Meet The Entrepreneurs

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South Portland

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Bill Zelman

Hot-Tubes launched through a Kickstarter campaign in 2014. They are proud to have partnered with a number great people and companies here in Maine from Kennebunk to Skowhegan that help build the unique Winter and Summer energy saving fans, and ship the products all over the world. The goal of Hot-Tubes is keeping people more comfortable in their homes, while lowering energy bills. When he's not designing new socially responsible consumer products, Bill is a professional suburban homesteader living in South Portland, converting his yard into a smorgasbord of fruit and vegetables.

Founder: Bill Zelman
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Gabrielle Melchionda

Gabrielle began making lip balm (on a whim!) in her mother’s kitchen in 1991. What began as a hobby from the trunk of her car evolved into a 24-year old company selling natural and organic body care to customers around the world. Today , Mad Gab’s is poised for growth with two decades of learning behind them, amazing products for all ages, and unmistakably original packaging. (Proudly, Made in the USA)

Founder: Gabrielle Melchionda

Meet The Judges

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Sandra Ruch
Sandra Ruch is a documentary film producer and creative advisor for filmmakers, festivals and media companies. Ms. Ruch is Director Emeritus of the IDA (International Documentary Association), where she served as Executive Director and Publisher of Documentary magazine. Prior to I.D.A., Ms. Ruch was President of Marketing for New Line Cinema, Sr. Vice President for Cinergi Pictures, and, for 12 years, served as Manager of Cultural Programs for Mobil Oil Corporation where she supervised Mobil/PBS television’s Masterpiece Theatre and “Mystery”.
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Kathy Corey
Kathy Corey is Owner as well as Vice President of Merchandising and Personnel for Day’s Jewelers 6 stores in Maine and New Hampshire. She along with her husband Jeff Corey and brother-in-law Jim Corey, purchased Day’s Jewelers in 1987, when the Davidsons, the original owners, had only 1 Day’s Jewelers store left from what was once a 22 store chain. Kathy is very active with serving on boards, both in her community and statewide. She has three grown adult children, one of whom currently works in the family business.
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Dana Connors
As the leader of the state's largest and most diverse business association, Dana oversees a broad range of activities, including advocacy efforts, economic and workforce development initiatives, and a wide variety of member services for the business community. A Maine native, he received a bachelor's degree in public management from the University of Maine in 1965. He began his career as the city manager of Presque Isle and later served as Commissioner of Transportation under 2 governors and as leader of Governor Angus King's transition team before becoming president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce in 1994. He has received numerous awards for his service and leadership to the state of Maine throughout his career. Most recently, he was inducted into Junior Achievement's Maine Business Hall of Fame (2014) and received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maine, Orono (2015).
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