Small business grows in, gives back to Wilton

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WILTON — Nestled along the downtown storefronts, Expenet Technologies has grown since the residential and commercial computer service started three years ago.

It started in Jeff Chaisson’s basement, Josh Michaud said. In a short time, it grew from there to Main Street.

Michaud met Chaisson while doing a college internship at Verso Paper in Jay.  They realized the area had a need for the professional service they could offer, he said.

As they prepare to celebrate the third anniversary, they are realizing changes from their growth. Last week, part-time employee Ernie Steward III became full time.

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Steward and part-time employee Jonathan Sloma have manned the shop,  providing on-site work to replace hardware, provide computer tuneups, virus removal and custom build computers, he said. The custom computers contain better quality parts to ensure they last longer, he said.

This has helped Chaisson and Michaud to pursue outside commercial customers from Eustis to Bethel, where they set up and manage high-end services and computer networks. From antivirus protection to wireless solutions and Web-hosting services, Expenet can identify technology needs and provide solutions, he said.

“We are a one-stop shop,” he said.

All employees have attained A+ certification after training and testing of their technical knowledge, he said.

The company has expanded hours, including being open all day Wednesday instead of by appointments.

Along with their growth, the owners have strived to be involved in the community, Michaud said. They want to give back and have pledged to donate a percentage of Expenent’s hardware/software sales to the Western Maine Play Museum’s capital fundraising campaign.

“It’s a great organization in Wilton,” he said of the children’s museum being developed on Main Street. Their donation will continue for the length of the campaign.

Expenet will also take on an intern from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington this fall. It’s a chance for a student to have a hands-on experience in the business, he said.

Michaud said he understands that experience. Growing up in the Wilton-Weld area, he was a student in Richard Wilde’s technology class at Mt. Blue, he said. He earned a degree from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston and completed internships at Verso and at Franklin Savings Bank.

Little did he think he would soon after be co-owner of a business, he said. He wanted to come back to the area but thought he would work in someone else’s IT department.

“I’m happy with the way it turned out — being my own boss,” he said. “I was nervous at first to start a business. I was fresh out of college with student loans.”

Michaud also serves on the Jay-Livermore Falls Chamber of Commerce board.

Chaisson is active with the Wilton Group, and the company is involved with the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce.

More information is available at www.expenet.com

abryant@sunjournal.com

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