The Wentworth Economic Development Corporation, a Wolfeboro-based nonprofit organization that offers businesses financing and counseling programs, held its 23rd annual meeting over a hot breakfast at the Wakefield Inn & Restaurant on Jan. 5.
Outgoing WEDCO Board President James Bean welcomed the board members and reviewed the highlights of the past year. In 2015, WEDCO received a number of grants in support of the organization as well as initiatives we are involved in. The organization was awarded $25,000 in tax credits, of which $20,000 is still available for purchase by area businesses.
“This past year has been a successful year for us on the fundraising side,” said Bean.
Newly elected WEDCO Board President Daniel Mills (right) presents departing board member Barry Elliott
with a certificate of Appreciation at the 23rd annual meeting held Jan. 5 at the Wakefield Inn & Restaurant.
WEDCO Executive Director Denise Roy-Palmer led or assisted with several initiatives this past year, including a Wolfeboro Lodging Feasibility Study, the Moose Mountain Regional Alliance, and with Wolfeboro’s Business Retention & Expansion Program Survey conducted by the Town of Wolfeboro’s Economic Development Committee and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.
Last month, the board finalized and approved its Strategic Plan. WEDCO also enhanced its marketing effort with a redesigned web site, a new Facebook page, and feature articles on two loan clients.
Alan Ballard, chair of the Loan Review Committee, provided a summary of 2015’s lending activities including the impact on job creation & retention. Since the inception of its loan programs, WEDCO has loaned over $5,000,000 and leveraged $32,000,000, retained 245 jobs and created 280 jobs for a total of 525, said Ballard.
Venue hostess and Chef Christina Nicastro of the Wakefield Inn and Restaurant, whose family purchased the inn and restaurant in 2013, took a few minutes to update the board on happenings at the Inn. She said business has been good and growing. Located in the town’s picturesque nationally registered Historic District, the Wakefield Inn & Restaurant offers special wine pairing dinners, occasional painting parties and plenty of space to host weddings and special events. Nicastro said the Wakefield community has been very supportive, especially last February when just prior to the busy Valentine’s Day, she went into labor with her second child and was hospitalized for the weekend! Nearby, local restaurants were happy to help the inn with its last minute staffing needs. Nicastro said she hopes to return the favor someday.
Board member Marcus Weeks presented two nominations for re-appointments to the board, Mark Borrin as Moultonborough Representative to a three-year term, and Dan O’Connell as Middleton Representative for a two-year term. Weeks also nominated new board member Mary Collins to a three-year term. Collins recently retired as State Director of the New Hampshire Small Business Development Center, an outreach program of the UNH Paul College of Business & Economics that provides management consulting and educational programs to businesses statewide. She and her husband recently retired in Wolfeboro. Weeks also presented the slate for the Executive Committee for 2016: Daniel Mills for President, Marcus Weeks as Past President, Travis Carloni for Treasurer and Nate Fogg as Secretary.
President-elect Daniel Mills presented departing board members James Bean, Chris Racine and Barry Elliott with Certificates of Appreciation and gift certificates – a symbol of thanks and recognition for their total of 19 years of service. Elliott said he has earned much in his six years of service, and has enjoyed working with the board.
From left to right: WEDCO outgoing board members James Bean and Barry Elliott, President-elect Daniel Mills, and outgoing
board member Chris Racine at the organization’s 23rd annual board meeting held January 5 at the Wakefield Inn & Restaurant.
“What a great bunch of people,” he said.
Roy-Palmer replied, “It’s been a pleasure working with all of you. You will be missed.”
Evan Stowell of Leone, McDonnell & Roberts, PA and Frank Giebutowski, a volunteer with SCORE Lakes Region, took a few moments each to describe their work and services in the area.
Evan Stowell stated he was happy to start a relationship with WEDCO as their independent accountant. He said the firm is headquartered in Wolfeboro with three other locations and currently have 44 employees. They specialize in non-profit organizations, and also work closely with the CDFA. He stated that 35 percent of their revenue is from the non-profit sector. They are happy to be supporting WEDCO’s tax credit award. Their firm always contributes their NH Business Enterprise Tax liability thru the tax credit program rather than to the State’s General Fund. Supporting local projects in the community is important to their company. Evan explained some facts regarding tax credits and the CDFA. It is a unique program and the cost to a business averages only 10 percent of their contribution. He said is available to answer questions businesses may have that are interested in supporting WEDCO through the tax credit program.
Frank Giebutowski explained that SCORE is a nationwide organization with over 300 offices and over 10,000 volunteer mentors with headquarters located in Virginia. The organization is mainly funded by donations from corporations like Microsoft, Google, Bank of NH, and volunteers donating their time. SCORE provides free and confidential consulting for business owners (start-ups, acquisitions & transitions). There are three locations for counseling in New Hampshire Lakes Region Laconia, Plymouth & Wolfeboro, with 12 counselors available with a variety of specialty experience such as Patent Holder, Marketing & Sales, Creating Business Plans, & Government Procurement. Individuals can meet with SCORE counselors in person or by e-mail.
Bean and Mills presented Certificates of Appreciation to tax credit contributors Eastern Boats, Inc., PLC Construction of Farmington, Inc., and Leone, McDonnell & Roberts PA, as well as recognizing Citizens Bank for providing office space, and Sugar Hill Retirement Community for hosting monthly board meetings.
Left to right: Evan Stowell of Leone, McDonnell & Roberts PA received a Certificate of Appreciation for the company’s
support and purchase of WEDCO tax credits; with outgoing board president James Bean and incoming President Daniel Mills
Mills said he is looking forwarding to serving as President for the Board this coming year. He would like to keep moving forward with focus on the Strategic Plan approved in 2015. He also announced another board member, Megan Ryder, the new Business Banking Officer at Citizen’s Bank, will join the board in March.