Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Steven Kydd: Connecting the World Through Food

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Steven Kydd, a 1991 University of Maine graduate who majored in business administration, remembers growing up in Orrington, Maine, with a passion for food and an awareness of where his food came from. His family grew their own vegetables and his uncle was a lobsterman.

In 2012, Kydd and his business partners Joe Perez and Larry Fitzgibbon took their shared love of food and converted it into Tastemade, the world’s first global food network built for digital platforms.

Tastemade’s mission is to connect the world through food by allowing creators to make and share video programming instantly on a global and social scale. Tastemade has more than 100 food channels in the Americas, Europe and Asia, and has had episodes uploaded from more than 250 cities, 25 countries and in 10 different languages.

Tastemade’s YouTube channel offers original programs featuring recipes, cooking and travel. Many Tastemakers film their shows for free in the company’s California studio that was designed to create high-quality productions and inspire collaboration. The company also offers a mobile app that allows users to produce and share their own one-minute episodes about their favorite foods and restaurants.

Before Tastemade, Kydd was part of the founding team of Demand Media and executive vice president of Demand Studios, was vice president of business development and strategy for Yahoo! and served as vice president of Internet marketing with 20th Century Fox International in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Los Angeles.

Kydd now lives in Santa Monica, Calif., with his wife and two children, where he shares his passion for food at home and at work.

Tell us about Tastemade and why it was founded:
We created Tastemade with one goal in mind — to connect the world through food. A generation ago the cable industry launched category-defining brands in food and lifestyle, and we believe the same opportunity exists for today’s global, social and mobile digital platforms. My partners and I founded the company in 2012.

Are you a good cook? What’s your favorite dish to prepare and/or eat?
I have no culinary training whatsoever, but growing up I learned some baking tips from my mum and recently learned a lot about cooking from my wife Sal. My favorite dish to eat is a simple steamed lobster which we catch from my parents’ traps off Deer Isle, Maine.

Tell us about your previous jobs and how they have influenced your professional life:
I have been working in the media business for most of my career, and I love that it is a combination of art and commerce. Early in my career I made it my mission to find mentors and learned from them what it takes to be a senior executive at a big company.

I was fortunate to work at great media brands like 20th Century Fox and Yahoo!. However, along the way I learned that I was at my best when starting something new, and that led me toward leaving the corporate world and into startups.

What are you professional and personal goals?
For me, personal and professional goals must be linked. When you start your own company it becomes part of your family life. Fortunately, my family gets to be involved in the development of the company, and that is rewarding for everyone.

What are your biggest professional accomplishments to date:
I had always dreamed about ringing the bell on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to celebrate the IPO of a company I helped build. I was fortunate to be part of the founding team of Demand Media, and in January 2011, my dream came true.

Another highlight was being asked to speak at Google Zeitgeist this year to tell the story of how my partners and I formed Tastemade.

Both of these events were shared with my partners Joe Perez and Larry Fitzgibbon, who were co-founders of both companies with me.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and in helping you reach your goals?
For a couple years I served as the head of the UMaine tour guides — showing prospective students and their parents around campus. Looking back on this, it was a great way to build my storytelling skills. Any entrepreneur will tell you that storytelling is critical to starting and growing a new business.

Most memorable UMaine moment:
The day I was accepted to the study abroad program in France for my junior year.

Any advice for current students?
First, study abroad — it is one of the best things you can do to grow personally and professionally. Second, start a business — any business. You will learn more from being an entrepreneur than you will from any textbook. Lastly, find great partners — everything in life is better when you can share it with people you care about.

Former UMaine Hockey Players to Take Part in Olympics, Media Report

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The Bangor Daily News reported three former University of Maine hockey players will take part in the winter Olympics. Goalie Jimmy Howard, who plays for the Detroit Red Wings and played for UMaine from 2002 to 2005, will play for Team USA in Sochi. Howard’s Detroit teammate Gustav Nyquist was named to the Swedish Olympic team. Matthias Trattnig, a member of UMaine’s 1999 national championship team, will make his second Olympic appearance as an assistant captain for Team Austria. The Portland Press Herald carried an Associated Press report on Nyquist being named to the Swedish team.

BDN Previews ‘Bigfoot Bounty’ Reality Show Starring UMaine Alumnus

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

The Bangor Daily News reported on Spike TV’s upcoming reality show “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” that will feature Michael Merchant, a 2007 University of Maine graduate from Hampden. Merchant, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, will pair with another Maine resident to compete against eight other teams of hunters who will try to capture Bigfoot or provide visual and DNA proof the creature exists. The show premieres Friday, Jan. 10.

Alumna Named President of UMaine Pulp & Paper Foundation

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

University of Maine alumna Carrie Enos has been named president of the University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation.

She replaces Jack Healy, who has held the position since 2007 and is retiring this spring.

Enos graduated from UMaine in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. She has worked in the paper industry since 1997, most recently in the position of finished products business unit manager at the Verso Paper Mill in Bucksport. Enos has also been employed at International Paper in Jay (now Verso Paper), Sappi Fine Paper in Skowhegan and Eastern Fine Paper (now Lincoln Paper and Tissue) in Lincoln.

“After an extensive national search, we are pleased to have someone of Carrie’s background and caliber to lead our organization,” says John Donahue, chair of the Pulp & Paper Foundation’s Executive Committee. “She will do an outstanding job of executing our strategic plan, working with our partners and donors, and assisting and guiding scholarship students.”

Enos and her family live in Bangor. She will begin her new role in mid-January.

Incorporated in 1950, the University of Maine Pulp & Paper Foundation manages the Consider Engineering Program, and supports 87 scholarships at both full tuition and other levels to encourage UMaine engineering students to consider a career in the pulp and paper industry.

UMaine Graduate to Appear on Spike TV Reality Show

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Michael Merchant, a 2007 University of Maine graduate from Hampden, will appear on Spike TV’s new reality show “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty.” Merchant, who holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, will compete against eight other teams of Bigfoot and big game hunters to try to capture Bigfoot or provide definitive visual and DNA proof of the creature’s existence. The show will be hosted by actor Dean Cain and will feature scientific experts Todd Disotell and Natalia Reagan. In 2011, Merchant also appeared on the Discovery Channel’s “Out of the Wild: Venezuela,” a reality show that featured volunteers who were abandoned in a remote area of Venezuela and had to travel 70 miles back to civilization with only basic supplies. “10 Million Dollar Bigfoot Bounty” premieres 10 p.m. Friday, Jan. 10 on Spike TV.

WVII Reports on Francis Crowe Society Inductions

Monday, December 16th, 2013

WVII (Channel 7) reported on the University of Maine College of Engineering’s Francis Crowe Society induction ceremony. Dean Dana Humphrey said “it’s an accomplishment for those graduating to take with them into the world, as well as an honor for those who have become distinguished in their careers.” The society is named in honor of Francis Trenholm Crowe, who earned a degree in civil engineering from UMaine in 1905 and was chief engineer of the Hoover Dam.

New Director of UMaine’s Aquaculture Research Institute Named

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Vice President for Research Carol Kim recently appointed Paul Anderson as the new director of the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI) at the University of Maine. ARI is a statewide resource for research, faculty expertise and facilities dedicated to informing the development of sustainable aquaculture.

In Maine, marine aquaculture includes salmon, oysters, mussels and seaweeds with a growing interest in other species of both finfish and shellfish. There is also a small amount of freshwater aquaculture used to raise bait fish and other species.

Since 2001, Anderson has directed the Maine Sea Grant College Program, another one of UMaine’s research centers overseen by Kim. He will continue in that capacity. “Paul has tremendous leadership skills,” said Kim, explaining that the ARI is an important asset to the developing aquaculture industry in Maine, “I expect successful results as he takes the helm.”

During this two-year appointment as ARI director, which began December 1, 2013, Anderson will oversee a strategic planning effort, an external review of the institute, and will work to align the faculty, student and facilities that are involved in aquaculture-related research towards common goals. “This is an important time in the evolution of aquaculture in the world and strong science is needed to help ensure that aquaculture is integrated in the working waterfront and into the food systems in an ecologically sustainable manner,” Anderson said.

A UMaine alumnus, Anderson served as the extension leader at Maine Sea Grant before becoming its director. From 1989–1999, he worked for the Maine Department of Marine Resources where he directed the Public Health Division overseeing all aspects of seafood safety. In 2003, he chaired the Governor’s Task Force on the Planning and Development of Marine Aquaculture in Maine.

UMaine has aquaculture research facilities at three locations in the state: the Center for Cooperative Aquaculture Research in Franklin; the research laboratory at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, and the Aquaculture Research Center in Orono.

Six to be Inducted into Francis Crowe Society

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Six people are being inducted into the College of Engineering’s Francis Crowe Society during a ceremony Friday, Dec. 13, 1–3 p.m., in Arthur St. John Hill Auditorium, Engineering Science Research Building at the University of Maine.

In the Distinguished Engineer category, inductees are:

  • Paul Durocher, class of 1982, Chemical and Biological Engineering

  • David Kinney, class of 1986, Civil and Environmental Engineering

  • William Pike, class of 1980, Engineering Physics

  • Scot MacDonald, class of 1990, School of Engineering Technology

In the Faculty Engineer category, the inductee is:

  • Assistant Professor of Physics Rob Meulenberg, Engineering Physics

And, in the Honorary Engineer category, the inductee is:

  • Master Sgt. Thomas Banister, senior military instructor for the UMaine Army ROTC Battalion.

The Francis Crowe Society recognizes UMaine engineering graduates and others who have made considerable contributions to the engineering profession. The society is named in honor of Francis Trenholm Crowe, who earned a degree in civil engineering from UMaine in 1905 and was chief engineer of the Hoover Dam. Crowe also was involved in the construction of 18 other major dams in the United States, facilitating farming in a number of areas.

UMaine Business Challenge Featured in BDN Article

Friday, December 6th, 2013

The Bangor Daily News reported on the UMaine Business Challenge for the article, “UMaine competition seeks to create entrepreneurs and keep them in the state.” The competition was started in 2011 by a small group of 2010 UMaine graduates who wanted to give back to their alma mater while creating more opportunities for student entrepreneurs. Spencer Wood, last year’s second-place winner who is now a UMaine graduate student, and James Morin, one of the competition’s founders, were interviewed for the article.

BDN Reports on Bronson’s Healthcare Lecture

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

The Bangor Daily News covered a speech that Dr. David Bronson delivered  titled “Healthcare Reform and the Bumpy Road to Universal Access” at Buchanan Alumni House.

Bronson, a 1969 graduate of UMaine and president of Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals, was on campus Nov. 20 to deliver the University of Maine 2013 Distinguished Honors Graduate. He said the less-than-successful launch of the Affordable Care Act and website doesn’t lessen the law’s importance to the future of U.S. healthcare.

Many of the 51 million uninsured Americans are poor, Bronson said, adding that an estimated 21 million to 31 million Americans will sign up for insurance with the Affordable Care Act. Bronson said it’s embarrassing that the U.S. spends nearly 18 percent of its gross domestic product on healthcare but is ranked 27th (among countries) in healthcare quality by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.