Maine Youth Leadership Day 2014

Highlights from “Leaders of the 207: Maine Youth Leadership Day Slideshow”

On Thursday, November 6, Hyde School in Bath, Maine hosted over 350 students from 17 different Maine high and middle schools to participate in a Maine State Youth Leadership Day. The focus of the day was on entrepreneurship and leadership development.

The schools brought students who possessed leadership qualities or entrepreneurial spirits, including Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) students, to participate in workshops, work together on case studies, and to listen to the former CEO of Bath Iron Works, William “Bill” Haggett.

The combination of participants from private schools and public schools along with Maine entrepreneurs all in one venue was incredibly inspiring. The youth from all over the state were participating with students they had never met before, which pushed them to step outside of their comfort zones as they met new people and were exposed to new ideas. They kept up an ongoing public conversation via tweeting to the hashtag #leadersofthe207.

The day began with an introduction from Hyde Leadership Student Abdibaari Hersi ’15 who took the students through a warm-up activity. The students then split into groups to attend workshops in which the entrepreneurs took the students through various activities to help them understand the importance of leadership in their future endeavors.

In the afternoon the students participated in a student-led leadership panel in which students asked the entrepreneurs some general questions on leadership. After that they were presented with a case study on leadership and then placed into groups in which they had to work together to come up with a solution for the study.

The day ended with the keynote presentation by Bill Haggett who spoke to the students on the importance of leadership in the future of our society.

Maine is in need of more leaders at every age level. By bringing together the students for a day of leadership development through open forums and hands-on workshops, Hyde hoped to have facilitated the process of developing leaders. At the end of the day, one participant tweeted “[the day has] got me re-thinking my future,” and entrepreneur Tom Whelan tweeted “I saw the future of Maine today, and it looked bright!” Hyde will be leading a second Youth Leadership Day in the spring.

The schools that participated included Brunswick High School; Mt. Ararat High School; Deering High School; Messalonskee High School; Bridgton Academy; Hyde-Woodstock; Medway Middle School; Kents Hill School; Morse High School; Waynflete High School; Oxford Hills; Lisbon High School; Hyde-Bath; Freeport High School; Mt. Blue High School; Fryeburg Academy; and Harpswell Coastal Academy.

The entrepreneurs who led morning workshops included:

Deke Andrew
207Lacrosse

Deke is the founder of 207Lacrosse. He grew up in Yarmouth, Maine. Deke is a passionate mentor of the sport lacrosse. He has helped create men’s and women’s elite lacrosse leagues along with coaching Cheverus High School’s lacrosse team and hosting summer camps every year for boys and girls across the state of Maine. In 2011 Deke was voted ‘US Lacrosse Man of the Year’ for his efforts in lacrosse development. In 2012 Deke led the Cheverus High School team to the Class A State Championship and was voted Conference Coach of the Year by his peers.

Corky Ellis
Kepware, Inc.

Mr. Corson Ellis, also known as Corky, serves as the Board Chair of Maine Venture Fund. Mr. Ellis is very involved in technology economic development in Maine. He was earlier a Director and Board Vice Chair at the firm. Mr. Ellis has been Chairman of Kepware, Inc. since January 2010. He serves as a Director of the Maine Center for Entrepreneurial Development, TechMaine, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. He founded Kepware, Inc. in 1995 and served as its President. Mr. Ellis’ main focus was on Kepware, Inc.’s long-term direction through strategic acquisitions and organic growth. He received an M.B.A. degree from Columbia University and graduated from Amherst College.

Bill Haggett
Pineland Farms

William “Bill” Haggett spent most of his career, 28 years, working at Bath Iron Works (BIW) where he eventually became president. He also served a term as president of the Shipbuilders Council of America. Today he is working on his second career as president and CEO of Pineland Farms Inc. in New Gloucester.

Kirk Hill
Quai, Inc. & Ncub8

Kirk is the founder of a computer consulting business, Quai, Inc, through which he has worked with companies such as L.L. Bean, John Hancock, and Hewlett-Packard. He also founded the popular networking forum, Maine Entrepreneurs, and has been a mentor in the MCED Top Gun entrepreneurial program since its inception. Most recently, Hill cofounded the business incubation company, Ncub8. Through Ncub8 he helps other entrepreneurs and small businesses find solutions for common start-up obstacles by connecting people in a wide array of industries such as technology, marketing, business development, legal, and financing. Ncub8 excels at finding alternate streams of revenue & opening up new markets.

Erick Jensen
Local Harvest LLC

Erick is the founder and president of Local Harvest LLC. In this role he has been responsible for the development of a multi-million dollar beef supply chain to both grocery and restaurant customers throughout the United States and Canada. Prior to this role, he was president and CEO for Pineland Farms Natural Meats. Having spent a lifetime in agriculture, his desire is to assist producers in increasing their on-farm income and supporting young farmers in expanding their operations. Along with his professional activities, Erick has supported the local community by coaching youth football and being head wrestling coach for Mt. Ararat High School for the last fifteen years.

Kazeem Lawal
Portland Trading Co.

Nigerian-born Kazeem and his girlfriend, Jessica Kissell, cofounded Portland Trading Co. in May 2012. The shop carries everything from Swedish Hasbeens, Balsam Fir incense, clothing for the modern-day ship captain and small-batch, high-quality home wares to well-designed clothing and shoes, food and beauty products and just bubbles over with personality.

Jamee Luce
Robotics in Maine (RIM)

Jamee is the director of Robotics in Maine (RIM). She previously taught mathematics and computer science at Messalonskee High School in Oakland. The Robotics Institute of Maine is administered at the Manufacturers Association of Maine in Westbrook.

Nicole Snow
Darn Good Yarn

Darn Good Yarn was started by Nicole Snow, a US Air Force Veteran. After leaving the Air Force, she decided that she wanted to “unwind” with yarn. In early 2008, Snow decided to take two of her passions in life—art and helping others—and combine them. The result was Darn Good Yarn, a yarn and fiber importer, wholesaler, and retailer.

John Turner
Traps EyeWare

John is the founder of Traps EyeWare. Traps Sunglasses utilize lightweight, durable, plastic frames paired with recycled wooden lobster traps. Submerged in the Atlantic Ocean, these traps are now being transformed into the backbone of the product. The company’s mission is to create fashionable iconic eyewear from repurposed materials.

Tom Whelan
Bath Savings Institution

President Thomas Whelan has been with Bath Savings Trust Company since September 2005, after over a decade of management in the bank’s retail division. A member of Bath Savings Institution’s senior management team, Tom was instrumental in the superior growth of the bank’s branch offices. As the Vice President of Branch Administration, he led the retail branches in delivering the style of banking that sets them apart.

>>See Photos from Maine Youth Leadership Day 2014

>>Visit the Maine State Leadership Alliance page

>>See the #leadersofthe207 tweets from the day