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Gold Star referral group for businesses forms in Lakes Region

ALTON —  The Gold Star Lakes Region Referral Group says that it has generated $187,000 in gross revenue for its 21 members since the group held its first meeting in May 2014. Group founder Heather Clifford organized the Lakes Region branch of the national organization after seeing the benefits to her business of participating in the Concord Gold Star group, where she has been a member for the past two years.
"The Concord Gold Star group became such a profit center for me, and such a fun resource for business contacts and advice, that I wanted to start one in my own back yard specifically for businesses in the Lakes Region," says Clifford, owner of Infusion Studio Creative Design and Marketing in Alton. "We started with about six people and have grown to more than 20 in just over half a year — with fantastic bottom-line benefits for the businesses involved. We welcome local business owners to visit one of our meetings to see what Gold Star is all about."
Kenneth Yorston, owner of A Cut Above Landscaping in Meredith, says he has seen revenue increase approximately 20 percent since joining the group when it first formed. "I've closed on three-quarters of the leads I've gotten from the group," he adds. As important as the new clients he's secured, though, are the "new friends and connections" he's made for his already well-established, family-owned business.

Deb Plenge joined the Laconia group to meet people and get to know the area after moving to the Lakes Region from Western Massachusetts, where she's been for 32 years. The owner of Deb Plenge Painting and Decorating says, "I believe to receive you have to give. I've met some great contractors and sub-contractors — and not just in construction, which is who I work with most. I found a fantastic life coach in the group and a top-notch geothermal technician. So, in addition to the reportable money I've made, I'm supporting other members' businesses."
The variety of businesses represented by the Lakes Region Gold Star group appeals to Karl Schoff, vice president of corporate accounts at Talient Action Group, which provides printing and mailing services. "It's a fascinating group due to the diversity of the members," says Schoff, who notes that the repeat business from initial referrals has been a real membership benefit. "I've
acquired a vast knowledge about other industries from this eclectic group."
"I really enjoy the weekly meetings and the 10-minute presentations," he adds. "The exchange of information has a great appeal. I welcome anyone to visit and see for themselves!"
Meetings are held on Tuesdays at the Beane Conference Center in Laconia. Interested members of the business community may call (603) 875-3100.
Started in 2007 by Beth and Todd Davis, Gold Star Referral Clubs offer business owners and managers an effective structure within which to grow their companies. By establishing trusted relationships in a fun and supportive environment, Gold Star members pass along millions of dollars in referrals every year. Through structured weekly meetings, members receive training and practice in effective networking and advice and ideas on topics ranging from business practices to promotions.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 09:12

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Eptam Plastics adds to sales force, focuses on specific industry groupings - 218 words

NORTHFIELD — EPTAM Plastics has reorganized and added to its sales force to focus expertise in four specific customer groupings: aerospace and defense, semiconductor, medical and industrial power generation. The new structure supports application and business development directly to customers, says Bob Weidinmyer, the company's director of sales. "Market segment managers now provide specific leadership to those customers requiring the highest levels of technical capability, competency and industry knowledge, with the goal of building long-term, enterprise-level partnerships.

Headquartered in Northfield, EPTAM is the leading fabricator of precision machined plastic components for customers across a wide range of industries that demand mission critical parts with extremely tight tolerances. In 2014, the company formed a partnership with Heritage, a Boston-based private equity investment firm specializing in founder-owner businesses.

"We are excited to implement  our new business development strategy to broaden our product pipeline, driving strategic partnerships across various industries with key customers, strategic innovation partners, OEMs, and industry influencers," said Weidinmyer. "This alignment with industry specific expertise will enable us to maintain our current position as a market leader in precision machined plastic components and operate at the forefront of innovation."

The business development team now includes industry experienced associates Alan Conway, Semiconductor ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); Willy Beach, Medical ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ); Bill Vardeman, Oil and Gas ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ), and Wiedinmyer; Aerospace ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 08:49

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‘Painting for Pibbles’ to raise funds for Humane Society

LACONIA — A Painting for Pibbles event will be held Saturday evening, March 14 from 6-10 p.m. at the Historic Belknap Mill in downtown Laconia.

Local activist Laura Brusseau is working with her friend Emily Sprogis to host the event, which is designed to raise awareness about Pit Bull type dogs and educate others on this misunderstood breed.

Brusseau recently attended a Million Pibble March in Washington DC hosted by comedian Rebecca Corey designed  to overturn common misconceptions and the media's portrayal of Pit Bull type dogs. Other celebrity Pit Advocates includes Rachel Ray and John Stewart. Pit Bulls tend to be the first dogs put down in shelters and the last adopted due to negative stereotypes.

Brusseau and Sprogis say that the objective of the evening is to raise awareness about this breed and educate and inform the public while trying to help these dogs find their forever home. Sprogis said " I had heard of pitbull stereotypes, but when my sweet Remy entered my life and I experienced discrimination first hand I knew I wanted to learn more and make a positive change in society"

Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased at the NH Humane Society or online at NHHumane.Org by clicking on "Events". Cash bar will be provided by Contigiani's Catering. The $30 ticket price includes a paint lesson from local Artist Ally Lowe, light snacks and delicious cupcakes provided by Kara's Café of Meredith and a donation to the NH Humane Society's new Pibble Fund.

Special guest speaker for the evening will be Doggonit NH owner and animal behaviorist, Kelly Arbogast .

Arbogast said "This event is so very important to not only me as an animal lover but also the community. I feel it is important that we educate everyone on the truth about the "breed" as well as advocate for them. Through responsible ownership and education we are hoping to raise awareness about this misunderstood "breed".

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 08:45

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Scholarship foundation helped 282 students last year

LACONIA — Lakes Region Scholarship Foundation President, Paulette Loughlin, speaking at the foundation's annual meeting, said that the foundation awarded over a quarter of a million dollars to help 282 students continue their education last year.

She said the foundation has five new funds and significant additions to existing funds and that the Community Spelling Bee raised $9,400. A generous gift has enabled the foundation to hire a financial aid consultant to serve Laconia, Belmont and Gilford High School students.

Scholarship applications for 2015 are going out this month with deadlines for applications through LRSF listed as April 15. Applications are also available in the Guidance offices of our local high schools; by emailing scholarship @metrocast.net; by calling 527-3533; or by going to www.lrscholarship.org.

There are also specially designated scholarships, including the Annalee Thorndike Art Competition. The artwork submitted by local high school graduating art students, who will be continuing their education in this field, will be on display at the Belknap Mill in Laconia from April 10-16 with an Awards reception on the 16th. Another exceptional scholarship opportunity is the John F. Mullen Memorial Essay Competition.
Two valued board members Randy Brough and Susanne Weldon-Francke have completed their terms and are being replaced by Emily Clement and Lori Fasshauer. Emily brings her years of experience as a guidance counselor at GHS, her skills as a life coach and her extensive volunteer involvement in sports, church and community activities. Lori was one of the board members of Camp Winsheblo and was instrumental in establishing the Winsheblo Scholarship Fund.

Board members continuing theri Our special thanks to the following board members who agreed to renew their terms as trustees include Lisa Bianco, Marcia Hayward, Donna Hennessey, Sarah Svindland and James Waldron.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 January 2015 08:38

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