Building Maine Businesses #294

Business is booming in Maine. Today we speak with two individuals who are leading the way in this field. Melissa Smith is the president and CEO of WEX, which is one of three companies in our state to have revenues of more than a billion dollars. William J. Ryan, Jr., is the principal owner and chairman of the Maine Red Claws, Portland’s NBA development team.

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The Art of Ashley Bryan #292

Artist Ashley Bryan has been creating unique works since his earliest years growing up in the Bronx. Known for his award-winning children’s books like Beautiful Blackbird and Freedom Over Me, Ashley Bryan has connected with audiences of all ages. For this show, we traveled to Little Cranberry Island, off the coast of Mount Desert Island, to interview this 93-year-old artist in his home.

L/A Arts is paying tribute to Ashley Bryan during the months of April and May with its Ashley Bryan Days in LA events. On April 29 the Emerge Film Festival will screen a feature documentary by filmmaker Richard Kane about Bryan’s life and work. For more information go to:

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Maine Adaptive & Special Surfers #289

Maine is home to numerous venues for outdoor enjoyment. Our forests, woods, and waters provide opportunities for not only connecting with nature but also for social, physical, and sometimes competitive pursuits. Today we speak with leaders of two organizations that make these pursuits available to Mainers of all levels of physical capability. Barbara Schneider is the executive director at Maine Adaptive Sports and Recreation, and Mark Stevens is a board member. Nanci Boutet is the executive director at Special Surfers in Kennebunk.

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Community Connectors #288

Within our community we are fortunate to have people who are particularly good at making and maintaining connections with others. Today we speak with Mark Curdo, who has hosted a yearly Markathon to benefit the Center for Grieving Children since 2008, musician Isaiah Taylor and David Thete, founder of Kesho Wazo.

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Investigating Addiction & Preventing Polio #285

We humans have been plagued by disease—both infectious and environmental–since we began life on this planet. Today we discuss two very different diseases with individuals who are working to mitigate them. Scientists Dr. Elissa Chesler and Dr. Vivek Kumar are studying addiction at the Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor. Ann Lee Hussey, herself a polio survivor, has travelled the world immunizing people against polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

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Gardiner Drama & Dining #284

Located on the Kennebec River, the town of Gardiner is one of Maine’s hidden gems. Originally a center of industry (and known worldwide for exporting ice in the 1800’s), Gardiner is now home to the iconic A1 Diner and the up-and-coming Johnson Hall Performing Arts Center. Today we speak with Michael Giberson and Neil Andersen, who have owned the A1 Diner for almost three decades, and with Michael Miclon, the executive and artistic director at Johnson Hall.

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