Buko Chips vs. Izzy's Cheesecake

Episode 5: October 29

Greenlight Maine / Season Two

Sponsored by the Department of Economic and Community Development

The Presenters

Lorraine Fagela
Cornerstone Food Company produces Buko Chips which are available in various, intriguing and robust flavors inspired by spices found in Southeast Asia. Buko Chips was launched early 2016 as a healthy alternative to snacking. The chips are baked organic coconut chips handcrafted in small batches. They are gluten-free, non-gmo, low sodium, and provides a good source of fiber. Buko Chips are made with all-natural-good-for-you ingredients.
Jim Chamoff
President (Pic 1)
David (Izzy) Izenstatt
VP / Executive Chef (Pic 2)
In 1985, David Izenstatt began making his incomparable cheesecakes in his own kitchen. He built his business one cheesecake at a time, creating and producing one unrivaled combination after another. Thirty years later, Izzy's Cheesecake, based in Portland, has become a truly artisanal cheesecake company, with a wide selection of both classic and seasonal flavors, as well as Izzy's Minis, their mini cheesecakes. In February 2015 Jim Chamoff joined Izzy as a partner and President of the company. Jim brings over thirty years of sales and marketing experience to Izzy’s. Together Jim and Izzy have a vision of taking the company to a new level.

The Judges

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George Gervais
George Gervais has been the Commissioner of the Maine DECD since May 2011. As part of the LePage Administration and in his capacity as leader of DECD, Gervais is charged with developing economic sectors, promoting new businesses, and growing existing businesses.

Working closely with Governor LePage, the Legislature, and the private sector, Gervais and his staff strive every day to create economic opportunity for all Maine citizens in every part of the state.
Gervais has been with DECD since 2008, serving as Development Program Manager and Business Development Specialist, Assistant Commissioner, and Acting Commissioner. Prior to joining DECD, he served as a senior loan officer at Carteret Mortgage Corp. and Dedicated Mortgage Associates, LLC. He also founded Grill Concepts, Inc. and EVO, Inc. He holds a BS in Business Administration from the University of Maine.

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Deb Neuman
Prior to her appointment as President and CEO of the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce in January 2016, Deborah Neuman served as Deputy Commissioner for Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development, as the Director of the Target Technology Incubator at the University of Maine, as a small business lender and coach with Eastern Maine Development Corporation and the Washington Hancock Community Agency.

She has advocated on behalf of small businesses through her work in the media as a radio talk show host with Blueberry Broadcasting, a business tips feature on WABI TV and a writer for the Bangor Daily News and Bangor Metro. She has owned a number of small businesses in Maine and resides in Bangor.

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John Viehman
John Viehman is a skilled brand strategist, able to identify and capture market opportunities, successfully enter new markets, design brand extensions, align products across the brand, and increase revenue. He has a proven ability in both operational and strategic management roles, with a solid track record of successful business turnarounds and startups in niche markets. In short, he’s a strong idea person, team-oriented, mentor, player-coach, and undaunted by large challenges.

John’s company, JVA Marketing, debuted in 2012 as a boutique sales, marketing and branding agency. We work intimately with clients in the areas of strategic planning, brand management/product positioning (within both consumer and B2B markets), business turnarounds, and new product development with full-spectrum marketing services. We actively seek "broken" and under-performing businesses, because that’s where we find some of the greatest opportunities. We particularly enjoy startups.
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