Chebeague Island
July 12, 2014

Message from the Community Forum:
The SustainME conference organized by Chebeague’s Community Forum and the Island Institute was packed yesterday with enthusiastic participants from Chebeague, other unbridged islands of Casco and Penobscot Bays, as well as the mainland. The Chebeague Island Boatyard made a great spot for holding the conference. Many of the participants already have successful businesses and others were just starting one or were looking for ideas. Networking experience and resources was a major aim of the day. You could feel the energy and ideas. As one CEO of a successful business said at the conference, “None of these resources were available in Maine twenty years ago when I started my business. It is great to see lead people here from the Small Business Administration, CEI, SCORE, Maine’s Center for Entrepreneurial Development and the Island Institute’s Innovation Fund, all offering access to free resources for planning and financing businesses.  I wish I had had this kind of help available when I started.”  People left with new contacts and knowing where to go for good advice. All the presenters, including Pete Nelson of the Treehouse Masters TV series on Animal Planet, told about their failures along the way, as well as what helped them build their business. It was great to see lots of Chebeaguers taking part in this new learning opportunity and helping to put on the event.

Our Island Fellow Celia Whitehead said: "I saw so many inter-island connections formed at SustaineME; people sharing their ideas, successful and unsuccessful experiences, and getting excited to access new resources."

Pete Nelson "The Treehouse Guy"

James Parr shucking Basket Island Oysters at Sustain ME conference with Mark Green owner and Charlie Friedman owner of FloFold looking on

Mary Weber, co-owner of Monhegan Brewing Company, participated with friend Tara Hire from Monhegan who has her own Wellness business. They are enjoying Basket Island Oysters contributed by Breakout Group leader for aquaculture Mark Green, owner of Basket Island Oysters. Mary and her husband Matt contributed growlers of their Monhegan brew for the refreshments at the end of the conference.