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UMFK corporate relations office to sponsor business online marketing workshop

June 27, 2003

NR03110

The University of Maine at Fort Kent corporate relations office will offer a workshop entitled "Is it Time to Bring Your Business Online?" on Tuesday, July 15 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Nadeau Hall Teleconference Room.

The session is designed to assist anyone who has ever thought about growing or starting their own business using the internet.

Attendees will discover the skills and attributes necessary to begin, and to succeed, in a small business e-environment. Participants will learn how to determine if going online is feasible from a market and financial prospective

Topics covered in the workshop will include getting online, developing a web plan, building a website, hosting your site, marketing your site and maintaining your site.

This program is geared for the novice. No previous e-commerce experience is necessary, but a general understanding of the operations of a personal computer will greatly enhance your learning experience.

Todd Player, founder, president and lead system integrator for Oak Leaf Systems will co-present the workshop.

Oak Leaf Systems, Inc. is a Maine-based information technology services company specializing in networking, systems integration and Internet services, including web site development.

Player, who founded the company in 1996, holds a bachelor of mechanical engineering degree from the University of Maine and has a wide variety of information technology and engineering experience in both the public and private sectors.

He has been involved with information systems for his entire career and has experience working on user interface, software development, network systems integration and electronic commerce.

His current Internet-related projects include development and ongoing support for northern Maine's most comprehensive employment web site, aroostookjobs.com.

Co-presenting the workshop with player will be Rod Thompson, director of the Maine Small Business Development Center and computer network and technology advisor at the Northern Maine Development Commission.

As SBDC director, he has assisted hundreds of small businesses in every aspect of operation and development. His duties as network administrator include monitoring system operations, upgrades and development of staff training programs.

He is also the host of "Eye on Aroostook", a locally produced television program focusing on economic development issues in Northern Maine.

Thompson holds a master of business administration (MBA) from the University of Miami and a bachelor of music composition from Berklee College of Music.

He was recently awarded the Home Based Business Advocate by the United States Small Business Administration and the prestigious National Star Counselor Award by the American Small Business Development Association.

Both Player and Thompson want workshop participants to walk away from the session with a greater knowledge of how to market a business in the information age.

"Electronic commerce is the fastest growing segment of our economy. Unlike other business concerns in which location is key to the success of the enterprise, this new economy places the St. John Valley on equal footing with the rest of the world," said Diane Nadeau-Saucier, executive director for corporate relations. "Local entrepreneurs stand to benefit greatly from the information that will be shared in this workshop."

The session is sponsored by Aroostook SCORE, the Maine Small Business Development Center at Northern Maine Development Commission, and the Aroostook Business Information Group.

The workshop is free, however, pre-registration is required as space is limited. For more information or to register, contact Nadeau-Saucier at 834-7800 or toll free at 1-888-TRY-UMFK.