By Barry Matulaitis, Staff Editor
JAY — Food, music, awards, and even a little dancing were all part of a 1920’s-themed Jay, Livermore, Livermore Falls Chamber of Commerce annual meeting at LaFleur’s Restaurant in Jay on Jan. 26.
“I am so blessed to have you guys on my team,” said outgoing Chair Kim Turner to the chamber members present. “Thank you for everything you do for our communities.”
A few years ago, she was asked to be Vice Chair.
“It was an offer I graciously accepted,” said Turner. “I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I knew that regardless of what was happening with the Verso mill, our communities would persevere.”
Among the successes last year was the scholarship golf tourney at Maple Lane Golf Course. “We can plant the seed for our future leaders and our future generations in this area,” said Turner.
Due to a change in the chamber’s by-laws, chairpersons will serve a two-year term instead of one year. Turner mentioned how challenging it was to get settled into the position and accomplish goals in one year. It is hoped that allowing two years will give the chair a chance to work on longer term projects.
Incoming chairperson Karin Ashmore, who works for Ted Berry Company and Inside Out Garden Supply, was born in Amsterdam, Holland and moved to Florida as an exchange student. Several years ago, she moved to Maine full time after spending part of the year in the state.
“I didn’t want to just move here and live here,” said Ashmore. “I wanted to be part of the community.”
All of the Executive Board members put in a lot of time and effort to make the chamber what it is, she said. ”They have families, and lives, and jobs.”
Ashmore thanked Turner for the work she had done as the chamber’s chairperson.
“We need you just as much as you guys need us,” she said to the assembled members. “We want to promote new businesses as well as existing ones in the area.”
The award winners were as follows:
Employee of the Year: Esther Bizier, Project Engineer, Main-Land Development Consultants
Business of the Year: Expenet
Member of the Year: Steve Maki, owner of Spruce Mountain Pharmacy