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Bank of New Hampshire Brings HOMEteam to Laconia

LACONIA — Bank of New Hampshire has donated $25,000 to the Laconia Area Community Land Trust, which provides a community room for the organization and residents to use.

"We are so grateful to Bank of New Hampshire for enabling us to provide a base of operations for HOMEteam in the Lakes Region," said Carmen Lorentz, executive director for Laconia Area Community Land Trust. "Our partnership with HOMEteam is instrumental in helping our tenants and any resident of the Lakes Region pursue the dream of homeownership."

The Bank of New Hampshire Community Room at River's Edge primarily serves as classroom and meeting space for HOMEteam, a critical partner of the Laconia Area Community Land Trust. HOMEteam provides New Hampshire residents with the information and tools they need to make good financial decisions related to purchasing, renting, and maintaining a home. Through a series of workshops, one-on-one counseling, and other resources, HOMEteam helps home buyers navigate the mortgage process, renters save for home ownership, and home owners protect their investment in their home. In 2016, HOMEteam educated 330 households in group seminars and provided 426 households with one-on-one counseling, which resulted in 83 home purchases; 48 homes saved from foreclosure; 45 reverse mortgages obtained; and a 29-point average increase on clients' credit scores.


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Caitlin McCurdy, LACLT Board of Directors; Carmen Lorentz, LACLT Executive Director; Karen Wilson, VP – Community Reinvestment Act Officer for Bank of New Hampshire. (Courtesy photo)

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Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine marks 10 years in business


GILFORD — When Donna Lang-Rice was growing up in Bridgewater, New Jersey, a close friend of hers suffered an injury that affected her back and knee, and required physical therapy to help recover. That experience sparked a lifelong interest in physical therapy, and Lang-Rice, along with her staff, have recently marked 10 years in business as the Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine Center.

"I used to ride my bike to her house and do her exercises with her to motivate her to keep going," Lang-Rice said, recalling her childhood days spent helping her friend heal. "I saw how physical therapy was critical to get her back to the basketball court and how the physical therapist helped motivate her as well."

Physical therapy rang two bells for Lang-Rice. She grew up with a love for active pursuits, everything from organized athletics to swimming and hiking in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, where her family would visit on vacation. It also satisfied her belief, which she learned from her parents, that she should apply her abilities to help others. Lang-Rice began her career working as a therapist for practices in Concord and, briefly, Pennsylvania, and from 1999 to 2006 she was director and and part-owner of Bow Physical Therapy and Spine Center, an experience she called a "stepping stone" to opening her own clinic.

In January of 2007, Lang-Rice opened Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine Center. The clinic was first operated at 401 Gilford Ave., and in 2011 Lang-Rice was able to move her practice into a building at 689 Gilford Ave., which she had purchased and renovated to best suit her clients' needs.

Though there are other physical therapy practices in the region, Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine is unique because it is a private practice, not part of the LRGHealthcare system, and because it utilizes the McKenzie Method of physical therapy. Lang-Rice said that the McKenzie Method, developed more than 30 years ago by a physiotherapist in New Zealand, offers a unique assessment and treatment strategy which addresses not only the problem in the short-term but also addresses the initial cause so that the pain is not likely to return.

"We're very specific with our exercises to try to limit pain, and to mechanically assess (the client)," said Lang-Rice. "That's what we're known for." Several of their clients come from out of the region, and some come from across state lines, usually seeking a therapist certified in the McKenzie Method.

Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine Center has grown in the decade since Lang-Rice opened it. When she first started, she was the sole therapist in a facility that had 1,300 square feet of space, including two private treatment rooms. She now has two other therapists joining her on the staff – Mitchelle Doyon and Jonathan Lian – and physical therapy assistants Maria Dalton and Jody Krajcik.

Lang-Rice sees further room to grow, such as by helping people who are preparing for or recovering from abdominal surgery, and especially by attracting more clients that live nearby.

Their challenge is existing as a small, independent practice in the shadow of LRGHealthcare, which dominates all aspects of the local health care industry. There are LRGHealthcare-operated physical therapy offices, but as office manager Asia Giuffrida noted, patients who are referred to physical therapy by a primary care practitioner are under no obligation to choose a therapist within their doctor's organization.

"They have the freedom to choose," said Giuffrida. She and Lang-Rice hope that they will consider Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine.

"We empower the patients to fix themselves ... and we assist them in the process with our hands as needed," said Lang-Rice. "The philosophy of Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine is to treat the whole person."


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Donna Lang-Rice leads physical therapists Mitchelle Doyon and Jonathan Lian in an exercise of tai chi adapted for physical therapy. Gilford Physical Therapy and Spine Center, owned and operated by Lang-Rice, is celebrating 10 years in business. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun)

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Supporting financial literacy

Citizens Bank announced last week announced that two nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire will receive $30,000 in contributions as part of the Citizens Helping Citizens Manage Money financial literacy initiative. On had for the announcement, from left, are Carmen Lorentz, executive director for the Laconia Area Community Land Trust; Paul McLaughlin, home ownership manager for HOMEteam; Jim Terrero, a Manchester firefighter; Robert Tourigny, executive director for NeighborWorks Southern New Hampshire, and Joe Carelli, Citizens Bank president. The donation represents the bank's ongoing commitment to give consumers the confidence and tools they need to be fiscally healthy. (Courtesy photo)


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Lef Farms introduces new packaging

LOUDON — When you're growing the most unique blends of fresh baby greens in the Northeast, they deserve packaging to match. With its simple elegance, the lēf packaging breaks out from the field of me-too brands that have turned to old-school clams and tubs. It starts with lēf's classic black retail bag which shows off its greens through a see-through front window of cascading leaves – positioning the lēf brand as the premium name among its competitors. And clear side panels allow consumers to see even more of the wonderfully fresh greens, with the lēf brand message of local freshness boldly voiced throughout.

"When you have a product that's so different than the ordinary spring mixes out there, we felt the standard clamshells and pillowcase style bags just wouldn't do it justice. Our message touts that 'fresh is right here', so we needed to apply that thinking to everything we do. Sure, fresh is about product, but it's also about our ideas, and even our marketing," said lēf Sales and Marketing Manager Donald Grandmaison.

But it's not just the graphics and the contents that set the lēf retail bags apart. lēf Farms has taken extra steps to ensure its greens are fresh and stay tasty by utilizing custom, patented perforations in its bags. As such, lēf is able to maximize shelf life and enhance product quality from the time the product leaves the Farm to the time it arrives on grocers' shelves and in the coolers of food service operations.

A simple color band at the top of each bag identifies which of the three unique lēf mixes is inside. Blue denotes the buttery blend of crisp, sweet and tender baby greens found in lēf's Smooth mix. Red points to the zesty mix of Arugula, Red Mustard and Mizuna comprising lēf Spice. And the tan color strip designates the balanced flavor of  baby kale found in lēf's Balance blend.

For retail, lēf offers 5-ounce bags that can be displayed individually in a grocer's cooler or in a six-pack retail box that contains a full 30 ounces in a color-coordinated and branded display box. This option makes it easy for grocers to sell product right from the carefully designed box, rather than creating a new end-cap to accomplish the same goal.

But the uniqueness of lēf's packaging doesn't stop with its retail appeal. Lēf has applied the same uniquely branded approach to its food service packaging, as well. For a market segment that's typically treated to generic cardboard boxes and plastic liners, lēf offers a 2 x 1.5 pound-pack case that amasses 3 pounds of its fresh baby greens in clear bags, loosely nestled inside a color-coordinated and branded carton. Not only does this box allow a comfortable fit that helps prevent product damage, it provides another way to extend their shelf life by maximizing airflow and maintain the cold chain from farm to customer. And the two-pack configuration makes it perfect for smaller volume customers, giving them the opportunity to open just one bag at a time. Add to that the box's slender footprint and side handles for easier handling, and you have a package design that works for everyone.

lēf Farms Corp is a 75,000-square-foot greenhouse growing facility, expected to produce nearly than 1.5 million pounds annually of the freshest and healthiest baby greens for New England.

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Lef Farms of Loudon has introduced distinctive packaging to match its baby greens. (Courtesy photo)

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Trade group renews accreditation for home-watch business


MOULTONBOROUGH — Donnybrook Home Services and Allan Home Check of Moultonborough and Wolfeboro, has earned Accredited Member status from the National Home Watch Association for the third consecutive year.

Owner Don Muscavitz Jr. established Donnybrook Home Services in 2004, and in 2016 he acquired Allan Home Check. They are now one company.

The NHWA was formed in 2009 in order to establish and maintain the highest industry standards for Home Watch and absentee homeowner services throughout the United States and Canada (www.nationalhomewatchassociation.org). Home Watch is a service that "keeps an eye on things" at your vacation or primary home while you are not in residence.

Muscavitz is a resident of Moultonborough, where he is active in community programs, and is a recipient of recent awards for his participation in Moultonborough's "Adopt a Spot" and "Adopt a Facility" programs.


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Don Muscavitz Jr.

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