The Chamber announces the new headquarters renovation contractor at its annual meeting

Clyde Pendleton, chair of the Bristol Parks and Recreation Committee, accepts the Business Improvement Award on behalf of the Parks Department for its work in the construction of the Bemakweed Beach Pavilion during the Damariscotta District Chamber of Commerce and Information Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony at the Bradley Inn Hotel in New Harbor on Wednesday, September 14. From left: John Roberts, outgoing chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Executive Director Lisa Hagen; and Pendleton. (Photos by Evan Hawke)

The Damariscotta District Chamber of Commerce and Information will contract with the Paul Garber Residential Buildings in Newcastle to renovate and expand the small Damariscotta District Information Office building.

John Roberts, outgoing Chairman of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, said during the organisation’s annual meeting that construction is expected to begin soon to renovate and expand the building on Main Street near the intersection with Bristol Road, and will be completed sometime next year. Awards Ceremony at the Bradley Inn Hotel in New Harbor on Wednesday, September 14th.

“It’s so exciting to be on the verge of the room having its first in existence,” said Roberts.

The plan is to modernize and expand the 1935 17-by-17-foot building to become the Chamber’s first permanent home and business resource center for the community. The Chamber still needs to raise $68,000 of its $400,000 target for the project.

More than 100 people attended the Caribbean-themed event and chewed oysters from Pemaquid Oyster and food from The Bradley Inn as Nat Hussey enjoyed island music and classic Jimmy Buffett tunes.

Roberts spoke about CEO Lisa Hagen’s accomplishments, and spread a long roll of white paper to a wave of laughter from the crowd.

“Her efforts have helped shape our Chamber into a vibrant and welcoming organization with a strong financial position on the path to a bright future,” Roberts said.

He then presented the President’s Award to Rick and Lisa Hagen.

Lincoln County Television showed pre-recorded interviews with each of the award recipients.

Mark Hagar, founder of Hagar Enterprises Inc. He received the Individual Community Service Award for his work in local government and volunteer work.

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“I chose community service because when I was raising my kids, I taught them how important it is to get involved with your local community and volunteer,” Hager said in the pre-recorded interview. “My feeling was that if I was going to teach my family to do this, then I had to step up.”

Hager has served as a fisheries agent for Newcastle and Nobleboro, on the Great Salt Bay Health District Board of Trustees, the Damariscotta Select Board, the City Comprehensive Plan Committee in 1992, the Charter Committee in 1994, and the Great Salt Bay Consolidated School District Committee.

Central Lincoln County’s YMCA received the Organizational Community Service Award. CEO Casey Clark Kelley agreed on behalf of the Damariscotta-based organization. During a taped interview with Hagen, Clark Kelly cited community navigator and FARMS at Y Programs and partnerships with LincolnHealth and local food banks as examples of YMCA efforts that strengthen the community.

Clyde Pendleton, Chair of the Bristol Parks and Recreation Committee, accepted the Business Improvement Award on behalf of the highly active Parks Department for its work on the construction of the $900,000 Pemaquid Beach Pavilion and Boardwalk that was completed in 2020.

Dustin “Dusty” Hancock, owner of Damariscotta Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, accepted his Entrepreneur of the Year award. He said during a pre-recorded interview with Roberts, he has helped more than a thousand families over the years and got to know individuals in the community.

“I grew up here, I knew the characters. I knew Bob would always shake hands with you a little hard or that Phyllis always had Julie Ranchers in her pocket,” Hancock said. “It’s those personal connections that make connecting with families easier and deeper.”

Heather Burt, general manager of Rising Tide Co-op, and Heather D’Ippolito, director of community engagement and development at Lincoln Academy, Seth Hagar, owner of Hagar Enterprises Inc. Brynne Whitney, Branch Manager of Bangor Savings Bank, and Rob Wilkes, General Manager of Colby & Gale, have all been appointed as new members of the Chamber’s board of directors. Roberts said the board now has full membership.

Larry Seidlinger of LCTV has been appointed as President, Jane Oliver-Gravel of Rotary Club of Damariscotta-Newcastle as Vice President, Terry Herald, of Coastal Car Wash and Detailing Center, as Secretary, and Wayne Farrin, of Farrin Properties, Treasurer.

At the end of the evening, Hagen honored Roberts where it was his last meeting as Chairman of the Chamber and on the Board of Directors, where he served for a maximum of three years.

“We are where we are because of John,” Hagen said of Roberts’ work to make the renovation of the Damariscotta District Information Office headquarters a reality.

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