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Letter from the director from February, 2017

Hello from High Street

2017! It’s here, and I am always amazed at how quickly the end of a year slides into the next. January of course has always been a month to not only look ahead but also look back at where we have been. The winter pace becomes a bit slower, and there is time to take a breath as we plan for the new year ahead of us.

As I write this Kathy and Kristy have torn apart the visitor center to clean and rearrange our member information. The goal being to give “our” members information more visibility and easy access. If you haven’t been to the chamber in a while stop in and see how we promote you during the year and especially to newcomers and tourists.  First Friday Coffee Hours will continue in 2017. Nothing formal about it, no rsvp needed.  Just a welcome invitation to stop by the first Friday of every month.

Looking ahead, we have lots of programming and events in the works. We heard from many of you that Customer Service is a big part of what we all do, but also need more of.  Our Chamber wants to make it a focus for 2017. We will be providing lots of education, ideas and programs to assist you and your business with a customer service focus as well. Everything from a 4 week program offered thru Ellsworth Continuing Ed. to morning or noontime programs to fit into your tight schedules.

Our annual event planning has also started.  March Dine Around, $20 on the 20th, Annual Meeting, Business After Hours, Membership Breakfast and Autumn Gold all start to take shape or kick off! Join our Membership Marketing Committee meetings the last Monday of the month at 4pm to share ideas with us! It’s a wonderful way to connect with other members, board and staff, to volunteer some time or just your thoughts on ways to give value to chamber membership.  Send me a note and I will add you to the email list.

2016 was a year of changes and opportunities. We re -started the Membership Breakfasts, along with some great speakers, Senator Susan Collins and the Acadia Centennial committee. We added a new Beer and Wine tasting event to Autumn Gold. We hosted a successful Business conference on “Employment Issues”. We launched a new Chamber website. We helped bring nine businesses to a Downtown Holiday Marketplace, and a few have chosen to stay in downtown Ellsworth.  We celebrated 60 years of Chamber Board Presidents with many in attendance at our Annual Meeting.   Looking ahead, 2017 is sure to be another great year! But I would be remiss to not give credit and big thanks to my wonderful staff, Kristy, Kathy and Jane and our very committed board of directors, Kelly, Fred, Nancy, Jack, Becky, Sheryl, Matt, Chris, Teri, Kitty, Josh, Tom, Brian, Mark, Michelle, Scott and Jody! They each make this job a fun, and rewarding one!


Gretchen Wilson

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