Dear Members, Friends, and Well-Wishers:
Six and a half years ago, I joined a small group of concerned community members who were meeting at Portland’s City Hall to discuss the state of our independent business community. As the daughter of a small business owner who saw the negative effects of sprawl and the deterioration of Main Street, and now a business owner myself, I knew it was imperative that our business community work together as a team, and I felt an immediate connection with that working group.
In those early days, during the winter and spring of 2006, we spent countless hours discussing campaign strategy, organizational structure, mission statements, funding… and, yes, even potential names: Would we be Think Local First: Portland? Portland Go Local? Shop Local Portland? Fast-forward a few months to July 2006, and we were ready to launch the Portland Buy Local campaign and the Portland Independent Business and Community Alliance (PIBCA) with our first-ever Independents Week Celebration and membership campaign.
In the time since, PIBCA has grown to nearly 400 members strong, producing posters and literature, directories and web sites, learning opportunities and events. I’m proud of our accomplishments, and I want to take a moment to recognize four of my PIBCA board colleagues for their hard work and dedication. Stacy Mitchell, Bill Duggan, Chris Busby, and Nancy Lawrence were all members of the original working group and have each been crucial to the success of our organization and campaign. I thank each of them from the bottom of my heart for their substantial contributions of time and energy. Their passion for Portland and our local, independent business community runs deep and has been evident in all that they have done in the name of Portland Buy Local.
When we drafted our organizational bylaws back in 2006, we decided to limit board service to six consecutive years. Our reasoning, which I still stand behind, was to keep the organization moving forward with fresh perspective and new energy.
So here we are, six years later, and Stacy, Bill, Chris, Nancy, and myself have all completed our tenure on the PIBCA board as of this month. While we will no longer be active, voting members of the board, we will still be available as volunteers, resources, and, yes, local consumers! I’m pleased and proud to introduce our 2012/2013 PIBCA Executive Committee and Board of Directors:
Kristen Smith, Planet Dog – President
Danielle Marks – Vice President
Joe Gervais, University Credit Union – Treasurer
Brianna Courneya – Secretary
Allen Baldwin, Strongpaw Productions
Will Cary, Portland Museum of Art
Stuart Gersen, Longfellow Books
Doug Johnson, Grandview Window Cleaning
Mary Marsh, Marsh Agency
Melissa Rivera, lalo Boutique
Michelle Smith, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England
John Rooks, The SOAP Group
Elliott Teel, Law Office of Elliott R. Teel
This is a tremendous group of citizens and business owners, and they are poised to take our organization to the next level with new ideas, fresh initiatives, and the same passion for this great city that we all call home.
If you love Portland as we all do, and you want to help strengthen our community of local, independent businesses, show your support. Don’t just sit back and think about it, do something: volunteer your time, attend an event, tell a friend to join, write about our work in your newsletter or blog, tweet it, share it, say it, and most importantly, BUY LOCAL.
Very best wishes to you all,
Portland Buy Local
Aikido of Maine / Allagash Brewing Co. / Andrew and Debra Tenenbaum / angela adams / BENCHMARK Residential & Investment Real Estate / Bull Feeney's / Caravan Beads / Casco Bay EyeCare / Casco Bay Frames & Gallery / Coffee By Design / CornerStone Building & Restoration / CrossFit Beacon / The Fish & Bone / Green Clean Maine / Joan Leitzer / Teel Law Office, LLC / Liquid Riot / Maine Business Immigration Coalition / Malone Commercial Brokers / Marsh Agency / Nine Stones / Nomads / OTTO / Philip Spalding / Port Property Management / Portland Downtown / Portland Farmers’ Market / Portside Real Estate Group / Renys Department Store / Rich Nowak / Sebago Brewing Company / Stacy Mitchell / Summit Case Management Services, LLC. / The SunriseGuide / Tsunami Tattoo / University Credit Union / University of Southern Maine / Wellness Connection of Maine / XPress Copy / Young’s Furniture