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Success Stories

Bangor Theological Seminary

By | Success Stories

In February 2012, Bangor Theological Seminary (BTS) trustees announced the ending of its degree programs. After almost 200 years, the small graduate theological school would become The BTS Center in July 2013.

In July 2012, at the start of the final academic year, the seminary’s staff accountant was the first employee to find a position elsewhere. With an audit set to begin in a few weeks, we asked our long-time auditing firm for recommendations for staffing. They encouraged us to connect with Accounting Services of Maine.

As the final President of the seminary, and the inaugural Executive Director of The BTS Center, I found Rachel Grivois to be a truly gifted professional: patient, persistent, productive. She possesses a strong work ethic, an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge of best accounting practices, and exceptional competence in carrying out any task asked of her.

In her role as our CFO by-the-hour for seven years, Rachel has provided critically important guidance and broad support for the complex financial management of an accredited graduate school with a $13M endowment that became a small public charity and is now transitioning to a non-profit operating foundation. This radical change in our business model has called on the whole range of the services she offers, and I consider her a MVP – most valuable partner – in the success of our “200-year-old start-up” venture.

It has been a complex and challenging process of reinvention, and Rachel Grivois has been just the right person for us. Even in the most stressful moments of those first few years, Rachel remained steady, smart, sane, and with just the right sense of humor. Knowing she was nearby, I never felt a need to panic. She has been a profoundly important companion on our journey.

The Rev. Dr. Robert Grove-Markwood (retired)
Executive Director – The BTS Center 2013-2019
President, Bangor Theological Seminary – 2011-2013

CourseStorm

By | Success Stories

CourseStorm, a software start-up located in Orono, Maine and founded in 2015, was recognized by the Bangor Region Chamber of Commerce with the 2019 Bion and Dorain Foster Entrepreneurship Award in January.

CourseStorm offers a platform for online class registration and enrollment management used by small and medium-sized local programs to register students and process payments for classes. CourseStorm currently has clients in 44 states and, to date, has registered more than 225,000 students. CourseStorm’s clients span across industries, ranging from community education to health and wellness classes to workforce development, after-school programs, and corporate training.

“From CourseStorm’s inception, Rachel Grivois has worked with me to build financial projections for investor funding, establish operating budgets, maintain strong financial reporting structure, and is a professional sounding board. During standing monthly meetings, we analyze the financial statements for trends, identify corrective measures for budget variances, and evaluate cash flow. Rachel has been key in establishing and maintaining strong financial reporting systems, a fundamental piece in CourseStorm’s growth. She’s a trusted professional and a real “partner” in helping me build CourseStorm for the future.”

Brian Rahill, Co-founder and CEO.

UWEM 2018

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United Way of Eastern Maine’s Finance Committee selected a new auditing firm after several years with the same firm.  With Rachel Grivois’ leadership and technical skills, United Way came through the audit with much success:  the auditors finished their on-site work a full day earlier than anticipated, there were no findings, and an unqualified opinion was issued (aka clean audit).  This is just one of the many accomplishments achieved while working with Rachel over the last 5 years.  We’re pleased to have Rachel as part of our professional team. 

Shirar Patterson
President & CEO