An eclectic mix of business people rose to the top of the 2017 Aroostook Partnership Entrepreneur of the Year competition, but a Fort Kent logging contractor topped them all.

Aroostook Partnership/NMDC

Josh Rich, of JL Rich Timber Harvesting, was named the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year at an awards banquet at Northern Maine Community College Thursday, May 18.

Aroostook Partnership/NMDC

Finishing as the first runner up was Bruce Sargent of Falcon Transportation in Presque Isle and in a tie for second runner up was Cameron Clark of Houlton of Cameron’s Lawncare and Chainsaw Carving and Peter Chase of Buildings Etcetera.

Aroostook Partnership President Bob Dorsey, who also served as one of eight judges in the competition, said the mix of small and large businesses shows just how diverse the economy of Aroostook County is and it doesn’t matter the size of the business if people have a drive to succeed.

Rich received a plaque, $1,000 award and a certificate for a free Employer U training at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Sargent received a $500 check and Clark and Chase each received $250.

Aroostook Partnership/NMDC

Also at the awards ceremony, David Gordon of Katahdin Cedar Log Homes in Oakfield, was presented the inaugural Vanguard Award from the Partnership to honor a business with a proven track record of innovation, excellence and service to the economy of Aroostook County.

A panel of eight judges, one from each of the supporting organizations, Husson University, Northern Maine Community College, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Presque Isle and four business representatives selected the ten finalists and ultimate winner earlier this month for announcement at the awards banquet.

The other finalists were Gordon; Bradley Frank, Big Cheese Pizza; Douglas Lerman, Ken. L. Electric; Paul Morgan,Dodo’s Market; Jonathan and Tristan Noyes, Gromaine; and Kevin Pelletier and Scott Colton, K-Pel and Fort Steel.

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