Friday, December 29, 2017

Business spotlight on Dr. Stanley Armstrong, DMD by Michelle Libby dental health is important for overall wellness. Dr. Stanley Armstrong in Windham has been helping people have their best smile since 1981. Constantly improving himself to be better and offer more services for his patients, Armstrong is accredited by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), of which he is the only one in the state, the American Facial Astetics (AFA), Botox and fillers training, and the Academy of General Dentistry. He is also certified by Pacific Training Institute of Facial Aesthetics (PTIFA) to complete smile makeovers. He has studied and taught at some of the best dental schools like the Las Vegas Institute for post-dentistry training, Tufts University, New York University College and he has taught at NYU, Baylor and University of Kentucky. 
“Our goal is making people healthy. If a patient is happy with their smile it will change their lives in many ways,” said Armstrong. 

He opened the doors to the current practice at the corner of Route 302 and Route 35, in October 1985. In 1998, he began doing same day crowns in his in house lab. With the lab, repairs and restorations can be done in one day. 

Armstrong Dental has a 3D x-ray/CT scanner that can look at things in different perspectives to catch issues early, especially when placing implants or to finding bone defects.
Dr. Armstrong believes that gum health is a big issue and if not taken care of can lead to other complications like heart attacks. 

“You need to realize how important the oral cavity is. A person can be compromised,” Armstrong said. Whether it’s a hip or knee replacement or transplant, doctors are requiring dentists to okay the surgery. 

 “Everything we do benefits the patients,” said office manager Robbyn Mooradian, who has been with Armstrong for 10 years. “Bleeding gums when you brush your teeth, that’s bad. You need to be seen.” 

With a staff of 12, consisting of four hygienists, two assistants, three front desk staff, a clinical coordinator and CFO, the practice is full of committed employees who have been at the office for an average of 15 to 20 years. 

For those who are nervous about visiting the dentist, Armstrong offers nitrous oxide and conscious sedation to help relax the patients. 

Dr. Armstrong
Dr. Armstrong is known to be “painless” when it comes to injections, according to Mooradian. “He’s a perfectionist when it comes to veneers and he does implants also,” she added. The office also offers Invisalign for teeth straightening. 

The air in the office is surgically clean air and the water is filtered and sterilized water after it comes in from the public water system. 

Armstrong Dental is a member of the Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and it contributes to the community through various programs, like neighbors helping neighbors, yearbook, hosting a little league team and helping with fundraisers. Dr. Armstrong also gifts battered women smiles from start to finish.  

Education is important for a dentist, however just as important are the relationships he forms with his patients. The lifetime relationships Dr. Armstrong has formed have allowed him to watch his patients raise children and then to treat their children’s children. He is accepting patients from toddlers to seniors. There is a kids’ room and prizes for good check ups. Everyone leaves with a goodie bag, Mooradian said. 

Armstrong Dental sells mints made with Xylitol, electric toothbrushes and other items to keep mouths clean and healthy in a safe and cost effective way.  

“Teeth are what we do, but taking care of people is what we’re about. We find a way to fix them,” said Armstrong. The practice provides 24/7 concierge to make sure that patients can reach them every day.

The office staff files with any insurance company electronically. “We are a fee for service practice. We don’t allow insurance to dictate what we do,” said Mooradian. Armstrong Dental also offers 24 month interest free financing. 

Hours are Mondays and Wednesdays 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

For more information or to set up an appointment, visit, call 207-892-8325, email or find them on Facebook.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Business Spotlight on Planet Fitness by Michelle Libby week, Planet Fitness in Windham relocated to a new space at 759 Roosevelt Trail, near the Windham Post Office. After 10 years in the rented location, owner Eric Giguere decided it was time to make some changes. 
The new location has new equipment, more space and a great new layout. There’s an area for the 30-minute circuit workout, a stretching area away from the cardio machines and a dedicated Black Card Spa with a TV area, two tanning rooms, two kneading massage chairs and hydro massage lounge chairs. 

“Balance is the Planet Fitness model,” Giguere said. “It’s a place for the first time gym user. There’s no “gymtimidation”. It’s a judgement free zone.” Planet Fitness even has pizza night and bagel mornings. Everything is okay in moderation, he added. “It’s a treat.” 

The 30-minute circuit is a full body workout that has cardio and strength training with 20 pieces of equipment that can be done in 30 minutes. 

The main room of the gym has 55 pieces of cardio equipment, including bikes, treadmills, arcs, stair climbers and recumbent bikes. At the beginning of the year there might be a slight wait for cardio use, but most of the time that is not an issue because there’s a piece of equipment for everyone. 

New this month is the Syngy 360 which includes kettle bells, ropes, a TRX, medicine balls and more, all in one area. If these exercises seem overwhelming, not to fear, Planet Fitness has a personal trainer on staff and his services are free. Monday through Friday the trainer, Cody, is available for consultations for a whole workout or just to answer questions about a particular machine. It’s PE@PF. He will sit down with members, talk over medical history and goals, then he’ll set up a program for them, Giguere said. 
Memberships start at $10 per month and can be canceled at any time, but for those who want to take advantage of the Black Card Spa, the price is $21.99 per month and comes with a cancellation fee. However, the benefits of the Black Card go beyond the spa. Each Black Card member is allowed to bring one guest each time they workout. They also can jump from Planet Fitness location to location and drinks are half price.

“We have our five times a week guys, but we cater to everyone,” said Giguere. A 92-year-old woman told him she goes to the gym because, “This keeps me going,” she said. 

“We try to create that environment of community,” Giguere added. “You see people you know. It’s a gathering spot. It’s healthy living.” From 92-year-olds to high school kids to the first time gym user, all are welcome at Planet Fitness. 

“We break down the traditional barriers to gym memberships. We provide free training and give them a program. We do not want to make people feel uncomfortable,” said Giguere. 

The staff at the front desk know most people by name and greet them when they enter.
The new location on Route 302 is lit up at night showing off the bold yellow and purple colors and the “No Critics” sign on the back wall. 

“I think this is what a Planet Fitness is supposed to look like,” said staff member Spencer Hodge.
“I appreciate what Windham has done for me,” Giguere said. “I do the capital investments I can do and reinvest. It’s not, meet expectations, but exceed expectations.” 

The club is open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Fridays from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the weekends. 

Stop by for a free tour or for more information, visit and pick a location.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Business Spotlight on Lifetime Dental Health by Michelle Libby a dental practice to trust is a big deal. At Lifetime Dental Health they have the dental team to make any smile camera ready. From regular cleanings to extensive teeth-in-a-day services, Lifetime Dental can help keep mouths healthy and smiles bright. 

Dr. Kevin Guze, DMD, DMSc owns the Windham practice and the parent company, Workwell, which has six offices around Maine and Massachusetts. As a graduate of Harvard in oral biology, he also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in periodontology, which is the treatment of diseases of the gums and other periodontal tissues. He performs gum related surgeries and treatments.   

Dr. Guze has been in Maine for 3 years and still teaches and does research at Harvard.

“My specialty is teeth-in-a-day services, placing implants and providing immediate teeth replacement in one day,” Guze said. “As a group we offer across the board dental services, including extractions, root canals, bridges and dentures.” Each doctor excels in their own way, so they work as a team to give the best treatment possible. 

“You can only be as good at so many things. We make sure [the doctors] are highly trained before we offer it to our patients,” said Guze. Lifetime Dental has two general dentists, a periodontist, four hygienists, three dental assistants, two front office staff members and one manager. The dentists are Donald Warner DMD, James Shahinian DMD, and Katerina Chernyjhivska DMD. The practice manager is Linda Mandarelli.

“To sum up who we are . . . we have a deep understanding of care in what it takes for what we are doing when treating our patients,” Guze said. 

The philosophy of the practice is to approach things from a clinical and academic perspective. However, their first priority is the quality of care they offer patients, including making sure the patients are comfortable and the “the experience is as positive as it can possibly be,” Guze said. 

Soon the practice will be offering IV sedation and general anesthesia with a licensed anesthesiologist. “I hate causing pain. I want this to be a comfortable setting,” Guze said. 

The most common services provided are restorative in nature, like crowns and bridges, root canal treatments and implants. Patients from the community don’t have to leave Windham to get top quality treatment for their dental problems. 
Dr. Guze and Dental Assistant, Jennifer Czarnecki prepare patient for treatment

“We offer the general dentist and specialist, together in the same office. Patients don’t have to be referred out.” 

Dr. Ernie Gailunis provides comprehensive crown and bridge treatments for more advanced cases. He comes to the office once a month for root canal treatments also. He has worked with Guze for four years in Massachusetts and Maine. 

Oral health has been closely tied to general health. It is believed that people with a healthy mouth and smile feel better about themselves. 

“Decades of research have demonstrated the relationship between gum and periodontal disease and high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes,” said Guze. The American Heart Association also wants patients to have a healthy mouth before having major surgeries or transplants, he added. 

“The quality is great. The doctors are very thorough, efficient and genuine,” said dental assistant Jennifer Cerino. 

The company believes in a trickle-down effect, meaning that if the employees are happy, then the patients will be happy, said district manager Susan Giaimo. 

“It’s bigger than just dentistry. We’ll figure out how to raise money [for the community] as a team,” Giaimo said. 

Patients of all ages come to Lifetime Dental. The first time a child should see a dentist is six months after the first teeth arrive, just to have the dentist take a look and as an introduction to the dentist, Guze said. 

The practice offers cosmetic type procedures like veneers, teeth whitening and Invisalign for straightening. They also offer Botox for TMJ related conditions. 

“As we grow, we’ll bring more to the community,” said Giaimo. 

Lifetime Dental accepts all insurance companies and participates with many. They offer a senior discount and interest free financing is also available. They have competitive prices. “We are inexpensive, cost effective and affordable,” said Mandarelli. 

Lifetime Dental is open Monday through Thursday and offers evening appointments on Tuesdays until 7 p.m. All other days they are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but have 24 hour emergency coverage for existing patients.   

For more information on services or to schedule an appointment, visit, email or call 207-892-8548. Also, visit them on Facebook.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Business Spotlight: Corn Shop Trading Company by Michelle Libby

Nestled among the idyllic shops on Main Street in Bridgton is the Corn Shop Trading Company, a
local mom and pop store that has made itself a place for unique gifts, useful items and some of the best fudge around. Owned by couple Pam Stock and Mark Grenda, the Corn Shop Trading Company is in its 18th year.

There is no shortage of things to look at in the deceptively large store. Whether pottery engraved with the name of a favorite lake is what one wants or perhaps stocking stuffers to help Santa, there is something for everyone.

“We try to do as local as we can,” said Pam. Items in the store are from local artisans from the area, then they carry items from Maine, then products from New England and a few from around the world. They try to keep items from local artisans stocked. The Corn Shop is a popular place for tourists and those in the area.

The Corn Shop got its name from the Corn Shop Brook that runs behind the store. The location use to be a cannery for produce grown by locals. When Mark decided to open the store, he couldn’t think of a better suited name. Pam, a retired special education teacher, started working in the store full time only recently.

“There’s a feeling to this store. There’s a positive, happy feeling,” Pam has been told repeatedly.
When the health food store shut down, Corn Shop started selling the most popular products like Dr. Bronner’s Soaps and local honey and syrup to meet the demand of citizens in town. The Corn Shop carries a large selection of Willow Tree figures, shot glasses, Northwoods Naturals, mugs, pottery, socks, T-shirts, and the list goes on and on.

Products are sorted into sections like nautical, pets, art, the popular Christmas section, and kitchen; 14 sections total. There is a selection of Native American jewelry, art and spices for smudging.
When shopping, Mark suggests three trips around the store. Once looking up, once looking in the middle and once looking low. It is impossible to take everything in with one circuit.
“You’re allowed to come back,” Pam said with a laugh. Everywhere one turns they see something else they can’t live without.”

Most people don’t leave without buying some of the famous fudge. Mark has been making fudge in the store for the last eight years. Although the base fudge comes from Calico Cottage Fudge, the flavors Mark makes are his own recipes. He worked on the pumpkin fudge for five years to get it right. It tastes like a pumpkin whoopie pie. He makes blueberry, eggnog, coffee and maple syrup depending on the month.

“We’re better than everyone else,” said Mark. “We ship fudge all over the world.” They have a fudge of the month club that entitles the customer to sign up for all or a selection of months to have a one pound package of fudge show up on their doorstep in the middle of the month. This is perfect to send to family out of state or someone who summers in the area.

Short on gifts? Corn Shop Trading Company can provide those unique gifts that can’t be found anywhere else. Beer soap? Incense? Personalized soap with pictures of Bridgton? Post cards to send home? They have all of this and more.

They have wrought iron hooks and other primitive looking items. One customer told Pam, “I knew I could get what I wanted at a reasonable price.”

Signs naming the lakes and towns in the region are in the store, and they can also be customized for no additional charge. The kitchen section is extensive with linens, woven coasters, placemats and rugs. They also have an antique section with cast iron products and other not-to-be-missed items.

They have bird houses made in Bridgton, ski signs, pottery from South Paris, items from the Progress Center in Norway and bells from the New England Bell Company.

“They’re really special bells,” Pam said.

They carry a New Hampshire sticker line and Maine books.

“We have the best variety of products around,” said Mark. “There really is something for everyone.”
Corn Shop Trading Company is open seven days a week throughout most of the year. After January 1, they will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and school vacation weeks.

The Corn Shop is low tech, preferring people to come into the store or call them. They can’t be found on Facebook and they don’t have a website. They are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the holiday season and normally they are open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with summer hours extended from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Don’t pass up a chance to stop in, it’s worth the trip.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Business spotlight: Spectrum Growing in Greater Portland by Michelle Libby is already a household name as the region’s leading provider of cutting-edge TV, Internet and Voice services. For those looking for a new challenge, Spectrum is also a great place to start a new career.
“We’re hiring,” said Spectrum recruiter Heather Devereaux. “We’re in the process of growing our local workforce, and we’re actively recruiting talented, motivated team members dedicated to providing superior customer service.”

Spectrum is the suite of advanced broadband services offered by Stamford, Conn.-based Charter Communications, Inc. With over 92,000 employees serving 26 million customers in 41 states, Spectrum is America’s fastest-growing TV, internet and voice company.

Nationally, Spectrum is adding 20,000 jobs by returning call center jobs to the United States, insourcing its workforce and growing to meet customer demand for its products and services. Spectrum is a Fortune 100 company and was voted on of Forbes 112 Best Places to Work.

Here in Maine, Spectrum employs over 800 people and is adding 120 full-time jobs at its Portland call center on Washington Avenue. The hiring spree will nearly double the number of customer-service representatives at the center.

For job seekers committed to providing customers with the best service possible, Spectrum has a lot to offer. The company offers competitive starting pay, comprehensive training and a generous benefits and vacation/time off package. Benefits include medical, dental, vision, 401(k) with a company match, tuition reimbursement up to $5,250 annually, and free/discounted Spectrum TV, Internet and Voice services.
“This is a great place to start a career, or to launch a second career,” Devereaux said. “There’s a great opportunity for advancement, to learn and grow, and to take on greater challenges. Many of our top-performing employees have been with the company for years.”

The Portland Call Center handles billing inquiries from customers in multiple states. Customer-service agents set achievable, performance-based goals every month, which helps to determine career progression, raises and more.

Starting customer-service agents receive 200 hours of training, including role-playing and listening to live calls. Call center supervisors are invested in their team members’ growth and success, and meet regularly with each agent to discuss what is going well and what tools they need to be successful. Top performers and employee goals are highlighted on TV sets at the entrance to the building.

There is a team culture at the call center, Devereaux said. Each agent has their own cubicle that they can decorate it however they wish. New people are welcomed and their team genuinely wants to know about them. Everyone works hard as they take care of customers from Presque Isle to Kansas City.

“We’re always celebrating our team members’ accomplishments,” Devereaux said. “The Portland call center is among the top-performing Spectrum call centers. At the end of the day, we strive to provide superior customer service, and we have fun doing it.”

So what is Spectrum looking for in job applicants? The best customer-service agents are people who are serious about a career, who are kind, compassionate and empathetic – and dedicated to helping customers. Prior customer-service experience is not necessary, but it doesn’t hurt, either.

To be considered, applicants must be eligible to work in the United States, be at least 18 years old, and possess great communication and computer skills. Applicants can apply online and will need to pass a 57-minute assessment, along with a pre-employment drug screen and background check, to be considered for full-time employment. A Spectrum recruiter will also conduct a phone interview to make sure that Spectrum is a great fit for both parties.

In Portland, Spectrum is currently hiring for the 12:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. full-time shift at the call center. The pay is $14 per hour with a 75-cent shift differential. The company is also hiring for a number of open positions across Maine, including field technicians.

For more information, email, or to apply visit,