PRESIDENT’S AWARD — SADC Director, Jon McLaughlin, awards the Presidential Citation Award to LP Plant Manager Bruce Avery with Human Resource Director Ryan Bushey, left, while President Scott Dionne, right, looks on.
HOULTON — The Southern Aroostook Development Corporation (SADC) held its annual meeting at the Houlton Regional Hospital’s Health Education Center on Jan. 8 after rescheduling it from its original December year-end date due to weather.
Several elections of the 18-member board took place during the meeting. Kent Good of The Thirsty Dawg, Max Lynds of the F.A. Peabody Company, Josh McLaughlin of J. McLaughlin Construction, LLC, Lori Weston of Bangor Savings Bank and Jerry York of York’s of Houlton were re-elected for another three-year term.
Butch Asselin, Houlton town manager, and Rosa McNally, grant administrator of the Houlton Band of Maliseets were elected to the board, replacing outgoing board members Scott Austin of F.A. Peabody Company and Wade Hanson of the Houlton Band of Maliseets.
President Scott Dionne was re-elected chairman of the board for 2015. There was no election of officers as all were serving in the second year of a two-year term.
In other business, Executive Director Jon McLaughlin presented his annual report to the board members and over 50 guests in attendance, which ended with a section on how the region is trending.
McLaughlin said, “We are seeing a small increase in youth returning to the area which is a positive sign. In addition, there are young, dynamic people purchasing established businesses, business expansions are in the works and the year saw several successful municipal grants developed. Local civic organizations thrived and substantial construction activities were recorded for 2014.”
AWARD — SADC Director Jon McLaughlin awards the Presidential Citation Award to The County Co-op and Farm Store President, Meg York, as co-op board members Jane Torres and Melissa York and SADC President Scott Dionne, look on.
Guest speaker, Lucas St. Clair, talked about the Elliotsville Plantation Foundation’s proposal to create a national park in the Katahdin region. The organization proposes to take 150,000 acres, some they control now and some they have to obtain, and create a federally recognized national park. Approximately 75,000 acres would be available to recreate on and have working forests. The remaining 75,000 acres would remain natural. In order to keep the park maintained, the Foundation would provide a $40 million endowment. It is their hope to have the park recognized by 2016, the 100th anniversary of the National Park system.
The excellent presentation was intriguing, but the board has decided not to take a stand as it tries to remain apolitical on topics that affect areas outside of the SADC region.
The meeting culminated with an awards presentation. Outgoing director, Scott Austin, received a plaque acknowledging his four years of dedication to the board. Outgoing director, Wade Hanson, was presented a plaque for his seven years of service as vice president.
At the president’s discretion, he or she can award a Presidential Citation to people that he deems as worthy for going over and above the call of duty in working to make southern Aroostook a more economically vibrant region. This award is not necessarily given out each year, but only when deserving recipients come to the forefront. This year there were two recipients. The awards went to Louisiana-Pacific Corporation for their commitment to the LSL project and its employees through challenging economic times and to The County Co-op and Farm Store for their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to supplying healthy, locally grown produce and other items.
OUTSTANDING BUSINESS — SADC Executive Director Jon McLaughlin awards S&W’s Plant Manager Scott Allen as Outstanding Business of the Year while President Scott Dionne looks on.
The award for Outstanding Business of the Year went to Smith and Wesson for their ongoing investment in the Houlton facility and the ability of their employees. The company invested several million dollars in new CNC machining capacity, making it one of the premier metal machining centers in the Northeast.
SADC continues to push forward with its mission to attract and guide new business to southern Aroostook for the betterment of the area. SADC is a private/public funded partnership. Anyone interested in contributing to their efforts or attending one of their board meetings as a guest should contact the office at (207) 521-0157 or www.SADC aroostook.org.