Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Sebago Summit - By Michelle Libby

Tuesday, business leaders from all over the Sebago region gathered at Saint Joseph’s College for the second annual Business 2 Business Summit hosted by the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce.
Under the direction of Chamber’s executive director Aimee Senatore, the event featured a keynote address by Kevin Hancock, president and CEO of Hancock Lumber and a panel discussion about The Power of Partnership, featuring local business men and women.   
"I was exceptionally pleased with the enthusiasm of the participating exhibitors and their willingness to break out of their comfort zones. I witnessed and have heard about many new partnerships that were formed, which is the whole point,” Senatore said. 

There were other seminars throughout the day one featuring Richard Dyke, owner of Windham Weaponry, and others talking about maximizing your marketing, taking business to the next level and social media. 

“Feedback has been very positive. Attendees found the keynote inspiring. They felt the educational workshops were quite valuable. The end of the day keynote panel was very engaging,” said Senatore. “Overall I am proud of this region and the momentum that continues to build.”

Kevin Hancock led the day with his motivational speech on transcendence. Business owners should be trying to transcend rugged individualism, business and tribalism. No man is an island. Sometimes doing everything by oneself isn’t the best way for business. 

“Don’t confuse being busy with being successful. It’s easy to be busy,” he said. And the third, tribalism, Hancock encouraged the audience to look outside of their tribe, outside of the family, community, company…look at big challenges, he said. 

Hancock was diagnosed with a voice disorder and has had to adjust his professional life to work within the limits, he said. He listens more. He shares the power in the company. And, it’s working for him and for his employees. 

He is also working on improving performance and reducing the number of hours employees work. Through a yearly survey, Hancock Lumber can track the attitudes and feelings of its employees and can change course as needed. Hancock Lumber was named number one in the forestry industry in the best places for people to work poll. “I’m putting the work back in its place,” said Hancock, who now spends time on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest North Dakota. 

Hancock encourages his employees to “Tell me more about that,” so they will tell him what’s happening in the company. 

He is dedicated to strengthening voices, he told the group. 

Other advice that came from the speakers and seminars were “If you pick good people and can retain good people, you can grow your companies,” said Dyke. “People are the key. There has to be a part where everyone feels valuable and that what they did was just as important as what others did.” - Dyke
When it comes to marketing, “keep it simple,” Luanne Cameron from State Farm in Standish said. 
People need seven contacts from you before they will remember you, she said. Want to know what strengths one has, visit, Cameron recommends.

Bob Baiguy from Bob the Screenprinter said “The first impression is the most important impression.” 

Woody Woodward from Dare to Succeed encouraged people to join organizations and position themselves that way. “I’m a firm believer in doing something first. First, second and last get remembered.” 

There were drawings for prizes and many giveaways from the businesses in attendance. Exhibitor winners as determined by the chamber were: Most Creative: Blossoms of Windham and Cheetah's Cafe & Bakery and most interactive: Sedona Wellness

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