency management system, uses 100% recycled paper products and biodegradable plastic bags, and recycles all printer and toner cartridges. The business also digitizes all documents as PDFs, and uses 7th Generation products, which are environmentally-safe cleaning products. On Earth Day, PAI employees are given the day off to instead work for an environmental concern of their choice. In the future, PAI plans to incorporate soy-based inks, Energy Star office equipment, and chlorine-free paper.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Favorite Foods, a Family Business Embracing Sustainability

Sep 28, 2015

Originally Published in Fosters Daily Democrat

SOMERSWORTH — Chris Barstow has a philosophy that has served his company Favorite Foods well for more than a quarter century: “If we help our customers do more business and become more profitable, then we will reap the benefits.”

Barstow is the president and chief executive of Favorite Foods, the Somersworth-based restaurant supply company that has carved a profitable niche in a highly competitive industry that includes giants such as Sysco, US Foods and Performance Food Group.
Barstow admits to not seeking individual recognition and says credit goes to the 53-employee team. The firm provides supplies to local, independent restaurants as well as some state prisons, military installations, private schools and food manufacturers. It has annual revenues of about $37.5 million.

Barstow, a Pennsylvania native, was working in Silicon Valley as a high-tech distributor for Texas Instruments when his brother, Jeff, founded the company. When he came for a Maine vacation to visit his brother he was already at a career crossroads.

Read the full story on Fosters.com.

Making New Hampshire Beautiful Through Classroom Education and Outreach

Sep 24, 2015

Originally Published on Patch.com and Seacoast Online

By Katelyn Monroe

MANCHESTER – School is back in session, but students aren’t the only ones returning to the classroom this fall. New Hampshire the Beautiful and the Northeast Resource Recovery Association are also heading back to schools across the state to teach students the importance of recycling and to implement lasting programs.

Through the School Recycling Club (the CLUB), both New Hampshire the Beautiful and the Northeast Resource Recovery Association work with students and educators to start and maintain new recycling programs or help improve existing programs to reduce waste and save energy in schools.

“What we really like about the program is that it’s an ongoing education that trains future generations to be more conscious of the environment and their actions,” said John Dumais, President and CEO of the N.H. Grocers Association and long-time member of New Hampshire the Beautiful’s Board of Directors.

Read the full story on Patch.com or Seacoast Online.

Green Collar Careers: Eco Sound Builders Co-Owner, Peter Robie

Sep 24, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online

By Ken Johnson

When Peter Robie first met Ethan Korpi back in 2004, their shared vision to build structures utilizing sustainable and efficient methods made them bond instantly. Both Robie and Korpi shared a background of being highly trained in building and carpentry. They created a southern division of Eco Sound Builders on the seacoast in 2008, an offshoot of the original business founded by Korpi and his father, Roger, in the Lakes and White Mountain region of New Hampshire.

The goal of Eco Sound Builders’ two divisions is to build quality homes and buildings that are durable and sustainable throughout New Hampshire. Wood used for each project is sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) certified forests, super-efficient insulation is used, and the subcontractors Robie works with specialize in using non-toxic paints and source their materials locally whenever possible. Working with sustainable technology, and building materials, is something Robie has specialized in since earning degrees in Civil Technology and Environmental Conservation.

Not limited to new buildings, Eco Sound Builders will renovate existing buildings to bring them up to Eco Sound’s high standards of performance. Recently, they renovated an older building in Portsmouth’s historic South End district, keeping within the city’s tight regulations for work on historic properties while making the home green and much more energy efficient. When it comes to renovating an older, historical property, Eco Sound will perform an energy audit, add a thermal ‘envelope’ wrapping, and other green and sustainable aspects.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

The Business of Politics and Climate Change

Sep 23, 2015

Originally published in the Portsmouth Herald

Aside from our mutual appreciation for good beer, Kelley Ayotte and I have something else in common: the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in New Hampshire appeals to both of us.

RGGI appeals to Senator Ayotte because it is a market-based approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in nine northeastern states, and because RGGI was approved and established in New Hampshire by a bi-partisan state legislature. I like RGGI for those same reasons, and also because the program offers incentives to encourage businesses like mine to opt for conservation and cutting-edge energy efficient technologies when making plans for expansion or new construction. These incentives help make those choices economically viable in the short term, so all of us can benefit in the long term.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Craft Brew Alliance Proves Sustainability Pays Off

Sep 22, 2015

Originally Published on Seacoast Online

By Mike Bizier

PORTLAND, OR – The Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth is a popular brewpub destination for many in the seacoast region. Aside from providing customers with quality craft beers, the pub is also known for its sustainable initiatives, such as using natural, locally-sourced ingredients for their menu. What customers might not be aware of is that Redhook’s Portsmouth location is part of the Craft Brew Alliance, a larger national brewing company that also puts sustainability at the forefront of its business priorities.

Formed in 2008 through a merger between Redhook’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington and Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Oregon, Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) keeps sustainability at the core of its business model; for both its brewing practices and dining operations on both coasts. With the addition of the Hawaii-based Kona Brewing Company in 2010 and Omission Beer, a gluten free brand in 2012, Craft Brew Alliance has become one of the largest and most sustainable brewing companies in the United States.

Last year, the CBA released what is now an annual report to raise awareness of their sustainable goals. By releasing the report publicly, CBA hold themselves accountable for meeting their objectives and being fully transparent.

“For a long time we have had this commitment and we have been taking action towards reducing our carbon footprint, but we haven’t necessarily been talking about that publicly,” says CBA’s sustainability manager Julia Person. “Now we’re starting to see companies release sustainability reports and talking about this, and I think if this continues to happen, it will push more and more companies to do the same.”

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Barking Up the Right Tree

Sep 22, 2015

Originally Published in the NH Business Review

By Michael McCord

Sustainability doesn’t immediately come to mind when put in the context of a pet store. But Jeff and Dawn Price, the owners of The Natural Dog, have made it their mission to change that perception.

“We believe that sustainable thinking and practices is good for our customers,” Jeff Price said. Since 2004 when they opened their first store in Newburyport, Mass., the Prices have seen their customer grow steadily as one referral led to another. That led to a second store – named The Natural Dog and Holistic Cat – that opened in 2013 in Portsmouth.

Price said that education has been the driving force behind the growth of customer awareness and demand.

“We think the knowledge we and our staff offer sets our level of customer service apart,” Price explained. “Just because a big pet food company rolls out a commercial that says their product is good doesn’t necessarily make it so. We maintain a high level of scrutiny and that makes us as much of an education center as a store.”

Read the full story in the NH Business Review.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: The Gundalow Company

Sep 21, 2015

Originally Published in the Portsmouth Herald

Who: One of the draws to the city of Portsmouth is its embrace and exhibition of local history. The Gundalow Company, located near Strawbery Banke, offers a unique living history experience along the Piscataqua River. Gundalows, unique to the area, were once the primary mode of transportation for importing and exporting goods up the river to locations like Dover and Exeter.

Their uncommon design allowed gundalows to navigate the Great Bay estuary’s shallow waters. With the invention and rise in popularity of the locomotive, gundalows vanished from Portsmouth’s trade industry in the early 1900s. In 1982, the Piscataqua Gundalow Project built a replica gundalow, dubbed Capt. Edward H. Adams after the last gundalow captain to sail during its heyday, and an environmental steward, using traditional methods to educate residents and visitors about the Great Bay Estuary’s fragile ecosystem. The Gundalow Company formed in 2002 using the replica vessel to continue and expand those educational programs.

Today, the Gundalow Company offers 300 sails for up to 46 passengers on board its newest vessel, the Piscataqua, including students, visitors and residents. Tours include discussions on the history of the gundalow, its service to the trade industry that helped grow the Seacoast’s early economy, and how visitors can ensure the environmental longevity of the area through education and service.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

The Blue Ocean Society to Host Beach Clean-Ups Throughout the Seacoast

Sep 16, 2015

Originally Published on Seacoast Online

By Katelyn Monroe

PORTSMOUTH – Fall is approaching quickly, but there’s still plenty of time to get outdoors and hit the beach. On Saturday, September 19, join Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation and volunteers from across the seacoast for the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup.

Blue Ocean Society is a non-profit organization, based in Portsmouth, working to protect marine animals in the Gulf of Maine through education, research, and conservation to both adults and students. Blue Ocean Society organizes the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup now in its 30th year.

This year’s cleanup will be conducted at approximately 25 sites along the New Hampshire coastline, and volunteers are needed to assist from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the cleanup, each piece of trash collected is recorded, and the data is used to implement city and state projects to reduce waste on New Hampshire beaches.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Smuttynose Brewing Company

Sep 14, 2015

Originally Published in the Portsmouth Herald

Who: Smuttynose Brewing Company’s shipped its first kegs of Shoals Pale Ale in 1994 from a small warehouse in Portsmouth. Fourteen years later, Peter Egelston and partner Joanne Francis purchased the 17-acre Towle Farm in Hampton to build a new, larger, sustainable brewing facility and company headquarters.

The new Smuttynose facility, which is in review for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification with the U.S. Green Building Council, opened in May 2014. Its design is aimed to reduce Smuttynose’s demand for electricity, water and natural gas while minimizing effluent and site impacts. The most-significant energy-saving feature is an overly insulated tight building envelope that maintains a consistent internal environment, reducing heating and cooling needs.

Large banks of windows and solar tubes capture substantial natural light while other lighting needs are met by on-demand LEDs. The facility includes an ambient vaporizer for its CO2 system that captures waste cooling for the warehouse, while reducing the need for electrical heat found in conventional vaporizers.

Read the full story in the Portsmouth Herald.

Highland Hardwoods and Seacoast Energy Team Up for Unique Solar Project

Sep 11, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online and Patch.com.

By Michael McCord

BRENTWOOD – When Rick and Wendy Lang of Highland Hardwoods saw their new solar systems go on line at their facility, they watched with a feeling of accomplishment, checking off another sustainable goal for their company.

“We have always appreciated nature’s wonderful resources and tried to be environmentally responsible business owners,” said Rick Lang about the specialized lumber supply company he started in 1986 on Route 125 in Brentwood. “Going solar reinforces our commitment to manage our natural resources, not only for ourselves but for future generations as well.”

Seven months in the making, Anne Holliday, the lumberyard’s CFO of 20 years, working with Highland Hardwoods to expand its sustainability, first conceived the installation project. After researching state grants, rebates, and looking for local solar installers, Holliday chose Jack Bingham of Seacoast Energy in Barrington for the project. Bingham installed solar panels on the Highland’s two roofs covering large lumber storage areas in April. Bingham and his crew finished installing the last of the 550 panels a few months later.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online and Patch.com

Growing Seacoast Fitness Industry Helps Local Business Expand

Sep 9, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online and Patch.com

By Anne Twombly

EPPING - The fitness industry is booming as Americans become increasingly health conscious. Desire for fitness plan personalization drives sales of products like the Fitbit, a wearable digital activity tracker that measures personal fitness metrics such as distance traveled. Fitbit reported over 21 million sold since 2011, only a fraction of the wearable exercise technology market, a number that grows daily. These devices out sold Apple watch since its launch.

But as much as technology like FitBit tracks fitness, it is just an app and can’t produce results alone. What the technology has done, however, is encourage consumers to think about their personal health. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the number of health and fitness clubs in the United States also rose 6.4 percent in 2015 from the previous year. Although some of these centers are franchised “big-box” gyms, there has also been a large amount of smaller independent facilities popping up to meet the increasing market demand for individualized fitness consultation.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online and Patch.com.

Meet a Green Alliance Business: Social Kitchen

Sep 8, 2015

Originally Published in the Portsmouth Herald

When Steve and Cary Bowman launched Social Kitchen in 2010, their goal was to leverage various social media platforms in a way that helped businesses connect with their clients and customers. The Bowmans dove into the ever-changing social media landscape headfirst, learning effective and creative strategies along the way, eventually becoming some of the top professionals in the field.

From the start, the business was committed to helping businesses grow by using technology platforms that could have the largest impact on sales and the smallest impact on the environment. As the company helps businesses more effectively use technology, so it reduces their reliance on higher footprint marketing like print media.

Five years later, Social Kitchen whole-heartedly understands that for the small business owner, running social media campaigns and strategy can be confusing, but it is crucial for growth. Having grown up with parents who were small business owners themselves, the Bowmans remain committed to the idea that their service must suit the needs of small business owners first and foremost. In any home the kitchen is the hub of conversation.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Growing Seacoast Fitness Industry Helps Local Business Expand

Sep 8, 2015

Originally Published in the Exeter Newsletter

By Anne Twombly

EPPING — The fitness industry is booming as Americans become increasingly health conscious. Desire for fitness plan personalization drives sales of products like the Fitbit, a wearable digital activity tracker that measures personal fitness metrics such as distance traveled. Fitbit reported over 21 million sold since 2011, only a fraction of the wearable exercise technology market, a number that grows daily. These devices out sold the Apple watch since its launch.

But as much as technology like FitBit tracks fitness, it is just an app and can’t produce results alone. What the technology has done, however, is encourage consumers to think about their personal health. According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the number of health and fitness clubs in the United States also rose 6.4 percent in 2015 from the previous year. Although some of these centers are franchised “big-box” gyms, there has also been a large amount of smaller independent facilities popping up to meet the increasing market demand for individualized fitness consultation.

Integrated Fitness of Dover is one of the many smaller gyms that has appeared on the Seacoast over the past decade to meet the increased demand for personalized fitness services and programs. Owner, Jonathan Arnold, has built his business by taking a uniquely thorough individualized and holistic lifestyle approach to advance the specific personal goals of clients.

Read the full story on Seacaost Online

Fitness Business Sees Demand in Dover

Sep 8, 2015

Originally published in Foster's Daily Democrat

By Kristyn Lak Miller

DOVER – It’s easy being green and healthy in Dover, where about a dozen fitness companies are members of the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce; several restaurants in the city serve local, seasonal, organic fare; and wholesome events are commonplace, from road races and farmers’ markets to Apple Harvest Day.

The city also appreciates its green spaces and the active lifestyles of its residents.

“Dover has a lot of open park space, indoor and outdoor pools, an indoor hockey arena, and other recreational activities for children and adults,” said Katie MacKinnon, Membership and Business Resource Manager for the Greater Dover Chamber of Commerce.

Read the full story in Foster's.

International Coastal Cleanup visits Seacoast

Sep 8, 2015

Originally Published in the Portsmouth Herald

PORTSMOUTH — Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation’s 30th annual International Coastal Cleanup is Sept. 19 and will be conducted at approximately 25 sites along the New Hampshire coast and Great Bay.

Volunteers are needed to assist and business groups, residents and volunteer groups are encouraged to join. Cleanup hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., but may vary by site.

Blue Ocean Society was awarded a grant from the New Hampshire Coastal Program to coordinate the event in New Hampshire. The International Coastal Cleanup is billed as the largest volunteer one-day event of its kind.

Blue Ocean Society, a Portsmouth-based nonprofit, has coordinated the New Hampshire Coastal Cleanup since 2005 and strives to spread awareness about the marine environment and the importance of proper trash disposal. During the cleanup, each piece of trash collected is recorded, and the data is used to implement city and state projects to lessen waste on our beaches.

Read the full story on Seacoast Online

The Gateway to a Positive Contribution

Sep 2, 2015

Originally Published in NH Business Review

By Michael McCord

As Bill Buckley approached his 50th birthday a few years ago, he made a dramatic career change, from a high-tech industry executive to running his own martial arts and yoga studio. A little more than three years later, the decision has paid off in multiple ways, with Buckley finding fulfillment as a full-time Taiji, Qigong and Yoga instructor. He has also transformed his Portsmouth-based Gateway Taiji, Qigong and Yoga studio into a model of sustainability.

“We are after lifelong sustainability and seeking a path to stay healthy and be healthy,” said Buckley, a former global general manager with Hewlett-Packard who has studied martial arts since the early 1980s. “We are trying to be as good to ourselves and the earth as we can.”

At nearly 5,000 square feet, Buckley’s studio space is housed in the refurbished furnace room at the Button Factory on Islington Street, built in 1895 and now occupied by local businesses and artist studios.

Read the full story in NH Business Review

Proulx Oil and Propane Expands into Manchester

Sep 1, 2015

Originally published on Seacoast Online

By Michael McCord

Newmarket-based Proulx Oil & Propane has expanded its market share into central New Hampshire by acquiring a long-established Manchester company.

The acquisition in early February by Proulx Oil & Propane of J. A. Bourque & Sons came after discussions between the companies began in the fall of 2014. Proulx Oil & Propane President James Proulx said his company’s third acquisition is a strong one because both companies have established brand names and high marks for customer service. Additionally, both companies are family-owned with deep roots in the two regions.

According to Proulx the acquisition made sense both in brand and service, especially given his company's work along the Route 101 corridor.

“It’s a nice fit with what we are trying to do. We feel there is a lot of brand equity and we will be able to bring more products and services to Bourque customers and other homeowners throughout the Manchester service area,” Proulx said. “Because of market demand over the past two years, we’ve stretched our geographic service boundaries farther west. We had already been doing a fair amount of business in Hooksett and Auburn.”

Read the full story on Seacoast Online.

Rett's Roost to help children, families fighting cancer

Sep 1, 2015

Originally published in The Portsmouth Herald. 

By Amy Bevan

 

 

DOVER – A local couple who recently lost their infant son to cancer announced plans to open a retreat center for families with children afflicted by the disease.

Deana and Jim Cavan have established Rett’s Roost to offer weekly and weekend retreats for free or by donation to families who have a child currently in treatment, in remission or who have lost a child to cancer. On-site programs will focus on healthy body and mind, such as yoga, meditation, arts and crafts, healthy meals and outdoor exploration.

Rett’s Roost is named for Everett, the Cavans’ baby boy who passed away in February after a five-month battle with rhabdoid tumors. Rett would have celebrated his first birthday on Monday, April 27. Throughout Rett’s illness, his parents shared their story in Seacoast Sunday as well as online through social media.

Click here to read the full story from The Portsmouth Herald

Saying Goodbye to Everett Cavan

Sep 1, 2015

Originally published in The Portsmouth Herald and Foster's Daily Democrat. 

By Amy Bevan

PORTSMOUTH – Hundreds gathered at South Church on Sunday afternoon to honor the life of Everett Cavan, the blue-eyed 9-month-old boy who recently lost his battle with cancer.

As the crowd entered from the blustery cold, they greeted Jim and Deana Cavan, Rett’s parents, who stood at the front of the sanctuary amid photographs, toys and other items representing their son’s life.

Rett Cavan suffered from Rhabdoid tumors, a rare and serious form of pediatric cancer. The Cavans shared their story in the Seacoast Sunday on Jan. 25, at which time Rett had survived a risky surgery at Boston’s Children’s Hospital, to remove a large portion of his liver, the original site of the tumors.

But despite the surgery’s success, Rett’s cancer spread to his lungs and abdomen, and chemotherapy treatment was ineffective in killing the cancer. He passed away one month ago, at sunset, on Feb. 22.

Click here to read the full story from The Portsmouth Herald

Family keeps faith as baby battles cancer

Sep 1, 2015

Originally published in The Portsmouth Herald and Foster's Daily Democrat. 

By Amy Bevan

When Jim and Deana Cavan welcomed their son Everett into the world last April, they knew he would change their lives forever. What they didn’t realize was just how much their first-born child, who is currently fighting for his life in a Boston hospital, could teach them about courage, resiliency, hope and the human spirit.

Nine-month-old “Rett” has been battling a rare and serious form of pediatric cancer after a rhabdoid tumor was discovered on his liver last fall. But despite a risky surgery to remove the mass and several rounds of chemotherapy to destroy additional cancer lesions on his lungs, this little boy and his parents remain positive about his recovery.

“It’s tough,” said Deana. “But, I feel like he can push through this and live an amazing life.”

Click here to read the full story in Foster's!