June 18, 2018
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Ellsworth Chamber pays tribute to leaders

By Rich Hewitt, BDN Staff

ELLSWORTH, Maine — The Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce chose its 54th annual meeting Thursday night to premier a promotional video of the city that will be used by both the Chamber and the city.

“Ellsworth: Business, Leisure, Life” was developed and filmed by Ben Speed of Summerfly Productions and features video clips of the area that highlight commerce and leisure activities, along with comments from business and community leaders.

The video is the first of a planned series of videos that will focus on different aspects of the city and the surrounding area, according to Micki Sumpter, the Chamber’s executive director.

“We want to cover every area of the community,” Sumpter said Thursday. “This first one was more generic, but it’s important for us to cover all the different areas.”

According to Chamber President Kevin Tesseo, this first video will be a versatile tool for the Chamber and the city.

“It can be used for economic development and tourism,” Tesseo told the 360 people who attended the meeting and awards banquet at the Holiday Inn Convention Center. “I think you’ll see it popping up quite a bit.”

The Chamber plans to include the video in its relocation packet for both businesses and potential new residents. The city will use it as part of its economic development strategy, according to City Manager Michelle Beal.

“This is a great tool; we’re very excited about it,” Beal said. “We plan to use it as part of our economic development strategy for branding and marketing.”

Beal also noted that the video can be modified so that the city can cut it and use specific segments to target different businesses that might be interested in locating or relocating in the city.

The night was not all business, although local businesses were the real stars of the evening. The Chamber presented its annual awards during the meeting, honoring several businesses and individuals.

The Top Drawer Award, which recognizes the business that has made significant contributions to the growth, development and improvement of Ellsworth and the region, was presented to Matthew Curtis, owner of Cadillac Mountain Sports, the year-round sports specialty store on High Street.

Curtis noted that the award was being presented 20 years, almost to the day, after the business opened its doors in Bar Harbor. After several expansions in Bar Harbor, the business established itself in Ellsworth in 1995 when it purchased Life Sports on High Street. The Ellsworth store has become the flagship of the business and last year expanded and now occupies the entire building.

The business has been a positive force in the city and Curtis was involved in the High Street revitalization project, which included an investment in redesigning the store and its facade. Cadillac Mountain Sports also was recognized for its employee benefits, including an employee ownership program that eventually will make the company 100 percent employee-owned, and its efforts to protect the environment.

State Rep. Brian Langley read a legislative sentiment from the 124th Legislature and Gail Kelly read a statement that U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe read into the record on Thursday honoring Curtis and his business.

The Chamber also honored longtime educator Bob Maddocks as its Citizen of the Year. Maddocks, an Ellsworth High School graduate, began his career in the Ellsworth schools in 1965, and over the next 44 years served as a classroom teacher, director of the Hancock County Technical Center and director of the Ellsworth Adult Education program.

“During that time,” said Ellsworth Councilor Gary Fortier, who presented the award, “Bob has positively impacted thousands of traditional students, thousands of technical students and tens of thousands of adult learners.”

Langley also read a legislative sentiment honoring Maddocks.

The Chamber also presented awards to Hancock Dental, the New Chamber Business of the Year; Pat’s Pizza, the Revitalization Award; and Superior Docks-Dunham Brook Commercial Park, the Director’s Award.

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