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Letter from the Director from January 2018

Hello from High Street,

Welcome 2018! I always look forward to a new year and what it has to offer, with an empty slate, as well as a few quiet weeks in January after the rush of December. Speaking of December…what a wonderful day we had on National Ugly Sweater Day. Hundreds of you participated, sent photos, and had events in your organizations, schools and businesses. We are working on an official number, but we know for sure Ellsworth was the “Most Spirited City in Maine” that day.

Our year was filled with great highlights. Perhaps one of the biggest being our Annual Meeting in June at the newly opened Acadia Event Center. Wallace Events decided to give back to the chamber community with a truly ‘over the top’ elegant setting. Multiple chamber members, catered the event by setting up food stations with a couple of their signature dishes and desserts. It was an extraordinary evening of members enjoying members.

We kicked off Autumn Gold weekend Friday evening with a new beer and wine tasting tent on the waterfront. It was a beautiful warm evening; a hot air balloon was rising up and down giving rides in the next field as the sun set over the harbor and boats. Autumn Gold Saturday was warm and busy, with one of the biggest Car Shows ever and a full complement of chefs in the Chowderfest Tent.

But it wasn’t all parties and fun! We also took time to offer your businesses with forums on Cybersecurity and Drug Testing in the Workplace, Emergency Preparedness for your Business, and a Membership Breakfast with Maine DOT on the Route 3 Bar Harbor road construction project for the summer. We graduated the 7th class of Leadership Hancock County. We spent countless hours talking to members about employment issues, and business concerns. We always want to hear what you would like us to offer for your business.

Besides traveling out of the office over the summer months to visit many of our seasonal members, I also took the opportunity to go visit our Congressional Delegation in DC with Friends of Acadia to discuss National Park Infrastructure and the economic importance to “Gateway Cities”. I also traveled to Florida with the Downeast/Acadia, and Maine Highlands tourism regions to provide a lobster dinner, and travel information on our areas of Maine to a travel agents dinner. Both trips offering an opportunity to share our chamber beyond its borders.

As I look back, and look ahead, I want to thank you all for your membership and the time you
take to volunteer, host a Business After Hours, sponsor an event, serve on a committee and more. We are an empty shell without our membership! A special THANKS goes to our Board of Directors. These chamber members make sure your chamber is working for you and the community with their time and talent. Finally, my staff….Kathy, Kristy, Danielle and Jane. You are all in good hands with these amazing women!

Best wishes from all of us for a Happy New Year! Gretchen

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