Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Welcome to new Chamber Member, Sea Princess Cruises!


Please join me in welcoming our newest Chamber Member, Sea Princess Cruises! Open late May through late October, you can enjoy a variety of cruises - morning, afternoon or sunset, on beautiful Somes Sound and around the local islands.

"Discover the treasure of Mount Desert Island’s southern shore on the Sea Princess’s unforgettable scenic nature cruises. Watch seals basking on East Bunker Ledge, see a bald eagle soar overhead, visit the quaint fishing village of Islesford on Little Cranberry Island, and take in the majestic splendor of Somes Sound fjord’s mountain peaks and rugged shores.

"Sea Princess is also available for your special function. Whether it is transportation to the Cranberry Islands, the Islesford Dock Restaurant, a private narrated scenic cruise, or a catered party up Somes Sound Fjord, Sea Princess can make your event memorable."

You can learn more about Sea Princess Cruises at their web site, https://barharborcruises.com/.

Healthy Acadia Begins Graceful Aging on MDI, A New Program of Movement Classes for Seniors


“The residents of Mount Desert Island, Maine include one of the oldest per capita populations in the United States,” says Susan Sassaman, coordinator for the new Healthy Acadia program Graceful Aging. “These members of our community deserve the opportunity of ‘aging in place’ in their own homes, and exercise provides a key component of this.”

In January, Sassaman will begin offering a variety of free weekly exercise classes for older adults: Tai Chi for Health, Power for Parkinson’s, meditation, and three forms of yoga: Chair Yoga, Yoga Dance, and Yoga for Cancer Recovery. “Low-impact, low-stress exercise classes enhance senior health and overall quality of life,” she says, “and have been proven to improve strength and balance, increase mental clarity, lower blood pressure, decrease depression and anxiety, and help those in recovery from cancer, stroke, and surgery. Another very important outcome of these classes is decreasing loneliness, because they provide a consistent social forum for many seniors who all too often have become isolated.”

Specific times and days of the week will be announced for the classes, to be held at Malvern-Belmont and the YWCA in Bar Harbor and the Harbor House in Southwest Harbor. All classes are free, supported by grants from The Stroud Fund and The Parkinson’s Wellness Fund. Donations will be accepted.

Healthy Acadia is a community health coalition dedicated to building vibrant communities and making it easier for people to make healthy choices for themselves and their families across Hancock and Washington counties. For more information about the Graceful Aging program visit https://healthyacadia.org/initiatives/healthful_services.html#gracefulaging or contact Susan Sassaman at 288-8103 orcloudnine@gwi.net.


Monday, October 16, 2017

Bar Harbor Bankshares Employees Support Hurricane Relief Efforts


On October 2, 2017 the employees of Bar Harbor Bankshares in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire dressed “Casual for a Cause” to support hurricane relief efforts.  Employees were invited to dress casual that day by making a contribution of $5.00.  The Bank matched the funds donated by employees.  A total gift of $5,578 is being sent to the American Red Cross to support those impacted by the recent hurricanes. 

“While we are a true community bank and appreciate the people and places we call home, we also recognize the current needs of our neighbors and friends in communities across the globe affected by the recent hurricanes.  Families and businesses in the southern parts of the US and Caribbean are in great need of resources and tools to rebuild,” said Curtis Simard, President and CEO of Bar Harbor Bankshares.  “I am pleased to have provided this opportunity for our employees to express their care and concern.  Together we are able to make difference for those facing difficulty.”

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE MKT: BHB) is the parent of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust with more than $3 billion in assets. Founded in 1887, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is a true community bank serving the financial needs of its customers for 130 years. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust provides a full range of financial services through its 49 branch locations in all three Northern New England states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust was named one of the 2017 Top 200 Publicly Traded Community Banks in the nation by American Banker magazine. For more information call 1-888-853-7100 or go to www.bhbt.com.  Member FDIC.


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(left to right) Jack Frost and Sarah Catanese of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust present a ‘Casual for a Cause’ donation check to Gordon Stitham, American Red Cross of Northern and Eastern Maine Board Chair.  These funds for hurricane relief were donated by employees and matched by the Bank.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Healthy Acadia Welcomes New Board Members


Healthy Acadia, a community health coalition serving Hancock and Washington counties, is thrilled to welcome Patrick Lyons and Bob Fitzsimmons as new members to the organization’s Board of Directors. “We’re so honored to have Bob and Patrick join our team,” stated Elsie Flemings, Healthy Acadia’s Executive Director. “They are dynamic community leaders, and each brings his own unique experience, insight, passion and expertise, which will help to guide our work and enhance our effectiveness in building healthier communities.”

A Washington County native, Bob Fitzsimmons has worked in law enforcement for many years; serving as a warden, a police officer for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, and a sergeant with the Calais Police Department.  In 2013, Bob returned to his hometown of Baileyville to serve as the Chief of Baileyville Police Department.

Bob consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty to serve as a positive role model and make a real and lasting connection with the children and families in his community. He makes frequent visits to area schools, including Woodland Elementary, Woodland Junior/Senior High School, and Princeton and Alexander Elementary Schools, and is involved with nearly every school function.  He is a regular classroom visitor, frequently stopping in to talk and connect with older students or to sit and read with the younger ones.

Bob was instrumental in the planning of community forums that have taken place across the county in response to the opioid epidemic.  He is committed to efforts to prevent substance misuse in his community and beyond, and to helping those affected by addiction to find their path to recovery.

As an Associate with Eaton Peabody Attorneys at Law, Patrick Lyons focuses on environmental and land use law and permitting, in addition to municipal law and civil litigation. Prior to joining the firm, Patrick served as a Term Law Clerk for the Honorable John A. Woodcock, Jr., U.S. District Court, District of Maine. He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Maine School of Law, where he was the President of the Environmental Law Society, an Articles Editor for the Ocean and Coastal Law Journal, and was awarded the Faculty Significant Achievement Award and the Outstanding Scholastic Achievement Award in Environmental Law.
Patrick is no stranger to the Downeast region, is very enthusiastic about serving on the Board. “My grandfather is from Washington County, so moving Downeast felt like coming home and I wanted to find a way to become a part of this community. That is why I was immediately drawn to Healthy Acadia’s vision and mission of helping build diverse, vibrant communities in Hancock and Washington County. We all need to help those that need help and provide support and opportunity for everyone in our community. That is what Healthy Acadia works towards every day, and that is why I am honored to serve on the Board with an amazing group of people working for an amazing organization.”

Patrick resides in Ellsworth with wife, Kourtney Collum, a professor at the College of the Atlantic and the Partridge Chair in Food and Sustainable Agriculture Systems. They enjoy spending time in the Maine outdoors with their dog, Ophelia.
Healthy Acadia is 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to building healthier communities across Hancock and Washington counties by connecting individuals with health supports, building partnerships, coordinating education and prevention services, and improving policies and environments. Learn more at www.healthyacadia.org.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Islesford Dock Restaurant Fundraiser To Challenge Cancer A Success


Healthy Acadia thanks the Islesford Dock Restaurant for partnering on a September fundraising event as part of Healthy Acadia's Hungry for Health 2017 campaign challenging cancer Downeast. The event featured delicious food and great local music, with bands FrogPipe and A-Frame playing to a full room. Between generous gifts from the Islesford Dock Restaurant and community members the evening brought in  $1,317.00 to support cancer prevention and treatment access across Hancock and Washington counties.

"Healthy Acadia offers a wide variety of cancer and other chronic disease prevention services," said Shoshona Smith, Healthy Acadia Development Coordinator. "In partnership with the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center, we also offer services to cancer patients and caregivers to help navigate the healthcare and social service systems and access appropriate diagnostic, treatment, recovery, support, and financial services. We greatly appreciate Islesford Dock Restaurant and the community's support for these critical health needs.”

This collaboration with Islesford Dock Restaurant was part of Healthy Acadia’s Hungry for Health 2017 campaign to Challenge Cancer Downeast. This is the second year of the annual “Hungry for Health” campaign, which addresses a critical community health need each year. The funds raised will support Healthy Acadia and the Beth C. Wright Cancer Resource Center’s cancer prevention, education, and treatment services.

To learn more about Islesford Dock Restaurant, which is open throughout October, please visit their website at http://islesforddock.com/.

To learn about additional Hungry for Health 2017 events, visit www.healthyacadia.org and go to “What’s new!” or to get involved, please contact Shoshona at shoshona@healthyacadia.org or by calling 667-7171.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Bar Harbor Bankshares Hires Joseph G. Schmitt, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer


Joseph G. Schmitt has joined Bar Harbor Bankshares as Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer.  His office is located at the corporate headquarters in Bar Harbor, Maine.  Mr. Schmitt will lead the marketing strategy for the Bank, deploying it across the entire Northern New England market area of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.

“Joe is an innovative executive who brings a terrific perspective to his work,” said Curtis Simard, President and CEO of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. “His talent for aligning products, process, people and technology will enrich the customer experience.”

Mr. Schmitt has 20 years’ experience in bank marketing, having worked with companies all sizes from local community banks to multinationals.  Most recently Joe was Director of Product Marketing for Consumer and Business Banking at Santander Bank, N.A. where he worked for 10 years in various marketing roles (formerly Sovereign Bank).  Earlier in his career he worked for Brookline Bank, Rockland Trust, and Eastern Bank.  Mr. Schmitt earned his bachelor’s degree from Skidmore College and an MBA in Marketing from Suffolk University in Boston.

In the community Joe has volunteered with the Greater Boston Food Bank and Junior Achievement.  He also served on the board of Brookline Arts Community Center.  A competitive mountain biker, Joe and his wife, Debra will be relocating to Bar Harbor from the Boston area.  

Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE MKT: BHB) is the parent of Bar Harbor Bank & Trust with more than $3 billion in assets. Founded in 1887, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust is a true community bank serving the financial needs of its customers for 130 years. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust provides a full range of financial services through its 49 branch locations in all three Northern New England states of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Bar Harbor Bank & Trust was named one of the 2017 Top 200 Publicly Traded Community Banks in the nation by American Banker magazine. For more information call 1-888-853-7100 or go towww.bhbt.com.  Member FDIC.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Healthy Acadia's “You’ve Got a Friend Fund” Seeks Applicants and Donors



Qualifying examples may include:

  • Successful completion of the majority of college degree requirements, in need of tuition funds to graduate;
  • Need for a single rent, mortgage or loan payment to retain housing or transportation at risk due to temporary employment discontinuity;
  • Need for car repairs in order to maintain reliable transportation to and from work;
  • Local micro-farmers and gardeners wishing to share an overabundance of seasonal produce needing support to transport and distribute the food to individuals and families in need.

To be considered for a YGAFF grant award, applicants must provide the following:

1)    A clear objective that has been embarked upon, partially achieved and/or a specific misfortune or setback that threatens to disrupt normal quality of life;
2)    A demonstrated need for $1,000 or less to enable completion of this objective or to overcome the setback; and
3)    A willingness to remain in contact with YGAFF to provide feedback regarding the efficacy of the grant.

YGAFF is coordinated by a Steering Committee under the non-profit home of Healthy Acadia, a community health coalition dedicated to building vibrant communities throughout Hancock and Washington counties: www.healthyacadia.org. Download a grant application at: https://healthyacadia.org/documents/Draft_YGAF_grant_application.pdf.

The You’ve Got a Friend Fund was conceived and has been initially funded by Elin and David Poneman of Goldsboro. “We hope that these small grants can make a lasting difference, enabling individuals to overcome a barrier or address a critical need for themselves and their families.  We are pleased and honored to partner with Healthy Acadia in this effort.” said the Ponemans.


“For the many individuals in our region who are working to achieve greater self-sufficiency and independence, a YGAFF grant can be the boost needed for those inspirations to take flight,” said Elsie Flemings, Executive Director of Healthy Acadia. “This is a critical initiative, and we at Healthy Acadia are honored to be a part of it.”

To learn more about the You’ve Got a Friend Fund, contact Nina Zeldin at Healthy Acadia at 667-7171 or nina@healthyacadia.org.  Donations to the Fund are welcome. Please make checks out to Healthy Acadia, YGAFF and mail or deliver to Healthy Acadia, 140 State Street, Suite 1, Ellsworth, ME 04605.