WEDCO holds 24th annual meeting at Sap House Meadery
OSSIPEE — The leadership and board of directors of the Wentworth Economic Development Corp. held the organization’s 24th annual meeting at the Sap House Meadery in Center Ossipee on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
The event provided an opportunity for attendees to see the fruits of the WEDCO Revolving Loan Fund, along with funding from the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council. It was this funding enabled Sap House Meadery founders and co-owners Ash Fischbein and Matt Trahan to significantly expand the business and production by renovating the vacant abutting property as well as their original building. Fischbein led a tour of the renovated Mead Pub and the production/brewing area, and reported that sales – and visitations -- have risen exponentially.
Following introductions and networking over coffee and muffins – too early for mead tasting – Board President Daniel Mills of GI Plastek recapped the organization’s accomplishments.
The WEDCO Board of Directors at the 2017 Annual Meeting held at the Sap House Meadery in Ossipee. Members include, from left to right: Gail Patriquin, Justin Avery, Jeremy Roberge, Cecile Chase, Timothy Cronin, Mary Collins, Nathan Fogg, Daniel Mills, Marcus Weeks, Seth Kassels, Mark Borrin, Megan Ryder, Todd Watson and Dan Osetek.
Over the year, WEDCO closed on five loans, which resulted in retaining 26 jobs and created 13 new ones. WEDCO has been involved in or has led several initiatives including Wolfeboro’s Lodging Feasibility Study, which lead to support of the development of a 75-room hotel. Over the past two years, WEDCO Executive Director Denise Roy-Palmer, who has led the organization for 20 years, worked on the Wolfeboro’s Business Retention and Expansion Survey and subsequent program. The BR&E Program is entering Step 3 of its implementation. WEDCO this year will receive a technical assistance grant of $19,000. WEDCO is also involved in the Explore Moose Mountains Region initiative, tasked with providing assistance to residents, local businesses and decision makers by promoting its wide range of community assets in the Moose Mountains Region. The region includes Milton, Farmington, Middleton, New Durham, Wakefield, Brookfield and Wolfeboro.
WEDCO also worked with the Cotton Valley Trail Committee to acquire funding to expand the Cotton Valley Rail Trail that runs from Wolfeboro thru Brookfield to Wakefield.
Several changes in board membership and leadership are also taking place this year. Mills and the board gave a special thanks to long time member, Marcus Weeks of Meredith Village Savings Bank who has served since 2010. In his remarks, Weeks provided some words of wisdom to incoming board members, including direction to learn and use their board books, and to leave their ‘banking’ hats off when reviewing loan applications, to see potential requests for funding through the lens of WEDCO’s economic development goals.
Serving on WEDCO’s board provides a unique experience in the world of nonprofit service, added Weeks, in that members can see the results of WEDCO’s efforts in the numbers of jobs retained and created. Roy-Palmer added that since its inception the number is close to 600 retained or newly created jobs through its lending activity alone.
Weeks credited the board with WEDCO’s professional and adept staff that includes Roy-Palmer and Administrative Assistant Tracey Allen.
Lastly, Weeks asked members to be advocates for WEDCO. “Be thinking about people you could introduce to Denise, whether it be a referral source or a potential borrower,” he said.
WEDCO board secretary Nate Fogg of the Town of Wakefield then introduced the slate of reappointments and new board member nominations: reappointments to the board for three-year terms: Travis Carloni, at large member; Seth Kassels, Tuftonboro representative; and Daniel Mills, at large member. Newly nominated board members include: Dan Osetek of Meredith Village Savings Bank for a three-year term; Jeremy Roberts, CEO of Huggins Hospital, as an at large member for a three-year term; Gail Patriquin, owner of The Classic Journey Company in Brookfield, to a two-year term; Justin Avery of Profile Bank as the Milton representative for a two-year term; Cecile Chase of TD Bank as the New Durham representative for a one-year term, and Timothy Cronin, a retired paper industry executive, as an at-large member for a one-year term.
Kassels presented the 2017 Executive Committee slate of officers: Todd Watson, president; Daniel Mills, past president, vice president (vacant), Travis Carloni, treasurer, and Nate Fogg, secretary. Board members approved motions to the above changes in membership and leadership.
Special recognitions including a presentation of a gift to Marcus Weeks, and acknowledging the work of outgoing board member Bob Bourdeau, who was not present at the meeting. Bourdeau served on the WEDCO board from 2011 to 2016.
Watson also acknowledged tax credit contributors: Leone, McDonnell & Roberts PA, PLC Construction, Turner-Liberty Agency, Eastern Boats, Aaron S. Morrissey, Inc, Mill Street Meat Market, GI Plastek Corp., Meredith Village Savings Bank, MRP Manufacturing, and The Corner House Inn, and thanked Citizens Bank and Sugar Hill Retirement Community for providing meeting and office space.
Left to right: WEDCO Board of Directors outgoing president Dan Mills and incoming president Todd Watson present outgoing member Marcus Weeks with a certificate of appreciation for his service during WEDCO’s annual meeting held Jan. 10 at the Sap House Meadery.
Sap House Meadery founder and co-owner Ash Fischbein provides WEDCO members with a tour of the brewing facility in Center Ossipee during its annual meeting held Jan. 10 at the Sap House Meadery on Folsom Road.