Friday, June 24, 2022

Business Spotlight: Harry’s Heat Pumps

Warmer weather isn’t typically the time when you weigh the costs associated with winter heating costs, but savvy homeowners and businesses in the Lakes Region of Maine should know that summer is the perfect time to install a highly efficient heating and cooling pump from Harry’s Heat Pumps in Windham. 

Harry’s Heat Pumps is owned and operated by Harry Wood, who has lived in Windham his entire life and understands the importance of saving money during the cold winter months for area families.

I have been in business for just over two years but have been working on heat pumps just shy of a decade,” Wood said. “We offer a year-round product and providing exceptional customer service because we live locally and are aware how costly it is to heat and cool a home.”

He sells heat and cooling pumps, installs them, performs service repairs, cleanings and preventative maintenance.

We specialize in keeping you and your family comfortable year around whether it’s in one room or the whole house,” Wood said.

Because Harry’s Heat Pumps is based in Windham, his response time is faster than the larger companies and is an affordable option to help the community save money.       

“I’m the local guy you can call who will provide exceptional customer service and get it done right the first time,” Wood said. “We’re a family- oriented company.” 

Wood said that a heat pump uses electricity to pull heat out of the air. In the winter, it pulls warm air inside to heat your home while in the summer, it acts like an air conditioner, moving warm air out while circulating cool air inside. 

Harry's Heat Pumps is a locally
owned and operated company by
Windham native Harry Wood, shown
here with his son, Liam.
COURTESY PHOTO

According to Wood, heat pumps are quiet and help to improve air quality by filtering the air and dehumidifying the home. Air quality can be a key component for optimum health and prevention of illness.

Because a heating and cooling pump uses no fossil fuels, it is eco-friendly by reducing carbon emissions into the atmosphere while saving a bundle on heating and cooling costs.

Heating and cooling pumps require little maintenance and that can add up to substantial savings which can be used for other projects by homeowners.

Wood said that the primary advantage of installing a heat pump is that it’s one of the lowest cost sources of heat and that when installed with multiple indoor units, heat pumps allow for room-by-room temperature control.

They are safe because heat pumps are electrically powered and there is no risk of combustion gas leaks, he said.

“Many people have the misconception that the electricity consumption cost with a heat pump is higher, but in reality, they’re very efficient and also help dehumidify and cool homes in the summer,” Wood said.

And compared to larger companies, Harry’s Heat Pumps is highly competitive when it comes to pricing.

“We have much lower overhead allowing us to offer significant savings,” he said. “And heat pumps also typically provide 250 to 300 percent efficiency when compared to oil prices.”

Wood’s business is growing as oil prices continue to skyrocket.

“Many families are just not able to afford to fill their tanks anymore,” he said. “We have the expertise, experience, availability, live locally and focus on personalized customer service. We do what we say we’re going to do from the start of a job to the finish and do it with integrity.”     

Harry’s Heat Pumps is insured, licensed, fully certified to work on heating and cooling pump systems and is a registered vendor with efficiency Maine.     

Outstanding social media reviews for Harry’s Heat Pumps are a testament to Wood’s integrity, resourcefulness and his ability to relate to his customers.

“I’m looking to plant the seed so when they think heat pumps, Harry’s pops into their minds - not just the big companies,” Harry said. “We provide exceptional service and work hard every day to earn your trust and business.”

Find Harry’s Heat Pumps on Facebook, Instagram and Google or call 207-310-3473 for Harry’s Heat Pumps.  <

Friday, June 17, 2022

Business Spotlight: The Lender Lady

There’s a good reason why Haley McGovern of Northstar Mortgage is known as “The Lender Lady” and it’s evident with every person that she helps to purchase a home. From the very first phone call or meeting, Haley makes it clear that her first and foremost priority is working on their behalf no matter what needs to be done or the time that’s involved to help them get into their new residence at the best possible rate. 

Haley spends a great deal of time at her office located at 625 Roosevelt Trail in Windham. Her availability doesn't stop when she heads home for the day. Haley is available around the clock when customers seek to purchase or refinance a home.

With the expertise and resources necessary to save her clients thousands, Haley’s reputation has grown as someone who is resourceful and truly understands how important the purchase or refinance of a home can be for individuals and families.

“I am local, you can come into my office anytime. I am a think outside the box kind of person and work with lenders who also think outside the box,” she said. “We can match someone with a mortgage suited for their specific needs. I work with the number one lender in the U.S., offering competitive prices and fees for customers. They say the average savings per homeowner per year is $3,700 working with me.” 

According to Haley, the key to her success with her customers remains the ability to build a solid relationship with them. 

“It’s all about strong relationships and being available,” she said. “I care a lot and I want to see people get into homes. I’m flexible and I’m local and I realize that everyone is different and that everyone has different needs and financial situations.”     

She goes out of her way to help make the process of buying a home or refinancing as easy as possible.

“If someone cannot get pre-approved up front, I work with them to make sure they know the necessary steps to get where they want to be,” Haley said.

Haley offers exceptional and personalized customer service with closings in just 30 days or less.

Her devotion to her customers has led to many outstanding reviews for “The Lender Lady.”

Haley McGovern

“I have 18 Five-Star reviews on Google in about seven months since I first launched my business page,” McGovern said. “I am all about making the experience as stress-free as possible.”

Those glowing reviews reflect the genuine admiration customers have for McGovern’s work.

“Haley was great to work with. She was super helpful and explained the mortgage process step by step,” said Jordan Boucher. “She responded in a timely manner and was always reachable by phone or email. I would highly recommend Haley to anyone about to go through the mortgage process.” 

David Hall said working with Haley was an awesome experience.

She talks with you in person. No button pushing,” he said. “She is available in person, very knowledgeable and always makes time out of a busy day for you. She saved me a load of money. Not my first rodeo. If you’re not dealing with Haley, you’re missing out.”

Haley said that she’s constantly studying current trends in the mortgage industry that will help her customers save money.

“This brings me to Reverse Mortgages where elder people are struggling right now due to high inflation. I have been getting a lot of calls from the community wanting to pull out equity in their home to live a better, more stress-free retirement,” she said. “Reverse mortgage loans allow homeowners to convert their home equity into cash income with no monthly mortgage payments.

For more information or to reach “The Lender Lady” Haley McGovern, visit thelenderlady.org or call 207-653-9107. <

Friday, June 10, 2022

Business Spotlight: Wilderness Wags

It’s no secret that once you have had a wonderful dog, life without one is a life diminished. But to keep dogs happy and healthy they need lots of fresh air, socialization and exercise and that’s where Wilderness Wags can lend a hand. 

Owned and operated by Mykenzy Gagnon, Wilderness Wags offers a service where she picks up dogs and takes them off-leash for an outdoors adventure on an area trail and then returns them home after a rinse off and a tick check. The personalized service is provided Monday through Friday in smaller-sized groups and gives dogs plenty of room to roam and an opportunity to make new friends.

"The best thing about what we do is being able to hang out with the dogs and getting them exercise,” Gagnon said. “We have no more than eight dogs at one time and the experience makes both the dogs and their parents happy.”

She said what distinguishes Wilderness Wags from other similar dog experiences and dog walkers is that she doesn’t just walk them around in their neighborhood.

“They get to go out and have fun hiking and swimming while also getting to socialize and work on their trail manners,” Gagnon said. “I also allow for a smaller group setting so dogs aren't overwhelmed by their furry friends and truly get to connect with not only me but with the other dogs.” 

Wilderness Wags is a new business that offers personalized
off-leash adventures for dogs and provides convenient
pick-up and drop-off  service, socialization and plenty
 of exercise and room to roam for dogs.
SUBMITTED PHOTO 
  
According to Gagnon, the most challenging part of her work is earning a dog’s trust.

“Getting super shy dogs to trust me is by far and away the most difficult part of what I do,” she said. “But once you do earn a dog’s trust, it is also the most rewarding aspect of this work.”

Pricing for the service is highly affordable.

I consider my pricing to be within range for the area as it is $30 for one dog for one hike where they spend three-plus hours with me as well as I offer discounts for more than one dog in the same household,” Gagnon said. “The most important thing that I would like readers to know is that when they are sending their dog with me, their dog will be with someone who is experienced in all things dog as well as that they will be both mentally and physically enriching their dog’s life leading them to live a happier and healthier life.”

Because of her extensive experience working with dogs at kennels, Gagnon noticed that dogs loved getting outside but enjoyed it even more if they had the opportunity to run and explore with other dogs. She founded Wilderness Wags a few months ago and the business offers pooches a happy place they enjoy rather than being stuck to a traditional kennel style.

“I offer a superior quality as I believe it is quality over quantity and spend my time working to make sure each dog gets the best experience they can have. I ensure that every dog is safe and taken care of by meeting with each client before they can join on any hike as well as being cat and dog first aid/CPR certified,” she said. “Clients are loving my services as now they know their dog is getting out and having a wonderful time while they are working or away and they no longer have to feel guilty for leaving their pup at home all the while they don’t have to do anything.”

Along with being first aid and CPR-certified, Gagnon is fully insured and bonded and has ample equipment to accommodate dog groups during transport.

Gagnon has stayed current with trends in the animal care industry and says that she is always looking for seminars about how to improve each experience with the dogs as well as how to further educate herself in safety protocols, training tools and techniques and researching new and exciting locations to hike in the Windham area.

“A popular trend that customers should pay attention to is that during COVID when everything shut down lots of people got dogs while they were home all day but now that they are going back to work their dogs aren't getting the same attention and exercise that they were used to,” she said. “While they could spend their money going to doggy daycares to socialize and hang out or with a dog walker to get a short outing, with my service they would be paying about the same while their dog would get to socialize in a smaller and safer setting and getting more exercise than with a short walk around the neighborhood.”

For more information about services offered by Wilderness Wags, call 207-233-5583 or visit them online at wildnernesswags.com or find them on Facebook at WildernessWagsME. <

Friday, June 3, 2022

Business Spotlight: Tow Sebago

Being stranded on the water with no one to help is the stuff that nightmares are made of, but a new service called Tow Sebago serving Sebago Lake stands ready to provide help and assistance for boaters when it’s needed the most.  

Tow Sebago crews are prepared for timely responses to boaters’ calls for help.  They have the knowledge and experience available to get the job done as an on-water towing service.

 

“Our staff is trained and equipped to handle any situation, provided your vessel is still afloat”, said Paul Rogers, Tow Sebago co-owner. “We can tow, provide fuel, and provide jump starts for dead batteries.  We have tools and some common boat parts available to try to keep our customers on the water enjoying their time.”

Rogers said Tow Sebago covers all of Sebago Lake, to the mouth of tributary rivers, and up the Songo River to the state park boat launch. 

   

Doug Kerr, left, and Paul Rogers launched Tow Sebago in
April, a business which assists boaters on Sebago Lake with
towing and a range of other emergency marine services.
SUBMITTED PHOTO 
The greatest misconception people may have is thinking another pleasure boat can safely tow another to port.  “The towing stanchions are structural on Tow Sebago” co-owner Doug Kerr said, “designed to handle tens of thousands of pounds of pressure. The cleats and ski posts of most pleasure vessels are only designed to handle hundreds of pounds and could lead to catastrophic failure.”


It's a business operated by captains experienced specifically on Sebago Lake and know the hazards and understand trouble can occur anywhere, anytime on the water.  

 

“We are proud of the service we can provide for boaters on Sebago Lake,” Kerr said. “It can be challenging responding to a wide variety of vessels in distress in unknown conditions.  Every tow is different as conditions on the lake may change very quickly.”

 

According to Rogers, demand for boat towing on the lake is steady.

   

“There has not been a towing service on Sebago Lake for about five years now.”  Kerr said.  Tow Sebago is independent and owned locally by Rogers and Kerr. Both Doug and Paul live in Raymond and are both on the fire department and active on the department’s marine unit. “We are all too aware of the need for a towing service on the lake,” said Rogers.   

 

Rogers said that in the short time Tow Sebago has been in business, they have performed with distinction, a fact not lost on those they serve.

 

“Our customers have all been very grateful for our timely and professional response,” Rogers said. “The feedback about what we do has been outstanding.”   

 

Towing services can be a one-time job, but the owners offer boaters a $250 annual membership from Tow Sebago, good for three service calls if needed.

 

“For the peace of mind that our service provides, knowing that your vessel will make it back to port safely, we believe this is a small price to pay in boat ownership,” Kerr said.  

 

Along with towing, the business also provides fuel drops, stuck anchor removal, help in becoming unstuck from soft groundings, jump starts for vessels disabled by low or not charged marine batteries, and assisting with pump-outs for vessels taking on water.

 

Both Rogers and Kerr take great pride in the quick responsiveness of Tow Sebago.   Employees respond to calls for assistance and deliver exceptional customer service from start to finish when dealing with boaters seeking their help. 

 

“We love the water and the boating community,” Rogers said. “Our goal is to provide service within the hour so you can get back to doing what you love.”

 

The Tow Sebago business was launched at the end of April this year and currently employs a handful of trained captains and deckhands. Their vessel is docked in Jordan Bay at Port Harbor Marina in Raymond. 

 

Captains for Tow Sebago have completed the U.S. Coast Guard’s OUPV "6 pack" course and hold towing endorsements, though none of this is required by law on Sebago Lake.  “We do this so Tow Sebago will continue to provide the highest level of safety and service,” Kerr said. 

 

Rogers says “Our captains are on the water almost every day, weather permitting.  We love being on the water, and train frequently for many different types of situations.”  

 

To learn more about Tow Sebago and details of their membership, call 207-800-0200, visit their website at Towsebago.com or find them on Facebook at Towsebago. <

Friday, May 27, 2022

Business Spotlight: Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery

Visiting an oral surgeon is not something many look forward to, but patients of Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery often come away pleasantly surprised at how pain-free and comfortable procedures are compared to just a decade ago.

According to Dr. Timothy Mitchell and Dr. Rick Crawford, Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery in Windham strives to make patients feel at ease and it comes from experience.

Through the years, Mitchell and Crawford have treated thousands of patients at their 12 Drive In Lane location in Windham and at their offices at 131 Johnson Road in Portland and 20 West Cole Road in Biddeford.

“The best review we receive regularly goes like this,” Crawford and Mitchell said. “Before I came in, I was nervous about my procedure, and I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t want to come in! But your staff made me feel comfortable, informed, and at ease.”

Mitchell said that when the Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery staff is asked what their favorite part of their job is, a popular answer is: making patients feel comfortable.

“That speaks to a big part of why we’ve been able to keep a practice in Windham for 50 years,” Crawford said.

Since the practice began, it has consistently ranked as one of the top oral and maxillofacial surgical facilities in Maine by patients, fellow dentists and physicians.

The staff of Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
puts patients first. The practice has been around for 50 years.
COURTESY PHOTO  

The goal of the practice is to offer exceptional care that is safe and comfortable in a modern facility with state-of-the-art technology with underlying core values emphasized such as quality, integrity, compassion and accredited services.

That advanced technology includes equipment such as the CS 9300 system using cone beam CT technology to help them diagnose potential issues more accurately and provide treatment with unprecedented confidence, the surgeons can efficiently deliver a painless and positive treatment outcome.  

Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery is known as a full scope OMS practice and treats patients for a wide range of conditions in both office and hospital settings.

They perform oral surgery for dental implants; bone grafting; wisdom teeth extraction; jaw surgery; for facial trauma and tooth extractions, among many other surgical procedures. They also perform dentoalveolar surgery; pediatric oral surgery, orthognathic and reconstructive surgery, treat maxillofacial tumors, cleft lip and palates, snoring and sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint problems.     

But Mitchell and Crawford both say the best part of their work is meeting patients, hearing their stories, and trying to figure out a way to help them.

“The most challenging aspect of what we do is trying to stay current with the advances being made in technology,” Mitchell said. “When we’re doing procedures or techniques, we want them to be the most up to date as possible and using the technology that is the most appropriate for our patients.”

Crawford says that working in the Windham community is a benefit to the practice.

“The relationships we’ve made through the years are simply invaluable,” he said. “We have forged excellent relationships with many local dentists and built strong and close relationships with Windham residents. We’re really plugged into the dental health of Windham.”

Mitchell and Crawford both say the keys to Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery’s success through the years involve putting people first.

“We keep our work patient focused and we make sure that we’re available and affordable,” Mitchell said. “We don’t cut corners and we put our patients above all else. It’s better for our patients.”

Crawford said another factor in the practice’s success is they treat everyone with respect and make people feel comfortable.

“As such, we’re the choice for this service in the Windham community,” he said. “I’ve been a part of this practice for 30 years and it’s been a wonderful experience here.”   

The success of Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery has resulted in its continued growth and recently a new surgeon, Dr. Kris Cooper joined the Windham practice and Mitchell and Crawford say that more new surgeons are in the pipeline.

For more information about Southern Maine Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, call 207-892-3100 or visit their website at www.smoms.com
Find them on Facebook and Instagram at southernmaineoralsurgery <

Friday, May 20, 2022

Business Spotlight: PeoplesChoice Home Loans

As a Mortgage Loan Originator, Jenn Leanhart of PeoplesChoice Home Loans in Windham is focused on providing an exceptional mortgage experience. Whether you are a first-time homebuyer, or looking to move into a new home, PeoplesChoice Home Loans has the experience, expertise and skills to listen to members and make obtaining a mortgage a smooth process from start to finish. 

According to Leanhart, besides being able to offer a variety of loans to fit a member’s needs, personalized customer service is her top priority.

“I listen to a member and get to know them and what their needs are. I explain the process in full detail and make myself available for them whenever questions arise,” she said. “Whether it is a refinance with cash out to update their home, or a first-time homebuyer, I like to listen in detail of what they are looking to do.”

With nearly 20 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Leanhart stands ready to help members find the best options available for financing and she takes the time to guide you throughout the process, making sure you understand what is needed to reach your goals.

“I have two favorite parts of my job, the first-time homebuyers and the members that I like to call my puzzles,” Leanhart said. “The excitement of watching the first-time homebuyer completing a purchase that they thought impossible, or when members have been turned down elsewhere and they have a situation that makes getting a home loan difficult, I look for creative solutions and help them reach their goals. I love that each member brings something new for me to learn. There are never two days the same.”

Jenn Leanhart is a Mortgage Loan
Originator for PeoplesChoice Home
Loans in Windham.
COURTESY PHOTO

Even after all these years of working in the mortgage industry, Leanhart said she still feels incredible in helping people realize their dreams.

“There is nothing more exciting than watching a new homebuyer trying to concentrate on signing the paperwork in front of them while their eyes keep shifting to the keys to their first home on the other side of the table,” she said. “I share in their joy knowing that my background in Quality Control Underwriting combined with nearly 20 years in the Mortgage Industry played a significant role in helping navigate the complexities of buying a home, which brought them to this point in their journey.”

PeoplesChoice Home Loans opened their lending focused office in Windham in 2020. The credit union has other locations in Saco, Biddeford, Wells and Sanford. As a not-for-profit financial institution, they are able to offer very competitive rates and do not charge additional fees for services.

“We do both commercial and residential mortgages. Along with your typical FHA, VA, RD, and conventional loans we have our portfolio program that allows us to offer a wide variety of options to our members,” Leanhart said. “These include commercial properties, land loans, construction loans, we lend on mobile homes on their own land, condos, and seasonal camps. The list goes on. I love that we have such a wide variety for everyone’s specific needs. One of the major reasons I decided to come to the credit union, just like myself, not so cookie cutter.”

Leanhart said what separates PeoplesChoice Home Loans from other mortgage companies is their devotion to helping members and being in their corner every step of the way during the mortgage process.

“We provide personalized service to our members,” she said. “We’re responsive to everyone who calls our office, and it is our job to explain details of the process. The greatest misconception some may have is they feel like they may not qualify or are intimidated by the process. A lot are hesitant because they don’t know enough about how things work.”

She said she’s humbled in assisting members seeking a mortgage.

“The greatest compliment I get is when I get a phone call from someone that says ‘I was given your number by (my mom, my friend/coworker) they spoke very highly of you and said I should give you a call.’ That makes me smile every time,” Leanhart said.

To learn more about PeoplesChoice Home Loans, visit their office at 824 Roosevelt Trail, Suite 3 in Windham, call 207-710-1907 or visit 
https://www.peopleschoicecreditunion.com/mortgages/

Friday, May 13, 2022

Spotlight: Windham Farmers' Market

The Windham Farmers’ Market is a terrific way to start the weekend. Located on Turning Leaf Drive in North Windham, it is open every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from May 21 until Oct. 1. 

According to Lisa Fisher, Windham Farmers’ Market coordinator, the two goals of the market are to support our farmers, food producers and artisans by providing a venue where they can sell their product and to be a vehicle for improved community access to fresh, healthy and affordable local foods.

“We add fun for kids, some entertainment, special events and then offer it up in a happy, stress-free place for our customers to spend the morning,” Fisher said. “This will be our fifth year with that philosophy. We have developed a really nice market community, so it seems to be working.”

She said that Windham Farmers’ Market vendors live and work in Maine and most of them are from the Lakes Region.

“Some are with us every Saturday, and others are visiting vendors who come for a few Saturdays,” Fisher said.

Farmers bring eggs, freshly cut flowers, seedlings, potted herbs, berries, melons, apples and vegetables in standard varieties as well as organics, like rainbow carrots, striped zucchini and blue potatoes to sell at the market. Customers will also find an assortment of locally raised meats:  beef, chicken, pork, lamb and rabbit which are great for grilling.

There’s also honey, maple syrup, jams and pickles to round out tasty possibilities for your table and a generous assortment of sweet treats including freshly baked whoopie pies, cookies, cheesecake, bars and fudge.

Fisher said artisan vendors featured at the market craft seasonal and everyday items for person and home.

“If you like to entertain, we have wooden charcuterie boards, bowls, coasters, and balancing wine bottle holders and wine butlers,” Fisher said.

The Windham Farmers' Market opens for the season at 8:30
a.m. Saturday, May 21 and continues each Saturday through
Oct. 1 featuring goods and products from local farmers.
SUBMITTED PHOTO. 
Want to brighten your home and garden space? There are decorative solar lights, custom signs, photos, and framed art prints, fused and stained glass, table runners and bird houses.”

 

Quilts, cloth bags, table toppers, aprons and gifts for baby are available in an array of colors and prints and Fisher said that the selection changes weekly and many of the vendors accept special orders.

“The best thing about working for the Windham Farmers’ Market is being there every Saturday morning seeing people enjoy themselves and knowing that the market has created such a positive impact on the community,” Fisher said.    

The support and well-being of our community is important to everyone associated with the Windham Farmers’ Market, she said.

“The market is authorized to accept SNAP and we provide Maine Harvest Bucks with all SNAP purchases,” Fisher said. “Throughout the summer we invite civic organizations into the market for their public outreach. Our schedule of market guests and events is always changing. This allows us to take advantage of opportunities as they arise and to enrich our market environment.”

Jen Kenneally, Celeste Kennedy and Fisher staff the market and the welcome booth and do the set-up and tear-down of market equipment.

“Jen and Celeste volunteer their time and wonderful energy to help guide market activities each week,” Fisher said. “I am endlessly impressed by them.

“When we originally conceived this market, we wanted it to be easy for the vendors to do business and our vendors are lovely people,” she said, “giving of their time, experience and suggestions to help us be better.”   

Other factors helping the market be the success that it is include the Baker Brook Farm Creamery which generously allows the use of their property as the market site and the Windham Economic Development Corporation which supports its media platforms, administrative and marketing efforts. “Several Town of Windham departments also participate in supporting market events.

“Our customers are the biggest reason for our success,” Fisher said. “They come back every week and support all of our vendors. It shows that when you’re nice to people, they respond.” 

The Windham Farmers’ Market wants to welcome everyone back this year, whether you are a veteran customer or if it will be the first that you’re visiting.

For more information, visit www.WindhamFarmersMarket.com and find them on Facebook at WindhamFarmersMarket. Their email address is farmersmarket@windhammaine.us or call 207-894-4097. <