Maine State Chamber of Commerce Presents 2009 Presidential Award to Rod Rodrigue
Maine MEP Executive Director Recognized for Entrepreneurial Leadership
SOUTH PORTLAND, ME - Before a packed audience at its annual meeting and awards dinner, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce yesterday presented its 2009 Presidential Award to Rod Rodrigue, executive director of the Maine MEP. Saluting his “lifetime of entrepreneurship” and contribution to the Maine economy, the Maine State Chamber praised Rodrigue for his positive impact on manufacturing in Maine and other states.
“Ten years ago Rod took over an underperforming agency known as Maine MEP, about to close its doors. Today that agency is a national leader, assisting manufacturers with services and access to resources that improve productivity, expand capacity and enhance global competitiveness,” said Maine State Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors.
After citing his accomplishments in transforming the Maine MEP, Connors noted that Rodrigue was called upon to help transform MEP programs in other states, including New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Florida. His entrepreneurial spirit subsequently led Rodrigue to found Time Wise Management Services, a nationwide training and business advisory firm that helps organizations achieve strategic process improvements.
“On behalf of the Maine MEP, I want to congratulate Rod on this well-deserved award. His innovative vision has helped transform this program. By developing new initiatives that responded to the needs of Maine manufacturers and by developing new partnerships with organizations he revitalized the Maine MEP and helped hundreds of manufacturers across the state meet the competitive challenges of today’s global economy,” said Bruce Pulkkinen, chair of the Maine MEP Board of Directors.
“Under his leadership Maine MEP recently released its one-year economic impact summary. As a direct result of Maine MEP programs and services over the past 12 months, manufacturers in our state created or retained more than 500 jobs that otherwise would not have existed. The MEP projects helped our clients achieve $8.8 million in cost savings, and they consequently increased or retained $73.4 million in sales,” stated Pulkkinen.
In presenting the award, the Maine Chamber President spoke of a second expression of Rodrigue’s entrepreneurial spirit unrelated to his manufacturing initiatives.
“While this award could reflect a lifetime of entrepreneurial spirit by Rod, it attempts to recognize two, quite unrelated, yet very significant success stories occurring right here in our state,” Connors said. “To me, the greatest expression of Rod’s entrepreneurship has been what he and his wife Marion established just four years ago in Morrill, Maine. It’s called the Ironwood Therapeutic Boarding School. Ironwood is located on 500 acres of countryside on the edge of Frye Mountain. It’s a therapeutic boarding school committed to helping families in crisis with troubled teens.”
Ironwood Therapeutic Boarding School offers therapeutic, clinical and educational services helping teens to adopt proactive behaviors necessary to lead a productive life as a contributing family member and community citizen.
“Ironwood’s treatment is carefully designed to assist families in crisis and turn around the behavior of troubled teens by developing self-respect, values and effective communication skills. In less than four years, it has become a nationally recognized model facility for troubled teens. To see it is to believe it – a truly inspirational success story,” Connors concluded.
Following graduation from Maine Maritime Academy in 1967 with a degree in marine engineering, Rodrigue received his naval commission and served in the Naval Reserve for 10 years. After receiving an MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University, Rodrigue embarked on a noteworthy career in the field of engineering and manufacturing. In 2008 his alma mater recognized his lifetime achievements by inducting him into the Maine Maritime Academy Wall of Honor. Earlier this year, he was appointed by Maine Governor John Baldacci and confirmed by the Maine Senate to the Maine Maritime Academy Board of Trustees.
Left to Right: Dana Connors, Maine State Chamber of Commerce President, Marion and Rod Rodrigue, Co-Founders, Ironwood Therapeutic Boarding School, Jim Atwell, Chair of the Board, Maine State Chamber of Commerce