GREENVILLE, Maine — The Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce held a reception on July 22 on the steamship Katahdin to officially welcome their new executive director, Angela “Angie” Arno of Dover-Foxcroft.
For Arno, it was definitely familiar territory. She, her husband, Scott, and two children have a camp on First Roach Pond; and her grandfather, Herb Snow, ran Kokadjo Sporting Camps for 20 years.
“I’m actually more of a winter girl because I really enjoy snowmobiling,” Arno said. “I put a lot of miles on the trails up here last season. But I’m really excited about this summer.”
Arno agreed to accept the position for three months following the unexpected departure of former executive director Suzanne Buchanan in June.
“I’m definitely staying until the first weekend of October,” Arno said. “Then we’ll reevaluate the position from both sides. I think that’s the fairest way to do it.”
One of her first — and top — priorities is to “reconnect with the members,” Arno said, noting that Chamber membership renewal notices go out next month.
In addition to selling the benefits of Chamber membership, Arno and the Board of Directors are promoting associate memberships for individuals and non-tourism based businesses.
“We have more than 100 regular members right now, and I’m confident we’ll add more this year,” Arno said.
Arno also has worked at Flatlander’s Restaurant in Greenville and was the office manager at Tax Pro in Dover-Foxcroft for three years. She also served on the Piscataquis Regional YMCA Board of Directors.
Liz Cannell, president of the Moosehead Chamber Board of Directors, said Arno already has made a positive first impression with businesses.
“She’s enthusiastic, energetic and familiar with the area,” Cannell said. “She’s jumped right into a very busy season.”
Cannell, the executive director of the Moosehead Marine Museum, said lodging owners are reporting full houses, and bookings on the Katahdin are ahead of last year.
“So the general sense is that we’re going to have a good summer,” she said.
Cannell’s father, the late Richard “Duke” McKeil, was the longtime executive director of the Moosehead Marine Museum and a strong promoter of the region.
“Somehow, I always thought that I’d wind up in Greenville someday,” Cannell said. “The area has so much to offer.”
Still, Cannell said there is still competition for tourist dollars in Maine.
“We need to promote the Moosehead Lake ‘brand’ and convince people that it’s worth the trip,” Cannell said. “While we’re isolated, compared to coastal communities, we still have people coming up from Bar Harbor to ride the Kate every year. We’re also getting a lot of people who are into outdoor activities, like biking and hiking.”
More information about the Moosehead Lake region is posted at the Chamber’s website: www.mooseheadlake.org.