We are extremely excited and proud to announce that Sebago Technics has been selected as the Business of the Year in the City of South Portland! Our company and our employee-owners have been recognized for our hard work, the culture we have so diligently endeavored to create, and for the quality of the services we provide.
The Business of the Year is the biggest business award of the City’s Business Awards Program. The program is administered by the City’s Economic Development Committee comprised of volunteer members of the community. The program annually recognizes outstanding businesses in the community. Businesses are chosen based on their accomplishments and achievements, including demonstrated excellence in the following: Exceptional growth; creation of jobs; innovative products or services; exemplary customer service; exemplary employer; and/or contributions to the community.
Sebago is recognized as producing quality work, having a great reputation, experiencing great growth, offering leading edge services and caring about its employees and its community.
We will look forward to celebrating the award and appreciating this significant honor.
Sebago Technics has been around for more than 36 years. We are truly one of those “started at the kitchen table stories”. We were founded by an incredible gentleman by the name of Walter Stinson, and for 30 years under Walt’s leadership, we grew in services, clients and reputation. In 1998 Walt had the forethought to develop an ownership transition plan – more than 10 years before he would retire. He like many business owners had various options to sell his interest in the company. He came upon the concept of employee ownership and decided that was what he wanted to do. Walt said that “the company’s greatest asset is its people and they are whom should benefit from its success.”
From Walt’s gift, we are now a 100% employee-owned company where every employee owns a piece of the company. Known as an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) it is much more than a piece of paper or retirement plan at Sebago. It is a pride of ownership, a sense of team work, a responsiveness to client needs and commitment to collective success that we call “The Sebago Way.”
While the Sebago Way has been a part of our company for many years, our location in South Portland only began in 2012. We were coming off the worst year in the company’s history and still feeling the deep impact of the Great Recession. The good news is that it was a renters market at that time and… we had nowhere really to go but up. So we searched all of Greater Portland. We quickly decided that downtown Portland was not a great location for us because of the need for accessibility, parking for our company vehicles and storage. We were looking for a more modern space, excellent accessibility to highways and amenities, something that supported our culture and provided the flexibility to grow. We found all of that in South Portland and specifically in our John Roberts Road location. Ironically, it was in a complex that our company had helped design in the 1980s. We worked with great landlords, Joe and Greg Boulos, fitted up the space and moved in May of 2012.
We initially leased approximately 11,000 sf. Within that we had room for a 20% growth in our staff. Quickly, our work with the City of South Portland, many businesses in the City and the greater Portland area helped us to grow to fill that space in approximately 2 ½ years. We loved our space and our location so we became anxious that we would either have to relocate or split our employees into two locations. Fortunately, a new space became available in our same building. We jumped on it and relocated to an even newer and better space totaling 17,500 sf in 2015. Since then we have continued to grow the top line by an average of 20% per year and add many new employees.
I was asked recently if our relocation to South Portland had anything to do with our growth and our success. While it would be unfair to our employees and hundreds of great clients to say it is all because of being in South Portland…I can say with confidence that our decision to locate in South Portland provided the energy, opportunity and environment for our growth.
As a former municipal economic development and current private sector business leader I can tell you that South Portland gets it. The City, its elected and appointed leaders and businesses have a wonderful sense of what it takes to create a balanced, progressive and comprehensive community. We have been fortunate to work on many, many projects for the City and are always impressed that the City wants to do it right. That doesn’t always mean extra cost but rather that projects are planned correctly, budgeted well and executed and constructed in a responsible and professional manner. That’s why we think we’ve been a great fit for South Portland and South Portland has certainly been a great fit for us.
In closing on behalf of our founder Walt Stinson, our 65 employee owners and our wonderful and loyal clients, we thank you for this award and recognition and for the opportunity to grow and succeed doing it the Sebago Way. Thank you.
– Mark A. Adams, President/CEO