FREEPORT, Maine — Innkeepers from all over the state gathered for the 92nd Maine Innkeepers Association Annual Meeting and Conference held at the Doubletree Hotel in South Portland on November 6 and 7, 2013, announced Greg Dugal, MEIA President and CEO. The 2013 Annual MEIA Awards were presented to six outstanding members of the tourism industry who had greatly contributed to the lodging/hospitality and tourism industry in the state.
Innkeeper of the Year: Sarah Diment of the Beachmere Inn in Ogunquit received the prestigious Innkeeper of the Year award from Bob Smith of Sebasco Harbor Resort. This award annually recognizes an active Innkeeper who has significantly contributed to the development of the Maine Innkeepers Association. Diment is a fifth generation Innkeeper and has been an active member of the MEIA board, working on the marketing committee, and posting news to the association’s facebook page. Diment travelled to Washington DC to advocate for small and seasonal business and their access to H2B visa workers, testifying before the House Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access on behalf of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Diment helped oversee addition of rooms and renovations built to LEED specification, which included a large solar array for the Beachmere Inn in 2005.
Hall of Fame: Nancy Gray of the Harraseeket Inn, Freeport. This annual award is presented to a retired tourism professional who, over a period of ten years or more, contributed though personal involvement and interest to the betterment of the Association and the lodging/hospitality/tourism industry in the State of Maine. The daughter of Innkeepers, Gray grew up in the industry working with her parents at their sporting camp on Holeb Pond in the 1940’s. Gray’s love of nature and lessons she learned during ten years on the Gloucester, Massachusetts Conservation Commission are evident in the way she runs the Harraseeket Inn, an award-winning country inn that combines luxury with environmental sensitivity. Gray is a past president of the Association.
Community Service Award: Allyson Cavaretta of the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit. The Community Service Award is presented to lodging operators who have taken part in community activities, and have made a contribution personally, or in the name of the industry or property, to the community. The Meadowmere Resort is environmentally conscious and was one of the first properties in Ogunquit to receive the Environmental Leader Award from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, and in 2013 was awarded the Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award. Cavaretta received a grant from the USDA to install a state-of-the-art commercial solar thermal hot water system to preheat a significant portion of the domestic hot water for the building.
Special Service Award: Richard Grotton, President and CEO of Maine Restaurant Association was presented with the award, which is given annually to a person who has actively contributed to the hospitality industry as a whole. Grotton, a Maine native, plans to retire at the end of this year having been the President and CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association since 1995. He has also been an active member of the Maine Tourism Alliance and has spent countless hours in Augusta representing the interests of tourism in Maine, testifying and helping to pass legislation on the myriad of issues that impact the industry.
Presidents Award: Jim Ostrowski of the Inns at Blackberry Common. This award is presented to past President’s of the Association. Ostrowski has served for the past two years as President of the Association, and has been on the board of directors for twelve years. Ostrowski graduated from The Restaurant School in Philadelphia, PA where he studied Culinary Arts and Hotel Management. The Inns of Blackberry Common are Select Registry properties. Ostrowski has served as President and Treasurer of the Camden Bed and Breakfast Association, and the Camden Budget Committee as well as working with the Camden Rotary.
Allied Member of the Year: Tom Hildreth of Carrabasset Coffee Company accepted the award, presented annually to an allied member of MEIA that is active in the hospitality industry and has made a significant contribution to it on behalf of the supplier community. Hildreth had a background in hospitality and management before joining Carrabassett Coffee Company and he credits Innkeepers with being his first and longest running clients.
Sarah Diment of Beachmere Inn in Ogunquit accepts Innkeeper of the Year Award 2013 for Maine Innkeepers Association from Bob Smith of Sebasco Harbor Resort.
About the Maine Innkeepers Association
The Maine Innkeepers Association, a leading provider of tourism information to both Maine’s lodging industry and its visitors, represents nearly 700 B&Bs, camps, cottages, hotels, inns, motels and resorts across Maine, and their suppliers. Through communication, education, promotion and government affairs, the Association helps its members achieve prosperity and deliver a quality product to the consumer. Maine Innkeepers Association is located in Freeport, ME and can also be found at www.maineinns.com.
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