February 9, 2023


Shara Dee, Communications Officer,, (207) 347-4143

William Mann, Economic Development Director,, (207) 767-7603



South Portland Celebrates Annual Business & Economic Development Awards February 15 

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine – The City of South Portland is celebrating its 2022 South Portland Business & Economic Development Awards. Members of the public and media are welcome and encouraged to attend.

WHAT: 2022 South Portland Business & Economic Development Awards

WHERE: South Portland High School Cafeteria, 637 Highland Ave, South Portland, ME 04106

WHEN: February 15, 2023, 5-7:30 PM. Doors open at 4:30 PM for tours of the school, followed by hors d'oeuvres and in-person networking at 5 PM. The awards ceremony will start promptly at 6 PM.

The City of South Portland Economic Development Committee (EDC) will be recognizing several businesses that have contributed to the overall strength, diversity, and vibrancy of the South Portland business community at the City’s Annual Business Awards, which will be presented at the South Portland High School cafeteria on February 15.

Committee Chairperson Donna Kane indicated that after a third year of pandemic challenges, the City’s Economic Development Committee wishes to acknowledge the ongoing creativity, perseverance, and resilience that all of the members of our business community have shown as they continue to deal with the impacts of this ongoing health crisis. Ms. Kane noted that the Committee received several dozen nominations for the various awards that will be presented this coming week. She added that the Committee appreciates the community’s continued support and engagement in this annual celebration.

Ms. Kane is delighted that business owners and members of the public can finally gather in person to celebrate the 2022 Annual Business Award recipients, as well as the cumulative achievements of the greater business community. The Committee is thrilled to collaborate with two South Portland businesses, Ocean Street’s Verbena, which will be catering the event, and Bowman Productions, L.L.C., which once again is producing the short videos highlighting the stories of our 2022 award recipients.

The awards recipients being recognized for 2022 are as follows:

The 2022 - South Portland Small Business of the Year Award is presented to a small organization that has a major impact in the City of South Portland. We are pleased to present the 2022 Small Business of the Year Award to Nelson Metal Fabrication Inc. John Nelson and his team began operations in 2013, providing welding and custom metalwork services. The scope of the business ranges from small, artistic projects, to larger, industrial structural work in Maine and beyond. Nelson Metal Fabrication also collaborates with People’s Inclusive Welding, a nonprofit organization that provides traditionally underrepresented individuals with a supportive environment and tools to succeed within the world of welding.

The 2022 – SoPo Sustainability Award recognizes businesses and individuals who prioritize sustainability practices and are making strides towards impactful change to our environment. Practices include (but are not limited to) waste reduction, pollution mitigation, clean energy adoption, water conservation, tree planting, sustainable materials utilization, LEED/Well construction, sourcing locally produced food and products, supporting employee initiatives, and restoration/net positive activities. We are pleased to present the 2022 SoPo Sustainability Award to High Tide Organic LLC. Owners Frank “Skip” Sullivan and his team cultivate adult and medical-use marijuana employing regenerative farming methods that have taken a historically high energy consumption industry and developed a business focused on a balanced environment, equity, and efficiency. In so doing, he has greatly reduced the carbon footprint of his operations where most all natural resource consumables are recycled several times. 

The 2022 - South Portland New Business of the Year Award is presented to one of the great new additions to the South Portland business community. We are pleased to welcome and recognize Lincoln & Main Electric Bike Café & Winery as the 2022 - South Portland New Business of the Year Award winner. Lincoln & Main was established last year by Co-owners Thaddeus St. John and Doug Watts. The shop offers an eclectic mix of bagels, coffee, wine, an extensive e-bike selection, and more! The space on the corner of Lincoln Street and Main Street is also available for private rental for a myriad of events—from baby showers to nonprofit forums. We are proud of South Portland’s high-level commitment to sustainability and take our hats off to Lincoln & Main for its contributions to this collective effort!

The 2022 - Santo “Sam” DiPietro Community Impact Award is presented to an individual, business, agency, organization, community or nonprofit corporation that has gone above and beyond to make the South Portland business community and the community as a whole a better place to live, work, and locate a business. Consideration may include expanding and/or diversifying the workforce, improvements to health and environmental sustainability, and/or other contributions. We are pleased to present the 2022 Santo “Sam” DiPietro Community Impact Award to the Waterfront Alliance. The Waterfront Alliance is a non-profit, civic organization committed to protecting and promoting working waterfronts of South Portland and Portland. Since the 1980s, the Waterfront Alliance has provided a forum for its diverse membership and has acted as a neutral convener and informational clearing house. The Alliance seeks to educate the public and advocate for the positive advancement of the waterfront and those who depend upon our blue economy in South Portland, Portland, and beyond.

The 2022 - South Portland Business Leader of the Year Award honors an individual or organization that has set a lasting precedent for success and innovation for the South Portland Business Community. We are pleased to present the 2022 Business Leader of the Year Award to Southern Maine Community College (SMCC). SMCC plays a vital role in the education and training of Maine’s dynamic workforce, offering programs designed to meet the needs of Maine’s private, public, and nonprofit sectors. The institution’s Workforce Development efforts are a tremendous resource to the greater community, providing a conduit for synergistic collaboration between the College, area businesses, and the students who attend SMCC, all of which have had a significant positive impact on the Maine economy.

The 2022 - South Portland Business of the Year Award is presented to a business with 25 or more employees that has most profoundly improved and strengthened the South Portland business community. We are pleased to present the 2022 Business of the Year Award to ShipRight. ShipRight has contributed significantly to economic growth in South Portland, initiating inclusive employment practices and innovatively navigating the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic in its approach to order fulfillment. In addition, ShipRight is known for its commitment to high-quality customer service. President and Founder Drew Graham, his partner Todd Flaherty, and their team are continually pinpointing opportunities to creatively fill gaps in the order fulfillment, home delivery, and logistics sector, further advancing South Portland’s reputation as a resilient and can-do community.

The 2022 – Heart of South Portland Award is one of the highest honors presented at the City’s Annual Business Award event. However, this is not an annual Award. The award is presented occasionally to an individual who has demonstrated their outstanding devotion to the business community in South Portland by presenting a body of community good works commensurate with this special recognition. The Economic Development Committee will be presenting Judith Borelli, the Director of Public Affairs at Texas Instruments, with this esteemed award. Beyond serving the semiconductor industry for thirty-two years, Judith has served in many leadership roles within our community and the State of Maine. The following is a partial list of some of the committees and organizations where she currently serves: Chair of the Board for the Manufacturers Association of Maine, Treasurer of the Board for the Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) Foundation, Board Member of the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Community Chamber of Commerce, member of the Advocacy Committee for Portland Regional Chamber, and Board Member of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. In addition to these involvements, Judith is engaged in various committees for the City and School District, as well as for other religious and charitable organizations. Judith is extremely generous in sharing her talents and her time, which is why the Economic Development Committee would like to take this opportunity to recognize Judith for her work in promoting innovation, community cohesion, and quality of life in South Portland.

The City of South Portland invites the public to join us Wednesday evening, February 15, 2023, to learn more about our awardees, hear their stories, and celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of South Portland’s greater business family, starting at 4:30 PM at the South Portland High School.

About City of South Portland

The City of South Portland is a vibrant Southern Maine community of 26,000+ residents and over 1,500 businesses located on picturesque Casco Bay.