Friday, October 16, 2020

Business Spotlight: Nicholas Jobin State Farm

In playing college basketball for St. Joseph’s College, Nicholas Jobin quickly learned that success was
always possible if he and his fellow players worked together as a team.

For the past year Jobin has applied that same philosophy in Windham, providing State Farm insurance and financial products for residential and business customers. He’s assembled a skilled team of licensed experts who are knowledgeable in all forms of insurance and financial planning to serve the community.

“We help our clients navigate which options fit their current and future circumstances, follow up semi-annually to make sure their needs are being met, and assist them in the event one of our products is needed,” said Geoff Grigsby, office manager for the agency. “These are often sensitive or emotional occasions, so we do our very best to meet them where they are at. We are not a brokerage, so we exclusively provide State Farm products, which have proven to be the most trusted in the industry.”

Grigsby said Nicholas Jobin State Farm is licensed to sell auto, home, and business insurance, as well as financial products and has customers in every corner of Maine, but its primary focus is the Lakes Region.

“The insurance industry is massive, and massively competitive, but over the last 100 years State Farm has become the largest insurance provider in the United States. One of the primary reasons we have become the most trusted company nationally is because of the strong presence in our communities, and that’s true at the local level as well,” he said. “Our agents volunteer with local organizations, especially around youth sports, donate to local fundraisers, and sponsor events and teams in the Lakes Region. Another difference from many of our competitors is that in the (usually unfortunate) event our insurance products are needed, our customers know who will pick up the phone or answer the door.  They don’t have to call an 800-number, provide an incident number, and speak to a different person every time explaining their situation.  We believe that’s incredibly valuable in stressful times.”

Nicholas Jobin

According to Grigsby, State Farm’s pricing is amongst the most competitive in the industry, although being the lowest priced provider is not their primary goal.  

“We strive to provide the best value in the industry, and achieve that with a strong local presence, high standards of professionalism, and a wide variety of products so our clients’ needs can be met in one trusted location,” he said. “Amazingly, we often find we save our customers significant money over companies with a strictly online presence and far fewer overhead costs.”

He said the underlying principle of Nicholas Jobin State Farm is being responsive to customers and service on their behalf.

“We care and we want to help. Our office is a tight-knit group, and we discuss how important it is to be there for our customers when they need us,” Grigsby said. “The nature of our business is that when people actually use the products that they purchase from us it’s usually not for a good reason. They just got into a car accident, there was water or fire damage to their home, or they lost someone in their immediate family and it’s incredibly important in those moments for us to not only make sure their insurance needs are met, but that we do it with a professionalism, patience, and empathy. We care to do our very best to meet that standard.”

Many customers of Nicholas Jobin State Farm may not be aware that the company offers a variety of life insurance plans, including whole life policies, term life policies and universal life policies and that life insurance is a really an incredibly important part of every family’s financial planning.

“Life insurance is often what pays the mortgage, keeps the lights on, puts food on the table, sends the kids to college, and takes the financial stress off the table when tragedy strikes,” Jobin said. “One of our, if not our most important, duties to our clients is to have an in-depth conversation about life insurance. Planning for that inevitable day not only puts them in a position to live the life you hope for them, but also gives you peace of mind while you’re still here.  In that way it’s the gift that keeps on giving.”

Nicholas Jobin State Farm is at 8 Turning Leaf Drive, Suite 1 in Windham. Call them at 207-572-1009 or visit them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/my207agent/ <

VIP Tires and Service conducts ribbon-cutting for new Windham location

PHOTO BY ED PIERCE
The owner and founder of VIP Tires and Service, John Quirk, and VIP President and Chief Executive Officer Tim Winkeler, join employees and Windham Store Manager Joshua Martin in a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the new VIP Tires and Service Store at 2 Amato Drive in Windham on Oct. 8. 

The business relocated next door to a renovated 2,600-square-foot former Tim Horton’s site and added a 7,400-square-foot service center to the facility. 

VIP has 60 stores throughout Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts and is now able to service up to 50 vehicles a day at its new location. 

VIP Tires and Service is the largest independently owned automotive aftermarket company in New England and the 14th largest in the United States. 

Founded in 1958, VIP Tires and Service is based in Auburn and the new Windham location features state-of-the-art technology, highly skilled and experienced technicians and a warm and welcoming reception area and a comfortable waiting area for customers. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Nonprofit Spotlight: Move Windham Forward

Now in its second year, Move Windham Forward seeks to provide candidate forums for fall elections.

Maggie Terry, owner of Legal Leaf LLC, and fellow chamber members Jonathan Priest and Heidi Anderson, have been working together to “Move Windham Forward,” giving voice to the thoughts and concerns of the community.  

The organization Move Windham Forward (MWF) is a non-profit, non-partisan group of residents and taxpayers that have come together for what has been identified as common goals and interests of the residents of Windham. The mission as is stated on the website: “We seek to have a better understanding of the issues we face as a community while we contemplate our decisions on leadership, community planning, land use, infrastructure, taxes and technology changes.”

MWF will offer two “meet the candidates” for Town Council and one for the candidates for School Board. Windham residents will have the opportunity to virtually meet, speak to and address concerns with the candidates running for Town Council office and School Board. The purpose of these meetings is to allow residents to get to know the individuals they are voting for so they can make their own personal and well-informed decisions at the local level in November.

Due to the restrictions currently in place on social gatherings, the three meetings will be held virtually via Facebook Live and Zoom.  The School Board candidate meeting will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14. The two Town Council candidate meetings will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 and Wednesday, Oct. 21.

“We want to make it clear that Move Windham Forward is a non-partisan organization,” said Priest. “We do not endorse or oppose any candidate running for Town Council or the School Board. We just want to provide the opportunity for residents to ask questions in order to be well informed as they vote in the elections this fall.”

“We also want to eventually hold Town Hall meetings to provide ongoing conversations in a positive way,” Terry said. “This is a future goal we are working on. Right now, we want to focus on our virtual meet and greet gatherings so they can be as successful as possible.”

MWF emphasizes a core set of concerns that include: Unity, Growth, Taxes and Environment.

Briefly, and as stated on their website:

1)      Unity: North Windham. South Windham. East Windham. West Windham. In such a geographically large town made up of a growing, diverse population it is often easy to fall into our divisions and not feel as one. Especially over the last few years. It is important that we remember that mostly - we all agree on more than we disagree on starting with this; we all love Windham.

2)      Growth 1: Everywhere we look something new is being built; a house here, a subdivision there. It all adds up. What brings many people here is the rural feel but, ironically, as they come that rural feel disappears a little more for someone who was already here. What is the answer? Unfortunately, this is not an old question, it has been around for decades - but to date has been without a real solution. Some say stop growth completely, some say have zero regulation and let landowners do as they wish. The answer is somewhere in the middle.

3)      Growth 2: Windham is one of the fastest growing towns in Maine for residential housing but is significantly lacking in commercial development. Commercial development such as retail, service businesses, restaurants, office space, manufacturing and high density residential are the keys to our economic future. This development would benefit our town, by bringing more of a sense of community and a place people want to be, by helping create new revenues to offset the residential tax burden and by encouraging growth in the places we want, instead of the places we don’t want.

4)      Taxes:  We can’t seem to avoid them, but we can certainly have more of a say in how they are spent. The town budget should reflect the needs and goals of the taxpayers, for today and tomorrow.  Our elected officials and town staff should be constantly working to maximize the return on every tax dollar by spending wisely for today and investing smartly for tomorrow.

5)      Environment: Our environment in Windham is our greatest treasure and must be protected. Windham has some of the most beautiful farm space, open space, forests, water bodies and animal habitats; it’s a large part of why many of us chose Windham. These assets need to be protected, especially our lakes, streams and ground waters, many of which are already on state impaired lists. It is in our control and our responsibility to preserve our environment for Windham’s next generations. 

For more information, peruse the Move Windham Forward website at www.movewindhamforward.org 

We are always looking for volunteers and appreciate any financial support as a working non-profit. 

Friday, October 2, 2020

Business Spotlight: Robbins Property Services

Brody Robbins, the owner of Robbins Property Services is committed to being a trusted partner for
residents with homes and businesses in Windham and Raymond and providing dependable service that exceeds the expectations of customers.

In business for the past two years, Robbins has watched his business grow by offering superior mowing, mulching, seeding lawns, tree trimming, tree pruning, junk removal, yard and site cleanups, along with snow plowing and sidewalk shoveling in the winter months. His commitment to excellence and making prices competitive is unwavering.

“At Robbins Property Services, our intent is to make every customer feel like they are the most important customer we have and we do that by paying attention to detail and exceeding expectations on each job,” Robbins said.

According to Robbins, reliability, work quality and dedication to customer satisfaction is the cornerstone of Robbins Property Services.

“We are fully licensed and insured and we want the same things everyone else does,” Robbins said. “Our pricing for what we do is extremely competitive, reasonable and fair.  We love to work outside every day and to keep our customers happy.”

A former landscaping foreman for several large landscaping companies, Robbins said he learned a great deal about how to successfully operate a business and dreamed of an opportunity to launch his own company before striking out on his own in 2018. Now he employs a staff of four and Robbins Property Services is rapidly cementing a reputation for honesty and impeccable work.

He said as the word has gotten out about his business, he continues to find customers who may not be aware of the extent of landscaping services that Robbins Property Services  offers to the community.

“Everyone typically thinks we just mow lawns,” Robbins said. “But when they discover we can help them in so many other ways, they ask why we didn’t let them know about those other services much sooner.”

For example, Robbins makes his own mulch and can deliver and place it where it’s needed so customers don’t have to make a trip to a box store and do-it-themselves. They also offer an environmentally friendly and carefully blended mixture of salt and sand to help protect driveways and sidewalks during the harshest of winter conditions.

The company also features an array of great deals and discounted costs, such as making available to the public a 14-yard roll off all-inclusive dumpster for up to five days that holds 1.5 tons of waste or trash.

Right now, Robbins and his crew are getting ready to perform fall cleanups and preparing lawns and yards for winter. The company also is lining up customers for winter plowing services.  

Robbins Property Services offers free estimates and are available to work throughout the Sebago Lake Region.

“I founded this company to deliver quality services with the knowledge and experience needed for this community,” Robbins said. “We do what we say we will. And we can be counted upon to get the job done, no matter how tough it may appear to be.”

For more information about Robbins Property Services, call 207-787-1469 or visit them online at https://robbinsps.com/ or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/robbinspropertyservices/ <

Friday, September 25, 2020

Business Spotlight: Bring Your Own Business 'BYOB' Virtual Happy Hour

Hosted by BNI®-Referral Network to help local and independently owned businesses succeed

Most business owners, solopreneurs and professionals would agree that the growth and success of their company is due, in large part, through their connections with others. This is especially true for local and independently owned businesses where every connection with members in the communities they serve offers financially significant transactions.

But how does a small local business make sincere professional connections and attend networking events under the present circumstances? Windham’s local BNI® Chapter – Referral Network has had continued success in networking and sustaining business connections despite today’s challenges and they want to share their achievements with you.

If you want to succeed, both professionally and personally, members of BNI® Referral Network invite you to learn the secret of their networking success by joining them on an online Bring Your Own Business “BYOB” Virtual Happy Hour event. The BYOB Happy Hour will occur from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 30. (See RSVP contact information below).

“One’s professional accomplishments do not necessarily have to be dependent upon the ups and downs of the economy or other circumstances beyond our control,” said Mark Morrison, who has been a BNI® Referral-Network for the past three years who Financial Advisor whose office is located in Portland. He has also been a Windham resident for 30 years. "When you are part of a national professional networking group like BNI, you are working with businesspeople who are committed to providing the best possible products and services. We set high standards are are accountable to each other. Our reputation is on the line ev ery time we give and receive a referral. Key to the success of our group is knowing that when we identify an opportunity, the person we refer will be treated fairly and provided with solutions that are best in class. If you desire to grow professionally and build business relationships with other professionals and entrepreneurs, then I highly recommend you join this virtual happy hour."

Attendees will get to share what they do, who they are and what they need for their business growth. They will also get to connect with other local businesses and meet area BNI members to learn how building relationships with others has helped them professionally and personally.

Darlene Pratt, a Personal Lines Insurance Professional with Clark Insurance has been a member since 2015 and Real Estate Broker Rick Yost of NextHome NorthEast, who is number two in the nation for selling residential real estate, will both be available to share their own success stories.

“BNI® has helped me grow my business, focusing on building relationships and making myself invaluable to my clients,” Pratt said. “To date, BNI has generated an average of 20 percent of my business each year.”

“I had heard about BNI through a real estate broker that I used to work with,” Yost said. “She invited me to attend a couple of her meetings. I was attracted by the professionalism of the members and the real sense of comradeship in the group. I joined for those reasons, but the business generated through the group is why I stay.  I have done countless transactions through BNI and it has contributed to my success.”     

The professional growth that BNI® members experience also transforms into their personal lives, helping to reach individual dreams and goals.

“My experience with BNI-Referral Network has helped me in ways I did not imagine when I joined almost two years ago,” Referral Network member, current writer and former editor of The Windham Eagle newspaper, Lorraine Glowczak said. “As I was learning to precisely share with fellow BNI® members the ways they could help The Windham Eagle newspaper succeed, I was learning to do that for myself as an author. I now feel confident when I pitch my book of essays next week to an editor of a Maine-based publishing company."

The concept of BNI® began in January 1985 in California by Dr. Ivan Misner who was looking for ways to increase clients for his personal consulting business. With the help of a few friends and associates, Misner created the first network gathering. Within a year, 20 BNI® chapters were established throughout California. Moving forward 34 years, one can find over 9,500 BNI® chapters world-wide with 20 plus chapters and over 450 members in Maine. Referral Network is among them – and all of this is available to every BNI member.

“That’s a pretty big sales force and is part of the reason for our successes,” Morrison said.

“If your business is just getting off the ground, struggling or booming, I would highly recommend visiting a chapter and seeing all the ways you can benefit and make yourself invaluable,” Pratt said. 

This Bring Your Own Business “BYOB” online happy hour event is open to everyone. To obtain the Zoom link, please RSVP to BNI Member, Rolf Olsen at rolsen001@maine.rr.com. Please note that an RSVP is preferred but is not required. To obtain the Zoom link, go to The Windham Eagle website at business.thewindhameagle.com or the Referral Network Facebook Page.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Business Spotlight: Asphalt Experts

As the business name implies, Asphalt Experts are the go-to licensed specialists and top industry
professionals for both home driveway and commercial asphalt paving and repair. Offering services in the Greater Portland and Sebago Lakes Region areas, Owner Joe Sparks is a third-generation paving expert. He was trained and inspired at an early age by both his father and his grandfather, who owned and operated an asphalt paving company in the Kennebunk area over 60 years ago. Sparks’ father followed in the family business, building his own successful company in Northern Maine.



“I began in the asphalt industry as soon as I could begin working,” explained Sparks. “As a young boy, I would go to work with my dad during summer months and school breaks.  Eventually, I realized that I could take that experience and build my own company in the Southern Maine area. I love what I do, and it is a business goal that my experience and dedication to a company that has supported my family for generations will continue in the same manner as my father and grandfather.” That is - to provide high-quality service and product to satisfied clients.

It seems he may be reaching his objective. Sparks and his company of Asphalt Experts have received many accolades. “I can’t recommend Joe Sparks and Asphalt Experts enough,” stated one testimonial on the company’s Facebook page. “Joe did my driveway and my neighbor’s driveway last year. Joe showed up on time and did exactly what he promised he was going to do. I waited until we got through the winter to write a review to see how our driveway held up. Both my driveway and my neighbor’s driveway held up great. I have already recommended Asphalt Expert to friends and family.”

Another satisfied customer wrote: “Joe was nice enough to take his time to notice that we had some issue with our parking lot and paved for free. He is a super nice guy, as are his employees. Great company and people!”

What makes Sparks and Asphalt Experts stand out among the rest is that this company is an owner/operated business. With Asphalt Experts you get personal care. “You do not go through a sales manager – you talk directly to me - the owner - who has experience in the field and can give the client exactly what they want and need,” Sparks stated.

Another outstanding feature is Sparks takes great care to give an accurate estimate. “We don’t simply submit for the paving project itself,” Sparks continued. “We take the time to fully understand the unique paving situation a client has. I listen to their requests and needs, and from there I can determine what they want and find the best method to accommodate that specific project.”

Sparks and the rest of the Asphalt Experts team will make sure the preparation and finished project is done correctly. “W

Asphalt Experts has a limited
number of openings left
for the season. Book before
Oct. 15 and receive a
10 percent discount.

e take our time and do it right,” Sparks said. “If it takes us an extra day or day and 1/2 than we had anticipated to complete the unique needs of the project, we do not tack on an extra charge to our customers. We do not sacrifice quality for quantity of hours.”

This level of the company’s integrity is an assurance to all home and business owners. Afterall, your home and business are the two largest investments one can make and Sparks and his team treat your home and business as if it were their own.
Asphalt Experts’ work ethic is unmatched, and their pricing is highly competitive.
Whether you’re in need of a residential driveway or a commercial parking lot, count on this professional company for quality workmanship and attention to detail resulting in a durable, long lasting and aesthetically pleasing asphalt surface. Call Joe Sparks today and speak directly with him for a free estimate at (207) 252-9821. <